Saturday, November 18, 2006

How To Dress Your Age


A reader writes:
Hi Ms Jeepers

I have an emergency question. I am 43 and I have spiraled into
fashioned uncertainty. Can I still wear lace blouses and skinny
jeans? Platforms? I think I look good in them but maybe I don't. I
have a good body (I have been told) and I am holding up well. Its not
like a want to go raving but I hate the corporate suit look with a
neat haircut. Ditto beige.
Please help me! I would quite happily follow your advice to the 22
year old woman.

Signed,
[name withheld]

Jeepers replies:
Dear one,

What is this "raving" you speak of? To answer the question implied in your letter--"Do I have to dress my age?"--the answer is no. Don't dress your age, dress your dreams, aspirations, humor, and rank.

Most complaints against people "not dressing their age" are really about rank. Psychologically, people don't want to be confused. It's confusing to see a woman who looks like she could have a teenage daughter dress as if she were a teenager herself. Or, to look at it another way, people object to both underachievers and upstarts.

A twelve-year-old dressed in an army sergeant's uniform is disturbing; a 19-year-old wearing sergeant insignia is impressive; a 40-year-old with the same rank is suspicious, because you would expect someone his age be a sergeant major already. (No matter that the 40-year-old sergeant is in even better physical shape, and more handsome, than his younger brother-in-arms!)

So, when considering whether you'd look good in a particular piece, use the following checklist:

1. Do I look good?
2. Do I feel good?
3. Does it say something positive (and perhaps truthful) about my rank in life?
4. Can I picture Sophia Loren wearing it?

We would also would make these additional suggestions:


1. No showing more than fiver percent of one's bra at any age.
2. No pinstripe pantsuits under 23.
3. No suspenders hanging down to form loops at the wearer's side after 22.

The Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman's father once pointed to a photograph of people bowing to the pope, and said, "What's going on here? We have one group of humans bowing to another human. The only difference between the bowing humans and the pope, son? Epaulettes."

Yrs with good wishes,
Jeepers

28 Comments:

Blogger caprice said...

"No showing more than fiver percent of one's bra at any age."
Or one's panties.

12:10 PM  
Anonymous amyliz said...

I love richard Feynman.
Thanks for the link to the video.

I love your blog too!

12:31 AM  
Anonymous Anne said...

I'm really enjoying your blog, how about what to wear home to visit the family for the holidays? I'm there for a week and it will likely be rainy and chilly and there are three-year olds with whom I will be fighting over the mashed potatoes. But I will also be bringing my husband and don't want to descend into pajama-clad frumpiness just because I'm sleeping in my old room. Help!

2:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm also 43 and let me tell you if you start catering to some so-called "confused folks" who want to control, catalog and catergorize you into some sort of mystical "ranking systems". You can kiss your style and individuality good-bye. Don't do anything for the masses! If there "confused" let 'em stay confused. Whatever you wear, love it, owe it, and wear it with hellva lot of confidence and it belongs to YOU and you deserve to wear it with joy.

9:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

RIGHT ON ANONYMOUS! I'm 43 too, and I dress like I'm 33 and I probably always will, but then again, I look 33...good black don't crack and clean living and a gym membership go a long way. LOL.

5:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you, this is great advice!
I hate all that "dress your age" talk.

10:52 AM  
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Blogger Stivel Velasquez said...

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Blogger pedro velasquez said...

You still have your classic polo shirt,dominical costa rica tours but your skirts are now a little bit longer. Mix that polo shirt with a pencil skirt or something fuller. In your teens you desired to make really bold statements and to separate yourself from the masses. Individuality was the objective, and you weren’t afraid to take risks. People expected you to do crazy things. Many of those risks might still be on your agenda in your twenties, but you need to become a little more modest, especially if you have to consider the workplace.
This is the time to try a tight pair of jeans with a crisp, white button-down shirt, a bold and funky belt, and either a pair of boots or heels. If you don’t feel so sure about your figure, go for solid colors and a very classic silhouette — not necessarily the tight jeans, but maybe a pair of black stretch pants or younger fitted trousers; not too tight, not too baggy.
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OpenID reinaldo14wright said...

Great blog. Very interesting observations. More good reading

11:22 PM  
Anonymous GreatDress said...

Don't worry about your age, If your dress help you good looking. Charm!!

7:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm really enjoying your blog, how about what to wear home to visit the family for the holidays? I'm there for a week and it will likely be rainy and chilly and there are three-year olds with whom I will be fighting over the mashed potatoes.
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12:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

RIGHT ON ANONYMOUS! I'm 43 too, and I dress like I'm 33 and I probably always will, but then again, I look 33...good black don't crack and clean living and a gym membership go a long way.
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Blogger Joel D said...

I want to blow his mind in a
subtle & elegant way. I have a pretty extensive wardrobe so there are
lots of options but I just can't decide - miniskirt? Wrap dress?

7:29 AM  
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