Fashion pundits across the Internet tend to offer what I think are preposterous and antiquated rules for woman over 40. After perusing list after list of things women should not wear after 40, the following 10 were most often cited:
- Black leather
- Jackets that hit at mid-thigh
- Pleated pants
- Electric colors
- Capri length pants
- Low rise jeans
- Plunge V necklines
- Mini skirts
- Sleeveless anything
Oh, phooey, you fashion pundits.
According to the sages of the ages, 45-year-young Demi Moore is violating Rule No. 9, wearing a bikini.
Look at 50-year-young Christie Brinkley baring her arms? Oh, the gurus of fashion will be all atwitter.
51-year-young Kim Catrall, violating Rule No. 7, looks fabulous in her plunging neckline.
Ageless 68-years-young Tina Turner strutting her stuff in a mini.
Granted, nobody wants to see yours truly in a mini skirt-- especially my 22-year-old son -- but Kim Catrall, Tina Turner, and Christy Brinkley can certainly pull it off at their age, and that's mostly because they have the right attitude to do it and still look amazing.
In truth, I couldn't walk in their genes, I don't have the nip and tuck funds, and I don't have the guts to resort to Demi's blood sucking leech regimen. But even if I did, a mini skirt would not be my best form of expression. I know what works for me, and I generally stay within my self-imposed parameters, and then add a fabulous handbag in fun fuchsia or a trendy zebra belt to reflect my personality. Accessories and colors are key to my current wardrobe. But that doesn't mean that you shouldn't wear a mini, a bikini, or a sleeveless top or dress.
Brains on Beauty: Quentin Crisp's proverbial advice cuts right to the chase: "Fashion is what you adopt when you don't know who you are." Whether you're 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 or 70, you should work on finding a style that reflects your personality. As seen in Beauty Secrets Revealed: Style, clothes are a social tool and a means of expressing yourself in the world. So dress to showcase the best possible you, whether that's a woman who dares to bare or one who chooses a more classic look.
Last but not least, as you slide down the razor blade of life towards 40, 50, 60, or 70, tailoring can be your best friend. The right fit is more important than the wrong color, Fashion Pundit Rule No. 4. ( Editing Your Wardrobe).
Check back on Friday to learn more about your style and authenticity. Fabulous and funny Karen Hamilton, publisher of The Best Kept Secret, a weekly newsletter for women 40+, interviews Carrie McCarthy, co-author of Style Statement.
How do you feel about the fashion pundits 10 things women over 40 should not wear?
Other resources: 12 Fashion Essentials: The Basics,Design Your Style with Color, 12 Beauty and Fashion Essentials for 2008 , Hot Celebrities Over 40