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Can't Talk | October 21, 2020

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I Will Wear What I Like

I Will Wear What I Like
  • On August 5, 2015

A few months ago, I came across an incredibly shitty post that sought to put we so-called older women in our place by telling us 24 things we should no longer wear. That’s right, women older than 30 are over the hill and should sit around in burlap sacks waiting to die.

I was not pleased.

I fumed about it for awhile, swore on Twitter, and aggressively wore all of that shit (if I owned it) whenever the hell I wanted — and continued to look fabulous while doing it despite being over the hill at 31.

Forty-something style blogger Catherine Summers of Not Dressed As Lamb had rather a more constructive reaction. (P.S., Catherine, best blog name ever.) Instead of getting angry about it, she created #iwillwearwhatilike for the month of August. Basically, she took the 24 items we old hags are not supposed to wear anymore — things like hoop earrings, oversized sunglasses, and leopard print — and added seven more. Then, every day in August, she’s taking to Instagram and posting pictures of herself wearing the thing we’re not supposed to wear.  

She’s invited anyone else who’s interested to join in. It’s not a hugely structured endeavor; you can wear your oversized sunglasses Aug. 1 or whatever day you get around to posting them. You can do as many or as few days as you’d like. You just have to post a new picture of yourself wearing the item. I’ve done a few so far — graphic T, candy pink, and bedazzled — and the community of women who have sprung up around the hashtag so far are amazing. People are going around liking strangers’ posts and slinging compliments left and right.

What a perfect antidote to the shit the author of the original post put out into the universe. Women of whatever age should wear whatever makes them feel good — regardless of whether society thinks it’s OK.

Too many people think they can go around telling other people what to wear. But — news flash — it’s not actually OK. It’s a really terrible thing to do. You get to decide what clothes you put on your body, and that’s it.

So stop telling women not to wear makeup because patriarchy or whatever bullshit reason you’ve got locked and loaded. Stop telling women we shouldn’t wear high heels or dresses — or that we should, for that matter — because men like it, or maybe they don’t. It’s not really clear. Stop telling women anything that has to do with how they do their hair (or don’t), how they wear their makeup (or don’t), and what they put on their bodies (or don’t — this is a safe space).

So wear that mini skirt! Break out your Bedazzler, and go nuts! Pile on that glittery eyeshadow, if that’s what you want to do. And maybe instead of being catty and judging each other, we should take a page from the ladies on Instagram following #iwillwearwhatilike and throw a compliment a stranger’s way. At the very least, stop writing shitty articles and putting them on the Internet. That would actually be great.

  • Like (5)


  1. Lkeke35

    I saw that article a little while ago. I clicked on on it out of curiosity and because I’m over forty.

    And once again, another article (What Women Over 30 Should Stop Wearing) that completely erases the existence of WoC. I don’t know a single Black woman who doesn’t rock a pair of hoop earrings or some leopard print high heels. And yes, I do speak for all Black women when I say that those two things and the ponytail are the major staples of our wardrobes.
    But I guess the author of that article would have to stick to telling white girls what to do because they are not going to want to reap the s***storm they would invoke by telling WoC, what not to wear.

    • gah really really good points. wtf?

    • Ness

      I completely agree with you there. The author of the original post is 100 percent tone deaf.

  2. Ness this is a really great post – thank you SO much for the shout out and the lovely compliments! (Glad you like the name btw, though many across the pond don’t “get it” and call me Not Dressed as A Lamb, which makes no sense…!)

    I’m so pleased (and flattered) to see so many women coming out and saying it’s not okay to be told what to wear, or what not to wear, and instead dress in whatever they damn well please. I like to think of #iwillwearwhatilike as a big two-fingers-up to the author of that article and ALL other articles that say the same kind of thing.

    What worries me – and I’m sure you’ll agree – is the effect it may have on women with low self esteem, or those who wish they could be more adventurous, but aren’t, because they keep reading BS lists like these. Sure, we can all read them and say “up yours”, but it only serves to keep less confident women dressing apologetically and not allowing themselves any freedom or right to express themselves through what they wear.

    It’s bad enough having to put up with aches and pains as you get older, why should we then give up our right to have fun with what we wear? I for one am determined to be a batty old lady who dresses crazily… it’ll give the neighbours something to talk about, won’t it…?!!!!

    Anyway thanks again my lovely, and thanks *also* for joining in with #iwillwearwhatilike, it’s been a blast so far and we’re only into day 8!

    Catherine x

    P.S. The photo doesn’t have to be a new one – my furry stuff is all in storage, I’ll be posting old photos of my furry boots. No rules!! 🙂

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