Should Older People Wear Jeans?
Gosh we are coming over all controversial! Amongst the many thorny issues that there are surrounding the subject of aging, perhaps the prickliest of all right now is the question of fashion. Blogs and forums seem to be overrun with articles and comments about what people should wear when they reach a certain age and more particularly what they should not wear. The biggest question of all seems to be should older people wear jeans?
Before I even attempt to answer that brain teaser perhaps I should first look at what constitutes "older" these days. Believe me, there was a time when you might have been considered to be on the slippery slope when you reached 30. For instance, if you went to a gig back in the 80's almost everyone present, including whoever was onstage, would be 25 or under. These days at many gigs most of the audience are over 45! The people on stage are often even older than that and still rocking and also wearing jeans I might add!
Our lives and culture are changing and many influences have forced us to adjust our attitudes to age. Thanks to better standards of living and improved healthcare we are all living a lot longer for a start. In the not too distant past when you reached 25 you may have been a fair way beyond the half-way point of your life. In the 21st century, for many people, the age of 50 is more like the half-way house. People are living longer and now face having to work longer too which keeps them more in touch with the younger generation.
Putting Up a Fight
There is certainly a greater resistance to growing old. Perhaps because our culture appears to now value youth a great deal more than experience. We are all trying to stay young and a lot of businesses are making a mint out of selling us anything which purports to foster youthful looks. We are spending fortunes on lotions and potions, surgery, dental work and gyms. The lines between youth and age have been blurred and that can certainly be seen in our fashion choices. However, fashion remains an issue which causes anxiety.
Mutton Dressed as Lamb
Because we are remaining more youthful both in appearance and attitude the question of what to wear has only become a source of greater confusion. It is easy to find yourself in the midst of an identity crisis when how you feel doesn't match your actual age. Nobody wants to be the object of derision for wearing anything too overtly youthful and that mutton dressed as lamb accusation is still lurking in the shadows ready to leap out. On the other hand few people enjoy the thought of retreating into their twin set and pearls or flat cap.
The one item of fashion that most people do now cling to throughout their lives is their jeans. Which returns me to the original question. Is it OK for older people to wear jeans? Well with so many cuts and styles to choose from there are jeans to suit just about every figure so I really cannot imagine why anyone would need to pose this question in the first place!
Are We Asking The Wrong Question?
Perhaps the question that we should be asking is not if but what? What style of jeans should you wear when you reach a certain age and what is that certain age? For sure some of us manage to keep in shape for a lot longer than others. If you are a trim and fit woman then even the coolest skinny jeans are going to look great and I don't see any reason why an in shape older gent should dress like a coffin dodger either!
Things get a little more difficult if the passing years have exacted a toll on your body. It is harder to keep the weight off as you age and childbirth can affect the female figure. Happily there are jeans that can flatter a prominent belly and help prevent the dreaded muffin top! For the aging fashionista it is a case of knowing your body and what suits it and happily those extra years have generally brought with them a greater self-knowledge.
Of course older people should wear jeans! Jeans are indeed the great leveller in the world of fashion. Jeans have become so popular because they are comfortable and durable, because they can be dressed up or down, because there are so many different styles. These are the most versatile garments in the history of mankind and so there are certainly jeans for everyone.
Society and attitudes have changed and will probably continue changing for some time. I actually think that perhaps any controversy about what older people should wear is being fuelled by the young. The lines between the phases of our lives have been blurred and the younger generation may be feeling that their parent's generation are camping on their patch. For so long youth culture was about being different and about rebelling and it is hard to look rebellious when your Dad has the same clothes as you!
What young people should be mindful of is the fact that at this juncture the whole youth culture thing is rather anaemic and less than rebellious when it comes to fashion. Some people seem to think that they are the epitome of radical is their posterior is hanging out of their jeans and they are wearing their baseball cap back to front. They have nothing on those who grew up in the 70's and 80's.
80's Icon Adam Ant at 55
In the 70's spandex disco jump suits gave way to the tartan, chains, safety pins and ripped everything of the super reactionary, gobbing Punk Rockers. Then the 80's arrived and everyone went all New Romantic with outrageous costumes and an outbreak of androgyny that saw many men with heftier cosmetics bags than their girlfriends! Those were times when young people really went for it.
The thing is, the youth of the 70's and 80's are now the 50, 60 and 70 somethings of today. They came of age at a time of excess and extremes. Little wonder that they don't find anything radical at all about wearing the current fashions. Young people may be trying to protect their fashion territory and thinking that older people are dressing too youthfully but for those older people modern fashion probably feels rather conservative!
Steven Tyler Still Cool in Jeans at 70
At Jean Store we have the right jeans for everyone and at the most amazing prices. Let age be no barrier to enjoying our fabulous collection!