9 Reasons Women Over 40 Should Refuse To 'Dress Their Age'

by Stefanie Iris Weiss
Originally Published: 

You don’t get to your fifth decade without encountering at least a few finger-wagging, totally made-up rules of fashion. (I still can’t figure out the whole not wearing white after Labor Day thing.) Whether the admonition comes from the editors of Vogue, your judgmental aunt or your cranky teenage daughter (who doesn’t want to be seen with you no matter what you’re wearing), you shouldn’t let anyone throw shade on your beloved push-up bra. I’m officially calling out the whole “dressing your age” idea.

So if you’ve stood in the changing room of your favorite store wondering about the suitability of a “slutty” dress that you just plain want, I invite you to join the Club of Not Giving a Damn.

Here are 9 totally appropriate reasons to NEVER listen to your critics:

1. Because you’re still hot. Really hot. You may have some crappy days—we all do, but remember: MILFs and cougars kind of rule the world right now.

2. Because you’ve been married for eleventy-million years. And you deserve to remind yourself (and him) how hot you are. (See above.)

3. Because you just got divorced.

4. Your sex life is not over. If you want to wear a low-cut blouse and/or short skirt to dinner with your partner to prime the pump, just do it. (Because what are you paying that babysitter for anyway?)

5. Because everything you wore in the ’80s and ’90s is back in style. If you’ve still got the lavender suede miniskirt you bought because Seventeen magazine’s September 1987 issue told you to, break it out right now. Tell everyone you’re a sustainability-minded recycler (even if you’re really just a hoarder).

6. Tina Fey’s Mom Jeans commercial totally skewered society. She did it for you, so return the favor by vamping it up with extra gusto.

7. You were a kid in the 1970s and missed the heyday of Studio 54. But you’re officially sanctioned to wear gold lamé now, according to Saint Laurent.

8. Giving the finger to 5,000 years of patriarchy is really, really fun. When you say no, just NO, to someone else’s arbitrary ideas about the way you should look, you win one for the team, and help other women feel less shame about their appearance.

9. You were a punk/new wave/hippie when you were a teenager. Are you really going to start listening to authority now? Of course not.

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