Is A Fashion Tribe A Thing?

Is a fashion tribe a thing? After stumbling on an article about dressing “appropriately” over 50, I was sensitive about publishing this post. But I also found an article in The Guardian by “Invisible Woman” that, while geared toward women of a certain age, applies to any age dressing.

The article is “The Dangers of Joining a Fashion Tribe.” And with a sub-title of “Dressing like other people makes us all invisible. Fashion is about self-expression, so ditch the uniform and take a tip from some great style blogs,” I could not resist.

Surely we are more than just a hat? Nice hat though. 😊   Source

The author describes the pluses of being middle-aged, and
choosing to be “invisible” in her jeans and tee. She can run out to the grocery for some veggies and not be “seen”. The trouble arises, she says, when she wants to put on the visibility cloak again. This can be a problem because:

“I see so few clothes aimed at my age group (50+) that I would want to be seen dead in. Roughly they divide into three tribes: 1) the elasticated waist and comfy knit tribe, or 2) the whip-thin, smart and sharply tailored but showing very little imagination tribe, and 3) the leggings knitted-from-nettles, dangly earrings I’m creative, me, tribe . . . .

The point I’m trying to make is that there is no reason to go about dressed like any tribe. They all flock together and life would be very dull if we were all sparrows and no peacocks.”

I had a nice LOL about the “elasticated waist” tribe, and realize I could go there if I let myself. I love comfort. Yoga pants forever. Before, During, and After the pandemic.

Haha, this is so not me doing yoga. Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay

I have witnessed the “sharply tailored tribe”, but not in my small city, and I could not keep up with all the maintenance anyway. I adore the “knitted leggings” group but I don’t carry that authentic bohemian look well.

That’s why I loved the author’s advice to get out there on the internets, do your homework, and get inspired by real people. She recommends The Sartorialist and Ari Seth Cohen’s Advanced Style as creative resources for modern street style.

Of course, we have a trove of inspiration in all the blogs and Instagrams listed on my page, and lots of others. So much originality, rule-breaking, soul-stirring creativity right at our keyboard-tips! We don’t have to join any single tribe; we can experiment, change course, or find comfort in a uniform if we choose.

“The point I’m trying to make is that there is no reason to go about dressed like any tribe.”

-Invisible Woman (Helen Walmsley-Johnson)

Do you identify with any of the “Tribes” in the article? Are you inspired by street style, artistic bloggers, your own daydreams, a combination of all the above?

Stay fabulous and safe, wash and wash and wash (your hands), xo

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  1. I don’t identify with any of the “fashion tribes” you identified in your post, but when I am in New York, I always feel like I am with “My Tribe” – an eclectic group of over-50 women who dress to suit their personality and mood, and definitely not to blend in. Some are elegant, some dress with whimsy and bold colours (I believe that must be the look that the previous commenter referred to as “garish”). We don’t dress alike, but we share a love of vintage, and a joy in dressing to reflect our individual selves.

    • Oh yeah, NYC is the home of my “tribe” too. You flow well with the women who dress to suit their personality. You look like you, and very cool. Stay safe and well, xx.

  2. I am so glad you have this site and this article is so true. I have known for quite awhile of the women who are much older and take risks with style that you mention. “Advanced Style” is full of women who really don’t care what you think, seriously if your over 60 do you really and if you do why ? If they want to dress in a neon green outfit and it makes them happy, more power to them! I find inspiration in their boldness and translate to my own personal style though may not be quite as bold. Society in the U.S. by and large doesn’t honor or hold value of women “of a certain age” as we should all be aware, I don’t know if its as bad in Europe . Bravo for this website celebrating women and those other sites who are showing those who wont be bound by what we are “supposed to be, look like or behave”.

    • Good morning Deborah and thanks for your thoughtful comment. I agree completely with this: “Society in the U.S. by and large doesn’t honor or hold value of women “of a certain age.” We’re changing that with our creativity and with our refusal to conform to arbitrary standards. Stay fab! xx

  3. Great article as always made me smile and very fashion freeing. I love the Advanced Style glamour girls as they are all creative in their fashion style and do their own thing something I like to do as well mixing styles that just appeal to me. I like Pinterest , you tube and Fashion magazines focusing on my own age group and younger women as well for inspiration. I do monitor my selection on far out fashion as I fear if I dress too far out I may be perceived as senile.

    • LOL at “perceived as senile”, Joan! I think we are still sharp as tacks, except for that part when I walk into a room and can’t remember why. : > Sounds like you enjoy taking in a lot of different inspirations, cheers to you, xx.

  4. I love your blog [and your obviously big brain!!]. I am in a tribe, I think—-“lagenlook.” To me, it’s elegant, comfortable, powerful, and favors great jewelry. Elasticated pants and skirts forever—-they don’t need to look like I have “given up” [such a horrible way to describe women, right?] or that I’m dowdy. I’m just my own sweet self.

    • Yes, you are your own sweet self, BQ, rocking the lagenlook. I love those cozy pieces! Thanks for coming over and stay well, xx.

  5. On the two sites you reference, most of the posts, particularly for older women show women dressed like circus clowns. Bright purple and lime green and pink-together-, green and orange eye makeup, stripes with sequins? Almost none of the pictures show people that one would describe as elegant, which is the look I aim for. And elegant can be dressed down, flat-heeled and colorful. But surely the comment we wish to engender is not “garish”.

    • Hi Shelagh and thanks for coming over. The two sites referenced were recommended by “Invisible Woman”, and they illustrate more daring styles than many of us would try. But there’s inspiration there, to try something new. An IG for over-40 women that prefer a more classic look might be The Jacket Society ( As always, you do you and enjoy your style! xx

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