Tuesday, September 11, 2007

SOS - Wardrobe Dilemma!

For (some of us) Middle Aged Mamas (over 40??!!??)(whaddabout over 50?!??!!?) knowing what to - and what not to - wear can be perplexing.

Today's fashions are geared towards the younger set (oooh, was that really me speaking from the older perspective?!) and seem to leave us middle-year gals high n' dry when it comes to pretty, well-fitting choices for our wardrobe.
Clothes we can feel and look GOOD in.
Is it still possible to feel and look GOOD? I think so.

Let's ruminate on this a bit.
Beginning with what not to wear, a determination which is a tad easier to arrive at than what to wear.
Any garment, outfit, print, cut and/or color that somehow does not 'feel right' falls under the category of What Not to Wear. When it comes to my recent clothing choices (the last 10 years or so!), very little feels right anymore.
Should I become the least bit delusional about that, making a selection I think might be mighty fine - all it takes is one glance in the mirror for the jaw-dropping reality check. The image therein too often screams back 'OMG - NO NO NO!'

What to wear?
Pantsuits seem to be the calling card of the mid-aged woman. Available fashions seem to dictate this.
Jeans. Slacks. Capri pants. Palazzos (remember those?).
I've never ever liked wearing pants. They were always either too tight on my waist or hit me in all the wrong places at the tummy/hipline. Length is never right. Moreover, pants often pinch me at the crotch, which is not altogether a big whoop anymore either.

In regard to jeans, I will opt for a pair of loose-fitting Levi's.
For me, jeans are utilitarian, not fashion. Anyway, I like the feel of sliding right outta a pair of loose 501's at the end of a day.

Anecdote: I was traumatized once when sharing a hotel room with a work colleague - as I watched her stuffing her ample self into a pair of too-small stretch Gloria Vanderbilts jeans. Sausage-time Mama!
If I can someday get past that nightmarish image and find a pair of fitted comfy jeans made for over-40's gals, I might consider having two pair: one loose and one fitted.

If pants fit fine in the morning, by mid-day (and after a few glasses of the daily recommended allowance of water for good health) they start to feel snug. By dinnertime, one wonders how those very same pants which fit reasonably well in the morning have gotten so unbelievably uncomfortable.

I much prefer skirts, and they get my vote to solve the bottom half of the wardrobe dilemma.
But what length? What fullness? What type of waistband?
I ain't quite ready to go the full-tilt elastic waist route yet.
Elastic bunches up too much and what is worn as a top has to be 'just right' in order not to look - dumpy.
I may be at the age, but am not yet prime fodder for matronly.

Now what to wear on the legs? Tights? Panty hose? Knee socks?
Tights and panty hose have elastic waists. Knee socks slip down or just look way stupid on women my age.

What style shoes? What height should the heels be? Thick and clompy, high and pointy? Flat? What of boots?
Go for shoes that are styled for comfort or fashion?

Tops - sleeveless (this is getting harder to pull off too, what with flippy flappy upper arms); short cap sleeves (better); three quarter or long sleeves (sometimes too much fabric when hot-flashing).

I like dresses most of all - but what styles compliment this poor olde bod anymore?

I cannot abide by dressing in layers. Too much fabric going this way and that to contend with.

Mid-aged women can certainly overkill on Chico's (do they really think wild animal prints become de rigueur once a woman is over 40?!?).

Eileen Fisher = waaaaay too much knit fabric?

Ellen Tracy - a bit too severe? - and just look at all that yardage - much of it tailored and layered.

Coldwater Creek? (what's with all the blazers, anyway?).

J. Jill? (pick and choose a few that have some character?).

Chadwicks? (pretty tame, but maybe that's what I need?)(too tailored?)

A bit from here and there might be OK.
A little more of it could become too much the wardrobe of a Median-Income-Conservative-(White)Woman-
Which is not a bad thing. It just ain't me.

Aha (lightbulb over the head just blinked on)!
Howza 'bout wearable art? Now that could be FUN...
By artwear, I'm not thinking Blue Fish.

Perhaps the answer is to move to the tropics and slip into something island-style?
Lightweight sundresses in island floral prints, bare legs, zoris on the feet!

What to do what to do.
Ai ya.
Solving the Wardrobe Dilemma is going to be one major project, awright.

1 comment:

Scaredsilly on Trigger said...

Going Hawaiian is one great idea!!
With flip flops.

My childhood style: jeans and sweatshirts. Adulthood: wannabe Katherine Hepburn, though realisticly, it's slipping toward baggy comfort. Sweats. They could be a uniform: I could wear 'em in the garden, wear 'em to bed, wear 'em to school...barefoot.

Why do I care not for style one iota?