Mutton As Lamb

mpI came upon this quote the other day from Italian fashion designer and entrepreneur Miuccia Prada: “Women always try to tame themselves as they get older, but the ones who look best are often a bit wilder.”  Miuccia Prada is one of my style icons, and I love what she is saying here. 

I had a birthday recently (57!) and I am finding that I have been consciously toning down my style. Part of it may have to do with the fact that I have a 15 year old daughter who is in the process of individuating and finding her own style. She seems constantly embarrassed by me and in no way do I want to come off as mutton as lamb – in other words, one of those women who dresses too young for her age. I understand that Forever 21 is “her” store (even though I LOVE Forever 21). I understand and appreciate that my daughter needs her own turf.

But, does that mean that I have to dress primarily from Banana Republic, Gap, and J.Crew? Lately, I have been attempting to dress like what I think a 57 year old mom would dress like: a cross between Grace Kelly with a little Martha Stewart thrown in for good measure. Conservative blouses, trousers, tailored jackets, and flats. This is so not my look.

I enjoy expressing who I am through the way I dress. My style has always been sexy, chic, feminine and funky. I have never, ever dressed in a conservative blouse unless it was for a role I was playing on television – and truth be told I honestly can’t remember the last time I played a character where I had to dress like that. And trousers? Not so much.

Miuccia Prada

Miuccia Prada

Once I read what Miuccia Prada had to say, I felt I had a comrade in arms (or LBD). I love the idea of being a little wild – untamed, as it were. I can accomplish this in a few simple ways. I can dress for myself, not for others. I can acknowledge that, while I do not want to look like mutton as lamb, I can still be sexy, chic, feminine, and funky. I can be okay with the fact that I don’t want to wear trousers, flats, and a conservative blouse. And, even though I love Forever 21, I can allow my daughter to have “her” store (or I can go there in secret, but I will forgo the booty shorts).

Thanks Miuccia, I agree. Being a little wild definitely works. Try it. Maybe I’ll see you in Forever 21, lurking among the racks.

  • cjschepers

    Totally relate to this. I’ve always worn what makes me look AND FEEL good, and it’s funny how women age 18 to 80 tell me they love what I’m wearing. I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s because I’m expressing “me”…. Not society’s idea of who I should be.

  • Holly Fulger

    Such a great comment, CJ!! Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts.

  • Clara York

    I am drawn to certain shapes and lines that I think look good on my hourglass figure. But now in my 50′s, I feel lost, like I really can’t tell what looks best. I tend to wear a form fitting dress and then throw a coat over it, covering it all up. I have tons of coats! hmmm. AND if dressing for an audition I really don’t know how to dress for the character. I think it relates to what CJ said. I have never dressed my age so when I HAVE to for auditions, I can make big mistakes. I guess I just need to go shopping with a good friend.

  • Ron Bottitta

    I shop at Forever 51.

  • Minda Burr

    Holly, I so agree — as we “mature”, I think it’s all the more important to have FUN with our fashion and to wear the things that make us feel gooood! It’s NOT the time to tone down our style to be so called “appropriate”. Great article.