You're Only as Old as You Dress


“Do you think this is too young for me?” asked a voice from behind me. I turned from the dressing room door where my teenage daughter was trying on clothes.

The “this” in question was a super-clingy lyrca mini dress in a black and purple animal print.

The “me” who was asking, was another 40-something year-old mom.

I was, quite literally, at a loss for words.

We were in an upscale store that caters to teens and tweens. The store carries a large selection of tie-dyed clothes, rubber bracelets stamped with words like “Bieber Fever,” and various clothing that is strategically shredded, cut-up, or torn so as to expose the maximum amount of skin allowable by public decency laws.
If the clothing were not enough of a clue that the intended demographic of this store was about thirty years younger than the woman in the purple and black minidress, the fact that everyone else who was shopping there had braces on their teeth might have been a pretty good indication.

As she turned toward the mirror and admired her reflection, I pondered possible responses:

-Absolutely not. And it goes great with your binky.

-OMG! It’s like, totally awesome on you, for sure!!

-Is it for your prom?

-No, it’s hot! I saw that same dress on “Glee” last week!

-No, it’s great for you. And I think it comes with a matching Hello Kitty bracelet!

-I think your BFF will be so jealous!

-No. Just make sure no one else is wearing it to the same Sweet Sixteen. That can be so embarassing.

-That is so much more age appropriate than those pink and green skin-tight animal print mini dresses!

-I’m sure it’s fine. Just check with your mommy.

I looked around to see if maybe she was actually shopping there with her teenage daughter and just decided to try the dress on for grins. But alas, there was no progeny to be found. Mom was clearly there to reclaim her own youth, or possibly get a dress for the high school spring dance.

Now I have to admit, the lady did have a great body. But this particular situation fell squarely into the category of “Just because you CAN wear something, doesn’t mean you should.” I was sure there were plenty of hot dresses that would look great on her that wouldn’t make it look like she was trying to get a date with the Jonas Brothers.

Fortunately, before I opened my mouth, I realized that Hannah Momtanna was not actually asking my opinion, but the opinion of the teenage salesgirl who was helping her.

“What do you think,” she asked the salesgirl again.

The girl put her hands on her hips and replied, “It might, like, be better for your daughter, you know?”

©2011, Beckerman. All rights reserved.
Tracy’s book, “REBEL WITHOUT A MINIVAN,” makes a great gift. To get a copy for your mom, sister, girlfriend or yourself (!) CLICK HERE
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