The following extract from the Pall Mall Gazette of circa.1890 gives us an interesting insight into the contemporary perception of the lady 60-lifer of those days:
“Old ladies in the ordinary sense of the word are getting remarkably scarce.I never came across old ladies’ bonnets,dresses,cloaks,or finery in any shape or form for old ladies at the shops. People tell me they don’t make such things. The fact is that women of 50 and 60 have ceased to make frights of themselves. They don’t wear their clothes (boots,bonnets, and gloves included) four time too big for them, like old ladies of past years used to. Less capacious garments are found to be just as comfortable.
“Women of sixty can and do dress gracefully nowadays. Those who have lost their own hair wear artificial ,and look all the better for doing so. With nice hair, whether real or otherwise,a woman of sixty can always put on a respectable looking bonnet. Ugly old ladies will have vanished altogether by the time the Princess of Wales is 60.”
Well, ladies, all I can say is thank goodness we are living in more enlightened times!