You would think by now I’d have a pretty good handle on what works best for me, fashion-wise. For the most part I do, at least with the basics. My tastes lean more toward classic with splashes out in accessories—hence the big red glasses, and blue ones, and pink ones, and tortoise shell ones with yellow arms. I’m generally not a slavish follower of trends, usually dragging my comfortable-height heels until I’m absolutely sure the trend is going to become a classic. I thought that was the case with skinny jeans. Now they’re being usurped by flares (again!), boot-cut and even culottes (give me strength!). I realize it’s all part of forcing us to keep spending our hard-earned money through planned obsolescence but I always seem to be on the wrong end of the fashion cycle.
I never did give up on high-waisted jeans (thank you Not Your Daughters Jeans) because boomer muffin top was never compatible with those ridiculous 7-inch rises that excluded most of the female population. Most boomer gals still have decent legs which we’re able to showcase in well-fitted jeans with high waists and loose tops worn over. Great boots or booties amp up the look even more so we can actually achieve ‘sexy’. But when they start moving the hemlines up to mid-calf—well, that’s just going to make those of under 6 ft. tall (which is 99 percent of the population) look just plain dumpy.
A couple of seasons ago, jeans with frayed hems started making the scene. As usual, my cynical reaction was, “What a cheap, unimaginative trick by designers to get us to buy new jeans. I’ll take a pass”. I liked the pictures of bloggers I follow wearing the new look, but figured I’d ride it out. I’m smart like that. Now that the style is on its way out, I’m frantically sussing out frayed hem jeans at a price point I can justify. That means no Eileen Fisher or Rag & Bone.
It would be quite simple for me to simply cut the hem off an old pair of NYD Jeans and fray the bottom, zip up a line of stay-stitching on my old Singer and call it a day—an investment of an hour of my time and zero money. But somehow, spending hours monitoring on-line sales and comparing prices, styles and spandex content makes it seem so much more satisfying. You know what I mean!
So, when you see everyone on the street except me sporting wide-leg culotte jeans this season, stand by. Next year, I’ll be packing up those home-made frayed-leg jeans for something even more ridiculous and expensive in search of fashion nirvana. I took the same approach toward boot-cut jeans, painter pants, acid-wash jeans and even skinny jeans when they first arrived on the scene.
I’m always just a little bit out of fashion with visions of myself achieving total coolness lurking in my imagination, but forever just slightly out of reach. At this point in life I guess I’ll never get over that feeling of a dog chasing a car—even if I caught it I wouldn’t know what to do. This boomer body just doesn’t lend itself to trends. So I’ll always be on the tail-end of fashion trying to be cooler than I really am. I may never be in sync with the fashion cycle, but it’s still fun chasing cars.