Monday, October 10, 2011

Polarized: Aging and Fashion

As I approach 30 at the speed of life my style is steadily evolving.  The more I embrace these changes I find myself disheartened by the suggestions of "fashionistas" and the "30 is the new 20" propagandists in the business of making women feel the secret to youth is in their wardrobe.  This is tragic.  I don't want to be 20 again.  Neither should you.  Our bodies are changing; our responsibilities to family, work, side interests and communities are increasing...Shouldn't the clothes we wear also shift?

On the other side of the spectrum, boutiques and lines geared toward a more mature woman are sprouting up everywhere in response to the demand for fashion forward options.  This is a fantastic trend yet it disregards my generation.  There are few accessible and intelligent modern clothing lines to which the confident woman approaching the prime of her life can default.  

So what do we do about this?  We have to start by being honest with ourselves.  We must dress for today and not the life and figure we once knew and fondly remember.  Once that is done, we can't solely look to the standards set by the media and major retailers.  Experiment and let your life, body and personality be your guide by investing not only money but time and thought into your wardrobe.  Don't constantly dress for one facet of your life when so many things define you; think of yourself as a functioning whole.  

I like to feel sexy.  I'm sort of old-fashioned.  I like a polished and well tailored look but I'm edgy.  I work in high-end fashion.  I love to experiment with silhouettes, texture and color.  I'm cold natured.  I salsa dance and use public transportation so movement and comfort are important.  I'm 4'11", petite and curvy.  On any given day, I need a single outfit and a few modifications that will fit in a bag to accommodate all these things.  

Navigating the various, and often conflicting, aspects of our lives is the challenge we all face and meeting them with grace and style yields our unique look.  The benefits of accomplishing this are limitless and invaluable.  Make it a priority.