Tuesday, March 11, 2008

I have jumped the fashion shark

It is official. I am no longer cool. My “previously enjoyed” clothes have been rejected by a store clerk who has more ear piercings than I have hands and feet. Talk about humiliation!

It all started a few years ago when I combined trips to shows at Portland Center Stage [a super form of respite I highly recommend] with visits to Buffalo Exchange. I would bring bags of clothing that no longer fit me - either they shrank, I grew, or both. Buffalo Exchange is a used clothing store chain that “recycles” up-to-the-minute fashion by buying and reselling items. Unlike consignment stores, Buffalo Exchange examines clothes on-the-spot, and offers either cash or store credit.

On my previous trips, at least half of my items were accepted, and I received store credit in return. It was a win-win for sure, and I found some great, fun casual duds. But last Sunday NONE of my clothes were accepted. Ah, the indignity of having a hipster store manager tell me “We’re passing on these but thanks for coming in.” Is it time for Coldwater Canyon and Charter Club? Elastic waistbands and Naturalizers ? Yikes!

Despite this setback, I nonetheless sifted through the Buffalo Exchange racks, in the hopes of using up my remaining credit. After trying on various shirts, pants and jackets, I became increasingly frustrated. I couldn’t find anything that fit well and didn’t make me look like I was trying – unsuccessfully – to look like I was 26 again. I had this odd feeling of déjà vu and recalled that I felt this way the LAST time I tried to use my credit. I had always thought of shopping as fun, but it was starting to become an unwanted body image experiment.

That’s when I decided the time had come to match what I wear to where I’m at. While inside I am still a 19-year old buying carpenter pants in the East Village, the rest of me has to leave Buffalo Exchange and Urban Outfitters behind. I am ready for Chicos and shoes that don’t cause me to writhe in pain after walking two blocks [Sofft suede mules, I’m talking to you].

MORE magazine has a useful column with tips for midlife dressing called “What to wear the rest of your life.” I am going to start paying more attention to that one! The columns can also be found on-line. I also suggest this rule of thumb: Only shop in stores where the clerks are no more than ten years younger than you.


Iamabode said...

Enjoyed the links and also blogging 101. Good for those of us who are luddites.

Friends On The Spectrum said...

It's nice to know I'm not the only one feeling this way!

Carol Solow Freedman said...

It seems I am not the only one who is fashion-challenged! Wouldn't it be great to go to a "real moms with real budgets" fashion show? That is a fundraising idea that could fly, now someone just has to grab it!