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Am I too old to wear tight pants? Add to ...

The question

What is your opinion about very fitted pants for slim older women? I know an old-fashioned straight-leg trouser may not be as fashionable, but perhaps it is more appropriate than very narrow?

The answer

I get the “age-appropriate” question so often that I know how to translate its code. Here is what it says:

“I long to wear sexy and fashionable item X but fear I am too old for X and will be derided for ‘trying too hard.’ I think I look quite respectable wearing X and, in fact, I think this X is quite flattering, but I can’t trust my own opinion on how I look because of a lifetime of hearing and reading caustic comments about what women look like. Who exactly will mock me for this transgression? Not men. I know that they prefer tight clothing and have little sense of ‘appropriateness.’ And not many women would, either. No, to be honest, it’s Ethel Mugstone, a woman in my book club, who makes me nervous, because she doesn’t hesitate to raise her eyebrows when she doesn’t like something and she seems to like so little, particularly since she put on all that weight herself, poor thing.”

See, if you phrase the question like that, it answers itself. You know you look hot in the extra-slim pants and, for that, you don’t need my permission or anyone else’s.

Russell Smith's latest novel is Girl Crazy. Have a fashion question? E-mail style@globeandmail.com.

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