Today is the day I became the mother of a TEENAGER! My only child has officially moved into the next phase of life. His milestone birthday (and MY mamaversary!) has made me look back fondly at the adorable smiley baby he once was and deeply appreciate the fine young man he is becoming. While it’s a pleasure to see how much he has matured, it’s less pleasurable to acknowledge time has also passed for me.
I was 35 when Ryder was born and it struck me, for the first time then, that some clothing might not be appropriate for me any longer. I started to mull over my personal style and mothering. Now with 50 on the horizon (some might even say I am middle aged<Gasp!>), I can’t help but contemplate personal style and aging.
My Thoughts on Personal Style and Aging
1. Getting Old is a Privilege
I learned this lesson early in life when my own mom passed away all too soon at 36. Knowing how full of life she was, and how she still had so much to do has driven me to create a juicy life full of passion, inspiration, meaning and connection. Rather than resent my laugh lines, I’ve learned to consider them a souvenir of a life well-lived. My achy joints? They’re just Mother Nature’s way of telling me not to stop dancing. (I am still working on accepting my crepey neck, but hey, progress not perfection, right?)
2. Becoming Invisible is NOT Inevitable
I used to hear all the time about how as we age, men become distinguished and women become invisible. I’m calling bull****. Women can stay relevant, sexy, beautiful and modern to the end. For some women it isn’t until they reach “a certain age” that they feel comfortable enough in their skin to own their looks.
Thanks to fashion icons like Iris Apfel, celebrities such as Annie Lennox, Helen Mirren and Julianne Moore, and fashion bloggers like Susan B. of Une Femme D’une Certain Age, there is a positive shift happening in society’s attitude toward women, personal style and aging. No longer are we limited to pastels and orthopedics. We can still dress with edge, a bit of funk and always, always with intention.
3. I Am Every Age I Have Ever Been
This is how I feel on the inside, despite what the ever-increasing grey hairs and diminishing eyesight might say. Being in this frame of mind allows me to have heart connections with friends that are half my age as well as friends old enough to be my mom. I am in such a good place! I’m no lamb, and I’m ok with that. I don’t wish to dress like my younger friends, although I may admire their sense of style. Dressing young does not make one appear younger. I’m taking pleasure in my own style evolution, and discovering which clothes I look and feel my best in. I’ve always enjoyed playing with fashion as creative expression, and don’t intend to ever give that up.
4. Age Appropriate (Whatever!)
Embracing my age instead of apologizing for it is how I want to live and inspire others to live.
I refuse to subscribe to any hard and fast rules that say women shouldn’t wear ______ after 40. A great deal depends on a person’s personality and energy. We encourage our clients to use their clothes to emphasize the parts of their bodies they love, and as a tool to communicate who they are to the world. I never want that to change for myself or our clients. Personal style and aging are not mutually exclusive.
5. I Am Worth It and So Are You
“Get busy living or get busy dying” is a quote from one of my favourite movies, The Shawshank Redemption. Taking the time to dress in way that makes me feel how I WANT to feel, is always time well-spent. It brings me joy and makes me feel alive. Curating a closet of timeless items while keeping an eye on the latest trends, keeps my style current and keeps me young at heart. Investing in quality pieces that allow me to be self-expressed and comfortable is a practice in honouring myself.
All women deserve to feel beautiful, confident, modern and sexy at any age. Not feeling it? Contact The Joy of Style. Mara and I will help you find your mojo.