My fashionista daughter in Paris forwarded me a link to Advanced Style, a blog on chic into one’s golden years, or silver years, or wizened years, or something.
Thanks for thinking of me and HNTAO, sweetie, though I’m not sure whether to be flattered or insulted by the viewpoint of this blog. On the one hand, gee, it’s nice when someone, anyone, notices that people over 40ish exist, much less applauds them for their superior style. When that applause is public and coming from the Evil Young, it’s truly a breakthrough event.
And yet, do I detect a whiff of patronization here? A hint of: Yeah, those silver-headed wizened people, they’ve got individual style, sometimes even chic, but they’re not truly hot and cool like us.
I was disappointed not to find a single person on the blog who I aspired to dress like, though I’m always on the lookout for old people style role models. The best one I ever found was an ancient Asian man I spotted on a beach in California, wearing a straw hat, a white shirt, black pants, and brown sandals. Now that’s authentic and eternal chic.
It used to be, in New York, that young people lived in the Village, and old people lived in Queens. Young people lived on the Upper West Side, and old people lived on the Lower East Side.
All that’s changed around now. Why? Money, honey. Young people want to live where it’s cool, but they have to live where it’s cheap, which forces them to move to places that are less cool, which makes them more cool, which makes them more expensive, whereupon all the young, cool, poor people are forced to move even further out to the frontiers of Brooklyn.
Following this reasoning, Greenwich Village was last marginally affordable in the beatnik era, and now you need to be Graydon Carter to live there. Cool, maybe, but still old.
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My husband says all the ways not to act old can’t be depressing (i.e., things he himself does), so as #1 I offer up using language that has no right to come out of lips that are more than 45 years old….make that 35….make that 14.
Using too-young slang is akin to wearing a yellow miniskirt or driving a Zipcar: It makes you seem older because you’re trying so hard to be comfortable with something that was obviously minted by and for a generation that came way after yours. Yeah, I have one post-40 friend who can say awesome in what sounds like her native tongue, but most people in the middle ages shouldn’t try to say anything more modern than “cool.”
Of course, you don’t want to swing too far the other way and use outmoded words like keen, neat, or smart.
Groovy is acceptable when used with irony. Great is always okay.
But rad? Ill? Tight? Please.
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