No Fashion Country for Big, Old Broads

14 Mar
imageAt the age of 58, I’m classified as old whether I like it or not. I don’t feel old, but when young twentysomethings eye my grey hair I know they’re thinking, ‘she’s old’. Such is life. I’ve also borne two children and struggle with a sweet tooth, so I weigh more than I should, in the company of at least 1/3 of the population. Being a woman in menopause, my estrogen production has declined and my body fat has migrated from my buttocks, hips and thighs to my waist. Nice, huh?
I wouldn’t mind all this ‘old and fat’ business if our fashion industry recognised this reality, too. But the fashion industry has been dominated by men for a long time, and more recently by skinny women. They just don’t get it. How many old, fat, female fashion designers can you name? Do you see my point? Hip, stylish clothing is made for the young and skinny. If you’re bigger than you should be, your only choice in the majority of retail stores is to buy ugly, shapeless stuff that makes you look even bigger and older.image
I live near a big city in Canada, and the fashion I crave is almost non-existent. Shopping in the U.S. is much better, with more variety but still it’s difficult to find decent styles for OFBs (old, fat broads). If I had more sewing/designing talent, I would start a company called OFBs and make slimming, hip-looking clothing for REAL WOMEN that doesn’t end at size 10.
Listen up, Fashion Industry. You’re supposed to be the experts, you should know this already. Here are my pet peeves:
Bathing Suits – I’m tired of ugly bathing suits that make me look 88, not 58!! And enough with the stupid v-necks. Nobody wants to see 58-year-old cleavage, unless you look like Christie Brinkley. I sure don’t. But halters or simple scoop necks are very difficult to find where I usually shop. And here’s a news flash. When you’re big, your thighs rub together causing painful chaffing especially when your skin is wet. I finally found a pair of swimming ‘shorts’ in Florida, along with a swim top with a gathered neckline that minimizes the bulge at my waist. And guess what? It was the last one in the store. Trust me, I would have bought two or three otherwise. Clearly I’m not the only woman who recognizes good styling.
Tops – I waste a lot of my time searching for a top that not only covers up my flab but looks flattering. Lately my only choices have been tops that look like square table cloths with ugly patterns. And if the tops have too much of an a-line, or are too long, they can make you look pregnant. Yeah, pregnant in my 50’s, that’s the look I want. Please, let’s make a few more tops with an empire waist (just under the boobs) and a gentle flowing A-line down to the hips. Styling 101: Darts, pleats and gathering can work wonders in shaping a garment.
Fabric – clingly stretchy fabric is great for yoga pants, but for a top this fabric is a OFB’s nightmare, since it clings to flab. Please consider a little more poly cotton, which is also more breathable during hot flashes.
Dresses – same thing as tops. More darts, pleats, gathers, and empire waists. And no ruffles. Nobody over thirty should wear ruffles.
Shorts – For several years I couldn’t find bermuda length or mid-thigh length shorts in my hometown. Only capris or Daisy Dukes. Not sure what black hole these shorts styles fell into, but I finally found a nice pair — in the states, of course. My husband always complains when I shop in the states, since our dollar exchange now sucks (again). My reasoning is simple. More selection (still not enough, but more than I’m used to).
Patterns – I enjoy patterns as much as the next gal, but there’s a fine line a fifty-something woman must be aware of when choosing patterns. Is it an ‘old crone’ pattern? If you have to ask me what that is, sorry, I can’t describe it in words. Here are a few examples I came upon recently.

old lady 1old lady 2old lady 3

Be careful of Old Crone patterns. The Fashion Industry has it out for you, and wants you to look old before your time. Don’t do it! Always ask yourself, “Does this make me look old?
If enough OFBs complained we could pave the way for the younger generation coming up behind us. Because no matter how young you are now, someday you’ll be an OFB, too.

2 Responses to “No Fashion Country for Big, Old Broads”

  1. Jewel Divas Style March 17, 2015 at 12:59 am #

    I am all over this. Same thing here, I’m a size 17, it’s between 16 and 18 of which I am neither so it’s frustrating when our stores have the “young ladies” sizes and the “larger ladies” sizes. Never the same set of sizes, all completely different, it drives me bonkers.

    On top of that we all started realising years ago that the majority of male designers are gay and they clearly design for the anorexic male body NOT the female body. That’s why there will never be decent designer made clothes. And sadly, any store that gets there clothes made in a Chinese factory will always have Chinese sizes. NOT real world sizes.

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