fashion for seniors

Fashion for seniors

“Fashion” and “Seniors” in the same sentence – not a phrase you will hear or read very often.

Are we supposed to suppress our desire to be stylish, feel good, look fantastic once we reach retirement age?  Who says so?

 

fashion for seniors

Well, the internet for a start. Try this experiment – go to Google, type fashion in the search box and hit images.  What do you see?

fashion page from google

Notice something?  Exclusively, fashion is the property of young women.

Not a senior in sight, man or woman.  We’ll deal with the gender divide later, but consider that stereotype – fashion is for young women.

Not just the internet of course – magazines play their part, television, film – all responsible for perpetuating the myth that being old means being frumpy, dowdy, out of date. And not interested in fashion.

There are exceptions if you search hard enough, like adding the word “senior” to your search – but they are very much a minority market.  Which is a shame considering the strength of the grey pound.

It is possible of course that marketers are simply responding to demand, and we like to see young people in fashionable clothes.  Mature types, not so much.  It’s what sells, I suppose.

Why is this important?  Because it feeds the narrative that people over a certain age do not (cannot) look appealing or attractive.  That is wrong – your age is just a number, we are all human beings and we are all capable of paying attention to our appearance.  

It also perpetuates a myth – that older people should be treated differently.

Older consumers, who have considerable spending power and make up an increasing proportion of the global population, would seem to be a natural
target for advertisers.

Instead, “the demographic is shunned and caricatured in marketing images,
perpetuating unrealistic stereotypes and contributing to age
discrimination”, according to a new report.

 

Bucking the fashion trend

Those exceptions include some excellent sites which promote senior fashion.

A small sample:

Ari Seth Cohen “challenges cultural norms that equate beauty with youth” He is on Twitter and Instagram.   There is also a Vimeo channel – all of these mediums have some striking examples of style.

Style at a Certain Age has some attractive images in this market.  Strapline – “trends come and go, but true style is ageless”  Who can argue with that?

Realmanstyle has an article titled Man over sixty  They claim that “sixty is a good benchmark for the time when a man can start really shifting from the fashion of middle age to the fashion of the elder gentleman”. 

Stylish seniors

The lack of positive images of seniors is a part of the issue surrounding ageism in advertising, and in society generally. 

How to dress over 60 – men

The style magazine GQ has some advice on how men should dress over the age of 60, and it makes sense.  Basically, don’t try to dress like you are a twenty year old, but that doesn’t mean you have to go shapeless and baggy.

 

They say ” a blazer and smart chinos will be your wingmen over the coming decades as they will look at home for pretty much any event you can attend”. I’m not absolutely sure where a wingman features in this narrative but the advice makes sense anyway.

well dressed man fashion for seniors
Image: Deposit photos

Self Respect

The temptation, in retirement, is to let it all go.  This must be resisted – a shave every morning,  a well kept beard, pressed shirt and trousers – signs of taking care of yourself remains important for your self respect and mental wellbeing. Freedom from the imposed rigours of the workplace is not an excuse for poor personal standards.  In my humble opinion.

How to dress over 60 – women

Missprettypink has an article about this, suggesting that jeans, cardigans, white cotton blouse should be the wardrobe staples.  Comfort and confidence should be uppermost for your clothes choices.

 

In a similar social setting as our man, a woman has perhaps more choices.

A simple floral dress is ideal for parties and other informal gatherings – it is possible to look good without spending a fortune on clothes.

Man speaking here of course.

well dressed woman
Image: Unsplash

Self Respect

Same as above, apart from the shaving and beard care.

Conclusion

We should not be defined by our age – fashion for seniors is important.  Dressing well, perhaps outrageously if you feel like it, remains an option – and makes you feel good too.
Remaining fashionable is a part of being positive in retirement – it contributes to a feeling of self respect, confidence, awareness.  These are necessary for mental health as well as physical being.

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