Dressing Like a Mom

Twittering birds, warmer days, fat buds cropping up on formerly bare tree branches. Ahhhh. Often with the coming of spring, comes the desire to revamp our wardrobes. Out with the old and in with the new. In honor of this, I thought you might enjoy this abridged version of an essay I sold to Girlfriend 2 Girlfriend magazine a while back.

“You look fine,” my friend Vicki said, in response to my question. “You look like…well, like a mom.”

What?! Yeah, so I AM a mom, but that was beside the point. I didn’t necessarily want to look like one. Heck, when I was in my twenties I was known for my funky, artsy style. I mean, I used to work in advertising and everything!

I walked over to the mirror and stared at my sit-at-the-waist jeans complete with belt, and button-front oxford, neatly tucked in. I guess they did kind of scream “Hello, 80’s!” With a shock I realized I was vintage, and not in a good way. I decided right then, I needed to do some serious style revamping.

With my teenage daughter’s fashion advice ringing in my ears, I headed to the mall, a woman on a mission. In the jeans section, I chose several low-rise styles and locked myself in a dressing room. Squeezing into the first pair, I rechecked the tag. Strange. They were supposed to be my size. Well, I had to admit it was kind of liberating to have my stomach pouf sitting on top of the waistband for a change. But the rest of me was so uncomfortably packed in, I quickly took them off.

Moving on, I pulled up the next pair. Or rather, I tried to pull them up. They were so low my underwear hung out a good four inches above the waistline. Not quite the look I was going for.

The third pair actually fit, but sported so many holes and tears in strategic places they didn’t really fit the over-forty-yet-sophisticated effect I was trying to create. I finally discovered some hole-free styles which sat “slightly below the waist,” then headed to the Intimates Department to find low-rise undergarments to wear with my new low-rise jeans.

I found myself surrounded by thongs. I held one up for closer inspection.


I know there are women my age who actually like these, but I totally don’t get it. How could they possibly be comfortable? So after selecting some regular hip-height styles, I moved onto tops.

According to my daughter’s recommendation, I wanted tops that didn’t need to be tucked in. When I was younger, tucking in was good. Now apparently, it’s bad. I grabbed a bunch of different styles and once again closeted myself in a dressing room.

Okay, here’s a question: why does everything need to be so form fitting?!

I peered over my shoulder where unflatteringly magnified were some “lovely lady lumps” of which, up until then, I’d been blissfully unaware. Several tops sported wide, low-cut necklines which, my daughter told me, I was supposed to layer over camis. After trying everything on, I was sweating and feeling suffocated by all of this “layering.” But I plunged gamely on, finally selecting some not-too-low-cut, not-too-form-fitting shirts. I made my purchases and headed home.

Hmph! Let’s see who ‘looks like a Mom’ now!

A few weeks later, my daughter and I were out shopping when I spotted a woman about my age. She was wearing a pair of the torn-and-shredded variety jeans with a low-cut top (no cami!). She cruised the aisles comfortably untucked, with a smidgen of tummy peeking out.

“What do you think about that?” I asked pointing in the woman’s direction. “Should I be dressing more like that?”

My daughter’s eyes grew wide, “No way! She’s a Wannabe!”

“What’s a Wannabe?”

“You know, a mom who wishes she was still a teenager.”

Ugh! Seriously? I wouldn’t go that far! I felt relieved; at least I wasn’t a Wannabe.

My daughter paused and looked me over in my slightly-below-the-waist jeans and untucked but-not-too-form-fitting shirt, and she smiled. “I like how you’re dressed, mom. You look fine.”

Cool. I guess I look fine. And that’s fine with me.

Image by: Playingwithbrushes


Ivy said...

Great story!! So how do you go about selling stories and freelancing. I'm trying to expand my horizons a bit and help save up to get my hubby a safer car.

TeresaR said...

LOL! That was a great story! I hear ya on that trying to look more up-to-date but not like a wannabe. And yeah, I hate thongs too. My sis gave me a pr once as a present, and I tried it once, washed it out very well and gave it back to her. Yuck...who wants a string stuck in one's butt crack??

K.M. Weiland said...

This post totally made my day! Thanks for the chuckle. I'm glad I'm not the only one who despises jeans shopping.

Nancy said...

What a great post. I love everything about it. I love the vintage picture. June Cleaver and I go way back and I'm a big fan.

Your story is so cute. I also am treading the too low jeans and top, too tight, too loose problem. It's hard. I love the look when we get it right. It makes me feel like a million bucks and I could use that. By the way, I just found little triangles you can snap into your bra and wear instead of a cami. They were in the "As seen on TV store," if you have one of these near you. That settled a big problem for me and I love them.

Name: Holly Bowne said...

Thanks guys! Glad I gave y'all a chuckle! :o)

I found those little triangle things too, Nancy. They're awesome! Reducing layering is always nice!

Annette Piper said...

How wonderful! My SIL took me shopping a few weeks ago - I needed a few basics to get me through going out (as in off the farm) in winter. She's so stylish and lives in the city so there were lots of 'try this' 'try wearing it this way' and more. I ended up with some newer styles, looking better (yes, had to get some of those slightly fitted but not too tight tops and some just under the waist jeans) but not too far out of my comfort zone! My kids rolled their eyes and one said they 'wanted their old mother back'. But they like the newer clothed me - a little more up to date and not quite as daggy LOL.