I’d like to share a couple “fashion” incidents that have left me utterly confused about how someone my age is supposed to dress.
I was with my youngest at Forever 21, a cheap clothing store aimed at, as the name implies, young adults. Let me repeat, I. Was. With. Her. Not the other way around. As usual, it was a zoo, so I sent her along to Pac Sun while I stood in line with her purchase, a denim jacket. I see a current student across the way and wave, immediately besieged by two opposing thoughts: “Yes! I’ll be known as the cool teacher who shops at Forever 21!” and “No! I’ll be called the old biddy who is seriously mistaken about her ability to rock a circa 1986 crop-top.”
Then, three days later, I find myself at Forever 21 Red, the rack version of the aforementioned, with my older daughter. Again, I’m simply there in the chauffer capacity, not as an actual shopper. While standing in the dressing room awaiting my child’s “outfit” reveal, a girl emerges from behind her door in a baggy tee-shirt, high-waisted jeans and Top Gun aviators. She assesses herself in the mirror, notices me and asks for my opinion, adding, “I mean, you were alive in the ’80s, right?” Ouch.
Yes, I came of age amidst big hair, puffed sleeves and Tom Cruise-inspired everything, all of which are apparently back in style. And no, I don’t want to appear out-of-touch with contemporary fashion trends. But if I embrace the retro-’80s look for myself, won’t I be committing the even bigger fashion faux pas of dressing too young?