Young at Heart, but not with Clothing, Please

Sigourney Weaver as Babe Paley in Infamous, another good suit choice

One of my least favorite things about living in Los Angeles is the problem of age inappropriate dressing. Last week I was at dinner at Jar (best filet in Los Angeles) and a table of young Hollywood starlet types was at a big table behind me. They all had the same light blonde, shoulder length hair, and tight short skirts. Now if you’ve seen Clueless you know what I mean when I say it was a real Monet moment. From the distance of the door everything looked good, but as I got closer to their table, whoa, it all fell apart. They were, in fact, not young starlets but older Hollywood wives who had visited the plastic surgeon far too often.

I have never considered doing a reality show. People are always telling me, “You and Noreen should have your own reality show. I bet it would be hilarious.” It wouldn’t be. It would be very dull moments of people working on their computers with occasional profane outbursts. I would like to do a reality show, though, where I help people who dress age inappropriately with makeovers. We would shop at Brooks Brothers, J. Press, Chanel, and other sensible brands.

Now don’t get caught up with this being “Preppy” or any other such nonsense. This is just plain good sense that would make the world a nicer place to live.

There are many benefits of growing older: you can yell at people, you sleep less, and you can wear certain clothing items previously inappropriate. These are some of my rules:

1.     Men may wear seersucker before the age of 12, or after 45. Between those ages makes one look foolish.

2.     Men may wear white bucks in the summer, or all year after age 45.

3.     Madras jackets work if a man is over 45, but younger people look like a horses ass in them.

4.     Men can wear bow ties over 45, unless you are a southern politician or Ivy League professor, in which case any age is appropriate.

5.     Ponytails are wrong, wrong, and wrong for anyone over 45.

6.     There is nothing wrong with a sensible bob haircut for women over 45.

7.     Skinny jeans are wrong for anyone, especially people over 45.

More specific rules are listed below. But the point is to stop the madness. When you see an elderly person on the street in tight jeans and a groovy t-shirt, stop them and ask if you can help them to the nearest age appropriate store. Unfortunately, I don’t think my reality show idea will work. As Terry Stone told me, “So you would take mature people and make them look old?” Uh, yeah.

Seersucker only before age 12, or after 45

Unless you’re Pat Boone, be cautious with white bucks

Madras jackets only after age 45

Bow ties if a southern Senator, Ivy League professor or over 45

What can be said?

I’m not a fan of monarchy, but this hat is appropriate.

Like John Adams, I am not a monarchist, but this outfit is good

This hat is good, also

Mrs. Bush and an acceptable suit and pearls

A crest on a blue blazer after 45, and only if it’s school or family, still dubious

Classic Chanel suit, mid 1950s

If at the beach, Lily Pulitzer is OK

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2 Responses to “Young at Heart, but not with Clothing, Please”

  1. Michelle French Says:

    If the person in the Southern Politician suits was a little plumper I would swear you had photos of my ex-husband. Seriously.

  2. Sami Says:

    Okay, Sean, I hear you on tight short skirts (yuck!), but as a fashion blogger (however non-traditional I may be), I respectfully have to disagree with the skinny jeans statement. I love skinny jeans! Everyone over here at W&H wears them and we still look kick-ass gorgeous!

    Also, think about Audrey Hepburn. She practically gave birth to the skinny jeans/skinny pants movement: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_5wRUjM3gdOo/TC7kYVyM2zI/AAAAAAAAASw/0iKWiFcm-to/s1600/audrey_hepburn.jpg and also the more popular: http://newyorkcityfashion.files.wordpress.com/2009/02/audhep.jpg?w=245&h=392 (though this one is technically skinny pants, I think, and possibly considered capris).

    And Olivia Newton-John as Sandy in Grease? http://blogs.democratandchronicle.com/ultimateseason/files/2010/06/grease.jpg Although, again, I don’t think that fabric is denim.

    Maybe the crew at W&H will have to stage a Skinny Jean Day and we’ll take a really great photo and send it your way.

    Stay snarky! xoxo