Wednesday, April 05, 2006

The Tragically Unhip


So today, a sale circular sent me into a close-to-midlife crisis. Note exhibit A, above, which is from said sale circular.

I don't mean to judge anyone on her clothing, but what the heck IS this? This is in fashion now? Who would wear this? It looks like someone with a head injury did a quick whipstitch at the bottom and pulled until the whole lumpy mess gathered in. Actually, it looks like an emergency hem I did with duct tape and dental floss on a theater costume once. The truly horrifying part is that between them, the jacket (which isn't bad) and the ... "skirt" (most hideous thing I've ever seen in my life) cost roughly $2,000.

I remember bubble skirts, which is what I assume that thing the clearly ticked off model above is wearing is. My mom is a great seamstress and made a prom dress for my friend Mel that had a fitted black top and an Irish green bubble skirt at the bottom. It was cute, fun, and totally 80s, but in a good way. The difference between that skirt and this is twofold: 1) it was the 80s, so everyone looked heinous (Though seriously, Mel looked cute. I, on the other hand, wore a giant black satin bell-skirted horror and had permed hair so big, it looked like I'd taken styling lessons from the lead singer from REO Speedwagon.), and 2) it looked like someone competent sewed it, because it was perfectly bubbled and even. This dress is a complete horror show.

So, what's the deal here? Does someone out there think this is a great look? Will people actually go to this store and shell out a paycheck or two for this outfit or a reasonable facsimile thereof? Will they wear it? Will people tell them the Jackie-O jacket and homeless-person's-blanket skirt pairing looks hot? Or will passersby point and laugh?

And here's the big question: Has turning 35 forced me to cross a threshold where I am suddenly tragically unhip? Is the fact that I have no love for this skirt a SIGN? Am I doomed to scratch my head in bewildered uncertainty over the new, "loud and weird" music; the latest fashions that are just too-too revealing or bizarre; and the general state of "kids today?" Am I doomed to suddenly think pleated, tapered, up-to-my-armpits Mom jeans are the best thing ever? ("Because you're not a woman; you're a MOM!")

35 means I'm supposed to not shop at Wet Seal and shop instead at J.Jill, which actually says in its marketing materials that it caters to the "35-and-older crowd." (I shop at both, though I have to be more judicious about my purchases at Wet Seal. Thirty-five-year-olds look kind of ridiculous wearing T-shirts that say "Brad's Girl.")

35 means my music tastes are supposed to start declining. I always said it would never happen, but sadly enough, I have no idea what songs are playing on the radio right now, and what has become passe'. Once in awhile, something by the Killers or Kanye West or Coldplay will leak into my consciousness and onto my iPod, but for the most part, they're nestled in between modern folk singers (Dido, Sinead Lohan), new age/trance/classical music-to-write-by (Loreena McKennitt, Moby, OperaBabes), and stuff no one has heard of that I love (Res, Alana Davis).

I love Sting. I'll never be embarrassed to admit that. The Police rocked the free world, and though Sting by himself lost a little of that Police edge, he's still awesome. But is he going to be my daughter's version of Barry Manilow or Neal Diamond--the old white guy who sings to screaming, fainting old ladies? ("God, Mom went to a Sting concert last night. Two hours of music you could hear in an elevator!") (And seriously, I actually like old-school Neil Diamond, like "Cherry, Cherry" or "Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show.")

35 means my night life is supposed to get boring. Well, OK, it's a little boring by college party girl standards, but I'd rather hang out with my so-cute-and-goofy-I-could-squeeze-them daughters than go on a bender anyday. So there.

I have no real conclusion here, other than to say that aging is weird.

Current State of Being:
* Jeans:
embroidered Lucky Brand loose fit. No acid wash, pleats, or tapered ankles (though I have observed that some doofus is trying to bring tapered jeans back. Back! Back, spawn of the devil!)
* Currently listening to: The Killers, "Somebody Told Me" (that you had a boyfriend, that looked like a girlfriend, that I had in Feb! Ru! Ary! of last year....) Next in queue is Melissa Etheridge's cover of "Refugee," which I forgot to put on my favorite cover list....
* Plans for the evening: Watch someone get kicked off American Idol. Cuddle Maggie, who has the plague we caught from Jose. Cuddle Marin, who isn't getting as much attention because she's not sick. Read When You Give A Moose A Muffin and Princess Smarty Pants for the thousandth time. Pick another book from my nightstand because I'm officially Between Books!
* Opinion of Latest Fashion Above: Horrified fascination.
* State of mind: Fairly Zen, though still plague-ridden.

8 comments:

MaryF said...

That's pretty bad, but I hate Skank Wear. What looks nice on VERY few people should not be at every store, ever, because some people clearly don't own mirrors.

And I love my Mom jeans, too. I hate the name, though.

The Queen-a Athena said...

You're only 35????

Dagnabbit. I thought there was SOMEONE my age on the planet.

Tracy Montoya said...

True on the mirrors thing, Mary. Skank Wear should only be in specialty shops.

Wait, you don't wear Mom jeans, do you? Pleated, tapered, up to your armpits? It's from a Saturday Night Live skit.

Tracy Montoya said...

OK, Chris, I'm a little afraid to ask, but how old did you think I was?

It's the eye bags, isn't it? I've had dark circles from allergies since I was in my 20s.

The Queen-a Athena said...

No, I didn't mean it in a bad way, that you look older than 35. You look perfectly mahvelous, dahling. It was more a reflection on me and the fact that I'm older than EVERYONE ON THE STINKING PLANET. I mean - 46? How the hell did THAT happen?

Karen said...

I've been tragically unhip since my son decided to walk himself to school in the 2nd grade. I asked myself - is it the har? The shoes? The music?

I think it came with the birth certificate - his, not mine. But I'll happily wear my non-mom jeans, groove to AC-DC and Aerosmith on my Nano, and drop him off on the corner so no one has to see he actually came from real live parents instead of spawning as a cool kid from the mall kiosk like the rest of the hip.

And if my daughter ever asks to wear something as ugly as that, I'll threaten to make her clothes myself.

Tracy Montoya said...

Hey, Karen, thanks for stopping by. Tell your son it could be worse. I had a computer guy come to my house when I had a work laptop emergency once, and his car was PLASTERED with "Geeks on Call" decals. He said his teenage daughter had would slouch down in the seat whenever he drove her anywhere....

And you're hipper than I am--I don't have a Nano. My iPod is the first generation 400 GB, which is now considered bulky and obsolete. Not that I'm bitter....

MaryF said...

I wear Ralph Lauren CLASSIC jeans, about two inches above my belly button so when I bend over I don't flash the world. No pleats, though ;)

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Tracy Montoya writes romantic suspense for Harlequin Intrigue.

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