Who makes the rules?

Apparently when women reach the advanced age of 40 we must lose the ability to think rationally. The internet is full of lists of rules to help us avoid making complete fools of ourselves.

A good example is the list of “10 things a woman over 40 shouldn’t wear” that’s plastered all over the net. What things, you ask?

  • black leather pants or jackets
  • jackets that are mid-thigh length
  • pleated pants
  • fluorescent colours
  • capri pants
  • low rise jeans
  • plunging V necklines
  • mini skirts
  • bikinis
  • sleeveless clothes of any kind

Says who? And what was I supposed to wear on the zip line; a frumpy housedress? Oh right, zip lining is probably on someone’s list of things a woman my age shouldn’t do!

According to a slightly different list horizontal stripes and double breasted blazers are also out. Still others will tell you that women over 40 shouldn’t wear long hair and there are even those who say that jeans are out for those of us who’ve passed our 40th birthday! I guess I’m just a rule breaker! After all, I’m wearing horizontal stripes as I write this and I practically live in jeans all winter long! The right pair of jeans can be very flattering and they can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. Why, I’ll probably be buried in my blue jeans! I’m just that kind of girl.

As far as I’m concerned, as long as something is comfortable, fits well, makes you feel confident and isn’t beyond the bounds of decency, I say wear it with pride regardless of what age you are! There are 20 somethings who look ghastly in mini skirts and older women who look downright classy in low rise jeans and black leather.

A much more useful list is More magazine’s “8 warning signs women over 40 shouldn’t ignore” which includes

  • flu-like feelings including fatigue, nausea, sweating and chills
  • not feeling rested regardless of how much sleep you get
  • pain and swelling in your calf
  • a new mole
  • trouble finding the right words
  • bloating and pelvic pain
  • burning, tingling or numbness in your feet
  • a persistent cough

After all, regardless of how we dress them up, our bodies are wearing out and if we want them to continue looking good into our 60s, 70s and 80s we need to take good care of them.

p.s. Thank you to Jeannie at gracefully50 for inspiring this post. If you enjoyed it, you might want to check out her post Am I wrong?

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9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. melainagraham
    Mar 24, 2012 @ 12:59:09

    Hollywood clearly doesn’t follow these silly rules, so why should anyone else? Not that I believe Hollywood should always set the standard, but they do boast some very classy older women. You’re always classy and beautiful too, Marmee, no matter what any rule list says!

    Reply

  2. monicaali
    Mar 24, 2012 @ 13:12:41

    I noticed that as well. It´s silly-one should wear whatever they are comfortable in. A fifty year old is often in a lot better shape than a twenty year old.

    Reply

  3. gracefully50
    Mar 24, 2012 @ 18:34:11

    Hi Elaine!
    Thank you! I’m honored.
    I agree that the 8 warning signs are FAR more important than some fashion rules! Thanks for the ping back, and how fun is zip lining? I want to do it so bad but I’m afraid of heights! 😦
    Jeannie

    Reply

    • edebock
      Mar 24, 2012 @ 18:43:18

      Zip lining was an absolute blast! I used to be terrified of heights too but I worked hard to conquer my fear forcing myself to go places and do things that scared me until now they no longer do.

      Reply

  4. Maggie L R
    Mar 24, 2012 @ 20:39:27

    I love Zip-lining too.. I went for the first time in Panama… wearing capri’s and a sleeveless top with a deep V-neck if my memory serves… I think the only rule I don’t break is the Bikini…
    The warning signs are far more important, as is the zip-lining and other adventures that keep us young at heart.

    Reply

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