This is the year I am officially old. No, it doesn’t have anything to do with my actual age, wrinkles, or droopage ratio. I feel old because I’ve scanned several fashion magazines this week and I have not found one fall fashion that I want to embrace.
I feel like I should be lounging, newly permed, around my neighbor’s pool with a gaggle of older gals, gossiping away in our one piece skirted bathing suits, wrinkled evidence of too much iodine and baby-oil tanning in the 70s all on display, talking about the crap that passes for fashion these days.
High waist jeans? Gross. Crop tops? Nightmares. And I don’t wear pastels in summer. Why would I wear them in winter? Leather? Let’s not. Bollywood? But what? Bolly what? That’s a trend now? Funnel coat? I’m not wearing anything that sounds like it might add pounds. And I believe we covered the scrunchie comeback last week.
It’s true, I’ve never been a fashion maven. There was that time when I was 21 and admired another girl’s way with leg warmers. She would wear them with pointy-toed pumps. She was a beautiful girl with a bird-like bone structure, and could pull off the odd fashion choice. With my athletic build, I was neither beautiful nor bird-like. It was like putting leg warmers on Rocky. It didn’t stop me from trying. I tried again in 1984 when I paired a baby blue cotton dress with red pumps and pink ankle socks. I don’t even think that was a trend at the time. I think I might have been stoned.
At some more lucid point in my adulthood, I adopted a classic, simpler way of dressing; structured, clean lines in neutral colors and quality fabrics, with an occasional pop of color. This is what looks good on me. If it weren’t for the way I attract dirt, cat hair, loose threads and food stains, I might even pass for well-dressed in some circles.
But now, it would seem, a classic style no longer passes for a style. Fashion has become diverse and complicated. Clothing is made to layer in odd ways. It wraps and ties and serves multiple purposes. Is it a dress, a shirt, a skirt? How the fuck am I supposed to figure that shit out? I see odd combinations of fabric, styles and decades. These new clothes, they have holes in weird places….I don’t want a tan on just the middle of my back, for Christ’s sake.
I can feel myself faltering. I can’t compute the code that allows two fabrics with different size stripes to be worn at the same time, and even though I lived in the 80’s, I couldn’t pull off an 80’s style if I wanted to. Not that I want to, exactly, that’s not what I’m saying. I’m saying that even if I wanted to, I couldn’t. Do you understand? I feel as though I’ve passed over some invisible line into the realm of the style-less. I’ve become one with the masses, dressing daily for practical purposes. Like being adequately covered in public. Like someone who wouldn’t know a statement necklace if it jumped up and bit her on the nose. Which is why I don’t wear statement necklaces, incidentally, because that seems like a valid concern.
And this feeling of not relating to current fashion trends makes me feel old. This is not to say that older people are unfashionable. Style is ageless-we all have heard that. I have many friends who are walking proof. I have other friends who have transcended fashion and are simply elegant.
But as for me? I may as well buy some elastic-waisted jeans, a velour sweatshirt featuring kittens, and some comfortable walking shoes. And a fanny pack.