5 Things You Definitely Shouldn’t Wear Over 60

New York Fashion week officially kicks off this week.  This is where designers show what we should be wearing in the coming seasons.  This years theme is diversity.  Mentioned are racial diversity and more plus-size models.  Unfortunately, this diversity doesn’t seem to include the “older” demographic.  I guess they think that people our age no longer care about wearing anything stylish.

Instead we are bombarded by hundreds of articles telling us what NOT to wear on our old bodies – nothing above the knee, keep upper arms well covered to hide “bat wings,” don’t expose that turkey neck.  Stick to classic styles and neutral colours like beige and black so we don’t stand out.

Fashion Week runway photo by Michael Lee

One of the best things about getting older is realizing we don’t have to expend any more energy worrying about what people may think and be happy and comfortable in our own skins.

Still, there are a few things that people over 60 really shouldn’t wear:

1. The weight of the world.  We all have our problems but constantly worrying about your health, coronavirus, the economy, plummeting stock markets, the environment, your children, your parents and whether your money will last just drags you down.  It puts those vertical frown lines between your eyes.  Shuffling along with bowed shoulders couldn’t be more aging.  Learn to care for yourself and ask for help when you become overwhelmed.  Avoid becoming the prophet of doom and remind yourself of the 12-step saying – Change what you can, accept what you can’t and be wise enough to know the difference.

2. Rose-coloured glasses.  We’re always told to be cheerful and optimistic but seeing only the positive and being blind to the negative keeps you from making necessary changes.  Thinking that swelling on your neck will go away in time, or spending freely because everything will turn out just fine. It’s the opposite of feeling heavily burdened (No.1) but they keep you from examining your life realistically and working out solutions.

3. Regret and disappointment.  These are useless baggage – from past mistakes, bad decisions and their consequences, humiliation caused by wrong or foolish behaviour.  It’s a game of what ifs – what if I had only, what if I hadn’t, what if I would have said?  It makes us mull over the past incessantly and downturns your mouth so you always look sad.  Know that everyone makes mistakes and others will sometimes disapprove of your decisions.  It’s best to surround yourself with encouraging, supportive people and let the past go already.

4. Too many hats.  This might be too many responsibilities at work.  But when you retire you’re often encouraged to “get involved.”  You’ll get appeals from organizations to volunteer and asked for “favours” from family and friends (because you have so much time on your hands).  Between work, home, community, kids, and more you’re trying to fill a dozen different roles.  That’s a lot of responsibility for one person to juggle.  Next time someone asks you to take on more responsibility you might say no. Learn to delegate some tasks (like housework for example), or eliminate some of the ones you already have without feeling guilty.

5. Bitchy face. You know that look.  I wasn’t going to add it to my list because, let’s face it, sometimes it can’t be helped.  Like when you go into the Apple store and the “geniuses” (yes, that’s what they’re called) who work there recoil in horror like you just stepped out of an archeological pit and roll their eyes at each other when you ask a simple question (how do you turn this on?).  Or, the obnoxious chatterbox in the seat next to you when you’re just getting to the good part in your latest John Grisham novel.  Use it sparingly though.  It wouldn’t hurt if every once in a while you had a welcoming and kind look on your face.

The bottom line

We’ve spent our lives being dictated to by the fashion police – mini, midi, maxi skirts; wide-leg, narrow-leg, bell-bottom, high-waist, hipster pants; narrow then wide ties; huge shoulder pads and narrow silhouettes.  Even hair.  Luckily, the long straight hair phase worked for me.  But my curly-haired husband actually ironed his curly locks.

By now our bodies have more or less settled into the size and shape they want to be.   I think we’ve reached the age where we know what works for us. What we feel happy and comfortable wearing doesn’t mean looking frumpy.

There isn’t anything wrong with getting advice about updating your look but we’re inundated with that stuff.  Who says what’s appropriate?  I have a positive body image and I’m cool with it – even the jiggle.

I’m certainly not ready for a flowered housedress and support stockings rolled down to my orthopedic shoes.

So, Mr Judgy McJudgison.  If you’re so easily offended, I suggest you close your eyes or turn away when I come strutting down the street rocking my short skirt or jeggings, sleeveless top, big jewelry and crazy red hat.  You might catch a glimpse of my bitchy face. 

Because, I’m too busy enjoying my life and being myself to worry about what you think. 

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2 Responses

  1. Gin says:

    A lot of fun reading the article :). Couldn’t agree more. I have noticed over the last while how my Lululemon pants are wide legged while the new rage all seems to be tights. Too bad, not rushing out to replace my pants in great condition by something else just to be ‘in’.

    • Marie Engen says:

      Hi Gin. Yes, I don’t see why I have to give my entire wardrobe to Goodwill just because someone says they’re not in style or age-appropriate for me.

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