On behalf of women everywhere (over 50), I wish to express our displeasure at what you call fashion today. How well I remember the days when a trip to the department store offered so many wonderful, tempting outfits that I couldn’t choose just one. Those days are gone.
Let me walk you through a typical women’s clothing department. The first thing you will notice is the abundance of sleeveless dresses and blouses because the female anchorwomen on TV all wear sleeveless dresses, even if the temperature outside is 20 degrees. They also have personal trainers, chefs and someone to paint on their tans.
What is emerging as the hot new accessory for this season is the sweater that women of a certain age will want to purchase to put over their sleeveless ensemble. Except if they live in South Texas; that sweater might not be the accessory of their choice when the temperature is 98 and the humidity is 99 percent.
In an attempt to coax us into sleeveless territory, designers invented what is called the “cold shoulder.” It has the effect of a sleeve with some of the fabric missing on the shoulder or it has a slit in the sleeve (try to say that fast). Many of my friends have been wooed by the cold shoulder and could soon become sweater-wearing sleeveless victims.
As if the invasion of the sleeveless trend is not insulting enough, we are still being bombarded with the peasant blouse/dress look. I am pretty sure that back in the ‘60s I wore the same shirt I tried on last week at Macy’s. All I needed was a tambourine and some flowers in my hair.
If you are looking for sanity in the stores, don’t stop in the shoe department where every rack features extreme footwear designed for torture and pain. As one who has the bunions to prove it, I wore those treacherous stilettos with toes sharper than 45 degrees in my youth. Guess what? They’re back. For those of you who are teetering around looking pretty glam while hunting for any excuse to sit down and slip your feet out of those shoes, forget saving for your kid’s college funds, put aside a bundle for podiatry.
Speaking of pain and suffering, nowhere have women suffered more than in the lingerie department where there lurks “Death by Spanx.” I grew up in the era of the girdle – talk about repression! Every girl wanted one whether she needed it or not. It was like a rite of passage – you were all grown up and free to bind yourself in rubber. Pantyhose spelled the death of the girdle, which morphed into pantyhose plus girdle disguised as “control-top pantyhose.”
Sara Blakely, bless her little “thanks to Spanx” billionaire heart, realized that women were sick of pantyhose and longed for their legs to be free and natural. Hips, not so much. So 10 steps forward, eight steps back. While Spanx may come in rainbow hues, it’s still a girdle. I once noticed an ad for a “Spanx-type”undershirt for men to hold in their stomachs. Do you know of any man who would ever buy, much less wear, one of those? I didn’t think so. Sadly, we’re just sheep. Baa.
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