Friday, July 5, 2013

Dress me now

This Sydney Morning Herald column about how men over 30 should dress (or not dress) has got me thinking about fashion. Or, more specifically, it has got me thinking about the female equivalent and what a woman should or shouldn't wear in her thirties.

It's a toughie. 

Fashion is a personal thing and I hate the idea of being a slave to other people's ideas about what a person can wear and when. And yet every time I go to pull on a pair of ankle socks with my brogues or a pair of heels I am gripped by the memory of a book I once read that said no woman over 29 should wear socks and heels together. I mean, I still wear them, I just feel kinda guilty about it.

Much depends, I feel, on what your individual style is, where you work, what you do and where you go. I've just finished watching the latest series of Project Runway, for example, and I really liked the style choices of one of the contestants, Michelle, who is from - of course - Portland. But Michelle is 34 and I'm not convinced that every 34 year old I know could carry her look off without looking like she was trying to recapture her misspent teenage years. I've got 4 years on her and I still don't think I could pull off her hair, even though on her I think it's charming.

I agree with the SMH article on the need to embrace good tailoring the older you get. Just about the only real change I've consciously made to my wardrobe in recognition of turning 30 is buying slightly more expensive dresses that tend to be better made. I still buy the odd cheapie from Target but increasingly I think it's worth it to shell out the bit extra for Alannah Hill or Review or Gorman or what-have-you because the end result is just so much better. A willowy 18-year-old might be able to look like a million bucks in a Kmart special. A soft-edged 30-year-old? Not so much.

I don't really have a point. Nor do I have a lesson to impart. However, it would remiss of me not to mention that I am currently wearing a) a pair of earrings made out of a miniature teapot and a miniature sugar pot and b) a giant woolly blue cardigan and therefore should probably not be writing about fashion at all. You be the judge.

Note: The picture above is NOT of Michelle from Project Runway - it's a model modelling some of Michelle's clothes in the season finale. But God I really fucking love that bleeding heart jumper.

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