almost middle aged women can wear skinny jeans too

May 28, 2009 |  Category:   life me


I’ve been having a bit of an identity “situation”. I wouldn’t call it a crises, because you know, I’m not really thinking about it all THAT much, but suddenly, I don’t know what to wear anymore. Part of it is being bored with all of my clothes. Another part is feeling like I don’t really know how I’m supposed to dress at this age, and the other part is not really being happy with my body right now. It’s true, having kids and breastfeeding does a number on your body and now that I’m done with all that stuff, I’m sort of looking around, taking stock and wondering what happened. Don’t get me wrong, I know I’ve always been thin and even downright skinny at times, but my metabolism is changing and despite the fact that I feel like I’m not eating all that much lately, my weight isn’t changing at all, not even during my sugarfast. It’s really weird. I didn’t even lose weight during my long 2+ week illness a few months ago when I was barely eating anything, which kind of pissed me off because isn’t that the ONLY good thing about being sick? I know some of you who know me might be rolling your eyes because really, I am at a good weight for my height, but my point is, it used to be really hard for me to gain weight so this is a really strange change for me. I suppose this is what happens when one reaches a certain age – things just slow down and start hanging out in places you don’t want.

…which brings me to the fact that I’m getting older and I don’t know what to wear anymore. Seriously, should I really be shopping at like, Urban Outfitters with kids literally half my age? If I think about it, it’s sort of ridiculous to be wearing the same dresses, jeans and tanks that a 19 year old would wear, so then what? Ann Taylor separates? (noooooooo). There are days when I don’t really care and just put on whatever and walk out the door and feel fine. On other days, however, I’m changing outfits 3 or 4 times because nothing feels right and suddenly I feel like an awkward, insecure teenager. It used to be, at least in our culture, that by the time you reached 30 and had kids, you’d cut your hair, get a perm (you know, the Kofro – korean afro for those who don’t know – and I dare you to find any Korean woman over the age 55 with unpermed hair) and wear pleated pants and sweater sets. Truth is, I don’t really look that much different than I did 10 or 12 years ago, style or hair-wise, which ironically is why I feel like I’m in some kind of rut.

So what is spurring all this stuff? Don’t know. Ok, maybe just having turned thirtyfuckingnine years old last month might have something to do with it (told you we were old, ha!), but really, I don’t feel like I’m stressing about my age in that way. It is, however, making me think about aging and what not to do in that “I don’t want to look like one of those middle-aged rock stars prancing on stage who still have the hair, the leather, the eyeliner and chains kind of way”. And I am well aware that my Asian genes have helped me look younger than I am, but even I can see that I won’t be able to hide behind that much longer as I am seeing fine lines start to appear. But despite all this, I really don’t mind turning 40 in less than a year. I’m ok with that as I feel I’m in a good place in my career and family and all that kind of stuff, but like all 40 and almost approaching middle aged people, I just don’t feel that old yet. So sometimes mental state of being doesn’t equal actual age, hence the bit of identity confusion (oh and btw, middle aged, wtf!??!).

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  • Plain Lazy June 4, 2009 at 3:50 am

    Age is but a state of mind – my mum is 65 and she looks amazing, she wears skinny jeans and tucks them into boots with a long top to help put things into proportion. She is mixed race and therefore has the advantage of having the skinny legs that comes with a lot of ‘black’ genes. But she has the pouch from having 3 kids, she doesn’t let it bother her because she said she would rather that and a few stretch marks than not have us, she says they make her proud and remind her of us.

    Your confidence will always shine further than your dress sense, try things that make you feel more confident rather than make you fell as though you’re attempt at loosing the baby weight is futile.

    Breast feeding helps to loose the baby weight. Cut out products that make you bloated like bread and wheat products (this will also raise your energy levels) as well as things like brocoli (I know there are some really weird things that bloat you out). Eat more raw – salads etc are easier to digest. Go running – I HATE running but it drops weight off me.

    Most importantly wear things that you think are pretty and make you feel sexy – even if it is just a t-shirt and a pair of baggy jeans, I rock t-shirt and jeans (if I don’t say so myself) as I always wear it with a nice peice of jewelery or flipflops and sexy painted toenails.

    Check out Plain Lazy for some sweet tees

  • elle June 9, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    I think two things are happening here. One, there aren’t really any role models for older women looking fashionable in the latest clothes because supposedly fashion isn’t really for “older” people. It’s a youth-driven phenomenon. And by youth I mean anyone under 35 years of age. What is designed or pitched at people older than that is typically a drab uniform of classics. In the old days before gym memberships and botox people just accepted that you were “out of it” once you grew up had kids and so on. And by out of it I mean the youth culture. But the people who created the youth culture (boomers, Xers) have decided they don’t want to give up what they created! They don’t feel or look old! They like fashion! So now women have a “crisis” about what they should wear because the fashion industry is still operating under the old assumptions that older women don’t care about looking good.

    Okay, that said. I’m one of the older women (40) and I will tell you if you cave into rules and how you should look you’re done. Remember you’re an individual. I still follow fashion to a point. I’m not a slave. I wish I could wear skinny jeans, but I have big thighs. That counts them out. Not my age. If you want to shop at Urban Outfitters, go ahead. You should now have the wisdom how to wear the clothes so you don’t look like an 18-year-old clone. For years now I have shopped in Juniors. I have worn every fashionable look I’ve wanted to and nobody has pulled me aside to say I’m dressing inappropriately.

    Wear the skinny jean. Don’t wear them with converse and a Led Zeppelin T-shirt, don’t try to recreate the 80s. I think an awesome look is a long belted cardigan with sexy shoes and a statement purse. Or a boyfriend blazer silk blouse and long pearls. Or how about a beautiful silk scarf for a belt, a t-shirt, and a chunky bracelet with some espadrilles? You just have to be creative to wear “youthful” clothes and not copy the teenagers and twenty-somethings. Dress to compliment your body type, not to fit into some outmoded idea of what “a middle-aged woman” should wear.

  • Liane June 18, 2009 at 5:02 pm

    Just had to chime in here. First,I really appreciate your honesty in these posts. Second,I just turned 42. Some kind of serious wacky situation that I am this age. Most days I feel like a 20 something. Except ditto on the childbirth/breastfeeding changing your body. What I wouldn’t do for boobs that aren’t giving in to gravity. Look in the mirror (better- look in the mirror when naked) to know for certain you are. not. twenty something. So there is the whole body thing. I too shop in the same stores with young girls now and wonder if I am one of those women I remember when I was 20 who just looked like they were trying too hard. (what a bratty little twit I must have been to have those thoughts! :)) But really, I think the feelings you describe go deeper than body image and women’s role models, etc.
    I had a real crisis when I was 39 and approaching 40. And it had all the more surface issues going on that had to do with how I looked and how I was changing physically but there was something more going on- the, shit, I am getting older. I am approaching the middle of my life. I am not going to live forever. Plus, I think for me I had kids right out of college- so I had teens going into adulthood not too far off. This definitely put me in that place where I was thinking- I am no longer the center of the universe. I am being/ will be replaced. So, I had to share that. I don’t know if you can relate. The real crisis or year where i felt this stuff most accutely is over. But I still fell that little bit of sadness sometimes when I think about when I was younger. And I feel a sort of softness for my younger self and a yearning to be that person for a little bit longer.

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