I Don’t Know How to Dress

Have you ever wondered if there was more to life, other than being really, really, ridiculously good looking?  – Derek Zoolander

Here’s today’s confession: I’m super confused about what I should be wearing. I know: wear what you like, and I do that. But it’s out of inertia more than anything. Left to my own, I still dress like I did in college: jeans, tshirts and black and white sneakers. I kid you not. I still have some of the same tshirts. In the summer, I trade the sneakers for the $1 flipflops from Old Navy (I have them in several colors, because, hey, they’re a dollar), and for work I have fancy beaded flipflop “sandals.” If I am feeling particularly posh I might throw on a colorful glass bead necklace. I like it, I’m comfortable.

I look around and this is not typical for women in their 50s who work downtown. But I don’t want to wear the things the other middle aged ladies wear. It’s fine for them but I am not into it. I hate polyester and shiny shoes that clack-clack across the floor and business suits and big belts. I don’t want to color my hair or get it cut short and have to style it every day. Ick. Don’t make me stand in front of the mirror, wresting with a curling iron. Life is too short and anyway I’ll hurt myself.

Don’t want to dress like the kids, either. Leggings? No. Just… no. Sorry but I would rather not look like I lost my mind. No offense meant, ladies in stretchy leggings. But seriously. Perhaps a visual from way, way back:

leggings - bad idea
Now tell me, honestly, where do your eyes go? Hmm? PUT SOME PANTS ON. Sorry. I’m not the boss of you but I hold to the hope that someday, this lunacy will pass and then please, please, may the fashion disappear for another 500 years.

This has gone to a dark place. Let’s move on.

My daughter knows how to dress. She is not mad at any fashion and she can put an “outfit” together. I don’t even know what that means. She is kind to me and hands up some of her old clothes. I appreciate it. But she knows what I like to wear and doesn’t challenge me with things that I’d scrunch my nose at and say, “weird.” Or else she doesn’t like me making faces at her clothes. My daughter in law, too, she knows how to dress. Snappy. (When she wears leggings, she does it right.) She even got my son out of his snarky black tshirts. Now when I see him, he looks all cool in khakis and button down shirts or polos. Even my kids show me up.

So, I thought maybe I should, you know, class things up a bit. Figure out what it means to dress my age or something, Get some style. I looked for advice online for middle aged women. All I got was a string of articles that said stop wearing all the sexy stuff, no one wants to see your tired old skin. Which is insulting and I’m pretty sure my husband’s still interested even when I keep saying I’m tired, even my skin is tired, and anyway I don’t think anyone needs to dress like that. It’s distracting. People could get hurt. Put the girls away when you are in public. It’s just good manners.

I looked online to find more like this great caftan silky thing I love. A coworker brought it to me from Thailand. That’s nice, right? I get compliments when I wear it and it makes me feel kind of fancy and grown up. I found something very much like it under “casual lounge/beach wear”. Insults again; the internet is full of insults.

Rich people have personal shoppers. Do me a favor and buy ten copies of our books, so I can be rich and have someone pick out appropriate clothing for me. Believe me, it’s the only way.

Remember, readers walk off Thanksgiving dinner faster,

Cathy