As I’ve been out and about in a shopping mood lately, perusing the racks at some of my old standbys, it’s started to hit me that I’m getting, well… older. A part of me gets a bit wistful for younger days when I dwell on it, but the other wiser, realistic part of me knows that getting older is something that a) can’t be stopped; it’s just going to happen, and b) is actually something I’ve grown to enjoy: hell, I’ve even come to embrace some of the old fart tendencies that I am routinely teased for (e.g. in bed by 10 PM some nights; my inexplicable taste for old lady candy).
I must say, however, that recent meanderings in some of the larger ladies’ fashion retailers have resulted in me leaving the store in a confused fog, wondering which party has completely disconnected from reality: me, or the fashion world. Admittedly, as I’ve spent more time in the professional working world in an industry where too much sartorial creativity is frowned upon, I’ve gotten less daily exposure to what the kids are up to these days, but I have to say, some of this stuff I see and I just… don’t get it.
Is it me, or is Forever 21 looking a little “I’m right on top of that, Rose!” lately?
(If you got that reference, we need to be friends, if we’re not already.)
I have a few bones to pick about juniors’ styles in general that, frankly, I don’t understand how everyone just accepted as “oh, that’s just the style now.” Shenanigans. At the top of my gripes list is the fact that so many blouses these days are made from cheap rayon or polyester, and most of those are so sheer or otherwise sparse that you’d need three or four to construct an acceptable top half. Clothing manufacturers are also creating dresses from the same man-made materials as the blouses and inserting a built-in elastic band around the midsection (which I hate, because it never sits at the right place on me and just makes me look strangely lopsided).
Evidently, someone out there is highly concerned with the idea that us ladies just don’t know where our waists are, but I for one know where mine is and am more than capable of locating and defining it myself, thankyouverymuch.
Other ‘WTF?’ concepts in modern fashion: the sudden popularity of peplum
, the refusal of the bubble hem
to just die already, and what is with
all the crop tops?! Juniors’ footwear styles in particular seems to be rife with baffling concepts and words that just don’t go together: sneaker wedges
? Oxford stilettos
? Ladies, didn’t your mothers ever tell you to wear sensible shoes?
One big upside to getting older: clout. As it turns out, not looking like a teenybopper (or even a co-ed) has plenty of advantages, including (but certainly not limited to) people generally taking you more seriously based on appearances and initial behavior alone (note to my 14-year-old self: knock it off
already). Case in point: a recent experience I had at South Congress favorite Co*Star
. I wandered into the store, not really looking to accomplish anything but kill some time before I had to go meet someone. I was greeted by a cheerful employee who chatted me up about the bag I was carrying, offered me a beer or wine while I shopped (this seems to be a ‘thing’ for some ATX shops and is a feature I totally love and appreciate; I’m sure it results in some impulse purchasing as well, which the shop owners are likely counting on), and she offered to let me know when a new shipment of Equipment
silk shirts I had been eying would arrive in the shop. Personally, I love talking clothes and fashion and am always interested in learning who does the buying for a shop, what labels they look for, when they get new arrivals, etc. Building relationships in general has become a priority for me as I’ve gotten older, and it’s nice to be able to have a meaningful, adult conversation with people wherever you go, so why not where you shop?
Is it me? Is it the style? What’s changed? To be fair, I think it’s a combination of the two, but it doesn’t make me feel any less bewildered when I go into a store I used to love and leave wondering, “What happened?” Honestly, getting older has been swell thus far, especially with regard to my clothing choices. I know what I like, I know what suits me and what doesn’t, and I know better than to blindly follow nutty, ridiculous trends that are here and gone in a flash. Sorry, Forever 21, but I just can’t relate anymore. But if I need a costume for an early ’90s theme party, I know just the place.