I am a self-professed short skirt/dress junkie. I always have been to be honest. I have good legs and I don’t mind putting them on display as anyone who knows me would tell you. Mind you, I don’t go for the “micro mini” anymore – I left that behind along with my twenties, where it belongs. But still, I have no problem wearing things that are “above the knee” even though I am quickly approaching the big Five OHHHHH. The countdown has begun and we are down to 8 months. And after Saturday evening I have been compelled to rethink my wardrobe strategy entirely.
That was when Bill and I happily hauled ourselves to one of our favorite watering holes for something slightly stronger than water. Ok, a lot stronger than water. We have just come off a ridiculously stressful year and a half, and we were in the mood to celebrate. I opted for pants and a funky shirt – age appropriate – brightly colored to match my happy mood. We laughed, ran into some friends, and indulged our need for alcohol. And that, folks, was when I saw her. As I turned around from the bar to take a look around the room I noticed a woman standing with her back to me. She was in a pair of impossibly high heels, a snug fitting shirt, and a skin tight skirt that was short enough to make you wonder if it was immune to the laws of gravity. It was no less than five inches above the knee so we are talking SHORT. I hoped she was wearing underwear for obvious reasons. She had a great figure, and for a moment I thought “damn, wish I looked like that in a tight miniskirt and heels.” Then…then she turned around, and my jaw hit the floor. Was she 50? Ummmm…no. Was she 55? Nope, keep going…was she 60? If she was 60 she really needed to consider some Juvaderm and maybe a micro peel. No, she was definitely more than a couple of years beyond 60. That was when I realized you can DEFINITELY be too old to wear ANYTHING really really short. Yes, from the back she was a knockout. From the front, it was like looking at your grandmother wearing something that she was sure would make her look hot. First of all, I don’t EVER want to think of my grandmother, or anyone else’s grandmother, as being hot. When I am in my sixties, I can only hope that there are a variety of more desirable terms used to describe me. Hot? Nope. Pass. I’m shooting for “lovely”, “elegant” or “classic beauty”. That does not mean I don’t want to look drop dead gorgeous, but I don’t want to do it in something that is clearly meant for someone at least 20 years younger than me.
In that moment, as I looked at her, I felt a pang of sympathy. She wasn’t giving off that vibe of an incredibly confident older woman who didn’t give a crap what other people thought. And that would have been just fine in my book. She seemed to be that woman who was struggling with growing old gracefully and was grasping onto her younger years with both hands as time dragged her down the road, kicking and screaming. She looked uncomfortable, maybe even just a touch paranoid that people were looking at her. I bet she wished she was home in her yoga pants having a glass of wine trying to catch up on episodes of Mad Men on Netflix. I know that would be been my thought. There is nothing worse than standing in the middle of a crowded room when clearly you are not feeling your finest. And with that, I picked my jaw up off the floor and stopped staring. I know, bad form on my part but the whole thing was kind of like watching a train wreck.
So yesterday I went through my closet and packed up the last of my miniskirts and dresses. It was like packing up my youth in a way, not that I feel old. I just don’t feel like “that girl” anymore. I wouldn’t call my wardrobe boring. In fact, I usually gravitate towards the “eclectic”, but I am definitely not interested in wearing anything that looks like I am trying to recapture my youth. Those days are thankfully behind me, which is good because quite frankly they were exhausting. An inch or two above the knee? I can deal with that. Anything more than that? No freaking way.
And for those who are wondering, no I am not “letting myself go.” I’m still ridiculously vein. I never miss my botox appointment, and I spend way too much on skincare. But I do feel as though I have crossed over to the other side. And honestly, it feels fabulous, so I’m to go with it. But if I do lapse and wear something meant for the younger set, I can only hope my friends will hit me upside the head and drag me home to change into something more appropriate. Because THAT is what friends are for.