I’m at a fashion crossroads. You know how in fashion magazines, they tell you that women within certain age groups should adopt trends differently? i.e., In your 20’s you should embrace the latest style craze with open arms; in your 30’s, a head nod or acknowledgement of sorts; and in your 40’s/50’s, an admiration from afarâ€¦perhaps a raised eyebrow and subtle smile if appropriate.
In my early-to-mid 20’s, I was a fashion trend sycophant: wild prints, form-fitting dresses, one-shouldered sparkly tops, 5 inch platform wedge heels, and Fendi baguettes were staples in my daily wardrobe. When suiting up, I was fun, flirty, and daring, and I didn’t really care about the consequences. I was like Lindsay Lohan, minus the stint in rehab. I felt young, powerful, and loved the idea of turning heads.
In my mid-to-late 20’s, I found myself toning it down a bit, mainly because I spent my time lounging at home with friends with a bottle of wine, instead of out at the latest N.Y.C. club with random friends-of-friends, bouncing around to J.T.’s latest song with martini in hand. I attribute that partly to my relationship status, no longer single, but in general, I was growing tired of the exhausting ritual of getting ready for a night out. Down with the hour-long primping session and finding the perfect outfit! Down with strapping myself into sky-high stilettos that always left me limping by the end of the night! I felt like I could still look good and have fun minus all of the early 20’s narcissism and fanfare.
Luckily, fashion seemed to have read my mind and there came laid-back, sort of â€œSoCal glam. Skinny jeans, cute t-shirts and tanks, ballet flats and oversized bags became staples in my wardrobe and my blistered feet and I breathed a sigh of relief.
Now that I’m teetering on the cusp of being shooed into the â€œwhat to wear in your 30’s bracket, I find myself feeling nostalgic and somewhat scared as I enter this next phase in my fashion life. Even though I haven’t quite done it in a while, am I ready to shelf the possibility of looking like a glittery, attention seeking â€œcelebri-tart on a night out in the city? Will I be judged or â€œtsk-tsk’d for rockin’ a sequin mini shift or bubble dress? Should I be more careful of not over-doing it so that I can stay inside the lines of 30’s fashion reason? Is there really such a fine line between â€œWow. You look fabulous! and â€œWoah. Aren’t you, like, 30 or something? I haven’t come up with concrete answers to those questions quite yet since I’m playing it by ear.
But no matter what, my general philosophy has become clear: For as long as I’m still getting â€œwow’d and not â€œwoah’d by the masses, I’m going to keep dressing like I’m 29. Because even if I never muster up the nerve to strut down the street with that sequin shift dress I bought on a whim, no one can deprive me of that euphoric â€œfashion buzz that you can only get by sifting through your cluttered, but trend-filled closet and feeling like anything’s possible!