As you may have read earlier, I had a great New Year’s Eve, during which I wore a scandalous yellow dress with a plunging neckline that required boob tape.
But was still tasteful.
Upon seeing the few photos circulating on Facebook, a friend sent the following text: “I see you, J. Lo.”
To which I responded, “I had to do it while I was still in my twenties.”
While our favorite starlets like the infamous J. Lo and Halle Berry are now into their 40s, had babies and still have amazing bodies and can still probably rock their most talked about frocks, I am fully aware that I am a regular woman in transition.
I don’t have a trainer, a chef, or a glam squad.
I have spanx, I make a good salad, I have a few MAC products, a mirror and good sense. I’ve got to work with what I’ve got.
Fashionwise, as a grown woman, there are just things I’m going to have to leave behind in my second decade.
I won’t be wearing large logos on my clothes or accessories. Example. In college, I had a pair of jeans with Enyce in large blue stitching across my behind. No mas. I used to love Guess purses, but their logos are too loud and gaudy for my taste now.
I will not let my bra straps or panties show. I have invested in those bra clasp thingies and have a variety of strapless or convertible bras to accommodate various styles of clothing I have.
I will no longer wear low-rise jeans. I gave them up a couple of years ago this will prevent the visible panty situation.
I won’t expose my midriff. A snug tee, I’m down for, but outside of a banging two-piece to rock beachside, no dice.
I can’t wear novelty shirts with cherries on them or saying I’m a golddigger, hustler, or slut, or naughty kitten. I’ll let my suitors find that kind of information out on their own.
Even my beloved Carrie Bradshaw, of Sex and the City, told her homegirl Samantha in an episode in season 6, that there comes a time where even the edgiest of fashionistas mature and don’t dress with “naked” as their default setting, as they once did in their youth.
As a grown woman, you want to always be sexy, but also taken seriously. Ask any human resources director and they’ll tell you, nothing sends your credibility down the drain faster than an inappropriate ensemble, no matter how brilliant you may actually be.
We judge older women harshly. Look no further than reality show hip-hop mothers like Frankie (Keyshia Cole’s mom) or Mama Jones (rapper Jim Jones mother and self-proclaimed “psychotic bitch”) who wear skinny jeans and midriff exposing tee shirts. Their antics as well as their clothes often make you wonder if their grown children are more mature than they are.
I’m not saying they should be school marms, but there are grown women doing the damn thing the right way. I call it “subtle, sexy, chic.” This type of style is more thought out. It’s strategic, and when done correctly, it still brings the boys to the yard, and keeps em there. Yes, it takes time, practice and finding your own personal style mentor to help you get it right.
As the headline of this blog says, the literal interpretation of what’s sexy, tends to be lazy and mainly includes showing skin and doing not much else.
However, the “subtle, sexy, chic” women don’t hit you over the head with the breasts and booty as soon as they enter the room, but they also don’t shy away from playing up their best assets with well-tailored clothing on and off the red carpet. Women who dress “subtle, sexy, chic” allow you to see other sexy traits that aren’t as obvious and that grown women play up very well: hair, eyes, smiles, the decolletage.
Meet my celebrity style mentors:
Michelle Obama. There’s a reason President Obama hasn’t cussed out the entire free world yet, dropped the mic and walked off the stage like the lead singer from “Sexual Chocolate”. He has a fine woman at home. Michelle is the epitome of class and she rarely gets it wrong. Whether she is jump-roping, gardening, entertaining world leaders, or encouraging military families, her hair, makeup and clothing choices are always appropriate and she pulls it off wonderfully.
Princess Kate Middleton. (She’s turning 30 next week! Kate dresses the part as modern young royalty in a way that’s classic, but still fashion forward.) I think Kate has done a wonderful job since she’s been in the spotlight as Prince William’s boo. From jeans to evening wear, she is a strategic dresser and knows she can’t embarrass head grandma in charge, the Queen. She doesn’t try to dress older than what she is, but she manages to get it right and represent respectfully. This young lady is going to be one to watch and emulate for years to come.
Tracee Ellis Ross. I decided to throw one celeb in here, considering wives of world leaders have another level of pressure and decorum to adhere to that the rest of us don’t. Tracee wowed us as Joan Clayton on the television show “Girlfriends” and she gushes all the time about taking her famous mom, Diana Ross’ clothes. She’s got the big, gorgeous signature hair (also from her mama) and she’s another one who makes a trip to Trader Joe’s look like an effortless jaunt down Fifth Ave. She’s creative but takes calculated risks that end up winners.
So as I turn the big 3-0, I keep these women in mind as I’m shopping and getting dressed.
As for the yellow dress and a few other items in my closet…
They are officially retired.