I’m trying to decide at what age low-rise jeans become too low to wear. I’ve invested in some nice denim and am wondering if I should give these away. What to do if a person’s midsection isn’t quite what it originally was? Any advice or insight would be greatly appreciated. – Margaret, New York, New York
The question of age-appropriate clothing and what that means exactly is complex and highly personal, but it comes at some point for all of us. I remember sitting at an Yves Saint Laurent show about a decade ago, watching a model walk around in a jumpsuit with tuxedo shorts and heels and thinking first: Oh, a looks great, I should get it, it solves all the problems of a small dress; and then the second: Actually, if you were middle aged and you dressed like that, you would be a sheep dressed as the last sheep.
Sometimes, just because you can still wear something, doesn’t mean you should.
However, how you decide when those times have come is the question. There are no hard and fast rules for anything in fashion anymore, which is both liberal and confusing.
Actually that’s not entirely true. There’s a rule: Wear clothes that make you feel good about yourself; help you overcome the world and be the most effective version of yourself.
As Karla Welch, stylist who works with Tracee Ellis Ross and Sarah Paulson, among other mature women, said when I asked her what she thinks: “No trend can beat your confidence. personal”.
Trends are a problem in your case, as almost everything is having a resurgence right now thanks to the wave of 90s nostalgia sweeping through pop culture. And honestly, there’s nothing like having a wardrobe chosen by a younger generation who hasn’t gone through it for the first time to make it seem off-limits to those who did.
What does all of that mean? If “bumster” (as Alexander McQueen called them) and low-rise jeans still make you feel great, then you should wear them. If you have the original, just consider you ahead of the game. But if they make you feel insecure about your private parts, it’s probably not worth it. Maybe you’re worried enough in your everyday life that you don’t have to worry about your pants.
(On a personal note, just as I hope that someday the contours of our faces will once again be seen as signs of life that deserve to be celebrated rather than erased, I also hope hopefully one day we can have a baby with clumsy- birth tumours, thus eliminating this as an issue. But I know we don’t have one yet.)
And if you’re still torn, Ms. Welch suggests some styling tricks to solve any problem. “Simply” tuck in a t-shirt, or a fitted turtleneck, she says. “Adds a great belt. And “think of the Jane Fonda of the ’70s”. After all, she never goes out of style.
Your style questions, answered
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/18/fashion/low-rise-jeans.html Can I still wear low-rise jeans?