I wasn’t quite myself this morning. I had planned to wear a vibrant pink jacket my sister gave me for my recent 39th birthday (I am holding firm to this number, it has a nice ring to it). It’s a funky jacket and something very few would venture to wear. I fell instantly in love with it the second I untied the ribbons, ripped the paper from the box, and lifted the lid.
It was a perfect jacket to wear today since here in the Bay Area we are bypassing Winter-frost, and moving directly to Spring-blush. I slithered into my funky and damn near new vintage bell bottoms—I am a lot like the song, I’m a little bit country, a little bit rock and rock-n-roll, well I am a tad vintage-hippy—and pulled on the pink jacket. WOW, some strange little voice whispered in my ear, it’s cotton candy pink. Can you really pull this off? I answered back, I have violet black colored hair with red streaks and this jacket isn’t any brighter than my pink cashmere boa I am so fond of wearing to work winter mornings.
As I stood in front of my mirror, giving myself the once over and taking inventory, I recalled what my hairdresser had said to me about women wearing pink. Women past twenty should never wear pink. She felt strongly pink is color for the very young. She said this to me while streaking my hair. Hmmmm? As I stared at my reflection in the mirror considering the jacket, I heard her words. I didn’t agree with her but since she mentioned it, I’ve wondered if a woman of 39 (ME) should change their style (MINE) to suit a number. Is there a number a woman redefines and/or conforms? I wonder.
In truth, if I had an endless pot of gold, I would wear something new everyday. I love clothes. I even love shopping for clothes, despite the headaches endured finding my size perfect—perfect for my curvy body—and meeting my criteria for fashion. I don’t follow the trends nor do I shop in big box department stores and the last time I checked—this morning—my body isn’t designed for the likes of what is found on the pages of Vogue. I don’t like what women are wearing in Redbook or Family Circle and as I am past eighteen, I can’t see myself in itty-bittys at the ripe age of 39 (and holding.) That being said I don’t want to wear anything with little red ladybugs, tulips and daisies, but rhinestones and shimmery is OK. Pink or not, the jacket is me.
I stared longingly at my cotton candy pink jacket but slipped on a black velvet one instead. Am I too old to wear pink? Who says I can’t? I dropped the thought with the jacket on my bed and ran for the train. I was lost to the blank page of the laptop on my lap (as a writer with many lives I write when I can) and unaware of everything but the words I was typing.
My eyes noticed her before my conscious self, did. Her shoes took me on a journey, from the tip of two-inch heels to the white hair sitting without a care on her shoulders. Her sense of self rocked me, but it was highlighter pink rhinestones affixed to the velvety black brocade atop two-inch heal with a design out of a 1940’s movie that took my breath away. Her suit, old but classic, maybe Chanel, was soft black. The silk blouse, under the wool, matched the rhinestones in her shoes, as did her nail polish and lip stick. Her bag was black, but attached was a white with pink peonies silk scarf tied at the strap.
She caught me watching her, and for a moment, I was embarrassed, but she seemed to know what I was thinking. I couldn’t keep my eyes off her sense of style. As she exited the train, I’d swear she whispered to me, always follow your heart and stay true to your sense of self.
She had to be in her seventies, plus or minus a few years. Damn, if she didn’t look pretty in pink.
Do you think there is an ‘age’ we should stop wearing PINK or conform to an age appropriate style of dress?
post script: assuming the weather holds, I’ll be sporting my pink jacket tomorrow)