I have known for some time now that I am no longer the “target audience” for advertisers, movie makers, shoe, purse, dress or other fashionista types. I have literally been there and bought that. I am no longer that stupid. I don’t live for trends, what is “in season,” what is not, or what other people (or magazines) think or dictate. I have become what I used to hold in contempt – I am the woman in Glamour magazine with the black bar across my eyes – the GLAMOUR DON’T, if you will.
I’m okay with that. But there is a problem. I am not dead yet.
This became more apparent than ever two nights ago as I found myself shopping for shoes. Frankly, I’d rather have my colon irrigated than go shoe shopping. (At least I could drop a few pounds in the process and have something to show for the effort.) Normally I just go online to Zappos and order my shoes, sending back whatever does not fit. This time I needed something quick and was keen to find something to fit comfortably over a slightly dented left foot. (Proof positive that vacuuming is hazardous to your health – especially if you drop the heavy new attachment on your foot.)
I went in to one of those DSW shoe superstores (first mistake) that claim to be thee source for great shoes. I felt like I walked into a time warp – was it the late 70′s? Was disco back? Are hooker shoes all that women wear to work now? The first 4 or 5 rows were dismissed without a second look – I already ruined my feet in my 20′s with those stupid high, spiked heels. Granted, I weighed about 120 pounds. I also chain smoked, drank coke for breakfast, and lived on Doritos and peanut butter toast. (My early 20′s were the peak of bad-decisions-all-around when it came to my health and my feet. ) I wanted something – dare I say it – comfortable? I wanted real shoes, nice style, well constructed and smart-looking. The array of shoes said either “hooker” or “nursing home” – there were no shoes in between the two extremes. No shoes for the ladies in limbo.
Why is it that clothing and shoes for women in their VERY early 50′s are either one extreme or the other? What happened to classics? What happened to tailored shirts, jackets with shape, beautiful woven fabrics? I have shopped up and down the pay scale and cannot believe what passes for quality. If I am at Nordstroms I should be able to expect some nice quality for the price, right? Seam finishes? Forget it. Shape? No way. No tucks or darts. Or style. I am not ready for the Alfred Dunner separates for a long time, thank you, and I do wish there was an easier way out than going back to sewing for myself again because that means less time for quilting and sewing the things I enjoy.
I am about 90% ready to go there, though. I am ready to go back to my tracing wheels and dressmakers carbon and hem gauges and pins. I still have a few patterns, too. I think my Bernina might blow up if I start sewing anything but quilts on it but that is a chance I might have to take. I have no idea what I’ll do about shoes, though. There is a limit to what I’m willing to make for myself, and I know they would probably turn out worse than some of the old fuddy duddy shoes available now. There was a little girl in the museum yesterday with the cutest shoes that lit up and sparkled when she walked. I want a pair of THOSE.