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Men who keep fit seem to look inviting once they reach that half century mark. What’s with this phenomenon? Nobody necessarily notices women over 50. If they do look, they quickly avert their eyes. Oh, I suppose it’s a different story with Jane Fonda-like women. The latest news to me is that women must be bizarre looking to be noticed after fifty. Blue or pink hair won’t do it although décolleté wear probably would.

Not to be obsessive or anything, but I’ve been over 50 for some time now, and I am just learning, in order to be noticed, one must be eccentric in one’s dress. (Dress? Haven’t worn a dress or pantyhose since our son’s wedding 20 years go).

In any case, if you wear unseemly clothing, someone might glance your way. Is that what we over fifty want? I know a few aging hippies who try to outdo each other in this department. Maybe they come across as being ready for a costume party, but they dress this way year round. They are noticed.

Those of us who are not adventuresome shop mostly from online catalogues or in department stores where you can pretty much find the same clothing no matter which one you frequent. So, we look alike. We come in different sizes. Ladies, shall we ignore this whole business? Get a big wig? Make entrances by arriving late to parties?

No matter — it isn’t important that we be noticed through our clothing. Think of our poor grandmothers and great grandmothers with their crinoline underskirts and long, flouncy dresses over a size 13 inch waist or whatever. At least we’re not gathered into corsets and walking along muddy roads.

There are other ways to be noticed which we read about in the news every day: Serial killing, running for President or maybe winning a triathlon. None of these activities appeals to me.

Then again, maybe the ticket is to shop now. Halloween season has been upon us since July 4. We might find some kooky clothes to wear all year. I can’t be a princess since I don’t fit into princess style dresses any longer. But, black hats, capes, cauldrons, brooms?

My dad used to ask me when I was presented with some insurmountable obstacle as a kid, “What difference will it make 50 years from now?” We may be shedding skin with each breath, but let’s just be comfortable in it and wriggle on!  

Sandra Brian Lore

Sandra Brian Lore had a typical small-town and suburban life outside Chicago — until she served for 32 years in the Foreign Service.

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