Age Defying Beauty—we’ve seen those words in the captions of fashion editorials, as headlines in featured articles and most ubiquitously as the catch phrase for beauty products. To use the tagline Age Defying Beauty sends a message that age is something we must defy as it hinders beauty. What is it about age we must defy and why? Age is something that happens to all of us regardless of how much money we have or how much we spend on beauty remedies be they surgical or over-the-counter. So why do we hate it so? And why has age become a qualifier of fashion? Models are not only getting thinner they are getting younger. In the Fall 2012 fashion shows at Lincoln Center in New York models walked the runway as young as 12 years old. Provocatively styled and made-up these young girls sashayed for some power-house fashion labels. Why? Is an 18 year-old model not young enough? You wake up one day and you are in your 20’s and then suddenly you are in your 30s, 40s and so on. It happens.
Do you say to yourself things like, “I can’t wear sleeveless anymore because I’m too old”? Do you shy away from dressing too sexy as it is age inappropriate? The biggest mistake you can make it to pigeonhole your style by your age. Miuccia Prada said, “Women always try to tame themselves as they get older, but the ones who look best are often a bit wilder. Thinking about age all the time is the biggest prison women can make for themselves.”
Age it seems has become the compass by which we choose our style. To choose your style based on your age is a mistake as your age is only one component of your make-up. Other factors such as proportions, coloring, lifestyle and personality are all part of the picture of how you should choose your style. I can’t make the advertisers who use youth as the framework for beauty go away but I can give you some guidelines.
Don’t wear your clothes so big that your shape is lost. In general if you wear clothes that are bigger then you, you will only look big. There is an exception to this rule—there are a handful of women who are so confident and uniquely creative when it comes to fashion that they are able to pull it off. If that is not you, don’t do it.
A lot of fashion trends are targeted to a mass audience. Don’t ever pick your style according to a trend. Iris Apfel, fashion Icon, said that too many people are afraid, they just want to do what everyone else does and look like everyone else. Do you really want to look like everyone else?
Have a good time with your wardrobe. Don’t obsess about the perfect matching shoes and purse or the perfect shade of aubergine; you will take the fun out of getting dressed.