Should Style As You Age Become Theatrical Costume?

By Sherrie Mathieson
NABBW’s Fashion and Style Expert

Style is a language. If you want attention you might speak louder, or speak to shock.

To get attention today (and yesterday), get noticed and reap affirmation of your existence in a crowded world where cell phones are most people\’s focal point–does it matter if it\’s positive or negative?

Not really. Anything goes, because feeling invisible is a tough reality.The fact that as women get older the less likely they are to be noticed for their looks (certainly less by men, but also less by other women) is true.

Too often the exceptions that get double takes and compliments fall into three groups–the ones who dress very sexually–the ones who wear something like a bright color or “cute” (“Oh love that color on you! Oh isn\’t that darling!?)–and the ladies who indulge in non apologetic eccentricity–wearing all sorts of clothing (especially odd hats, lots of jewelry, glasses, scarves and tons of layers, textures and volume in clothing ) to a theatrical effect.

Should style as you age become theatrical costume?But style is a language that I believe should be spoken well. I have my strong reservations about these style modes. One inappropriate, the next obvious, and the last (posing as creative) too theatrical (only sometimes done really well, as I think of the truly talented Tzipora Salamon who is on her bike in the picture).

But I assume they (and I\’m sure to be contested, and protested for not “celebrating” the freedom involved) are rewarded with the visual attention they crave.

I often tell my clients that I love to see the –all too rare– real artistry, authentic style and mixing, great color play, understatement (if you can bear to know people rarely appreciate it). They are all are part of a language that may soon become extinct before our very eyes.

Sherrie Mathieson was accepted as a costume designer by United Scenic Artists, local 829, at the age of 23. For her first feature, “Godspell”, she was awarded the “Young New York Film Critics Award for Best Costume Designer.” She continued to work in film, TV, MTV, commercials, industrials, and fashion print styling for 28 years. Today she has a growing and diverse clientele of all ages, backgrounds, lifestyles and professions for whom she consults on all matters of personal style. It was the men and women who were beginning to have concerns about the aging process and how it translated to their appearance that called her attention to a void in good expert advice and the inconsistency in the marketplace. She was a pioneer with her book “Forever Cool”, and dedicates much of her time to seminars on the subject of ageless, youthful and modern style for boomers and the unique challenges they face. “Steal This Style” (April,2009) is her latest book. Learn more about Sherrie’s consulting on her website, from