“I can’t wear that,” a middle-aged woman says to me about the glasses I just suggested she try on. “I am too old to wear something that looks good.”
“Oh, I’m sorry,” I apologize. “Let me go find you something that is a little bit more tawdry, something that will match the age spots on your tired personality.” Okay, that’s what my asshole wants to say. Instead I respond with diplomacy and my last quivering thread of patience.
“Yesterday, a 90-year old woman came in and purchased a beautiful frame. She looked amazing and she felt amazing. Age has nothing to do with looking good. It comes down to personality and feeling comfortable.”
More people should feel comfortable looking good – not just in glasses, but in life. I would certainly feel more comfortable if they looked good. I guess I will never understand actively choosing to look bad. If you don’t want to draw attention to yourself, look safe, don’t look like a train wreck. Train wrecks don’t repel attention. They are tragic accidents that attract the condolences of a nation.
The Huffington Post deconstructs 3 myths about aging:
- Being fashionable after 60 requires expensive designer clothes.
- Looking fashionable after 60 = trying to look younger.
- It only matters how you feel after 60.
Click here for a list of 50 women who prove personal style gets better with age.
And gentlemen, click here to see how The Sartorialist tags old/man/style, providing a collection of fashionably dressed men – not past their prime, but extending their prime.
Poor fashion choices are made by all ages. I have seen many an unfashionable youth. Age does not dictate whether or not one can be stylish. And being stylish doesn’t mean you have to be fancy or trendy all the time. Jeans and a t-shirt can still be fashionable. Fashion is about knowing your body and your personality and knowing what compliments both.
If you don’t come by fashionable choices honestly, then ask for advice. And don’t be one of those annoying people that do this:
“I really want something different. I want something that is current and looks fashionable. Can you help me?”
“Of course! Here try this.”
“I hate it.”
“What about this?”
“God no. Disgusting.”
“Hmm, and this?”
“I would never wear that, that’s horrible.”
“Okay, listen you crazy little shit. You don’t actually want to look current and fashionable. What you want is a recreation of the same old under-stimulating, tacky-ass coat hanger you call a pair of glasses.” Bites tongue. Tastes blood. Translates:
“So you hate everything new and different except for what you have been wearing for the last 10 years. Let me find you something similar.”
Don’t ask me to help you look fashionable and then laugh at how ridiculous you look when you’re actually wearing something presentable. Is it just a piece of metal? Is it just a piece of plastic? Allow me to leave you with a few words of wisdom from The Dragon Lady:
This… stuff’? Oh. Okay. I see. You think this has nothing to do with you. You go to your closet and you select… I don’t know… that lumpy blue sweater, for instance because you’re trying to tell the world that you take yourself too seriously to care about what you put on your back. But what you don’t know is that that sweater is not just blue, it’s not turquoise. It’s not lapis. It’s actually cerulean. And you’re also blithely unaware of the fact that in 2002, Oscar de la Renta did a collection of cerulean gowns. And then I think it was Yves Saint Laurent… wasn’t it who showed cerulean military jackets? I think we need a jacket here. And then cerulean quickly showed up in the collections of eight different designers. And then it, uh, filtered down through the department stores and then trickled on down into some tragic Casual Corner where you, no doubt, fished it out of some clearance bin. However, that blue represents millions of dollars and countless jobs and it’s sort of comical how you think that you’ve made a choice that exempts you from the fashion industry when, in fact, you’re wearing the sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room from a pile of stuff.