Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Clothes for Grown-Ups

I went to Forever 21 yesterday with a friend, even though I'm morally against the throw-away and ripped-off fashion of stores like that, sometimes in a moment of weakness I cave to the lures of fast, cheap consumerism. A week or so ago we'd gone and I tried on an orange loose drapey dress, and I couldn't stop talking about it. My friend had picked it out and told me to try it on -- usually I avoid loose silhouettes, and orange, because it clashes with my hair.
There it is! It was nowhere to be found when we went back to the store last night, but I found it online. It was both more expensive and less cute than I remembered, but still a good dress. I ended up buying something "overly sexy" on super-sale. It's short, tight, black and a subtle purple print, vaguely reminds me of a wetsuit, has an exposed black zipper all the way up the front, and has enough coverage for a bra. I'm in love. I don't usually go in for both short and tight, but the rest of it is perfect, and at least it's tough and sexy rather than little-girly and sexy.

Anyway, I was surprised at how few of the dresses there look alright on a tall person like myself. There's just gobs of very short, kinda frilly, flowered dresses that would have looked adorable on me if I was 5. I've noticed a few bloggers seem to go in for this kind of silhouette with a short full skirt, but when I dress like that I feel infantilized and also nervous that I'm flashing the whole world every time the wind blows (which is constantly, because this is Chicago). I actually really like these bloggers, but maybe this style is just not for me. On the other hand, the whole conflation of childishness and sexiness really bothers me. Add my voice to the growing crowd asking for a more grown-up, vintage-inspired look for women. While the femininity signaled in "vintage" clothing is also problematic, I'm much more comfortable in a pencil skirt than a short ruffle.

I hear dudes expressing some kind of interest in "sundresses" and I think the short floral dresses is what they mean. And they look awfully cute on the models, but that's maybe because the photos are cut off above the knee! When you see some girl tugging it down all the time, it's less cute. Heaven forbid she try to bike (not that I can bike in my new dress either). Am I being a prude?


Jessica said...

At least it is not also shiny. Nina does not approve of the tight, shiny, and short trifecta.

This looks so much like the flower girl dress I wore when I was 6 in my aunt's wedding, it's not even funny.
My mom made them.

Amy said...

Haha! I know, I thought of Heidi when I bought something short and tight. It is kinda her thing. But shiny? Never.

Yeah I had a poofy-sleeved floral Easter dress. It was hideous.

mosey said...

I'm a petite girl who always got treated like a kid because of it, so I battle with these issues of not looking too little girl but not looking like a bore either. Blah blah woof woof, are you going to show us the dress you really bought?