Thursday, January 10, 2019

A Few More Ways Not to Look Old

It's a new year. Why look old?

One of the ways to look old is to dress young, too young. Too young means ruffles (except around a hemline), puffed sleeves, puffy anything else (except a puffer coat), Alice in Wonderland headbands, midriff tops, clothes that fit too tight, etc.

Too old can be outdated eyeglass frames, shoes that look more comfortable than stylish (it is possible to have both), baggy clothes, items beginning to show wear (pilled sweaters and scuffed leather), and wearing what no one is wearing anymore.

Some of us reach a point where we feel we have enough clothes and better things to do than try to keep up with the fickle finger of fashion. That's when your look can become frozen in time. Trust me, you will not appear timeless.

Another hard truth is sometimes you just have to let go. Something you have always loved may have its moment and then be gone. Tough as this may be, you must put it away for a while.

For example: the kimono jacket.

I've always had a few in my closet, folkloric or Boho or Asian. A collar-less, no-button, slightly oversized T-shape jacket in an interesting woven or embroidered fabric This was my go-to what-to-wear for an evening event where dressing up was expected and creativity was okay. A kimono was easy to pack in a suitcase. It folds flat! With a black top and black pants (satin, silk or velvet depending on the season) it became an instant evening look.

Then kimonos got popular.

Suddenly they were everywhere...

...but not where I wanted to be.

When I first noticed they were in the stores again, I was happy to join in. I added several fanciful new ones and wore them often. At first I felt ahead of the game, then right in style, then just one of the pack. When kimonos were everywhere at every price point and on everyone, I put mine away. Perhaps this was a little act of fashion snobbery on my part, but I didn't want to hang on too long.

It's hard to keep up with how fast fashion changes. Even classics come and go. They are called classics for a reason, but they're not always "in style". When was the last time you saw anyone wearing a twin set with pearls? Yet those are certainly classics.

As we get older we learn not to get rid of the good stuff because it will come back. Belts come and go. A good belt will not deteriorate waiting for its time again (though your waistline may). Delicate jewelry is in; then it's out; now it's in. Just hold onto it. How much drawer space could it possibly take up?

Part of not looking old is being current. If you sense its time has come and gone, give it a rest.

If you love bell bottoms, but no one is wearing them, put 'em away. If you like velour track suits (I'm just saying), but no one is wearing them, put 'em away. If you love kimonos, but the look looks tired...well, you know what to do. 

It's knowing what to wear when that means you are staying on top of things.


  1. A nice reminder for this 77-year old! Happy New Year.

    1. Thank you and and very happy new year to you too. Yes, sometimes we all need a nudge!

  2. So, what's wrong with ruffles, exactly? What's wrong with looking old, for that matter? Feeling old because of painful arthritis in my spine, my hands, and my wrists--that sucks. By the luck of my genetics, I look "young" but I'd gladly trade my wrinkle-free skin and natural hair for joints that work like they did 20 years ago. I've been wearing supportive, comfortable shoes that will accommodate my orthotic since I was diagnosed with half a dozen crippling foot problems when I was 50. If you really think that you can find shoes that fit your idea of fashionable and my need to not injure myself, in a size 10.5 wide-wide, I would love to see them. Fortunately for me, in 2019, "Dad" trainers are in fashion, but when they're not, I'll still be wearing mine. If I want to keep walking, that is.

    1. I appreciate your comments and understand you would rather feel better the hell with how you look. I want you to keep walking too!

  3. Not looking old is not a choice for some. But some do carry it well.
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