Dressing Like My Mother

AdvancedStyleDVDIn 2008, Ari Seth Cohen set out to photograph the older women he would see in New York City that had a certain flair, confidence and style. His blog Advanced Style has been featuring these women ever since.

Last month, he released the documentary “Advanced Style”, an extension of his blog, that follows seven New York women between the ages of 62 to 95 whose views on aging and fashion are non-conventional.

The women in the film range from elegant to colorful to oversized. Their personalities come through int heir choices of attire. From muted colors and understated jewelry to tall hats adorned with feathers to oversized glasses paired with busy prints.

These women are not getting older. They’re getting better.

I’ve never been a fashion plate. I wore a potato sack uniform in high school and went off to college wearing tube socks, running shorts and polo shirts.  I could only go uphill from there. Luckily, one of the first friends I met in college had style. She helped me dress then and she’s been helping me for the last 30 years.

But I’m still a mousey dresser. I have a mom uniform which is the same year-round since I live in South Florida. Some sort of solid top paired with a solid pair of Bermuda shorts or pants, cargo or otherwise, and Birkenstocks every day because I have a bad lower back.

But when I put on a pair of khaki pants and a denim button down shirt, I feel invisible. And shlumpy. I want to dress with confidence like the women in the film. And like my mother.

My mom is in her 70s and is very stylish. At a recent talk she gave for her new book of photographs (Double Take: Portraits Over Time), she wore a pencil skirt that was plaid in the front, solid in the back and had a zipper extending from the waist to the hem. She looked awesome.

One of the the perils of dressing at our age is finding the balance between not wearing something too young or too old. I’m working on it. I’ll let you know what I come up with.

Where’s your favorite place to shop for clothes that make you feel good?

mom uniform

My mom uniform


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