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Stylish Septuagenarians: Exploring the Ages of Fashion

It is a truth universally acknowledged that some things improve with age (wine, whiskey, literacy) whereas others start to decline in value from the get-go (fruit juice,  cars, your joints). Until recently, it was assumed that fashion and style were part of the latter category, immortalized as the preserve of hip young hepcats by Jenny Joseph’s poem “Warning” — for Joseph, growing old is anything but graceful.

Step forward then, New Yorker Ari Cohen, whose blog Advanced Style showcases the eccentric stylings of the over-60s who he sources from the streets of NYC. Almost like The Sartorialist but with a penchant for all things mismatched, over-sized, and neon, Cohen proves that there is an art to matching your pink hair to your pink Ray-Bans — even if its beauty may elude us naive youngsters.

Cohen’s subjects range from the sublime to the absurd, and his work has got us thinking: What is it about aging that affects our notions of appropriate clothing?  Why are we more charmed by Zandra Rhodes’ and Vivienne Westwood’s dress sense than by the steely chic of Anna Wintour, their contemporary? Why do we champion the 20-something in the mini-skirt, condemn the 30-something for the same look, and revere the 80 year old who dares to bare? Who made the fashion ages rules?

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So what do you think? Are Cohen’s stylish septuagenarians a breath of fresh air, or old news?

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