We have all heard “the rules.” The guidelines that all women must adhere to once they reach a certain age. These rules say that every ten years or so, women must limit what they wear based on how old they are. Everything from mini skirts to bodycon dresses, reversable clothing to headbands, fringe, graphic tees, and low-rise jeans back in the 90’s (ok, can we all agree just that low-rise jeans are never acceptable, no matter the age? Please?). With athleisure wear here to stay, brands like LuLulemon becoming as big of an it brand as Reformation, and the entire health/wellness/fitness influencer stratosphere, the debate over what age a woman should stop showing her midriff is becoming more and more at the top of the list.
You know what else was included in these rules? Things like ill fitting clothing, clothing with holes (like actual holes, but BEWARE distressed clothing is off limits once you hit 40, so enjoy it while you can), tattered bras, and shabby sneakers. I am honestly not sure which ones irritate me more. The ones that tell me, and women 10+ years younger than me, what they are no longer allowed to wear, or that it is acceptable or even age appropriate to look like a slob. Ummmm, ok?
I guess my biggest question is why does anyone care? The late, great Joan Rivers aside, is there really a Fashion Police that is going to cite me for wearing a graphic tee with a mini skirt? And just try and get me to give up fringe. Try it. Same goes for showing my midriff. A quick google search informed me that I should have given up crop tops, even when working out, 12 years ago to be exact. What makes 35 the magic age when showing your abs becomes unacceptable? I could talk about how I am 47 and have had two babies; how I work hard on my health and fitness for reasons having nothing to do with fashion, so I am going to show off something I am proud of…..I just don’t think that this conversation has anything to do with body type. Women should feel empowered to wear what makes them feel good regardless of age or size, and like low-rise jeans, can we all just agree that the policing what a woman wears is never acceptable? In all honesty, it may be at least another 12 years before I stop showing my midriff, and if I do, it will be because I wanted to and not because a society or a magazine told me I had to.
Images by Breezy Ritter