Tammi Young has bid farewell to glittery hearts and shiny butts. Time for more grown-up clothing! Read more from Tammi on her blog, French Robin.
I’m not sure exactly the date or my age when I realized wearing sparkles and sequins was age-inappropriate. The truth is, I’ve most likely never accepted this unspoken social rule. I’m not one to don head-to-toe shimmer, but I do like a little something, somewhere to spice things up in my daily wardrobe.
My choice to add sparkle and sequins is logical. Clothing in the women’s departments of most retailers is boring and old-looking. I cannot bring myself to wear some of the ready-for-a-cruise pieces. A recent trip for a casual evening outfit left me so depressed! Most items in the women’s department of this particular store were big, unflattering tropical floral; plain V-neck cotton shirts with buttons on the collar (like that helps); high-waisted pants (remember front butt?) or worse, droopy, baggy backsides; plain polo shirts (ick); ugly geometric patterns in obnoxious colors; or the old-lady looking blouses with ugly patterns using ugly colors.
I didn’t realize my fashion errors until my older daughter (21) asked before going to dinner, “What are you wearing?!” To be fair, I was wearing a black and white striped V-neck t-shirt that happens to have a cute black sequins heart on the front. I thought I looked great, hip, chic, and anything but inappropriate. Apparently I was wrong because my daughter let me know the top was all wrong, particularly the sequins. I thought the sequins made the shirt and were the best part.
Where does that leave me? Definitely not in plain polo shirts or ugly shirts with buttons on the collar (again, for what reason? They don’t make the shirt look any better). It means I step up my game and start looking for non-sequined tops that are form-flattering, without too much cleavage but just enough, and pretty, interesting prints in nice colors.
I am also guilty of the sparkly butt jeans trend. There are all kinds of wrong with that choice. First, teenagers started the sparkly butt jeans trend. Suddenly moms (meaning me) “borrowed” the look. Instantly the jeans were uncool. The low-rise forced me to constantly tug them up over my belly (mom of 4 here – yes, there is lasting evidence of their residency in my body). After a while, I realized wearing the same jeans as a 13-year-old was an awful fashion choice. Thankfully, options exist for non-embellished jeans that actually fit the waist, butt, thighs, and length. I paid more for my non-shimmery jeans, but I don’t feel like I’m imitating a 15-year-old. My new jeans flatter my body and don’t embarrass my kids — win-win!
I can easily say it was not until I turned 48 that I learned sparkle clothing is inappropriate for every age over 12. Possibly the most important step in my fashion evolution from 12-year-old to 48 is to understand my body as a 48-year-old mother of 4. It means accepting that I do not have the same body as a 21-year-old, have no intention of working out to get one, and I’m in my late 40’s not teens. It meant accepting who I am today rather than who I was as a kid or identifying with teenagers. I am not saying that I’ve given up on being healthy or trim, only that I accept myself for who I am today. From that place, I can work to change the things I want to change including a wardrobe of sequins and shimmer to demure, chic, and age-appropriate.
My ten-year-old just informed me that anyone “your age should never wear sequins ever.” I suppose I will take her advice as she is closer to the “fashion pulse” than I am and perhaps her judgment is better than mine.