I was fortunate enough to be visiting my family this weekend and one sibling was bemoaning the fact that her daughter, my adorable niece, was exhibiting some very strong opinions about fashion, particularly with regard to what she'd like to wear. Apparently, there are stores that cater to the under-ten set yet the items that they offer are really not acceptable to a lot of parents, their tendency to sell more mature-looking items the bane of many mother or father’s existence. Of course, at seven, like my niece, you want to wear what everyone else is wearing and if everyone is wearing sweatshirts that hint at a Flashdance flashback, all the better. But some of us feel that our children exposing too much skin may not be the best idea, so we argue and cajole and yes, sometimes all out fight to get them to wear what we feel is age appropriate.
It is times like these that I look back fondly at the twelve years I wore a uniform. No muss, no fuss. Everyone looked the same, save for some personalization that manifested itself in shorter skirts or sweaters tied around necks, but really, when all was said and done, there was not a lot you could do to “mix it up” with the school uniform.
I tried talking some sense into my niece but she wasn’t having any of it. My advice to her, which may have been about ten years too soon was “develop your signature look and stick with it.” She responded by staring blankly at me and asking if there were any more cupcakes, an entirely suitable response for someone who is a long way away from seeing the value in adopting her aunt’s style, which is comprised of the following:
Winter: Black turtleneck/Jeans
Summer: Colorful tunic/Jeans
I cannot follow the fashions. First, I’m almost fifty. (Almost.) Second, I’m tall. And third, I am what one might call “zaftig” but which I call “athletically built”—that is, if athletes had slight paunches, flabby arms, and big busts. So, skinny jeans, tight tee shirts, and anything midriff-bearing is out. So are mini skirts, sleeveless shirts, and anything with a v-neck. (Remember, when you stare down into the depths of your cleavage, it looks much worse than in reality. But who among us can’t resist looking down into our cleavage?) I have found that sticking to my adult version of a uniform works much better and helps me avoid fashion mistakes that are almost certainly, inevitably caught on film, posted on Facebook and there for all eternity.
Subjecting my niece to my thoughts about fashion got me thinking, though: do you follow the trends, getting new items of clothing or new pairs of shoes based on what is going on in the world of fashion, or like me, stick to a “signature” look?