On Minis & Maturing

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If I was to build a capsule wardrobe for myself right now it would consist mainly of Little Women Atelier dresses. The romantic puffed sleeved dresses of dreams with contrasting aprons that look fit for a Meg or Jo, or even Anne (of Green Gables). They're very vintage-looking, quite dramatic, and I do worry when I leave my house in one that I might be mistaken for a character in a re-enactment (it has happened before). But they just feel so right. Perhaps it's the Tasha Tudor effect; learning about her online and then sinking even deeper into one of her books and feeling so inspired to craft the life I want to live. Or perhaps this was the direction I was always going with my vintage style, but there's also this part of me that chases my dog in wellie boots and rain jackets and a part of me that loves a mini dress. Like Walt Whitman, I am liable to contradict myself--"do I contradict myself? Very well, the I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes." As much as one part of me wants to sweep through this world in ground-grazing dramatic dresses, another part of me wants to sashay in a mini (and a tiny practical piece of me keeps a pair of wellies and coat by the front door for early morning dog walks). But I do like minis, even though these days I wonder if my period re-enactment clothes are more "appropriate" for me than the more socially normal minis. You see, I'm in my 30s and I wonder if the era of minis should be behind me. I met someone recently who was surprised I was in my 30s and then said, "oh but you must be trying to look younger." I don't think she meant to offensively and I don't take offense from it, but no, for the record, I'm not trying to look younger. I'm just trying to have fun with clothes and wear what feels good; what feels right. It's sort of like when I dyed my hair blue and people said it was attention-seeking; I wasn't seeking attention, I was seeking the hair color of my mermaid dreams! Now when I wear my minis and slick on my cat eyeliner I wonder, "is this coming off as stale? As someone desperate to cling to, and imitate, youth?" Should I start dressing 'older' (whatever that means) just to be seen as someone comfortable with aging? Because I am comfortable with aging; I'm not afraid of telling people my age or being my age. I like being my age; I'm happier and more comfortable now than I ever was in my teens or even twenties. My life is quiet but lovely. Style always brings up these questions though; that balance of what you want to wear and how people perceive you in those clothes. As I am older, I can more easily shrug off the criticisms or misinformed opinions than I did in my 'youth,' but I still find myself on occasion pondering that age-old question of "age appropriateness."  redvines-24-side redvines-13
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wool beret, Shein dress, Chelsea Crew heels (old, similar)
P.S. Use my code "3rebecca15" to get 15% off your order at Shein.

CONVERSATION

11 comments:

  1. I love your style, I think it suits you so well! Don't mind what anyone else thinks! ❤️✨

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
    http://charmainenyw.com

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  2. Ironically, I've just entered my 30's (well, I'm nearing 31) and I have just begun to approach mini skirts again. For me, age appropriateness is less about what you wear but more about the growing "awareness" you have of your body (i.e. recognizing how the clothes you wear present your body). As a fellow historic clothes lover, it strikes me as funny that we still (at least in the west) consider short lengths as a sign of youthfulness. In the past children wore shorter dresses and pants until they hit a certain age, when they would begin dressing as "adults" and wear longer lengths. Even though that was years ago (I think it started to change in the 20's as hemlines went higher), we still seem to have that concept in society. It is fascinating!

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  3. Eh, I think "age appropriate" is generally just another silly fashion rule. Dress in what you love! I think you always look so perfectly yourself, and not like you're trying to look like anything but what you are! You look good in everything you wear!
    xo
    Kristina
    eyreeffect.com

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  4. This is something I think about often--age appropriate clothes. Something sort of snapped in me a couple of years ago, when I was about 33. Suddenly I was fed up with everything I had been wearing. I have always tried to generally follow fashion and keep up with trends, but at that point I abruptly decided to hell with all that and I would wear what I wanted. I really feel like most things don't suit me anymore, so when I can't find what I want, I make it myself. In my mind I guess I've drawn this line between the younger, before-33-me, and the older, now-me, and I judge clothing based on which me it would have belonged to. Does that make sense? I don't really reject things based on the thought that they're too young for me, but more that they belong to a different me that I don't dress anymore.

    I can relate to the capsule wardrobe full of dramatic dresses. I just threw out (read: gave away) all of my shorts this summer and I won't buy any more. I have a number of dramatic-length skirts, but I will leave the puffed sleeves to someone else! Haha

    I should add, too: thank you for sharing about Tasha Tudor. I hadn't heard of her before you mentioned her on your IG a while back. I have been pondering the freedom of curating the kind of life you want to live. She is very inspiring.

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  5. I feel like I see myself wearing “age appropriate” clothes when I compare it to my style when I was younger. So it’s obviously more personal than a stranger could recognize, as I don’t think I dress “adult” now, but my high school self would see what I wear now as very “old” and my now self sees my high school style as very fun/ridiculous/youthful. I’ve seen myself grow, and that’s enough for me ;). I personally think your style has evolved over the years I’ve followed you! And I think you dress just like you. Age be damned. ;)

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  6. I know what you mean about the effects society and people have on us when it comes to what we wear even if we don't want them to. For years I tried to match my style to what the people around me thought was appropriate, but I try not to do that anymore. It's still difficult sometimes when I'm about to head out the door in the more unusual outfit that I know many people won't understand, but it's gotten easier and I've gotten happier because of it.

    I hope you wear what you want and what feels right to you no matter what others think or say.

    Kathrin | Polar Bear Style

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  7. I'm pushing 50 and still wear minis on occasion if I feel like it, I wear shorts and really tight fitting jeans - though I'm fat - I wear eyeliner and sequins at daytime. The way others perceive us tells us more about themselves than it does about us, no matter how cliche this sounds. I no longer give a fart to how others choose to see me, especially seeing they don't know me nor have any idea who and what I am... wear your minis, you're a gorgeous young woman with a spectacular sense of style, you're so unique and inspiring. Honestly, I've been following your blog since 2007 and have loved seeing you evolve and do you, it's like watching a friend grow into their own self.

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  8. I'm 28 and people say the same about me!!! "One day you'll have to stop wearing the girly stuff". Whyyyy?! As long as we feel comfortable in whatever we're wearing, I think it's fine! ^^.

    Flor | http://flordeblog.com

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  9. I loved the post! I am 28 and I haven't found my style, because I like so many styles... And sometimes I think I should wear more formal akd adult clothes but why? If I feel comfortable with what I usually wear..

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  10. I would never vary my wardrobe according to my age or what some silly rules tells us you should and shouldn't wear once you reach a certain age. You dress for yourself and what makes you feel good - sod any of the silly rules! I'd rather be known for dressing a bit differently than never noticed, no matter age I am x

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  11. I'm nearly 50, and I still wear short skirts (and many other 'youthful' styles), because they suit me and my personal style. I will only stop wearing them when I feel that this is no longer the case, and not because anyone else tells me that I'm the wrong age for them. Age-appropriateness is just another arbitrary, restrictive fashion rule - along with rules about what people of particular shapes or sizes should or shouldn't wear - that only serves to make people feel bad about themselves. The only rules I follow are my own: if I like it, if I feel good in it, and it's appropriate for the occasion, then I'll wear it, regardless of what anyone else might think!

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