Our Dutch teacher made an interesting comment the other day. She complimented me on the short kilt I was wearing, then said, “I stopped wearing miniskirts at 45”.

I said, “That’s one thing I learned from the guitar teacher I had in college, Linda Cohen. She was really old [to me then], maybe all of 35(!) She always wore short skirts and looked fabulous in them. I think as long as you still have the legs it’s all right, especially with tights.” (Because, any young’uns out there, even when you’re in reasonable shape, as you age veins start showing on your legs. It’s not a great look.)

Our teacher is typically Dutch, tall and thin. She certainly still has the legs for a short skirt, but she said, thoughfully, “Yes, but there’s a point where they don’t go with your face any more.”

I’m not sure if I agree. i think I do, but only to a point. I don’t see a problem with just-above-the-knee skirts on anyone at any age. I think I still look OK in short skirts. I don’t see what would change that in the next decade. I think this woman, probably in her mid-50s, would look great in a skirt that hit well above the knees. On the other hand, she might look a little silly in one of the tiny barely-to-the-thighs skirts that look OK to me on teenagers. Actually, I probably have more leeway than she does. I’m so much shorter that there’s not all that much visual difference between a mid-thigh skirt and one just above the knees (6″, maybe, and it’s even less noticeable over dark tights) while on her a mid-thigh skirt would show off so much leg that it would be a very dramatic look. I still don’t think it would be a bad look, but of course very dramatic looks can be a bit wearing for every day.

on the other hand, the mini-kilts I like to wear are a youngish sort of look, and I do worry a bit – not whether they’re age-appropriate in principle, but whether I just look silly. I’m sure Rudder would tell me if he thought so, but we have such different taste (he’s not all that fond of the kilts anyway) that it’s hard to know when it’s his specific taste speaking rather than a general consensus.

I have a similar wondering about hair length; I wonder if there will come a point when my long hair will start to look like – well, mutton dressed as lamb. I don’t want to look silly. Logically, though, there’s no real reason why long hair that looks fie at 30 would be less so at 40, and why hair that’s fine at 40 would be less so at 60. I’m reassured about all that by the fact that when I see a woman with long thick gray hair, I generally think it looks fabulous. If my hair thins when I get old, I suppose I’ll have to keep it short (short hair fluffs and covers thin spots, which is why old ladies have their hair set. If you want through a salon full of old ladies with wet hair, you will see a whole lot of scalp). Until then, though, I doubt I’ll cut it for any reason other than just wanting short hair again. I spent my 30s bouncing between very short and quite long hair. I haven’t had the short hair urge for a while. Very short hair needs to be cut every 4-6 weeks, so even if I do get the urge I won’t get my hair cut off until I’m staying in one place with a stylist I trust for a while, so I expect that at least the beginning of my 40s will be spent with hair past my shoulders.