I was at the mall the other day, rushing into Boscov’s to buy some lipstick, when I caught the reflection of an older woman wearing the same leopard print coat that I was wearing.
Hmm . . . that’s funny. I’d purchased my threads at the Coach Outlet store thirty-five miles away. It was the last one, marked at a deep discount. I was sure I owned the only such, slightly trendy, maybe a little wacky cloak in my small town.
Then I stopped and looked closer into the department store mirror.
Thank God I didn’t pass out in the middle of the cosmetic aisle.
911? We have another one. Come quickly.
It was me. I was the old woman in the mirror.
Well, how did this happen?
I was supposed to look young—cool—in my designer duds. Not like some elderly matron want-to-be hipster.
Do you know that anyone under the age of thirty is cuffing their pants? My also-not-young buddy and I were in NYC with our daughters on our annual day trip and we stumbled into Brandy Melville flash sale in a Soho warehouse. Our old tired legs wouldn’t carry us any farther, so we found a flat surface upon which to rest our elderly bodies while our girls tore through the showroom. Basically, we were sitting on the floor.
And from this perspective, you notice fashion below the knee.
Seventy-five percent of New Yorkers roll their pant legs . . . with sneakers (specifically Adidas kicks), boots, ballet flats, etc—this trend reaches across gender and race.
How had this escaped me?
That’s it! I decided to bring that look back to Berks County—the rolled cuff for the over forty crowd.
It couldn’t be that hard.
Well, I’ve struggled.
Can you roll boot cut jeans? What about socks? My ankles get cool with out them. Should leggings be cuffed?
Google isn’t much help—yes, I Googled, How To Cuff Your Pants. I almost posted a photo survey on Twitter to see if my new look worked.
Nevertheless, I was brave enough to go to the Giant with my hot-off-the-streets-of-New York get-up and I worked the fruit section like nobody’s business.
Still my husband is not crazy about my new combat boots.
And oh, my poor daughter! The fashion humiliation she’s vicariously suffered at my attempts to be stylish.
No, Mom! No. No. No. You can’t do gray on gray. That lipstick is too red—you look Goth. Are you wearing black on black on black again? Why don’t you try preppy?
Just shoot me if I ever see me in Vineyard Vines.
And though I long to stay current, I will absolutely draw the line at the trendy high-waisted pant, aka THE MOM JEAN, that is back in style. It might have been cool in the eighties. Maybe a six-foot super model can pull off the look. But at 5’3″ my butt is big enough without the help of all that extra fabric, thank you very much.
Yet as I age I’m allowing my wardrobe to evolve, to be an extension of my personality. I’ve always wanted to be a little more daring, a bit less in control. Plus I have an excellent role model. My mother, at seventy-three, takes her clothing very seriously, loving nothing more than a great shopping trip that produces an unusual or a beautiful garment. So don’t be surprised if you catch me with a red hat or a purple dress once in a while.
At mid-life, I’m over the halfway hump of my fashion life and I want to go out with a bang.
I’m off to find some zebra print!
(This post originally ran on Heather Christie)
About the author: Heather Christie is a wife, mother of two teenagers, writer, real estate broker, amateur cook, exercise freak, and avid reader. When she’s not selling houses, she’s writing books and blogging at www.HeatherChristieBooks.com. She has a BA in Literary Studies from the University of Texas, Dallas and she recently completed her MFA at Pine Manor College where she completed her first novel WHAT THE VALLEY KNOWS, which will be published in early 2018. Her work has appeared on Scary Mommy, Elephant Journal, Mamapedia, The Good Men Project, Grown & Flown, Parent.co, Bon Bon Break, Her View From Home, the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop, Sammichs and Psych Meds, and The Lighter Side of Real Estate. Along with her blog, you can follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.