New York Times fashion critic Cathy Horyn suggests that women should leave ironic fashion statements in the dustbin along with their miniskirts when they turn 50. She cites Madonna's Met-gala getup as an example of how ridiculous ironic runway looks appear on older women. Horyn, who is in her early fifties and has been spotted in a skullcap herself on occasion, clearly doesn't appreciate this ridiculousness. We do. And many other ladies in their fifties who gravitate toward irony in their wardrobes do. Some pull it off, some don't. But do they prove Madonna is the exception? Let's assess, with a look at some of our favorite ironically dressed ladies over 50, in the slideshow.
Italian Vogue writer Anna Piaggi never appears in the same outfit more than once in public. Her clown-chic wardrobe earned her an exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum in 2006.
Does she pull it off? Yes, hands down. She's the only person who can walk outside holding an empty birdcage and a wand at once without anyone thinking twice about it.
Betsey Johnson wears her own clothes, which are often best suited to high-school proms and Paris Hilton. But God bless her for not taking fashion too seriously.
Does she pull it off? Yes. Could you imagine her wearing anything else? If she showed up without dreads and a giant tutu, we'd be concerned she had lost it.
It seemed like Cher had calmed down, style-wise, but she recently appeared onstage in a see-through bodysuit similar to the one she debuted in her "Turn Back Time" video. She apparently tries to top these in outrageousness with clothes that actually cover her.
Does she pull it off? No. Rihanna could get away with this stuff. Cher looks possessed. Also, only American Apparel should ever be in possession of more than one see-through bodysuit at a time.
Blondie! Debbie Harry still loves bright color, shiny stuff, and animal print, but doesn't always feel the need to leave the house looking like the bad product of too much spare time with a glue gun.
Does she pull it off? Yes. Unlike Cher, Debbie's style has evolved. It's still crazy at times, but she's not trying to do this anymore.
Diane Keaton is just stuck in Amish country.
Does she pull it off? No. Do you ever have one of those days where you think, "If I see another four-inch-wide waist belt I'm going to throw myself out the window?"
At least Madonna reserves most of her ironic clothes for high-publicity occasions, like the Met ball, and looks somewhat normal in her Kabbalah study hours.
Does she pull it off? No. Not that it matters, because Madonna exists to get publicity, and her Met gala ensemble is still earning it in droves. But we question whether she sees herself as ridiculous. She might look in the mirror and think only that she's God's gift to style.
Sex and the City stylist Patricia Field loves shiny things and taking risks. She's magically tranny in the best possible way.
Does she pull it off? Yes. Have you been to her store? To. Die.
Sharon Stone is a good example of what Cathy Horyn was talking about in her article. She uses irony to try to look younger.
Does she pull it off? No. Six words: Vest that ties with a string.
The irreverent designer brought punk to the world and continues to challenge convention. Not many of her peers would cast Pamela Anderson in their ad campaigns.
Does she pull it off? Yes. She's a living legend and her style completely embodies her brand. Also, you can tell just by looking at her that she has no desire to borrow Cher's bodysuits.
So, five out of these nine ladies over 50 pull off ironic fashion statements. Why, it's hard to argue with math.
Most Viewed Stories
Katy Perry Was a Forlorn Cheeto for Halloween
My Week With a Flip Phone
Mistakes I’ve Made While High on Taylor Swift
Ask Polly: Would He Love Me If I Were Prettier, Skinnier, and Sweeter?
Ask Polly: Why Don’t the Men I Date Ever Truly Love Me?
Taylor Swift Is Trick-or-Treating in an Elevator Now
I Attempted to Train My Waist With a Corset
What Do You Really Mean When You Say ‘Basic Bitch’?
14 Weird, Costumed Halloween Hookup Stories
Playboy Pinups From the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s on Meeting the Male Gaze Then — and Now
From Our Partners
What Do You Look Like Today?
try out the coolest korean beauty products
Family & Food: No Do-Overs This Time
The Only 5 Items You Need For Fall, According Shopbop’s Bestsellers List
powered by PubExchange
The Cut’s Latest Fashion FeaturesMadonna Partied With Aretha Franklin Last Night
Plus, Rihanna, Miley, Jared Leto, and more highlights from the week’s biggest parties.Vivienne Westwood Dressed an Opera Star
A behind-the-scenes look.Valentino Is Planning to Show Couture in New York
Take that, France.All the Caftans Jeffrey Tambor Wears on Transparent
You're welcome.Inside Hood by Air’s Big, Creepy MoMA Party
Well-timed with Halloween.Katy Perry Was a Forlorn Cheeto for Halloween
Of the Flaming Hot variety.25 Feminists With Really Great Hair
From Sappho to Yoko and so many more.16 Ways to Wear a Cozy Blanket Scarf This Fall
Chicer than a Snuggie.Report: DVF Is Actively Seeking a Successor
It might be a 15-year-old.The Weirdest, Sexiest Costumes on American Horror Story: Freak Show
Talking to the costume designer about designing clothes for women with three boobs, and so much more.
The rapper and Missy Elliott protégé is bringing back the glory days of '90s female emcees.
He's been named creative director of the newly revived house.Rihanna Wore Sparkling Tom Ford Nipple Pasties
To a charity gala.Coco Rocha on What’s It’s Like to Do 1,000 Poses in 3 Days
Talking to the supermodel about the process of shooting her new book, Study of Pose.Report: Hillary Clinton Is Getting Another Vogue Cover
It's been a long time since 1998.Watch This Visual Guide to Hip-Kid Slang
Learn your A-Bae-C's with i-D.Walmart Still Feels Really Bad for Calling People Fat
The company has issued an apology.Lottie Moss Landed a Valentino Campaign
For the brand's diffusion line, RED.A Love Letter to the White Turtleneck
So majestic.Is Amal Clooney Britain’s Most Stylish Woman?
She's nominated for a British Style Award along with Kate Moss and FKA Twigs.
And a polka-dot pantsuit.André Leon Talley Will No Longer Shill for Zappos
But will he still wear Uggs?Let’s All Thank Rent the Runway’s Dry Cleaners
Without them you'd be wearing a cesspool.The House of Poiret Is Bracing for Its Comeback
There's nothing new under the sun.How to Pull Off Wearing a Skirt Under a Dress
Weird, but it works!Francesco Vezzoli Paints Up Ancient Roman Busts
A bit of color and they look like new!The 13 Craziest Things People Do to Maintain Their Leather Purses
Pillows, Chanel makeup remover, and Armor All are on the list.A Legendary French Fashion House Returns
Courrèges returns with clothes, makeup, and soon, electric cars.Taylor Swift Wore Some Pretty Precarious Shoes
On Good Morning America.When Sweatpants Become a Form of Protest
The path to liberation is paved with leggings.
Sorry, Mel C.See Amanda Seyfried Go From Flare Jeans to McQueen Gowns
Take a look back at the Mean Girls actress's best looks.Lauren Santo Domingo’s Summer Job: Wrangling Wrestling Fans
Yes, LSD really did intern for the WWF.Iggy Pop on Fashion Design, Skinny Jeans, and Flip Phones
The punk icon talked with the Cut about his new fashion collaboration.Beyoncé Is Getting Into the Athleisure Game
With a Topshop line.Kim Kardashian Celebrated Her Birthday With a Wedge of Cleavage
In Las Vegas.Simone Rocha for J Brand Breaks the Denim-Collab Mold
As in, frilly and pink.Clémence Poésy Made a Fashion Film on Her iPhone
With surprisingly stunning results.13 Ways to Layer Up a Cozy Turtleneck for Fall
Not at all nerdy.Debbie Harry and Margot Robbie Partied Together
Plus, photos of Emily Ratajkowski, January Jones, Natalie Portman, and more in this week's party roundup.
All-nighters, tears, and so many goths.Domenico Dolce & Stefano Gabbana Exonerated
They had been accused of tax evasion.UCSB Street Style: Lattice Bras and Weed Socks
Plus tie-dye chambray, cowboy boots, and a whole lot of skateboards.De la Renta’s Memorial Service Has Been Set
The private funeral will take place on November 3.Sophia Webster Has a Cool, New J.Crew Collaboration
"The stuff shoe fairy tales are made of."An Adventurous Kate Middleton Wore Cutouts
New territory.Peter Copping Speaks About de la Renta’s Legacy
Copping was honored at last night's FGI Night of Stars gala.Diane von Furstenberg’s Tearful Tribute to Oscar de la Renta
"He loved to sing, and he loved flowers, and he loved beauty, and he loved to be mischievous."The Gay Hip-Hop Club Night Jay Z Probably Doesn’t Know He Inspired
Hard Cock Life has become a platform for queer rappers and performers in the U.K.Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski Got a Big Promotion
Will they be president and vice president? They should be.