Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Letting Myself Go: Questionable Fashion Choices for a Woman of a Certain Age and Size

OK I know what you are thinking, but it looked really cute in "Elle Magazine." 

What I didn't realize at the time was that it was probably on a 7 foot model who weighed about 120 pounds and was probably air brushed to boot.  However, when I see something in a magazine or catalog, I tend to think that's what it will look like on me. It's a weakness I have.

So I bought that coat and wore it on a recent trip to California.  At the place where we park our car at the airport, the attendant said to me, "That's some coat."

Now, let me say that whenever someone starts a comment about you with "That's some...," that is NOT a compliment.  "I like your coat" is a compliment.  "You look nice" is a compliment.  "That's some coat" is not a compliment.

So I should have been ready when we were going through security and the TSA person said to me, "Is that your dog?" 

"What?!" I replied.

She immediately realized she had mistaken the fur on the bottom of my coat for a dog.  We both had a laugh (I was crying inside).

I should have asked her if my "dog" made my butt look fat.

So that little incident made me think about my current fashion choices.

It's no surprise to anyone who knows me or who reads this blog that I consider myself a bit of a fashionista.  OK, basically I am a clothes horse, a hoarder, a shopaholic, whatever you want to call me.  It's been like that practically all of my life, probably since my Dad told me he thought it was perfectly reasonable for me to have a different outfit for every day of the week. That said, it wasn't difficult for me to make the stretch to have enough outfits that I would never need to wear the same thing ever again.

And I have never been afraid to embrace the latest styles, colors and fads.

At 13, I wore this cape to a football game.

I wasn't afraid to sport green shoes (they had pink trim to match the ensemble)

Big earrings were always my thing.

I embraced the famous "Sassoon" haircut when it was first popular.

I even went shorter when I was feeling "punk" and wanted to channel Annie Lennox (Hey, it was the 80's!)

I experimented with vintage dresses, armbands and headbands

Bell bottoms

And hats.

When you are young and slim, you can get away with a lot in fashion.

When you are a woman of a certain age and let's say, no longer thin, not so much.

For example, these shoes are hard to explain.

When you have to suck it in this much, probably not a good fit.

And when someone asks you if you are trying out for a part in "Wicked," probably not a good fashion choice.

And here I look like I am about to break into a song from "Snow White."

Does this hat make my head look fat?

And please, Lord, tell me I was wearing this to a costume party or a rodeo.
(I wasn't).

So you can see I have been dragged into old age kicking and screaming.  Some habits die hard.
One thing many of us women worry about as we age is "letting ourselves go." (You men should worry about it, too, but that's a whole different blog post.)
That usually means getting fat, lazy, not wearing make-up, going gray...I think it's even worse for the Baby Boom Generation because we didn't think we would ever get old.  They should have called us "The Peter Pan Generation."
But that's not a bad thing.  We may be in our 50's and 60's, but we aren't doing "old age" like our parents.  We may be retired, but our retirement is not our parents' retirement.
Ellen Goodman, in her last column upon her retirement after 46 years of writing, wrote about "Letting ourselves go," but she was not talking about getting old and fat.  She wanted to "reclaim" the phrase to mean something quite different.
She said, "Now, we find ourselves on the cutting edge of another huge social change. This time, it's the longevity revolution. Ours is the first generation to collectively cross the demarcation line of senior citizenship with actuarial tables on our side...We don't have a label yet to describe the early, active aging. But many of us are pausing to recalculate the purpose of a longer life. We are reinventing ourselves and society's expectations, just as we have throughout our lives."
So "letting ourselves go" can be a good thing because we are letting ourselves GO FOR IT.  Just as in our youth we were the generation of great social change, so will we be as we age.
I have enjoyed experimenting with fashion all of my life, and I am not stopping now.  Yes, I could lose a few pounds, yes, I will probably make more fashion mistakes, but I don't care. 
Because, whether it's fashion or life choices, I am going to continue to let myself go for it. 
Too much?

Thanks for Reading!
See you Friday
for my review of the new movie
My Week in Reviews
and an update 

on my

 "1001 Movies I Must See Before I Die Project."
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  1. I am with you sister. Let freedom ring. I think we should take more risks as we get older. Life is more fun and funny that way.

    1. Thanks for the vote of confidence. One thing that is GOOD about getting older is that we don't really care what other people think as much anymore.