“Age Appropriate” Clothing

Has anyone ever told you to wear age appropriate clothing? If so, what were you wearing? There is some hub bub concerning what people should wear when they are a certain age. Well, more specifically—what women are “allowed” to wear at a certain age. I write women because it seems that this is not an issue for men. I suppose men and boys are “allowed” to wear whatever they at any age they want without ridicule or judgement.

When searching the Internet on the subject of “age appropriate clothing” I have never found one single article, blurb, video or the like on how men should stop wearing cargo pants after the age of 30 or 40. (And I have searched a lot.) Conversely, I have encountered a multitude of articles, blog posts, TV segments and the like professing that women over 30 are prohibited from sporting the following looks if they have reached the indicated age: Bikini, 47; Miniskirt, 35; Tube Top, 33; Stilettos, 51; Navel piercing, 35; Knee high boots, 47; Sneakers, 44; Leather pants, 34; Leggings, 45; Ugg boots, 45; Swimsuit, 61; Tight vest, 44; See-through chiffon blouse, 40; Long hair, 53; Ponytail, 51. http://jezebel.com/5801100/study-reveals-exact-age-you-must-stop-wearing-a-bikini

This information was according to a web article at jezebel.com but I have seen a similar list at other times and heard these proposed age related fashion violations from others.

This ideology seems to push women into a box with regard to what they are able to wear as they get older. As you may know, there is a covert movement that dictates that women lose the ability to be “sexy” after the age of 28 unless it is connected to fetishism. But what I am talking about goes deeper than that; it speaks to the ability for people to be who they are and wear what they are comfortable in.

If a guy wants to wear clothing like that of a “horny teenage boy” as coined in the movie “What’s Your Number?” Why can’t they? If a woman wants to stay fit in her 50s how is she supposed to achieve that goal if she is not supposed to wear sneakers over the age of 44? And how are children, especially little girls going to be able to fully embrace the experience of being a child if they are sexualized before they even hit puberty?

Some fashions are just plain icky and no one should wear them. Tube tops come to mind here as do Ugg boots. But that is probably more personal opinion than anything. I think it is more about wearing what suits you in your environment and what works best for expressing who you are. Conformity is required to a certain extent, sure but why stop wearing a bikini at 47 if you still like the way you look in one? And what happens after 61 when a woman is not supposed to wear a swimsuit at all?

Some folks may look silly in what they decide to wear—to you but maybe it makes them feel good. Maybe it works for how there life is. After all not every person of middle (or upper middle) age looks like they are in the summer (or winter) of their life. Maybe that is a side effect of bucking the norm and being true to the one inside of them. Furthermore, isn’t one of the perks of being old being able to pick your own wardrobe and damn the torpedoes?

This is a primer for our Monday podcast question What does “age appropriate” clothing mean to you? We will discuss this phenomenon and any subscriber feedback we receive on the subject. Please comment and share so we can include your opinion on our next podcast.


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