In an earlier post I lamented the demise of Forth & Towne. While they certainly had their share of clunkers, they also were one of the few stores I've ever found that regularly had chic, stylish and affordable clothes for nous femmes over 40. While they rarely had pants in short lengths, they did carry boatloads of cute jackets in the current cropped, 3/4 sleeve styles and I'm glad I bought a few when I could. Because now that F&T is gone (well, they're still open for another two weeks but the store near me is down to the chaff) it's back to wandering the retail wasteland.
Most of the current fashion available in my price range* is targeted toward younger women, and either designed for women who can still get away with no bra...
Or is better suited for a toddler than a grown woman...
Or if it's targeted toward women my age, it's either...
Too "earth mother goddess-y"......
Or just too damn Orange County Republican.
Too Fat For Fashion has a great post from a few days back called The Age Old Question, and asks why, if there are so many fashion-savvy women of the baby boomer generation with money to spend, are designers seemingly fleeing from designs suitable for anyone over 25, or larger than a size 6.
The industry's continued obsession with youth can be alienating for anyone who
doesn't want to spend their days wearing baby doll dresses, smock shirts or
any of the other trends that seem to be ripped straight out a preteen's
She also links to this great NYT article that explores the same conundrum.
Juvenility has mobbed us. Even if a woman has a clear idea about what looks
right on her body and for her age and personality, it's hard to avoid the window
displays of baby-doll and trapeze dresses; the T-shirt bars of ruffled cotton,
airbrushed cotton and shrunken cotton; the girlish necklaces and charms; and all
the companion editorial in magazines, with the frosted pinks and the long, long
hair with little curls.
Sure, there are women my age who try to keep up with every current trend and wear whatever Mary Kate and Ashley are wearing that week. Go to Saks in Beverly Hills on a weekday afternoon and you'll see the 50-ish celebutanute wannabees. Usually they're also emaciated, botoxed, tanned, collagen-lipped and somewhat freakish looking. I don't want to dress like my Grandma did at my age (lots of navy blue and polka dots), but dammit, can't we have some fashion with a little dignity? Some decent tailoring? No wonder so many women my age have given up and live in velour track suits.
So yoo hoo, retailers out there, you're missing the boat! Just because we're sprouting some gray hairs and a few more pounds doesn't mean we want to try to recapture our teenage years (or looks). We don't want to dress like our younger selves, we want clothing that brings out the best in who we are today. We work, we may still have kids at home, we have active lives, we have a sense of style and disposable income. Why are we being left in the fashion dust???
*I don't often spend over $100 for any single piece of clothing.