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Older and Finer | Manolo for the Big Girl

Older and Finer

There are few things on this planet more chic than a beautifully dressed woman of a certain age. It’s not just chic, it’s sexy. It’s the woman who knows exactly who she is and what she wants (and trust me buddy, if you won’t give it to her, she’ll either find someone who can or get the damn thing for herself) and I just cringe in envy every time I see one because no matter how smooth my forehead or perky my…attitude, there is just no competing with that type of gorgeous, powerful, sexy woman.

So why am I seeing so many otherwise beautiful women in their 40’s and beyond –who could look so fantastic in age-appropriate clothes– all shot to hell with the bo’ and traipsing around like drunken goats in absolutely tragifying (what? it is so a word. Language is fluid, yo.) outfits better left to either their teenage daughters or, in the best of all possible worlds, some sort of Barbie Dream Bonfire.

Why is that?

I know there is a great premium put on youth and women are constantly getting messages like “men ripen, women rot” (can’t tell you how charming I find that one. Seriously, it’s right up there with that “If you can read this the bitch fell off” t-shirt sported by so many of the less bathed bikers I see) but, if you are a woman of a certain age, are you sure you’re dressing for the position you’ve earned? Trends are fine, but at some point they should be replaced by personal style.

The time for super short skits, yes, even when paired with opaque tights, is your 20’s. When you’re a child, you talk as a child, you flirt as a child and you dress as a child. When you’re a cougar you put away childish things and buy yourself some darn Prada.

6 Responses to “Older and Finer”

  1. Dowdydiva December 10, 2007 at 5:47 pm #

    I wish I knew! I just wish I knew!

  2. teapunk December 10, 2007 at 6:16 pm #

    Because “dressing your age” is extremely difficult. You need style for that and be very sure of what suits you and what doesn’t. If you always go for save things like cashmere, jeans, the little black dress, the suit, the black coat it is very classic, but also very boring.
    And all the fashion magazines and runways are filled with 14 year olds looking fabulous in dresses that are supposed to be worn by women aged 40 who then look as if they’d like to be 14 again. It’s sad, really.

  3. gina December 10, 2007 at 6:27 pm #

    I’ll agree: dressing your age”, if you go into a shop — especially a plus-size shop — must have the same meaning of “Dressing for oblivion”. Shapeless sacks, awful colors, or worse, spangly things in awful colors, dowdy shilouettes…all guaranteed that I’ll be ignored or mocked by those younger than me.
    And since no one enjoys either of those two things, women of a certain age find themselves having to make a horrible decision: settle for bad clothes, or dress like a teenager.

  4. nanabanana December 10, 2007 at 8:38 pm #

    “traipsing around like drunken goats.” That phrase just made me laugh so hard I choked on my water. It is the perfect visual to describe these desperate and sad women. My mother is “of a certain age” and has managed to dress appropriately for all of her years on this planet. When I grow up I want to be just like her.

  5. Twistie December 11, 2007 at 1:24 pm #

    A personal sense of style is one of the most valuable things a woman can have. Knowing what you truly love, what flatters you, and what makes you feel like you can take on the world gives you room to grow and develop in the details as your body changes and your circumstances alter. Are you a classic little black dress woman, or are you always going to be a flower child at heart? Three guesses which one I am, and the first two don’t count.

    The thing is, whatever your basic taste and best lines, with a little effort you can always find something that is both age-appropriate and expressive of your inner spirit. Of course it takes more effort than simply following whatever trend is coming down the runway that season. It requires a clear eye, a willingness to consider how others are going to see you, and a strong sense of self. But once you have it, nobody can take it away from you.

  6. JJ December 11, 2007 at 2:36 pm #

    Is this the same Plumcake who, when presented with the question of bare arms for big girls said, “If it feels good, do it!”? Why not the same solicitude for older ladies in the short skirts? I agree that the women who are trying to stave off reality by dressing like their daughters inspire a “Honey. No” response, but I think that’s less because of any particular item of clothing, than because it’s hard to imagine they are having fun, or chose their outfits to express their inner selves or personal sense of style. The older I get, the more I admire women who are wearing the “wrong” thing and having a hell of a good time with it.