notquiteold

Nancy Roman

Age-Appropriate

I noticed over the last year or so that my favorite catalogs have changed.

Or perhaps I have.

There are two retailers in particular where I used to buy almost all my clothes. They were stylish but age-appropriate. What I used to call “Classic with a side of Funk.”

But I have been gradually and increasingly disappointed in their offerings.

“Classic with a side of Funk” has become “Classic with a big side salad of Boring.”

Why ever would I want a boxy seed-stitch cardigan in olive green?

And I’ve been thinking about it and I have come up with an explanation, which of course must be completely accurate because I can picture the board meeting where the decision was made:

President (Age 40): “Twenty-five years ago when we founded this company, our average customer was forty years old. Sophisticated and stylish.”

Vice President (Age 35):  “Just like you.”

President: “Yes, of course. And our customers have been very loyal. But now they are in their sixties.”

Vice President:  “Just like the old President and Vice President who were asked to retire to make way for new blood like us.”

President:  “That’s right. So we have to make a decision. Do we design clothes for us new stylish women, or do we adjust to the advanced age of our long-time customers?”

Vice President: “Well, I’d love to see us sell cool clothes. But our current customers are used to shopping here, and cool people like us actually shop elsewhere. It would be more consistent with our image to just follow our customers into old age.”

President: “And easier too.”

Vice President: “Sure. We will only have to make three colors a season:  Navy, Brown and Olive Green for fall and winter. And Pink, Lavender and Baby Blue for spring and summer.”

President: “And we don’t have to worry about an exact fit either. Old ladies don’t want body-conscious clothes. Let’s make sure that size small is big enough for ladies with very big bosoms. But that our pants are extra short.”

Vice President: “And we can add a line of sensible shoes.”

President: “Great idea. Maybe something like a sneaker with velcro fasteners. Once you get to be sixty, you need something comfortable and easy to get on an off without having to bend over.”

Vice President: “Our customers will love that.”

President:  “Thank God we’re not old. It must be so depressing to be sixty.”

Am I right or what?

Why ever would I want to be stylish? I am already sixty-three.

So the problem is not the catalogs. They have nice comfortable age-appropriate clothes.

The problem is me.

I DON’T WANT TO BE AGE-APPROPRIATE!

whistlers mother revised

45 Comments

  1. Love it! It does seem to be more difficult to find stylish clothing…

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    • It’s really difficult to find cool clothes for old ladies…

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  2. Love, love, love the bit of leg on Whistler’s mother!

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    • I’m hoping that’s how she really was, and hated that painting by her son. (And I think all his other paintings were much much nicer…. did he resent his mother?)

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  3. I refuse to be age appropriate!

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    • I’ve always been afraid to look foolish as I’ve gotten older…now I see it is liberating!

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      • It’s very liberating and you can work around looking foolish. I try to keep my knobby knees covered but my arms and shoulders are still good. Besides those elastic waistband pants are not comfortable and they give me a pooch at my fairly flat stomach. Now shoes are a challenge……I really want to wear those 5″ spikes but my feet say no!

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  4. All the catalogs I loved for years have gone out of business. This doesn’t bode well for my future, I fear!

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    • My catalogs are still around, but I’m sure they will stop mailing me sooner or later, since I don’t buy anything from them anymore.

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  5. Whistler’s mother had legs! Who knew under that long BLACK skirt.
    You hit the nail on the head. I don’t want someone telling me or thinking of me as an age group. What’s wrong with classic clothes that are attractive at any age? Grrrr,

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    • I do not want to be invisible.

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      • That’s the problem with these manufacturer’s. Don’t they have mothers who have set them straight? Sigh.

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  6. Deb

    Any why so many big flowery prints for God’s sake? Do we all have that many flaws that it is deemed necessary to wear gigantic fields of neon flowers on boxy, high-necked shirts with arm holes that accommodate 2 1/2 arms per side when the reality is that normal size arms leave an expanse of exposed bra and skin down to one’s waist?

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    • Ha! I think arm-hole are cut big for old ladies because the manufacturers assume we can’t move our shoulders any more.

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  7. Ray G

    Where did you get that leg? Giselle Bundchen?

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    • I didn’t do the photoshopping, but I think it is Angelina Jolie’s leg.

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  8. It is as if you were actually at the board meeting! I wonder if the identities of the two retailers you have stopped buying from is the same as mine. One of them has just recently gone out of business (I guess the market spoke), but the other has just introduced a lovely line of navy, brown, and olive green boxy cardigans for the fall. I have long since moved on. Yuck.

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    • I thought of an even more likely scenario. The executives are MEN! Of course. And they have trophy wives. The execs may be sixty, but they have no interest in 60-year-old ladies.

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  9. it’s the same in South Africa, clothes are BORING and predictable, unless your figure is beanpole!

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    • I am on the thin side, but these “classic” stores don’t even make smaller sized clothes anymore. Elastic waists all the way.

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  10. You’re as old as you feel, not as old as people think you should be! Hubby and I act our shoe size. 🙂

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    • My husband wants me to dress provocatively. But he sees me through a very distorted lens, god bless him.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. One of the stores I shopped went out of business but befor it did, I started to gravitate away from its old lady retiree conservative look. It is for work but I need a place that has fun good quality clothing but won’t eat away at my diminished pocketbook! Think ill just dust off the sewing machine and make days of the week moo-moo’s and let fashion hang it all! That’s the beauty on aging, you get to wear what you want! Lol!

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  12. Yes! Keep the strawberries, daffodils, ruffled collars, long sleeved-long dresses and shift skimming crap and give me something that drapes, fits and flatters. I rec’d what I thought was a cute catalog in the mail .. till I found some bladder control products in the center section. Into the trash it went!

    MJ

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    • Yikes! Pretty soon they will be offering you a little pocket up the sleeve where you can hide your hankie.

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  13. I have to laugh because I’ve been feeling the opposite! “Don’t these people know I’m getting long in the tooth? What’s with all the skinny jeans?” Last night I tried to find some nice tailored blouses on line. Yech! Everything was polyester, fitted and cut to show 8 inches of cleavage. Not so great for an aging fifth grade teacher, LOL!

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    • I love my skinny jeans, but I haven’t really thought about what a teacher should wear. You must have even a tougher time shopping than I do!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I just need to be able to a) sit on the floor without having any fat leak out and b) get up without looking like a beached whale!

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  14. I totally get what you are saying! I’m not ready to cut my hair or wear boxy clothes in drab colors!

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    • I am so in defiance of growing old that last year I let my hair GROW out long – for the first time in my life. Long hair at sixty-something! Why not?

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  15. mo

    And, if you are a short kinda plus size lady in your 60’s….forget about it! Ugly clothes are all I can find. sigh.

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    • There are lots of women your age and size – maybe we can go into business selling them STYLISH and COOL clothes!

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    • Dan

      Amen to that. I see a lot of that with my wife. UGLY STUFF!

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  16. I sooo agree! I wrote a blog about wanting to start wearing clothes that were fun, comfortable, maybe a little flash and color. I DON’T want to wear my grandmother’s clothes! (Probably my grandmother didn’t want to wear her clothes either!) I am calling my new fashion Boho Chic…but, being 61, maybe it should be called Granny BoHo! Good luck!

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    • Both my grandmas wore black silk dresses with a little floral print. With short sleeves – and if they were going out – a Brooch. At home – a housedress! Remember those?

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  17. Age appropriate? What is that anyway? I just bought the coolest dress, all fitted and with leather insets, shows off the fact I lost 247 lbs since December! Above the knee and everything! I think I will say bah to age appropriate and follow your example.

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    • Definitely show off! You’ve earned it. Flaunt it.

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  18. I find shopping for work clothes to be a pain at times. Often blouses don’t have enough buttons or the skirts are extremely tight. For work I like to look professional but feel comfortable, hence a lifetime of accumulating cardigans – they go with everything 🙂

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    • I love cardigans. I have ’em in every color and some prints too. You button them up when you’re feeling skinny and you leave them open when you’re not. Perfect!

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Dan

    If my wife were a blogger she would be all over this post. I’m here a little late, but she feels the same way and that includes what is sold by most b&m retailers in the plus or women’s departments. Cute stylish stuff in Juniors but the drabbest colors and patterns elsewhere. She has found some stuff she likes in the Romans catalogs, but I am usually not fond of most of it. She gets compliments from others, but the stuff falls short of having any real style. When she does buy, it is sent back about 80% of the time for poor fit or quality. It really emphasizes the need to search out items that are less faddish but have more classic styling so you can wear them for more than one season of one year since it is so difficult to find something to begin with. It’s really tragic how they keep pushing matronly stuff at older women.

    I saw a woman in her early 50’s in what was very close to a mini-skirt in the summer in a grocery one day. Her legs were bare and fantastic. Probably good genes and fitness were at work there. She had driven there in a convertible Corvette. None of that age appropriate. She was restrained and tasteful with her makeup. None of the club look in the daylight makeup. I approached her as she was leaving and told her I thought she looked great and in the skirt and car both and to ignore anyone who said otherwise. Why should and older woman resign herself to double knit, elastic band pants and a top with a pattern of big flowers or geometrics? The skirt was only in poor taste to someone who no longer had the legs to show it off or was not comfortable with their body or sexuality. They can’t just think I wish I still had her legs and could wear that skirt and let it be.

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    • I agree… when you look good, you look good. Period.

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