I’m armed and dangerous with my cell phone and a mirror. Selfies are becoming easier for me, but the camera and tripod are still a recipe for disaster. I’m practicing, but the results are pretty comical so far.
Thanks for sharing your tips on remaining visible in Part 1 of this series. Several confirmed they enjoy flying under the radar of society’s pressure to look a certain way.
But what about the woman who is not happy being passed over and overlooked, merely because she’s gotten older?
Our wardrobe can be a powerful tool in our struggle to remain visible.
Author and stylist Sherrie Mathieson has this to say on the subject of wardrobe:
"The fact that as women get older, the less likely they are to be noticed for their looks (certainly less by men, but also less by other women) is true. Too often the exceptions that get double takes and compliments fall into three groups,
the ones who dress very sexually
the ones who wear something like a bright color or "cute" ("Oh love that color on you! Oh isn't that darling!?)
and the ladies who indulge in non apologetic eccentricity--wearing all sorts of clothing (especially odd hats, lots of jewelry, glasses, scarves and tons of layers, textures and volume in clothing ) to a theatrical effect."
I don’t quite agree. Here’s my take on her three groups.
- Older women are and can look sexy. What we reveal needs to be strategically chosen. It’s often more important which skin shows than how much. Our shoulders for example, seem to be the last place to age. I don’t know about you, but my shoulder skin hasn’t sagged yet.
Case in point…me.
I tried on this dress the other day. It fit, the shoulder skin was fine…but my knees just didn’t cut it. And haven’t for many years. It didn’t matter how many people in the shop told me they liked it…I knew it was too short for me. Sexy dress, maybe. Great dress, yes. Too young for me, definitely. Because I wasn’t comfortable.
I wouldn’t feel confident in this dress, and visibility is all about confidence.
- Color is personal. I’m a fan of neutrals and not pattern. Some women love bright colors because it makes them happy. They don’t call it the Red Hat Society for nothing. These women are making a statement about their visibility. They will not be ignored and it’s their privilege to do so. There is a fine line between colorful and clownish. If we cross that line intentionally, and are confident enough to wear it, that’s our choice.
Case in point, me
Yes it’s black, sort of traditional but has a red asymmetrical lining that sweeps around and buttons in the back. (I know the picture stinks, trust me) I’m extremely comfortable in this coat. In fact it’s my favorite jacket. It’s a double-breasted, floor length Ivan Grundahl jacket that I’ve had for years. When the moths get this baby I’ll be devastated.
- Women who dress with true eccentricity and always have, are fabulous. There’s nothing wrong with trying on new looks and playing with theatricality, so long as you can own the look. If it feels like a costume…beware. Your confidence doesn’t get a boost by feeling like a fraud.
Case in point, me. I have dramatic, head turning garments in my wardrobe, that I wear when I want to make a statement. I love capes, scarves, and drama. I adore hats, and wear them often. They’re attention-getting simply because most women don’t have the confidence to wear them. I don’t think I wear goofy ones…but goofy is in the eye of the beholder:)
We are all a combination of style components that make up our personal style recipe. No one woman has the right or wrong formula for personal style. However, some formulas can be more effective if visibility is your goal.
In Part 3 I will share some choices we can make to regain or maintain our visibility.
Please pop over to read my friend M-T’s take on Youth Fades–Must We? (Part 2).