Beyond Babedom

We're (way) over 40. Deal with it.

Back to the Future

Originally published October 25, 2009

Now that summer is really, really over, I’ve begun the summer/winter clothes exchange. I’m happy to report that, with our roof-to-basement renovation a few years ago, I was able to include an actual walk-in closet/dressing room that minimizes a lot of the switch-out. But I’m taking my out-of-work time this year to do a much closer inspection of what to keep (and store) and what to give away (or throw away, like in the case of stretched out undies).

Like me, you probably have tons of clothes that are simply no longer right for you, either because of changes in your body or simply because they belong to a “younger demographic.” I’m not saying we have to dress like old ladies; far from it. But I do believe that if you try to wear the same things as your daughter/niece/student does, it makes you look older.  You’re not fooling anyone.

And here are the rules I’m going to (try to) follow (established by Rachael Fischer Spalding on Lifescript), about clothes that BBs should leave in the past:

  1. Message tee shirts – Yes, we all have them. Mine range from a loud orange Macy’s Tap-a-Mania tee to a washed-out U.S. Marines “Pain is weakness leaving the body” one.  Both, cute or sassy at one time. Now? Retired for housecleaning or painting.
  2. Trendy denim – Ladies, no more low rise, torn or glitter-embellished denim. Looks like you’re desperately trying to look 23. And you don’t.
  3. “Costume” shoes – Unless, of course, they are part of a costume.
  4. Micro Minis – Yes, Camille, I know I still have some, like the navy blue wool one I made in 1968 that is much, much shorter than I ever remembered. But I don’t wear it. I just like to look at it and remember wearing it. Even if you have great legs (like me. And, yes, I think I do.), if you insist on wearing a very short skirt, only do so while wearing opaque tights.
  5. Excessive Cleavage – I don’t care how bodacious you are, showing too much cleavage , espcially during the day, simply looks attention-grabbing (and not in a good way). Everyone can see you have boobs; no one wants to see them at work, especially if you have sagging skin (just remember the neighbor in “There’s Something about Mary” when you’re tempted).
  6. Hair Gadgets – I remember when I was a bank teller in NYC in 1971 and one of my (older) co-workers came to work with a bow clip in her hair. I felt embarrassed for her and I will for you, too, if you insist on wearing something your granddaughter would wear.
  7. Oversized Hobo Bags – Come on; do you really have that much junk you have to carry? Not to mention the affect on your back, shoulders and overall posture. That goes double if you’re under 5’4″.
  8. Cheap, unflattering underwear – I shouldn’t even have to tell you why. Just remember what you mother used to say: would you be ashamed if you were in an accident? Also, I think VPL is now against the law.
  9. Loading accessories – One of my sisters – who shall remain nameless – has a habit of combining trends and wearing way too many pieces of jewelry. That, and wearing accessories from Claire’s is a dead giveaway for 20-something envy. If you must, wear one funky accessory to look ageless.
  10. Bra straps – I don’t care if it’s “the style.” Bra straps showing on a BB are just tacky. Invest in one of those behind-the-back strap holders or get some transparent straps. Straps are okay if you’re under 35. But you’re not.

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This entry was posted on Friday, October 8th, 2010 at 12:18 AM and is filed under Fashion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

  1. Tony says:

    For guys, please give up the trendy sneakers. If you’re not actually on your way to actually play then actually wear some sort of brown or black shoe, casual footwear affords you more credibility than NIKE AIR FORCE ONES for anyone older than 30.
    Likewise, give up the giant logo wear. If you’re buying designer brand clothes then perhaps a tiny logo will do. The older you are, the smaller the logo, should be your MO.
    There is one exception to rule… SHORTS!!. Guys, go with the trend on shorts…. do not make the mistake of wearing your 90′s or 80′s shorts, they’re noticibly and embarassingly inappropriate… it’s no longer cool to have your “guys” hangin’ out “by accident!”. You have to go big and baggy with shorts – it’s weird, but you just have to. This especially goes if you’re playing sports… don’t get caught with the micro-mini short. You will never live it down.

  2. Judy Herring says:

    A problem exists if you are trying to look and dress like you’re 25 years younger. Hip huggers and bandana tops are not for women over 45 or 35 or well…if you insist on wearing them, ask a stranger their opinion and “beleive them”! You can be trendy and contemporary if you keep up with what’s new in the fashion world and simply apply the look for your body type and age bracket.

  3. Judy Herring says:

    A problem exists if you are trying to look and dress like you’re 25 years younger. Hip huggers and bandana tops are not for women over 45 or 35 or well…if you insist on wearing them, ask a stranger their opinion and “beleive them”! You can be trendy and contemporary if you keep up with what’s new in the fashion world and simply apply the look for your body type and age bracket.

  4. Camille says:

    Yes, Lucille you need to heed the “mini skirt” message here…Your legs are great for a 50 something year old, but leave the minis in the closet.

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