Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Act Your Age… Or Don't

Photo by Elana3.
I was talking to my parents on the phone over the weekend, and the subject of my latest hair colour decision came up, which happens to be Special Effect's Cupcake Pink. One of them (and in all fairness, I can't remember which one) said, with a note of dismay, “I just thought you'd have outgrown that by now.”

I laughed it off and said something along the lines of, “Well, I love it,” and moved on with the conversation.

But after we hung up the phone I got to thinking about the difference between being “age-appropriate” and being an individual who can show their personality through their clothing and presentation.

I also recently got a question for my Apartment613 column (which will be answered in an upcoming column) from Nadine Thornhill, a fellow columnist and wonderful blogger. She asked about the appropriateness of miniskirts past the age of 35 - as anyone who has even a passing acquaintence with What Not To Wear is familiar with the sign that shows up in the credits that says, “No miniskirts over 35”.

Here's the thing about Nadine - Nadine is gorgeous. Like, drop-dead stunning. Like, her husband is a lucky, lucky man. She's also a runner with amazing legs. (I've taken her shopping, and I've seen her in shorts.)

To me, there is no reason that she should shun miniskirts. She has a lot of class and a lot of style, and a miniskirt on her looks cute and summery and kicky and fun, never sleazy, never skanky, and certainly never mutton dressed as lamb.

I think on of the main reasons that the What Not To Wear folk foist so many “age appropriate” rules on their victims/subjects is because the vast majority of them have no sense of style themselves and simply don't know what works on them and what doesn't. People of any age should shun a miniskirt if it doesn't fit and flatter them.

Another problem is that the term “miniskirt” is pretty broad, and can mean anything between approximately 20 centimetres above the knee (about mid-thigh) to just barely covering your lady bits (which, let's be honest here, is really just a wide belt). A miniskirt that shows some cheek is not right for anyone, but a miniskirt that's slightly cheeky? I have no problem with a 35-year-old woman with great pins rocking that!

The thing about clothing and physical appearance, the secret, is that you can wear whatever it is that you want. With a few caveats, of course.
  • It has to fit.
  • It has to flatter you. (Even if you love love love orange, if it makes you look like death you should probably stay away from it.)
  • You have to own it.
We are all free to be whoever we want. If you want to be a walking contradiction, a whirlwind, a mind-bending Sphinx-like riddle, someone who is happy with themselves & doesn't answer to anyone else, you can be! Let criticism roll off your back. Embrace your individuality. No one is stopping you but yourself.
                                                          - Gala Darling
Of course, you know that means I'm keeping my hair pink, crimping it from time to time, and wearing whatever outlandish concoctions I come up with from my tickle trunk of a wardrobe!

A reminder that today is the last day to enter my fabulous Ottawa Fashion Week ticket giveaway! The contest closes tonight at midnight.

On a more serious note, the tragedy in Japan just keeps getting more and more horrific to hear about. Please consider giving a monetary donation to the Red Cross. I've added a Hello Bar up at the top of the blog so donations can be made to the Red Cross. Please help in any way you can.


  1. Thank you, thank you for answering my question and for making my confidence soar. I want to go out and buy a boatload of short skirts!

    I also want to hug you lots.

  2. @nadinethornhill I will happily take those hugs.

  3. I agree completely with this post! Too many people get bogged down in trying to look "mature" that they end up looking really boring!

    As long as you're comfortable and not in a very uptight, corporate work environment, then wear what you want! :)