do or don't - knees over 50






jackie o



how do you feel about a woman over 50 showing her knees?
recently, there was some controversy in the comments about this issue.

there was a time when i thought it was probably in poor taste.
but now that i'm over 50 (i'll be 55 this year, yikes!) i think a lot differently.
funny how that happens.



i am...



guilty










guilty






guilty



i think we each get to choose for ourselves how we want to dress.
isn't that wonderful?!

what do you think?
is this a do or a don't?

what are your thoughts?
do tell!


xo
janet



142 comments

  1. Knees yes.

    You won't be seeing my upper mid-thigh though !!

    XO T

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I'm Male, 29. More mature girls like you should show more, a lot more x

      Delete
  2. I'm with you, Juanita! We make our own sartorial decisions and stuff the rest of them. You look fabulous and drop dead gorgeous whatever you wear, mini, midi or maxi and as long as someone's happy in their own skin that's all that matters. xxx
    PS I'm 46 this year and I went out in public today wearing hot pants!!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. No matter what age you are (I am 47) if and ONLY IF you have the figure to pull it off, then by all means do show your knees! You look fabulous Janet and have impeccable style!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Excellent question!
    I've just put my pencil skirts in to have them taken down an inch as they sit just ever so above my knees, however, I don't mind wearing skirts that are three inches above my knees, for me personally I can't have my knees as the focus anymore, they are too ugly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. haha, i think my knees (as old as they are) distract from my other ugly body parts!

      Delete
    2. Tabitha - you have great knees!

      Delete
  5. I have no problem with knees over 50...it beats the heck out of the over-50 uniform these days...I'm talking about cropped pants, capris, peddle-pushers or whatever. I'm sick of 'em. ~smile~

    ReplyDelete
  6. If you have great legs (and you do!), don't hide them!

    But I personally think that women over a certain age (like 25) should only show off legs OR cleavage, not both at the same time. Too little fabric looks ridiculous. Show the legs or the cleavage, not both, or you'll end up look like Rose in "Keeping up Appearances".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And I mean "you" as in anybody in general, not you in particular, Janet.

      Delete
    2. That was going to be my comment as well - I think that the three outfits you showed all work well because although they're shorter and your arms are exposed, none are terribly tight and they all are pretty covered at the neck. Another woman might choose to wear a longer skirt but show a little cleavage - it's when you start baring everything that you have problems, regardless of age.

      Delete
  7. I think it has nothing to do with age, but with the look of the knees. You look great in these dresses, why shouldn't you show off your nice legs?

    And: if someone has "ugly" knees and legs but is happy to show them in short skirts, etc. - why not? Whatever makes someone happy :-)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Your knees look great - show 'em!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I don't usually comment on blogs but had to put in my 2 cents - definitely yes, if you have knees like yours. (This is coming from a 32 yr old). You always look fabulous! Not sure what the nay-saying commenter sees that I don't.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Replies
    1. JW - yep, Janet's knees are the envy of all the bees in SoCal.

      Delete
    2. Ah...as they say..."the bee's knees!"

      Delete
  11. I show my knees and I'm heading toward 60. But I'm not especially fond of them. I show them nonetheless.

    xo
    Claudia

    ReplyDelete
  12. Janet,
    I grew up in the South, plus a French Great Grandmother (who I adored). Lady like behavior was drilled in, and that included a lot of rules of what was "acceptable" or not. I am always haunted by my mother, grand mother and Great Grandmother's voice in most of my decisions, even though I am a non conformist. the internal dialogue is hysterically funny. I'm sorry to say, that I have to work at not judging other peoples choices. Recently I saw a lady in her 40's to 50's, tall large boned, maybe 20 lbs over weight, wearing baggy mid thigh shorts, tank top (Maybe? a sport bra), Birkenstocks, sitting outside WholeFoods enjoying her lunch. Shamefully, my first thought was "I would never wear a tank top in public if my arms weren't in shape & Shorts!Seriously". But, the thing that struck me, is she was so comfortable with her self. I actually envy her. She was so happy and confident in herself. Most of us jump through hoops to be socially acceptable. Sometimes I wish the world was different.
    As for you , you are beautiful and you have lovely knees.
    Sincerely,
    Miranda
    SF Bay Area

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i have a similar story that says way more about me at the time than the person i saw. about 20 years ago i was in line at the market and the woman in front of me was maybe 60-65 yrs old and she was in short shorts. i told my friend about her later that day and she said, and i will never forget, well what is she supposed to wear? it's hot out! she was right. who was i to judge another persons attire? i learned my lesson that day. and like you, i really admire women who are first and foremost comfortable in their own skin.

      Delete
    2. Growing up around all those rules and judgments has made me hyper aware of when those narrow thoughts enter my mind. I am very ashamed when I catch those stray thoughts. All those "rules" have made so many of us insecure and uncertain of our value unless we appear a certain way. We, as women, constantly questions whether we are slim enough, fit enough, good looking enough, brilliant enough. And first impression is everything. It is what I was taught and I realize the older I get the less sense this makes to me. So I think we should embrace whoever we are and do what makes us happy. Seize the day and dance around in your shorts, knee exposing dresses and have a good time!
      Sincerely,
      Miranda
      SF Bay Area

      Delete
    3. just love the black dress, Janet! - been looking for one like that for a while -- relaxed and chic yet so versatile -- any way I can find out where you got this??

      Delete
    4. oooo, i got this from a thriftshop for $4! maybe you can find a similar one on the internet?

      Delete
  13. Yes! Your knees look great. But even if they did not...
    Should we all dress in tents, just so we don't offend somebody's delicate taste?
    Some will not be pleased, no matter what you wear. Dress to suit your personality, not your age.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I agree with Bea...the first line anyway, I have no idea who Rose is or anything about "Keeping up appearances." But, you have great legs...don't hide them.

    I would like to hide my knees but even the longest inseam at Jcrew is not long enough for my height.

    Love your checks, the yellow and your little black dress with your colorful headscarf. And you have great arms too!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I didn't know this was a question anymore. :) Knees are fine with me.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I say do what makes you happy, be it knees or no knees.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I say do what makes you happy, be it knees or no knees.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I say do what makes you happy, be it knees or no knees.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Just to see a woman in a dress is so refreshing, I always appreciate the effort. Of course we get to show our knees! What?! You have beautiful knees, I hate these rules.
    I try not to judge the way other people dress though I think one can wear something other than horrible jogging pants to a nice restaurant. And pants so low that underwear can be viewed, really I don't want to see undergarments, it's mostly the young men who do that, including my own son it drives me crazy!
    As for us women, we are making an effort and our bodies age but to wear what we like with style and energy and grace: that's the way I want to age, and it includes skirts and dresses that hit above knee.
    Janet great post Darling, you look gorgeous in these frocks! xo!

    ReplyDelete
  20. as long as it dont sag or drag,crinkle or wrinkle and isnt bony...or indeterminate.I think its good to go...ask some men what they think..hahaa

    ReplyDelete
  21. Knees are okay in my book (I'm 43). It half-saddens, half-angers me to read comments that, in the end, are just projected self-loathing.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I love your knees. And I love my knees so I show them often.
    My friend Anna, who just turned 100 on the 5th of August, regularly wears Bermuda shorts and I love to see her knees, too.
    xo, A

    ReplyDelete
  23. I think the rules should more apply to body type. No matter what your age, showing knees is ok as long as you have nice legs. If the legs are out of shape, then you would look better with a longer dress. It's all about what flatters and what is appropriate for body type. I'm a plus size pear shape, and I never show my knees. You, being trim can do so with confidence.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I rarely emerge from my lurkitude, but here I am to say...

    What about a man's knees over 50?

    Right? Right. So everyone with good knees, show 'em while you got 'em. If you start not liking the way they look, put 'em away. Knees are knees are knees, you choose how to deal with yours. I rarely show mine due to vicious scars (read: mountain biking!) but not because of any rules. Just because that's what makes *me* comfortable.

    All the fashion "don'ts" get broken, and when they are broken by someone who looks good doing it everyone jumps to exclaim what a smokin' hot rebel they are. But I don't want to see anyone's butt crack, nips, janky toes, or panty lines at any age, nor from any gender. So... rules shmules. Just don't be gross, right? Can we all agree to just not be gross? And if you agree, will you come to my city and make the people here stop?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hear hear! we women are sometimes too critical of ourselves and each other

      I cannot imagine men having a blog posting about "should I let my gut show in this too tight t shirt" or "can I wear these baggy shorts with my 60 year old knees".

      Let's ponder this for one moment and realize that these rules keep us down, particularly the ones that seem open minded like "if you have the legs for it." You have the body you have--love it, embrace it, accept it and for goodness sakes don't obsess about it. Dress for yourself, your joy, your self-expression....and now go and make the world a better place. I too have caught myself thinking someone should not wear something only to realize how critical, judgementa, superficial and downright narrowminded I am being.

      Delete
  25. I say DO, as long as the dress is past your fingertips and you feel comfortable and beautiful. You look great. I especially like your simple back sandals.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Oh my god, really? This is a topic of conversation? What's next, debating the wearing of sleeveless tops for women whose upper arms aren't perfectly toned?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anon: my best friend is 39 and we have been chums for 14 years, I have never, eve,r seen her upper arms as that's where she gains her genetic weight, and she won't show them (I'm all tummy and have been since I was 6) so I may well write that post. We women can be consumed by all sorts of insecurities imagined or otherwise.

      Delete
    2. i never saw my bf's upper arms either, until she turned like 55 then she was like...who cares. funny how we change. write it!

      Delete
    3. "Who cares?" is my point exactly. Live life and enjoy it. We should all stop worrying about what's "acceptable" when it comes to body image. There are many overweight people who are comfortable with the way they look. They wear shorts and sleeveless tops without concern over what they "should" be wearing. Anyone who judges someone else for what their knees look like is shallow.

      Delete
    4. I have a coworker who is extremely overweight but is always so well groomed and stylish. She wears sleeveless, she wears tailored bermuda shorts, she wears dresses above the knee. She always looks great. Its all about attitude. I know shw wants to lose weight but she doesnt hide who she is in the meatime...its attitude, baby!

      Delete
  27. I am kind of surprised that people are commenting based on what knees look like, rather than the "propriety" of showing knees, save for the Southern contingency. Shows how far we've come from those kind of dictates, but I am not sure which is more punishing: social ostracisism based on weird morality rules, or from physical attributes. Sad and self-defeating either way.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Janet,

    I suppose if an individual feels confident enough, I say go for it. I only wear shorts now around the house, not so much because of my knees but because of my spider veins. (skirts are a no for me as well in the summer) My husband thinks I should just "accept it" and wear them anyway. (Sorry honey) Maybe someday I will get over it.

    I will be 55 next week. Yikes. :)

    Linda
    xo

    ReplyDelete
  29. I am over 55 and I wear dresses/skirts above my knees.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I'm 50 and I show my knees. Actually I think maybe it's the size and not the age of the knees. lol....

    ReplyDelete
  31. You know what? if you have got them -flaunt them, I would, if my thighs didn't spill over the knees! lol!(they don't really- but that is not a good look!) Some people have extremely wrinkly knees and just look like those sharpei puppies. Perhaps they should give it a miss. But really, each to their own and whatever you are comfortable with.

    ReplyDelete
  32. You wear them well Janet...
    I am wearing (gasp) shorts today on our boat...too hot not to and I am showing knees and more...
    I just hope the Fashion Police have taken the day off!

    ReplyDelete
  33. I love knees! I have my father's knobby knees and I wear them proudly! It is too funny - I thought of mentioning knees in last night's post, but then decided that I was already on thin ice.. I have a friend who hasn't shown her knees in 10 years. Reminds me of Nora Ephron in her book "I feel bad about my neck". I am zen with my knees..

    ReplyDelete
  34. A balding, pot-bellied 55-year-old man looks in the mirror and thinks: "Damn, I still look good!" Guys don't ask each other: "should 55-year-old men wear above-the-knee shorts?" On the subject of body image, perhaps women could learn a valuable, non-judgmental lesson from men.

    ReplyDelete
  35. I think its a do. I also think its all about the wearer's comfort level. My knees are looking decent at 51 and I'm not at the point of wanting to cover them yet...but it depends on how I feel about how they look at some point in the future and my OWN comfort level, not anyone else's.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Who on earth comes up with these "rule" and then who wants to police what others wear to the point of there being a "controversy" in comments??! Insane. Everyone should dress however they want, and women should show whatever body parts they want. Haven't we had enough of society controlling and defining and regulating and criticizing women's bodies? If I could wave a wand, I'd make it so women could go topless - men do it, and they have nipples and breast as well. Spend 20 minutes on a topless beach or a nude beach and you'll quickly see that our bodies and nudity aren't that big of a deal, that showing skin need not be sexualized, and that there are more body types out there than most of us can imagine.

    My least favorite reason for why women should dress a certain way - which comes up often on fashion blogs - is that people somehow owe it to the public to "protect" or "shield" others from their unattractive knees or thighs, or ass or whatever. How sad. It would be amazing if we could all accept ourselves and stop judging others based on things they can't control or that don't matter. Can't say I'm there yet myself.

    It's so liberating to go to certain European countries (like Germany) and to see obese women in bikinis and obese men in Speedos. My first thought is always "gross" or "cringe" or "why is he/she wearing that?" Makes sense given that I was raised in prudish, patriarchal American culture. But then 60 seconds later, I get myself to a place of thinking "Awesome! How great that that person ks higher evolved that I am in terms of being comfortable in their own skin, enjoying a gorgeous day at the beach with the sun on their skin, and not caring what others think! And how amazing that he/she gets to focus on having a great day rather than on what his/her thighs look like (which is probably taking up my mental space)."

    Time spent hating your body and covering it up (especially when it's hot and you're less comfortable) is such a sad, unproductive use of human energy. I spent most of my childhood wearing only long sleeves because I was embarrassed about my hairy arms. How sad. And all that mattered was what was in my own head and how I saw myself. Once I decided it was okay, everyone else dealt with my hairy arms just fine.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. well, I have to admit I'm not too keen on seeing men walking around town without shirts on, no matter what age they are. If suddenly I had to deal with women running around without shirts, too, I'd be pretty cheesed off. Beach? Your own yard? Whatever. But just as someone said about the pants hanging south and bra straps showing, etc, there's really no place for that in public that is really worth sharing.

      Delete
    2. here here!

      there is a great outdoor spa near me that attracts people from all over the world and it is a place were everyone lets it all hang out. men and women. and it is so refreshing to see people of all shapes and sizes so comfortable with their bodies. i absolutely love going there!

      Delete
    3. As a European, a lot of the American "rules" make me laugh, thoughg I suppose we had similar at one time too... a looong time ago.

      But I still don't understand the fuss about Speedos on men (of any age/size), especially as you don't need any imagination at all when a woman wears a swimsuit - shall we all go back to bathing dresses with frills?! My dad was amazed to be told he couldn't wear his bathing trunks in Florida, hilarious! He (and my tall, large husband and my lanky young sons-in-law...) all look so stupid in baggy shorts :O

      Yeah, so no wonder we don't really accept that the US is the land of "anything possible", we find it pretty restrictive and limiting, to be honest. Just saying.

      Delete
    4. so agree with this poster! taken to its natural conclusion we'd all be in the burkha. Let's realize where this self criticism and judgements of others leads.

      Delete
  37. I think that "rule" went out with "Women over 30 shouldn't have long hair".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree!

      You've got the figure for these outfits so just do it.

      I'm going to do a post about this Janet x

      Delete
  38. LIke others posted your knees look fine Janet. So showing them is GREAT! Why not? As for me, once I turned 50 I quit showing my knees because I did not like how they were looking.
    I'm more comfortable hiding my knees but I think each woman must decide for herself.
    So now I go with capris and that's fine. Loose cotton capris-- at the beach even-- are cool and fine. Or a drop-waist floaty dress.
    I think women over 40 look great because they have STYLE not because they are showing off their bodies.
    Women over 40 can not compete with 20 & 30 somethings.
    So I think plunging necklines and tight-tight clothes make a woman over 45 look pathetic.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you've captured the dividing line perfectly, Shell. Striving to look younger than we are nearly always backfires, because it stinks of too much effort (and hence is pathetic).

      I'm 55, and just recently, after years of looking for flattering longer shorts that would hide my tiny spider veins and other bumps, I decided I looked much better in short shorts. Yes, they're short, but because I have slim shapely legs they look much better on me than longer models. Besides, this summer was the hottest on record and I live in Washington DC -- so I'm in the "who cares" category.

      Knees are tricky, though -- I think skirts above the knee look best on those whose knees are wider than the leg above them (Jackie is a good example). That's why I keep my skirts to the knee or just slightly above. I only use this ratio for skirts and dresses, though.

      Delete
    2. The language that both of you use is just sad. Why even reference "competing" in terms of how women dress at different ages. Women who want to show their knees when they are older - or any other body part - are not trying to "compete" with younger women. They are comfortable with themselves and/or trying to be cool in hot temperatures. Women need not compete with each other. News flash: life isn't a zero-sum game, and men aren't worth fighting other women for. Similarly, women who reveal certain body parts aren't necessarily trying to "look young." Not everyone has your mindset that certain things "look young" or "look old."

      I have only admiration for women who aren't wasting their mental energy worrying about which exact parts of their legs they need to cover up with capri pants or skirts of an exact length. I be those women have more time and energy for things that actually matter.

      Delete
    3. The language that both of you use is just sad. Why even reference "competing" in terms of how women dress at different ages. Women who want to show their knees when they are older - or any other body part - are not trying to "compete" with younger women. They are comfortable with themselves and/or trying to be cool in hot temperatures. Women need not compete with each other. News flash: life isn't a zero-sum game, and men aren't worth fighting other women for. Similarly, women who reveal certain body parts aren't necessarily trying to "look young." Not everyone has your mindset that certain things "look young" or "look old."

      I have only admiration for women who aren't wasting their mental energy worrying about which exact parts of their legs they need to cover up with capri pants or skirts of an exact length. I be those women have more time and energy for things that actually matter.

      Delete
    4. wow you sound angry! hey it's only MY OPINION that women over 40 who are showing too much skin APPEAR AS IF they are trying to compete with younger women. it's just MY OPINION. NEWS FLASH toots- I AM allowed to have my own opinion-!! i'm not wasting my mental energy over it but it sounds like you sure got your panties in a wad over it. ha ha...

      Delete
    5. Shell--I think you misinterpreted her comments. I don't think she sounds angry--she is simply expressing an open minded attitude that I for one find refreshing. If you are comfortable with your rules, then please by all means follow them. But perhaps they should not be used to judge others? just sayin'

      Delete
  39. I love modesty. Not because our bodies are gross. But, because they
    are beautiful. Lust is not love. Lust brings confusion.

    Want to know if someone is interested in you? Cover yourself.
    Want someone to eye you for sexual pleasure. Let it all hang out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Here's a radical concept: Women need not dress for men or with the idea that they are dressing for a man's eye. Women can dress for themselves. Or for other women. Or for no one. Life isn't all about attracting me and monitoring ourselves based on them.

      Delete
    2. Margo, You're right: What a radical concept. It's an idealized world you live in. If only the real world actually behaved this way, it would be wonderful. Unfortunately, most people who care only about themselves with no consideration of others typically appear/behave that way.

      Delete
  40. I'm 55, (eeek, 56!) and I wear what I want, regarding length of skirts and shorts and sleeves, etc. But I do find that some styles are too young for me, and as I age I'm more into streamlined clothes, elegant fabrics, simple lines, etc. But as far as showing knees, I say go for it!

    ReplyDelete
  41. Hello, I think if you have nice knees and legs (at any age) than go ahead. I am turning 50 this year, love to fast walk for excerise so I really, really like the way my knees and legs look. Some of my skirts are above knee (NOT mini skirts in anyway), some are below, however with that said, as long as your outfit displays class and elegance, than show off your knees, legs, thigh, etc. (And by the way, have you seen the way that some women young, older, and anywhere in between walk around these days? To me, it is really ashame that grace and elegance in putting together outfits to wear have left.) Have a wonderful day! Charlotte.

    ReplyDelete
  42. You look good in anything, Janet! If you've got it, flaunt it!!

    Theresa

    ReplyDelete
  43. didn't know the over 50 no knees rule (I wonder if my shorts-wearing golfer mother does?....) I'm a big believer that individuals should wear what looks good on them and what they feel good in. I've seen PLENTY of teenage girls who might want to rethink showing their knees, but you, Janet, have NO reason to hide yours! You look good girl, keep rocking it!

    ReplyDelete
  44. You have a timeless,classic style and and your clothes show off your figure in what I consider a flattering and tasteful way. Age is just a number. I'm 52 and wear the same length hemlines as you. As long as I stay in good shape, I'm comfortable wearing what I have already invested in and would not simply throw it away because of my age. As some one who is 5'11" if I don't purchase a tall size, I'm pretty limited in what I can wear anyway. There are some J Crew dresses that I just love but are a bit too short for my taste in which case I wear them as tunics with leggings.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Very simple. Wear what you like and love and feel great in..I say away with "rules". Be free!

    ReplyDelete
  46. I dont have very pretty legs but still prefer above the knee. At 5'10" above the knee just hits at flattering spot, my legs look longer. Of course, it helps if i have a little color, and i am against tanning, the sun is NOT my friend, so i use tanning creme.

    ReplyDelete
  47. I just had the dress I'm wearing to my daughter's wedding in two weeks shortened from just below my knees to right above my knees, as per my husband and the tailor! I'm 60 and grateful I have knees, legs that work, etc. So sick of being embarrassed at the natural aging of body parts. Janet - you look great and I'm rooting for a mini skirt soon on you!

    ReplyDelete
  48. Live and let live - it's the answer to peace

    ReplyDelete
  49. i do believe if you are comfortable, you should wear whatever makes you feel good, regardless of age. there is nothing more beautiful than confidence!

    xo terri

    ReplyDelete
  50. Would anyone ever tell a man over 50 he was too old for shorts I wonder?

    ReplyDelete
  51. I didn't bare my legs hardly at all for about 10 years (in my late 30s/early 40s). Then one day, I took a look at my bare legs in the mirror, and thought, "why am I hiding these legs?" They look pretty good!

    I've spent so much of my life hiding my body. Even when I was young, I would wear baggy tops to hide my figure, which, incidentally, was just about perfect by society's standards. I think hiding became a habit for me at some point in my teens. Sometimes I slip back into that habit and I have to remind myself that I don't have any reason to hide.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Even though I'm over 50, I don't cover my knees most of the time. I am kind of short (5' 3 - 1/2" or so) and when a dress is below the knees on me, it doesn't look as good as when I get it hemmed to either in the middle of my knee or just above. The below the knee length just doesn't work for me. I immediately like the dress/skirt much better when I get it hemmed. I think it is all about how short or tall you are and how you look in certain lengths, not how old you are. Also, having self confidence helps. Janet you look great in those dresses. Actually, everything you wear looks wonderful on you.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Wow, im surprised about the 'controversy' this one question has stirred up. Lol.
    Being another daughter of a very southern mother and grandmother, my contoversial question, and something i struggle with today, is...do i wear white after labor day? Isnt that the funniest thing?
    Ps. Janet, you ARE the bees knees!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OMG! I go through the same thing! Do you also have the jitters over white shoes?
      So funny :) Those Southern women of our past certainly have a strong voice.
      Miranda
      SF Bay Area

      Delete
    2. Miranda, isnt it amazing. Yes, white shoes are an issue for me, too. Hilarious!

      Delete
  54. It's just a matter of personal choice. If you are comfortable in what you are wearing, then bare your knees. I am over 60 and don't find knee-baring to be distasteful. Showing too much thigh---that is another thing altogether!

    ReplyDelete
  55. It's 2012 - do we even have to ask this question?

    ReplyDelete
  56. I like the way you interpret your style through your clothes.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Knees only need to please...their owners...

    ReplyDelete
  58. You look absolutely gorgeous in all of your dresses, Janet! I think that showing your knees over the age of 50 is perfectly ok, but I also think that it is a personal decision that each woman needs to make for herself. If she feels comfortable doing so, then she should go for it. :)

    ReplyDelete
  59. ITA, we choose for ourselves how to dress. Knees?! Please!! When people are flashing butt cracks, tasteless tattoos and muffin tops, who on earth would complain about seeing a woman's knees?!

    I love how you look, your smile is always the first thing I notice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. xoxo, I love your comment! You've said what I was thinking. And I don't even want to imagine what all those tatoos will look like later in life. Even if the tattoo is of profound meaning, couldn't it have been memorialized another more personal way?

      Delete
  60. You look incredible in all those outfits, the black is so elegant and Carpri and the yellow so fun. I'm now 50 and I used to like my knees, but I don't anymore. I wore a dress the other night (it was only slightly above the knee) and someone said that is marginally age inappropriate. OOps obviously a little more wobbling going on than I realised. Though I reckon we're at the age where we do what you want and wear what you like. XOXO has a hilarious reply! Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. About last weekend: Okay- this- "someone said that is marginally age inappropriate" made me really frustrated. I mean, where do people get off saying this stuff to you? I would love it if we could figure out a snappy comeback to these sorts of 'helpful' comments. I'm sure your slightly above the knee hem was just fine.

      Delete
  61. I think it depends on the knees, not the age! :) Dianne

    ReplyDelete
  62. I agree with the above..... :) take a look at "The Knees" and see .... how do they look in that outfit??? Yes or No?? Age... doesn't matter!! ( I will be 60 this year!! .... my thing is no more sleeveless... a wee bit too much flab!!!!) LOLOLOL.....

    ReplyDelete
  63. You can definitely wear above the knee hems, Janet- and not just because you have lovely knees. You do, but let's let those of us with iffy knees wear that length, too. After all, we're not talking miniskirts here! For years I thought I could no longer show my legs (I'm 55) because of spider veins- but then I read Angie's blogpost about it at youlookfab.com and changed my mind about how I wanted to approach dressing myself. And I've been surviving our mini-heat wave by wearing skirts. Angie wrote:

    "Legs: I consider my legs to be my worst feature for two reasons. They aren’t shapely and they are covered in spots and veins (nothing harmful, just unsightly). Yet I often show them off, with and without hose, because I love to wear skirts and dresses!
    I don’t feel bad playing up my worst feature when I wear skirts and dresses because the overall effect of the outfits is still flattering to my eye. The veins and spots might be unsightly to others, but I’m not bothered by what others think about this. My legs work hard and they deserve to be highlighted. Plus, I love knee-length dresses and nothing will stop me from wearing them."

    Janet, you are so lovely in all your outfits, that a person would have to be trying very, very hard to find anything to criticize. Life's too short! I have decided everyone gets to do what they want as long as they don't scare the horses.

    ReplyDelete
  64. I'm not sure that I have commented before, but I've been reading your blog religiously for some time. For some crazy reason, you seem to have some readers who have a bit of a jealous bone going on. Why they feel the need to cruelly comment I'll never understand.

    Rules, schmules. Do what makes you happy and as long as you look as amazing as you do with your knees out, why wouldn't you rock it?

    I know that the negativity hurled on you by a few, although unjust and redonkulous, has to be hurtful. So I would like to try to counter that by letting you know that your thoughtful living and measured simplicity has been an inspiration to me. I am grateful that you continue to share yourself with your readers.

    ReplyDelete
  65. Janet, your style is great. The time you have spent exploring it and figuring it out is admirable and has inspired me ( and I'm sure many others) to take on this exploration for ourselves. Do whatever you want - wear whatever you want. I think once you find a true style, it can carry you through your life. I believe that we are mirrors for each other...and another person responding in a negative way is just a revelation of how they feel about themselves. Just as a positive response reveals that someone is receptive to your ideas. Either way, the responses are out of our control. We can only be true to ourselves, and when that happens, more positive seems to come in than negative.

    I spent days last week reading through every post of this blog and check back every day because something about it rings true for me. I'm on this quest now of discovery and simplifying and feeling good in my own skin. I'm not exactly sure what my style is, but how fun it is to be figuring it out! Seeing your examples of how the process has been working for you is helpful, and I'm so happy to have found this blog!

    adventureonplanetearth.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  66. Come on, now. There are some women who dress inappropriately for their age, and we all know it when we see it. And I 'm the one who is out there wearing short shorts. But in doing so, I've appropriated a look that was previously reserved for only young women. I have no illusion that I look as good as when I sported the same look at 17. That was my point. The empowering thing is that I don't care at this point -- I
    'm overheated and it's summer in. Washington. But I'd never argue that this looks good on an objective scale,
    Jw

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. short shorts is not the same as hotpants. and I'm guessing your underwear don't show. So, rock it. It's been so dang hot here in the WDC area (well, virtually the whole country) that I believe the fashion rules are pretty much irrelevant. Fat knees, bony knees, arms and shoulders, let's see them. We're not living in an era where people should be tut-tutting that oooh, look, she's not covering herself and I am shocked, shocked to see skin!!! Now...I don't care if you're 15 or 75, I sure as hell don't want to see your arse or half your boobs while I'm eating lunch at a restaurant. At the beach? Go for it, and I don't care what shape you're in. Much better not to be encased in black spandex that covers you and makes you sweat like crazy there anyway.

      Delete
  67. My previous comment was intended as a response to Margot, upthread.

    ReplyDelete

  68. I am 47 and I wear shorts because it is HOT in Arizona. For me it is a matter of comfort and
    survival.I will decide what is appropriate for myself.The men in my life don't agonize over their knees so why should I?
    Janet, you have such beautiful taste and such grace. I love your blog!

    Tery

    ReplyDelete
  69. It's a DO! I've got terrible legs/knees, am CONSIDERABLY older than you and wear whatever the heck I feel like wearing. I've just bought a white skirt that is the length of my old tennis skirt. Mutton dressed as lamb? Yes, but this old sheep feels happy to wear it, and, thank goodness for the 21st century, is able to do so.
    And by the way, Janet, I love you in all those dresses, can't decide which one I like the most, but the photo of you in the black with the coloured scarf is really super.

    ReplyDelete
  70. Janet, the bold head scarf and black dress are a stunning combination, really wonderful!

    At a certain point in life an imperfect body stops becoming an issue; you love and accept yourself as you are. For me, it was when my neck started going, I realized it was impossible to fight with reality. In 104 degree heat, it's difficult to be vain. The knees have never been a concern for me, however, am very grateful for 3/4 sleeves!

    ReplyDelete
  71. I'm 44 and honestly, I never realized there was any rule to showing your knee's at a certain age! I wore denim cut off's to a Coldplay concert in June so, not only do I show my knee's, I show my thighs also. I think it's natural to try and draw the eye away from or cover certain body parts that we're not comfortable with. I've always been okay with my legs but don't care for my upper arms or the fact that I'm so busty...so those are the area's I've always tried to play down more. Not because of my age though, just because they're not my favorite body parts!!!

    ReplyDelete
  72. My dear Janet- Your knees, as you are, are fabulous and I think you should share them with the world!
    xxjoan

    ReplyDelete
  73. We are most beautiful when we are happy and comfortable in our choices. No need for rules, you can feel it. Janet, you have inspired me to eliminate what is in my closet that does not suit me, for one reason or another, and only bring in things I really like. You have an admirable sense of yourself and are adorable in above knee dresses! May each of us find that for ourselves. Have a wonderful weekend!

    ReplyDelete
  74. Knees ahoy! I have no issues with mine, nor those of anyone else. Have at it. Let's have a knees up party!

    ReplyDelete
  75. I say, if you've got good legs (and you do) then go ahead, let your knees show. Personally, I think any type of cute summer dress is way more flattering on us 'older gals' than any shorts. And while we're talking unflattering summer attire ... I'd much rather see any type of knee, than all these callused, unmanicured feet I've seen this summer. (Now, I'm not a foo-foo typ of gal, and can't afford pedicures regularly, but it's not too difficult to exfoliate and polish those tootsies. I've seen some pretty disgusting toes in stores this summer. And it's become a pet peeve of mine. If you have really disgusting feet, wear some shoes.)

    ReplyDelete
  76. Knees, elbows, upper arms and necks... what the heck. No matter the age, the size... it's the attitude of the woman that matters. Any outfit worn with grace, a smile, and a sparkle in the eye is just the wrapping of the lovely inner package. Enjoy ... embrace... live your life as you are comfortable. I am over 60 and wear what I feel good in... maxi, over the knee or just above the knee... yes, I am sure that my mini skirt and "hot pants" days are over... ahhh, but the memories! Janet, you look great as always!

    ReplyDelete
  77. I already posted once, but would like to add one more thing. I'm from Oklahoma, and after enduring the hottest summer ever recorded in the U.S. last year. And another gruelling hot summer this year. Fashion has taken a backseat to comfort. When you have over 60 days of 100+ heat, and at ten o'clock at night, you see the thermometer still reads 100 degrees ... t-shirts, shorts and flip-flops do become standard attire. No matter what your age or size. And no one really seems to care. When you're traipsing around in 100+ degree weather, and the temp inside your parked car reads 126, and your makeup begins to slide off your face at 10am ... well, it's hell. And we figure we're all in it together. So we just let our knees show, and our legs, and our arms, and would probably take off even more clothes if we could. It's one of the few things I actually like about Oklahoma.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yes of course - comfort takes priority over fashion when it's so hot out. my view is that if women over 50 are ALWAYS wearing, short, tight revealing clothing that shows a lot of UN youthful skin, it works against them. by works against them i mean if what they are trying to do is appear more youthful it's not happening. maybe they are not trying to appear younger, but come on we've all seen women dressing this way and most of the time--if it's not dreadfully HOT weather--they LOOK AS IF they are trying to appear younger.

      Dressing too young [ showing too much skin ] does not make you seem youthful - it makes you look desperate and ridiculous!
      If you see a woman over 50 and she looks great it's usually because she has a great sense of STYLE and she has put herself together well. It's not because she is showing off her body.

      Delete
  78. Gosh so many comments...!! I would say it depends on the knees! And yours are great Janet. Not sure if I would show mine except without the safe casing of black opaque tights!! X

    ReplyDelete
  79. Whatever makes you feel comfortable and happy. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  80. I think the reason for this (bogus) rule is that so many 50 year olds are not proud of the shape of their bodies. I look around me and see all sorts of body types on all ages of women. Should a 25 year old with chubby knees hide them? Should a 50 year old with slim knees show them?

    For some reason our culture says to women that as they age they should begin to hide themselves physically. Skin has all a lot of sexual associations and we all know that 50 year old women are supposed to be sexless, right?

    I have many years to go before I hit fifty but I can only hope that such prudish rules as no knees will not be in my thoughts as I get dressed each day. Besides, I'm not sure where to get a swim burqa for my summertime pool sessions.

    ReplyDelete
  81. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2191062/Youre-young-man-feel--86-year-old-Duchess-Alba-clearly-feeling-benefit-61-year-old-toyboy.html

    Shall we discuss the 86-year-old Duchess of Alba in a bikini?

    Actually, her knees look pretty good. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I saw that yesterday and I think it's pretty sad. Obviously that 86 year old duchess has a caretaker--the woman in the pic is not likely a "friend".
      So maybe she has some dementia going on?
      I don't think it's attractive seeing so much of the skin of an older person like that. Man or woman! It's just an unfortunate fact that we get older our skin gets saggy and wrinkly and it's just not attractive. She would have looked better in a one piece bathing suit.

      Delete
    2. Think she's amazing for her years. She obviously had a beautiful figure when she was younger and for 86 it's still pretty good, though naturally gravity has taken effect. Don't see why a one-piece would be much better, her skin on her arms is quite saggy too. What is an 86 year old woman with spirit and a love of life and the beach to do? Of course men and women of that age get saggy and wrinkly, it's a part of life. I remember when I was young, my grandmother and older family members all used to join us on the beach in their swimsuits, along with all the other grannies and pops and their families. We had a wonderful time together and no-one worried about how the older ones looked. In our eyes they were great. You say it's just not attractive, but to their families their sags and wrinkles don't matter at all. One day you will be old too and you may think differently and less judgmentally. The sad thing is your critical attitude and your assumption that she has dementia because she's wearing a two piece costume at her age and has someone to help her out of the water and along the beach.

      What is an elderly person to do? Put themselves into purdah or wear a bathing burqua! Or hide away somewhere and wait for death? They have as much right to enjoy themselves on the beach as any young person and good luck to them!

      Delete
  82. This is probably too late, but I just read the comments on knees and thought how not only my knees, but also my 59 yr old neck/chest skin looks older, my once nice legs have a lot of spider veins, my upper arms are no longer firm, etc. Even though I am a bit self-conscious, I'm not going to wear a robe that covers them all! I won't flaunt them, but I'll wear the most flattering clothes I can and hope others will notice my loving smile and nicer parts and not feel the need to critique the things that are normal with age! I have met many men and women that I didn't find physically attractive until I got to know them - then found them beautiful and sexy! Interesting, creative and loving people are the ones I admire; critical and limiting people are a major turn-off.

    ReplyDelete
  83. I'm so glad you brought up this topic. At 46 years of age I personally love the look of a dress and have tried so hard to wear one but have found no length which I am comfortable with. The maxi dress reminds me too much of my pajamas, a mid-calf length makes me feel matronly, and the just-past-the knee length shows too much "veinage" (if you know what I mean) from my calves. I won't even consider above the knee because my knees are a bit saggy (big sigh...). While every fashion tip exhalts the dress (especially parisian style), there is no mention about the woman who's legs aren't especially attractive. And no, I am not going to wear makeuup on my legs or wear tights/pantyhose (too uncomfortable)! Living in an area that often reaches 100 degrees in the summer makes me yearn for a dress (I'm not a big fan of shorts). What to do?

    ReplyDelete
  84. do, Do, DO! Janet, with legs like yours, definitely show your knees, regardless of your age. Rules be damned, if you've got great gams -- and you do -- wear them. I think you look chic in those short dresses and I think even mid-thigh shorts would not be inappropriate in the right setting. As for those women who worry about saggy knees (not that you have them), really??
    Who cares?!

    ReplyDelete
  85. do, Do, DO! Janet, with legs like yours, definitely show your knees, regardless of your age. Rules be damned, if you've got great gams -- and you do -- wear them. I think you look chic in those short dresses and I think even mid-thigh shorts would not be inappropriate in the right setting. As for those women who worry about saggy knees (not that you have them), really??
    Who cares?!

    ReplyDelete
  86. Interesting reading. I'm with those who believe a woman should wear what she feels happy and comfortable in, regardless of age. Just a little aesthetic point, which has nothing to do with age: believe you personally look better in the first picture with the hem higher above the knee rather than in the second two pictures where it's just above the knee and thus draws more attention to the joint itself. The higher length looks perfect for you and is more flattering to your legs. It's about the same length as Jackie O's which also looks great. But really the other two are fine as well.
    My left knee is going into hospital tomorrow for a service and tune-up, think it will be kept under wraps for awhile. So celebrate your knees and legs while you can! Best wishes, Pamela

    ReplyDelete
  87. You look fabulous at 50! baring knees after the big five 0 looks gorgeous on you! You look so much younger than what you confess to be....I just stumbled upon your blog while looking for a logo design for my cottage garden business....serendipity at work...Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
  88. You look fabulous at 50! baring knees after the big five 0 looks gorgeous on you! You look so much younger than what you confess to be....I just stumbled upon your blog while looking for a logo design for my cottage garden business....serendipity at work...Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
  89. Yes to good knees after 50. Yes to inappropriate for our age long hair after 50.

    ReplyDelete
  90. In my way of thinking age shouldn't have anything to do with it. I don't like rules much in regards to age. If it looks good on you wear it - if not, don't (regardless of how many birthdays you've had.

    ReplyDelete
  91. Janet - you always look wonderful and your warmth and humour always shine through in your posts. But girls - don't you think we should quit the self-loathing? I hope that when I'm 50, I'll be proud of where my saggy old knees and flabby old legs have got me!

    Lets learn to love ourselves and the paths we tread as women!

    ReplyDelete
  92. I think you have to feel good just how you wear your dresses. For seeing others, I think there are a lot younger women that shouldn't expose as much as they do... But that's just my personal opinion, and I respect what they do :-=

    ReplyDelete
  93. I have learned so much from all these comments. My knees are a bit thick and saggy, but the legs are pretty good for my age. I'm also very self-critical and tend to be a perfectionist and that takes a lot of the fun out of dressing (and living!). So when I try on a short dress all I see is my knees. Kudos to all of you who say The Heck With It and wear what you please. I hope to set about changing my attitude.

    ReplyDelete
  94. Fun reading all these comments. My comment is a bit late, but it would be "it depends on the knees" and the confidence of the person about appearing in above-the-knee items. At 70 years of age (I'm told I look 55 or so), I'm all for comfort and doing my own thing, but there are definitely occasions where I would not dare appear in anything above the knee. Would be interested in hearing what your readers think about the current trend of dressy attire without hosiery. I just can't get used to the idea of putting bare legs and feet into dressy (closed toe) heels.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nor can I! I'm 73 and also look quite a bit younger, and I'm OK with my bare legs and sandals for casual wear, but for closed-toe shoes, uh-uh. Feet perspire and shoe linings become damp/sticky and toenail fungus happens, and odor develops - it's a wee bit revolting. And older legs are not the same as our granddaughters' smooth and flawless ones. For our dress-up occasions, you can't beat the allure of sheer, silky stockings. I think Queen Elizabeth would agree. Actually, having survived LIFE for this long, we ought to feel confident enough to do this - we certainly are not in competition with the very young! We're in our own category of elegance, refinement and glamour. As for my knees - my hems go just to the bottom of them. It's also a matter of proportion and at 5"2" that's a zingy-enough length for me and I see no good reason to go shorter and forfeit elegance, refinement and glamour! ; >

      Delete
  95. I think it all depends on one's level of confidence. I guess I still have "knee issues" from being the tallest in elementary school and wearing tights under my school uniform. I do think if one has a smile and feels happy sharing any thing exposed, like arms, knees, well then so be it. We have so much freedom here to dress and to wear what we want.
    pve

    ReplyDelete
  96. Personally (51), I hated my legs when I was younger: knobby knees, skinny calves, pudgy thighs. But now, after training for 8 years, they look pretty good to me -- maybe I'm less picky, now that I'm over 50? Maybe I'm really just in better shape! Anyway, I love wearing skirts above the knee. If it's business or other women, I keep it close to the knee. I'll show a few inches above the knee if it's casual or I'm out with my partner. (He loves my legs!) IMO, for women my age, skirts can be shorter with opaque tights.

    ReplyDelete

kindness is never out of style.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Back to Top