I recently posted on my separate travel blog a photo of me in the KL airport wearing socks with sandals (and yes I have a separate travel blog so friends and family can follow my adventures).
I know this is a major fashion no-no, and normally I wouldn’t have done something like that but unfortunately we had a 12 hour layover in KL before our flight to Seoul and the airport was cold. My feet were cold. Preferably I would have at least worn my tennis shoes (not because they are stylish, just because at least it’s OK to wear socks with them) but awhile back I lost one of my tennis shoes somewhere on a travel day and I hadn’t gotten around to replacing them yet.
So, when my feet were cold I was stuck with the socks with sandals look since the only shoes I own at this point are sandals. Admittedly not my best look, but not something I do on a regular basis.
What brought me to this blog post is that my mother commented that when you get old you just don’t care about what you look like anymore. Keeping in mind that my mother has always hated my clothing (well, more than that but that’s a whole other blog post topic), I try to not pay too much attention to what she says but I have to admit that I was a little offended because I really do care what I look like (if I didn’t, would it even be a worthy blog post picture to make fun of myself?). Unfortunately with my situation in life right now, i.e., living out of a backpack, I don’t have many choices in what I can wear. But I still had to wonder, does she really think I have just “given up” or was she just kidding?
Now of course I have heard of people just “giving up.” In college I saw girls who would dress cute and stylish but then when they got a steady boyfriend they just started wearing the same sweatshirt with no makeup every day, and I always thought of them as just “giving up.”
But thinking about it now, I don’t really dress to impress men so much, and I’m not sure if it’s because I am married, twenty years older, or what. For me it’s more of a feel-good-about-myself thing. For example, I feel dumpy in a t-shirt and shorts so it’s OK to wear that to yoga class and maybe a quick errand after class, but that’s not usually what I’m wearing all day.
In fact, I have been married twenty years and I know I personally make an effort on my appearance just for myself, not to attract others. Honestly another woman commenting on my shoes or dress would mean more to me than a comment from a man (although comments from the husband are always appreciated).
I actually tried researching this a little bit, although admittedly my research was limited to a brief Google search. I found a few interesting articles:
It does seem that these articles seem to say that perhaps women care about how they look longer then men do, and maybe more people do give up more once they get married or get older, but I’m still not convinced that is overwhelmingly true.
My husband said he had read somewhere that at some point when you get older you just stop buying new clothes and so from then on all of your clothing reflects the decade you stopped buying new clothing. As a kid in a midwest state I remember seeing the “old” ladies in their outdated (no doubt vintage, lol) clothing and short, set hair. But they still went to the hairdresser every week, wore lipstick and clearly were trying to look “good,” so I think it’s just maybe the idea of what you think looks good changes (or maybe doesn’t change with the times?) when you get older.
On the other hand, having lived in the southwest for about the last twenty years, it seems like I have also seen that when lots of people age they still dress modern, keep pretty active and clearly make an effort. And let’s not forget there are a lot of over-40 fashion bloggers out there who clearly still care and look great.
So when do you really get to the point where you just “give up,” or do most people ever “give up?” How do you even define “giving up.”
Interestingly enough, while doing my research I also found a lot of articles that talked about how you should stop caring what others think about you. I totally agree with that, and I do firmly believe that you should just dress and look how you want, but it seems to me that there is a difference in dressing a certain way (for yourself) vs. dressing a certain way to just impress others.
Another thread I came upon during my research was actually a little depressing since it was no doubt really thin people disparaging people who “let themselves go” by gaining weight. I was a little offended by that because I will admit, I weigh more now than I did in college (I originally had the actual amount in here but decided maybe that was TMI for me to share with you, sorry) but it was a gradual weight gain over twenty years, it’s not like I said “f*** it, I just give up” and gained all the weight quickly.
I don’t really know where I am going with this, I guess just sharing my thoughts here. Does the fact I wore socks with sandals mean I have really just “given up?” Does the fact I have gained some weight over the last twenty years mean I have “given up?” I don’t feel that way, but maybe that’s not how I am perceived.
Honestly I am not really convinced that most people ever “give up.” Sure, there are moments where you don’t try as hard, like maybe at a cold airport in KL, but it seems that most people do try to make an effort. That was reinforced lately when the husband and I were sitting at a McDonald’s with a big mirror outside and it was quite amazing to watch how many people would stop to look in the mirror, and it was even more interesting to see those who got sidetracked for like ten minutes playing with their hair, checking their makeup, etc.
I’d be curious to know what you think about this topic, do you think most people “give up at some point? If so, what age do you think that is? Is it different for men and women? Do you personally dress/look a certain way for yourself or to impress others? Please share your thoughts!
Until next time!