If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen a “Coming soon – #iwillwearwhatilike” teaser – it’s a fun thing I’m doing for the month of August and I’d love for you to take part!
It started with this post on Facebook where I linked to a preposterous article entitled “24 Things You Should Stop Wearing After Age 30”, and, quite rightly, it started a discussion between women of all ages who said they will (and do) wear whatever they like, thank you very much. The things that were vilified in the article went from the sublime (leopard print) to the ridiculous (booty shorts) and everything in between (hooped earrings, furry anything, old sneakers).
I thought it would be fun to add a few things to that list to make it up to 31 [days in August] for us to post on Instagram using the hashtag #iwillwearwhatilike. (Though if Facebook or Twitter suit you better then you can post them there instead, or as well.) I’ve added 7 things that regularly come up on lists of things you’re not “supposed” to wear as you get older (leather trousers, distressed denim, etc.) to make up a crazy list of things I want you to wear / feature / regram – and post for each day in August.
(A little like @fatmumslim’s #FMSphotoaday, if you’ve ever seen that series.)
There aren’t any rules, really! Here’s some helpful guidelines instead:
- No one has to make sure they post on every single day. Do all of them, do some of them, do just one of them. It’s up to you.
- No one has to use the theme on the right day – the list below is simply to be used as a guideline and as inspiration – and most of all for you to have fun. This is about showing that we can, we do and we WILL wear whatever we like, no matter what our age.
- If you miss a day it doesn’t matter. If you post the theme from day 3 on the 4th – or the 5th, or the 6th – it doesn’t matter. Just make sure you add the hashtag #iwillwearwhatilike and encourage others to join in.
- You can post a new picture of yourself wearing the item on the list and post it. You can post an old picture of you wearing it. You can find some inspiration of someone else wearing it (please make sure you credit/tag them) and post that.
- The photo doesn’t have to be serious. Make it as silly or as cool and sophisticated as you like.
- Whilst you don’t have to, it would be nice if you posted the image below on Instagram between now and 31st July (or any time in August) it will let others know what’s going on and what the themes each day are. (And if you tag me in @notlamb I’d be super grateful!)
- You can post as many individual pictures as you like on one theme, or put them in a composite image. It’s entirely up to you.
- If you don’t use Instagram then post it on Facebook or Twitter, just don’t forget the hashtag.
- Find others using the hashtag and leave some lovely comments. Hopefully we’ll all find some great new accounts to follow too.
So these are the things (below) that were included in the “24 Things…” article – plus a few of my own to make it up to 31. Please don’t blame me for how silly some of them are!
The idea of this is to show the author (and anyone that agrees with her) that, You know what? We can wear crop tops and glitter eyeshadow at whatever age we damn well please.
A quick breakdown of each day:
1. OVERSIZED SUNGLASSES
Really?!! How many women over 30 don’t wear oversized sunglasses? I think everyone can get in on the act with this one.
2. GRAPHIC TEES
Another one that baffles me why it’s on this list. Band t-shirts, slogans, they all count. Find your “Frankie Says” t-shirt if you’ve still got one somewhere and flaunt it for us all to see. Or show off your age with a date of birth tee.
3. CANDY PINK
The article actually described the colour as “Victoria’s Secret pink”, but that’s just a long-winded way of saying candy pink. Any bright pink counts, to be honest.
4. BEDAZZLED ANYTHING
Got anything that you love with a bit of bling on it? Put it on and photograph that.
5. BLUE EYESHADOW
Do many of us ever wear blue eyeshadow anyway?! Do it with blue eyeliner, blue mascara, whatever you like – it can look quite incredible if you get the right blue for your face and skin tone.
7. SPARKLY PANTS
Interpret as you wish. If you want to interpret it the British way, i.e. sparkly pants meaning sparkly underwear, go for it.
8. NON-MATCHING SOCKS
Do this just for fun. Unless you’re a four-year-old who’s been left to dress themselves, I’m not sure anyone does this anyway.
9. HOOP EARRINGS
Because if Jennifer Lopez can’t get away with it (apparently), we shouldn’t be able to, either. Let’s dispel that myth: We’re as cool as J-Lo, aren’t we?
10. ANYTHING SLEEVELESS*
Older women are always being told to cover up their arms, so let them be free.
11. FURRY BOOTS
Unless you’re in the southern hemisphere, you may want to post a picture from a more wintry time. Or just wear your furry boots in July, regardless of the heat.
12. SHORT DRESSES
Another one I’m sure plenty of us can get on board with. Rock those short hemlines, ladies – even layered with trousers or jeans.
13. DISTRESSED DENIM*
Because ripped jeans are only for the young, right? Wrong.
14. TUBE TOPS
There are lots of maxi dresses in the shops this summer with tube tops (or “boob tubes” as they’re called in the UK); as part of a dress or on its own, wear yours with pride.
15. MAXIMUM 3 COLOURS*
I’m forever reading that in order to be a “classic” dresser you must restrict your outfit to three colours maximum. The number of times I’ve broken that rule…! Plus, who says we all want to be classic dressers? Go for it with 4, 5 or 6 colours. Or more if you like.
16. ABERCROMBIE & FITCH
Probably the most insulting of all the suggestions, the author of the article asked “can anyone over 30 actually fit in [Abercrombie & Fitch] clothes” – what the?! If you don’t own anything by A&F, borrow something from your daughter (or son!) and photograph yourself in that. I’m borrowing something A&F from my niece even though I have no idea what it’ll be yet.
A favourite of mine. Overalls dresses count as well.
18. MINI SKIRTS
If the skirt shows your knees, it’s a mini. Great if you missed the short dresses on day 12.
Because ponytails are for schoolgirls, aren’t they…? Not any more.
20. CROP TOPS
This one is always coming up. Because even if you have abs of steel but you’ve just celebrated your 30th birthday, you shouldn’t be wearing crop tops apparently. Got abs of steel? Celebrate them and show them off! Don’t have abs of steel? Wear one anyway!
21. RAINBOW HAIR*
If you’ve got pink, blue, green or any other unconventional rainbow hair colour this is your time to shine. Or wear a pink wig instead.
22. FURRY ANYTHING
I have faux fur coats, bags, gilets, gloves… I won’t have any trouble finding a picture of me wearing something furry. Also good if you missed furry boots on day 11.
23. AMERICAN EAGLE
I don’t own anything by Abercrombie & Fitch or American Eagle. Again, interpret however you wish. Dress up as Sam the American Eagle from the Muppets if you wish. The author didn’t say it had to be the American Eagle brand.
24. BOOTY SHORTS
Very, very few of us – of any age – have the confidence to wear short shorts. But hey, if it’s only on Instagram, it’s not like it’s in public, is it?!! Wear them over your leggings or pyjama bottoms if you’d rather. We’re just going to defy the author of the article in any way we can.
25. OLD SNEAKERS
I have a nearly-20-year-old pair of Adidas Superstar Originals and countless scuffed tennis shoes. This one’s easy.
26. CHEAP BRAS
Whether you’re hiding it under a top or showing it for all the world to see (good for you if you do!), this is again up to you. Photograph it flatlay-style if you’d prefer. I’m just convinced that every woman over the age of 25 has at least one bra that didn’t cost upwards of £50.
27. GLITTER EYESHADOW
Whether full-on glitter for fun or beautiful and subtle glittering eyeshadow, let’s see your sparkly lids.
28. PLATFORM FLIP-FLOPS
This was a bizarre choice because they’re not exactly a common item in women’s wardrobes – but if you wear them and rock them, show us!
29. LONG HAIR*
We’ve all heard this one: The antiquated theory that all older women must cut their hair short. If you have long hair, let it loose and show it off.
Having seen a bit of a resurrection in recent years (Carrie Bradshaw would be horrified – or maybe not…?) you could borrow one from your daughter. Or niece. Or younger sister. Or just wear the one you still have from 1994 and be proud.
31. LEATHER TROUSERS*
I think along with crop tops, they are always topping the “What Older Women Should Not Wear” lists. Personally, I think leather trousers look better the older you are.
*my additions to the list
So that’s it! I hope you have fun with this. As I said no rules – interpret all the themes however you want. Let me know if you’re going to partake, won’t you? Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram to see what I post!
P.S. If you love what I’m wearing in the lead image you can still buy the pink shoes and the floral clutch (in a slightly different colourway)!