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Do I Look Old in These Jeans?
OC Weekly ^ | 5/11/06 | Kate Carraway

Posted on 05/12/2006 7:26:17 AM PDT by qam1

Dressing like your daughter doesn’t make you look hotter—just stupider.

Creepy futurist/author Douglas Coupland once wrote that in the 1960s, everyone dressed as if they were 35 years old—but that by the ’90s, that age had dipped to 25. Alarmingly, it didn’t stop there, and one wonders if Coupland—were he not currently embroiled in increasingly weird artistic pursuits—might not notice that in the few years since he made his point, masses of adults have taken to dressing like 15-year-olds: a trend that, if it continues, should by the 2010s center on sippy cups and purple overalls.

Men get partial credit for this descent—but puerile as it is, men’s fashion is now less pointedly teenaged than women’s. Flip-flops, board shorts, logo tees and scruffy hair are hallmarks of the contemporary men’s look—but guys have a long history of resembling the homeless. The current surf hobo thing is but the latest devolution in their casual wear.

No, it is adult women in their 30s and 40s—particularly in Southern California—who have taken up the standard, and who now dress like teenagers. They are the new Teen Moms, a demographic that is pack-like in its affinities (crossover SUVs, satchel purses) and equipped with the financial capacity to indulge its most egregious whims. As we will see: elsewhere in the world, women with money—and women who dress as if they have money—may expend their shopping energies on classic jewelry and durable designer pieces. But not here.

Forget refined, elegant style and aging gracefully. The aesthetic raison d’être for an enormous cabal of Orange County women is one of battle: of slaying each passing day with a fiery sword of Botox. For them, the next big trend has become less about the serene simplicity of a Ralph Lauren offering and more about what their daughters drag home. The new Teen Mom—clinging tightly to youth’s untucked shirttails—has no qualms about pillaging cuts, colors, fabrics, brands and stores previously reserved for her female progeny, with their nubile bods and nascent ideas of attractiveness.

And she and her ilk are everywhere: grown women with adult lives and mature bodies, flitting through grocery stores and dog parks in hot-pink Juicy sweats, sequined tank tops scrawled with some declaration of foxiness, and pigtails. Bad taste taken to the next level, theirs is a situation rich in irony—the more pains middle-aged women take to resemble young girls, the more obvious their age becomes.

From the bottom up, Teen Mom wears a sort of “Barbie’s Closet” collection of separates: a mix-and-match of items whose colors and textures resemble Target at Easter. Her footwear is either stilettos or flip-flops; shoes are usually sequined, snakeskinned, accessorized and brightly colored. Her jeans are, obviously, upscale boutique denim—tight of leg, sculpted of ass, low of waist. Her sweats are not sweats at all but tightly fitted velour pants in burnished shades of pink, purple, green or blue. Her miniskirts may be denim—in the tradition of the Cougar (the Cougar is but one or two genera away from Teen Mom)—but they are more likely short and ruffled: a style worn last year with Uggs by real, live teenagers.

On top, Teen Mom varies, but she maintains a fondness for some combo of tight-ribbed tank tops, T-shirts and zip-front hoodies. Enormous sunglasses and some form of gaudy jewelry—costume or real, so long as it looks cheap—complete the look. Which leaves only the hair: blond. It is rare indeed for Teen Mom to have hair that has not been colored very, very blond; on this style point, her clan’s consistency is truly stunning. Think Amy Poehler as the dizzy, clueless teen queen mom in Mean Girls—a character intended as a Teen Mom parody. Yet, aside from one movie moment where a lap dog nibbles her presumably artificial nipples without her noticing, the character seems less an exaggeration than an absolutely spot-on tribute. But are her real-life counterparts in on the joke? Or do their Roxy tees somehow imbue Teen Moms with rock-star confidence or the fashion frisson moment of This is my destiny outfit?

It’s not as if Teen Moms are physically ill-suited for their assumed wardrobes. Thanks to spectacular amounts of leisure time spent on workouts, grooming and ignoring food, Teen Moms are usually rail-thin, with cut and refined prison bodies. It can be incongruous: as I discovered yesterday in the line at Starbucks, the bird in front of me with the legs and a** packed into the awesome jeans, the teeny hoodie, the bleached-out beach hair, and the Quiksilver ball cap was not, in fact, in her senior year. Her voice, which I heard when she ordered her skim-decaf-whatever, belied her youthful outfit. But her face, which I saw when she migrated to the drink pickup counter, was ravaged by sun and age: deep lines cut across her cheeks and neck, screaming to be filled in by five extra pounds of middle-aged softness.

Every generation of teen girl finds new ways to piss off her keepers—bralessness, ratted hair, Madonna gloves, genital warts, Dr. Martens—but generational payback doesn’t work if Mom embraces your tight jeans and cropped tops. Your only remaining option is to outdo her, and today’s teenage girl knows how, thanks to the likes of Mischa, Lindsay, Mary-Kate and Paris—especially Paris—celebrities who are actively sexual and look it, and are scarcely out of their teens. So she gets pedicures, carries purses, and aspires to heels and Ace bandage-length skirts—starting at an age when “style” should probably be more about what clothes are best for playing soccer.

Tina Fey’s Mean Girls character, the teacher, solved the problem for us two years ago: “You’ve got to stop calling each other sluts and whores. It makes it okay for guys to call you sluts and whores,” she said in the film—in one of the most trenchant exchanges I heard that year. And everyone learned a valuable lesson, in less than two hours—but in real life, we’re stuck with the teen queen Reginas and their psuedo-hooker wear. They’re not going anywhere.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; Miscellaneous; US: California
KEYWORDS: airheads; babyboomers; fashion; finallysomeonesaidit; genx; goodread; growupalready; idiotboomers; kerryvoters; milfs; nomoreairheadmoms; payattention; stopwhining; thankyou; thedumbestgeneration; thismeansyou; yeahyou
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1 posted on 05/12/2006 7:26:20 AM PDT by qam1
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To: qam1

Nobody's paying attention to Miss Manners anymore.


2 posted on 05/12/2006 7:33:53 AM PDT by battlegearboat
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To: qam1

One fifty-ish mother told me that her daughter got nipple rings and for a minute she thought she would too --that was one way she thought she wouldn't lose her car keys!


3 posted on 05/12/2006 7:34:55 AM PDT by pikachu (For every action there is an equal and opposite government program)
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To: qam1
We've got a lady in our office complex I swear she looks around 50. And she wears these clothes my 13 yr old neice likes to wear. She even wears stuff that shows her belly button and her belly button is PEIRCED. Got a bit of an old lady hump back going on to top it off.

She's from California.

4 posted on 05/12/2006 7:35:22 AM PDT by lovecraft (Specialization is for insects.)
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To: lovecraft


5 posted on 05/12/2006 7:37:48 AM PDT by Joe Brower (The Constitution defines Conservatism. *NRA*)
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To: battlegearboat
"Nobody's paying attention to Miss Manners anymore."

Someone should write a book.

6 posted on 05/12/2006 7:38:07 AM PDT by sageb1 (This is the Final Crusade. There are only 2 sides. Pick one.)
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To: qam1; ItsOurTimeNow; PresbyRev; tortoise; Fraulein; StoneColdGOP; Clemenza; m18436572; ...
Xer Ping

Ping list for the discussion of the politics and social (and sometimes nostalgic) aspects that directly effects Generation Reagan / Generation-X (Those born from 1965-1981) including all the spending previous generations (i.e. The Baby Boomers) are doing that Gen-X and Y will end up paying for.

Freep mail me to be added or dropped. See my home page for details and previous articles.

7 posted on 05/12/2006 7:40:03 AM PDT by qam1 (There's been a huge party. All plates and the bottles are empty, all that's left is the bill to pay)
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To: qam1
Her miniskirts may be denim—in the tradition of the Cougar (the Cougar is but one or two genera away from Teen Mom)—but they are more likely short and ruffled: a style worn last year with Uggs by real, live teenagers.

Certainly ughs by me. That style only flatters rail-thin girls. Everyone else just looks like a barge.

8 posted on 05/12/2006 7:41:15 AM PDT by ahayes (Yes, I have a devious plot. No, you may not know what it is.)
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To: lovecraft

She sounds gross!


9 posted on 05/12/2006 7:41:15 AM PDT by angcat (("Bin Laden shows others the road to Paradise, but never offers to go along for the ride." GWB))
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To: qam1

My wife complains that these teenager clothes are all taht's available in stores now. She has been looking like crazy for a pair of jeans that aren't low rise, but isn't having any luck. So her choice is to dress like a tramp or wear old, worn out clothes.


10 posted on 05/12/2006 7:41:46 AM PDT by doc30 (Democrats are to morals what and Etch-A-Sketch is to Art.)
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To: qam1

Seems to be another reflection of the perpetual adolescence of baby boomers. It's been on the inside for 30 years. Now it's showing on the outside.


11 posted on 05/12/2006 7:42:00 AM PDT by virginiaspook (Over 50, no piercings and never wears sequined shirts with cutesy sayings)
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To: qam1

Well I have to admit that I still own and wear a pair of Levi's that I bought when I was 16.....back in 1976. I also wear fairly tight, fairly short shorts.........when I'm gardening.....I dont' wear them out in public.

I'm 45 years old, not 16 and I know it....I may fit in those clothes, but I'm not going to be seen in public wearing them..........and neither will my now 7yo daughter if she knows what's good for her.


12 posted on 05/12/2006 7:44:26 AM PDT by Gabz (Smokers are the beta version)
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To: qam1

OH MY GOD!!!!!

Are you serious? People trying to look younger than they are. This is unprecedented in the history of this country. Never before has anything like this ever gone on. We're DOOOOMED! Must be the Clinton legacy.

Shocked, I say.


13 posted on 05/12/2006 7:44:44 AM PDT by dmz
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To: virginiaspook
"Now it's showing on the outside."

If they'd stop making everything out of stretch material, it wouldn't show. ;)

14 posted on 05/12/2006 7:46:25 AM PDT by sageb1 (This is the Final Crusade. There are only 2 sides. Pick one.)
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To: qam1; Irish_Thatcherite

My wife uses an irish expression:

"Mutton dressed like lamb"


15 posted on 05/12/2006 7:46:41 AM PDT by Incorrigible (If I lead, follow me; If I pause, push me; If I retreat, kill me.)
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To: qam1

I have a 21 year old son. Every so often I'll say to him some particular girl seems nice, and he'll say "Mom, I'm not going out with any girl who has 'spoiled rotten' written across her chest".

I'm embarrassed when I go shopping, to see some of the things written on girls shirts.


16 posted on 05/12/2006 7:47:30 AM PDT by I still care ("Remember... for it is the doom of men that they forget" - Merlin, from Excalibur)
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To: Incorrigible

"Mutton dressed like lamb"

lol! That is a keeper!


17 posted on 05/12/2006 7:47:48 AM PDT by sageb1 (This is the Final Crusade. There are only 2 sides. Pick one.)
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To: pikachu

At age 50, she probably doesn't even have to unhook the keys from said ring to drive her car.

Bit like those elastic springy things that janitors keep their keys on.

Very handy. Might even tuck it into her pocket.


18 posted on 05/12/2006 7:54:10 AM PDT by MeanWestTexan (Many at FR would respond to Christ "Darn right, I'll cast the first stone!")
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To: qam1
Bad taste taken to the next level, theirs is a situation rich in irony—the more pains middle-aged women take to resemble young girls, the more obvious their age becomes.

This is the key for both men and women - no one seems to get that dressing young makes your age obvious (40+ "surf bum" men in nightclubs look just as stupid) , while dressing in a timeless, classic style makes your age very hard to determine. You won't look 18, but you can stay "30-ish" for a very long time. ;)

19 posted on 05/12/2006 7:54:47 AM PDT by Mr. Jeeves ("When the government is invasive, the people are wanting." -- Tao Te Ching)
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To: dmz

What would you suggest women in their 60's that are not over weight wear?????


20 posted on 05/12/2006 7:55:15 AM PDT by Coldwater Creek ("Over there, over there, We won't be back 'til it's over Over there.")
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21 posted on 05/12/2006 7:56:10 AM PDT by elli1
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To: qam1

No, it's more that parents are dressing their little girls like street walkers.


22 posted on 05/12/2006 7:56:58 AM PDT by mtbopfuyn (I think the border is kind of an artificial barrier - San Antonio councilwoman Patti Radle)
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To: doc30

My wife (reluctantly) bought some low (not 'ho) rise jeans and couldn't believe how comfortable they were. Now it's all she buys, and she has even recommended them to some of her friends who report similar experiences.


23 posted on 05/12/2006 8:02:32 AM PDT by BlueMondaySkipper (The quickest way of ending a war is to lose it. - George Orwell)
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To: qam1

LA/OC "progressive" writers are the generally boring writers like this and boringly talk about their superficial hatreds like this.


24 posted on 05/12/2006 8:02:54 AM PDT by tallhappy (Juntos Podemos!)
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To: mtbopfuyn
No, it's more that parents are dressing their little girls like street walkers.

You've got that right.

I'm glad I live in an area where we all tend to dress our little girls like little girls.....ruffles and bows on their dresses............and tomboys for playtime.

25 posted on 05/12/2006 8:03:41 AM PDT by Gabz (Smokers are the beta version)
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To: battlegearboat
"Nobody's paying attention to Miss Manners anymore."

No, but I wish they were. Here in rural Missouri we have the problem of people going to Wal-Mart in their sweats even if they weigh 400 pounds. My husband has resigned himself to the fact that I won't let him leave the house/yard in sweats.

Carolyn

26 posted on 05/12/2006 8:04:20 AM PDT by CDHart ("It's too late to work within the system and too early to shoot the b@#$%^&s."--Claire Wolfe)
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To: CDHart

I have seen more than one in their pj's at Walmart


27 posted on 05/12/2006 8:06:12 AM PDT by Coldwater Creek ("Over there, over there, We won't be back 'til it's over Over there.")
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To: dmz; qam1
re ;Are you serious? People trying to look younger than they are. This is unprecedented in the history of this country. Never before has anything like this ever gone on. We're DOOOOMED! Must be the Clinton legacy.

LOL I agree.

So what if people don't dress their age or conform to a certain look befitting or what society deems befitting for there age.

I would rather mix with people who don't dress their age, than mix with look alike clones in Chairman Moe suits.

28 posted on 05/12/2006 8:07:12 AM PDT by tonycavanagh (We got plenty of doomsayers where are the truth sayers)
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To: mariabush

What would you suggest women in their 60's that are not over weight wear?????
____________

Whatever they damn well please. I just find the hand wringing silly. People trying to look younger is no surprise to me at all. It is certainly not a new phenomenon.


29 posted on 05/12/2006 8:07:58 AM PDT by dmz
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To: dmz

I pretty much do, as long it is within reason, but am not going to raid my teenage granddaughter' closets!!!!!


30 posted on 05/12/2006 8:11:39 AM PDT by Coldwater Creek ("Over there, over there, We won't be back 'til it's over Over there.")
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To: doc30

eddiebauer.com


31 posted on 05/12/2006 8:14:02 AM PDT by trillabodilla (Jesus Saves)
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To: dmz

I always thought Aunt Bee and Clara Edwards were appropriately dressed.


32 posted on 05/12/2006 8:14:39 AM PDT by battlegearboat
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To: doc30
My wife complains that these teenager clothes are all taht's available in stores now. She has been looking like crazy for a pair of jeans that aren't low rise, but isn't having any luck. So her choice is to dress like a tramp or wear old, worn out clothes.

Your wife needs to get on the Internet and start shopping at Cold Water Creek and Talbots (if she likes classic clothing). That's what I do. It's impossible to find grown-woman business clothing in the stores. It's equally impossible to find casual clothing that doesn't involve spandex or invoke third-world peasant-wear.
33 posted on 05/12/2006 8:16:55 AM PDT by Gingersnap
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To: doc30
My wife complains that these teenager clothes are all taht's available in stores now. She has been looking like crazy for a pair of jeans that aren't low rise, but isn't having any luck.

I can sympathize with her. When I was looking for a new pair of dress pants for the office - it was nearly impossible to find any without "pleats". I didn't want pleated pants, but that's practically all they had.

34 posted on 05/12/2006 8:17:09 AM PDT by Tokra (I think I'll retire to Bedlam.)
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To: I still care
I have a 21 year old son. Every so often I'll say to him some particular girl seems nice, and he'll say "Mom, I'm not going out with any girl who has 'spoiled rotten' written across her chest".

I'm embarrassed when I go shopping, to see some of the things written on girls shirts.

Lois: Oh, what about this, Meg? A pink baby-tee that says "Little Slut." That seems pretty hip.
Meg: I don't know if that's really me, Mom.
Lois: Well, they've got one that says "Porn Star" and another that says "Sperm Dumpster." And they're all written in glitter.
Meg: All right, all right. Give me "Sperm Dumpster."
Lois: That's the spirit!

--Family Guy, "Don't Make Me Over"


35 posted on 05/12/2006 8:17:15 AM PDT by GraniteStateConservative (...He had committed no crime against America so I did not bring him here...-- Worst.President.Ever.)
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To: mariabush
I have seen more than one in their pj's at Walmart

Kids can wear them to high school and college classes, so why not Wal-Mart?

36 posted on 05/12/2006 8:19:04 AM PDT by GraniteStateConservative (...He had committed no crime against America so I did not bring him here...-- Worst.President.Ever.)
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To: mariabush

Alfred Dunner. Nicely cut slacks, blouses, and sweaters. I have 21 pairs of slacks in different colors along with co-ordinating tops. I'm 65. I dress conservatively but must admit I have seen some women in outfits that I wonder if they looked in the mirror before they left the house. LOL.


37 posted on 05/12/2006 8:19:32 AM PDT by wayoverthehill
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To: doc30

I have the same problem. Tell her to try Gap Original Fit jeans--they come in boot leg or flare hems, three different lengths, and you can usually find them for around $30 in the store because they're not the low-rise that everyone else wants (they're less at the outlet). There are different fabric combos with different levels of stretchiness, so it's good to check the tags and try a couple of different styles/fabrics, because some of the less-stretchy are looser in the thigh than the real stretchy ones. And they fit women who have waists and hips!


38 posted on 05/12/2006 8:20:16 AM PDT by Voss
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To: tonycavanagh
So what if people don't dress their age or conform to a certain look befitting or what society deems befitting for there age.

What I hate are people I work with, men and women, whose age I know because I maintain their records, who show up at the mall, in nice local restaurants and various other places, dressed like they are in the gym - shorts, tank top and flip flops. It is ludicrous that at the same time they are balancing wallet, keys and cell phone in their hands because they have no pockets to put them in.

39 posted on 05/12/2006 8:21:10 AM PDT by jimtorr
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To: sageb1
If they'd stop making everything out of stretch material, it wouldn't show. ;)

Oh, aren't you right on target! LOL! Stretchy material and all those mock-wrap tops that practically go down to the waist! Hard to dress like a respectable woman anymore without having to look like a frump. It's annoying, so I'll stick to my jeans (no low-rise) and tops that manage to cover my... (ahem) ...

40 posted on 05/12/2006 8:21:28 AM PDT by virginiaspook (Over 50, no piercings and never wears sequined shirts with cutesy sayings)
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To: doc30
She has been looking like crazy for a pair of jeans that aren't low rise, but isn't having any luck.

If she's built like I am (fairly straight up-and-down, not a lot of waist but not a lot of hips either) she can wander over to the men's department at Target and buy the men's Wrangler jeans. The relaxed fit fits almost anybody and they are DIRT cheap.

I have never been able to wear women's jeans, though. If the waist fits, I could smuggle an entire family of illegals in the seat, and if the seat fits I can't breathe.

If she actually has womanly curves, the Limited has a high-rise jean that my daughter buys.

41 posted on 05/12/2006 8:22:31 AM PDT by AnAmericanMother ((Ministrix of Ye Chase, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment)))
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To: qam1

I never understood the rationale for paying $220 for a pair of denim work pants.


42 posted on 05/12/2006 8:22:36 AM PDT by Jimmy Valentine's brother (Crush Code Pink, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of the womyn)
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To: jimtorr
LOL free country you are free to hate them, and they are free to dress the way they want.
43 posted on 05/12/2006 8:25:46 AM PDT by tonycavanagh (We got plenty of doomsayers where are the truth sayers)
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To: Gingersnap

"Your wife needs to get on the Internet and start shopping at Cold Water Creek and Talbots (if she likes classic clothing).


Don't forget Chico's. :) Thanks for the suggestion of Talbots. I'd forgotten that one as a possibility.


44 posted on 05/12/2006 8:26:09 AM PDT by virginiaspook (Over 50, no piercings and never wears sequined shirts with cutesy sayings)
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To: mtbopfuyn

I refuse to dress my 6yr old in a tee shirt that says raunchy stuff on it. I would rather dress her in boys tee shirts then what I see out in the malls. Some of the stuff out there is not age-appropriate at all.


45 posted on 05/12/2006 8:28:02 AM PDT by pandoraou812 ( barbaric with zero tolerance and dilligaf?)
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To: Mr. Jeeves

Im 35ish and wear the same jeans and rock t-shirt style I have worn for 20 some years. Funny thing is I get carded for buying alcohol on a regular basis and my fiance' who is 8 years younger than myself never gets carded. which she can't figure out (I tell her its the white hair--she has albinism, makes her look older than she is, then I get smacked so I stopped saying it).


46 posted on 05/12/2006 8:32:29 AM PDT by BudgieRamone (We're an underground revolution working overtime....)
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To: doc30

BS. Two words - Ann Taylor.


47 posted on 05/12/2006 8:36:10 AM PDT by softengine ("As I've matured, I've learned that whatever hits the fan will not be evenly distributed. ")
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To: AnAmericanMother; doc30

Boys/Mens jeans are absolutely the way to go if your wife doesn't want to web shop. Not only are they cheaper and more comfortable than what is available in the women's department, but my experience has been that they last longer as well. Win-win.


48 posted on 05/12/2006 8:36:13 AM PDT by grellis (can't sleep clown will eat me)
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To: qam1

I do tend to hate how slobbish way people dress nowadays. I'm probably somewhat acclimatized (unfortunately) to the trashy/slutty, tattooed-freak 'look' that the youth find so spiffy, but it sure is dismaying seeing older folks looking like unkempt slobs. Out shopping, I'm seeing seniors in tacky t-shirts, sweats, etc., often with their guts hanging out. Twenty years ago or so, I always found a bit of solace in the dignity and decorum that the older generations presented in public, but in the past few years all that has been coming to an end. Slobby dressing just does not command respect.


49 posted on 05/12/2006 8:43:03 AM PDT by greene66
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To: doc30
Try a Wal Mart Supercenter. They have a great selection of jeans.

For classic good clothing, Ralph Lauren is my first choice, which I buy on sale :)

sw

50 posted on 05/12/2006 8:43:56 AM PDT by spectre (Spectre's wife ("Woe to those who call evil good")
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