When 50-year-old Madonna showed up at the Met’s costume gala last month wearing a mini-dress and a bow shaped like rabbit ears, it begged the question: How old is too old for ironic touches like knee socks and pigtails? And more importantly, why can’t over-50 women wear certain things, writes Cathy Horyn in the New York Times. “It’s like fighting with the wind,” says one art director.
“People don’t get the joke,” adds a stylist—like Madonna’s outfit, which riffed on Paris fashion. Older women “can’t wear that porkpie hat,” the stylist continues. “People will think you’ve lost it.” Not everyone agrees: “The reason I dress this way isn’t just to have fun with fashion,” says one grandmother/couture collector who recently went out in a pink tulle skirt. “It’s attention-getting—let’s face it.”