act your age

As one day blends into the next and I remain at home, blowing my nose, and the number of people I've dotted & promised to send photos to grows & grows, and the list of posts I'm thinking of doing grows in my head, there's a subject I've been meaning to write about. You know how a while ago I was talking 'what's your fashion sex?' Well there's something I've been thinking about for, like, ever:

What's your fashion age?

I've especially been thinking this because of Roz (previous post), and her wonderful post today ('librarian looks'). At 14, she is an old soul, and, being naturally beautiful, choose to dress like a grown up. And while she puts her own clever spin on it, she references the past: the charity shop is her high street, and she dresses with a sophistication beyond her peers. And your comments are lovely: I'm sure she'll be pleased when she's back from holiday and reads them.

I remember when Prince Charles hit 50, and someone said, good for him, he's finally grown into his age. Apparently even at 15, he was a middle aged man trapped in a teenager's body (and I mean this in the nicest sense: Mr. Dot & I have met the Prince, and he is, indeed, Absolutely Charming).

There was a great little piece in the Telegraph magazine recently (Mr. Dot recycled it, alas), a collage of people like Tavi and Pixie Geldoff with their short grey hair, or Alexa Chung in her LIbrary Chic, and, by contrast, women of a certain age, like Ivana Trump, dressing like a teenager. And it got me thinking, once again, about my own style, which is finally having it's day in the sun: a bit geek chic, a bit gawky six year old (shorts, bare legs, ankle socks), which is why I adore Ashish, yet a bit Jackie O (sleeveless dresses on simple sheaths, as per Michelle Obama). For example, I recently wore a simple nude custom made Jackie O dress with a beige raincoat, yet dressed it down with vanilla brogues, and ankle socks. Which was a bit stupid as that's the day I caught this damn cold.

What does this have to do with this post? Not much, frankly. I don't have a clue who this girl is, it was a quintessential Friday after work scene, a gaggle of us were working our way thru Soho and Jen, the Style Crusader, spotted her first. True, she was spotted and dotted, but first, she was Crusaded.

It's really Jen's story: I just saw she posted on it ('i've been crusaded!') and it inspired me to post my shots, too. I love this girl's spirit. Even if my style is a cross between an old spinster librarian and a six year old, I like to think that my personality age is stuck at 16. I like to think that no matter how old this girl becomes, at heart, she will remain forever young.

So: having clicked on those above words, what's YOUR fashion age?


the style crusader said...

love this jill. so glad you posted these pics. it's so fun, after us seeing her together and shooting her at the same time, to see your photos and read your story of it.

my fashion age? well... fred used to always tell me that i liked grandma shoes (whatever that means i can't really remember what it was in reference to specifically). i don't really know what my fashion age is. i think i am definitely embracing wearing short things while i still can - there definitely is an age when thigh grazing skirts/dresses is no longer a good look, regardless of how nice your legs are. i'm not sure what my fashion age is... i think it's roughly in sync with my real age. which only has exactly one week left to be 24... i better embrace it! xx

jill said...

that's a good point about the short skirts.. a few years ago mr. dot said i was getting too old to wear something or other, then recently i put a similar thing on (short skirt) & he said it looked great. i was like, but you don't think it's too short? & he said, no, you've got great legs.

i wonder: i mean, 25 is such a milestone.. what kind of things will you have to stop doing in one week's time? i'm not being ironic, i'm truly curious.

just in case, better embrace it anyway!! whatever 'it' is ; ) xox

Rachel - Firebird said...

What a fantastic post! I am frequently looking at clothes and wondering if I am 'too old', when really I should be wearing what the heck I like when I like. She looks amazing and full of life. Lesson noted x

Style Odyssey said...

Provocative question...I don't know my fashion age. Definitely younger than my chronological age, but then again, I think this is a hard question to answer for several reasons.

Obviously, the answer would be very subjective (duh!) First, it's hard for us to see ourselves the way others do. And the question brings up stereotypes about what is appropriate for certain ages: ie, if over 40, don't wear mini skirts or bikinis (yeah, right)...No black until you're grown- ever heard that one?

So to answer- sort of- my fashion age changes daily. And here in the Caribbean, most expat adults dress way younger than their actual age. It's too hot to dress otherwise, so climate is a bigger factor than age, when it comes in regard to apparel. I find this is the case in Miami, too...J, as a frequent Miami visitor, you know what I'm talking about. (But doesn't it make for great people watching!)

Hope you're feeling better soon, J. As for me, not so much- it's those evil allergens!

Volga said...

Yes, this is a very good question. I am raising it to myself often, because I noticed that I want to put on things that many of my friends of similar age don't do any more. It of course depends on your environment - wether it is business or artistic or technical, etc.
But the fact is I am dressing up younger than I am (or you can say, more extravagant, than many people of certaint age don't dare any more). But I want to put on even more extravagant/younger things. And here is a problem, because I don't dare it any more. And maybe it is for the best.

Leah said...

I love this post Jill... my fashion age maybe 18... I'm torn between being a grown-up lady and an adolescent. Hahaha! So we are really soul mates. I'm just older by 2years as per our fashion ages.

I dream of being dotted too... hmmmmmm... maybe when I visit London someday. xoxo

Pearl Westwood said...

Fun post Jill, it reminds me when I was in Milan I dragged my friends to Chanel (they arent into fashion) and one of my friends says about the Chanel suit in the window 'it looks like something an old lady would wear' I was killing myself laughing, so maybe I am an old lady!

Maite said...

Hmmm...how 'bout 15?

Anonymous said...

I saw this girl on Jen's blog as well and loved it! I really like her shirt.

My fashion age is a little bit older I think then my current age, just only from comparing with other people my age. I'd say...23?

By the way, thanks for your comment, I agree that the support in the blogging community is immense. I guess it's partly why I blog!


jill said...

Oh this is such fun! Maite I don't know what your real age is, but 15 sounds about what mine is. Leah in a parallel universe we must be sisters! Pearl, I'm laughing, too: you're a Lady Who Lunches.. with a twist.

Anyone reading this, walk don't run to Pearl's current post

Anonymous said...

Well, I'm 50, and I've been scouring the internet and the library looking for what folks have to say about dress and being 50. And with one exception, it all makes me want to either cry or puke.

A child of the late 60's early 70's I can tell you that the new platforms make me drool seriously. I love what we used to call hip huggers. I was also an early punk so I do the skinny jeans, boots, and leopard coats too.

I have all kinds of clothes in my closet from all the era's and wish I hadn't given my platforms, leopard, and marilyn monroe mules to the thrift store years ago.

But it's kind of hard. Don't want to be a laughing stock but fashion is fun for me. Anti-fashion especially. As long as I'm not doing the sheet shirt with no bra and big embroidered flowers over my bazooms and not acting like a "cougar" (where did that come from?? Cougars are cool not laughable) it should be fun and free and interesting.

One thing I never want is to be a conformist. I started out radical and plan to stay that way the rest of my life. I want my style of dress to show that. So I guess what I am isn't so much 17 or 32 but ME with some discernment.

Love your blog,

jill said...

Cynthia: (first, THANK YOU ; ) just read what you wrote and can't find a way to reply directly but I hope you come back to get to read this: I feel exactly the same way, and I'm also kicking myself for throwing out some of the stuff I had over the years (luckily, I"m a bit of a pack rat - drives my husband crazy - but I can't tell you how many times I don't have to shop because I just shop my closet!)

I agree I don't care about following trends. But I also don't dress to be weird just for the sake of it (and it sounds like, neither do you). On one hand it's sad what 'they' are telling the 'mature woman' to wear but I love the way no one listens to them.

Say it loud and say it proud:


Thanks for taking the time to write this: I hope we'll hear from you again! Do you have a blog? If not, please start one.

Unknown said...

Its always good to act your age, or maybe, if your the childish kind, mature up a bit. but sometime fashion sometimes vouches for more middle aged women who can pull off maxi dresses, and more and more children are starting to love fashion, and they can't find a long enough maxi. my problemo exactly.

lovely post.


Matthew Spade said...

i want to be dotted, it's going to catch on!

that's a tricky one, i'm honestly not too sure about this one, i say i dress my age but look younger, does that count?

GeorgiaAnn said...

Isn't fashion about looking young (or as Volga put it extravagant)? To me fashion is about having fun. Fashion to me is so vain that you have to put some humor in it sometimes. I love my actual age but also like to dress maybe 10 years younger plus a twist...
The girl in the picture is full of life. It is great. Paraphrasing Lou Reed "what's life without living?"

frances said...

I like your questions Lady Dot, I’ve wondered about fashion ages for a while. I fairly sure I’ve finally caught up with mine, I think I’ve been 22 since I was about 18. This isn’t a huge gap I suppose, except for being (almost) either side of University which has made a world of difference to me. Some days it’s all about trying something stupid I can get away with because I’m still young and flighty and feel like it, and other days I feel like being the grown-up I supposedly should be, which I enjoy – in fashion if nothing else.

P.S Actually my general age might be 22 but since 16 my whole consideration of cleavage and how much should be on show has hovered roundabout 70. So 22 with the chest of a 70-year old.

jill said...

Oh these are fabulous answers! You guys are really making me laugh, stuck home in bed. Dixie that's hilarious.

GeorgianAnn: EXACTLY.

Mat: that's always the best combo. If you want to be dotted - actually, anyone that's reading this - the best way for me to find everyone in one place is a little facebook club I've just started:


you don't have to do anything yet - just a good way to get & stay in touch. Anyone reading, please join & spread the word! You, too, can be dotted.

Anonymous said...

I did get your response, sent you an email. I've updated my blogspot profile so you can send me an email.


GeorgiaAnn said...

sorry, just want to add one more comment here (obviously, we've all been thinking about your question). i said earlier i dress 10 yrs younger... i just realized that ten years ago i had my hands full and fashion was last thing on my mind :) so i pay more attention to what i wear now than ten yrs ago ;)
i think i heard on TV that fashion is about taking risk. i would love to walk the talk (i'm referring to my first comment) and be daring. but usually i restrict myself and think "what will my husband (friends) think?" i wish i just expressed myself without worrying what people think

jill said...

but you can!! (sorry - to georgia ann). you can express yourself without worrying what people think, i feel. oh this is so fascinating. i've got to post quick & then get out but this is something i feel so passionate about. i know what you mean, GA, because my husband can make me feel bad about myself with the smallest toss-off comment (it's funny, tho, his style sense is pretty accurate: if he says something doesn't look good on me, he's usually right). then there's my mom.. when we're staying at her summer or winter home on holiday, i have to deal with them both. not all the time: they're used to me wearing things..

okay, you see what i mean. this definitely needs another post or two!

cynthia: yes and i sent you one, too. and we've got to get that photo into a post somehow! thanks for sending.

-h: that is the greatest freakin' comment i've ever seen. in fact: i'm putting it on my sidebar. quote of the day ; )