Dear Editors of Fashion Catalogues,
I have never written a letter to an editor before today. In fact, the letters to editors sections of magazines have always fascinated and horrified me at the same time. Are there actually people out there who have time in their day to write a note to People Magazine telling them “Britney Spears looks great! I’m so happy that she’s doing better. Go get ’em Britney!” And they are so proud of their happiness for people they don’t know that they give us their full name and city so that if you see them in the store you can shout to them, “Hey! I’m so happy for Britney too! High five!”
However, I am so frustrated lately that I must send this mass email to all of you out there who put out fashion catalogues and send them to my house. Listen, I don’t know how you got my address. I might have shopped at your store once but I don’t believe I gave you all of my personal information when I bought a bra from you ten years ago. Even so, how do you know that I moved? I have lived in 7 houses in the last 20 years. How do you keep finding me?
But that’s not really the problem. I enjoy the catalogs because they are good toilet reading. I’m pretty sure the men in my house enjoy them for other reasons.
I’m a 43 year old woman. I have had 3 children. I have cellulite and flabby arms. I’ve got a tummy and an ample tush. Things are drooping over here.
So, if you are going to put out a mailer with suggested outfits for me, please don’t put said outfits on teenagers. Or even 20-some-year old women. I don’t look like anything like these models. They surely don’t look like me.
The outfits that these companies manufacture may, in fact, come in my size. But that doesn’t mean that they will look good on me. Let’s be honest: these clothes don’t look good on the majority of women past the age of 40; not the long, flowy dresses that are made for tall skinny models that end up looking like a maternity dress on me; not the skin-tight running shorts that are so short I can wear them to a colonoscopy and keep them on during the entire procedure; and not these wacky jumpsuits that make me look like I am in that Shelly Long movie about camping from the 1980s. We do not wear giant floppy hats because we cannot see when we are driving carpool (which is what we do about 90% of the time). We do not normally wear pigtails because we look like we are making an extremely pathetic attempt to look like a sexy porn star.
Most of my favorite stores that used to carry clothes that flattered my aging body have recently turned on me and have started to cater towards girls who are 15 (I’m talking to you, Lulu Lemon.) Some of these great stores try to throw in an outfit for the older set, but they are usually giant sweater-sets and “slacks” or horrible mumus that look good on no one except for Barbra Streisand in “Meet The Fockers.”
We don’t want to wear peach-colored jeans (Anthropolgie); we don’t want to wear workout shorts that give us camel toe (Athleta); and we don’t want to wear “casual” clothes that make us look like we are about to go to a funeral, to temple, or to a court hearing (Ann Taylor).
Please, people. Don’t send me these catalogues anymore. Send them to my daughter. She is 12, and would probably look adorable in everything you sell. And now that you know my age, don’t start sending me “older-women” catalogues for stores like Chico’s or JC Penney. I’m not ready for that just yet.
If you can find a store that makes clothes for me, great. Send me their catalogues. I am still waiting for the one store that carries flattering clothes for women in their 40s (and don’t suggest “White House, Black Market.” They are misleading the public because they are now selling clothes that are not just black and white. And by the way, most women over the age of 40 do not look good in white.)
Until then, I will keep reading my People Magazine and obsessing about the people behind those editorial letters. They may feel the need to let the entire world know the fact that 30 years ago they met a recently deceased actress for 5 minutes at the grocery store and that she was “very nice.” They may take an hour out of their day to let America know how very disappointed they are that their favorite poet was not included in the “Sexiest Man Alive” Issue. But at least they are telling us the truth.
And that’s a lot more than I can say for Banana Republic.
“Mom On The Road”-Honorable Mention at New York Book Festival http://www.amazon.com/Mom-Road-Allyson-Ochs-Primack/dp/1507809557/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1433899285&sr=8-1&keywords=mom+on+the+road