Stylishness: What is it? Do we care?

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from: Longevity Explorers | Saratoga Retirement Community, Palo Alto

Discussion Summary

This is a discussion segment from an Intergenerational Workshop on the topic of ""What needs to be different about design of a product to be used by 85yr olds compared to design of a product designed to be used by 25 yr olds?

For this discussion, there was a cluster of Post-it opinions suggesting things like stylishness, trendiness, contemporary-ness, and being fashionable mattered in designing for 25 yr olds. There were no Post-its suggesting these things mattered for 85 yr olds, although there was a single Post-it suggesting that color was important for a design for an 85 yr old.

We explored this in discussion, and found things were much more nuanced than first appeared, and possibly quite different to what our participants initially thought.

In discussion, it turned out that in fact many 85 yr olds cared a great deal about being "stylish". But when we dug a little deeper, it became clear that the definition of stylishness varied quite a bit among participants. There was some intereating discussion of:

  • the difference between "stylish" and "fashionable";
  • what "stylish" means to various older adults;
  • classic vs trendy;
  • do older adults care about being stylish and why?


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