Elderly Fashion - The Reinvention Culture
Elderly fashion

Elderly Fashion: The Reinvention Culture

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The fear of aging becomes intense as we grow older. Every day, people in their 30’s check themselves in mirrors to make sure they are not developing any wrinkles and grey hair. One of my fears of aging is balding on the top of my head. Another is immobility which might get in my way of socializing. 

As we see aging as a sign of decay, this fear is perhaps understandable. The older we get, the less fun we are. And every day, we are one step closer to death. We believe that we cannot experience elderly fashion. This awareness escalates and drives us nuts. 

The constant idolization of youth in fashion media also contributed to this fear. We frequently see young, skinny, and baby-smooth skin, all over fashion and beauty campaigns. They represent who we want to be and who we used to be. 

But things are indeed changing. Nowadays, older people are being represented in multiple fashion and beauty campaigns. Joan Didion became the face of Céline. Iris Apfel is now a model at IMG agency. Maye Musk became the spokesmodel of CoverGirl. The new representation has been ongoing for almost a decade. 

Not only that, but the younger generation is also looking up to the elderly fashion: the way that old people dress and elder’s philosophy on fashion. Our current population is also growing older. Perhaps fashion should invigorate on a long-lasting style that could be worn across any age. It could also help people transition into old age. There are increasing marketing opportunities to cast old people and represent the elderly fashion. 

Continue reading to see how this trend is relevant as a marketing strategy and what it might reveal about our modern culture! 

Finally… A Logical Marketing for Relevant Target Audience

Perhaps it might have occurred to our readers that old people are actually rich. With longer life lived and experiences gained, most older people have higher disposable income than younger people. 

The consumer segment of luxury fashion proves this. According to the 2016 market report by YouGov, baby boomers ( years 57 to 75) and Generation X (43 to 56) in the US spent 5 times more on luxury brands than millennials (23 to 42). The study showed that Gen X and Boomer spent 215 billion USD. Whereas, millennials only spent around 49 billion USD.  

The fashion brand’s previous marketing approach of excluding elders in the advertisement does not make sense. Although the younger generation fantasizes about having luxury goods, the older generation can actually afford them. It makes sense that these brands strategize ways to relate to their consumers. Whether it be casting more old people in fashion campaigns or bringing awareness to elderly fashion. 

Elderly Fashion and Brand Identity

As fashion and beauty brands represent more older people, these brands are also able to build brand credibility. Even with the fear of aging, the elderly are still seen as wise and secure. The article by By Acre states that older people’s identities “ reflect stories, wisdom, and confidence.” This is maybe the reason why many older fashion brands are opting to represent more older people. 

These brands also want to be seen as wise, elegant, and long-lasting. They do not want to appeal to young rich nouveau who forcefully splurges their money. Rather, the brands want to relate to older people who automatically provide the image of effortlessness. 

Elderly Fashion’s Influences on Young People  

Old people in fashion are not only limited to marketing campaigns. In fact, many young people also like to look at old people who are fashionable. Whether it be for purely entertainment reasons or actually drawing inspiration from outfits worn by older people, there are implications behind why we are so obsessed with the elderly fashion and what it might mean to the youth. 

Emerging Old Influencers

With the popularity of social media like Instagram skyrocketing in 2012, many people had a chance to become influencers and gain fame. TikTok’s popularity is only going to increase more influencers. Because anyone could be discovered on social media, old people who are dressing creatively became an overnight sensation. 

One of these influencers includes BaddieWinkle. Baddie has over 3.5 million followers on Instagram. Even at the age of 93, Baddie does not shy away from dressing colorfully. She is usually seen with bold-colored garments. Sometimes, her outfits show off her skin, which is unusual for older people. She further expresses her confidence when she wears very pigmented makeup.

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But old people don’t need to stand out by having unconventional styles. They could also stick to the elderly fashion that is versatile, timeless, and effortless. One of the elder influencers that abide by this style is Lyn Slater, also known as Accidental Icon. Slater plays around with silhouettes. In one of her outfits, she wears a puffy floral patterned shirt with boot-cut jeans. She is able to create a timeless look with simple yet sophisticated outfits.  

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Elderly Fashion in Your Moodboard

Old people and their style are also becoming an inspiration for youth styles. Wall Street Journal showcases multiple Instagram accounts like Gramparents and Chinatown Pretty that post fashionable elderly on a city street. Both of these accounts garner almost a hundred thousand followers. Elderly fashion oftentimes abides by comfortability and simultaneously understated and pop of color outfits. Such looks are especially popular in streetwear.  

Why Do We See Value in Elderly Fashionistas?

Like we have mentioned before, we do have an inherent fear of growing old. By the age of 30, we are no longer considered youthful. Instead, we are filled with responsibilities and told to let go of our passion. 

By looking at old people who are comfortable in their skin and unique style, our fear is soothed. The fashionable elders show us that we do have a life ahead of us. Just because society tells us that we are no longer youthful does not mean that we cannot be unique. Even at 90, influencers like BaddieWinkle can reinvent themselves. Such hopes are the reasons we might be seeing old people being represented on fashion campaigns and respected on social media. 

Learn more about how you could create timeless and effortless fashion like the elderly fashion, through our capsule wardrobe article!

Khahn Quy Ho
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Khahn Quy Ho
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