My pal Manu sent me a message on Facebook yesterday. It featured a picture of Caitlin Jenner wearing a miniskirt as she exited Patricia Field’s store in NYC. Fields was the stylist for Sex and the City – and has a pretty keen eye for style. Though it isn’t immediately obvious when you look at her. But Manu wasn’t interested in that: “Love how she looks (referring to the newly minted Caitlin Jenner) but those knees must be tucked away!” she said. And then: “What does sofa girl say?”
I am a conservative dresser. I always have been. I don’t like clothes that shout “look at me”. Well, I don’t like them on me. I have no problem with other people wearing whatever they want. Long as they understand that, as with any other freedom of expression, there is likely to be criticism.
And here it is: “No miniskirts for the over 30. Ever.” Olympian legs or otherwise. Frankly, if you are south of sixty – you shouldn’t even wear mini-skirts when you are alone.
Sorry Caitlin, I know you are new to this. But we gals need to look out for you.
I went to buy shoes today. Gone are the days where I would scoop up a pair of Miu-Miu, that ship has sailed for a couple of reasons. What I was looking for were a pair of Adidas Superstar, trainers that I used to wear twenty years ago. No, it’s not a midlife crisis, the Plantar Fasciitis has meant I can’t walk on to my left heel. Anything but a cushioned sole crucifies me. “Going to be that way for at least a year,” said the doc, “maybe longer if we can’t figure this out.”
And you know what, I am completely ok with it. I have figured out a slouchy style that I see as being my “third act” look. Wide legged trousers, long skirts, great quality V-necks. Long sleeved for winter, three-quarter for the summer. Low waisted jeans, high-waisted trousers, yoga and track-suit pants in dark colours.
No more skinny jeans, nothing sleeveless. No hipster aberrations either. I just can’t wear them anymore. “The body changes. Elegance is refusal, elimination, and pitiless self-criticism. No matter how many times you salute the sun, the skin on those fine upper arms will drape toward the crook of the elbow in a gentle valance that would be a triumph executed in chiffon but is alarming in human skin.” (Joan Juliet Buck for Bazaar magazine.)
Alarming is never a good word when it comes to style.
I hear some of my pals asking: “So what’s new? Sounds pretty much like what you’ve been wearing for years.” You are not wrong, I am going to take what has worked for ME and make it work harder. Cardigans, cashmere, silk, crepe, edgy jackets and coats. Blue, black, grey, white, cream and more grey. Good bags, good belts. Flat, comfortable shoes.
Less is going to be more, and, yes I know, less is also going to be more expensive. So, whatever I buy from now on is going to have to last, (universe willing) a long, long time.
Manicures and pedicures will keep the extremities looking flawless. If all else fails, I’ll spend my cash on my head. AAs Joan Julie Buck observes “A truly great haircut makes up for the fact that you’re not in spike heels.” Amen.
Read Joan Juliet Buck’s essay ‘Coming of Age’ here
Images of Celine and Dries van Noten Clothing in the public domain. Rat by Banksy.
Don Nelly Cartoon found on Facebook. Adidas by Adidas.