Monday, 21 November 2011


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


  1. I say hooray for you! I too am tired of rules telling us what to do and not to do. You look great in this outfit. Those boots are just as cool as they can be. I am on the hunt for some FIORENTINI + BAKER boots with the three straps. I love them and don'r really care if anyone else likes them or not. So you go girl!

  2. Brava, V!! So well said. You are making laugh so much about "embracing your inner mutton" : >

    I am so glad you shared this look - you look fierce and gorgeous and visible. Thanks so much for linking up!

  3. I love that you wore this to a jazz concert. I was just thinking of you. I'm glad you are well and looking so gorgeous! I'm with you, throw out that style book for ladies of a certain age. Whatever, people. XO, Jill

  4. That's one sexy dress, V!
    As one of the commenters on my post the other day said, I'd rather be mutton dressed as lamb than lamb dressed as gran. x

  5. Wow, hot outfit. I'm surprised they could concentrate on their jazz!

  6. I love that dress and if anyone can pull it off it's you. Jazz doesn't do anything for me either.

  7. Love it -- did you feel awesome all night?

  8. Great post in many ways!

    1. I love the dress and it`s "Jazz-appropriate" (with pumps though ;))
    2. I fully agree that women should be / dress sexy & womanly until a high age. I`ll rock it til I`m 60!

    Love, Jen

  9. @WendyB - it was a jazz concert - I was (whisper it) a little bored, so next time I wear it I want there to be some music playing that I can dance to!

  10. You look great in that outfit now and, I'm sure, at any age!

    When I was a kid, I always looked up to my cool, hip aunties. Now, I still look up to elegant, "older" women. I recently starting reading the Advanced Style blog which showcases such amazing ladies in their 80s and 90s! As you indicate, style should know no age. Come to think of it, I am sure Anna Dello Russo must be in her 40s already!

  11. Love every detail of your outfit and with you all the way in dressing how we want at any age. What is life for anyway?

  12. Oh my GAWD, that dress is amazing! And you certainly have the figure for it. I'm not a fan of jazz either, hope it wasn't too wretched xx

  13. Well I for one thing you look FAB!

  14. I say wear whatever you want! who cares what other people think. You look amazing in this look. AMAZING.

  15. I love that outfit and am so glad you decided to wear it someplace like a jazz show -- exactly the type of acceptable use of wearing something inappropriate, and something I would have done! I have the matching leggings to your dress, and I'll be 52 next week and you know damn well I wear them and look fabulously inappropriate for my age. I refuse to fade away when my whole life I've been really "out there sartorially. What is some sort of detonator supposed to go off and I'll suddenly want to look like a gran? Great post!

  16. Hi my dear!! A lady after my own heart, your taste in clothes is so virtually the same as mine, I really love this outfit you're wearing- very rock chic and oh so fabulous!! What a coincidence too, I read your post on your CK dress on Monday and found my own at the charity shop on Tuesday!! xx

  17. Fascinating read, V. These issues float in and out of my head all the time: almost every time I get dressed. I don't want to buy new clothes, I like what I have, but a lot of what I have is shaped like this (and I was wondering if that was Christopher Kane - and it is! And for Topshop, what a find.)

    I love this look, and it's very much how I would want to dress, and I often think, isn't it time I grow up, act my age: I am SO old. I mean, really old. But I also feel fitter than I have even the last few years - as fit or more so than when I was young.

    Your last paragraph is so perfectly put, I am going to copy it and save it. I seriously might quote you on my sidebar. Now off to read the Not Yet Dead post!

    Thank you for a really good post, good food for thought.

  18. Ok, that dress is just BADASS! I love it. I just got a studded blazer from Zara and am thrilled with it.

    PS: not the biggest jazz fan either ;)


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