You’re Only as Old as You Dress

“Do you think this is too young for me?” asked a voice from behind me. I turned from the dressing room door where my teenage daughter was trying on clothes.

The “this” in question was a super-clingy lyrca mini dress in a black and purple animal print.

The “me” who was asking, was another 40-something year-old mom.

I was, quite literally, at a loss for words.

We were in an upscale store that caters to teens and tweens. The store carries a large selection of tie-dyed clothes, rubber bracelets stamped with words like “Bieber Fever,” and various clothing that is strategically shredded, cut-up, or torn so as to expose the maximum amount of skin allowable by public decency laws.
If the clothing were not enough of a clue that the intended demographic of this store was about thirty years younger than the woman in the purple and black minidress, the fact that everyone else who was shopping there had braces on their teeth might have been a pretty good indication.

As she turned toward the mirror and admired her reflection, I pondered possible responses:

-Absolutely not. And it goes great with your binky.

-OMG! It’s like, totally awesome on you, for sure!!

-Is it for your prom?

-No, it’s hot! I saw that same dress on “Glee” last week!

-No, it’s great for you. And I think it comes with a matching Hello Kitty bracelet!

-I think your BFF will be so jealous!

-No. Just make sure no one else is wearing it to the same Sweet Sixteen. That can be so embarassing.

-That is so much more age appropriate than those pink and green skin-tight animal print mini dresses!

-I’m sure it’s fine. Just check with your mommy.

I looked around to see if maybe she was actually shopping there with her teenage daughter and just decided to try the dress on for grins. But alas, there was no progeny to be found. Mom was clearly there to reclaim her own youth, or possibly get a dress for the high school spring dance.

Now I have to admit, the lady did have a great body. But this particular situation fell squarely into the category of “Just because you CAN wear something, doesn’t mean you should.” I was sure there were plenty of hot dresses that would look great on her that wouldn’t make it look like she was trying to get a date with the Jonas Brothers.

Fortunately, before I opened my mouth, I realized that Hannah Momtanna was not actually asking my opinion, but the opinion of the teenage salesgirl who was helping her.

“What do you think,” she asked the salesgirl again.

The girl put her hands on her hips and replied, “It might, like, be better for your daughter, you know?”

©2011, Beckerman. All rights reserved.
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10 Comments

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10 responses to “You’re Only as Old as You Dress

  1. ROFL.

    So you’re saying I should throw away my lycra minidress?

    I’m, like, totally just kidding

  2. Uh. That was probably the mom who lives down the street from me; I have to brace myself before leaving the house. You know, just in case I run into her.

  3. Good point, however…Did you hear where she was going to wear it?
    I’m 40. I have a mini dress. It’s gold. I wear it when we visit Las Vegas. I don’t wear it at any other time. I wear it with low heels and I do NOT ever bend over. I did purchase “the dress” (as my husband calls it), at a full grown woman store, so there’s that too.
    My point is there are certain clothing items that are appropriate for certain places too.

    • True that! And I bet you rock your gold mini!!
      However, based on the mountain of inappropriate clothing this particular 40 year old had in her dressing room, she was either moving to Vegas or dressed like that routinely! 🙂

  4. Oh shucks, 40 is like the new 14!

  5. Oh, my. I think when more mature (older) women dress like teenagers it makes them look even older. Just my opinion. You’re right – just because you can does not mean you should.

    Your list of responses cracked me up!
    -FringeGirl

  6. This lady had the body of a teenager but a face like Cloris Leachman. Nothing against Cloris Leachman, but I couldn’t see her in a purple and black lycra mindress either!