While I’m not a fan of boxy Chanel jackets, I am all for the dressy daytime look. I love swing skirts, chiffon shift dresses in the flapper style, and A line dresses. They’re classic, modern, and vintage all at the same time. I knew I got it right, for instance, when someone told me I looked like a member of the von Trapp family, then burst into song. That was exactly the look I was going for.
Nowadays, the trend is for natural fibres and jersey fabrics that look already worn and distressed so they have a lived-in feel. They give the illusion that you are relaxed and comfortable in your outfit.
I love a worn-in frock as opposed to something too crispy and obviously new. Although, don’t carry car tyres around in a chiffon skirt. I Emperor’s New Clothes’d myself on Sunday, after ripping out the hem.
It’s winter and it is the time for mesh tights and peep-toe heels (indoors of course, I’m not daft). As for accessories, there should be no maximum. There are things you can get away with if you’re oblivious to criticism. Otherwise, wear heavy sunglasses.
I’m not against jeans and t-shirts, but I am no longer a supporter of the “easy uniform” look. Partly because at some stage, you have to make the effort, for yourself. Truth be told, I envy women with flat bottoms who can fit in a pair of skinny jeans (and pencil skirts). My waist is narrow, so belts provide no defence against people looking down the back at my bottom.
It’s a problem that’s solved by not wearing jeans at all. I stopped altogether in 2008, because I would get mistaken for a high school student at the archery range. I started wearing eyeliner and chiffon skirts for casual wear. I’ve got a beautiful pair of high heeled Anne Klein cowboy boots that have nothing to do, in my closet. If I can find a way to get my waist enclosed in a pair of jeans that fit without making the hip area look baggy, I will bring them out again.
Madonna’s breasts are exposed for the most recent issue of Interview Magazine, where she is conversing with David Blaine. While people are going to tell her to put them away, I say this is a work of art, and posing for it is the right thing to do.
Madonna has been fighting for the right to express herself for more than thirty years. She’s inconsistent in her manner and outspoken in her self-belief. We don’t believe in her. While other women in the spotlight have been lauded for their contribution to society and culture, Madonna has always been pilloried, lampooned, thrashed. Even Victoria Beckham, who was once asked by a Sunday Times journalist to please stop wearing high heels, and was once the laughing stock of the UK, has been asked to represent her country and now speaks on behalf of AIDS.
People like to make fun of Madonna for trying to beat the clock and not succumbing to the ravages of time, but I think there’s an insecurity to her that keeps her constantly seeking out ways to improve herself. Isn’t that great? An excerpt from the article:
BLAINE: I think this is also a really important [quote] from Henry Ford, “Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason so few engage in it.” And the reason I say this is because when I met you …
MADONNA: A hundred years ago.
BLAINE: I went with you to a museum and you had the whole Edward Hopper show to yourself. I remember you were jotting down ideas while looking at the art. I’ve done crazy manual labor—I did construction—and I can say that it’s easier for me to do any stunt than it is to actually figure out what I’m going to do. Thinking is the hardest thing. Like a friend said when I was young, “You know, what Michael Jackson does is easy.” We were, like, 10. But most people assume that it’s easy because you work so hard to make it look like there’s no effort.
There’s a sweet spot between the ages of 32 and 48 where a woman has to preserve her dignity and peer esteem by keeping seventy percent of her body covered, staying away from spontaneous assignations, and doing interesting things by herself. That’s the time to enforce a zero tolerance policy for mean-girl/mean-boy bullying, putdowns or underappreciation of any kind.
If you’re still as sculpted as you were at 28, at the age of 56, as Madonna is, then I agree, one hundred percent, that you should flaunt all of yourself. All bets are off. Do whatever you want; do what feels right to you. “Burn it down,” as we’d say at home.
Perhaps Madonna has not realised the true purpose of her life. It is to expose herself just for the sake of it. Her body is a function of deprivation, torture and suffering. She will not bleed and die for our right to be seen and heard, but she can document for us the struggle to stay fit, healthy and fertile.
Madonna has done something important, not just with this stunning work, but through the sharing of her reflections. She’s given women over the age of thirty a twenty-six year buffer of time in which to command their womanhood.
You know what, you don’t have to hurry up and do stuff because you’re anxious about getting older. It’s not a foregone conclusion that you will naturally wilt away, dry up and disappear. You are not automatically unattractive. You don’t have to date assholes or get married to one just so you can be a mother. And for that matter, you don’t need to pay attention to expectations.
Before the conversion from jeans to skirts, it wasn’t a lack of self-awareness or care for fashion that saw me in jeans. Back in 2008, clothes were expensive and you had to be the size of a toothpick to get into a skirt here. Nowadays, fast fashion brands like Mango, Victoria’s Secret, ASOS and Zara bring you well cut, feminine looks for $10 each. Some ship overseas at a reasonable cost, and the fabrics are high quality. I bought five dresses at a Mango outlet in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, back in 2012, for under $50. Four years earlier, it would have been difficult to find one really cute dress for less than $90.
Ironically, though I do not spend vast sums on clothes, my wardrobe is bursting at the seams and I’m about to go minimalist again. It’s time to start cultivating a history of fashion on my own with these beautiful vintage looks I’ve been collecting. I want to enjoy wearing what I already have, over and over again. Hopefully, I’ll enjoy some fun times with someone I really like, and who appreciates my style.