As we age, and as we gain and/or lose weight, the world in general, and in particular, the fashion world, sends us messages about what we should and should not wear. The messages can be confusing, so I've written a primer to help you through. Ready? Here are a few fashion rules we've all got to follow, starting... now!
1. If You're over 40
If you're over forty, congratulations! You've made it this far in a world that often seems hostile toward women who are no longer 39. The key to dressing when you're over 40 is to wear what you love, what you feel flatters your body, and what you're comfortable in. Want to wear heels and a short skirt? If you're comfortable in it, go ahead! Want to wear jeans and flats? Why not? Want to wear neon? Do it!
2. If You're under 40
You're still got that youthful glow, and you've probably not yet experienced the joy and wonder of cellulite, but either way, there are still some strict guidelines you must adhere to when dressing yourself. Chief among them: wear what you love! Prefer cardigans over crop tops? Go ahead and wear cardigans. Don't want to wear yoga pants, leggings, or short skirts? Then don't! It's your body — dress it how you like.
3. If You're Petite
If you're less than 5'3" tall, the fashion world considers you "petite." And as a petite woman, there are certain rules you must follow when dressing yourself, especially if you plan to leave the house. First and foremost: wear whatever you want. If you love it, and it's comfortable, then rock it, love!
4. If You're Tall
So 5'3" and under is petite, and anything over that is considered, to some people (the judge-y types), tall. So... what should a tall girl consider when she's choosing clothes and accessories? She should, of course, think about what she wants to wear, and wear exactly that. (Are you seeing a trend here?)
5. If You're Happy with Your Weight
Despite the fact that the world seems to tell us that, no matter what we weigh, we're either underweight or overweight, there are a few women who are hopelessly, shockingly happy with what they weigh at this very moment. If you're one of these rare women, take note: there are also some fashion rules you must follow. I hate to break it to you, but those clothes you love, that style you've refined over the years? Yes. Wear those clothes, and embrace that unique style.
6. If You're Not 100% Happy with Your Tummy/thighs/bottom
If you're like most women, you've absorbed our culture's misogynistic hatred of women's bodies, unless they are completely cellulite free, are at exactly the right weight (whatever that is), wrinkle free, hairless, spotlessly exfoliated, muscular (but not too muscular) and curvy (but only in the "right" places). If you have, naturally, harbored some disgust and disappointment in your body, you're not alone, and fortunately, I have a helpful fashion rule for you to follow: dress in what you love, and never mind what other persons, they of the jealous nature and catty remark, say.
7. If You're Straight/lesbian/transgender/cisgender
Women of a certain gender identity are not off the hook: they must also follow our culture and media's seemingly arbitrary fashion rules. Primarily, oddly enough AGAIN, wear what you love, what makes you happy, what you feel helps you express your inner human.
Hopefully, you've caught my tongue-in-cheek message, and taken it to heart. In summary, as Taylor Swift has so beautifully articulated, "the haters gonna hate hate hate hate hate." So why not ignore them, and embrace the style you love anyway? After all, this is your body we're talking about here - and since it's YOUR body, you are completely free to dress is however you want, and I heartily recommend that you do. And, loves, do you have any other fashion rules to add to my list? I can't wait to read them!