I never wanted to wear my mother’s clothes, and I have no doubt she never would have wanted to be seen in anything that I wore. Growing up, I wore small tops and tight jeans – tight by choice (unlike now, where they are just plain tight and getting tighter by the day). She wore house dresses when we first moved to the farm, and continued to do so until she was truly christened into our new lifestyle – by being scooped up and dropped into the horse trough by our new neighbor. It really was a rite of passage... and ended the house dress era in our home.
Our clothes change as we age. You can’t deny it. Four-inch heels are replaced with sensible pumps, then flats. Shirts become looser, and you start to get more bang for your clothes-purchasing dollar – at least for the most part.
Don’t get me wrong. I know there are some who age to perfection, who don’t wrinkle or bag, who don’t slouch or sag. I notice every freaking one of them. As discussed before, it seems rather realistic to accept that these things are going to happen. It doesn’t mean that we think of our bodies as ancient ruins as opposed to temples, but it does mean perhaps a bit more window dressing is needed. Our hair volume and texture does change. Our skin elasticity also changes. None of this is something to be ashamed of.
That said, and please know I say this with much love... as we grow older there are some things that we just should not wear. First – this cannot be stressed enough – pants should not be worn with the crotch at the knee by anyone of any age. I really don’t care what color underwear you may be wearing (although I am thankful that there is something there providing a border between my eyes and the crack of don). Speedos, unless you are a competitive swimmer, or Antonio Banderas, should simply not be allowed. Sorry to be the one to break it to you, guys, but the greatest marketing boondoggle in the history of time was the convincing of men that anyone could wear a Speedo. While half-shirts may look okay on a sixteen year old, with tight skin, toned tummy and a naughty little bellybutton ring poking out, for the majority of us, they are absolutely not doing what we think, or hope, they are. The quarter rule should apply to all these fashions, just like it does to a marine’s bed: if the quarter snaps right back and lands in your hand when bounced on the matters (or stomach), then you’re okay to show it off. Otherwise, drop and give me twenty.
There is one fashion statement though, that i will never grasp, especially when we no longer have those supple strong sixteen year old bodies. Could someone please explain to me the value of a thong? The girls like to have them riding up the hips over the waistline so we can all see them. The guys... well, thank god they don’t wear them with the damned pants that have the crotch at the knees. What, though, is a thong supposed to do? What is the pleasure of being trussed up like a turkey, with those skinny little straps digging into the skin, straining with each movement? For some of us, it would require a long and dangerous expedition just to find the damned thing once we’ve put it on. You have no support, no... nothing, other than what has to be the most galactic wedgie in the world. I refuse to believe that they don’t ‘inch up’ every time you sit down, so that a wrong movement could have you singing two octaves higher.
There is sometimes merit in trying to recapture our youth. For those of us (I use a royal us because I definitely don’t fall into this category) who manage to maintain a modicum of a girlish figure as we age, by all means, take pride in how you look... but is the thrill of showing off to the other septuagenarians at the scrabble tournament really worth spending the day trying to discretely adjust the piece of material that is woefully imbedded in the cheeks of your butt?
With age comes the ability to understand the value of balancing fashion with function. I remember well the dances where your feet ached from the must-have shoes that are really nothing more than torture devices and bunion builders. We can still look good, but can we at least agree that we don’t need to do ourselves a serious thong injury in the process?