Sunday, November 25, 2007

Fashion Advice (Tirade) From My Daughter

Why is it that every generation believes that their parents' generation consists of fashion-ignorant and completely clueless idiots who have no idea how to dress in style?

Our kids, who are quite up-to-date when it comes to fashion, and that means they know every nuance of every changing fashion (at least of fashions in the 20-something world -- and therein, I believe, lies the crux of the issue) have begged each other not to allow them to fall victim to the plague of their parents: something they refer to as fashion-decade-paralysis. In their minds, there's absolutely nothing worse than parents who are "stuck in the 80's," the decade in which we became parents. To drive home the point, the kids draw attention to their grandparents who, they insist, have a bad case of fashion paralysis of their own, stuck in the 50's, the decade in which they became parents.

To illustrate the point, Elisabeth showed me this:

Mom Jeans - More free videos are here

I must admit that I secretly thought to myself, 'I dunno... they're not so bad, are they?' And I heard myself asking aloud, "The vest is kinda OK, isn't it?" Elisabeth was horrified. "MOM! Please tell me you did NOT just say that!"

Now, I have to say right here that I dress in "approved" fashions, meaning that my daughters have deemed most of my clothes acceptable to be worn in public and even, in most cases, when I'm actually with them. (I know; I'm so honored!) But I fear that, if I didn't have daughters, I might actually find nothing all that horrendous about nine inch zippers, front pleats or even (shudder!) appliqu├ęd vests.

And we won't even go into something called a "camel-digit"! (OK, that's not really what it's called, but I can't post exactly what it's called because I don't want to invite porn searches to my blog...)

I reminded Elisabeth that when I was her age, I thought that nipple-hiding padded bras (which are fashionable now) were only for old ladies and that my friends and I chose to wear more racy bras that revealed some nipple because, after all, we weren't as sexually repressed as our parents were! So I guess that each generation chooses to flaunt something and hide something -- and make fun of other generations' choices of what to hide and what to flaunt!

I also reminded her that, in the same way that she makes fun of me for wearing underwear that consists of more than a skimpy string, her kids will likely harass her and her generation for wearing strings as underwear. ("Eeeeew, Mom," they'll say.)

And Aleks' kids will harass him about sagging his pants all the way to the top of his thighs, no doubt!

In the same way that the SNL Penny's commercial made fun of "Mom jeans" from the 80's, Elisabeth's kids might well make fun of her and her entire generation for wearing waistbands so low that little is left to the imagination, in much the same way that my generation's "camel-digit" jeans or unpadded bras apparently left little to the imagination. My kids' kids will show their parents pictures of thong strings peeking -- no, announcing themselves -- along the top of jeans so low that, well, that little is left to the imagination! And those siblings will beg each other not to allow them to fall victim to the plague of their parents: something they'll refer to as fashion-decade-paralysis. Oh, the hilarious irony!

And I, being an old granny by that time, will sit back in my cozy parachute pants and giggle silently as my grandchildren point to what I'm wearing and announce to their mom that "even Noni's (which is what I want to be called) pants are cooler than those no-waist/sagging pants you still insist on wearing!"

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Anonymous said...

Teens (at least American ones) are appallingly intolerant of anyone who does or wears anything but what they do. On the other hand- would they really WANT us wearing low riding jeans with thongs peeking out? :)


Blog Antagonist said...

Teenagers are terrible for the self-esteem, aren't they? Mine is just barely a teenager, and a boy to boot, and still I'm getting the comments. And I don't even wear Mom jeans!

Anonymous said...

Camel digit. *giggle* Wise choice.

I dress for comfort in non-work situations, and business suits for work. I'm not consumed by the latest fashion dictates, although I am aware of what is on the racks for my age group. If I have embarrassed my children, they have been kind enough not to let me know. That was probably wise on their part.

Rositta said...

I just got in my last chuckle before heading off to bed. I don't think I ever had jeans like that and certainly don't now, even though I'm a grandma of 4...very hilarious..ciao

Caffienated Cowgirl said...

I almost snorted in my coffee! The first time I heard "camel digit" was while living in the UK on "Trinny and Susannah Undress" (the founders of What Not to Wear). While I had been oblivious to it before, I realized how horrible our generation had been to itself...allowing such a "fashion statement"! Thanks for the giggle...

Anonymous said...

Um...your daughters must not be watching the latest fashion trends. High-waisted pants have just come back into style this season.

Really, from the pictures you post, I don't think you should be taking fashion advice from young adults whose wardrobe consists solely of university sweatshirts. Sweatshirts are not flattering on the adult female frame, and that included college co-eds.

Goofball said...

High waist pants are totally making a come-back this winter! That is a fact!

and I agree with Lynn: I guess your daughters wouldn't truly want you to dress exactly like them. And you are correct too that they don't realise that what they are wearing right now, will be totally unacceptable in the future etc...

But some teenage influence on their parents can be beneficial though to avoid a total fashion-decade paralysis, so mom's can evolve with the fashion as well...just more moderately than their children? Don't you think?

UmmFarouq said...

Now, are Mom Jeans the tapered kind? The ones I just FINALLY traded in (threw out) for some boot cut jeans? I'm only 35 but my 66 year old mom passed her Mom Jeans down to me after gaining weight when she quit smoking and I happily took them because I thought I looked darn cute.

Little did I know. I was being laughed at for five years. And they were already seven years past their prime. But they were cuuuuutte!

Jen said...

Oh, dear, just the idea of their all being in their 40s and 50s and wearing what they wear today is beyond scary. I'll take my "mom" jeans any day!

mks said...

Very cool post! I am not a mom but I am very much a comfort dresser. Just this year some girls (23-24) in the office convinced me that I would look HOT in a pair of LUCKY BRAND JEANS. I have to admit...they are amazing jeans even if I did pay $98 for them. ACK! But give me a black ribbed turtle neck sweater, jeans and/or kahakis and my black boots any day and I am happy.

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