Women of a certain age and their distinctive style are beautifully captured by photographer Ari Seth Cohen in his new book Advance Style. At last, a tribute of women, "somewhere between fifty and death,"* that spotlights the newfound freedom to reveal a style and character uniquely theirs.
I have always followed fashion trends. From the age of twelve I began sketching and planning my fantasy wardrobe for the coming season. I learned to sew under the guidance of my mother's expert eye, in order to have a new dress for every dance, the perfect outfit for every occasion. I spent hours pouring through fashion magazines and pattern catalogs, with the dream of one day working in the apparel industry. It was my one true passion.
I was fortunate enough to have that career, and still feel a pang of heartache realizing those days are behind me. I always believed fashion was for a lifetime. I was in shock the day I was advised that a woman my age needed a shorter hairstyle. Grief stricken when I was warned I should only wear what was appropriate for the over-fifty figure.
After visiting Ari Seth Cohen's blog this morning, I am newly inspired. Where is it written that women must dress a certain way once she crosses the line past middle-age? Why must I cut my hair to a bob, cover my arms, or wear pastel colors simply because of my age? The fact is, I have more reasons than ever before to dress the way I please, and every reason to be myself - finally. No longer must I adhere to a professional dress code, the assessing eye of a romantic interest, or the criticism of family. I am free to be me, and I've almost forgotten who that woman is.
Visit www.advancedstyle.blogspot.com for wonderful photos, videos, and commentary by women of a certain age. It will grant you permission you might never give yourself to unveil your personal style.
* Quote by artist and actor Ilona Smithkin.