Sunday, June 24, 2007

The Well-Appointed Cougar

Sadly (or fortunately), no one remains Forever 21. And, despite the immortal words of Erin Brokovich - “as long as I have one ass instead of two I will show it off” - at some point, the micro-minis and tube tops have got to go.

Yet vanity doesn't go away after age 30, 35, 40, etc. A woman naturally wants to remain attractive for herself, the world at large and her lover/pool boy/tango instructor. So where is that fine line between Britney and Golden Girl? These stores weigh in with different takes:

- Talbots: Ideal for Washington precisely because it is not sexy. Case in point: I'm not seeing uber-cougar Joan Collins sporting a pastel twin-set or the relaxed-fit capris any time soon. Yet the Talbot's woman confidently lets her brain and personality take over where the clothing leaves off.

- Chico’s and the Man: Has a man ever actually entered Chico's unscathed, or has he buckled under the sheer estrogen of so many Crayola-hued wood necklaces and sequined denim jackets? But no matter - it's a women's store, and maybe the broomstick skirts tap into a nostalgic Stevie Nicks vibe. But silver lame t-shirts? Those just look like they itch. On most counts, it's garb for the funky housecat who's going to the Sedona new-age writers' conference. Although some people wear Chico's quite well, I'd have to say I'd agree with a little girl I recently saw walking past the Friendship Heights branch. "I don't like this, Mommy!" she cried.

- Intermix: For the wealthy cougar, and the pumas in training. You’ve done your cardio/spinning, now it’s time to get your Cavalli on. A surreal place to go to see Stella McCartney, et. al. slapped up on racks like smock dresses at H& M. (Do pool boys understand smock dresses and this season's "directional volume" and "homage to Poirot"? Or do they just hope your water won't break under their watch.) Here, of course, beware of Intermaxing your credit card.

- The evening-wear boutiques at the Georgetown Mall: I see these luscious sequined concoctions and wonder why my life doesn't have more charity galas in it. Then I remember that most charity galas feel like the grown-up parties you attended as a kid when you'd rather have been playing Atari or fast-forwarding your "Purple Rain" cassette tape to the dirty parts.

But why can't these gowns be worn for more casual purposes, like going to Safeway? The world would be a much more interesting place. Wherever you wear these, look in the mirror closely. If you see Dina Lohan staring back, you might want to remove a couple accessories and let down the skirt hem a few inches.

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At 2:13 PM, Anonymous katjjames said...

That had me nearly peeing my pants, but with Alli now on the market we will need designer space diapers and micro minis that have room for "Oops I crapped my pants!"

Let's just live in be damned!


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