Are you allowed to get your legs out at my age? I asked my children
PUBLISHED: 11:23 28 May 2019 | UPDATED: 11:14 29 May 2019
Sharon Morrison thinks there should be no judgements on what the over 60s wear. Do you agree?
I'm firmly in the 'dress how the hell you want' camp, unless you're my child walking through the town centre at night, in which case I'd make an intervention until you were old enough to understand the effectiveness of more layers.
Well, now that's out of the way, I'd like to throw open the whole hoary debate about how you choose to dress, especially as you age when your figure is under the triple threat of post-baby body, creeping menopause and incorruptible gravity.
I've succumbed to the triple threat myself, despite plenty of rear-guard action, yet I've always felt confident about how I dress, and that's increased as I've gotten older.
I wear whatever pleases me, as long it suits me and the occasion.
Now and then I'll ask my kids' opinion, no, not for their seal of approval, more for the compliments; they're great like that.
Then something happened in my late 50s that made me re-evaluate my whole attitude to how I dressed: "You can't wear that mum, it's too short. It's just not right."
My three kids weren't commenting on a pair of bottom-baring Kylie Minogue-style hot pants, but a grey silk dress (alright, it was 100% viscose) from All Saints that I wanted to wear to a swish summer party in southern Spain.
I felt a little tremor of excitement when I realised the roles were now reversed, and my kids were lecturing me on 'the effectiveness of layers'.
Yes, it was shorter than I'd normally wear in the UK, but I'd be tanned and realistically just one of many women getting their legs out.
But my kids' reaction was so immediate and their verdict unanimous, I packed the All Saints in my suitcase but wore 'old faithful' (my LBD) instead. Most of us have an LBD that we rely on. Mine's an elegant, knee-length style that will never date, but nor will it ever make me look edgy, or dare I say it, sexy?
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Was that what my three were worried about?
That their mum might attract the wrong kind of attention or perhaps they thought it wasn't a good look for their mum?
Maybe 50-year-old Helena Christensen was going for sexy rather than elegant when she chose to wear a black lace bustier and jeans to Gigi Hadid's denim-themed 24th birthday party.
For those of you who don't know the background to April's social media fashion spat, here's my executive summary: ex-Vogue UK editor, Alexandra Shulman, saw a picture of the Danish model in said outfit and wrote in her Mail on Sunday column that she looked tacky, was only wearing a bustier to show she wasn't past it and, basically, once you're 50 you should avoid fashions that only a younger person's body can successfully pull off.
This cock-eyed, schoolmarm invective was met with a blast from both designer barrels as fashionistas lept to Christensen's defence.
But would Shulman have berated Christensen, I wonder, if she was, dare I say it, podgy?
Of course she wouldn't, the backlash from being fattist would have been lethal; instead she'd have celebrated this confident woman, who's demonstrating the joy of being able to wear whatever she wants to express her mood and personality.
And isn't that what true fashion's about? To be enjoyed?
I think I'm enjoying fashion more now because age has given me the confidence to take more risks.
Of course I have a healthy respect for my figure, so know what to hide and what to accentuate, and I feel that I have a strong sense of my personal style too, but the lesson I learned long ago, it's not what you wear, it's the way that you wear it.
And that's never going to change.
And I really should have worn the shorter dress to that summer party too because, like Christensen, I didn't want to look elegant at that summer party, I wanted to rock my look, to push it, to be bold, but I held back.
Never mind, there's always this summer, and I've still got the All Saints.
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