Why A Grown Ass Woman Shouldn’t Be Told What NOT to Wear

Eternal Fashion Icon: Miss Iris Apfel Photo: Luis Monteiro

Every couple of weeks I come across an article listing off the styles or clothing items a “grown woman” needs to stop wearing. As a woman in her thirties, some of these lists are damn near insulting because they’re so strict, antiquated and broad. 

First, I’d like these articles to provide the reader with their definition of “grown woman.” Is this a woman in her thirties like myself? Are we talking the 40s? 50s? 65+ crowd? Or are all women beyond the age of 29 and a half considered “grown women?”

When I find myself in times of confusion and frustration like this one, I turn to a trustworthy source: Urban Dictionary

This highly delectable corner of the Internet begins by saying that a “Grown Woman” or as UD prefers; a ‘Grown Ass Woman‘ is to be known simply:

“A grown ass woman can take responsibility for her own grown ass actions and can pay her own bills and has the maturity as well as the presence of someone handling they business.”

Used in a sentence: ‘She got her own crib and money; she a grown ass woman.’

Charming isn’t it? However, still confusing because I’m not quite sure what age group this falls into if any at all. Being that I am not satisfied with the above, I keep scrolling to find more gems to help with my research. 

“Common anagram: GAW. A grown ass woman demands respect from men and women. She has confidence and believes in herself. She lives intentionally, and helps her fellow GAW when they need advice or support. She feels empowered and knows that she is worth the best.”

Used in a sentence: ‘Beyonce is a grown ass woman. She is successful, empowers other women, and loves her body. She has pursued her passion and succeeded.’

Ok, so now that Beyonce has been thrown in the mix, does this mean I am allowed to start dressing like her? As a grown woman of course. If so, I made a shopping list: 

1. Bodysuit

2. Yellow off-the-shoulder Roberto Cavalli dress

3. A hoodie

4. Turbans

5. A bat

Now that we are all pretty versed on what the definition of a “grown woman” is, I can safely conclude that this does not mean you need to form part of a particular age group to qualify, so how can these articles suggest what a “grown woman” shouldn’t be wearing?

This is my response to said articles: I will wear what I want and what feels good to me.

My personal style is constantly evolving and I don’t believe I fall into a certain fashion category. Sometimes I feel girly and will wear a midi skirt with heels, others I want to feel edgy with a big chunky combat boot-style shoe and leather and others I adore the chic tomboy look my white sneakers and boyfriend jeans provide. It all depends on my mood, the weather and where I’m going. 

Some items that have been “banned” by women for other women are items I love and keep in rotation. In a recent article, I was told that crop tops and mini skirts were a no-no. 

Ummm and why is that? 

I happen to love how a crop top looks with a high waisted trouser and heels. Mini-skirts are coming back and I think they look adorable with a pair of Stan Smiths

My inner 90’s girl is humming to MMMBop as I applaud the come-back of the choker and the graphic t-shirt. 

Yes. I am a woman in my thirties, so should I now be shamed by someone who deemed a full list of trends and items unfit for her own lifestyle to tell me I can’t wear them? 

Every woman is different. Every woman’s body is unique. Personal style is an extension of personality and attitude. So if a woman in her forties feels comfortable rocking out in her cutest pair of leggings and can pull off a chic OOTD, all the more power to her. 

There’s a time and a place for personal style to shine and when you should mute it, i.e. in certain professions or job interviews; but no article is going to try and shame my crop top wearing self into not wearing any if that’s what I so choose to do. 

Wear platforms when stylists say they’re on their way out. 

Wear your skinny jeans that accentuate your waist even though some magazine told you to stop. 

Why should you stop? Skinny jeans are one of the best inventions since the ShamWOW!  Also, keep wearing those bell-bottoms they’re way too cute not to. 

So what have we learned? 

Don’t allow yourself to get put into these categories that pertain to “grown ass women” as a whole. We are all “grown ass women” in different ways and with that we do “grown ass women” things in our own “grown ass women” lives. 

Just don’t wear tube tops. That’s not grown. 


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