let's romp

How was your weekend everyone? I hope it was gorgeous.

Just a quick post now - I must run out & meet some (non blog) friends - and this isn't the post I meant to do this morning. These are just some quick 'off the hip' street shots inspired by an anonymous comment on lace that has me spitting mad. 'If the shoe fits', she told me, even tho that wasn't even me in the photo. 'Time to grow up.'

Can someone tell me, why are bullies ALWAYS cowards?

I never get cruel comments - kudos to all of you, truly - and on the rare times I do, I don't like to delete them, because I want this to be a forum where we can all feel HEARD. And the article she (she's got to be a female) attached is quite good. I shot this woman in the white dress, here, because I felt it was a good example of a woman who is not a teenager looking good in frothy white. I, on the other hand, looked ridiculous in it when we had our ping pong tournament party last weekend, and won't be wearing that dress again. We were driving up to Herfs this weekend and I swear, I was thinking about how bad I looked in that dress and just at that moment Mr. Dot said 'you looked ridiculous in that dress' - from a week before!

There's nothing wrong with the dress, it's just too cute for me. It's gonna be a give-away soon so watch this space.

The point of the article was that 'Jackie Kennedy didn't dress 'cute' ' and therefore, if we're over 30, neither should we. You can read my long response in the comments, and I'd love to hear your thoughts. The woman I quickly shot in these sandals - unaware - was no spring chicken, either. But I'll be damned if I'm not going to enjoy wearing my sparkles and my sequins and my hot pink toe nail varnish! I will dress as 'cute' as I like, thank you very much, and I hope all of you out there will, too.

There. I feel soooo much better. Didn't want to go round carrying that in my head. I'm really into white - everyone is, it seems - and I'll post more when I'm back later. I'm loving the combination of white, lace, white tee's, bits of black, little details that froth it up or toughen it up. Fashion is fun! Let's just lighten up, folks: life is difficult enough. One minute you can be 21 and graduate college and the next, you're at the gym not even exercising hard, and your lung collapses. As the Citizen Rosebud said: "We don't need to dress like 20 year olds, but I am still wearing my romper, with my lady thighs and all."

Your thoughts, please, in 25 words or less. Or more! ; )


Unknown said...

love the nail polish colour.. :))love CUTE dresses :P

the style crusader said...

whoa. the whole anon comment madness slipped over my head as i hadn't looked at the comment for that post... just did though. i agree, there is something to be said for dressing your age. but, i'm learning more and more that people should be left to their own devices to dress the way they want. no one should feel they have the superiority to dictate what others should wear. sure, it might not be to my taste... but why should that person care? they can wear what they want - if they asked my opinion i'd give it, but otherwise lay off.

i'd like to think my style will evolve as i get older. that there will be things i wouldn't wear at 30, 40, 50... that i'm wearing now. there are already things i wore when i was 18 that i wouldn't wear now. but it's a personal choice.

there is nothing wrong with dressing 'cute' (whatever you might interpret that to mean?) at 17, 35, 57 or 77.

p.s. would love to see this white dress that you wore... i think i might know which one it was....??


Jill, YOU ARE CUTE! (See pictures from below blog post) and you have a much better body than my 20 year-old one. You can wear whatever you want. Dressing 'for your age' is such a grey area, it entirely depends on your figure, your personality, the occasion...

Like you say, these blogs are our chance to express our individual tastes and voices. Let's not let a few cyber bores get in the way of that.

Here's to ageless style and looking 'cute'!

Imogen x

Adorngirl said...

down with the naysayers, obviously that comment is a person who lives a very boring life. the best times i had with dressing up, and looking cute when I was younger and if I want to hold on to that let me be.

style changes over time, and if i looked the way you do now I would be laughing.

look at people like vivienne westwood, cameron diaz, breaking the mould looking hot, and completley stylish age ain't nothing but a number, baby. x

Clazzerati said...

I'm echoing your comments Eight London, "here's to ageless style". I'm constantly having to battle with my mum (who is 63 with great style) that she can still where things "at her age" because she constantly fears that people (mostly other women) will criticise her for it. People like this woman really make me angry. The lady in white with the heals - i envy how sophisiticated and cool she looks in the heat. And I want your pink nail varnish- your feet look fab,

Long live sequins and sparkles! I plan to keep my inner fairy with me till the day I die.


Kathleen said...

This was definitely the topic to get me involved! I've been reading your blog for about a year (loving it), and I credit you (along with nudges from my teenage daughters) with helping me follow my own style. I tend not to do "cute" since I am petite and I always thought it makes me look like I'm about 5, but lately I've just gone ahead and tried it anyway. Surprize! I look great. I agree with @ Eight London, it's all about the individual circumstances and personalities. Now, on to updating my (drab) taste in nail polish!

adrielleroyale said...

Seriously, I think the majority rules here! I too am always encouraging my mother to stick with some of the things she loves and to make efforts to not "tone down" her wardrobe. The individual is really what can pull off a cute look, sophisticated look, business, ultra casual, gypsy-ish, Bavarian, or whatever! We all know those people who even though you may not be able to pull off their look (or may not even really like it), they clearly pull it off without a hitch because it goes with their personality. There will always be blunders in the search for individual style, but without mistakes there can never be discovery. Like Edison says "I've not failed, I've just found 10,000 ways that don't work". And don't even get me started on age in general! lol I've met 2 different 60 year olds where one is MUCH older than the other, yet the number is the same. Same thing with any age, everyone is different, thereby confirming that...

Age is just a number! :)

Style Odyssey said...


Having not read the comment (yet- I'm about to in a moment because I'm that curious), based on your text and the above comments, I'll go ahead of myself. I can say w/ all honestly, especially having met you: My opinion is that you are cute. (Cute definition: Delightfully pretty or dainty.) Cute can be an ageless attribute. I've even seen old ladies who I'd categorize as "cute".

I'll bet the comment was by "anonymous". Those negative or downright rude ones almost always are.

As for wearing age-appropriate attire, you know I am 45 years old (there, I said it!) and I am sometimes clueless about what I should retire from my wardrobe. Admittedly I do look younger- it's in the genes, thanks to my parents. And being petite, I can "get away with" youthful outfits. That said, I just don't feel like wearing some of the styles I wore during my youth- even into my 30s (goodbye body-con! Yuck.)

I agree with style crusader in that people ought to be left to their own devices when it comes to dressing. Style and taste are symbiotic. The definition of taste: The faculty of discerning what is aesthetically excellent or appropriate.

mtg said...

love the sandals and the polish.
I am so tired of rules. I am surrounded by judgmental people who only care to look PROPER (just this word alone makes me nauseous). I've never been a rule breaker type but I think at 38 I am turning into a rebel. :) :) :0
thanks for your post. remember the one you did a few month back asking what our fashion age was? that post was one of my favorites...

styleeast said...

I am appalled at the rudeness of that comment on your "Lace" post. So snotty, bitter and pathetic. What is WRONG with people? If you don't like the blog, don't read it.


This post made me laugh as I read it immediately following a discussion with two people at work. I was admiring one girl's bow-adorned sailor top and the other one told me I couldn't pull it off because I couldn't "do cute"! I get what she's saying, I'm far from cutesy, but surely the great thing about fashion is wearing whatever you want, breaking the "rules" (rules shmules!) and not about trying to conform!

In happier news though, I'm channeling "land girl" chic at work lately, according to my colleagues, and that seems to be going down well ;)


Anonymous said...

'Land Girl Chic!' I love it and you know what? Whoever said that, kudos: I think that's going to be the title of your post!

This is fascinating - thank you all for taking the time to write these really thoughtful, inspiring comments. I LOVE THIS: having this virtual salon. If only we were in the same room, literally.

Oops: in my hurry to read these and reply, I forgot to sign in, so this will come in anonymously, but it's me. Little. OLD. Me: polka dot

Anonymous said...

What a rude comment! Shame on him/her. It doesn't really make sense or apply to the post.

Regardless of what other people think, people should be able to dress however they want, whatever their age. Unless it's really offensive (as in near to nudity), I don't really care. If anything I admire people who continue to have this unique style through life where they obviously know how they like to dress and what suits them. And you're one of those people!

So whatever, I feel sorry for Anon - obviously will be missing out on the fun of dressing up in her lifetime.


Olivia Isabella. said...

Went straight back to read the article, again - in case I missed anything - and the comment and was baffled as to why such a post would cause such a reply. Your comment really summed up what I was thinking. I know it may be incredibly naive and closed minded but I just really find it hard to comprehend why on earth people are just purely mean. For NO reason. And I suppose you could say that everyone is entilted to their own opinion blah blah blah. But, okay, "anonomous" may say that I'm a bad/silly/stupid/etc person for doing "this", whatever it may be. However, I KNOW that I am not as a bad/silly/stupid person as "anonomous" because I would NEVER comment/say anything like that to someone.
Phew. I know what you mean; I feel better now also.
UO x

Love Food said...

I really cannot fathom why that person said that. You always look absolutely amazing and have the most fantastic figure!
What a boring world it would be if we had dress how others thought we should dress.
Must be a sad little person who made the comment and your response to it was brilliant.
The woman in the picture by the way looks lovely. The dress reminds me of that famous marylin monroe dress.

Lydia xxx

Pearl Westwood said...

Whah! I go missing for a few days and all this happens! I have recently had to add moderator to my comments as all the arses seem to have crept out lately. Personally I don't belive their is any such thing as dressing your age, only dressing for your style.
I was being very naughty in Harvey Nic's buying more shoes on Sat, when a lady who I guess was in her late 60's sat next to me. She was wearing a white blouse, navy slacks and comfy looking walking sandals. She slipped off the sandals and on went a pair of black with yellow stripe McQueen heels. Instantly transforming her look, but also her persona. The hugest smile spread across her face, I said they look fabulous, and she said she hoped I would still be wearing sky scraper heels when I was pushing a Zimmer frame. To me that is style, age regardless.

Andrea said...

I think dressing in your 30's is really hard. There are parts of my body i hate but I do have good legs so I love wearing shortish cute dresses to make the most of my assets...though I do keep wondering when am I too old to do this. I don't want to be dressed like Mutton. Then I think of celebrities who are older than I and I think maybe it's just every day society that expects women to dress a certain way...As for sparkling flip flops I still wear mine every day!

Sister Shirley said...

Wow, what a great discussion. I just returned a pair of Miu Miu mary jane pumps (the ones with the cats) because they felt too girly.

I find myself intentionally using my grandmother and great-grandmother as fashion icons, heading full steam ahead into little-old-lady way style before my time. Scarves, pencil skirts or longer, Edwardian style skirts, pinned-up Victorian hair, and wire-frame glasses. For better or worse, my strategy is to embrace the old before it embraces me.

UnoCosa said...

hi, hi ,, Jill! i know this is a bit late as i've been, obviously, not being able to keep track with blogshpere as often as i would like ... but, i do want to express my support on dressing the way you feel like ... the definition of "age appropriate" is, in fact, a social definition, imposed by the social climate, what the norm, at the particular moment of time, considers "normal" ... it really is a just another way to categorize people, you know, like how people generalize everything, from what age should be wearing ponytail to how high you neckline should be??

I admire your will to bring out this topic and do not hold back your opinion - i try my best to be neutral though, often, find difficult when i come across reactions of certain people - and the quesiton you asked always baffled me as well - i don't mind people expressing themselves - but why (of course we know why) do them hide? if they don't wanto to reveal - what pleasure do they get to express their negative and super judgmental opinion??

btw: if you have time, there is a nice article on wire magazine about how to behave in cyberspace ... very interesting article - and really pin point the essence of social media - it really is about positive supports to each others ... there are enough negatives around our daily life, who needs to add more??

hope you enjoy your time off, xx

Veshoevius said...

Thank you for posting pics of older women looking fabulous and fashionable! I personally found the Jacki O article depressing. Let's not forget she was of another era too where expections of and opportunities available to women where quite different to today. Later generations have had more financial independence and freedom to express themselves so why not enjoy? I am way past thirty and still buying shorts, sequins, fancy shoes and lace and don't intend to stop any time soon!

the Citizen Rosebud said...

I'm going to have to go back and read the following comments. The thing that threw me off the most was that the picture was of a young girl with her mother. NOT YOU. You who doesn't seem to fight her age, but embrace herself in her entirety, which is probably why you're so good at taking such great portraits of people. But I digress....

perhaps it hit a nerve with me, because I dislike useless, negative comments and wasn't used to seeing them here.

perhaps it's because I'm a cute old lady, an "ingenue" who is trying to best to 1)dress to express herself 2)dress appropriately for her environment, while still remaining true to her unique spirit 3) dealing with the typical vanity issues that comes with aging.

or maybe just perhaps, while the article was good and I agreed with so much of it, I was offended by the nasty spirit it was pasted onto your comments. Kinda harshed my buzz, and I usually leave your blog feeling pretty inspired and happy.

Wishing you a blissfully cute kinda day. xo.

jill said...

Thank you, both of you, Rosebud AND Veshoevius. I feel that one Anonymous comment kind of threw me, too, and then - I forget which post now, but one of them - someone named something like 'Disinfranchised in Detroit' then got angry with me for assuming that whoever Anonymous is, She was.. what did I say? Not attractive, I think, and not 'slim and healtily fit'. What I meant to say was, I'm sure whoever posted that, had a degree of self loathing and envy.

It's just not on, and if it was directed at any of the women and, occasionally, men, who agree to let me photograph them and post the shots, I'd have deleted it. But since she clearly was taking pot shots at me, I chose to keep it, so that we could use this as a sounding board for a conversation.

But yes, it hit a nerve with me.

And Veshoevius (LOVE that name by the way: really clever), I've read so much about Jackie Kennedy, and in many ways, feel a kind of kinship with her (more about tht another time). Fashion was just one way that she was an icon, she also transformed the White House. She chose to behave with a public dignity for the sake of her husband's presidency, and, for example, even tho she was a heavy smoker, she was careful to never be photographed in public smoking.

And in terms of dressing her age: let's keep in mind that when she was photographed in the iconic widow's veil, she was only 34. She packed a lot of living into a very small amount of time, and died, tragically, far too young.

In her private life, she dressed as casually as the rest of us: sandals and shorts and swimsuits. And she broke a lot of fashion rules in her own way, for that time. She jsut wasn't into ruffles and lace, which was the norm at that time, so even in that way, she was a bit of a rebel.

What a great debate! Bring it on. Anonymous, you're staying rather quiet tonight ; ) What are you, chicken?

Anonymous said...

Dear Polka Dot:

First, I would like to apologize for my comment – which was unintentionally rude. Your blog is interesting, with lovely photos. I did not intend to hurt your feelings, or offend your readers.

I did not respond earlier because I am in another time zone (physically & figuratively). I posted my comment last night, so I was terse. I should have held my tongue, or written a comment when I had more time to put it into context, which is crucial in cyberspace where critical comments can easily be construed as unkind.

My terse post was not a comment on any particular photograph. You have an eye for beauty, which you capture and share. It’s just that lately, your subjects seem to be getting younger– or just dressing that way. Lately, you seem to be focusing on pretty, which can descend to super cute. (Examples, “Lace”, “Juicy”

You are in your 30s and living in London. What a fabulous decade in your life and a wonderful place to live. You are surrounded by fabulous contemporaries to “shoot” e.g. “Let’s Romp” and “Birthday Girl” are older. I’d like to see more modern 30-somethings.

Our culture puts so much emphasis on being young. Magazines are filled with young models (16-21) dressed to appear decades older. But the clothes shown are too expensive for most, and often unsuitable for 50+ women. I prefer street fashion blogs, it’s more interesting & attainable. .

Youthful dressing can descend into childish attire very easily. For example, in my early 50s I went downtown to meet former professional colleagues for lunch. I dressed in grey blazer, grey A-line skirt, burgundy silk V-neck, purple/burgundy silk scarf, burgundy tights and square-toed, heeled Mary Janes. I thought I looked professional yet colourful. However, a younger colleague told me” you look like a school girl” I was hurt. But her critical comment was a gift – and it was apt. She made me pay more attention to my appearance. I still wear coloured tights and Mary Janes, but ensure my overall look is more sophisticated.

Yes, by all means one should wear what one wants and what makes one happy, be it sparkly, bright, shiny, etc. But all things in moderation. IMHO, as one ages, it is more flattering to appear youthful, rather than childish.

And in answer to your supporters, I am neither unfit, nor ugly nor mean spirited. I am model tall, but not willowy. A size 14, I am delighted the “plus size” models are built like me. It has helped me to accept my own size & shape. I work out 3-4 times weekly to keep fit. I love menswear, and lots of colour. Dressing is fun for me. I look to blogs for inspiration – different colour combos, modern takes on tailored clothes. The Sartorialist and Garance Dore often inspire me with insight into fashion in New York and Paris. I read your blog to gain insight into fashion in London.

Again, I apologize for upsetting you.


jill said...

Dear Louise, thank you so much for this wonderful letter. I dreamt last night that I woke up and all my followers unfollowed me. I felt terrible about that bitchy comment about this Anonymous person being whatever I said.. unattractive and unfit. I told my husband about it and he thought I was crazy. (He said 'that's slander, JIll' to which I replied, well, hardly: I don't even know who I'm insulting!)

That's also so unlike me: I've worked so hard to keep the tone of my blog kind and supportive, and expected that from others, too. And I based it on my own experiences in the past, without considering that the person who wrote it might not be anything like what I was assuming them to be. (I love that old line 'never ASSUME, it makes an ASS of U and ME')

I find that we all tend to colour our reactions to things in the present, from things in the past, and that's what I did yesterday. I've had experiences thruout my life - going back to childhood - with female 'friends' who have been competitive with me, and not understood that they were coming from a place of envy. And I let my fear of their envy - my fear of their anger - rule my feelings, and my choices. I spent a lot of time and energy trying to befriend those kind of women, just because I wanted everyone to like me. Which, of course, is an impossible goal.

I'm not saying I was ever a supermodel, but when I see other young girls now going thru the same thing (the latest argument, which I can see their point, is that for girls who tend to be slim - just genetically - that they feel that if it's not right to criticise someone for being overweight, that same rule should apply to underweight girls. And yet that seems to be fair game: that group doesn't seem to get the same kind of sympathy).

There is so much I want to say about this. You sound like a lovely woman, Louise. And I really did like the article, and the excellent debate it sparked! We women can be so supportive to each other, and also, at times, so cruel. So can't thank you enough for taking the time to write this. And I apologise for saying those insulting and UNTRUE things about you!

My email btw is jill.adams.uk@googlemail.com, if you'd like to stay in touch outside the blog. Where are you based? I'm thinking that this could lead to a really wonderful post. It certainly has helped me question myself, and hopefully, grow. Which is always a good thing.

many thanks, Jill

Anonymous said...

Dear Polka Dot:
I sent you a message offline, but you may not have received it. Check your spam folder in email for a message with subject line
from "Louise" formerly Anonymous.


the Citizen Rosebud said...

Ih I'm so glad I've got to read the follow-up! I feel so much better.

The Photodiarist said...

so funny . . . I am wearing the white dress (the one in the first photo) right now. At least I think it is the same - by All Saints.

BTW, am glad about the happy ending here. The whole argument was a bit stressful! I've never seen you so upset on your blog. Turns out that Louise is pretty cool after all.

jill said...

Oh Louise is very cool: in fact we've been emailing privately & I really like the way she thinks. Isn't it a funny old world?

I'm really stressed in general now: everyone has their time and this is mine (ours). In fact you couldn't make up what we're going thru now. So this stuff on the blog has just been like a little sub plot. I might need to take a holiday from posting for a while. I'm getting scared to turn on the computer!! ; )

But truly: thank you, each of you, for taking the time to write and get involved. These are important issues, I realise it isn't politics or war or that kind of important, but it's important to our hearts, our souls, and I feel we need to talk about this stuff.

Style Odyssey said...

amazing how this all worked out, Jill. i'll bet somehow, you were meant to meet Louise, even though it was stressful for a day or so on the blog! but what an interesting discussion, really. i do believe most of us are on the same page. but really, what a way to meet, right?

hope things are better soon all around (and your D.R. trip is just around the corner!) what a crazy few days you've had! xoxo