Dear Emily Post:
I am a woman of a certain age; revealing the precise number at this time is not necessary. The mere fact that I remember who you are attests to my longevity.
I know that you do not claim to be a fashion maven, but I’m writing to you because you are the arbiter of all things appropriate – the first lady of good taste. And I need your help. A dilemma confronts me on a daily basis so confounding that as I ponder it I find that it has become four o’clock in the afternoon and I am still in my bathrobe. I am unable to clothe myself because I have become immobilized regarding the selection of proper vestments. And so, Ms. Post (is it OK if I refer to you as Ms?) I turn to you for judgment. Should a seventy-year-old woman wear jeggings?
Oh, I forgot. You’ve been dead since nineteen sixty. I probably have to explain what jeggings are. They are a combination of denim jeans and leggings, resulting in a pair of pants that hug the buttocks and legs and show no mercy, in that they show everything else. I own a pair of jeggings, but so does my seven-year-old granddaughter. I ask you, is this right?
I know what you’re thinking! Why do I even consider wearing jeggings at my age? Why? Is it my fault that the body doesn’t age with equanimity and we are forced to employ distraction? In spite of my years, I still have long, slim legs which the tight pants show off to great advantage, thank you very much! So I don a loose blouse and the skinny jeans and let the outfit speak for me. “Hey you,” it calls out, “don’t look there. Look here!” But I do have serious doubts about the correctness of my choices.
Another thing, Ms. Post. Is it okay if I still wear a baseball cap to keep the sun off my face? Does one get too old for baseball caps? I can’t imagine my mother ever wearing a baseball cap. Probably in your day only baseball players wore baseball caps and real ladies wore fancy straw hats. Well, I do own a fancy straw hat – just one – and about seven different baseball caps. Have I been investing my wardrobe budget unwisely?
Here’s something else that troubles me. Is there an age limit for shopping at The Gap? Sorry; forget that one. The Gap didn’t open until 1969. But I do have other questions you can answer.
Is it time yet for sensible shoes? Should I get rid of the high heels, platforms, gaudy sandals? What is the statute of limitations on sexy footwear?
Am I sacrificing my dignity if I continue to wear large hoop earrings and costume jewelry? Should I be flaunting instead dainty diamond studs and a pearl necklace? Are those the more mature choices?
So Ms. Post, that is my dilemma. I don’t know how much longer I can go on like this. Wardrobe insecurity is ruining my life, and my bathrobe. I know you are a very busy woman, but I hope to hear from you before I am eighty.
Until then, I fear I will have no choice but to blunder forward for the next decade, jeweled sandals on my feet, gold hoops in my ears, a tee shirt (loose-fitting) bought on sale at The Gap, jeggings on my bottom, and a baseball cap covering the gray hair at the top, and hope for the best.
Why dress for 70 when you can be 30 again and look it?
I do not have a web site, much to my frustration, as everyone keeps asking for one. I have been assembling data and pictures to set one up, but haven’t yet succeeded in finalizing.
Your blog is a riot and I loved both your correspondence w the engineer and Ms. Post.
Keep it up. Xxxxxxx, old friend here, Bonnie