Monday, May 12, 2008

Fashion Follies

Between stress, sleep deprivation, and just the fact that I own a place that serves 12 varieties of premium ice cream and the best French fries in town, my WeightWatchers’ body is swiftly becoming a distant memory. I’d love to say it would be a snap to dump ten or fifteen pounds in order to fit into last summer’s clothes. But the fact is, I simply cannot worry about that right now. I do not have the extra energy to invest in watching everything I put into my mouth. Some day (soon, I hope) I’ll jump back on that wagon. But today is not that day.

Thusly, I spent several hours this afternoon clothes shopping. And I have to say, when I look at what’s out there, I am at best completely uninspired; at worst, borderline suicidal. Let’s face it: 95% of the offerings in any given suburban "Misses" department are just butt ugly.

Hey…I’m a faithful fan of "What Not to Wear." I know the rules. Sure, some of their fashion mandates would never make it past the threshold of my closet—like the shoes for which Stacey London has an unhealthy fetish. (I can just see me hobbling around the restaurant for fourteen hours in a pair of stilettos, slopping mayonnaise on the dagger-like toes and pirouetting gracefully through grease puddles…) But a lot of what they preach makes sense to me. I’m all about dark-wash trouser jeans, pairing pin-stripes with subtle prints, cute fitted jackets that nip in to give you the appearance of a waist where you once had one, and skirts that swirl coyly at mid-knee. But apparently you need a ticket to New York and five grand to spend on Madison Avenue in order to score these sophisticated, mature-but-not-frumpy looks.

What I found in my local stores are stiff imported jeans that are either too long, too short, too baggy or give me a dire case of "camel-toe;" prints that are about as subtle as a train wreck; half-sleeve cropped swing jackets with one giant button at the neck (some kind of lame stab at a mid-century Audrey Hepburn look?); and skirts that swirled coyly either just below my butt (which, I’ll have to concede, is not too far from mid-knee these days) or around the tops of my feet. Yuck, yuck YUCK! Who wears this stuff?

So, just for grins, I retreated to the juniors department, where the clothes are much cuter, and if one chooses carefully, one can get away with a few items that at least hint at some knowledge of current fashion without screaming, "I’m 52 going on 13…" Back when I was a "Points"-obsessed size 4, the juniors department was a viable secret indulgence. But, alas, those twenty extra pounds have dashed my dreams of snatching one or two fashion-forward items out of the hands of the teeny-boppers (or whatever they call them these days.)

The really cute stuff is reserved for anorexic children; and there is probably a surplus of well-dressed grandmas in our area. But if you happen to be between the ages of 35 and 75, you might as well wear what you own until it turns to rags, because there’s just not anything out there for you. What’s a relatively hip (fashion-wise), "woman of a certain age" to do about clothes that fit—both her youthful outlook and her slightly time-worn physique? Without flying to New York with a free $5000 VISA card in her pocket….

Anybody else care to weigh in?


sunflowerkat321 said...

I guess you've got to be in the heart of Manhattan to find it.  I'm just 90 minutes out of the city and it's no better here.  And I'm in the same boat you are....I've stopped counting points and I have nothing to wear. I must find a "nice dress" for a gala in San Diego!  I have two days to perform THAT miracle.  Wish me luck!


mutualaide said...

A weigh in coming a little later.  Thoroughly enjoyed this humorous look at a very sad state of affairs.

thesheatons said...

Add in someone who can't stand tight slacks. And don't dare wear anything too light because it might snag on a staple of a file cabinet. Right now it's slacks and polo shirts.

One thing about yard work, I"ve managed to drop about six or seven of the twenty five pounds I put back on over the holidays. Something has to give, I've been losing the same twenty five pounds for the last three years.