‘SYDNEY — Once, while I was looking at an apricot-colored vintage dress at a stall on the Upper West Side in New York, imagining myself in it, drinking gin cocktails on the Riviera, my former partner whispered in my ear: “You know, there comes a day when wearing old-lady dresses is no longer ironic.”
Ouch. I was 36. And apparently not even a lamb dressed as mutton, but fast approaching mutton dressing as jerky — if we accept that the way women dress can be likened to the life stages of a sheep.
Deflated, I left that pretty dress hanging on the wire fence surrounding those markets on West 76th. But I still wear vintage.
So what does it actually mean to dress like an “old lady”? Or even just “dress your age”? Women are more often criticized for dressing like younger, not older, versions of themselves. When you reach 40, you’re suddenly inundated with advice about “age-appropriate” wear.’