Last week I received this email from a reader in Toronto, Canada. Liz H. writes:
I haven’t worn a bikini in more than a decade but a recent fitness program, coupled with a Christmas vacation to the Dominican Republic, made me decide to give one a try. I packed a one-piece as well because, as “everyone” knows, women over 50 shouldn’t be seen in bikinis unless their name is Helen Mirren.
When our family arrived at the resort, we prepared to hit the beach. I must have asked my husband and teenage daughters a half dozen times if they thought I looked okay before I sucked it up (and in) and made my way to a deck chair.
As I sat, sipping my mojito, I surreptitiously looked around to see how I compared to the other women on the beach. Guess what I noticed; I looked fine but more importantly, the vast majority of women on the beach were wearing bikinis and two piece bathing suits regardless of their age, shape or size. Here I had been so worried about what people would think and standing out in a bad way!
As the week wore on, I got very comfortable, literally, in my own skin. I came to admire every single other woman who did the same, regardless of whether she was a size 2 or 22. It occurred to me that we make way too much of a fuss about silly rules regarding what we “can” and “can’t” wear.
Deborah, please tell your readers, particularly the ones who are escaping a cold winter for a warm southern destination, to embrace who they are and wear whatever they want on the beach.
Here is my reply…
I know plenty of over-40 gals who wouldn’t be caught dead in a bikini, regardless of what kind of shape they’re in. I happen to prefer a one piece, but that’s just me. However, I love your positive attitude and couldn’t agree more that the fashion police often take things too far. Helen Mirren doesn’t worry about them. She was 63 when this photo below was taken!
Good for you Liz for wearing a bikini. I’m sure you looked fabulous! Cheers, Deb
Ladies, Did any of you happen to notice this article in the Daily Mail Online about Carole Middleton’s legs?
While applauding her for her great gams, the paper also couldn’t keep from pointing out that some felt the patterned tights she was wearing might be a tad youthful for this 59 year-old grandmother.
A minor brouhaha erupted over this picture and article with readers writing in to express their outrage. For example, one Daily Mail Online reader wrote, “This would not even look good on someone half her age. She is a deluded woman living in the past.” Ouch!
Another reader added, “This lady ought to dress with the appropriate decorum befitting her age; after the age of 50, ladies should wear clothes to the knee or just below. I am much more elegant, of a similar age and build and would never contemplate being seen in that apparel.”
Frankly, I find their comments sad. Let’s be honest – not all women, regardless of their age, look good in revealing clothes. But many of them do. I have pretty nice legs and I wear some of my dresses a couple of inches above my knee.
Fabulous After 40 is all about helping women make the most of what they’ve got while looking classy, not trashy. That said, it’s crazy that people think they have the right to tell us how to dress based on a number and that women limit themselves because of what other people tell them is and isn’t okay.
Style is ageless. It’s about expressing the true essence of who you are in a tasteful, elegant way. I think it is time we thought for ourselves, fashion police be darned. Wear what you like and use some common sense as to what looks classy and what flatters your body, just as you should at any age.
Your turn: How many of you over-40 readers wear bikinis? Do you think agree with Liz, that every woman should wear one, regardless of her age, shape or size? And what do you think of Carol Middleton and Gam-gate?