I once bought jeans a few years ago from Limited Too– for myself! No, I’m not a size zero.  Just a very busy mom who never has time to shop for herself, yet gets dragged to the mall on numerous occasions by her oldest daughter so that she can shop. So there I was one day, bored, waiting (and waiting….. and waiting…..) while my then pre-teen daughter was in a dressing room trying on clothes and, sick of listening to the pounding pop beats played nonstop in Limited Too, I started thinking “outside the box”.  Hmmm, I wonder if I might find some jeans on the clearance rack in a girls size 16 plus-plus or 18 that I’d like and that might fit me?  And sure enough, I found some.  I took a few pairs into the dressing room next to my daughter’s.

“MOM?” she called out in a shocked voice.  Not sure how she knew it was me, other than maybe she recognized my heavy breathing, as I was attempting to try everything on as fast as I could so no one would notice a mom trying on clothes at a kid store…  to make matters worse, she found nothing she liked or that fit good, and I did– a pair of bell-bottomed jeans embellished on the top 1/4 of one leg with charms and painted-on chains.  They were really cute, and ever since I purchased them I’ve received numerous compliments, mostly from adults.  I make sure to wear them with an “adult” looking sweater and jewelry, however, because I hate it when adults look like they’re trying hard to look younger.

I remember I once did a double-take while watching a mom coming out of a movie theater with her kids–it was hard to figure out who were the kids and who was the adult– she was wearing tight, skinny jeans, flipping her bleach-blonde pony tail and smacking her gum with the rest of them. Sick and weird, I thought.  But then again, in the area of fashion, what choices do moms have, especially moms in their 30’s and 40’s? I’m petite, so most of what’s offered up to me in department stores looks like something my 85-year-old mother would wear.  The other choices look like, well, close to something my now-teenaged daughter would wear.  So that’s what I buy. And now that she’s grown into a beautiful girl with fantastic fashion sense (who has quit shopping at Limited Too, I might add), I find myself asking her for advice. We sometimes even…gulp… share jewelry and shoes, or should I say, we “borrow” each other’s jewelry and shoes when the other’s not looking…

So I have recently come to wonder, have I become one of those moms who looks like she’s trying hard to look younger? I really don’t want to.  I’m proud of my age and the fact that I grew up in the 60’s and 70’s, not the 90’s. I’m proud that I have some gray hairs, laugh lines, spider veins, breasts that nursed two children and a scar on my belly from a C-section. Yet I also don’t want to buy clip-on earrings and double-knit pantsuits in colors like aqua and salmon.

What’s a middle-aged mom to do? Hmmm…maybe check out magazines to see what celebrities who are close to my age are wearing… Let’s see, there’s Valerie Bertinelli (just saw her Jenny Craig bikini layout, so no, that won’t be me); Ellen DeGeneres (I don’t like pants that much); Demi Moore (didn’t she marry a teenager?) and Marie Osmond (a little bit too many layers of clothing for me).  Maybe I ought to get a subscription to MORE magazine for fashion advice– but is that even being published anymore?

In the meantime, my younger daughter has discovered fashion, so after a brief hiatus, I found myself back in Limited Too again a couple weeks ago.  Only now it’s changed its name to Justice. (Yeah, that’s what I want after shopping there…just kidding!)  Same colors, same music, same too-cute stuff.  This time, I found myself in a similar situation.  Bored while she was trying on clothes and realizing I wasn’t going to get to do any of my own shopping, I found something in the store that was on my list– sunglasses.  And sunglasses on sale, no less. And with UV 400 protection! I found a cute pair that I liked and that fit, and realized I wasn’t going to find a deal that good even at Target, so I bought them.

Only I have to be careful when I wear them when my older daughter’s around, because she is totally, completely, bent-out-of-shape embarrassed with having a mom who wears black sunglasses with Cheetah print on the sides. ###

(updated and adapted from a post I once wrote for the Blogher network)

5 thoughts on “When Mom Dresses Like A Teen

  1. I have a subscription to MORE magazine. It does have some respectably cute fashion suggestions that don’t include aqua or salmon 🙂

  2. I like this post. I am also a petit mum and sometimes I seem to be a hanger for too mature clothings if I wear them. I do buy bigger children sizes when I am overseas and I think they look pretty cool if match with suitable accesories. 🙂

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