Last week’s column was about dressing too young for your age, and the resulting “fashion rules” for women over 40. Perhaps you can help me understand something!
From a recent study of 2000 women over 50, The Daily Mail reports only 15 per cent claim high or very high confidence.
Only 15%! This study concludes:
- Four in ten women lacked confidence because they missed male attention.
- The presence of younger women at a social event zapped confidence.
- Confidence was robbed by graying hair, wearing glasses, and struggles to find fashionable clothing.
- Many felt invisible and saw themselves disappearing into middle age.
Here is what I do not understand: if this study rings true across the ocean to American women as well, then why are we so rebellious toward guidelines and, dare I say the word, RULES which are meant to build our confidence?
The criticism for fashion rules
In my four years of fashion and style blogging, I have met so many women who detest books, interviews with stylists, and blogs which teach rules for dressing age appropriate, stylish, and confident. Comments go like this:
Throw out the book, do your own thing.
Screw rules! They are meant to be broken.
I am going to wear whatever I want to. I do not care what anyone else thinks or says.
Fashion rules only exist to put money in the pockets of the fashion industry!
No rules…It is time to have fun.
I share the sentiment of desiring to enjoy each moment of a short life and to wear clothing we enjoy. But I also know from experience that some of these fashion rules will truly make a difference in our confidence and our own personal style.
When I am more confident, I enjoy life more.
When I am more confident, I enjoy my job more. When I am more confident, I speak out and give my opinion more. When I am more confident, I enter a room with my head up. When I am more confident, I smile more. When I am more confident, I do not compare myself to younger women or seek the approval of the men in the room.
Stacy London writes in her book, The Truth About Style (affiliate link):
Stop being mad about aging. There’s no point. Look at every stage of life as an opportunity to reinvent your style, and as its own unique opportunity, period. It’s a new reason to get busy with yourself. You may no longer be the cute girl, but get to know the kickass woman, now. She has something new to offer you and those around her.
I have been blogging through Charla Krupp’s book, How Not To Look Old (affiliate link), and I understand a few of the guidelines do not work for everyone. But last week, I could tell, there are some clutching tightly to those ripped jeans and message tee shirts with all the angst of a stubborn teen.
Now, don’t kill the messenger. I understand. There was a time I did not want to throw out my Christmas sweaters or bohemian long, oversized skirts. Eventually though, I saw the wisdom, and loosened the grip.
All you have to do is go shopping with guidelines and some of you will see right there in the dressing room – these rules we fight against so much will actually help us to look fabulous and confident.
Because I am here to help and am a glutton for punishment, I will once again tread into dangerous territory and next week discuss jeans!!
Until then, please tell me, why does our generation still fight fashion RULES which could actually build our confidence?
Thanks for stopping by the Joy Boutique. Have a week full of spring flowers!