You would think that being older, wiser and more stylish would be a given, but not so. The girls on the Facebook group, Trans Beauty Network, were recently discussing fashion and, in particular, the fashion faux pas’ of trans women seen by the group. High on the list was the perennial favorite of not dressing your age meaning you shouldn’t be a 50-60 year old woman and dress like your granddaughter. And this does not extend to just the trans community but is still a common observation by women in general. When TLC’s How Not To Dress TV show was still on the air, this was a common theme.
So, to those girls, you are missing the boat because as we see below, the older, wiser, and more mature woman can be far more stylish than the ragtag group of millennials that they try to imitate.
Ari Seth Cohen just released a new book, Advanced Style…Older and Wiser which features more senior street style and inspiration from all over the globe, including Los Angeles, London, Cape Town, Rome, Florence, Tokyo, San Diego, Palm Springs, Melbourne, Sydney, New York, Amsterdam, Edinburgh, Stockholm, and Geneva. The book also features 22 short essays by the subjects of the book distilling the wisdom and lifestyle secrets of some of Cohen’s favorite Advanced Style ladies. But this is NOT a book review because this article is about how older ladies really are more stylish than the millennials and their super comfortable but sloppy lifestyle. This book is but an example of what you can be too.
Diane Pemberton-Sikes in her blog, Fashion for Real Women, wrote a travel article in which she said, “I’ve been on chicken buses in Central America that had better dressed occupants than most domestic flights. It’s amazing how much Americans stick out due to the clothes and overall shabby appearance.”
And since most readers here are probably in their 40s, 50s, 60s, and beyond, we still remember how style was. Not because we necessarily want to return to those eras, but because we want the feeling that those eras had in helping us explore our inborn femininity. How we dress is a large part of that as our dress defines how we are perceived by others. I’m older than 60 so my favorite quote is “…I must tell you that I am not really an old lady; just cleverly disguised as one”.
La Contessa from The Vintage Contessa joined several other ladies at a book signing for this book. Here are several views of the ladies and please note the variety and color of their dress. No uniforms here.
What this book does is help us learn how to celebrate our femininity as we grow older, a message we all need to learn. It celebrates the poise and vivacity of women who have spent decades refining their personal style! This is one of the better `book of the blog’ types that I’ve read. You certainly don’t need to be familiar with the Advanced Style blog to enjoy the book but it adds some spice to your life. I list other blogs by over 50 women at the end of this article and all of them feature women that will inspire you and give you food for thought on how to dress stylishly regardless of your age.
The women in this book look amazing, and I don’t mean `for their age’, I mean just totally amazing in general. I wouldn’t be surprised if this turned out to be the freshest and most inspiring fashion book of this year. The book is 98% photos, page after page of lovely women wearing the most beautifully put together outfits. There’s a range of looks from quintessential elegance to total bohemian. What’s striking is how much of the wearer’s personality shines through. Usually when I look at street snaps, I’m focused on the clothes and haven’t got much interest in the wearer. But the women in this book seem like they’d be good for conversation over a cup of tea. I wish I knew more about them, what their homes look like or what paths their lives took that made them get through the years and looking more vibrant and beautiful than woman half their age. And my point is that you can be and should be amazing too.
One female commenter on the article by La Contessa said it far better than I ever could, “I also want to look like a woman, and wear flattering clothes as they did in the forties. You can’t find a decent skirt, dress, only ugly tight fitting pants. Skirts so short they are embarrassing, and if the women wearing them do not feel embarrassed, I feel it for them. Men do not like unfeminine women. The more indecent you dress the more they use you and disrespect you, they cast you aside and try to find what they are truly are looking for. They like women with soft voices, genteel, have a brain so they can carry on an intelligent conversation, with tenderness and loving in the most pure and innocent way.
Can you find that today? No, not very many exist.
They have lost a great deal in banishing truly flattering clothes. Women trying to be men. Also they have lost the dignity and the nobleness that God gave women.
These styles are sickening and make me sick. Everybody wants to be a man these days, unshaven, sloppy and crude. You can have it. Wild hair cuts, some not even caring to tend to their hair, and they do not care how they look at all. Quite unbelievable that the so called modern generation can no longer think for themselves. The word for today is Slobs!
Women modeling these clothes always look like they do not know how to stand, walk or sit in a dignified manner. They hold their legs in awkward positions as if they have some unidentifiable defect. Too bad, Class for women is gone. Thrift stores offer more opportunities than any of the fashions we see in today’s store. Today’s fashions are against women. They have been this way since the sixties. The sad part of all of this is that they believe everything the designers tell them. Ridiculous!”
One of the advantages of being women over 60 is that “we’ve seen it all” – we’ve been through every kind of fashion fad and short-lived trend imaginable during our lives. Now that we’re in our 60s (and beyond), we have the simple elegance and freedom that comes from being able to choose the styles that reflect who we are while having fun with fashion.
One of the great things about being women over 60 today is that we have more fashion role models than ever before. Women over 60 are still too often marginalized and made invisible by the media and by our culture, but there are some prominent women over 60 who are fashion icons and there are many fashion lessons to be learned from them which you can see here in this article on Ageless Fabulous Women in Femme d’Certain Age on Sister House.
You might also enjoy this fabulous video series on Sixty and Me.
“Be bold, be adventurous. Do profound things, dazzle yourself and the world. Don’t wear beige: it might kill you. Contribute to society, and live large. Life is short, make every moment count. It is never too late to find your passion.” — Sue Kreitzman.
If you enjoyed this article, you might also enjoy Lessons Learned from Ageless Fabulous Women.
Here are some of my favorite over 50 fashion bloggers. They are well worth your time to visit.