Tuesday, 25 May 2010

The Right To Bare Arms

I noticed with the sudden flash of a few sunny days, every third female I passed was wearing a long dress. Indeed, if the promised hot weather does kick in, I imagine this fashion taster predicts yet another 'summer of love' fashion frenzy. Which is fine by me, I love round, metal-rimmed sunglasses and of course I already have a large-brimmed, floppy sun hat, several in fact, this face is never going in the sun again even with factor 50. However, I couldn't help noticing one beauty, hair flying in the breeze, clad in a particularly fetching halter-neck number, flashing perhaps a little more of her fabulous breasts than she may have realised, much to the joy of the passing gentlemen who parted in her wake and turned, eyes wide with delight. On the other hand she might just have decided to get her tits out for the boys, who knows. But it did pose the perennial question: how much is too much flesh to bare at a certain age? And is the long dress age inappropriate?

In my youth the long look was known as maxi, hot on the heels, so to speak, of the midi and mini skirts and there is a school of thought that says if you can remember it the first time round, you shouldn't be wearing it this time. But is that fair? With the stores over-flowing with floaty, flowery whimsical summer-wear, it's hard not to be seduced by the dippy-hippy look. And if the dress fits? Of course, size does matter and lets face it, baring arms, legs, backs and other bits is fine at any age if you have the body to back it up. I recently sat next to a fabulous fortysomething women at a dinner party who was from the waist up a dead spit of the young Susan Hampshire, demurely decked out in a high-necked, pale-pink polka-dot blouse and tiny, angora cardi; from the waist down she was Lady Ga-Ga, sporting a see-through, net tu-tu and French knickers. Not an easy look to pull off admittedly, but she managed it spectacularly and one imagines she will be turning heads long past her 50s.

Top tip: Fill a couple of 1.5 litre plastic bottles with water and hey-presto: instant dumb bells to work those biceps.


  1. English people are notoriously bad dressed for the sun. It's a tough one, how much flesh... I've always gone for the rule, legs, cleavage or back, but never more than one at once. And I'm so with you, I am NEVER getting my face in the sun again. I've never been a sun worshipper anyway but have seen the damage on other people. Prevention rather than cure every time. Good tip on the dumb bells. Hope you're good xx

  2. Someone once told me a woman should never have long hair after 30. They also said a woman shouldn't wear a mini skirt after 30. I cannot believe I actually considered this! However, I too struggle with the flesh thing, although I am very clear where I stand on it for me - dresses and skirts just above the knee, and vests - for others, hum, it's totally subjective and I'm pretty sure, alot about confidence. Not sure I'm brave enough to say "inappropriate" anymore! - toughie. Karen. - oh, and I'm with you both on the never getting sun on my face - v bad thing x

  3. I'd say if you're past forty-something and can still pull it off to where you are turning heads in a good way, go for it. There is a fine line between tastefully "baring arms" and overexposing. If anything jiggles, it's probably best kept under wraps!

  4. Oh I blogged about maxi skirts quite recently - I find they're perfect for covering the varicose veins!