Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Tuesday Morning Musings: Fashion Edition

Yes, I've been shopping. I'm doing CPE (Clinical Pastoral Education) at Famous Giant Major Hospital, starting in three weeks. The barely acceptable parts of my current wardrobe consists of:

long, LONG skirts from my Jewish school teaching days,

long and comfy sweaters to pull on over tank tops and said skirts,

the jeans and cords that I slouch around in at seminary,

some capris that are sort of cute but hardly qualify as working wardrobe material.

My preference:

elegant linen pants that reach the tops of my shoes, not a few inches above and not eight inches below (I'm 5'3"),

tops with necklines that do not require creative new undergarments for each one and/or broadcast the message that there is really only portion of my anatomy of significance,

well-cut jackets long enough to cover my rear rather than bisecting it horizontally.

What's out there?

Prints so ugly, offered in an even worse color palette, that I'm astounded the designers are still employed,

Cute little empire tops that look absolutely adorable on the Lovely Daughter who will turn 21 this summer,

stiff and uncompromising pants that do not flatter anyone shorter than 5'8" or heavier than 100 pounds,

and absolutely lovely skirts and dresses designed for all those garden parties I will be attending night after night.

In a word, virtually nothing remotely acceptable for the woman past thirty who would like to come off as reliable and competent and self-restrained; someone who feels (on occasion at least) confident and attractive with no need whatever to display her shape or her skin; someone who adores her daughter but would prefer to look like herself.

I don't see much point in venturing into any clothing departments or stores for at least another season. Maybe by fall they will be displaying something for grown-ups.

(Cross-Posted at Women On...)


Joan Calvin said...

Boy, I know the feeling. I walk into Talbots thinking I can find something to wear and it's all stuff I wouldn't have worn when it was first fashionable in the 70s. Ugly, ugly,ugly. My clothes of choice (until the late unpleasantness) were nice black jeans and nice tops. Now, I'm relegated to pants and skirts with elastic waists (I am starting Pilates this week).

My oncologist on my first visit had on one of those frilly empire waist tops with black slacks. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. Fortunately I had seen her in the hospital in a reasonable skirt and shirt.

Are you at the world famous institution whose initials are CC? That's where I did my CPE.

You can really get away with a couple of pairs of nice slacks (you may have to have them hemmed) and blouses and sweaters.

Cynthia said...

I'm working now as am assisant manager of a boutique whose target customer is 25 years younger than I am. It's company policy that I wear the clothing we sell, so empire tops that make me look like a contender for the Guiness tecord of World's Oldest Expectant Mother are now in my wardrobe. Most of the time I feel like I look like a complete idiot. The upside is that blue jeans are now considered work attire.

Quotidian Grace said...

Despite what joan said, I've had some luck with talbots--but online. Try the online store -- it has an extensive petite section. I saw some linen skirts (just below knee length) and nice blouses. There is a sale going on online now too for the spring clothes.

I'm all about online shopping.

Carol said...

Have you tried Chico's or J.Jill?

Althea N. Agape said...

Lands End will hem to your length, but they keep changing their fit so I'm perturbed at them.

Waterfall said...

I'm a big online shopper as well. I went shopping with my 35-year-old sister recently and we finally got to where we were laughing at how awful the clothes looks, and how *wrong* they looked on us! What a pain!

peripateticpolarbear said...

Hospitals are always cold! Shop from the fall line, and you'll be fine.

more cows than people said...

no comments on clothes. but... i have a parishioner who is having surgery at the hospital where you are doing c.p.e. (i think). will you visit for me, please?