Monday, 28 July 2008

Will you grow old gracefully?

Following on from Rebekah Roy's fab talk at the Barbican last week and the delightful Wendy B's irreverent views a plenty, I got to thinking do we limit ourselves over a certain age and should we break free of such constraints?

Warning by Jenny Joseph (verse 1)

When I am an old women I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me,
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we've no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired
And gobble up samples in the shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick the flowers in other people's gardens
And learn to spit.


  1. It's such a tricky debate, I think Miranda Sawyer wrote a column on it in yesterday's Guardian. Her upshot was that we should be able to wear what we want at any age... but it's not that simple is it? I think the crux is confidence. I'm looking forward to getting to the age where I don't care what people think (about anything) but I'm not quite there yet. I think if someone (Donatella?) started a trend for older women dressing interestingly that became acceptable, then we'd feel happier, but at the moment fashion's about the under 30s, and once you get past that it's either Valentino or a shroud.

    That said, look at Mary Portas (I know I keep going on about her), Roisin Murphy and Goldfrapp...maybe the tide is turning? PS, I do LOVE Barbara Cartland!

  2. I think I should learn to spit now. Why wait?

  3. If you've got the self confidence-wear what you want when you want!!!

  4. It's too bad we have to wait until we're old to do all this. Feh.

    I vote for wackiness NOW!

  5. I think you have to wear whatever makes you feel good at any age.

    I wear clothes now at 32 that I wouldn't have had the confidence to wear as a teen (I dressed very,very boringly then) I hope to continue to wear what I feel good in, regardless of age in my 40s, 50s, 60s and so-on. Also, I hope one day to grow up enough to be able to walk in heels too!!

    ps - Kate looking forward to seeing you in Paris!! I'll let you know dates as soon as I know! Samantha x

  6. Given that I have no intention of trying to cling to my youth - wrinkles are what they are and they will get me one day - I intend to compensate by being a very startlingly dressed old lady. I think one day I will decide that sexual attraction is a thing of the past, and dress to attract description rather than admiration. Not shocking for shocking's sake, and I certainly shan't go for the vulgarity of plain 'mad'-looking, but I shall work some eye-opening colour combinations and pointedly old-fashioned silhouettes. My look will be daring and damning. Ha, I can't wait.

  7. I intend to be an absolutely shocking old lady. hey, what am I saying? I'm already an absolutely shocking old lady! As long as I can still fit in it, I'll be wearing it.

  8. I think you grow into yourself and gain confidence and with confidence you can wear almost anything.

  9. I think as long as you feel confident in what you're wearing anything goes...I remember reading an feature in the Guardian about what to "wear for your age" and much prefering the outfits they picked out the 50 and over age range rather than that for my own. I think if you put numbers on it it can kind of inhibit what you choose. So I'm agreeing with enc...wackiness now!


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