What Does it Mean to ‘Dress Your Age’?

But what you wear shows what kind of person you are and how you want to be seen. And that changes as we get older, sometimes even more than our bodies or dress sizes (though those do change too).

I feel like I've worked hard for my years, and I think it's worth wearing. That means I no longer wear clothes that remind me of my youth, like skirts with hemlines above my knees, tops that show off my belly button, slip dresses, and hemlines that end above my ears. Anything that sends me back in time to a time when I wasn't as developed as I am now, or to a time I've already lived through. That has as much to do with relationship with other people as it does with years.

It's a bit like the family reunion problem where you act like you did when you were 12 when you're with your brothers and older relatives. It has the same effect when you wear clothes from the past, even if fashion has chosen that it's time for a new generation to discover them. (That might be a good rule to follow: if you wore it the first time it was trendy, you might want to stay away from it the next time.)

In part because of this, I like wearing long skirts (those that hit somewhere between the knee and the ankle) and wider pants, which both make me feel swishy when I walk. Also, long or three-quarter sleeves. And putting things away. I think that being more covered is both more useful and more stylish, and both of those words, along with the related phrase “pulled together,” make me think of values I value. In the same way that kitten heels and mules don't, mostly because of their names.

That's me, though. What's the point?

Fashion-forward women of a certain age who I respect are those who look like they know who they are and aren't afraid to let everyone know: Angela Bassett, Sigourney Weaver, Isabelle Huppert, Michelle Yeoh, Lauren Hutton, and Michèle Lamy (Rick Owens's very goth partner, wife, and artist). What does that mean? You have to choose for yourself what makes you happy, big pants and all. That really is the most grown-up way to dress.


Mr. John A. Barnett is an experienced News Editor at DigitalKarate. He is skilled in the art of building tales that are compelling and in ensuring that reporting is accurate.

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