If your Mum is anything like my Mum, you, at some point in your life will have been asked to answer the question; “I love this, but it is a bit too young for me?” – usually as she wistfully strokes an item of clothing that is in any way fashionable or quirky. Now, I am of the opinion that people should be able to wear whatever the hell they like regardless of their age, and I’m certainly not of the opinion that on reaching 50, women should be required to hand over their wardrobes in exchange for a sea of beige garments and a Clarks’ privelige card. But the question of ‘age appropriate fashion’ has crossed my mind on more than one occasion recently and I wanted to get your opinions on the issue.
Last week I was on my way to work when I drove past a gang of schoolgirls – approximate age 13 – several of whom were wearing the same Primark backpack I bought last week. It occurred to me at the time that, given that my next major birthday is the big 3-0, perhaps I shouldn’t be sharing clothing tastes with someone half my age. In the past I have also been told that I dress like someone’s 15 year old niece, dress like a student, and my ID is required on almost every purchase of alcohol (or, recently, scissors). Although outfit posts on here usually feature dresses or skirts, I am also often found at the weekend wearing skinny jeans, pumps and a tattoo company t-shirt or checked shirt. At work I usually wear dresses and skirts – but sometimes a dress with a sailboat print or polka dot pattern, sometimes slim legged trousers and deck shoes, sometimes leggings and a long Breton t-shirt. But I am increasingly beginning to wonder if this is what other 27-year-olds wear, or indeed, what other people expect a 27-year-old to wear.
When I was younger, 27 was old. 27 was ‘Children, a family, a house and an important job.’ In my head, then, 27 year old women wore white shirts, jeans and tan heels at the weekends. Men wore v-neck jumpers and polo shirts. Now I am 27, I wonder if other people think the same. Maybe the reason I get ID’ed in Sainsbury’s is because people think that anyone wearing aztec print trousers, tunnels in their ears and hair with an (unintentional) lilac tinge must be under 18.
Elsewhere in my life I’m certainly not dragging my heels in terms of reaching adulthood. My regular endeavours of gardening, baking, decorating our house and being tucked up in bed with a good book at 9pm do not, I’d argue, imply that I’m desperately hanging on to my youth. But maybe people would look at my nautical print clothes, stripey pumps, brightly coloured nail varnish and turned up jeans and argue the opposite. What do you think? Are there things that people of certain ages shouldn’t wear? Do you think there’s such a thing as dressing too young for your age?