Style After Age 30

Q: I’m about to turn 30. Are there any clothing styles, in your opinion, that I need to say a long goodbye to? —Meredith

A: Dear Meredith,
Um, no. I’ve railed against magazines that break out “style” by age (and admitted to reading them voraciously myself), so I’ll spare you that lecture and instead tell you this: My friend’s mom, Lorraine, now in her 80s, is very beautiful. When my friend and I were in our 20s, we asked Lorraine what year had been her prettiest. She thought for about half a second before answering: “Definitely 34.” We thought she was insane. Or sort of momishly trying to de-ageist us.

I am here to tell you from the other side, the hottest age is 32 to 35. The “signs of aging” are in their super-early stages, but your impossible-to-see-around insecurities and misperceptions about yourself that generally start around age 12 have begun to lose their grip on your brain. You can think I’m crazy too, but I guarantee, when you’re at a stage where you can look back, you will not wish for 18, or even 27. You will wish for 34.

So, turn 30 and wear whatever you think looks good on you, because for the next few years, it’s going to look ... especially good.

PS: I went to the launch of Marisa Berenson’s new book, Marisa Berenson: A Life in Pictures (so good, so gorgeous, a style education all in one book, a must-buy, $60, rizzoliusa.com). Ms. Berenson, 65, stood in the middle of the room, her unbelievably fantastic body, glowy skin and perfectly beachy-wavy hair confounding us all. She was wearing a short black dress with a long, slouchy sweater and she didn’t look an age at all, she just looked ... unbelievably, jaw-droppingly fantastic. I asked her (somewhat creepily/stalkerly) her secret for looking so good.

“Discipline,” she said, in a commanding voice. “Diana Vreeland taught me. It’s hard, but it’s worth it.” She did not say what foods she ate (I imagine the chocolate-covered Oreos I have spent this afternoon consuming do not figure prominently in the Berenson diet), but she did say that she had a group of pilates/yoga exercises she could do on her own, anywhere, that she did every day. “You need something you can do in a hotel room, on the beach—wherever you are,” she emphasized.

Discipline, people! Rigor! Not chocolate-covered Oreos!

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