22 November 2010

on the legs of a dilemma

yeah, yeah, yeah- we know the expression is supposed to be on "on the horns of a dilemma" but in this case, it's the legs...
standard straight leg 501's.  these look seriously dated to me
see, m21 needs new jeans, and therein is the heart of the dilemma- all of our current jeans have legs so wide they feel like palazzo pants, so we want some really skinny jeans.  not quite jeggings, but skinny, and we have to wonder at what point does a gentleman of a certain age, with a few extra pounds up top (but skinny chicken legs), look ridiculous trying to keep up with fashion fads?  we also have to wonder at what age do we look even stupider if we give up?

we've all seen those people who dress waaaaay age inappropriately, and think "what a douche" or "who are they trying to kid?", (hell, i live in los angeles- i see 7 kinds of age inappropriate dressing before breakfast, with frankenstein plastic surgery to match), but on the flipside, we've all seen older folks who look like they are in a time-warp, decades out of sync with reality.  which is worse?
these are "skinny" and should be a good compromise, but all of my current "go to" jeans have legs about this width, and they're the ones i'm complaining feel like palazzo pants!
i know i'll get a lot of "dress as young as you feel" comments, and that's all good, but seriously, should we dress as young as we feel? 'cuz most days i feel pretty young, but if i were to throw on some candy-colored raybans as i left the house, as i did in my teens & early 20's (you know the first time around), i'd look like both a douche, and a freak who has dressed the same for 20 plus years.

this subject came up recently when i had dinner with some kids all around the age of 30, and they felt 40 to be the cut off point "to keep dressing young", and i felt like telling them to piss off 'cuz they didn't know anything about anything yet, but i also thought they had a point- i'd tell a a friend who was 60 not to do it, because they'd look silly, so perhaps those inexperienced youngin's were on to something...
and these are in my shopping cart right now, but even though they are on sale, i just can't bring myself to hit "proceed to checkout" for fear of looking like an old fool. they may be cheap, but what price dignity? ;-)  and if i buy them, i will wear them.
so what to do when the only thing that looks right to your fashion eye might not be the right choice to look best on you for your age?

or should i just give up entirely, and wear nothing but brightly colored caftans? at some point, i think it's my destiny as a geriatric decorator, anyway...  ;-)
 m21's future?
what would you do?  discuss.

*all jeans from levi'; allan carr in a caftan was saved to my hard drive eons ago as a cautionary tale, so i have no clue where i found it!


Teresa at Splendid Sass said...

Well, Christian, I am sure they will look dandy. They certainly look good on him.
Have a great day.

Nita {ModVintageLife} said... cannot dress as young as you feel. I wrestle with this myself. I know very well what the latest trends are but I am now to old to wear them.

It looks best if you wear what looks best on you and what looks expensive. Cheap clothes look fine on the young...not on the middle aged.

I have a friend who is 60 and believes in dressing the age you feel and she looks ridiculous most of the time. She's happy though. Sooooooo....

I find it hard to believe you'd make any bad clothing choices with your good taste though.

Recessionista LA said...

I am not in favor of the skinny jeans to be honest. But, truthfully...I don't think they look flattering on most people regardless if they are young or older.

HOBAC said...

If they pass (and I'm talking the flying colours kind of pass not the scrape by so I can get the hell out of here kind of pass) these 3 tests, by all means get'em:

1) the, 3 way naked mirror test
2) the, you are the last person in the world I wanted to see looking like this test
3) the, is Ted actually laughing at me test?

And for bonus points:
What would Gerard Butler (or the guy who you think/would like to be GB in a certain light while squinting at a certain angle) think?

Margaret said...

Try them on. If you're not cringing, get them, and wear them with Chuck Taylors, not high tops or loafers. You already dress business casual when it counts, so indulge in a jeans trend. If you do get a caftan, you must post a photo of you wearing it, please!

CindieQuilts said...

Wear the skinny jeans with a great shirt and casual jacket. You'll look great! It's about fit and comfort, and still looking good no matter how old you are. I go to church with a bunch of older women, and just one stands out for her classic taste and well-fitting clothes. Another very wealthy woman wears polyester and has long hair that she puts up with 5 clippies and a bunch of bobby pins. Gross.
If you look good, you feel good. So get your freak on and live!

jones said...

I think that there is a balance to be struck between age appropriateness and what makes you feel good. And if you think those skinny jeans will make you feel great--them buy them!! Wear them clubbing, thrifting, etc., but not to client meetings. A guy can be a little age inappropriate and pull it off; but not a woman unless she is super chic to begin with. Mary

Debbie@Vintage Scout Interiors said...

I'm not gonna lie to you... the bottom pair is too skinny. Sorry. Go with your "go to" width in the middle. Funk it up with an awesome shirt or shoes, age appropriate of course, instead.
And know that this 40-something year old feels your delimma too. Luckily I have an 18 year old daughter to tell me, whether I want to know or not, how I am dressed. :)

Debbie said...

I think a lot of it depends on the shoes and what you wear on top. You have to balance it all so you don't look like you're trying to be a 20 year old hipster, but a polo and tassled loafers would be just as bad. It's all about slight adjustments to your wardrobe to keep you current and I have extreme confidence that you'll be able to find the perfect balance to be able to rock the skinny jean!

Royaltygirl said...

I vote for the skinny jeans! They are really not as skinny as the ones my teenage son wears. He wears the ones that say "rude" on the label not "skinny". For my husband, I stick with nice brands and then follow the trends with the experts. They will not create a jean that is too edgy but also keep up with the current trend enough to make you look fresh but not trendy! he is wearing a "tapered" leg right now in his 40's. In our circle of friends it would be considered "skinny". he looks great! You will too!

Anonymous said...

I say please no on the skinny jeans. They look like high school skater boys to me. Wear some nice straight legged ones and I think you can look stylish and age appropriate.

Kim@Chattafabulous said...

I love this post as I struggle with this issue myself. I feel very young and love nothing better than to wear cute low-rise jeans and a top from the Jr. dept. However, I know my limits and try to dress in fit and colors that compliment my shape and coloring without going too over the top - it's a fine line we walk!!!!

HauteZone said...

You are hilarious Christian! My vote, wear whatever you want. There's alot of mystery and intrigue in being 'a tad off' if someone else deems it so. If they're too long - roll em up. If they're too big - wear a vintage tie as a belt. If they're too short - tuck em in some boots. Do what you FEEL!

You can always say.... "Oh, these ole' skinny jeans aren't for me. I'm just trying them out for a friend"!

Happy Thanksgiving to all the men out there who need "a scoach more room".



Karena said...

Be comfortable and feel good about yourself is the way I want to feel when I am dressed. It is really a personal thing. I do not like seeing 50 yr old women dress like 25.

Art by Karena

maison21 said...

friends, you are a very wise and insightful group, and this is exactly the discussion i wanted to hear.

just so you know, i've ordered "skinny" and "super skinny", and i'll let you know which works best! because of my chicken legs and serious lack of bootay, skinny jeans have always been kinder to me, so if i go with "super skinny", i promise to NEVER pair them with anything trendy up top and keep it adult and proper. you have permission to shoot on sight if i pair them with a striped hoodie.

i also hereby solemnly vow to NEVER try to recapture my youth through a face lift, so if i stumble with a skinny jean or two, it is the lesser (and less permanent) of two evils!

David said...

I think there is plenty of room between "old man" and "too young," and we generally feel it when we've gone too far either way.

Let us know how the try-on goes. I bought a pair of skinny jeans and they were horrible on me, which I didnt know realize until trying them on-after I washed them. Being a lifelong fan of boot cuts I should have known.

Slim Paley said...

So Funny! I think you've inspired me to post about this very same subject, so much do I have to say about it (what else is new?)
Honestly, dressing "age-appropriately" is the most horrifying, depressing, perplexing aspect of aging to me. Well, other than the fact that my body is slowly melting, my memory is a sieve and I'm turning into my mother (not that I don't adore my mother)
I say stay away from the "high street" stuff - I agree with Nita that only the young can get away with cheap (I also hope that her 60 year old friend doesn't read your blog!)
Other than that, I've already forgotten the rest of my wisdom.

PS. Alan Carr photo- Hilar.

Balustrade and Bitters said...

As long as you "own it", you can pull it off. Plus, growing up in the 80's - the original skinny jeans era, automatically gives you seniority. Who wants to wear the same old cut their whole lives? Great style is not about perfection, right? It's about self expression.