Saturday, May 28, 2011

I don't want to grow up.

I'm not afraid of getting older.

But I'm scared of dressing older.

Because, oh man. Sometimes folks get it wrong. The old folks, I mean. They're like, "Everything on my body has drifted south by 25%. I will now live in sweatsuits."

I don't know what the connection is between those two thoughts but I think that's how the fuzzy logic goes. Of course, these are the ones who maybe didn't dress great before.

There's another class of old people dressing that involves embroidery. I don't know what this is all about, but suddenly every sweater or t-shirt they wear has to have stuff embroidered on it. Stuff like scotty dogs and outlines of the state of Kentucky. 


Can't you just share your love for those things in verbal conversation, old people?

And there's a third type of old people dressing that involves the wearing of old people fabrics. I'm looking at you, polyester. And elastic. Especially when you come together to form pants. This is a tough one because the intention is good. They're trying to put the effort in. They just don't realize that these poly-fabulous leisure slacks are an old-people-only phenomenon.


When I was little, I thought old people were awesome because the coolest people I knew were old. I still think that. And the coolest old people I know have gray hair and wrinkles. Maybe that's why it didn't faze me when I plucked another gray from my scalp yesterday morning. I even thought to myself, "Wow. Even in the nesting grounds of The Real Housewives of Orange County, I am going to age gracefully. I plucked a gray hair and moved on without weeping. I am great."

But then, halfway down the mall later in the same afternoon, I had an epiphany. I went to Express to return a sweater and I saw . . . nothing, NOTHING I would buy. Shrug. Moving on. And then I pushed the stroller past Chico's and saw something in the window and thought, "That's cute."



And no lie, for often as I forget sunscreen and burn, I think I'm secretly trying to speed up the process of roasting my skin to a fine, aged, leathery patina.


Thank heavens there's Ann Taylor Loft to ease me through the next ten years gracefully. But I swear if I step into a Coldwater Creek a day before fifty, I'm punching myself in the head.

*Please note: I'm actually glad these places are going to be around when I get a bit older because they'll save me from polyester pants. I just want to walk into Nordstrom and drift toward Brass Plum instead of St. John's Knits because "their music isn't so loud."

*It's entirely possible my formative career years spent in retail management (a la the mall) have made an indelible mark on me.


Melinda said...

You know, I know a couple old ladies who dress extremely cute, I plan on being one of those old ladies. I imagine you will be too!

Kristina P. said...

I am heading to The Loft today.

And hey, Courtney Love is still rocking the side boob, so you can still be old and dress like a tramp.

Anonymous said...

I've wondered this before, too...when, exactly, do some moms start to look like a MOM. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but it's the same idea... I told my daughter if I ever find myself wanting to buy white, orthopedic shoes and pants with an elastic waist to please stage an immediate intervention. :)

LisAway said...

Exactly. And I'm sort of terrified that this "I will never wear stretchy polyester pants and flowered blouses" thing is going to be the same as the solemn vow I made with my dad at age 11 that I would NEVER, EVER wear bell bottoms. But then, I guess I never have. Just flares...

Linda said...

Hey wait a second here!!!!! I am old and don't shop those "older lady stores". Don't worry sweetie, you will never dress old.

InkMom said...

There are worse things in this world than Chicos. But not St. Johns knits.

When I'm old, I might just stop wearing pants altogether. Cute skirts and dresses only, the better to justify my support hose.

L.T. Elliot said...

I will never wear an embroidered scottie dog. Or an embroidered vest. Or anything with weird beads and buttons and sequins.

My mom is aging gracefully and she always wears chic, fashion savvy clothes. I hope I'm like her in that regard.

I have no fears about your fashion sense--though I totally snorted at the walker/stroller. ;)

Karen Peterson said...

I think when I get old enough to wear old people clothes, I'm just going to buy a bunch of muumuus and call it good.

Kazzy said...

Oh, the shapeless clothing. I think women make a subconscious decision around 50 if they are going to be mumu wearers or if they are going to wear things that give them some youth and energy.

Have you ever seen Tina Fey's Mom Jeans skit? Uncomfortable because it is so true for so many moms.

Susan said...

I completely get you. I refuse to do it too. I know you can get old and still be hip. My mother in law is in her mid fifties and she is gorgeous! I have a theory on this. First of all, she dresses distinguished but chic. At any given time I would wear what she has on. But she isn't one of those ladies who thinks she needs to dress like a teenager.

My other big theory--she has never cut her hair. You know, all short like old ladies do. My mom is seventy three and looks great, but she gets her hair done like an old lady and has for as long as I can remember. My husband still has people ask him if his mom is his sister when she comes for a visit. It's all about the hair. Whenever someone tries to tell me to cut mine, I get all up on my soapbox.

Cyd said...

I... um, went into Coldwater Creek and bought two pencil/cargo skirts (navy and khaki). I think they may have been sent to the store by mistake, but they were also on sale so I didn't tell anybody. Occasionally, I even look through CC catalogues and turn down page corners. (Shhhh!!!)

Carolyn V said...

LOL. I'm totally going to buy one of those sweat outfits in a few years. I'm going to be old-lady stylish.

Kalola said...

You do realize that what you are wearing today will be considered "old lady" to future generations, don't you? Do younger women truly feel this way about "old ladies?" If so, what will your children think of YOU?

Kimberly said...

My mum is dressing cooler the older she gets. It gives me hope.

Embroidery scares me.

Story Lady said...

I'm an unabashed lover of all things polyester. And my husband has repeatedly referenced the clothes in my closet as "old lady." And while I plan on avoiding embroidery, um, pretty much forever... I do love watching little old ladies sport their style. Comfort over vanity! Imagine if the entire world adopted that mantra. Hee hee.
But this is coming from a girl who spends her spare time crocheting and redecorating her house with crap she has on hand because she doesn't want to pay money for stuff. Ever. Unless we're thrift shopping.
I'm only 25 and my kids are still little, but I have a feeling -deep down in my gut -they're seriously going to hate me one day.

Sarah said...

My fear is I'll never wear high heels again. I love them. I love how my legs look in them, I love how tall I finally am in them... but there's just no chasing little 1 year-olds down the church hall wearing them without looking the fool. How long can I go without without starting to forget my love for them? When my youngest is finally old enough not to chase anymore will I want only flats? And how many steps is it from that to wearing embroidery and stretchy pants?
That being said, I know people who have ALWAYS worn appliqué sweatshirts... and always will. So there's hope that I will age gracefully.

Tracy Loewer said...

I will never wear that "old lady" stuff. Ever. Unless it involves sweat pants. Then I'm totally in. But the sweats must say "University of (fill in the blank)" so I can be all athletic and stuff. (Hey, a girl's gotta have standards, right?)

Sally Sirmans said...

It's funny that you blogged about this because I am crossing the same bridge in my 37th year of life. I do think it's silly as a woman approaches her 40s to shop at Hollister or the likes. I cringe when I see a 50 year old woman with the initials AE on her back side. Anyway, to avoid the polyester and elastic I have fallen in love with J.Jill's clothing.

Charlotte said...

Last week I went shopping with my girls and kept asking, "This shirt isn't too old lady, right?" Except I think they only know young (<20) and old (>20) and so they couldn't give good advice.

If I'm shopping and notice I'm the only one in the area not wearing floral prints and white sneakers, I back away slowly.

I think the problem is people get stuck. What is "old lady" now was stylish in the 60's/70's. They just never moved on. So as long as you move (tastefully) with the styles, you're okay.

By the way, I would rather look "old lady" than "too old to be wearing that (think 90-year-old shopping in junior section).