Fashion Mythbusters: Dressing For Your Age (And Why It's BS)

By Njeri Harris



Fashion Mythbusters is an ongoing series where we unravel the myths about fashion that women grew up learning.

Photo by Thomas Whiteside

Photo by Thomas Whiteside

I have a pretty heavy realization to share with you so brace yourself. Are you ready?

You are getting older.

Oof, I know right. Now, how does that make you feel?

For most, this brutal yet truthful statement causes overwhelming anxiety. Normally when we think of the word “old” or “older” we automatically think of the dark spaces of fashion - orthopedic shoes, khaki pants that rest just above the navel, and weird patterned shirts. If you’re supposed to dress a particular way when you reach a certain age - Who’s to say that the weird fashion sense that we associate with being old is right (or fashionable at all)?

Who the heck said, “dressing your age” is actually a thing? Who originated this time-tested, iron clad “dressed your age” rule?

It’s garbage if you ask me. You should always choose to dress should reflect your personality not how old you are. “Dressing your age” is a bunch of garbage if you ask me. It’s one of the most insidious fashion myths because it puts women of a certain age in a box - and that is not what fashion is about. If you’re young at heart shouldn’t you dress like it.

Look at 88-year-old Instagram sensation “Baddie Winkle” (@BaddieWinkle). This great-grandmother of eight is known for her photos wearing an eccentric mix of clothing. From crop tops to latex dresses, this grannie goes against every idea of “dressing her age” and she looks great doing it.

To drive my point even further, because I want you all to grasp this enthusiasm that I’m serving, look at fashion icon Iris Apfel. Known for her signature circle shaped, black framed glasses and liberal style of dress, Apfel has broken the idea that as women get older the more they should drift from style.

Better yet, we could even look at the stunning Angela Basset (I mean, have you checked her body lately?). This woman is almost kissing 60 and still has the skin of a woman in her twenties and the abs I could only wish to have. To add the icing on the cake, she is always styled to accentuate her curves in an elegant and sexy way. In the words of the great Beyoncé from her 2006 hit single “Check Up On It”, if you got it, flaunt it.

The greater message that I want you all to understand is that your body should be celebrated in every stage of your life and YOU determine how you will dress for the occasion. Never allow the “rules” of this industry or the subliminal pressure from media to make you feel like you should dress a certain way as you get older. Wear what makes you happy, wear what makes you feel comfortable, and wear what makes you feel unstoppable.

About Njeri

Njeri "JiJi Halisi" Harris is a Philadelphia based fashion and beauty enthusiast behind fashion and lifestyle blog The Fashion Analyst

Dressing For Your Age