Advanced Style: Age & Beauty



Stills from the short film “Advanced Style: Age & Beauty”


Yesterday, this short but sweet little film debuted on the website “Nowness”

It’s a collaboration between Ari Seth Cohen (from the blog Advanced Style, which you’ve seen here before) and filmmaker Lina Plioplyte.

Please click on the link below, (after reading my post)

It’s pretty much gonna make your day 🙂

Advanced Style: Age & Beauty



I‘ve been planning this post, working title; “When Do I Have to Stop Wearing This?” for so long now that I’ve aged enough to add two more clothing items to my list!  Having grown up hearing the phrase “Mutton Dressed as Lamb” (which I abhor) I started worrying relatively early about “age appropriate” attire.  Now that’s not to say I’m entirely innocent of the crime- pas du tout! It’s hard when you’ve loved clothes all your life. Luv, luv. Guilty, GUILTY!  So, though I’m not exactly walking around in mini skirts & rompers… skinny jeans still in the closet? Hell ya.  Sequined Mariboo bolero jackets?? Yes, Officer, that was me 🙁    A girl middle-aged woman’s gotta have her sparkle.  If we can no longer go short, sleeveless, strapless, midriff baring…

If a glittered eye, deeply rouged lip and navel baring decollete is but a ghost in the mirror, where do we now find our flirtation?

Are we to slowly curl up and raise the walls of our cocoons again?

But it feels like only yesterday that we became butterflies.  Not fair!!

I’m taking my Barbie stuff and going home.


Photo via Vogue

Newly Unfurled Butterfly Stage


Japanese Vogue editor and Seasoned Butterfly,  Anna Dello Russo



Lauren Hutton- a wonderful example of advancing with grace, wouldn’t you agree?


After seeing this little film, I’m going to start celebrating every age and stop caring so much if I look younger from the back than the front. At least I look younger from one angle!

I’m not going to be so hard or judgmental with myself…or others, for that matter.  Even Rhianna.

I will shun those “Who Wore it Better”? magazine photos- Everyone wears it well in their own way!


I’m going to pull out all my accessories and organize them by colour again.

Why, I might even wear red lipstick tonight…

(OK, that so lasted 5 minutes)




And Here’s to being brave,  having fun with your clothes and looking great at any age!


Keep Young & Beautiful by Annie Lennox



an old photo of my some of my lavender accessories.




above  photos  via “Advanced Style” (the blog)


Helen Mirren






Last three fabulously chic images via The Sartorialist  (link above in Slim’s Pickings)


I would love to hear your thoughts on “Age Appropriate” style!





  1. I will never stop wearing bikinis, and will go sleeveless forever (of course I work out like mad too)
    but short skirts, no, that one left a while ago. I do always love it when I see a brave Fellini-esque
    woman wearing all the wrong age clothing and even over done artifice of hair and make-up-
    I can’t do it- gone are most of my massive little black dress collection, and the bikinis have gotten a bit larger on the bottoms but hey- why not just do as we please? It’s our lives our bodies and yes, it happened in a flash
    great post SP
    hard but great

  2. Great post. I have always loved Lauren Hutton and Iris —amazing ladies. I guess the main goal of living is getting to the point where you are comfortable with and within your own personal skin. Mary

  3. I think you might be taking this new “maturity” stage too seriously. While sky high mini skirts might no longer be appropriate (unless you still have the legs for it, and then there are no age restrictions – some of the most glamorous women I have ever seen were in their 70’s,on the beach in shorts or shorts skirts and were profoundly inspirational!). At the same time I completely understand your drift…..following the birth of my second child I was,(gulp)40 years old and my greatest fantasy was for over the knee black leather boots. OK, even I recognize that that particular moment had passed. Regardless, there are still many ways to pull of the “glamorous mom vibe” and my daugthter loves that I don’t look like the rest of her school chum’s mothers. And…..while no-one I know personaly (I live in a stuffy town) would be buying that green furry chubby – taking it home and realizing she had the perfect sparkly tank top to coordinate it with, and no doubt pulling it off – you go girl! I have no doubt that your husband fully appreciates your efforts. It doesn’t get better than that!

    • How great- to be “Profoundly Inspirational”!
      Ahh, Yes…the over the knee boots- sadly, I was too self-conscious to really enjoy them the first time round, and a bit late for the second go round. Or so I thought- until this film…Ha!! 🙂

  4. Oh yeah, that cut your hair off – totally off the table. My hair has never been better and I intend to keep it as long as I want – for as long as I want! The guys still love it.

  5. When I went to the exhibit of Iris Apfel’s clothing and accessories at the MET a few years ago (she’s the first photo above), and saw the same plastic charm necklace I had stolen from my children 30 years ago lovingly displayed as one of her treasures I knew we were birds of a feather. If you’ve never seen the book from that exhibit (Iris Apfel-Rare Bird of Fashion) you are in for a treat and inspirations beyond words.
    I don’t think I have ever worn the same outfit twice…….not that I have an unending wardrobe by any means, but I have always gotten up and created a new “painting” of clothing and accessories……….it’s my first creative project of each day…………….hence my husband’s dread of traveling with me………I never know what I’m going to want to wear so a girl has to bring choices!……….I have gotten better as he’s made me carry my own luggage (and since the airlines make you pay for checked bags), so a few key basics and a colorful selection of scarves, hats and jewelry that I create from copper wire can change things up quite a bit without taking up too much room.
    I think you have to have fun with clothes, and other than a bikini, I can’t think of anything I wouldn’t wear……a pair of opaque tights even makes a short skirt acceptable don’t you think? Living in NYC I never feel over or under-dressed…..the joy of the big city,
    Loved the post, the film, the song………THANK YOU, yet again.

  6. Bravo! Love the woman with silver hair and pink lipstick. She is so beautiful. My role model in the years to come.

  7. Wow wow and more wow . . . what a post. . . if your comments were darts they would hit the bull’s eye!!!

    I think we all wonder what’s next as we pull behind us what was . . . letting go is hard especially for the fashion focused . . . I have an original Missoni sweater from 1972. Where did the years go?

    Could society please just embrace the beauty of aging? It has its benefits not the least of which is
    “still breathing”

    SP your posts just get better and better . . . kudos to you

  8. Beautiful post. I also saw the Lina Plioplyte film on Nowness (isn’t that a great website ?) and did a blog post on the film. I’ve watch it at least 10 times since. It totally rocks !

  9. Yes, having our wardrobe be age appropriate doesn’t mean we have to curl up and die either! Lauren Hutton is the perfect example!

  10. I was always one of those teens and 20-somethings who loved seeing the “old” ladies with wonderful style. I told myself I would be one of them one day (far away of course) with the funky but classy short haircut, the big drusy quartz, artisan made jewelry and always, always, the quirky shoes with the Audrey-classic outfit. Now I’m turning 50 (unthinkable) in a couple of very short weeks and find myself in the land between….I don’t look my age (yet), am in good shape and have 10-year-old twins who definitely keep me moving and striving to stay looking my best. But now every new fashion trend has to be run through the “appropriate” lens. I think the key is to stay classic with a funky edge…not to jump all the way in, just wade in the shallows. But God please don’t let me get BORING! Thanks for your always-glorious posts!

    • Yes, Valerie- the Land-In-Between is rather a perfect way of putting it. See you in the shallows (and maybe occasionally in the deep-end) 🙂

  11. What amazing women! I love their individuality and sense of style. Who cares about age and what others think? Everyone is so afraid of being different but these women embrace it. I think they are fantastic.

  12. GREAT post and perfect timing as I am cleaning out my closet, wondering “too old for this now??” After reading your post I think I am putting a few outfits back, damn it!! Also great to see Iris Apfel as your opening style gal, I have had the pleasure of meeting this amazing girl, sorry lady, a few times, she is a role model!

  13. As my husband says, aging is better than the alternative. While I dont worry about age appropriate clothes, just body appropriate, I seem to get my fix watching my incredibly beautiful 23 year old daughter walk out the door in her miniskirts, shorts with cowboy boots, uggs and a flowery dress, cute little hat and of course the bikini. I had my time and now she has hers.

    I am glad that, as the boomers age, this country is beginning to celebrate the beauty,wisdom and confidence that comes with age and that is more age appropriate than anything else!! Great post!

  14. Reading this on my iPad — love the format — had to comment on that first — haven’t even read the post yet! Interesting no else mentioned it. Hmmmm?

  15. Yesterday my 11-year-old daughter said all she wants to wear are hoodies, t-shirts, skinny jeans and Vans. I said that’s funny, that’s all I want to wear too! When I was 11, there was no way I’d wear the same thing my mom did.

    And I met a grandmother who is raising her grandson and she had spiky platinum blond hair, blue eyeliner, sparkly t-shirt, skinny jeans and lace-up boots. I thought, go for it. Her husband is a retired firefighter and just as hot as her.

  16. hi slim,

    great post. great subject, now that i’m 53, i care about this shit. i learned my lesson a few years ago when i was telling an older friend of mine about an older woman I saw out and about in a pair of short shorts and she wasn’t embarrassed at all by her vericose veins. my friend jumped my shit and said…well, what is she supposed to wear? it’s hot out! i thought, you know what? you’re right. who am i to judge another’s clothing choice. the woman was old, not dead.

    i think everyone, no matter what age you are should wear what feels good to you. if you are comfortable then who cares. like the smart woman in the film said…if you don’t like what i’m wearing, i could give a shit.



    did i say shit 3x’s?

      • Good post. I’m in agreement 100%. One ought to be able to wear what one wants without so much judgement! Who cares??? All you 20 somethings will be in your 50’s and 60’s before you can turn around, so make the most of your youth.
        Thank God as we age, we care less and less about what others think. (I do anyway.)
        BTW, LOVE your reply to “The Gardener’s Cottage” comment!

  17. I like Oprah’s take on it – “Dress Your Decade”. I think Lauren Hutton is a great example of dressing with style and class while still having a ball. Last year my 12 year old son pointed out a clothing department in Nordies and said, “That’s the cougar section mom.” I said, “What?” He replied, “Its where the moms who just bought new chests or the moms who just got divorced shop. They don’t want to buy their stuff in the Jr. section so they go there – same stuff, it just costs more.” I asked him where he heard that and he said he didn’t hear it anywhere – you could just tell by looking. Hmmm…

  18. Right on Slim!!! Absolutely fantastic blog. Its funny to me how when I was younger …30’s
    and 40’s I could wear all those wonderful Chanel suits. Now many, many , many, many , many years later They all seem so matronly. Maybe they were then as well?? Anyway to
    me there is a fine line between hanging on to our youth or just accept your age and embrace it with class and flare.
    God knows I am hanging on. My mother lived to be 101 years old and she lived her life with
    a lot of class and a tremendous amount of conservative style. In her last days she had her
    hairdresser and manicurist come weekly to the hospital to touch up her hair and do her nails. She was in the hospital for 7 weeks, but, not without her own robe and beautiful nightgowns. She truly was a lady with great style. I even keep a couple of her Chanels and Valentinos….just cause…….
    THANKS FOR THE BLOG …IT BROUGHT TEARS TO MY EYES. Life is a very fast journey.

  19. I started thinking about all of this a decade ago as I closed in on 50. I guess I try my best to deal with an emerging little cupcake at my waist and whether I should chop my hair off but almost all pieces of clothing can be accessorized or topped with a cool jacket. Bikinis are gone but now that I’m building sandcastles in the sun with 6 granddaughters a bikini would not work anyway. My 50’s has definitely been my best decade yet–embrace it.

  20. I’m getting my haircut today. I’m looking like a crone.
    What happened to Lauren Hutton’s fabulous gap?

  21. Having great style helps at any age. But from what I can tell, for the most part to look good when you are old, it helps to be very rich, if not very thin. Let’s face it, style + fur + jewels really helps. haha. I am sure you look great and I don’t believe in age-appropriate as long as you feel good in it.
    Terri xo

  22. Priceless! You made my decade!

    Love Marsha’s comment re: “…a new ‘painting’ with clothing…”
    That’s classic with a Bold, Bejeweled, Colorful, Funky Twist!

    PS to Slim: love those blush embroidered mules…OMG!


    “I don’t know what style it is…it’s just me!”

    A wonderful and inspiring post…thank you S.P.!
    Love, Love, Love !

  24. Love the spirit of the older ladies you have pictured in this post. They’re fearless and beautiful! Don’t they all look so 🙂 happy!?

    Further to your growing up with “mutton dressed as lamb” … I grew up with “you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear”. This phrase was usually accompanied by a little pep talk on the importance of a well cut garment or good fabric (especially worsted wool).

  25. I love this. I am surrounded by women who feel that over 40 means short hair and a tasteful, conservative wardrobe. My role model for growing older is a woman I once saw at the college I went to. She had waist length gray hair and was wearing full on outdoorsy hiking gear. She looked like she was ready for adventure and didn’t give a hoot about tasteful. Now I don’t know if I would make full on hiking gear my daily wardrobe, but I loved her individuality. I think the best way to age gracefully is to be who you are and don’t worry about some age appropriate mold that we’re all supposed to fit into. The women pictured in this post are amazing!

  26. NO KIDDING! I’ve been trying to answer that question myself. As an ex fashionista and very tall woman who’s reached middle age I heartedly approve of ALL the photos you posted of the women above…at any age! What style and grace, and I think the first piece of clothing is self confidence and chutzpah!

  27. So funny – I had planned a similar post as well – clearly many of us baby boomers are thinking along the same lines. Style knows no age and neither does taste. Lauren Hutton is a great example and I am sure that the women you show here in fur looked just as glamorous, stylish and tasteful at 30 as they do now. As Melissa’s son so astutely noticed, there is an enormous difference between older women with taste and style and older women desperately trying to recapture their youth – and it shows!!

  28. Fabulous , fabulous post! This just gave me the courage to ‘
    stay me’! Facing another BIG birthday in a very few months I was reconsidering my hair,(cut it off, its grey) make up..(just accentuates my lines, and is my eyeliner too dark? Forget it!!
    These ladies are terrific and I want to be just like them!!!!
    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!!

  29. What’s to make of ‘Go Gray and Be Proud’ movement. I don’t see any reason to age yourself if you can help it by having a mop of gray. Now–my 93 year old aunt has silver hair. Big difference-that.

  30. Sweet post Slim!

    and great song choice, Annie Lennox is a great example of strumming to her own beat…or whatever that saying is:)

  31. I love this post! Love the video (hope you don’t mind I posted to my Facebook page). I have been struggling with this same question. What is age appropriate? At 57, and 10 lbs heavier than I’ve ever been in my life, I am wanting to feel good in my clothes. Going to NYC in a few days and hope to do some shopping. Mini skirt, yes. Bikini, I wish! Skinny jeans, hell ya! ~Delores

  32. I loved that short and sent it to at least five of my favorite ladies this week! So glad you posted some stills from it. (Could Iris Apfel be cooler??)

    I rather dislike the idea of “age appropriate” dressing. Maybe that is because I am turning the age after 39 next month and need to think about it more. Still, I think quite a bit depends upon how things are styled. All the fabulous women in the short pretty much go for it, but seem to know that a Gaga ensemble might need, well, pants for starters.

    The outfits that seem to age women the most, to me, are the ones that are styled as if they were for a much younger woman. (I am just going to say it: If you are dressed like one of the Kardashian girls by my age, you might be dressing a touch too young.) And there are so many super-chic, Grown Up clothes to wear, that I don’t see the need to dip into the kiddie pool necessarily. But those blue suede sandals — I’d wear those at 90 if I could!

    Great post. Thanks!!

    – C

  33. Having just turned 60 this year I feel as if I have gone through another door of life, at first I was not sure how I felt about this, but I have come to terms I have to be myself no one else can do it for me.
    I feel as if this post and wonderful film has given me permission to go back to my love of preppy. Thank you, great post!! Kathysue

  34. Hey slim

    I’m getting up there in years, I’ve stayed as natural and authentic to my age as possible; a little color on the cheeks and a little mascara. My hair is longish and brown/gray, the key is keeping it trimmed and healthy. For me it’s my inner teenager that keeps me thinking and feeling young. Am I beautiful? In my mind I am and in my husbands eyes I am… what else matters?!

    As usual, love your post.

    Just ate an entire container of seaweed crisps… loved ’em, love Trader Joes… I should own stock!

  35. Oh man. You can get away with SO MUCH MORE when you’re old, fashion-wise! You can do crazy shit and everyone just excuses it–you can wear all the editorial stuff! Look at Anna and her fruit headdresses . . . easier to pull off because of her age.

    I’ve gotten heavily into tango dancing recently too, and I can’t tell you how many older women I’ve seen there that are completely inspirational. If you keep dancing, you keep a dancer’s body forever. These women have better bodies than I do, and they’re nearly three times my age. And they wear miniskirts and stiletto shoes and they’re gorgeous even with hardly any makeup. They look sexy, and it’s natural, not forced. God. So jealous.

  36. ahh youth.
    I am at the age where I still feel 18 yet, I am definitely…mid century.
    Style, confidence and knowing that
    ‘just because you can, doesn’t mean you should’
    wear that very short skirt, is the key.
    A stupendous, 5o plus, wearing an age inappropriate piece, cannot compete with a 20 year old.
    Even if that 20 year old is nondescript.

  37. It struck me that these women all look like they have allowed themselves to age and by that I mean they don’t look like they have been “worked” on. I want to have the courage to wrinkle and not fill and puff and pull and poof my face until I look like some garish caricature of my young self. At 56 I am beginning to ask” will I or won’t I”. I hope I won’t.

  38. Great post, I regret a little bit that I didn’t embrace my youth. I was so busy raising my children that I sort of put my sense of style on the back burner. Now that I have the time and money to embrace my inner fashionista the body is not cooperating – ugh! My mantra for my 5th decade, if I love it and it makes me happy, I wear it. 🙂

  39. Fantastic post, inspiring film ~ and I loved reading all of the comments. The comments are a documentary on their own. I am going to share this with all of my friends on FB, it’s really splendid.

    I’m going to Santa Barbara tomorrow ~ joining some friends for a little getaway. Do you have any restaurant or shopping recommendations??? Thank you in advance for any thoughts!!

    • Oh dear- perhaps a little late, but ;
      “Maison K” is a lovely shop on Coast Village Rd. in Montecito.
      “Pierre La Fond” and “Dressed”, “Lucky’s” for great steaks & deep & dirty martinis. “Tecolote” is a sweet little independent book shop, “MoYo” if you want to attend a yoga class; all in Montecito.
      “San Ysidro Ranch” is a must, downstairs in pub much more casual than upstairs.
      “Arigato” for sushi in Santa Barbara, “Hungry Cat” is great, “Diani” for fun women’s fashion on State St. in S.B. “Rooms & Gardens” is lovely for home design and gifts.
      Also, a brand new huge spa just opened called Alchemy Arts Centre- I haven’t been yet but I hear it is beautiful and also has great food.
      Lotus Land of course…not sure what is going on at the museum at the moment. Lastly, Raoul Textiles just opened a shop on Lower State St. down by the beach.
      Hope this helps!

  40. I believe a woman should never cut your hair while pregnant ( bad choices out of boredom most likely) or because of your advancing age. Who says we have to have certain hair length by 50? Who made up that rule anyway? If something is working for you, stick with it, if not, change it!

  41. I don’t know what the “correct” rules are for age appropriateness, but I will say that as long as one truly feels comfortable, then who’s to say it’s wrong? With that said, that short film is fantastic! So much fun, so much authenticity.
    I love your analogy to butterflies by the way. Perfect.

    I hope you are well. Have a great week. 🙂

  42. Having grown up in Connecticut in the 1980s (preppy any time, but especially preppy when preppy was in), I have always been quite conservative in how I dress. You might say, lamb dressing as mutton. Now that I am 40, I sometimes wish that I had taken advantage of my 20s and dressed like a lamb!

  43. How wise of you to have included Lauren Hutton and Helen Mirren in this lovely blog. Their beauty and joie de vivre are timeless.

  44. hi slim,
    as a 60 something person (really, can that be me) I’ve decided that confidence in what you believe your true image is is what gives you the look that is the best you can be! Its what I like best about my age…I’m very comfortable with who I am. I love the ladies, like Helen Miren, that can age authentically…she inspires me!

    thanks for the wonderful, thought-provoking post—you are the best!

  45. SP, you always make my day. It is like I have been saying for the past few years, ” I am too young to be old and too old to be young”.

Would love to hear from you!