Dress your age, eh? Who made that one up? Some insecure teenager who thought his mom was getting too much attention?
There's something about aging. You suddenly don't really care what summation people make of you. You're tired of straightening your curly hair, you don't have a 24-inch waist anymore, and all you truly want is to be who you really are, not a reflection of last season's look.
I was looking around at coloring, thinking that I want to try a playful color I was too self conscious to when I was younger. At first, I thought "can I wear such a brassy color with an older face?" Then, I realized, "wait, whose permission do I need in my 50s?"
My hair has always been in the auburn/penny color but I always wanted orange ginger fun! It would make me so happy and confident, it would brighten me more than age me. When someone is feeling authentically her aesthetic, she carries herself differently, puts off a dynamic energy.
And hairstyle? The photo at the top of this post is my heart and soul. Besides, doesn't every grandma want to hear their granddaughter's (or grandson's) friends say, "your grandma is so cool!"
It's more appropriate to dress your soul, not your age.
You aren't in mourning, quit dressing like you don't care when it's a time in your life where being original defies age.
Let's look at some women and men who embrace this soul-dressing (note how confident they look with who they are) -
Here's tips on finding your soul vibe -
Explore the colors you are drawn to. Are you earth tones like tan, terra cotta, forest green or sea and sky colors like blues and greens with bits of sunset pink? Maybe you're inspired by Easter egg pastel tones or you like a dramatic black/white/gray palette?
Play with your hair. Go totally gray, use colors, make it short, make it long, knot it up, just don't do a corporate haircut or blow-out (the old days) and you are in the right direction.
Bring back hats - a quick way to be individual.
Where are your interests? Are you a creative artist type? (consider bohemian pieces). Are you a weekend fisherman? (consider wearing a vest). Are you a world traveler? (consider a piece from indigenous culture like a Guatemalan poncho). Do you love the beach? (maybe you need sea and sky colors). Are you obsessed with hiking? (a rugged pair of hiking boots with cargo shorts might be your vibe).
Go back to some childhood characters. Don't do the whole look, take an element.
How about David Cassidy's belt or hairstyle?
How about Gidget's pageboy or vintage swimsuit?
Some classic baby boomer fashion go-to's include - Mick Jagger, the Beatles, Carly Simon (me), Janis Joplin, Jacqueline Kennedy, Steve McQueen....
What is your attitude? Are you casual or formal? Old-fashioned? From another time? Edgy? Punk? Rocker? Preppy? Hippie? Nerd?
Find elements you are drawn to and use them. Do you love stacking jewelry? Surfer bracelets? Ponchos? Textiles from South America? Patterns from the Southwest? Girlie florals? Do you love the Indiana Jones adventurer look? Are you a minimalist like Steve Jobs who wore the same thing every day?
Adopt a signature piece. Sometimes, it's enough to have one piece that you get known for wearing all the time. Look at Josh Gates and his necklace -
Sometimes a look evolves from practicality. I never could wear fitted jackets and button-down shirts as I am tall and have wide shoulders and long arms. So, fitted, professional, business-like clothing was not going to be something I pursued. The same with capri pants that looked more like shorts on my long legs. I also am super allergic to nickel so I have avoided all metal jewelry during my lifetime and gravitate toward surfer hemp and beads. With my coloring being an obvious spring palette, I tend toward pastel, happy, clear, light colors of springtime. That color aesthetic is not something worn with a classic mix and match business wardrobe. My look would be more toward springtime clothing lines like resort and safari.
This dressing your age business is hoo-hah! Don't buy into it. You don't step off the playing field because of time on earth. Instead, you set an example and a hope for others that aging is cool, individual, and doesn't answer to anyone!