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fashion for the nearly ‘middle aged’

April 22, 2013

To be very clear… the onset of middle age is now defined as 65.  This means that I am in the young group…. however due to honesty in blogging, I am closer to than further from middle age…   This is not something I spend alot of time worrying, I am young at heart, young in attitude, young in physical ability and most definitely young of mind.

However, and this is a big however, I have a reached a stage of my youth where some accomodation is necessary in the category of fashion.  There are indications that the outer shell of my young self has missed a message or two with regard to youth.  An entire neighborhood has taken up residence around my middle, expanding like track homes in a housing boom.  As discussed, the skin above my knees has discovered a propensity to wrinkle and head south, make spring inventory a time of deep reflection.

Now, this is where, dear reader, your protests will be appreciated,  as you assure me, that I am indeed young, dress fabulously and am not quite yet ready for either Trissi Screen prints, (anyone remember those?) or house dresses.  I welcome your input but a trip to the local lifestyle center (shopping mall) yesterday gave me quite the reality check.

It was chill, but sunny and filled with shoppers of all ages and styles. From the south end, GAP, Banana around the corner to the ‘kids’ shops and down the row to Coldwater Creek, Talbots and Chicos fashion choices abound.  Certainly GAP/Banana is a younger crowd, but still a place where 30% off the store will yield an outfit or two for me… The Coldwater Creek crowd is definitely older… with gems of youthful  stylish fashion to be found tucked within the inventory.

The truth arrived as I was walking back to my car… a mom and a daughter… familiar in all permutations, yet in this case deeply disturbing.. Mom was slim and tanned… sounds good, right?  But um no, mom was ancient… well at least semi ancient… face cratered with tanned wrinkles, skinny skinny legs encased in skin tight leggings,  form fitting leather jacket, wedges way too tall for wobbly walking, a bit of a bent body and hair… well hair that was trying to be 20 and looked only sad.  Yes, that was the overall result, sad. 

Smash.. in the face.. whoa, this is not a look I ever want to replicate.  The question must be asked, at what point should even amazing legs no longer be incased in skin tight leggings?  The leggings became a metaphor for all things no longer age appropriate.  I have a friend, 5 years my junior who will no longer wear sleeveless.  That I think is crazy, certainly our arms are no longer flabless, that bit of droop that bicep and tricep work used to tighten, is increasing.   Sleeveless can still be tasteful, leggings have their place.  Right?  Wedges, heels, stripes, I’m in…  My skirts are still above the knees, but the shortest ones are skorts and only go to the gym.  Adjustments are being made, correctly I think… Yikes, is the reflection of me that I see in the fitting room mirror, mirrored by the reflection of me in the eyes of the world?

Tell me, NO, don’t tell me… tell me kindly… Yes, do tell me… I want to get this right… but wait til after my cruise, I have some truly young fun outfits to wear there!

Writer’s note…. words are so interesting… they set the stage, tell the story.. the balance is finding the word set that fits the story and the flow.  more and more I am going back and changing a word, adjusting a phrase… there are times when I let words stand, just because I like the way they came together… there may be a better way to make the point, connect the story line… dig deeper for a better descriptor.. edit!


From → Chicago, Fashion, Life, Writing

  1. DH needed shoes and asked if I wanted to go with him. “Shopping?”, I exclaimed and he meekly said,”Yes.” I said sure and off to the outlets we go. As we walked the perimeter of the shops, he missed quite a few of the places HE could buy shoes, so I took the role of tour guide, “How about this place? They have men’s shoes.” And off we went inside. First place he purchased pair number 1, fourth place, pair number 2, and lastly final stop a pair of sneakers in the famous”Just Do It” place. No royalties being paid here thus only logo mentioned! We were done in 40 minutes. Having a need to go into the famous C which rhymes with roach, I told him I would meet him in the sneaker or as he called them running shoes store. Done there I walk on and summer linen-like pants caught my eye in the window of AT whose merchandise usually only fits sizes 0, 2,4 6, 8, but I went in to check them out. Talk about fashion….I am done with crops, peddle pushers, long shorts…I want summer pants to my ankles at least. I have great legs but the crop thing is cutting us all off and we look like people wearing shrunken pants or waiting for the next Hurricane Sandy. So I sized up my hunt and off to meet DH to make sure he uses the discount coupons the outlets take. Another issue ….with each purchase DH is at the register and paying when I rush to remind DH of the discountable purchase he needs to make. Why is he dismissing my ability to hunt these coupons down and then he chooses to not use them. Bad enough he purchased a zester without me knowing in one store he decided on his own to go into while I remained outside multitasking by returning a friends call. Please note…we have one already and DH remarked “now I have my own”. Great for the four times a year you zest….Proudly DH shows me his running shoes and we purchase said shoes, but there are no coupons in discount book for “Just Do It” store. With credit, DH asked about sc and m discount which clerk explained only senior citizen discount on Tues, but there is Military discount everyday-10% for vets and active military….You must ask! We leave and I need to obtain my new look and say go get car and meet me and I will just try on two pair of pants….well 1 hour later….I have my two pants and 5 tops after waiting for them to locate my size “in the back”…TS would be furious….”How can you sell goods from an empty push cart!” she would scream as she dumped merchandise in piles from the stock room. I questioned why all the smalls were out and no other size as the sales lady emerged with a pile of large and XL’s. TSK!TSK!” She said, ” We’ve been busy!” And my coupon was also not rung up and the purchase had to be credited back and recharged. So point is ….DH buys lots in under an hour and DW did more damage in one hour in one store but got the summer pants in the best selling fashion colors this summer…a black pair and a white pair.

  2. Debi permalink

    I so totally get it. This a.m. a coworker ,who spent Saturday trying to get a dress for a wedding, and I were discussing how we are not ready for the “old lady suits” but it seems if the rest are made for women much younger than us (either VERY short, VERY form fitting or some crazy look that would make us look rediculous)! I think that is why I am more comfortable in workout gear-I have decided that I will be that old lady in the track suit!

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