Looking from the outside in - people, place and practice

Friday, August 31, 2012

Should there be a wardrobe age limit?

I saw this above picture on The Huffington Post yesterday. The Duchess of Alba, 86-year-old Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart and her husband, 61-year-old Alfonso Diez, have been enjoying the sun in Formentera, Spain. She apparently donned her floral bikini every day. How amazing?

I think she looks incredibly fabulous. To go out and don a bikini at the age of 86 is no small feat. And it is something that is not done often enough. The thing about age-appropriate really irks me; it is a very difficult subject to deal with. But I think it all boils down to what we regard as beautiful and how we’ve been trained to judge.
On the one hand we’ll find women like Donatella Versace, 57, who often struts her stuff on the beach in a bikini, showing off her super-tanned body. Most people would consider this to be a bit too much (and I’m not talking about her tan). I can already hear people saying: Shouldn’t she be covering up at her age?
On the other hand, we have beauties like Kim Cattrall, 56, who poses here with teen-star Miley Cyrus in Sex and The City. When her character, Samantha, bought this dress in the store, the sales lady commented: 'Isn’t this a bit too young?' Samantha nearly bit her head off for that, of course.
So, both of these women are scrutinised for wearing outfits which are considered to be ‘too young’. Yet, I really think Kim Cattrell looks fabulous. So on which basis do we scrutinize? Is it just based on their age?
Michelle Obama, 48, with her daughter – notice the below-the-knee skirt for her, and above-the-knee skirt for her daughter. Most people would classify Michelle Obama as dressing appropriately for her age.
Rihanna, 24, in a crop top and short skirt. If Michelle Obama wore this, would you take her seriously? Probably not.

I think that society as a whole has become very, very ageist, especially when it comes to women of course. I think the main thing is that we are judging in the first place. Are we not allowed to wear skinnie jeans and midriff tops at age 50? Even if, say, we look better at 50 than we did when we were 20?
Basing everything on age I think is ridiculous. It’s more about how the person wears the outfit, and how it makes them feel. We’ve been indoctrinated to think: short, tight, and revealing = inappropriate for those over 40-years of age. I say, not so.

I think we must seriously disconnect age from clothing; it’s all about how you strut your stuff, with class.

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1 comment:

  1. I completely agree! Overall, I find that Europeans are way more comfortable with their bodies and feel like they can put their bodies on display- but that's a personal observation. I think age-appropriate is bull- you should always feel comfortable and confident. That's what matters.


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