When we were little, our mothers would warn us about hiking up our skirts, wearing low-cut tops and yes—too much makeup. Anxious to be an adult, we played nice in front of mom, then broke out the hip clothing and cheapy makeup behind her back. Oh, wishing to be older—if only we knew what would be awaiting us a few decades down the road.
Now, when people tell us to dress our age, we shrink. Is my red lipstick emphasizing my tea and wine stained teeth? My son just told me today that my bright lipstick made me look like Cruela DeVille from 101 Dalmations. Ouch! Are the tight jeans just too much for some filled in thighs and child-bearing hips? Are the bright colors and prints just too youthful for me to pull off–as in, ‘Mom, are you trying to be 17?’
Anyone who knows me knows that I don’t dress like a 17 year old, nor do I resemble a dastardly old woman from a Disney film, but age has been a constant on my mind these days–mainly because I’ve got a diverse group of women whom I deal with at any given time. From 48 to 89, I can tell you that if blind-folded you might mistake some of those in mid-life for those in later years.
So the numbers have little to do with it. But attitude says it all. And dressing our age, I believe, has everything to do with attitude versus numbers. There are some things that are constants, no matter where we are in life—and if we can still rock a great look? Well, why not go for it?
I started thinking about my age-related beliefs–here are a few:
- I will continue to apply makeup, style my hair and look for flattering clothing that’s hip, but doesn’t make me look like I’m trying to be something I’m not
- I will continue to embrace new ideas, new journeys, new friends, new restaurants
- I will not ‘wind down’ until I’m physically forced to—
- I will continue to exercise–like it or not—because it has so much to do with feeling youthful and healthy
- I will not downsize until I’m forced to because of financial or physical limitations
- I will continue to read fashion magazines and watch those shows because I want to be current
- I will continue to watch HGTV and play with the items in my home, because the creativity brings me joy
- I will continue to watch and appreciate little kids—hoping to have retained some element that is shared
- I will continue to whiten my teeth, so I don’t look like a dastardly old movie villain
- I will continue to work on watching what I eat—in moderation, not like a super model–so I can stay in reasonably good health and not chase my husband away
So don’t stop thinking about tomorrow–as the song says. And if tomorrow drags you down, take out a pen and write your own personal life philosophy for today—and live it now—and tomorrow—and the day after.
What will you do today, tomorrow, in 2013 that shakes up your attitude? Your life? Your routines? As for me, I decided my husband and I will acually go out this New Year’s Eve–for dinner in the city. That’ll be followed by a sleepover at a nice hotel, where we’ll ring in the New Year and ready ourselves to take in the Mummer’s Parade in Philadelphia—an annual tradition of dancers, strummers and floats that kicks off the year in a most light, bright (and sometimes intoxicated)way.
Couldn’t agree more! Too many women I know just give up on life after a certain age–just at a time when we’ve finally got a little freedom to enjoy it. I’m right there with you (as you already know) and nowhere near Ready For Granny Panties. Here’s to more fun in 2013! Thanks for a great piece!