I remember watching an episode of What Not To Wear once that stuck with me. Remember that show? The one where those two posh, average looking, supposed fashion experts rifled through the wardrobes of everyday folk like us and told them how hideous they looked in everything? Well, in this particular episode, Trinny and Susannah were busy
humiliating making over a thirty-something Mum. She was not your usual WNTW candidate – she was young, bubbly and, I thought, rather glamourous, however she had committed a mortal sin in T & S’s books. The crime? She was rather fond of rocking a short skirt, and in the eyes of the hosts this was completely unacceptable. 30 year old women simply should not expose any flesh above the knee apparently. It was, like, the law or something. Admittedly, at the time I was young and stupid, and also agreed that 30 was like, sooooooo old (and far away) but for some reason this utterly ridiculous piece of advice seemed to stick in my mind.
Now, I’m actually blessed with a fairly youthful face. I still get ID’d every now and then when buying wine in Tesco’s, and am often told I look younger than I am, but I have found myself in the last couple of years feeling obliged to start ‘dressing my age’. I’m not ready for thermal pants or surgical stockings or anything, and I’m not sure I can pinpoint exactly when it started, but I definitely find myself putting certain pieces back on the rail, telling myself “I’m too old for that”. Short skirts definitely fall into that category. I’ve never been one for spandex mini’s exactly, but I do have an impressive number of tea dresses (thanks, Primark’s SS ’13 collection!), once a summer favourite, that have slowly found themselves demoted to the ‘only with thick black tights and boots’ category. For some reason lately, I just feel a little self conscious getting my pins out (and not just because they’re ghostly white!)
I decided recently, though, that this was a real shame. See, I have never been a curvy girl. Sadly I’m no longer what you would call ‘athletic’ either, but still, my legs have always been one of my best features. I may be obsessed with the 50’s look, but hourglass I ain’t, so if I want to make the most of my figure, it’s the 60’s look that is more likely to do me justice. I can’t rely on a nipped in waist or a glimpse of cleavage, and there are only so many times you can wear a tight pair of jeans. So last weekend, when the sun shone a whole two days in a row, I thought sod, it. I’m getting them out. Since when was 30 old? And since when did it mean you had to change the way you dress? And got them out I did – not once but twice! Firstly for a BBQ for a friends birthday, then since that seemed to go without a hitch, out in public on Sunday for the usual dog walking and coffee drinking activities.
Amazingly, the world didn’t end. No-one looked at me twice actually. In fact, I’m pretty sure more people commented on my strange choice of outfit when I wore that modest and ‘age-appropriate’ frock last week. So looks like I’ll be getting them out again sometime, though perhaps not too soon – thanks to a late night drinking session around a fire pit my legs are now not only milky white but covered in unsightly insect bites! Oh well….
Just a shame I didn’t work this out earlier in the year, when there might have been a few more sunny days on the horizon!