"but it fits" and other midlife no - no's

just because it fits, it doesn't mean you should wear it

"Just because it comes in your size doesn't mean you should still wear it" is the headline on an old blog post I saw and it struck a real note for me. There was a pic of Ivana Trump looking "luscious" in a little pink play-suit and failing dismally (she even managed a thigh gap). 

It is so easy to see your daughter in an outfit and think to yourself that you could wear it too. Visions are conjured of years gone by and the tanned legs you used to have and the short shorts you used to wear or the singlet tops or even worse - the days of the mid-drift tops! But times change.

The trouble is that I am still a similar (sort of) size to what I was as a young woman - I haven't completely gone to pot. When I put on a nice outfit I am quite pleased with how I scrub up, but that doesn't mean I can get away with that little flippy skirt that looks so cute on my daughter-in-law. Somewhere along life's journey my tanned and toned legs have become pale and a bit crepe-y. My arms aren't quite at the "tuck shop lady" stage but they aren't firm and gently muscled either.

A lot of the outfits designed for younger women rely on the fact that women in their teens, 20's and 30's are in reasonably good shape and can carry off the look. I might be the same size as my daughter, but when I put on a pair of skinny jeans I definitely don't look like she does. There just seems to be a roll here or a bulge there that are more discretely covered by jeans with a little more fabric in them. My tummy gave up the ghost after a couple of pregnancies and there is no way it would want to be on display - it also doesn't look too fabulous in long, slim fitting dresses either.

The term "mutton dressed up as lamb" was not coined lightly - too many of us try to hold on to our youth by slipping into something flirty or flippy or short and sassy and there is a very fine line between carrying it off and looking like Ivana. When in doubt, take a trusted friend with you and get an opinion before you buy it. Don't inflict this duty on your poor husband - mine has palpitations at the thought of walking into a dress shop and he also knows that a negative comment will not win him any prizes in the 'happy wife - happy life' arena. 

So, yes it might fit (especially if you are prepared to wear a bit of spanx under it) but make sure you feel comfortable and confident - if you can carry it off and you don't care what people think then all praise to you, but I am a little too conscious of not embarrassing my children, so I'm doing my best to dress somewhere near my age range (well maybe a few years younger if I can get away with it!)


  1. That photo is priceless and illustrates your point so perfectly. I'd like her thigh gap, though. Just sayin'.

    1. Hi Carol - she is in very good nick "for her" age but a pink playsuit??? really??

  2. Great post. If I have a question about an outfit, I run it by my 17 year old. He always lets me know if something isn't quite right!

  3. thanks Lana - and Yes, 17 year olds don't have to subscribe to "happy wife, happy life" and you can trust that they'll be honest!


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