When an article entitled “The 40 things every woman should know about fashion over 40” was published by the Telegraph I sighed inwardly and thought “oh, here we go again”. Just where do fashion journalists get off on telling people over 40, or any age for that matter, what they should and shouldn’t be wearing? Nothing magical happens the day you turn 40, it’s just a continuation of life as it was when you were 39 the day before.
Wrinkles and grey hairs don’t suddenly appear like a bolt from the blue, your zest for life and love of fashion don’t evaporate overnight. So why should we stop wearing certain things just because we’ve hit a milestone birthday? Judging by the response the article received on social media it’s evident that many of us ladies over 40 feel that way.
For me growing older isn’t about losing something, or having to give up wearing specific items of clothing because someone who doesn’t know me thinks it’s no longer appropriate, it’s about gaining: in confidence, contentment and being liberated from the stifling pressure of caring too much what other people think about me.
In my teens, 20s, and even my 30s, I cared more about fitting in and wearing whatever my peers were wearing than allowing my style and individuality to show through. Now I don’t want to fit in. Life would be very boring if we all looked the same. Sure I follow trends but I’ll either make them work for me or leave well alone. I’m not a sheep or a fashion victim.
The Telegraph article isn’t the first of its kind, so it’s hardly ground-breaking stuff, and I wouldn’t normally grace such journalistic tripe with a response, but the tone of writing was so patronising I felt compelled to have my say. Being told I need to “grade up” my shoes like a teacher might tell a pupil to pull their socks up really hit a nerve: “More to the point a shoe is where you score your fashion points when you are past Sex Pistols T shirts and floral coronets (which you are)”. The cheek! Also out apparently is leopard print: “Tips over into blowsy any day now” as well as bows, foundation and knees…yes, I know, it’s utterly ridiculous.
So I decided to flick a sartorial two-fingered salute to Shane Watson and all other journalists who try to tell us what not to wear by combining the double sin of a Sex Pistols T-shirt and leopard print shoes…I like to think of it as Uptown Punk. I’ve always had a rebellious streak, and being told I can’t or shouldn’t do something only makes me more determined to do it. So never mind the “rules”, here’s to wearing what the hell you want and not giving a damn. Go to it ladies!
T-shirt: eBay, jeans: Very, shoes: Miss KG, clutch and bracelet: Asos, sunglasses: H&M, ring: Merle O’Grady.