Back on May 19th, I referred you, gentle reader, to an article at the New Times that spoke to the issues women over 40 face in trying to dress both "age appropriately" and stylishly. (Older, Better, but Harder to Dress).
Subsequently, I've come across two takes on this article:
Over at To Fat for Fashion Miss J posts...
The Age Old Question
Over at Daily Fashion Report see the post "Rage" of the Age" (Note: You'll have to go down the page somewhat to find it...)
To me, these two posts, both of which which, by the way, make some very good points, symbolize the disconnect between the people who are "in" the "fashion" business and the majority of folks who actually wear clothes!
While Miss J. muses on the very real issues in dressing all women who don't meet the "fashion" world's standards face, the post on the DFR, is basically dismissive of those very real issues (along with a cheap slam at people who struggle with weight issues!).
Even through the DFR article actually does have some good tips on how one might address post 40 dressing, the whole attitude reeks of someone who has never actually shopped with a woman who didn't either, 1. Come to the party with a body no less than a size 6 and, 2. Didn't have all the money in the world to spend (In fairness, she does make the statement that good pieces can be found for less than designer prices - but she doesn't seem to realize that while that is a "true" statement as we say at work, it is no easy matter - I speak from experience! Which, I believe, was the whole point of the NYT article!).
Case in point - her example of ageless style is a woman named Iris Barrel Apfel, who's clothing style is presently being honored in an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum’s Costume Institute – Rara Avis: Selections From the Iris Barrel Apfel Collection. You can get a feel for the lady and the exhibit in this article from Panache Mag:
Wardrobe of a Lifetime
The article is a good one and just reading the interview with the lady in question reveals some approaches to building a wardrobe that anyone can learn from. I especially love her comment on accessories - I totally agree with her on the value of accessories in keeping a very basic wardrobe fresh and interesting.
But still, note this - she is plenty thin and has plenty money!
Maybe that is the biggest issue with the fashion business. Like politics there's too much money in it - from the point of view that designers and those that report on fashion spend most of their time with the monied classes and very little with the people that actually support their business - the folks that buy their "cheaper" clothing lines and never ending accessories and fragance lines where the real money is made.
To see what those folks think and face when trying to find clothes post 40, check out Miss J's post and the open discussion attached to it.