Fashion Friday: Age and Sex


How can you use the metaphorical language of fashion and style to say, “sexy woman over age fifty”?

It’s been a while since I’ve done a Fashion Friday post. It’s not because I’ve lost interest in the subject, or because I’ve run out of fashion topics to write about. Far from it. It’s because I’ve run through the easy, light-hearted topics that I could toss off in an hour (for the time being, anyway), and haven’t had the time or energy to get into the more serious, meaty topics I’ve been chewing over in my head. And it’s because I’ve been putting off one particular serious topic: one I’ve alluded to in passing in several other fashion posts, one I’ve been chewing over for a long time, one I keep promising to write about and keep putting off.

I want to talk about fashion, age, and sex.

I want to talk about how, as a woman over age fifty, I am trying to use fashion to express my sexuality. I want to talk about some of the difficulties I’m running into with this project. I want to talk about some of the ideas I’m chewing over on how to deal with this… and I want to solicit ideas that I might not have thought of.

I’ve written before about how I see fashion and style as a sort of metaphorical language, in which different pieces have different meanings (assigned/ evolved somewhat arbitrarily), which we choose and combine in our own personal style to express who we are and how we see our place in the world. (And no, I don’t want to re-hash that “fashion as metaphorical language” argument here. If you feel compelled to re-hash that argument, do it in the original posts.)

So here’s the situation. I’m a woman. My sexuality is important to me: it’s a central part of my identity, a central part of how I experience myself and my body and how I relate to the world. I have recently turned fifty. I want to express all that, using fashion and style, in how I carry myself in the world.

And I’m finding it difficult to find a way, using the metaphorical language of fashion, to say, “sexy woman over fifty.”

Now — to beat the “fashion as language” metaphor into the ground — the problem isn’t that the vocabulary for this phrase doesn’t exist. All the metaphorical “words” are there. There are articles of fashion — pieces of clothing, styles of hair, lengths of skirt, etc. — that say “sexy,” that say “woman,” and that say “over fifty.”

The problem isn’t that the vocabulary isn’t there.

The problem is that our culture considers the phrase “sexy woman over fifty” to be nonsense. An absurdity at best; gobbledygook at worst.

That’s even true of the literal language. The concept of a sexy woman over fifty is most commonly used as a laugh line. “Sexy woman over fifty” generally gets translated/ interpreted as “woman over fifty who is laughably self-deluded into thinking she’s sexy.” And this is reflected in fashion and style. When you look at the articles of fashion that say “sexy,” the ones that say “woman,” and the ones that say “over fifty” — you’ll find that there’s damn little overlap. The space in that Venn diagram that’s covered by all three… well, it’s not non-existent, but it’s pretty damn small.

Now. Some people are almost certainly going to say, “Who cares what other people think? Wear whatever you want! Fuck ‘em!” Yeah, I appreciate the sentiment. The problem with that is that I do see fashion and style as a sort of language, a form of communication — and in language and communication, caring what other people think is the name of the game. I want my language and communication to be understood by others. If I’m trying to say, “Sexy woman over fifty,” it doesn’t help if people hear what I’m saying as, “Fish squabble dinky parlor.” (Or, more likely, “Pathetic, self-deluded laughingstock who’s desperate for attention.”)

Part of what we express through fashion and style has to do with our age and how we feel about it. As I said in my previous piece, On Being Age-Appropriate: An outfit that expresses “10-year-old” is different from one that expresses “25-year-old”; different again from one that expresses “48-year-old”; different again from one that expresses “70-year-old.” And I want to dress in a way that communicates love and respect and value for who I am. Including love and respect for both my sexuality and my age. And finding that vocabulary is not easy.

All of this is compounded by the fact that the concept of “sexy” isn’t just about how we see ourselves. It’s a concept that has to do with how other people see us. We can see ourselves as sexual without regard to what anyone else thinks of us… but pretty much by definition, “sexy” means “being seen as sexually attractive by other people.” And while the way I feel about myself and my sexuality isn’t appreciably different since I turned fifty, I strongly suspect that the way the world sees me has changed — and I don’t know how to deal with that. It’s not that I want to dress in a way that gets the whole world falling all over itself to fuck me. It’s that I want to dress in a way that gets my sexuality acknowledged, and appreciated.

This is important to me for obvious self-interested reasons. But it’s also important because I want to be a role model. When I was coming into adulthood, I remember seeing role models of older women’s sexuality — and I found them very reassuring. In particular, I remember a photo in the lesbian sex magazine On Our Backs, a center spread of three old dykes performing a cabaret routine in fishnets and top hats and tails… and I remember being fixated on it, almost to the point of obsession. Mostly I just thought the women were hot hot hot… but I was also filing the images away for future reference. Middle-aged and old people sometimes joke about how we’re grossing the young people out with vivid stories about our freaky sex lives, and that may sometimes be true… but when those young people start to get older, I think having some of those vivid stories in their minds may be… well, “comforting” may not be the exact right word. Encouraging? That’s certainly been true for me. And I want to pass that along.

So. Here are some preliminary thoughts, and some experiments that have been working for me at least to some extent.

One direction I’ve been going in, and one that seems to be working for me, is the direction of elegance and sophistication. There aren’t many ways that older women are seen by our culture as sexual… but one of those ways has to do with experience. The worldly-wise woman who’s been around the block and knows her way around a body and a bedroom, who’s knowledgeable enough to be familiar with the basics of anatomy and most of the standard variations (and a fair number of the less-standard ones), who’s confident enough to be able to ask for what she wants, who’s savvy enough to not be shocked by the less-common requests of her partner(s), and who’s comfortable enough with sex and with herself to relax and play and enjoy? Even mainstream culture can sometimes recognize that as hot. So when I dress to be sexy and sexual, I find that it works better if I say, “I’ve been around the block, I know a thing or two that might surprise you”… rather than saying, “Look at my pretty flesh!”

Related to that: I’m finding that I feel more sexy when my clothing frames my body without showing a lot of skin. There’s a guideline I see a lot in fashion: You can show cleavage, legs, or arms — pick two. Showing all three tends to look trashy. And as you get older, dressing in a way that’s age-appropriate increasingly means, “pick one.” And as you get even older, it increasingly means, “pick none.” But there are ways to show off a beautiful body without showing skin. Patterned tights and stockings, instead of short skirts and bare legs. A dress that’s clingy and curve-hugging but high-necked, instead of a low-cut cleavage-bomb. Displaying curves through structure and tailoring, instead of… well, instead of through display. I have some issues with this idea — more on that in a tic — but I can work with it.

I also suspect that, as I get older, I may dress more dykey. In my experience, dykes tend, on average, to be more appreciative of older women’s sexuality than straight men. So I may start aiming my fashion statements — the sexual ones, anyway — more at women, and at women’s ideas of what makes other women hot. The fashion vocabulary is somewhat different for dykes than it is for the rest of the world, and the overlapping Venn diagram between “sexy,” “woman,” and “over fifty” covers rather a larger area. I suspect that as I get older, I’ll be spending more time in that area.

And related to that: I may wind up playing with gender more. As I said before when I wrote about fashion and gender: When I was fat, male drag was a way of feeling sexy and sexually transgressive, even though I wasn’t conventionally attractive. And I think that could work as I get older, too. A sixty-year old woman in a Marlene Dietrich tuxedo? That is smokin’ hot. It’s hot if she’s doing it straight-up butch; it’s hot if she’s doing it in black eyeliner and cherry-red lipstick. I would hit that in a second. Dressing more gender-fucked is a great way to say, “I don’t give a shit about traditional gender expectations, in bed or out, and in the sack I will let my imagination run wild”… without the display of flesh that’s (a) most commonly seen as “sexy” in the language of fashion, and (b) increasingly seen as unsexy as you get older.

There’s a theme that’s developing here as I think out loud, and I’m finding it an interesting one. As an older woman, the ways to use fashion and style to express sexuality have less to do with tempting displays of flesh, and more to do with tempting displays of attitude. They aren’t so much about saying, “Look at my pretty body.” They’re more about saying, “I have a really good attitude about sex, and am awesome in the sack.”

I do have some issues with this. I think it plays into the idea that young flesh is beautiful and old flesh is gross. But I can work with it. I think people of any age can play with the idea that a subtle allusion to sex can sometimes be sexier than letting it all hang out. And even when I was more comfortable displaying more of my skin, I was always trying to convey “awesome attitude” more than “tempting flesh.” So while I have mixed feelings about this idea, I can also have fun with it.

But I’m still struggling with all this. And I suspect I’ll be struggling with it more as I get even older. If “sexy woman over fifty” is seen as a nonsensical phrase in our culture, “sexy woman over sixty” is seen as patently ridiculous — and “sexy woman over seventy” is seen as flat-out gibberish. I want to find ways to deal with this, not just in the coming decade, but in the decades after.

So I’m tossing this one out for crowd-sourcing. I want to solicit ideas about this that I might not have thought of.

Important note on comments: Unless you’re already a pretty good friend of mine or are someone I’m already having sex with, please DO NOT chime in with reassurances about how sexy I am. No matter how sincere or well-meant they are, that really isn’t what I’m looking for here. Especially in the context of recent events. (And whatever you do, unless you’re already a pretty good friend of mine, DO NOT tell me that you think I’m sexy if you meet me in person at conferences or other events. Just don’t. When I’m at conferences, I’m at work.)

That’s not what I want here. I want to know: How have you made this work for yourself? How have you seen women you know make this work for themselves? What works in terms of practical strategies — and what works in terms of emotional and psychological strategies, and how you frame this stuff for yourself? What do you think doesn’t work? What general thoughts do you have on the subject?

Your time starts… now!

Related posts:
On Being Age-Appropriate
The Aging Slut

Comments

  1. Jerome McDonough says

    Take a look at Helen Mirren’s outfit as Prospera in the Tempest and you have my candidate for sexy fashion that is suitable for 50+, and not surprisingly it follows your guidelines in many respects. Actually, you could probably just shorten that to ‘Take a look at any recent photo of Helen Mirren.’

  2. smhll says

    I find the concept of “sophisticated” more appealing than “elegant”. For me, “elegant” has a little bit of a subliminal
    “don’t touch” message. (I mean, I’m just parsing what the word conveys to me.)

    (I haven’t made it work for me. I’m over fifty and I have to shut my eyes really tightly to feel sexy.)

  3. kim says

    I’m mid forties and think the elegant, sleek look fits me better now than the more elaborate or patterned. Solid colors, simple lines.
    I’m not sure if this is changing the subject, but I was reading about Geisha culture/tradition and the more experienced or higher ranked the Geisha the less ornate her outfit/costume is.
    Kind of the idea that you don’t need a lot of enhancement to attract, once you’ve learned how to do it with yourself.

  4. Leni says

    @ Kim, that’s interesting about the Geisha.

    ****

    One thing I always hated about so many of the big-name dept stores is that women’s clothes come in 3 varieties: Juniors, business, and pink windbreakers/terry cloth sack shirts.

    If you don’t want to dress like a corporate shill, a teenager, or a elderly person there’s just nothing there.

    I end up doing a lot of shopping at the Gap (which has a lot of over-priced, shoddily made clothes) or (my new favorite) Guess, which has a lot of nice, better quality clothes and the best fitting jeans I’ve ever bought, but dang it is pricey.

  5. numenaster says

    I think you’re on target with the “less skin, more shape” approach. I’m a 46-year-old woman who found herself unexpectedly single a few years back, and it’s working for me. I wear more form-fitting clothes than I used to, but they cover more of me. I’m doing the tights with miniskirts a lot too (even with a golf skirt once, although I won’t do that again).

    I also find that being fit is more important, and by “fit” I mean both “within 20 pounds of my ideal weight” AND “well exercised”. It’s easier to convey experience and appreciation if you have the energy that only comes from staying in shape, and it helps keep my shape in shape too.

    One rule of thumb I learned years ago was the “13 to 21 points” approach for figuring out if you’re over-dressed or under-dressed. I expect you’ve seen this before already, so I’ll be brief: one point for each item of clothing or jewelry; count each leg, shoe and earring separately; one extra point (per item) for standout color/pattern, texture/shine, or contrast. 13 points is a bare minimum to look “finished”, 21 is about the upper limit to avoid looking overdressed, aka “the outfit is wearing you.”

    Nice thing about the points system: I was in high school when I learned it and it still works for me 28 years later. It’s just that the items I’m putting on are different.

  6. Ana says

    I love how the language of fashion evolves as we age. For example, my 48 years old mother looks amazing in embroidered/embezzled tight (sometimes acid-washed) jeans with a flowy leopard-print satin top, while the same look on me (24) would look weird, trashy and old at the same time.
    I’d say play with textures and colors, specially darker, more saturated colors: emerald green, ruby red…I don’t remember where I read that you can’t go wrong with gem colors. Or satin, or lace. Specially as you age.
    By the way, do you watch fashion shows, like “What not to Wear”? I loved the original UK version, and still watch the US version sometimes, I’m just wondering if that’s one of them places where you get inspiration or if you find them too mainstream.
    And speaking of fashion evolving throughout life, right now I’ve just started working and I have to redefine my style from geeky-indie-college girl to classy-savvy-business lady (pantsuits forbidden), while still intersecting with my normal sexy-while-overweight personality, so if someone has tips they are welcome! =)

  7. Ana says

    (hate when I think of more to say after I hit the send button xP)
    Just an interesting tidbit, I think your outfits can actually become more interesting as you age, specially in texture. Like I was trying to say in my comparison with my mother, wearing a lot of texture when you’re young makes you look to “heavy” and “trashy”, but looks young and sophisticated once you’re over 40.
    So, comparing similar looks, a 20-something woman can wear a simple black tube dress, no tights and heels, while at 50 she’d wear a similar dress that has a bow on the nekline, or maybe a layered pleating skirt, or some other texture-adding detail, and add tights.
    I notice it a lot with fashionable older women I know: While my outfits are simple, clean and light, theirs have the same basic structure but with more texture, more, different fabrics, more details, more patterns, more colors, more jewllery and makeup. Oh, and I think the “large flowy top / tight jeans” combo would look great on your body type.

  8. Nora says

    My “look” (if I have one) is probably some intersection of absentminded professor and old hippie. I have no qualms, for example, about mixing tweed and tie-dye. I like to wear dresses with boots. I try to stay away from completely shapeless things, and have never been comfortable showing a lot of skin, so in some ways I feel like I’m coming into my own, fashion-wise, as I approach 50. I’m very lucky to live near a store that sells interesting, high-quality, grown-up clothes in sizes and styles suitable for a wide range of body types. And it’s all stuff made by small manufacturers in small quantities; you rarely see anybody in the same outfit you are wearing, but it’s easy to spot other people who shop there. The store’s owner is a delightfully sexy woman of a certain age (I’m honestly not sure but mid 60s is my guess) who makes it her business to help people find clothes they look and feel great in. And yes, the store is pricier than a lot of places, but so worthwhile for me, at this point in my life and career. The opportunity to experiment with different looks, learn how to build an outfit, and then an actual wardrobe, has been worth every penny I’ve spent there. So, yeah, a fashion mentor is what is working for me.

  9. movablebooklady says

    I’m 68 and have evolved a definite style which, while it may not always be “sexy,” is mine. One of the things I like to do is have flesh show in unexpected places; for instance, I have a big shirt that has an open vee in back up at the collar so the upper back shows for about six inches (which is in fine shape). I love that shirt, wear it a lot, and always get admiring comments from all ages. Texture is important, too. Have knowledge of what shape is good on you as you age is important, as well. I’m starting to wear more mandarin-style collars as the neck sags, and they look good on me. It’s a question of what still looks good (back, forearms, shins, feet, say) and showing them off. I like sleek but not form-fitting (not all of my form is worth fitting), sophisticated color schemes (black/blue, black/tan, tan/white etc) that flatter my skin. And let us not forget purple (I am old and I wear purple.

  10. sceptinurse says

    I find that I am returning to more classic styles. I have always tended to the jewel tones anyway. Pale skin, dark brunette with dark blue eyes. Now that I have let my hair go silver they still look good and my eyes look even darker in them. I tend to get my clothes from the J. Peterman catalog. Expensive but better made than most and they tend more toward the classic lines with enough variation to keep it interesting.

  11. Glass Noodles says

    This may sound a little strange but I LOVE the way Nina Hartley -yes, the pornstar- dresses. I’m not talking about what she wears on-screen, even though she looks fantastic too! Her outfits make her look elegant, sexy, self-possessed and very comfortable-and, IMO, they are not trashy whatsoever. I’m sure her attractiveness also has to do with how confident she is. Just google her more recent pictures.

  12. Leni says

    Except for the really bad boob job, Nina Hartley is alright. She overemphasizes the boobs sometimes, and there’s that not so great picture of her looking like a newscaster in a see-through top with a black bra underneath, but otherwise she’s really pretty conventional. Not terrible, but I know I’ve seen better.

    @ Ana- A-line skirts really flattering and veratile. Not sure if that’s your thing or not, but they look good on almost any body type and can work with almost any occasion.

    I’ve become a big fan of Kelly Osbourne these days. I love her on the Fashion Police. I don’t always love her outfits, but she always picks things that are right for her frame, are fitted well, and thus flattering. You should giver her a look!

  13. M Groesbeck says

    I’d like to see more “sexy value” placed on elegance (or sophistication — I’ll have to think more about the difference, smhll, but I think I see how you’re using the terms and agree with your preference) for all ages. The distinction seems to me to be between displaying/broadcasting a body-as-object and using a body-and-clothes-and-body-language combination as a way of expressing a whole person. Anyone who’s been around long enough to know their ass from their elbows is at least somewhat aware that sexiness involves knowing one’s own and others’ bodies and being fluent (for lack of a better word) in the language of embodied selves; it’s disappointing that it’s only as women become older that this is seen popularly as “sexy” (and that this form of sexiness is undervalued generally).

    OTOH, I know I tend to drift into some problematic territory in terms of class cues (not to mention gender — and as a man who loves men I know that my commentary on styles of fashion and sexiness for women will be questionable even when I perceive my main motivation to be hope that the women I care about will be able to express themselves fully, sexually and otherwise) with my reading of fashion and sexiness in different age/gender combinations.

  14. f. says

    Ana: Good call on the fact that your Mom can wear some things that would look try-hard and too old on you! In my late 20s, I definitely think about things I want to wear when I’m older – leopard print does come to mind, as well as statement jewelry and hats. Midi skirts always look costumey on me, but they won’t when I’m Greta’s age. And with my red hair, I can’t exactly indulge in a lot of pink or red clothing without clashing like crazy, so those colors are going to be saved up for when I go gray. I should be writing this shit down so I can rejoice over it 30 years from now.

    With the current cult of youth in fashion, it can be kind of hard to look forward to getting older, but I do think that older women have some fashion advantages. There’s nothing like having shopped for your figure for decades and weathered every trend known to fashion. Not to mention shopping your own closet for vintage. I see so many gorgeous 60ish women in downtown Berlin flaunting handbags with a perfect patina, well-worn silk blouses and classic shoes that are clearly on like their 3rd resoling!

    I’m sure many people here are familiar with Advanced Style – I think it includes some amazing examples of the sexy older woman: http://advancedstyle.blogspot.com/

    Just look at this woman, off the first page. http://advancedstyle.blogspot.de/2012/06/stylefreedom.html DAMN.

  15. Lois says

    Hey Greta,

    I understand what you mean, but here is something to take to heart. 50 for us (I’m 50 too) is not the same as 50 was for our mom’s. We are going to be trendsetters. We are going to change the conversation about older woman’s sexuality. We are not going to look the way our mother’s did.

    Lois

  16. alumiere says

    Let me preface this by saying I’m a 46 year old freak (we reclaimed the term in the late 80’s). One of my friends named my style dainty punk a number of years ago and it still fits. I also live in LA where it’s temperate to hot year round, so heavy fabrics aren’t a large part of my wardrobe.

    I’m bald, with visible piercings and a gorgeous tattoo that runs from my shoulderblades to my ass and which I like to show off whenever I can. As I get older I find that my style has changed, and that I still feel (and based on comments look) sexy even though I’m not wearing tight miniskirts and clothes for 20-somethings anymore.

    I still love corsets and corset back tops to show off the ink, but I often wear fishnet or stretch lace under them now whether sleeveless or with sleeves. I wear a lot more thigh high stockings with garter belts too – that hint of skin when I move is hot. For professional situations I favor fitted collared shirts and unprinted ‘baby-doll’ or long sleeve t-shirts.

    For everyday wear I like princess seamed dresses or skirts – form fitting to the waist/hips and fuller skirts in lengths from above the knee to the floor. I also always have on heels unless I’m barefoot at home (mostly because it changes my gait and walking doesn’t hurt as much, but it doesn’t hurt the way my calves look or my leg length either – like every woman in my family I’m starting to shrink). And I wear a lot of brightly colored sarongs (mostly ‘celtic’ prints) as skirts – they wrap my waist twice and hug my curves without being vulgar – you can also add a foot of grosgrain ribbon on each end to get the wrap if you’re not as thin as I am.

    I love high waisted skirts with slits up the sides to above the knee (and ankle length ones that are slit to my hips for the club), and slightly longer than mini-length ‘foofy’ skirts (again for the club). A tuxedo cut (ankle length in back, knee-ish in front) skirt or dress is an excellent way to show off your legs without being too bare and are great without stockings when it’s warm.

    For going out I also favor see-through or semi-opaque skirts – layers of tulle, patterned organdy, etc with ‘boyshort’ panties underneath. It lets me show off my legs without wearing stockings all the time, and gives a great silhouette.

    As for colors and patterns – lots of black, blueish greys, white, and jewel tones. And simple geometrics or curves, oversize houndstooth, plaids and pinstripes. I also like embellishments – anything from a textured velvet around the hem to el-wire hooping to black-light reactive thread at the seams.

    My style is a bit more sophisticated than it was when I was younger, but a lot of my staples are 20+ years old – a good cut never goes out of style as long as it still fits well. I also find that for blacks (I favor cottons except for the club) I re-dye them regularly now which I didn’t do – faded black doesn’t work as well.

    For some more ideas on how the aging freak dresses well, the ‘elder-goth’ communities have some amazing finds. People like Siouxsie and Kambriel and Amber (from http://nopants2011.com/) often have much more formal styles than I do but they show options that may give you starting points to look sexy whatever your age.

  17. Joe says

    I think one of the best ways for women to look stylish while avoiding many of the sillier trends in fashion today is to quote a style that trends more conservatively, ie., menswear. one of my favorite examples is the young lady over at http://girlsack.com/, specifically her WIWT’s. Not quite the same thing as dressing in drag, IMO.

  18. C Rowan says

    In high school, my casual wear was a touch hippy and my dress-up/speech tournament clothes were a touch Annie Hall. The older I get, the more Annie Hall I get. I love hats & cardigans. Most of the time, I look sort of like a preppy person who slept in her clothes. Ha!

    There was a woman who worked at my favorite hat store. She was in her mid/late 40’s & wore trousers with clingy turtlenecks. Her hair was similar to Anne Bancroft in the The Graduate. Meeeoow.

    I think you’ve got the right idea– gender bending & accentuating your shape. All the input here seems to favor those elements plus playing with texture & jewel tones. Your instincts are spot on.

  19. valleycat1 says

    It seems to me that our (by that, I mean American) culture is evolving to being able to see women of 50 & older as attractively sexy. Helen Mirren, sure. Also, Susan Sarandon, Goldie Hawn, Sophia Loren, Diane Keaton, Meryl Streep, Michelle Obama, Condi Rice, etc. And in my opinion, their appeal is largely due to their owning who they are at the age they are, and their style expressing exactly that.

    For myself as I approach 60, I’m tending toward more substantial fabrics with a slightly more structured shape, substantial colors, and skimming fit. Solids are easy, but I carefully curate prints to avoid too-young or too-dowdy.

  20. Jane says

    I am 62 years old, and love sexy clothes, but have found that my arms are giving me a lot of displeasure when I look in the mirror. Even though I am slender and in good shape, the skin on my arms sags, and I’m not talking just the underarm wiggle. So, when I want to go sleeveless (sometimes necessary in hot California), I’ve found that opera gloves work well to cover that yuck up. You can find an array of gorgeous colored gloves at We Love Colors, and they stay up easily. I do resent the prevailing view that sexy and old equals silly. I am inspired by women who continue to project their sexuality into their later years, and I hope I do the same. Hopefully, I won’t be seen as silly, but it is difficult to achieve the right balance while avoiding suppression of my sense of fun, style, sexuality, and fashion.

  21. kim says

    @Nora “And yes, the store is pricier than a lot of places, but so worthwhile for me,”

    The clothes aren’t expensive if you get a lot of enjoyment and wear out of them. They’re a lot better value than something you only wear a couple of times, or not at all.
    I’m not one to buy an outfit that I’m only going to wear once.

  22. milieux says

    I turn 50 in a couple of months, and have also been going through some wardrobe rethinking. I’ve dressed ‘gothic’ since before folks were calling that, with a touch of vintage. Now that I’m getting older, I don’t rock the goth look as well so I’m going more for the classic vintage in dark or jewel tones. I still try to include a bit of lace or velvet here and there, along with Victorian influenced jewelry and it seems to work nicely. I also go with a more modest hairstyle and hair colors, though I can still get away with some burgundy or red highlights that don’t make me appear that I’m trying to look too young.

    I am also a costumer. That has been more of a bother as I age. I absolutely cannot do any more anime or game inspired costumes. My last one was about 5 years ago, and even though I think I’m aging pretty well and thought the costume (a long sleeved, full coverage one) worked pretty well, but when I looked at the pictures, I knew it was time to retire that genre. Now I’m back to sticking with historical fashions; Victorian, Rococo, with a bit of Steampunk thrown in for my costuming projects. That seems to be working much better for me.

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