Style can be a hot button issue at any age and this is definitely true when it comes to fashion for women over 60. I’m not sure that I really understood this simple fact until this week, when I posted a few questions to our community Facebook page.
After reading the responses, it’s clear to me that some women in the community find the idea that there might be flattering or unflattering clothing choices deeply offensive.
To these members of the community, even asking about whether a woman our age should dress a certain way is equivalent to demanding that all women accept invisibility.
On one level, I understand this reaction. As women over 60, we face a lot of pressure to conform to society’s expectations. We also battle invisibility on almost a daily basis.
But, just because we don’t want to be invisible, does this mean that we should abandon objectivity when it comes to matters of style and fashion?
Should we find the very idea that one thing might look better than another deeply troubling and offensive?
Should we take offense when someone asks a question about whether women our age are being pushed towards one type of style by what they see in magazines and online? This was the main point that Andrea Pflaumer was making in her article “Fashion Over 60 Doesn’t Require You to Wear a Costume.”
Take a quick look at the responses to this Facebook post and you’ll see what I mean.
I certainly don’t think so. In fact, I tend to believe that the essence of fashion at any age is finding the sweet spot between what makes you feel great and what makes you look great. It’s a magical game that we play and, for those of us who enjoy playing it, it is a lot of fun!
Of course, I have nothing but respect for women who genuinely don’t care about what the world thinks of them. Everyone should be free to make their own choices when it comes to their clothes. If this means wearing all purple or going out in costume, I say “go for it!”
What I do take issue with is the idea that we all need to think the same way. There are many women, myself included, who love looking for clothes that fit our body shapes and colors that go well with our complexions.
Our love of fashion and makeup is not pathological. We are not weak for caring what the world thinks about us. Quite the opposite. We recognize that the best way to stay visible is to care about what other people see.
Personally, I don’t find advice about fashion for women over 60 offensive. When an author, especially one who has worked in the fashion industry for decades, offers her opinion, I listen. I decide whether the advice applies in my case. I weigh the costs and benefits of applying it. Then, I make up my own mind.
If you believe that fashion for women over 60 means wearing whatever you want, you may not appreciate the opinions of some of the women who write for the Sixty and Me community. That’s ok. We are all wonderfully unique and we all have the right to our own opinions.
But, let’s not fall into the trap of thinking that we are the only ones who have “figured it all out.” Questions are not threats to be attacked. They are threads to be connected. When we share our opinions, we become stronger as a community. I hope you agree.
Do you believe that fashion for women over 60 = “wear whatever you want?” Or, do you believe that fashion is all about finding a balance between what feels good to you and what looks good, objectively, to others? Do you find any questions about what a women with a certain body type or complexion should wear to look great offensive? Why or why not? Please join the conversation.