The lengths we go to

Ok, so here’s a vanity statement about me: I’m 5’9” tall, a size ten and I’ve got lovely long legs. Go me! But this is my reality; I’m no longer a teen. Hell, I’m no longer in my twenties. To be completely frank, I can only see my early thirties if I stand on tiptoes at the top of a really big hill.

And now I’m at the top of that hill staring back at my youth, the fashion police might say there is only one way for me to go and that’s over it. Of course I don’t listen to a word. Much. But I do find myself at a crossroads, where things I would happily have worn even five years ago, shorter things in particular, just don’t feel… well, they just don’t feel appropriate anymore.

Which in recent months has led me to ponder: What are the rules when it comes to donning a skirt or shorts once you are less ‘young lady’ and more ‘all woman’? How short is too short?

Given the times we live in, this little quandary isn’t as simple as you might imagine. A few months back I thought I had all the answers; hot pants should be consigned to my fashion history. But then up popped Sandy Shaw on Jools Holland’s Hootenanny, resplendent in shimmery black hot pants.

Whilst the sight of her didn’t make me want to race out and splurge on a pair of Kylie-like hotties, it did get my mind racing. There was a woman old enough to be my mum, wearing hot pants and not just getting away with it, but looking HOT!

Then it hit me; I’ve never been good with numbers. I need to stop focusing on aligning the number of years I’ve been on this planet with my skirt length. I need to stop worrying about dressing appropriately for my age and start focusing on dressing appropriately for my body and me.

The likes of Sandy Shaw and the rest of the Baby-boomer generation have blown the blanket rules for age-appropriate dressing out of the water. We follow in their wake and have the freedom to dress according to how we feel and how our bodies look.

How. Your. Body. Looks. That is the key to it. There are plenty of women 40+ who kill it in shorter lengths. Not just the likes of celebrities like Madonna, Kylie and Elle ‘The Body’ Macpherson, but everyday women who know how to put a look together that works for them.

Of course too much freedom can lead to anarchy and anarchy isn’t necessarily a pretty sight. Can you ever be ‘all woman’ if you only look half-dressed?

To my mind, the easiest way to make sure you don’t trip up is to take a look in the mirror and see the real you, rather than a memory from yesteryear. Dress the woman you see in the mirror and surely you can’t go wrong.

What lengths do you go to? If you haven’t already, why not take a long, hard look in the mirror and work out what really works for you?


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