Do you dare to wear red over 40?
Red empowers, red invites, red rules.
The Woman In Red
My views on wearing the colour red were formed at a very young age.
When I was eleven I had to wear a red uniform to work. I worked in an ice cream shop my parents owned. I despised that uniform. This undoubtably tainted my perception of the colour red. After many years of scooping ice cream, cleaning popcorn machines and carefully stabbing hot dogs onto a rotating wheel, red to me signified manual labour and hiding my true self behind a uniform. I hated looking like my coworkers.
From then on I never bought any red clothes.
About eight years later, a Japanese tour guide gifted me a red dress when I worked as the director of guest services at a high end hotel. Each time his tour groups would visit the hotel I would greet them and he often brought me gifts and cards back from his travels. I never saw him outside of my work environment but I’ve kept the dress all these years. I don’t believe I’ve ever worn the dress outside of the house.
The dress looks a whole lot like this… so now you know why I didn’t wear it out of the house.
For many years I never owned anything red other than that dress. It was a shameful colour.
I felt much like the woman in the first image, exposed wearing red.
Once I became a redhead I still didn’t feel I could wear red. I was older, more confident, but I still held onto nagging beliefs attached to memories of red.
Then I saw Joan in MadMen and that changed the whole red ballgame for me.
Joan opened my eyes to the power of red. She was confident, intelligent and commanding. Cloaked in red Joan’s fierce super powers were unstoppable.
Joan wore red because she earned it.
Dare To Wear Red
Slowly and insidiously red started creeping back into my life and my closet.
When I saw this dress at the vintage show I was drawn to the cut immediately but still hesitated because it was red.
Could I pull it off? Would it clash with my hair, my personality, my life?
Red isn’t for wallflowers. Red is the colour of blood, love and hate. Red isn’t soft or quiet. Red rages and screams. Red is passion, frenzy and excitement. Red rules the room.
I’m no longer the teenager wearing my uniform scooping ice cream or the young woman accepting spicy gifts from foreign men. I’m a mature woman and every choice I’ve made in my life has brought me to where I am.
I’ve earned this red.
I own this red.
I am a woman in red, see me soar.
Reclaiming your power over long held personal perceptions is extremely gratifying and liberating.
What do you need to reclaim?
Linking up with Visible Monday, I Will Wear What I Like, Turning Heads Tuesday