Preventable phenomenon


if youth is wasted on the young, it often seems to me that style is lost on the old. at a certain age do people give up and surrender to an all-elastic-waistband wardrobe? or are those donning duds just older versions of their younger, disinclined selves? age, in my opinion, really separates the true sartorialists from the herd.

are you looking forward to the challenge, or expect to run out of steam?

15 comments:

Candid Cool said...

for Candid Cool the fabulous older ladies happen to be my favorite people to take pictures of. (Not to mention, they have the best sunglasses)


I'm gonna keep on truckin.

Meg from The Bargain Queens & All About Appearances said...

So true, and written so well. It reads like a poem.

Carlene said...

I'm technically in dress rehearsal for it right now...it's not so bad. There is a certain point (that I'm in) where some things are questionable...2 braids, chuck taylors. They look cute on the young, and cute on the old, but not so cute on the middle aged.

and

Just Say No to elastic waistbands! There is nothing an elastic can do that a drawstring can't.

Iheartfashion said...

So true! One has only to visit a mall to see the pastel-tracksuit-wearing hoards of elderly who have given up the fashion ghost. This phenomenon seems peculiarly American though, based on my (admittedly limited) observation.
I saw lots of stylish older ladies in Italy, some in leather pants! As hard as it may be to picture your grandma in leather pants, it didn't look trashy, or trying to be young. They were worn like jeans with a sweater or blazer.
I really hope I keep making the effort should I be fortunate enough to make it to old age.

TravelGretta said...

I plan to get kookier as the years go on. There is some NYC socialite, in her 70s or 80s, who wears these giant Harry Potter glasses, and very colorful outfits (Landis probably knows her name), and I want to be her when I grow up.

editor said...

^^iris apfel.

Alexandra said...

Hoping to never give up!...but I do have some time to go, so who knows?

Stacy said...

I'm SO up for the challenge! Never give up, never surrender!

martha said...

My goal is to definitely keep taking it up a notch, but, I have to confess that I fear I won't recognize when I've hit a new stage and need to dial it up. Age creeps up on you and I might be coasting along, oblivious.

Iheartfashion said...

Yes, Iris Apfel! I plan to turn into her as I age too...
but after my Carine Roitfeld stage.

dreamecho said...

i love elastic-waistbands! i wish i had more.

ah, i needed to think about this topic for a day before replying. i didn't get it at first, but now i understand what you said about age as the divider between the true sartorialists and the herd. it's easy to have some semblance of "style" when you're young. that goes hand in hand with our societies fixation on youthful beauty (the glow, the good/decent health, the slimness (that is, compared to the weight that sets in for so many later on). also, a young person's peers tend to pay some attention to fashion, so it's easy for that person to go with the flow and be "into fashion" in some way. what irritates me is that whole "you can get away with crazy things because you're young and therefore allowed to have fun and make mistakes". i despise that notion. for some reason, that's the one of the only ways society is willing to accept such unusual, provocative, nonconforming dressing. the converse of this attitude, then, is that when you're old, you're not supposed to dress wild, you're not supposed to have fun, you're supposed to be beyond making "mistakes". (i'm going overboard using quotes around words, but i keep doing it to emphasize that these concepts are often ill-understood or incorrectly used by the masses.) anyway, i say many of those donning duds got too busy with other things in life and/or never found the courage and understanding of inner-self to find their own true, unique style.

to answer your bolded question, i intend to keep on dressing for myself, for who i am at that moment: for how i feel at that moment, for how i look at that moment. it's not so much that i'm looking forward to the challenge; i'm simply assuming my interest in clothes will continue. it's such a personal relationship -- i know it'll stand the test of time.

(sorry if some thoughts seem a little disjointed...but better to post when tired than not at all, though...right?)

fashionaddict said...

Oh yes, never give up, never surrender. I actually have outfits that I love so much that I hope to be able to wear the same thing when I'm older - albeit with modifications, like a longer hemline or higher neckline.

But sometimes I feel people who give up on fashion when they are old might have been into fashion when they were younger, but time and circumstance can sap that sort of energy out of you. A true sartoralist yes, would soldier on no doubt, but perhaps divorce, money problems, and failing health does that to you. Personally, on a bad day, my response is to dress better to make up for it, but then not everyone deals with bad days the way I do.

I guess that means that yes, only a truly dedicated follower to the art of dressing well would have the stamina to maintaining the same attention to dress well into their twilight years, even if life becomes harder on them.

editor said...

carlene - i totally feel like it's a dress rehearsal sometimes. it's in the back of my mind.
i am a sucker for elastic waist though - at home, at home! on the other hand, i would not wear drawstring-waist, in or out, come to think of it.

reverend dick said...

almost 40, and turning a corner. loving it. got a whole new set of elegant gentleman wear opening ahead...

landis smithers said...

i am totally heading into my carine roitfeld years, having just passed through the carrie bradshaw years, and the more embarassing, yet infinitely more varied mary-kate olsen years, and am very very looking forward to the lynn wyatt years.