Subourbon Mom


Stop Hiding Me Behind My Clothes
December 8, 2022, 5:00 pm
Filed under: Middle Age, Misc. Humor, Posts, shopping | Tags: , , , , , ,

Aaahhh..the holidays are here! Mariah Carey is screeching away in every store and the taste of panic-buying is in the air. You know what that means – sales.  Every day my inbox is flooded with exclamation points and percentages. Are the deals great?  Absolutely. They’ve even enticed me to crack open my dusty wallet. This year I decided it is time to buy some new clothes that don’t scream “I WORK FROM HOME AND JOGGERS ARE MY WAY OF LIFE.”

For those of you who know me personally, you know I’m not a big shopper. In fact, I frequently buy clothing sets off store mannequins because I suck at putting outfits together. I’ve been known to walk into a store, touch one item and run out because I’m so overwhelmed. So, when I decide to shop for clothes, this is not a decision I make lightly.

And here is where the first-world problems rant begins.  

When did retail clothing stores start ignoring the middle-aged woman demographic?

I’m a pretty regular size, and I used to be able to get cute clothes from stores that cater to the younger (30’s) set as well as the older (50s+) set. They were trendy, fit well and even had the right shape.

Maybe my expectations are off base, but I can’t seem to find any stores that cater to the middle-class, middle-size, middle-trendy woman anymore. It’s all either too young (for women whose boobs are still somewhere near where they’re supposed to be and the menopausal muffin top is still non-existent) or they are for the older female crowd that just wants to hide everything under a square shirt that hangs to the knees or beneath long sweaters called dusters. 

Side note: If you’re a store mannequin dresser (is there a real job title for that?), please stop pulling the backs of the shirts together with a clip so it looks like the mannequins have a waist.  If you have to do that, stop ordering square shirts. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried one on after seeing it there and walked out of the dressing room in a small tent.

I used to love Target, but don’t get me started on Target’s recent stylistic choices. I don’t want to live on the set of Little House on the Prairie or look like I sew my own clothes.

At the mall by my house, since the stores catering to younger women are now out of the question, I’m left trying to decide if I want to go classic square shirt and duster from J.Jill,  blingy square shirt and duster from Chico’s, or “I’m in my late 60’s and have a shit ton of money to spend” in Soft Surroundings.

The only store that still works for me is Loft. Does everything fit me? No. Is some of it too young? Yes. But I can still find work and casual clothes there that don’t break the bank, and that last longer than H&M’s one season wonders.

Since vitamin/supplement companies are finally realizing menopausal women are a real demographic (watch any middle-aged woman’s TikTok feed and see how many Provitalize ads come up), maybe clothing retailers should, too. Just because we need a better bra these days and jeans with that extra inch, retailers need to know that middle-aged women haven’t given up. We’re still trying to impress our partners, and, honestly, other women – but more importantly, we’re not hiding ourselves away from the world.  In fact, many of us are feeling more like our true selves than ever before.

Maybe, if clothes could be designed around what we look like now, not the past or the future, we wouldn’t spend so much on supplements and retailers could take advantage of that revenue.

So, there you have it – the gauntlet has been thrown – someone needs to design clothes for middle-of-the-road, middle-aged women that reflect who we are now, that don’t make us look like we’re trying to hard or that we’ve given up, and that don’t break the bank.  

And by the way, if you’re a woman who loves the stores I’ve just crapped all over, please keep patronizing them. We all have to shop where we are comfortable. I just haven’t found more than one place that meets my shopping needs and I’m grumpy.




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