|The Golden Years: Fashion Forward, Fashion Forty
Funny thing about fashion and images, they color our version of reality and "the norm," yet they are pure products of fantasy. So when we dive into the tsunami of images showcasing super skinny, long + lanky twenty years-olds held up as our sartorial role models, we also crumble under an avalanche of admonishments directed at women over the age of forty. Blue-haired Fashion Moseses dictating a 10 Commandments of Fashion Faux Pas: Thou shallts, and Thou-shallt-nots dot our +40 landscape. The bottom line gets summed up in the mandatory drop of the hemline: no knees, please! We're advised for invisibility- hide your upper arms and cover those knees. Skip the minis, stock up on maven modest knee-length midis, and dignity preserving maxis. Which isn't really a bad thing, is it? I mean, we, women, of "a certain age" need our dignity to remain intact, and lowering the hemline is one way to do that. Right?
|Above the Knee. Showing Off 47 Year Old Knees: Faux Pas or Fashion Pass?
Now at age 47 (where does the time go, people?) I don't "dress my age,", and I can't relate to all the advice out there telling me how to wear trends as a forty year old. I know they mean well, but I can not relate. The advice I can, and DO relate to come from the likes of Vix, and Desiree, who wear bikinis, short skirts and short shorts, tight tights and look absolutely fabulous doing it. They don't "dress for their age," for sure, but they do dress for their beautiful, beautiful souls. Which is probably why I skip the "regular" over forty +40 fashion websites but read blogs like theirs religiously. I ALWAYS come away from their fashion posts feeling great about them, and better about myself.
When I bought this dress, I loved it, but I didn't think for a minute I'd be wearing it. It was purchased to sell in my shop. And I've been trying to find someone (quite frankly, skinnier, and younger) to model it. After all, Vix is smoking hot, and Desiree looks like a movie star, so while I supported their choice to bare nearly all, I never thought about ME doing it as well. I'm no Helen Mirren, I'm no fitness queen. Not only do I butter my bread, but I butter the butter on my bread. This dress has changed my outlook somewhat.
I hadn't yet found a shop model, so I made myself into one. When I tried on the dress, I was surprised that it fit, and at how well it fit. A vintage 1980s Pop Art printed body-con, made in a stretchy fabric guaranteed to hug your every nook and cranny, and girl, have I got nooks. And crannies. As I self-shot the photos, it felt empowering to play model. Looking at the pics, I realized something.
This is what a 47 year old woman, who is a size 12/14, looks like in a body-con dress. What you see here are bonafide fashion images, of a real life woman in her forties who has an average American figure. I'm not age 20, and I'm not skinny. My brown eyes, brown skin and chubby knees aren't remotely anything you're going to see in this month's issue of Harper's Bazaar, but let me tell you, it feels good to be an antidote to fast fashion. I like the way I look. Best of all, I like the way I feel, a real woman allowing herself a fun exploration of style, and representing an alternative image of what fashion can look like: not skinny, not young, but confident and curvy, and certifiably vintage.
|Face the New +40 Fashion Do: Wear What YOU Love. And Love to Have Fun.
- Vintage Pop Art Body-Con (Made in U.S.A) Dress by R.D.S. is HERE
- Vintage Hand-Knit Mohair Sweater is available HERE