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Friday, September 19, 2008

Not a girl...not yet a woman

I guess that's not exactly true - I mean, I am a woman. But yesterday, I completely understood what Britney Spears was trying to say in that song. Guys, this is a post for the ladies. You're welcome to read on if you desire, but I'm not sure you'll be able to relate. Of course, I could be wrong.

Here's the problem: I'm very unclear about what department I'm supposed to be shopping in in department stories. I find something I think is cute, then I realize I'm in the juniors department and I panic. I mean, I don't want to look like I'm trying to look "young." I was at Kohls yesterday, and I kept second guessing everything I thought was cute. I eventually had to take a picture of something with my phone and send it to Katherine to find out if I was too old to wear it. She said I wasn't too old, but she may have just been trying to humor me. I'm just really not sure anymore. I know I'm too old for this:




but I'm not sure I'm old enough for this:



It's a problem. If I go to stores like Gap or The Limited, I'm fine. But what about stores like H & M, American Eagle, or Forever 21? After all, it's been forever since I was 21, so I feel a little self conscious in there. I suspect everyone in there knows how much over 21 I actually am, and I fear that they might pity me or think I'm a poser (or is it poseur?). Last night when I was in there, they'd changed the layout and I wandered around, confused and disoriented. That's how I knew that it might be time to retire from Forever 21. A couple years ago I was in Hollister because my cousin was working there. I kept wondering why they didn't turn more lights on, then on my way out I got tangled up in a fake tree. That's how I knew I was too old for that store.

So, my friends, I need some help. How do you know something is too "young" for you? I know that I'm not "old," but I'm also not a teenager and I don't want to look like one. At the same time, I don't want to look older than I am. And I'm not retiring my style just because I can no longer wear sweat pants that say "juicy" on the tush. I'm at a crossroads here and I have to make sure I go in the right direction! Any tips?

12 comments:

Kathy said...

I knew I was too old for Hollister when I complained I was getting a headache from the smell of the perfume, and heard myself say, "turn that music down!"

However, I do still shop at Forever21- but only for mini skirts and tube tops.

Elizabeth Downie said...

I totally understand about the mini skirts and tube tops. They're staples in any (classy) woman's wardrobe.

Kathy said...

That goes without saying! I am having a hard time finding a tube top that says "classy and mature, but still youthful." But I don't think it's something my bedazzler can't fix.

Kathy said...

Maybe Justin will let me borrow his?

Priscilla, Chris and four miniatures said...

Despite the fact that my husband often says he wishes I would wear some tight sweat pants with a word sprawled across the tush, any word indicating my natural "hotness" (ha!), I feel the same as you! I usually end up at Old Navy or Target, and always feel plain. It is a fine line between wearing something stylish, and just plain trying to hard to look younger than we are! Maybe we need to hire ourselves a personal stylist.

Katherine said...

It's really too bad that there's not a happy medium between the two looks showcased in those two pictures... I guess if you dye your hair red, wear striped tights, a silk blouse, and a skirt that has a really high waist-line, that's your answer right there.

Sarah said...

First, let me say that I don't think I'd ever heard that Britney song, and found myself captivated throughout the whole video. Yes, I watched the entire video. I think it was for a variety of reasons. 1) Worry she might fall off those cliffs; 2) Wondering what happened to such a beautiful girl; and 3) Trying to decide if she is undoing her belt at the end.

That aside, I completely understand your dilemma. It happens to me at Kohl's, and to solve my problem, I stopped going to Kohl's. And, I will only shop at Forever 21 if it is located at least 21 miles away from where I live and can be identified. I swore off American Eagle when I once saw an ad for them claiming to be for the 25 and under crowd (age discrimination!!), and Hollister definitely IS too dark. :)

I take to H&M with glee, and Gap, and Banana Republic (sale rack), and Eddie Bauer, which does border on the "I'm not this old!!" side of things from time to time, but if I pair a "this might make me look old" sweater with some "how hot do I look in these" flare pants, I think I'm hanging in there!

Altho, my fear, which has been realized on a few occasions, is wearing the same thing to work as one of my middle schoolers. It has happened and it has been embarrassing. For both parties involved...

The Spin-ster said...

Hilarious. And something that all women clearly think about. (Not sure you've seen my thoughts on the subject: http://spinsterstories.blogspot.com/2008/02/you-are-what-you-wear.html)

Personally, I feel that if you can't see in a store, you may need to avoid it for personal safety, and the clothes may not be approrpriate for any age, because they are clearly trying to hide them with dim lighting and fake trees.

I also feel that there is no one. No matter their age that should be wearing ANYTHING on their tush that says "Juicy." In fact, I don't think you should wear any words on your tush. I mean what could you possibly want to write there that makes sense or is appropriate? I hope we never get to the day where we have to label our body parts. then I would have to wear shirts with sleeves that say flabby and chests that say saggy and bottoms that say wide load. No.

My advice- wear what you want--and feel good. If it's questionable for your age--it's probably questionable at any age. :)

Elizabeth Downie said...

Shauri, I am cracking up at your comment. The idea of labeling your specific parts! That would be awful. Also, I checked out your blog post on the subject and I love it!

Sarah, I won't judge you if you already uploaded that song to your MP3 player ;) And yeah, I'm sure that it really would be awkward for both parties if you were wearing the same clothes. I remember when that happened to DJ Tanner, and she was humiliated.

justin said...

I agree with Kathy (surprise, I know) about the smell of the perfume and the obnoxious music, not that I ever shopped at Hollister or A&F anyway. Come to think of it, the kind of music blaring in a store is a main way for me to tell that I am too old to be shopping there, hence why I've given up American Eagle, Pacsun, and Aero. That kind of makes me sad because aside from the Gap and H&M, that limits me to the more expensive stores like JCrew and Express.

Kathy, I'll look through my collection of tube tops. If you don't mind glitter I'm sure you'll love my collection- don't worry, they still look classy, in a Britney kind of way.

Kathy said...

Great, thanks Justin! I'm sure if you have worn in, it's something I will wear. But don't think it's going to sway my decision on the job offer in Providence. Can I borrow the sunglasses you were wearing for my second interview too?

Liz said...

You should dress young, that's what cougars do. Don't you want to be known as a cougar? You should start wearing ring pops.