As a 40-something woman, what I look for in clothes is not what I was looking for in my 20s. I know that and understand that "fashion" isn't for me. My style is pretty well defined and I'm rarely swayed by "trends". I buy fewer clothes and I wear my clothes longer. I'm frugal and don't define myself by my appearance the way I did when I was a younger woman.
Still, I like to look nice and I am always leafing through magazines that have fashion layouts for women my age. Sometimes they have terrific ideas and sometimes the outfits are ridiculous. That never seems to change.
I just have a few questions: How can anyone justify a $450 skirt or shirt? How can any coat be worth $1000? And, if you buys shoes that cost you $700 and you get a scuff, do you think to yourself, "Damn, there goes $50!"
Honestly, it seems to me that I don't understand the point of these fashion layouts. Oh, don't misunderstand, I do understand the idea behind marketing and generating interest in styles and trends. What I don't understand is how publications can put together "business casual" outfits that end up costing $1000 for one outfit. Oh, I understand that the pieces are basics and that you are supposed to add and subtract aspects to create new looks. Some are even called "investment" pieces. Really? An investment is something that can appreciate in value. Clothing is like automobiles. Then second you drive it off the lot, you've lost money.
Obviously, there are people who make lots and lots of money who can and do afford clothes that cost as much as my house payment. I know that. Looking at magazines aimed at the mainstream, however, and you see items featured that the average woman will NEVER be able to afford (even those in the so-called upper middle class). With that realization, you have to wonder what the real message is. In a country where we're drowning in debt and stuff, maybe we need to teach ourselves to be more aware of the not-so-subliminal messages we're receiving. "This $450 shirt will make you happy, beautiful, and successful." Um, no…that $450 shirt might be pretty, but happiness, beauty, and success don't come in anything someone can sell you. "Oh, it is a new season…time to get an entirely new wardrobe!" Yeah, because the clothes that worked the last time this season came around won't work this time? Look, people wouldn't offer these clothes if people weren't buying them, right? But why are people buying? Aren't we smarter than that?
And don't get me started about undergarments? Do designers not realize that we need to wear bras? Even when I was younger, I needed to wear said undergarment. Yet, as I look at so many of the clothes that are designed, I wonder if other women know something I don't about defying gravity. If they do, I wish they'd fill me in.
Maybe I'm too old (but I think I'm just right for me) or maybe I'm just not part of the target market, but I just can't figure it out. Who are these clothes designed for? Is it you?