Saturday, September 12, 2009

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple (or red)

At the market today I saw a friend wearing a red silk chiffon blouse. She looked stunning. She too is nearly 70. One of the new breed of old ladies -- the ones who look young.

"I splashed out," said Robyn. "It cost a fortune. What do you think?"

"It looks gorgeous," I said.

"I had to have some colour."

"Yes, we old ladies must wear colour," I proselytised. "We can't wear black or we all look like Greek widows. And we can't wear beige or we all look the same: generic old ladies, interchangeable -- see one, seen the lot."

Then I looked down at what I was wearing.

Black skivvy... Beige trousers...Oops.

I did have red shoes on, if that counts, and orange spectacle frames.

Jenny Joseph's "Warning" contains some excellent beauty advice but it's a big mind shift for Wellington women.

For decades Wellington women wear black -- funky black, arty black, op-shop black, Zambesi black or chain-store black. As a look it's endlessly versatile. What-to-wear decisions are simple. And you always fit in.

Then one day you wake up and your skin has mysteriously lost its rosy glow. Arty black becomes bag-lady black. Op-shop black makes you shudder. High Street black becomes tacky black. And even Zambesi black makes you look like a sophisticated corpse.

That's the reason why Jenny Joseph, clever young lady that she was, knew at the age of 29 that when she grew old she would wear purple and red.

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Jenny Joseph's "Warning"
The photo is the beautiful Aunt Polly of one George Perry. His web site has no copyright notice or contact details except for a US phone number.

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