"Trends are the plastic surgery of fashion."
- Roland Mouret
I've recently turned 62 and realize I've lost the taste for trendy.
Presented with a hot trend, my response is boredom or disdain. Other than some fabric innovations such as linen-metal blends, I have seen it all, including grey nail polish, which my groovy art-major roommate Janie concocted in 1969.
"Trendy" items are typically coveted by 18-to-28 year-olds, sold at hip boutiques for a season, knocked off at H&M the next and forgotten in six months– until five years from now.
I'm also aware of my tendency to lock on to past preferences, not a good thing. I saw a 60ish woman downtown yesterday: helmet hair, mid-1990s coatdress, prissy little bone shoes with those heels shaped like hockey pucks, everything rigidly perfect. And I thought, Sweetie, it is 2010.
You can do that look if you're 30, with cat's eye glasses, Jimmy Choos and rhinestone earrings, but if you have an AARP card in your handbag, think again.
(By the way, the Canadian equivalent is Canadian Association of Retired Persons, CARP, as perfect an acronym as ever put on this earth.)
So the maxi-sundress will not be my summer treat, though I admire them on young women.
I aim for Contentedly Dressed: pleasing to me right now. "Nicely" sounds like someone else is doing up my buttons, "Well" seems self-absorbed.
Wear the clothes that lift you up, whether Bean or Beene. If ecstatic in vintage Sant' Angelo and Halston, let your freak flag fly, but keep your accessories current– shoes and bags made within the last few years or classics still in production.
When my mother was nearly 85, she came to a casual family dinner in navy pants, a white Egyptian-cotton shirt and this gold-buttoned cashmere cardigan, all from Maus and Hoffman.
Some of these items were likely going on 20 years old (she replaced favourites with duplicates, so it's hard to know), but on her feet she wore glossy new Belgian loafers.
Proud as a five-year old, I thought, She is beautiful.
I have her sources filed. For now, no trends.
Trends don't make me look younger, they make me uneasy with my authentic and acceptable age– for which I am increasingly grateful.