Where are the Fashion Designers??

Men have it so easy.

A shirt, slacks, maybe a jacket, and they’re dressed. No matter if they’re young, old, or somewhere in between.

Haven’t you seen “little men” wearing the same style suits as their grandpas?

Not so for women.

What works on a young child doesn’t work for a teenager. What works for a teen doesn’t work for a forty-something. What works for a forty-something doesn’t work for a blue-haired lady on a walker.

Now before you get all huffy about this, think for a minute. How many forty-year-old women can wear short-shorts? Or skinny jeans? Or stilettos and a sleeveless, form-fitting dress?

Doesn’t it look rather silly? Honestly?

Once upon a time, I’m told, women had the basics of dressing much easier. There were limited options — dresses, skirts and blouses, pantsuits. The ladies in Mom’s circle wore mostly dresses when I was little (dressy pants as I got older). They looked, well, like moms.

The older generation, like my grandmas, wore dresses and sensible shoes, necklaces, and “old lady cologne.” Sort of like the Queen, only not so classy and minus the Corgis.

Little girls were allowed to wear shorts or slacks and T-shirts for play, dresses for dress-up occasions. Their big sisters, teenagers, dressed similarly.

No more.

I’ve seen women old enough to know better trying to one-up their daughters by shimmying into too-tight jeans. Women long past their prime exposing flabby arms and back fat in racerback tops. Women risking hip fractures with mile-high wedge sandals. Women dressed like “bag ladies” in sweats and holey T-shirts.

Perhaps they’re simply confused. Or their “style” is all over the board. Or they’ve outgrown what used to fit and can’t find replacements.

My question is: Why aren’t fashion designers flocking to clothe these maturing women, many of whom are members of the Baby Boom Generation (those born between 1946 and 1964)?

Statistics indicate one person of this age group turns 65 every 8 seconds — and will continue to do so for the next 18 years!

These women prefer individuality. They gravitate to things that make them feel young. They embraced the likes of bell bottom blue jeans, graphic T-shirts, fringed vests, big hair. They practically pioneered bikinis, polyester shirts, knee-high boots, and big shoulders.

They set the world afire with innovation and hold the bulk of financial assets and marketing power, not to mention sheer numbers.

But they have no style. Think Jackie Kennedy style.

Shouldn’t fashion designers be tapping into that?

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14 thoughts on “Where are the Fashion Designers??

  1. I think the fashion designers are too busy making those weird things we see on the runways that people don’t dare wear in public! However, you’re right as far as the fashion trend spiraling downward and people not dressing their ages or for their body types.

    • I’m glad you agree with me, Suzi! You’re probably right in saying fashion designers are concentrating on the younger folks — and they can certainly wear that trash! — but it seems there’s the potential of lots of money (as well as gratitude) awaiting someone who designs for “grown-ups”!

  2. Debbie, There’s no such thing as a dress code anymore. Anything goes. But when I go shopping for a new dress, I look around and just shake my head. Few of the styles appeal to me. I agree with Suzicate- the fashion designers focus on the weird styles that will attract the younger crowd. All one has to do is look around to see that many people are not taking their own age or body type into consideration when they get dressed.

    • Thanks for agreeing with me, Kathy! Sometimes it’s the colors; sometimes it’s the fabrics; most times it’s the styles that are way off. I guess it gives us an excuse to save money, ha!

  3. This is a great time to be an older broad, because we have license to make up our own style. We don’t have to parade around like we’re still looking for a baby daddy. Now we can experiment with flash, feathers, leather, bangles, whatever we feel like! It’s not about what the world wants us to wear – now we have the guts to make up our own minds. I have a good Macy’s a half-hour away. I buy basics, and then get gutsy with a splash of personality, like a flashy necklace and/or scarf. I agree, nobody designs for that mindset, except maybe Chico’s. Which I love.

    • I’ve seen “older” ladies who have a fabulous sense of style, Lynne, and they look terrific! They mix and match, add drama and flair to basics, and always seem put together. Sadly, they’re in the minority. Too many seem to have just given up, whether because they’ve gained a few extra pounds and can’t fit into their old clothes or because they’re not looking for a mate and not trying to impress anybody. It’s probably not totally the designers’ fault, but they’re contributing factors!

  4. I think the fashion designers are with the purse designers (getting wasted in some bar, dreaming up hideous designs and placing bets as to who can fool the most women into buying them.) Sorry. I just went purse shopping yesterday…and I never thought I would say this, but it was about as much fun as swimsuit shopping. Perhaps I’m just too picky.

    • I don’t think you’re too picky at all! Purse-shopping IS just about as much fun as swimsuit-shopping. With both, you’re having to shell out a lot of money (often for something teeny!), so you want the best value, something you’ll love for a long time. Unfortunately, I think there must be some drinking and betting going on!

  5. I like Blue Fish–even the models are more mature but in my opinion stylish. Chico’s is also nice but not as nice as it once was….I’m not sure what my style is right now but I do know it has to be comfortable. I don’t do sleeveless, and usually like a third piece. I think accessories help my look so I have started to add more scarfs. Your right though it is hard to find one designer that
    ” gets it.” We don’t want to wear jeans with holes but aren’t ready for a grandma moses style shawl.

  6. Working at home, I, too, tend toward comfort over style. I don’t like clingy fabrics, nor do I want to look like a toothpick in a mealbag! There should be a happy medium between something that shows too much and something that disguises completely. I’m thankful I don’t have to work in an office, trying to navigate today’s styles — it was so much easier when we all wore suits, men and women alike! (Yeah, right, and we all looked alike with our matching “ties”!)

  7. It’s interesting to read the differing opinions on Chico’s. I used to like Chico’s, but it seems to me lately they’re recycling the same outfit and changing the over-priced accessories. The models are now Taylor Swift-size, so of course they look great in white jeans. And enough of the darned cougar prints. It’s not cute.grumble, grumble

    • Boy, am I with you on the animal prints! If the Good Lord had wanted us to look like lions and tigers, I imagine that’s what we’d look like. Wearing animal prints? Not for me. I’m no Taylor Swift, but I don’t go with white jeans either! And I don’t care how hot it gets, I don’t like the sleeveless look!

  8. I was just thinking along these same lines. In the grocery store last weekend, I saw a mom with her teenage daughter. The daughter was dressed respectably. Mom looked as if she were trying to pass for a twenty-something and all she accomplished was looking silly.

    Why DON’T designers tap into this need? I have a long torso and quite often, the misses sizes look sloppy on me. Junior sizes often fit my shape a little better, but the styles are geared to the younger crowd. I don’t want to wear their stuff. I have no desire to go back to those days and I’d like to look good while still looking my own age.

    • Well said, Terri! Sizing is a whole other ballgame — nothing, it seems, is properly sized. I’ve got long legs, but I can’t wear Talls. Junior sizes probably would fit me better, too, but I’m past that age group (which includes girls as young as 12 now). And sadly, I never learned how to sew my own clothes!

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