I went to a jazz concert this weekend and this is what I wore. I'm not a jazz fan, Mr V is. I've no idea how to fit into a jazz crowd either sartorially or intellectually. I find music I can't imagine dancing to hard to relate to, so most of free jazz leaves me scratching my head while I watch the rest of the audience scratch their chins in deep appreciation. So if you can't blend in you may as well stand right out! Thought I'd try my hand recreating the new fetish-ist trend sweeping fashion this season using pieces I already have in my wardrobe. And well, why do things by halves? Sheer, studs, leather, straps. I'm surprised I wasn't arrested.
I wasn't going to post this outfit at all, mainly because it was extremely difficult to get a decent photo of this dress which is made of a thick, semi sheer mesh covered in metal snaps and mirrors. It's a great dress but under a flash it looks hideous. Oh and my arms look like they've had a fight with an army of vampire sucker squids after a night of being squeezed into it!
But I digress... then I read Patti's post at Not Dead Yet Style as part of her Visible Monday series describing the rules she has set for herself on showing some curves in an age appropriate way . She is asking how we feel about showing some curves and I changed my mind and decided to post the outfit after all.
So here I am in a sheer, studded body con dress, leather leggings, bellybutton and bra on show (a nice one mind you). Clearly I don't have an issue with curves, showing some skin or dressing in a high octane fashion usually the preserve of the under twenties in the glossy magazines, but I'm well aware that there are many who would. The idea of Not Yet Dead Style's Visible Monday was to explore how women start feeling invisible after a certain age. I think the messages society gives women about how they should be dressing as they get older enforces this feeling in many ways.
Women over a certain age are always being lectured to about what they should and shouldn't wear - we must avoid trying to be too sexy and yet be womanly, we must avoid dressing too young and yet simultaneously avoid dressing too old, we must cut our hair short because long is undignified after thirty nothing and we should cover ourselves up at all cost lest we offend the general public.
Apart from sounding like a good description of Mission Impossible (and a fairly dull one at that) it's almost that they'd rather you didn't exist! If we aren't being called frumpy on one side, we are being called mutton dressed as lamb on the other, and it is almost always other women doing the name calling. I recall reading a magazine editor in the same article, simultaneously slamming Elle McPherson for being mutton personified in tight slashed jeans and a furry coat, and Nicole Kidman for looking dowdy in a demure forties style tea dress. If these A-list over forties can't get it right what hope is there for the rest of us? Damned if you do, damned if you don't.
Well the age appropriate style police can keep their rule book as far as I'm concerned. I'm much happier embracing my inner mutton, dressing as I damn well please and just being myself. Life is too far short not to throw out the rule book and just have fun with fashion, whatever age you are.
Dress: Christopher Kane for Topshop; Leather leggings: Cos; Boots: Vivienne Westwood