mercredi 23 avril 2014

The young and the restless


Charlotte Gainsbourg (credit unknown)


I was invited to a casual Easter Monday lunch and feeling completely uninspired for the choice of my outfit reached for my short oversize tweed coat, a black sweater, skinny jeans and sneakers and as I was looking at my reflection in the mirror, I cringed. Too young I immediately thought.  But I was in a hurry and with no intention of working my brains out to come up with another ensemble just to soothe my ego. So I put on a bit of lipstick, wrapped my hair in a Wax fabric scarf  and off I went. In what I equalled to a kid's outfit.

Still, much later on my thoughts wandered back to my initial reaction of reject. It's kind of a pattern I guess, I don't want to dress like a matron but the perspective of being taken for a teenager appalls me.

And furthermore, I couldn't even pinpoint what I disliked in that outfit and dismissed as "too young". The sneakers? The jeans? A combination of both? Maybe... Usually, I can easily figure it out: there are clothes, lengths, styles - basically everything too tight, too short, too showy- I'm not interested in anymore. Been there worn that. I leave it to the next generations.

However the limits between ages in terms of fashion are so blurry now. I'm not saying it's a bad thing, au contraire, in my point of view breaking any stereotypes is empowering, it's just that I also think it creates more room for old or new insecurities to creep in. For me, getting older with a babyface physique, it's dressing the part, being taken for the adult I am, without burdening myself in the process and turning this into a fixation because there are worse things than looking younger than your real age!

So right now, I'm navigating between a certain stable style maturity and phases of doubts or little out of nowhere crisis as experienced last Monday.

It's an evolving matter obviously and it's quite exciting, the challenge it represents to translate the way you're growing in life in how you dress.

Anyone else questioning what age appropriate means for them ? I'd be interested to get your thoughts on that issue.  

10 commentaires:

  1. yeah sometimes I have those thoughts of I'm too old for this (sometimes i wish jelly kellys would come back)...even though I'm still mistaken for being 10 years younger. Though if your outfit made you think "teenager" then there are some pretty well dressed teenagers running around where you are!!! a teenager here is shorts with butt hanging out (and not the nice ones like giselle or even kim k lol! ;P).

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    1. I guess I must have a distorted vision of teenage fashion now that you're mentioning it! But even if you get 10 years off, you don't "use" this benefit, do you?

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    2. I don't like being mistaken for a teenager. 4 years ago I was carded at the movie theatre (by the ticket ripper!!! after I already bought the ticket) to see a rated R movie--it was the angelina jolie assassin one (not salt), I can't remember the name. I know I look young, but under 15??!!! seriously!! with car keys in my hand?? I was so mad, smoke could have come out of my ears. It wasn't the usual lady that gives me hugs whenever I come. and other times looking young and being brown skinned is a creep magnet. but usually people say at first they think I'm 19-20, but by the way I dress/carry myself explains that I'm older. But the older I get, the more I want a fake id that says I'm under 21. lol!

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    3. We could trade stories! All your anecdotes and feelings, I've been there too. Especially the creep magnet, so sad and sickening. The worst is I used to think it was in my head, like I was imagining it but once I started talking about that with other young looking female friends, I realized it really was happening. Ew!
      Oh, I don't mind my age, it just creates these hilarious situations when people learn it. Last time at a doctor's appointment, the assistant registering me was so shocked when she looked my birth date and we had a good laugh about it!

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  2. I'm hoping I can wear skinny/slim jeans with Converse at 70 and not look like I'm trying too hard, haha. Actually my mother, who is 61, looks better in skinny or tapered jeans, which she wears with TOMs or loafers and she looks perfectly age-appropriate.

    I do feel like I'll prefer longer shorts, skirts and dresses in a few years - no matter how great a person's legs are, short hemlines feel "young" to me and they lack that dignity I find so alluring about growing older.

    One thing I really dislike on anyone over the age of 21 - skater-style skirts and dresses! Worse yet, they're pretty unflattering when people wear them too short.

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    1. Your mother must be so elegant! Apple doesn't fall far from the tree, right!
      Looking at my own mom also gives me hope to be able to wear and enjoy whatever style I want!

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  3. I know what you mean about feeling too "young" in something like that, but I don't know if it's "young" exactly, and knowing you, I'm sure you looked great. Maybe just too "casual?" I don't know. I work in a casual office now but I can't bring myself to dress completely casually...I always try to stick with one tailored element. Maybe that is what that outfit was missing? Hard to say...

    I think back to what I wore at age 22 and 23 and it seems crazy but even now at 26 I can't fathom putting on some of that stuff...my body changed enough (not to mention my maturity level) that I'm more and more reaching for things that are more and more tailored.

    You should post the outfit :)

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    1. I agree with you: tailoring is key when one wants to convey a certain maturity to an outfit.

      Regarding Sunday's look, I had the same reflexion later on about it being too casual, it certainly was I guess but my initial response to it was so spontaneously about it being too youthful that I couldn't shake it off, you know?

      There was a recent post on Garance Doré on the subject of style evolution and yeah, a lot of us are going though the same phases! It's so funny how fast we grow out of one style in a matter of a few months sometimes. It's one of the perks (or maybe not? Haha) of blogging about personal style and having these past looks archives and seeing this process evolve.

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  4. So funny you wrote about this, I was just clearing out my closet and came across a pair of denim short shorts. I had been wearing them the past two summers and they still fit but for some reason when I tried them on yesterday they just seemed too young. I have other pairs of denim shorts that are fine, but that one particular pair, I don't know what it is! Just an inch too short. Carine once said at some point you have to know when to give up bikinis in favor of one-pieces. I'm not there yet by a long shot but I know what she means!

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    1. That happens to me too occasionally! Like a dress that was perfectly ok last summer which a few months later suddenly feels too lolita/babydoll-ish... Like you said, objectively there's nothing wrong with the item but there's just that feeling that it feels "too young".

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