I’ve been seeing articles recently like “Things Women Over 40 Should Wear” (Answer: whatever the fuck they want) and others in the same vein. I am so in agreement with them. I did not get to this age to give a single fuck about what people think I should or shouldn’t be wearing.
However, there are clothes that should forever be packed away because I am wise enough to know when something looks absolutely ridiculous/awful/embarrassing on me. At least, I hope I am. If you see me looking ridiculous, awful and/or embarrassing, for the love of god and good taste, please pipe up.
I also live in Paris, where sneakers as everyday shoes just became acceptable like last year and women would rather be force-fed lard than go out in activewear. Classic silhouettes in a subdued palette of black, cream, grey and navy blue osmosed into my wardrobe with me barely noticing. And while I daydream about being quirky and colorful, I open my dresser and it’s a black hole of Zara tops. I’m no Man Repeller or OG Iris Apfel, sadly.
So in no particular order, shit I don’t wear anymore because I’m old and I live in Paris…
Booty Shorts (with or without words across the bum)
This requires no explanation.
I mourn the days when I was flatter-chested because I could go bra-less and wear all manner of strapless things without having to consider fleshy overhang and flabby underarms. While I now fill a B-cup, it’s doubtful my YSL lace-up silk corset will ever be worn again—by me, anyway. (How lucky is that daughter of mine?)
Were we all high when we took fashion direction from Britney, Paris and Lindsay? I must have been because I owned not one, but several pairs of jeans that barely scaled my mons pubis. Pre-babies, I thought a muffin top was simply the best part of a muffin (Top of the Muffin to you!*) Post-babies, I can’t decide whether muffin top or doughnut is the more accurate term for what’s happening around my belly. All my jeans are currently high-waisted of the mom and boyfriend variety. And I don’t care how young and amazing your body is, just say no to ass-crack.
It was the worst of times when I wore my lowest-rise jeans with a tiny crop top in public (like Britney, bitch!) Photographic evidence exists of this crime against nature and style, but it’s been long-buried with the attendant shame. If I’m going to be honest, crop tops should never have been part of my fashion lexicon. At my thinnest, I still had no waist and a rice-bowl belly (my Asian girls know what I’m talking about). Also, tramp stamp. So unless I take a page from the Kardashian waist-training book (I won’t), crop tops are dead to me. You’re welcome, eyes of the world.
I like to imagine I once looked good in skintight dresses. The difference now is I know (slightly) better. Case in point to the slightly part: This dress. In a postpartum delirium, I bought it thinking I’d fit into it “some day soon.” What middle-aged mom-of-two, carrying 20+ kilos of baby weight, thinks that?! Especially about a dress clearly designed for the Disney set? My baby is four-years-old and this dress still sits in my closet with its tags.
What I Do Wear
Regrettable style choices have been made in my past. Based on this list, it appears I dressed like an off-duty exotic dancer most of the time. (Really appreciate you looking out for me, NYC friends. This is why I never call you.) Thanks to age, wisdom and geography, it seems my biggest fashion mistake going forward will be erring on the side of safe and boring. A thousand French girls can’t be wrong, can they?
*Seinfeld! Always Seinfeld
What do or don’t you wear anymore? What’s your biggest fashion regret? Don’t be shy! Share in the comments or on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. And please sign up for our newsletter for the latest and greatest in French culture, expat life and Paris.