Monday, 25 March 2013

IS 20 OVER THE HILL?: THE AGE OF THE WOMAN-CHILD

Yes, really. I'm asking. Is 20 the new 40?

There was a time when it felt like we were moving forward. One small step for fashion, one huge step for womankind and all that. SJP teetered down the streets in Sex and the City, giving housewives everywhere a run for their money and making it ok for women to be women and not young, hitched, baby-making machines before their time. The Devil Wears Prada came along and made it glamourous for women to be successful with an enviable career, to see the world and babysit nothing more than their wardrobe. It was a time for power women. Life started at 40. Girls were being girls for longer and women were living out their pre-baby dreams without feeling that society was perpetually frowning at them. So why, as I sit here 2 weeks before my 20th birthday, do I feel like I'm about to be pushed down a slippery slope towards crow's feet?

Having spent the last 3 weeks in female dominated offices, it couldn't be more obvious how many hours have been knocked off the biological clock in recent years. There are women in their mid and early 20s - all either pregnant or desperate to be. There's talk of puppies (for the children), maternity leave and prospective engagement rings. There are even women that vehemently deny their age for fear they'll be considered old at 27. If this is Earth, then send me to Mars.

What bothers me the most, however, is the new meaning of 'mutton dressed as lamb'. Apparently, short shorts are out of the question once you lose the teenager title and it's time to consider a new sophisticated way of dressing. Not that I was keen on pigtails in the first place but I'm not ready for the pearls and twin sets!

With 14 year old girls taking to the tiles - fake IDs and stilettos at hand - is there room for us 20 year old wash outs? Am I destined to a life of breast pumps, cats and powdered milk?

Who am I kidding? Here are my top 4 Topshop mini dresses to steal every gaze at a birthday celebration. I might just get a bejewelled Zimmer frame to match.

1. Colour Block Mirror Dress - For a quiet Corona & Lime with friends, try Brick Lane for the coolest bars in East London.
2. Organza Lantern Dress - This is one for the Mad Hatter's Tea. Cocktails in tea cups and cutesy cakes from the Hummingbird Bakery. Throw one in your back garden if the weather permits or deck out your living room with coloured scarves and cushions for psychedelic Bohemian feel.
3. Florence Dress by Jones & Jones - Perfect for sushi and sake at Nobu. Slick your hair up in a high pony and you'll give the VIP clientele a run for their money.
4. Bow Front Prom Dress - This one's got something of the cutesy dominatrix about it. Head to the West End to party in style. Whisky Mist, Movida or Jalouse will do the trick!
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