Jewish, Stylish, And Senior
Stylish seniors are too old to dress the way anyone else wants.
The common image of an elderly woman is quiet, frumpish, and not a sharp dresser is being firmly overturned by stylish seniors. They’re too old to dress for other people and too wise to make their clothing choices based on anything other than what best expresses their own personal style. These style mentors are great role models to anyone who wishes to be stylish, visible and individual, but feels frustrated by a world where beauty seems to be defined by being skinnier, taller, younger, and showing more flesh. They also have a lot to teach those Orthodox Jewish women (& men) who feel that their style impulses are squashed by a dress code that seems to have been set by Henry Ford: You can wear any color you want, as long as it’s black. Many women mutter quietly about their wish to wear more color, but feel nervous about going ‘too far’ and dressing ‘too loud’.
This is a good moment to take a look at boomer and older women (and men) who are stepping out stylishly to show that maturity and modesty are no barriers to great dressing. Stylish seniors show the greatest originality in their sartorial selections: stylish without being revealing. Stylish seniors choose the colors, fabrics, styles and combinations that they like and feel good in, having reached an age that disregards the fear that keeps us all dressing like everyone else.
To encourage all Jewish seniors to make clothing choices that express ourselves joyously and confidently, here are some blogs and articles that should give you heart that it is possible to be stylish and a senior, modest and modish, at the same time.
Blogger Ari Seth Cohen has been taking photographs of stylish seniors on the streets of New York and around the country for many years. His blog celebrates the style and verve of older women and men, showcasing style that only gets better with age.
I met up with Joyce the other day to talk to her about her secrets to aging gracefully. At 79 years old Joyce told me, ” I don’t want to look younger, I want to look as great as I can at any age.”
Judith – a.k.a. The Style Crone – is 70 years old, living in Denver, Colorado, and blogging about style and creative expression. She uses her outfits – which always include a hat, so shul-going Jewish seniors will find a lot of inspiration there – to express her creativity and self-perception, and showcases them on her blog.
The SC chose to wear the Zisogorsky elevated crone crown, which was purchased in NYC while hat shopping with the Idiosyncratic Fashionistas (see below).
The multicolored draped velvet chapeau immediately sparked a ‘hat attack.’ I know when I’ve been smitten by the beauty of headwear, and in this case I couldn’t possibly leave the shop without this hat in my possession. Every angle has its charm and distinctive appeal.
Valerie and Jean are two 60+ style bloggers who decided that there was no need to dress invisibly. Their blog shows a great zest for life and love of style, color, and shape, as they share clothing and accessories that they enjoy and individual looks that catch their eye. There’s a good chance that they’ll inspire you to go through your wardrobe again and think about whether the way that you dress really reflects who you are.
GROWING OLD WITH VERVE ‘Growing old gracefully’ is an outdated concept. We prefer ‘growing old with verve’. This blog documents our efforts to live up to that motto, in photos and essays. We embrace our gray hair, while sharing the playground nicely with our younger siblings. Bette Davis was right when she said ‘growing old is not for sissies’, but it’s also not one of Dante’s circles of hell. Idiosyncratic Fashionistas explores what’s out there for Women of a Certain Age, comments on what’s not out there, and demonstrates that our overlooked demographic is still fabulous.
Although it hasn’t got mature women in mind, the Mode-sty blog is an interesting place. It showcases different modest style icons and modest fashion pieces, and highlights some online and in-real-life stores which sell stylish and modest clothing items. You’ll find some style suggestions that can work really well for more mature women.
Modest formalwear is one of the hardest things to shop for — even for celebrities. But this year’s Golden Globes had an unprecedented number of long sleeve formal dresses with coverage. Here are some that caught our eye.
This great, in-depth article from CNN is a couple of years old, but it cannot be beaten for a round-up of older style icons, and a review of the growing movement that recognizes boomer-aged (and older) women’s style importance, buying power, and ongoing visibility.
On the streets of New York, in fashion blogs from around the country and even in ad campaigns, women like Salamon are finding a new audience for their sartorial choices, and their belief that youth is not necessarily beauty: This is about personal style, not fashion or trends, and these are not the years to fade into sweatpants and muumuus. It’s the time to be noticed, and not for looking young.
Online, older women with some tech savvy have created a place to share their favorite hats, latest thrift store finds and wearable shoes that aren’t branded with the words “easy” or “ortho.”
Are you a stylish senior, or know someone who is? Share their style with us firstname.lastname@example.org