When I was a kid my least favorite thing to hear was “act your age.” It may be sound advice at
times, but it’s a super annoying thing to hear, especially if you’re just trying to have fun! Now
that I’m a full blown grown up with plenty of responsibilities, I rarely hear that phrase, but I’ve
noticed that I am constantly getting subtle, and not-so-subtle messages how to dress for my
age. Whether it’s fashion magazines, social media, or even conversations with friends,
messages about what women should and shouldn’t wear definitely hit you in your 30s, and as
the years go by they just ramp up.
But what does it really mean to dress your age?
Dolly Parton is 73 and she’s still touring and performing in outfits as glamorous, glitzy and
downright sexy as the ones she wore back in the 70s. She hasn’t dimmed her light over the
years. If anything, she’s only shining brighter!
Check out the exquisite she wore in this Elle profile earlier this year.
Jane Fonda is 81 and she recently relocated to Washington, DC to dedicate herself to the fight for climate change reform. Every Friday,
as part of her Fire Drill Fridays campaign, she marches on Washinton in a .
She’s been arrested three times now and she looks defiant and fabulous every single time!
Fonda’s Grace and Frankie costar, Lily Tomlin, is 80 and has a funky style all her own.
I can’t get enough of the she wore alongside Fonda earlier this year on Jimmy Kimmel Live!
She wears unique vintage t-shirts with blazers, suits and sparkly button downs.
But I especially love the way her eyes twinkle from underneath her unique red cateye sunglasses whenever she lands a snarky joke.
So, is there really an age appropriate outfit for living the lives we want?
Honestly, I don’t think so! Just like being told “act your age” is a way of teaching kids to stay in
line, the messages we get about dressing our age tend to be about controlling women and their
bodies, and making us feel invisible. But here’s the thing—you don’t have to shrink or become
less visible as you age. It is totally safe for you to take up space whether you’re 25 or 95!
Wearing the things we really want to wear can make us feel so free and so powerful.
And that’s something I think every woman should feel, no matter her age.
One of my favorite ways to break the unwritten “dress your age” rules is to add bright splashes of color to my outfits. Don’t get me wrong, sophisticated black is a fantastic wardrobe staple. But too much of it makes me feel matronly.
I love to get playful with accessories like the Clara Sunwoo s.
It’s sleek, just a little bit edgy and totally stands out.
Recently I wore it to brunch with my fabulous mother and she kept admiring the fabric and fit.
I told her I loved her shimmery purple cardigan. “Want to swap?” I asked her.
Then, laughing, I traded my jacket for her cardigan. But when she put it on my jaw dropped. “Mom, you look amazing!” I told
her. Then we snapped some goofy selfies together and made some very goofy faces that were
most definitely not “our age.” It was a total blast. So, if you’re stuck in an “act your age” or “dress
your age” rut, why not break some of the rules this week? Forget dressing your age.