Are you too old to wear daisy dukes?


I know. It’s not daisy dukes season. But I just stumbled across a picture of actress Shannen Doherty. She was featured in a July 2014 FOX News website article titled “Celebs who don’t dress their age”. The feature is about young celebrities dressing too maturely and older celebrities dressing too youthfully. The comment accompanying the picture of Shannen reads “We’re pretty sure Doherty is past the age of Daisy Dukes. Sometimes more is more Shannen”.

http www foxnews com entertainment slideshow 2014 07 28 celebs who dont dress age web page screen capture
Webpage screen shot via

Shannen Doherty is over 40 so we can infer that the author of the piece is declaring 40 to be past the age of daisy dukes. No doubt a lot of people would agree; but you might be surprised while you’re nodding in agreement that you too could possibly be considered too old to wear daisy dukes. Much of the “too old to wear” talk begins once a woman exits her twenties. Sometimes even before a woman exits her twenties the too old to wear talk begins depending on the item of clothing.

How old is too old to wear daisy dukes?

Put this question into google and you’re going to come up with a lot of material. One of the more interesting articles I came across was published on back on July 23, 2014. Written by Alexandra Macon it explores the question “What’s the Age Cutoff for Denim Cutoffs?”. There’s an implication in the article that a woman over 30 isn’t ordinarily expected to be seen wearing denim cut-off shorts. Daisy dukes can be classified under denim cut-off shorts. So some people would say that 30 is too old to wear daisy dukes. The author writes:

I worry that as a working mom in her thirties something just feels borderline inappropriate about pouring my bottom half into a pair of jean shorts. (Case in point, when I bring home several denim shorts options to test drive, my husband takes one look at them hanging in the closet and asks, “Are those your booty shorts?!” in a panicked tone.) I mean if you (or anyone for that matter) have to ask, you’re probably too old for them—right? Despite this fact, I’m perpetually drawn to images of Gisele, Beyoncé, and Jennifer Aniston—all over 30—wearing their cutoffs on coffee runs and corralling children in the park. (full article)

Going back to Shannen Doherty

Something tells me that if Shannen Doherty was a regular woman walking down the street wearing her denim cut-offs and her vest, no one would be looking at her wanting to shout “hey lady, you’re past the age for daisy dukes”. They would have no way to know her age. And even if it was obvious that she wasn’t 22 or even 32, nothing about the way she looks would justify someone criticizing her appearance. Unless she’s walking around naked or in underwear no one should have time to be watching her and analyzing what she’s wearing in the first place. It’s none of their business.

Now if the shorts were all up in her business…

woman in white short shorts

To object to a woman’s attire for no other reason than that she’s over 40 is just ridiculous. In the case of Shannen Doherty, there is nothing in any way disturbing or remotely offensive about the way she looks. Some women wear shorts with a conscious purpose of trying to show off their goods to get attention. Even in this case these women have the right to wear whatever they want to wear for whatever purpose they want to wear it at whatever age they might happen to be. But if you want to start talking about social issues and discussing what is in the best interest of little girls and what is being modeled for them to aspire towards, an argument could be made that no age is an appropriate age for going out in public wearing anything so short that a wrong move could make you an accidental flasher. I could see if Shannen’s shorts were an inappropriate length (not for her age but just in general). But shorts are just an article of clothing. People need to examine why we have attitudes about who can wear what at what age instead of just accepting these attitudes.

Daisy Dukes are for sexy young things

The mentality of some is that daisy dukes are a special kind of shorts. Daisy dukes are sexy shorts for sexy girls to wear for the purpose of tantalizing men. Daisy Dukes are for men’s enjoyment and men want to see them on younger women who look freshly plucked, pert, taut and unused. It’s all about men and what they like–what they want to see vs what they don’t like and what they don’t want to see. And women are all about trying to please men. They have no time to be concerned about exploring what lies behind certain attitudes. It helps when you’re twenty to know you have a competitive advantage over someone who is thirty just by being twenty. The same when you’re thirty. It helps to know you have an advantage over someone who is forty. So why would women want attitudes to be eradicated if they benefit from these attitudes? It’s only when they cross over into the “too old to wear” group that these attitudes begin to bother them; but then they can’t do anything about it because people will say they are only complaining because they don’t want to face the reality of their age.

At the end of the day you should wear whatever you want

It’s unlikely that social attitudes will change so the choice to wear daisy dukes or not to wear daisy dukes comes down to the individual and what they believe. If you want to wear daisy dukes and you don’t care what people think then wear your daisy dukes. People should be minding their business anyway. What difference should it make to me what someone I see on the street is wearing? I am the one who is out of line for watching and forming an opinion about people because of what they have on. If I was going about my own business and concerning myself with my own life I would have no time to spare for questioning other people’s fashion choices.

Photo credits: 1) Fox News website screen capture
2) Featured model in denim shorts copyright: dmbaker / 123RF Stock Photo
3) Featured model in white shorts opyright: ssuaphoto / 123RF Stock Photo


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