Saturday, April 14, 2012

Some old people wear really nice clothes...


After being told numerous times by your sister that she hates "that granny skirt" which you actually adore, you could throw it out. If you wanted, every time somebody said they disliked something about you, you could change it, but instead I decide that I am an individual and I choose this source of criticism also as a source of inspiration. These old people could be on to something...

If you are like me, you probably enjoy op-shopping and drool over what the girl on the cover of the latest 'Frankie Magazine' is wearing. When you think about it, what old people wear is really just a looser fitting version of what they used to wear back in the fifties and sixties. It's a comfier version of vintage. In fact a lot of the looks that have inspired me also remind me somewhat of the clothes you see senior citizens sporting.

For Example: Ally Sheedy in the 'Breakfast club' is dressed somewhat like an old bag lady. In 'Pretty in Pink' Molly Ringwald wears some pretty full on outfits that remind me an awful lot of an old relative who had a fondness for large junk jewellery style earrings and bright colours. And, In 'Reality Bites' Winona Ryder is seen sporting shirts fit for an old man, mum jeans and super cute retro shoes (Not all at the same time).

One thing that I really like about the elderly is that they don't really care what other people think or at least not to a huge extent. They dress for comfort, they wear what they want to wear and they cover what needs to be covered. If ever a young person says they dislike what granny is wearing, granny is unlikely to care. People who act like they don't care exude coolness.

Obviously I'm not going to start wearing two piece sets that involve pastels, plaid patterns and pearl buttons around town. I'm not saying that these old people are my style icons, but they are influential. I know that I can take different aspects of an old person's wardrobe out of it's style context to get the look that I want to achieve. Many of the articles of clothing that can be purchased from a second hand store that look as if they were worn once by an old lady (or man) can be altered into a more modern shape or mixed in with more modern clothes for a (somewhat) conventional "vintage" look.

Things that old people wear and what I would do with them:
-Loose collared button-up shirt: Cut the sleeves off/ the bottom, Wear it with a mini skirt or jeans or wear it open over another item of clothing.
-Lace up shoes with socks: Worn with pretty much anything.
-High waisted skirts and shorts: Worn with cropped shirts, worn with belted baggy tops out over the top/baby doll tops or worn with ordinary t-shirts or smock tops tucked in.
-Granny sweaters: Baggy knitted sweaters: worn with short shorts or skirts and tights.
-Baggy Pants: Cut them off shorter or taper them in to create either a flared or harem effect. (I'm not a big fan of harem pants, but hey it's your choice.)
-Floral skirts: Worn with T-shirts.

Also it's not just the style of clothes and shoes that old people wear, but it's their fashion advice that is also quite good. In the olden days people were more concerned with being thrifty and making things last. I have an old home-ec text book which belonged to my aunt, where there is a section about creating a wardrobe on a budget. I also read an article in an old  'Shop til You Drop'  Magazine about taking fashion advice from your grandma. Things like taking care of  your clothes and shoes, altering clothes to fit and buying fewer, more neutral or plain coloured accessories to go with your clothes are just a few words of wisdom that come to mind.

Like I said before; I'm not about to replace my current wardrobe with a heap of baggy printed frocks, however, I think I'll definitely pay a little more attention to what I see older people wearing in the street, And I won't be so quick to dismiss something old-fashioned (not that that happens too often). What does it matter if I start taking fashion advice from the elderly? One day I'll be old and grey just like them. In the words of Lana Del Rey "We were born to die". We were also born to get old...

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