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02-06-2011
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Lapin de Lune's Avatar
 
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Something else I have begun to notice as I get older (or perhaps it isn't quite related to my age, but something has happened!) is how badly made so many of the high street items actually are. Basically, I currently live on a budget: I live alone, so pay full rent and bills, run a small business and have many outgoings, so I simply can't afford to shop at more expensive stores right now. And as a result of this, I still find myself choosing my staples from stores such as Topshop, H&M, and so on. But I am becoming increasingly irritated by what I purchase. So much of it is cheaply made, badly constructed, and the majority of garments are unlined, too sheer ( I am certain that this is for wont of better fabrics than an actual trend signifier) or too damn short.

I am currently trying to locate a summer tea dress that actually comes below mid thigh and finding it almost impossible. The closest I have found has been via Cath Kidston, but I'm not particularly fond of this seasons offerings and would prefer not to have to dry clean a dress I would be wearing regularly.

Has anyone else encountered this problem? It is as if there is no middle ground between the frumpy and the 'too edgy'. I must also add here that I don't actually believe there ought to be a set of rules for dressing after a certain age: so many of us approach these things differently, some of us might not look our age and would feel uncomfortable forcing ourselves to dress in a way we may consider austere, too mature, too simplified, etc. There is so much to take into account, especially since we are all so very diverse in our fashion interests to begin with.

What I have noticed is that my mind has altered first, before my face and body shape. I still seem to give off the impression of a mid twenties 'girl', yet I am actually approaching 40. It tickles me and freaks me out simultaneously. But the thing is, I am no longer focused on what interested me in my twenties, and my 'sense of style' is most definitely entering a new phase. I don't know if this is an age related issue or merely one of experience (or both), but I find myself drawn to quality tailoring, unique ideas, simplified silhouettes, ...and ok, just quality in general. And yet my budget balks at the thought!

So, I am still sifting through Topshop, H&M, etc, for items which are suited to my own particular look, which is often more concerned with myself as an individual than my current age on a passport. I was never a fan of overtly youthful clothing, even in my teens, but there are certain styles which are difficult to avoid on a modest budget - baby doll, peter pan, etc. I have had to pass on so many pretty frocks for this reason, because i simply don't wish to give the impression of being younger than I actually am. There are drawbacks to this cherished state of apparent youthfulness: I am rarely treated with the same respect as those who look older than me, men half my age are the only ones who tend to approach me in social situations, and no matter how I may have matured as a person, I have found myself having to adjust my behaviour/assertiveness to convince people that I am actually the sum of my years. Hence, how I dress is often crucial to this very issue, and I am currently attempting to transition without compromising my sense of fun, experiment and love for fashion.

I am still seeking more over 30 fashion blogs, yet the ones I have recently discovered (like a 3 of them!) are quite wonderful. What inhibits more mature girls from creating fashion blogs? Or am I simply missing them? If you consider an average lifespan to reach the grand old age of 80, then the concept of being too old for fashion at 35 seems crazy! I would so love to see blogs authored by ladies well into their seventies, to tell the truth, because I like to look forward, and with as much a sense of adventure as I had at 20.

I appreciate that this is a long and rambling post, so I will leave it there. Just a bunch of thoughts. I find the the entire 'fashion & age' issue so confusing, yet fascinating. There will come a time when I do start to look older, when i do begin to look my age, and perhaps this is when I will settle into myself with more confidence and less confusion. Perhaps there is a lot to be said for growing older after all

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02-06-2011
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Lapin - care to share the 30-something bloggers? I've found a few 30 & up bloggers but I didn't find them very inspiring.

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02-06-2011
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There are a few mentioned earlier in this thread, although I only have 2 bookmarked:

http://deuxarmoires.wordpress.com/
and
http://www.pinkbow.net/

I suppose it is tricky locating them because a lot of the 30 something bloggers, like myself, don't offer their age in their profile, so they might be easy to overlook, especially if they look a bit younger, which many just do. I've noticed that the under 25's always seem to type their age into the sidebar, for some reason, but after this age range I think it becomes a bit more ambiguous.


Last edited by Petit Lucille; 03-06-2011 at 04:17 AM. Reason: Please, post your blog adress only in the member's blog thread. You may have a link to it in your signature.
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02-06-2011
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Great blog Lapin de Lune, thak you for sharing!

I do agree with you about the state of the British highstreet for 30somethings.

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03-06-2011
  95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lapin de Lune View Post
I am currently trying to locate a summer tea dress that actually comes below mid thigh and finding it almost impossible. The closest I have found has been via Cath Kidston, but I'm not particularly fond of this seasons offerings and would prefer not to have to dry clean a dress I would be wearing regularly.
I was having a similar issue recently. I was looking for a simple, but colorful cotton day dress. I finally gave up on searching the department stores because most of the dresses were too short or not quite a day dress look. I found two decent dresses at a local thrift store.

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04-06-2011
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Oooh I found this thread really interesting; I'm in my thirties and still have long hair and look very similar to how I did when I was younger and get ID'd a lot - I'd also say that I am - ahem!! - mentally still quite young and some slight confusion creeps in about how I dress now.

I used to wear neutral basics when I was in my twenties, but now love brightly coloured cashmere and printed dresses (I honestly think black doesn't suit me as much anymore, the one thing which is noticably different about me is my skintone, alas!). I hesitated over buying a silk sundress for the first time last month as I feel a bit 'deceptive' that people think I am still in my twenties and wondered if it was too young for me (it's a simple shift dress in a nice pattern) but then decided to go for it, one of the ladies at work usually compliments me on my dresses and I've noticed she's started wearing them more and she's in her fifties, which is nice to see. I think a pretty frock (if that's your style) can make you feel feminine at any age.

I'm still very happy with wearing cashmere, pencil skirts, jeans, dangly earrings etc even though I do have the odd wobble about dresses if I wonder if the print is too young.

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04-06-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sundial View Post
Oooh I found this thread really interesting; I'm in my thirties and still have long hair and look very similar to how I did when I was younger and get ID'd a lot - I'd also say that I am - ahem!! - mentally still quite young and some slight confusion creeps in about how I dress now.

I used to wear neutral basics when I was in my twenties, but now love brightly coloured cashmere and printed dresses (I honestly think black doesn't suit me as much anymore, the one thing which is noticably different about me is my skintone, alas!). I hesitated over buying a silk sundress for the first time last month as I feel a bit 'deceptive' that people think I am still in my twenties and wondered if it was too young for me (it's a simple shift dress in a nice pattern) but then decided to go for it, one of the ladies at work usually compliments me on my dresses and I've noticed she's started wearing them more and she's in her fifties, which is nice to see. I think a pretty frock (if that's your style) can make you feel feminine at any age.

I'm still very happy with wearing cashmere, pencil skirts, jeans, dangly earrings etc even though I do have the odd wobble about dresses if I wonder if the print is too young.
Sundial, I am so familiar with this mode of thinking - about wondering if my choices are somehow deceptive, even though I am merely being myself and make no real effort to look anything other than my own age. Yet, the more I pondered this, I came to realize that I would not like to look back in the future and feel that I had restricted myself. I dare say there will come a point when certain items will no longer work, or won't suit me, so perhaps indulging in them now is the right thing to do. I do not suit mid length skirts, and still look better in mini's or maxi's. I tend to avoid anything overtly suggestive of age in any context, but then most of my stuff still hails from Topshop/UO, etc, and if you google search 'Topshop 30 something' you will find literally tons of debate leaning towards the mindset that if you're over 30, Topshop just won't do anymore.

I have a friend who is in her mid twenties who considers herself too old for most high street stores and only ever wears either jeans, cargo pants and tshirts. The thing is, this is just 'her', and she would feel out of place dressing any other way. So I do think that it is dependent upon the individual, for right now I am happy to continue as I am, yet also experiment with new things. There are some things which we simply know to avoid, not necessarily because we are older, but more so because we are perhaps a little more experienced with regards to choosing what works and what doesn't. For instance, when I was in my early twenties I made some astoundingly bad fashion choices, not merely because I was 'finding my style', but more so because I was too excited to try every new trend that evolved. Only a small selection of these trends really suited me, regardless of my young age.

I thought I could include a little picture of myself wearing some recent items of mine. I don't consider myself to be stylish, exactly, but it does give a decent impression of what some of us are wearing. I am sure that my current tastes will alter as the years, or even months roll forward



My images, canon&webcam.
Click the thumbnail to view larger.


Last edited by Lapin de Lune; 04-06-2011 at 05:52 PM.
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05-06-2011
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Aww, you look so pretty and lovely! Definitely age appropriate. Even if you do still look like a teen In the nicest possible way, the outfits look lovely on you.

Yeah thirties is not a death knoll as such so I guess it's all the advice about wearing more expensive pieces etc and the debate about 'age appropriate'..it won't stop me wearing black tights with an above the knee pretty dress though.

My dad died two days ago and i saw him for the last time in the Chapel of Rest today and then got outside a hundred yards down the road and a teenager literally came up and told me I had knobbly knees (I was wearing black tights and a pretty shift dress) - for a second I was really furious and thought 'shuttup you little whatnot my Dad has just died!! And so what if I have knobbly knees??' but then let it go.


Last edited by lucy92; 05-06-2011 at 07:59 PM.
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05-06-2011
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Thanks x

I'm terribly sorry to hear about your loss, Sundial. And how badly timed that ridiculous insult actually was.

Something similar happened to me many yrs ago, when a bunch of adolescent girls in my neighbourhood began taunting me about various things concerning my appearance. I think I may have been around 25 at the time. After months of enduring their insults whenever I passed by where they hung out, I finally faced up to one of them and asked what the deal was. When they discovered my actual age, they immediately apologized and changed their attitude towards me. It seemed as if discovering I was around twice their age, their interest in me evaporated. This never happens any more thankfully.

It is also very disturbing to live in a culture which deems it ok to walk up to complete strangers and assess their physical appearance, this weird 'body policing'. And it seems to be getting worse.

As for above the knee dresses, it would strike me as somewhat militant to insist that a woman over 30 should even consider them inappropriate. Women of all ages wear above the knee skirts, well into their 50's and 60's. Who creates these rules??? As with anything though, I do believe that it is how we actually style ourselves as opposed to the exact length/tightness of a garment.
We should not be confined to midi's!

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08-06-2011
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I am not 30 yet but I feel your pain about finding affordable, classic, and quality pieces which are still somewhat "fun" to wear. I look up A LOT at what FLOTUS wears because her dresses are never boring. Fortunately for me, I am not really on a budget. I am not really into super short dresses and those days it's very hard (at least for me) to find colourful dresses, funky dresses which are long enough (ie knee or a few inch higher without it being mid tight) and could be used for daily events or nights events with the right accessories. Sometimes I feel like some designers those days create clothes for 15 years old (Valentino I am looking at you) and it's..annoying

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24-06-2011
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Just located another blog that may be of interest: http://lookingfabinyourforties.blogspot.com/

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25-06-2011
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I am very appalled to see how much importance chronological age is given. What would being 30 imply? Why is it after 30 there is to be some change in what you wear?
There are so many 30 year old as immature as some 18 years old, and vice-versa, that I really don't think chronological time is what affects you that changes you so much, it makes you want to wear different type of clothes.
I think style changes along with how you take what life throws at you. The way you react can alter the way you feel about something, or reafirm it.
But I don't think it's a constant for everyone, each person goes through different things, and think differently, so how they digest it varies.

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25-06-2011
  103
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^Very well said, Petit Lucille - I completely agree!

Actually I get more compliments for my look since I turned 30 than before and I wear more often mini skirts, so to me age means nothing.

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25-06-2011
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Sadly, I find that younger people seem more concerned by it than those of us who are older.

That said, I do find a lot less of 30+ people actually fashion blogging. Unless they do not state their ages. It does feel irrelevant to me, personally, and i fully agree with the above two comments, yet there is that subtle something which I even see here in the forums - in the star style forum for example, there are often remarks about how well a 28 yr old looks for her age, or why they might not be able to wear a mini any more, etc.

As annoying as it is, it tends to persist.

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26-06-2011
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Sundial, my belated condolences!

Lapin, you are so pretty, and seem to enjoy clothing a great deal - start your own blog!!

I am inching closer to 40. - still in my 30s, just nearing the end, so please still let me post here.
I do blog but I find that I write a fair amount about not shopping, and this is a big thing that change for me re. style/fashion after 30 - I am a far more discerning, careful and questioning consumer. The standards seemed to have changed, it is not about new new new, as much as finding right right right.

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