For most of my younger life I didn't give much thought to what my clothes were saying about me. I mean, I cared about how I looked, but didn't focus consciously on my image. Work clothes were professional, predictable and safe. The unconscious message was: you can trust me, I am here for business.
Date clothes were slinkier, shorter and more fun. The message was: I am a fun-loving girl and if I like you, there will be some smooching later. Then there were jeans, tees and sweaters. All clothing was purchased at the mall or in downtown department stores, and yes, I am sure I could "see myself coming and going."
It has been a revelation and a revolution to really dig into fashion in my middle years. After about age 45, I started enjoying clothes in a new way: as a means of expressing myself consciously. I don't mean with a message tee shirt, although I admit to still liking those (they are always on the list of Fashion Don'ts for Women of a Certain Age).
|I'd still wear it, fashion faux-pas or not.|
During my middle years, I am having much more fun with clothing, experimenting and evolving. Now I often think about the messages my look may be communicating. And now my clothes are so much more personal, often found at resale shops and boutiques.
While I never dressed very provocatively, it would feel so strange now. My sexuality is much more personal, not for public view. Think more Diane Keaton, less Courtney Love. So one of my messages is: I am a woman, but not available for consumption!
|I like this message: "I'm covered up but still feminine."|
Another message I hope I am sending is: I am comfortable in my skin. I am not trying too hard, I don't have a need to impress so much any more. Of course I want to look attractive, that's natural, but not at the price of being stuffed into clothing that belongs to someone else.
|Not comfortable in his skin. Love you, Ralphie.|
I am all grown up now, and my wardrobe communicates that message. I am a woman to be reckoned with at times, not a little girl. I am feminine, but not on display. I hope my clothing says that I am approachable too, not snobbish or stiff.
If my dress could talk, I'd like her to say: "Let's have a chat, woman-to-woman, about something fascinating!"
How about you? What would your clothing say if it could talk?? Has the message changed over the years?