Hello and how are you? I think I might sound as if I’ve got my ranty pants on today but it’s all in a good cause because there’s something that I’m seeing trip a lot of women up right now and it’s the phrase “Mutton Dressed As Lamb.”
If there’s one phrase that I’d LOVE to erase from the minds of women who are “over a certain age” (which is another phrase I’d like to get rid of!) it’s this one!
Seriously! Is it possible to think of anything that is going to limit our creativity, fun and joy in our clothes any more than an image in our heads that we’re too old for something…
…that we’re trying too hard
…that we’re trying to be something that we shouldn’t be
…that we can’t “pull it off”
…that we shouldn’t be trying to “pull it off
…that it’s “best left” to people younger than us
That’s a whole load of “shouldn’ts” going in that little scenario which is playing out. And, unless they’re designed to save us from something dangerous (like going into shark infested waters. Or Hollister when the lights are off – there are too many hidden steps in there) “shouldn’ts” often don’t serve us very well in life.
“Mutton Dressed As Lamb” is such a derogatory term towards women and yet rarely do I see anyone challenging it. Even worse, we buy into it – as if it’s valid. As if it’s the truth. And the sad thing is that over the years I’ve seen so many women stopped dead in their style tracks by this phrase.
Think of it like this…
A narrative that states that once you reach a certain age, you now need permission to do exactly what you’ve been doing for the last 40 or 50 years, which is (hopefully) dress in a way which makes you happy. (If this hasn’t been the case up until now, we need to have a chat!)
At what point was it decided, and who decided, that once a woman reached a big birthday ending in a “0” she had to question, in minute detail, what she wore? That she had to run it through a filter so as not to be labelled? That she had to create a checklist of whether it met certain requirements but didn’t breach others – with the most likely end result being that she erred on the side of caution and kept wearing her limited “uniform” of clothes but “phew” at least it didn’t offend anyone in society. That’s what you call a result.
Flip me! At a time in our lives when things are falling off, falling out, drying up and thinning out do we really need to have any additional pressure put on us? Don’t we already have enough to contend with?
And yet so many women accept this phrase as if it was a law not to be broken. Oh for sure, toss aside any notions of your clothes expressing your personality, bringing you joy and helping you make you feel energised as you go through your day, as long as you don’t offend the “mutton dressed as lamb” police, all is well with the world.
Except it’s not – is it?
As I sit writing this on the train, we’ve stopped at Derby station. There’s a woman standing on a platform opposite me with bright pink hair. She’s carrying a multi coloured bag and is wearing multi coloured shoes with polka dots on them and a bright yellow coat with huge leopards on it.
She’s definitely “over a certain age” and she looks like she’s having a blast!
Who’s got it “right”? I’ve never even met that woman and already I love her because she’s decided that what she thinks and feels and how she wants to express herself is more important than what the “muton dressed as lamb” police think.
And if your mind is resisting and thinking “but I don’t want to wear short skirts, or cropped tops or ripped jeans” you don’t have to. You don’t have to have a huge wardrobe of the latest trends. You don’t have to adopt a style that isn’t yours. You don’t have to wear things that make you feel uncomfortable and not like you.
But what you DO have to do is make sure that the biggest consideration when you’re choosing what to wear each day ISN’T a four worded phrase that saps the joy, energy and personality out of your clothes…and also you.
Because the “mutton dressed as lamb” police only exist if you let them. And frankly, there’s no room for them in your life – or your wardrobe.
If you’d like to dive further into this, and gain the style confidence to choose what you wear at any age, just download my free Style Confidence Guide below and let me know how you get on because frankly, we all deserve to look and feel the best version of ourselves (whatever that looks like) EVERY day.