Over the years I have bought into a myriad of products and clothing that made promises to lift, tuck, flatten, erase, lengthen, lighten, remove, reduce or enhance. I’m afraid to think about the money I spent on these items that essentially consist of creating illusions. I’m sure there are thousands of women like me all over the world. I have found that as I’ve gotten older that the comfort and enhancement that many of these products offer often comes from not buying them. Still, every once in a while I am seduced into looking into whether or not a certain item really does what the retailer says.
I often get commercials for the “ Genie Bra” on my computer. My imagination which is rife with humor started thinking of what a “Genie bra” might do. Could you rub the bra and get your wishes to come true. And where does the Genie live? Perhaps under one of the shoulder straps that the company says is wide and comfortable. I still look for jeans that have a shape but don’t strangle your thighs, and either come up too high or are so low you could get arrested for lewd exposure. Yes, I know there are companies that have jeans they say are for all body types, and I have friends who swear by them. Maybe, just maybe they haven’t seen a body like mine, since I can never get a pair that fit without feeling suicidal.
Makeup used to be one of my favorite things to shop for. I particularly love the eye shadows and blush, but I’ve gotten away from having to drive myself crazy trying to emulate what makeup artists do when their trying to show me how a certain product can open my eye more or diminish lines and lessen age spots. They often give you a chart to follow which is like having Map Quest for your face. I often end up looking like I’m auditioning for a circus act. I have finally had some epiphanies that have made my life much easier. Not wearing a bra unless I have to, is extremely comfortable. It gives the “girls” a vacation from bra prison. I have found some loose comfortable pants that allow easy movement and underwear that fits, but doesn’t constrict. I still love eye makeup, and hip fashion, but I have also come to realize that all of promises retailers make on how good you’ll feel once you wear their stuff means nothing if you haven’t worked on feeling good on the inside.
I went shopping yesterday to buy some summer clothes and was hard pressed to find any pants or blouses that didn’t look like they had been shrink wrapped. Something has happened to the sleeves on t-shirts, blouses, and tunics. Someone in the fashion world decided that they should be three-quarters instead of full length.
The sales clerk in one of the stores I was in stated that this is what the majority of women want because they’re cooler. I don’t get that explanation, because I have never had hot forearms that drove me to cut the bottom of my sleeves off. Well, I can unequivocally state, that I don’t like them, nor do I think they’re flattering, unless you’re young, thin, and have long arms. I’m sure my opinion is jaded and somewhat cynical, but I personally don’t think that older women have very exciting forearms, unless you’ve been training with the Navy Seals.
I have short arms, and wearing a blouse that has three quarter length sleeves gives them a stump like look! Pant length has also been shortened. Capri’s are now a phenomenon. Once again being short becomes a problem with this type of pant. They should hit you at mid calf, but when you’re vertically challenged, they often end up being just shy of the top of your ankle and end up looking like you had them hemmed by a pissed off seamstress.
Once again I think the taller you are the better you look. Wearing mid calf pants when you look like a Sumo wrestler doesn’t really make sense either. I also have noticed that a lot of shirts and pants have lycra in them so that (according to the designers) they don’t lose their shape. Well lycra also attached itself to you like glue and it can make your lumps, bumps, and muffin tops look grossly exaggerated. It also feels hot! Once again this is one women’s opinion. I find that material that skims over the body to be much more flattering. But then I come from a generation that had family watch dogs.
My grandmother, and my mother were not interested in following fashion. They were interested in making sure your appearance was commiserate with family values and self-respect. I’m sure sleeves and pants will get longer again. They have to, because we all know that in order to sell, sell, sell, you need to keep convincing people who what they have “doesn’t work for them anymore”.