In passing, definitely in passing, I heard something on morning television the other day which well, really annoyed me. Normally the vacuous content of Lorraine washes over me as I down my second cup of tea, first one is had in bed. On this morning however my arm hairs were prickled and a small gasp was released as her diminutive fashion “expert” made a statement. As if it were a law that all understood and should abide to he said. “Of course you shouldn’t wear a mini skirt if you are over forty”. I’m forty and I still wear miniskirts.
Now before you jump to conclusions I am not a heel tottering lady who with fake tanned legs struts about wine bars in a short skirt at the weekend, although if that is someone else’s choice then that is fine. No, I am in fact completely the opposite. For me the mini skirt is one of the few perks that winter brings, worn with thick woolly tights it’s a pleasant alternative to my skinny jeans. Yes I wear those too. I feel that even at forty my legs, although not long are in good shape and therefore a short skirt worn with thick tights is not only acceptable but looks pretty good.
All this got me thinking again, because these thoughts have occupied my mind before, why is it that a number, an age, should dictate what it is acceptable for you to wear? Why does a small man on the telly have the right to make these grand statements? Why am I so cross about this?
I think the rattling of my cage has occurred as said “fashion advisor” has hit a sensitive spot. A vulnerable spot which is all about the “I don’t want to look silly”. Yes I want to keep feeling young and stylish but I don’t want people sniggering behind my back, laughing at my attempts to be “on trend”. I really don’t want to dress like a teenager but I don’t want to dress like I’m middle aged and frumpy either. So I am also annoyed that most likely, in his opinion, a woman over forty should dress like Lorraine. Bless her, I have no problems with the lovely Lorraine’s matchy matchy, hyper groomed style, but it is not me.
I have long been a believer in dressing for myself in a style which suites me and my personality. However I would say that it is only in later years that I have had the conviction to truly apply this belief. Fashion has long been an animal I love to pursue but I have hardly ever been its slave, I may have slipped up on the odd occasion, but I have always rebuffed the need to look like all those around me. I often made clothes for myself as a teenager wanting to have something unique and all mine to wear. I also had an early love for second hand clothes, now fashionably known as “vintage”, and would trawl charity shops, markets and the Mecca which was Manchester’s Affleck’s Palace. I have never been a highly groomed intensely manicured type, opting instead for a more bohemian/unique/alternative/thrown together but chic or just plain “me” look. It might sound funny but clothes mean a lot to me. For me, making the effort to select an outfit and present myself as I would like the world to see me can truly lift my spirits and start the day on a positive footing. I always say beware the days I’m at the school gates in jogging bottoms, then I really am mentally not in a good way.
That is me, and I know that is not everyone so I would like to add that each person should dress for them self and if you’re not that into clothes then you’re probably into something else. That’s the way of the world, I get it. I also understand that the TV experts are there to guide us, especially in those moments of doubt over a new trend. Is it right for my shape, age, bank balance? Here however I would say “It is not the law and do not be dictated to”. If something makes you happy and feel good go with it. If you’re not sure trust the word of the people around you, friends and family, hopefully they will be honest enough to tell you when you look ridiculous.
I suppose the fashion man offended me, I felt he was criticising me personally. Now even writing that statement I know I don’t care at all what he thinks. I care what my friends and family think and if I ever became outrageously embarrassing I hope that someone will give me a quite nudge. I doubt however that this will happen because actually one of the great things that comes with age is confidence in your ability to making the right decisions and I am confident that it is still ok for me to wear a miniskirt.