Dressing My Age?

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This summer I feel like my style could be described as: stick a boater hat on it. I tend to default to the same hairstyle (waves achieved through my overnight technique) with a boater hat and basket bag. The basket bag still has a bit of variety since I've accumulated loads of those, so that's slightly less predictable, but hairstyles for me have been pretty lazy these last few months as I've settled into a comfortable routine. As you can see in the above picture I did briefly attempt a new hairstyle for me on this day...as you can see from the rest of the pictures--it didn't last. Of course, I didn't take pictures until midday so I did actually spend half of my day running around in those bubble pigtails, but almost as soon as we started snapping pictures and I looked at a few I thought, "oh no! Maybe I can't pull off pigtails!" and promptly pulled my hair elastics out. What do you think? Can I pull off the pigtails? I'm still on the fence; I like to try new things and this hairstyle is all over Instagram at the moment, but when I looked at pictures some old insecurities surfaced and I reverted back to my comfort level of loose hair. I'm more secure in my self with each passing year, but it's funny how securities and comfort levels shift. I used to be self-conscious in skirts and then I would feel overdone in maxi dresses and now I wear them without thought, but I have a new worry--am I looking too young? Am I dressing too young? I mean I do get mistaken as younger frequently and I have a penchant for cutesy items. I like my novelty purses, mini skirts, and quirky prints--being petite I even occasionally shop in the children's section for clothes, but I'm not actively trying to look younger. In fact, I often stop myself when putting together an outfit and think "is this too young for me?" Not because I'm super worried that people will think I'm not dressing age appropriately, but because I would like to come across as an adult when/if I can. I am an adult, I want people who interact with me to see me as an adult. So pigtails for me always give me a bit of pause, especially when combined with a bubblegum pink romper! It's such a cute romper (and it's from the adult section ahem!) and I love the print on it that reminds me of treasure maps and adventure novels, but when styling it I am conscious I don't want to style it too juvenile--statement earrings and chic slides seemed a good choice. Still I wonder how I come across as I go about my day: teenager, married woman, college student, ridiculously pale ghost? I know it all boils down to cliche adages about who cares what people think, but maybe being completely without hang-ups is still a few years off for me. pink explorer-25 pink explorer-23 pink explorer-4
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  1. Who cares about age-appropriate dressing? It's just a phrase to make women insecure! And anyway, if anyone can rock pigtails, it's you, Rebecca! ❤️❤️

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  2. I'm twenty-eight years old (though I often get mistaken for much younger). Last week I put my hair in pigtails, then took them out in less than an hour because I began to feel like people would infantilize me. It's a weird feeling being so aware of others' perceptions.

    For what it's worth, I think you're totally pulling off pigtails, especially with your cool-girl smirk. You look very comfortable and adult to me.

  3. I'm 41 and I still wear pigtails from time to time. Being petite really helps as you get older. Not that you have to worry about that yet :) I think you look young but grownup and that's a good thing. Nothing wrong with that!



  4. I'm nearing my fifties and still wear pigtails and braids on occasion. Also wear stuff deemed completely not my age: combat boots and what not, and am told I have a too outstanding style for someone my age and with a small kid. Does it bother me, when doing the school runs and being constantly stared at because I wear kimonos that most people would keep for use around the house over their pajamas? It does, I won't lie, but I won't stop wearing them. I won't stop wearing velvet dresses that are meant to be worn on a night out on town and not as daily wear, won't stop wearing knee high lace up combat boots, won't stop dressing like I dod when I was twenty and hung around metal gigs all the time. But I do feel self conscious and insecure at times, only my love for my personal style tops the insiecurities eheh

    1. I'm 43 and I still wear pigtails, velvet and my knee high boots! I also wear headbands and pleated plaid skirts. I think age is a state of mind and I still feel like I'm in my 20s on most days.

  5. Hi there. I've been reading your blog since 2010 and this is my first time commenting. I always admired how you just really dove in head-first with the whole twee thing and, in many ways, made it more socially acceptable for women everywhere. As someone about six years older than you who rocked that look heavily from age 19 to 28 or so (and still occasionally do, haha), I can relate to the insecurities you've shared here. Even when I'm just in boring clothes I get mistaken for much younger and the shock people express when they find out my age makes me feel like they think I've deceived them in some way or that I'm immature for my age. But I try to remember that what people see in us is as much about them as it is about us. Most of us are filtering what we see through archetypes. Perhaps the archetype you're working with, the one that has become your signature look, is no longer reflecting back at you an image that you can fully relate to or embrace, and when people react to that image and filter it through their own perceptions of it, it can make that disjuncture between who you are and how you present even worse. This was the case for me and is why I started moving away from the twee thing, though sometimes, when I'm in a particularly fragile state and need people to be just a bit kinder toward me when I'm out and about, I might rock some pigtails. ;) I do it consciously to disarm people but use it very judiciously. Mostly, as an academic in her late thirties, I find that there's little room for this archetype in my life other than as an occasional thing. I imagine it must be much more complicated for you with branding and whatnot. I've seen your style evolve and mature over the years, but can definitely see you struggling to break free of what no longer fits and break into the next thing. Our thirties are like a second adolescence in a way, and we get stuck in this awkward liminal space somewhere between "maiden" and "mother," especially when we don't have children. (I often struggle to fit in as a woman in her thirties without children. Do you?) I imagine it must be similarly awkward in ones fifties, stuck between "mother" and "crone." Anyway, enough rambling. I think you look great no matter what you do, but what matters is whether it makes you happy. I wish you the best of luck.

  6. I think your hair looks stunning both ways! And I often have the same worries about looking too young - I'm in high school but people often think I'm much younger. It doesn't help that I'm short haha. Anyways, you look lovely as always!

  7. I totally feel you on this issue! I'm 5", and I have a "baby face" so people tend to think I'm much younger than I am (I'm 27). I find myself trying to style myself "age appropriately" just to be taken seriously. It's easy for people to say don't worry about what people think...and generally, I don't. But it does get a bit annoying when people are constantly treating me like a child. I don't think people fully understand how annoying it can be, unless they've dealt with it themselves. I'm told I should be grateful that I don't look "old". I think it would be nice if everyone could just take a moment to talk to a person first, before they make assumptions. I think even children should be taken seriously, so it bugs me when people try to infantilize me, and/or talk down to me because they think I'm a kid or a teenager.

    FOr what it's worth though, I think you can rock pig tales!

  8. Oh, I'm right there with you -- I've been told to dress for my age a whole bunch, especially during my headband phase when I was like, 20? Which is extra outrageous because like, I already LOOKED young, face-wise, and I was barely out of my teens, so why was it bad that I looked like Snow White sometimes? Screw that. I dress "older" these days but it's mostly because I dress more comfortable and have given up on tights (I can't stand the feel of them, as much as I like the look). I still wear sundresses all the time. Age basically... doesn't cross my mind at all when I'm picking clothes, and I'm cool with that. You look great.

  9. On the one hand, I think you look great with the bubble pigtails. And in photos you don't look overly young. he outfit looks just as pretty and perhaps less....twee with your hair down in curls. I come from an incredibly conservative and....how to put it, not-aware-of-trends so of a place. I suspect maybe your own hometown might be a bit similar in that? So, totally get the I-want-to-treated-as-an-adult concerns. I typically avoided pigtails for that reason, but hey, if you love the look and don't notice a change in how people interact with you, go for it! Its darling.

  10. I understand how you mean by wanting to be treated like an adult and yet swooning at cutesy things because I'm one of them who looks younger than my age. I used to worry about the very same thing 10 years ago but believe me, you will miss those days later. Don't worry about that too much and enjoy what you love! You look so lovely and cute and above all, they suit you so much. :)

  11. Your romper is so cute, I love it

  12. After I turned 30 I stopped caring if people thought I was dressing younger than I am, but I will make sure to not make myself look too young if I have a meeting at work with a brewery or a job interview. I think when you look younger than you are to begin with (I get asked if I am old enough to drink or have a bartending license when I am behind the bar quite often), you have to be aware about when looking young will be held against you and then not giving a shit about what age you look the rest of the time.


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