March 07, 2008
looking forward

Last November I had to have a tooth extraction when my 17 year old crown (that had been missing for a while) turned out to be so rotted away there was nothing left to do. During the examination process I was asked to remove both my earrings for a full facial x-ray. Looking at myself without my earrings had got me thinking. I am 40 now, is it time to move on from things like earrings and long hair?

After a week or so I put one earring back in (the left). But within the month I had both earrings back in. The truth is after 25 years of having my ears pierced they aren't a fashion statement for me they are a part of how I see myself. That is not to say that someday I won't see that taking them out makes me feel more comfortable with myself.

Yesterday I was reading this article in Details magazine about dressing your age and they were pointing out people like Howard Stern, Anthony Bourdain, and Dinah Lohan as examples of people that look more foolish than stylish. I found that before I even read the article the pictures they included had me thinking, these people look desperate for youth.

I'm not desperate for youth or being seen as young. There is a famous quote, "I hope I die young at a very old age" and I understand what it means, keeping your mind young is very important, young minds are always learning, always adapting, always seeing the possibilities. But it's something different entirely if you think wearing those clothes from Hot Topic make you appear young.

It has always been my contention that the way I have presented myself over the years has never been about adopting a style as a banner to wave, "look at me I'm rebel!" for me I was just trying to reflect how I felt inside and that's why I shifted a lot, tried out new things, and kept moving forward. I was overly trendy in my teens, but that's what you do. You lack a clear vision of yourself so you try to make your image reflect what you want to be. I wanted to be a rock star and my clothes reflected that, but that idea seems completely foreign to me now.

Another part of the article, a quote from Tim Gunn someone who I admire a great deal, talks about reassessing your style at regular intervals. He mentioned that he did his last one at about 40. I took some sense of ease that at 40 I found myself doing the same thing as well.

I use to have a very hard time seeing "trend" from "fashion", but I think I am starting to understand it more and more as I get older. As I looked at my wardrobe this morning I made a little vow to myself. No more Hawaiian or loud print shirts. No more going out in public in sweats. The people they showed as stylish were people who I thought looked good and I looked for the points of fashion I could adapt, without copying. It's not that tomorrow I am going to go out and buy a new wardrobe of Khakis and Cosby sweaters, because that's not me either, but I feel more comfortable in nice jeans or khakis (either shorts or pants) and a solid print shirt with my new pinstriped jacket. It will be a gradual process, but I find myself actually interested in buying clothes again.

Posted by John at 09:21 AM