Well into her late 70s, Elaine Stritch, the boozy-throated Broadway legend, performed her award-winning one-woman cabaret show, wearing a simple outfit: black high heels, black sheer stockings and a thigh-length white silk blouse, unbuttoned to reveal her cleavage. It went with the whole package of who she was.
One of the most common complaints that I get when I post a fashion article is that I don’t focus enough on plus size clothing. Typical comments include things like, and, I’m paraphrasing here, “I applaud these women for their boldness, but, frankly, I don’t have a 28 inch waist. How about showing us some plus size women?” Frankly, I don’t disagree with these comments. The problem is not that I am avoiding featuring older plus size models. The problem is that I can’t find any!
As women over 60, we have experienced more fashion trends than most. Some of them we are proud of – I still LOVE my 1970s hippie photos! Others, we wish we could leave behind.
Regardless of how you look at the fashions that you adopted over the years, it’s clear that things have changed a lot since we were kids!
If you believe what you see on TV and in the movies, fashion for older women is all about dull colors, covering up and “dressing your age.” What nonsense! It’s absolutely true that some shapes go better with certain body types, but, for the most part, fashion after 60 is all about choosing clothes that express your personality and make you feel great.
Fashion trends have never been a huge priority for me. I am really a bit of a beatnik. Style is a different matter altogether. Like many women, over the decades, I have been seduced by hats and scarves and have always enjoyed putting things together in a way that communicated my personal style.
For decades, or centuries even, fashion has been a young person’s game. In a way, this makes sense. Not only were young people the ones with the most disposable income, but, retirement, was seen as a time of aging gracefully, not dressing fabulously.
Oh how the tables are turning! For starters, older women are now one of the most desirable consumer groups. In addition, far from fading quietly into the night, women in their 50s and 60s are embracing fashion and makeup and living life to the full.
Today, I came across a quote by Dale Carnegie that reminded me of all of the fabulous women that have surprised me over the years. The quote was, “The expression a woman wears on her face is far more important than the clothes she wears on her back.”