Too Old For Trendy? Dressing “Age Appropriate”
“You’re too skinny.” “You’re too pale.” “You’re too different.” “You’re too old.” I can tell you, the word “too” was never my thing. We’ve all heard it, read it, listened to it way too many times. I mean, who decides whether you’re “too something to do something” anyways? If you were to ask me what I love the most about fashion is its inclusivity. I’m not talking about the fashion industry, although I wish I was. I’m talking about the sense of knowing who you are and letting that feeling show through clothes. Is there anything more fascinating than building yourself through simple pieces of cloth, through color and shape, through texture? I don’t think so. And you know what? There’s no race, no religion, no limits nor boundaries to that feeling of just being you. And of course, there is no age; you’ll never be too old to wear whatever makes you happy, no matter how many times someone tells you so. Unfortunately, not everyone would say the same thing. Scrolling down Google for a little bit of research on the subject of ageless fashion, all I came across were articles like “10 Pieces of Clothing That You Must Not Wear if You’re Over 60” or “20 Trends You’re Too Old to Wear.” Among these “over 60 don’t you even dare to try them on” items, we find pieces such as stiletto heels or crop tops. Even boyfriend jeans are considered way too much if you´re not in your 30s. Coming from an industry that has repeatedly taken the word “too” to a whole new level of stupidity and nonsense, it certainly didn’t surprise me to read all of that. We’ve just recently started seeing models that years ago were considered too fat or too short. They must really like the word “too” in the fashion industry to use it before every single adjective that describes the physical traits of people.
Complementary to these articles that thankfully teach you what must not be worn if you´re not in the early stages of your life, we find articles addressing the clothes that are indeed what you must wear if you want to behave like a proper lady and dress accordingly to your age. Apparently, black must be the dominant color in your wardrobe, and you should never dare to play with patterns. I mean, you’re not young anymore; get over it and stay away from those youthful trends! That was sarcasm, if you couldn’t tell. Although times are changing, apparently we can’t seem to get over our judgmental nature. We keep putting limits to the way we should be or act. It is still incomprehensible to me the reason why an aged woman with a tight dress is said to be someone who simply can’t cope with the fact that she is no longer young. Well maybe she just wants to embrace her body, a body that may have given birth or a body that has danced, lived and experienced so many treasurable moments for years. A body that deserves to be dressed freely. Between us, I’ve seen my grandmother pulling off short skirts better than I ever could. She and women her age all around the world posses something so valuable that we, the young generation, the Millennials, the cool kids, should be jealous about. They have wisdom and confidence and they know who they are. No magazine could ever bring them down nor tell them what to wear or what not to wear. I don’t know if I’ll live to see the word “too” disappear from the fashion industry’s vocabulary, but for now I’m just happy that my grandma doesn’t know how to use her computer so she’ll never get to read that she’s too old to be herself.
Northeastern University's Fashion Magazine, The Avenue - Youth Issue