Lately I keep seeing these articles circulating Facebook about what women over 30 should and shouldn't wear. It all started with a woman named Kallie Provencher and one of her articles on Rantchic. Ms. Provencher seems to love writing about what women over 30 should and shouldn't do or wear. I am not even sure if she is over 30 herself since she never mentions her own age. The articles seem to be what I consider click bait. Click bait articles have catchy titles and usually consist of tons of photos with maybe one sentence explaining what you are looking at. They are usually snarky or condescending in some way too. Very little actual writing is involved. And most of the time the writer is well aware that these articles will be controversial. They don't care how many people are offended about the content because the real goal of the article is to get lots of traffic to their site. Remember that old Hollywood saying? Any publicity is good publicity. So it seems Rantchic has been successful in gathering lots of site traffic because those articles have gone viral. Now to be fair these types of lists are nothing new. In fact I remember seeing lists like this in fashion magazines at least 20 years ago. What makes this article especially nauseating is the snarky tone in which it was written. These articles are succesful not because they were good articles, but instead it's the reaction of disgust from women all over the Internet. Women over 30 are pissed off!
The good news is that articles like these are simply not true. The idea that you have to be under 30 to be stylish or trendy is ridiculous. Blogs like Advanced Style prove what I'm saying is true. In fact, most of my favourite bloggers are over 30. I find they experiment more with mixing trends and they know how to accessorize an outfit better than their younger counterparts. They are truly inspirational in demonstrating that being stylish has nothing to do with age!
Style is an evolution. It takes a lifetime to curate the perfect wardrobe. You can't just walk into a store at the mall and buy clothes straight off the rack and expect to be stylish. Or click purchase on websites in one night to do it either. It takes dedication in weekly visits to the thrift store for that perfect accessory and regular trips to the vintage boutiques for one of a kind pieces. Being original is what makes older woman look stylish. They have a collection of unique clothing and accessories that they have collected for years and years.
Another reason I think woman over thirty are more stylish is self confidence. I find the older I get the more confidence I have to wear outfits that are not the norm. Who decided that mature equals boring anyway? You won't believe how many times I hear "I used to dress like that but then I had to grow up" or "I used to dress like that but then I had kids". Why do we put these limitations on ourselves? Why do we feel the need to conform and wear a basic uniform over the age of 30 in order to fit in? Unfortunately mainstream society expects us to tone down our style over a certain age. Some women do it in order to get a better job or to fit in with the soccer moms at their kid's school. I also toned down my outfits in my late 30s in order to fit in. Now, ten years later, I have the confidence to wear whatever I want to once again.
Fashion is hardly new to ageism. The runway shows have models as young as 14 years old these days and magazines are full of wrinkle cream ads featuring models in their 20s. Even the larger designers rarely use older models. Think about it...the 90s Supermodels are in their 50s now and yet they are seldom used in fashion shows. Those same designer's core customers are probably in their 40s and up. I realize those shows are all about fantasy, but why not show diversity in the models?
What I find most interesting about this latest round of ageist articles was the tremendous backlash that happened afterwards. I'm not the only blogger to post an article about it. So does this mean that fashion as a whole is evolving? Women seem to have more freedom to wear whatever they want to then any generation before them. Most of us no longer follow fashion trends blindly. That wasn't true even 10 years ago. We pick and choose which trends we want to borrow from or for that matter what decade we want to borrow from. The malls have more diversity than ever before and if we can't find it locally then we can just order it off a website. I predict that street fashion is going to change incredibly very soon. That alternative style will be the new norm. That more and more women over 30 will refuse to conform anymore. They will be free to wear whatever they like, dye their hair bright colours, and stop worrying about whether or not it is age appropriate. The concept of "dressing your age" is so old fashioned! It's time to embrace loving the way you look and feel today!
Here is some fashion inspiration from some ladies that may or may not be over 30...