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I'm a mom, a wife, a best friend. Sick with CFIDS/ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia since 1975 as a result of a nasty flu while still in grad school, it wasn't until the late '80's that I received a diagnosis. Until that flu I'd never really been ill before. With each year I get progressively worse and add to the bucket load of symptoms I'm living with. I've been blessed with an incredible family and best friend who've stayed with me through my struggles as we continue to find a way out of this monstrous illness and its complications. We've tried seemingly every approach to find my way back to health. Often I think our best weapon in this undesirable and unasked-for adventure has been laughter.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

How do baby-boomers find fashion and beauty on line?

So, I'm over fifty and because I'm basically glued to this bed 24/7, I need to 
do whatever shopping hubby dearest can't do himself, on-line.  Thank goodness we 
now DO have that option.  I often think that these on-line stores could very 
well go out of business were people like me (us?) to stop ordering from them - 
the people who are just too ill to shop.

I have my books covered, drugstore needs, even "beauty" needs, thanks to 
drugstore.com, beauty. com, Sephora.  I can even keep up with any fancy-shmancy 
cooking, baking and dining needs when I add in Williams Sonoma and King Arthur's 
Flour, both on-line.

But the clothing situation is still a huge mystery and a way-too-expensive 

First of all, I think all of us who are over fifty have a bit of of a problem 
finding fashions which are just right.  The market seems to cater to those who 
are youngsters, a look that is pitiful on those of us who are, ahem, shall I use 
that word yet again, "mature"?  But "mature" doesn't mean "dowdy," and that's 
the look I often find...things my 80+ year old mom would wear - on a very bad 

This is a situation that is particularly frustrating to the over-fifty crowd 
because we were spoiled all of our lives: we were the baby boomers and thus the 
demographic that the marketing world wanted ever so much.  No matter what our 
age was - be it fifteen and Noxema, nineteen and being revolutionary with 
pantsuits, thirty and disposable diapers for our babies, fifty and luxury cars - 
our buying habits, budgets and dollars were catered to.

I even thought that the trend to coddle to us would last well into our eighty's.  
How often have hubby and I looked at each other after a commercial and burst out 
laughing saying, "God, but it's good to be a baby-boomer...they just never stop 
trying to get our dollar!"

But it looks as if that ship has sailed, somewhat.  The beauty industry still 
wants us, as is evidenced by all the anti-aging and firming products out there.  
The pharms want us as is evidenced by all medication such as once-a-month 
calcium, cholesterol-lowering drugs, as well as the happy-in-bed market I won't 
name here.  

But the only industry that seems to have really given up on us is the fashion 
industry.  Look at the shoes alone.  The platform shoes out there today aren't 
really platform...they are simply a westernized version of the era in China when 
women were not meant to walk at all, just hobble along for a few steps.  

How crazy is it that the shoes of today have become so unnatural that there are 
places on YouTube that actually teach you how to walk in these crazy shoes?  I 
mean, hey, I'm all for high heels and suffering for beauty in general.  On the 
night of that infamous blind date with hubby, I came down with 13 blisters - 
yes, 13! I counted!  - because of my sexy brand new high-heeled sandals and 
future hubby's desire to find a certain restaurant in the Village, the only one 
where my friend could eat due to religious dietary restrictions.  We walked all 
over the place trying to find that tiny inconspicuous place. Well, I hobbled.  A 
month into our "courtship" I was finally dragged by future hubby to go shopping 
with him for my first pair of flat shoes since about the age of 16 when I 
received my learner's permit and no longer needed to walk.  But New York City: 
eek!  They walk!  

The fashions today?  I keep thinking they are very similar to the ones of the 
80's, the era before the football player size shoulder pads, an era when no one 
could get a handle on what was going on.  And how many dresses or looks today 
won't even allow a bra?  The fashion editor who guides the designers on "Project 
Runway: All Stars" finally got fed up last week when Michael's latest creation 
was yet another design which only lovely, young and very thin models could wear, 
not real women who actually buy said fashion. No bra?  It's a sorry sight for 
most women, much less those over 50.  Ouch!  Those dresses with the cinched 
waist and full skirt?  Uh, if you're into "I Love Lucy Shows," or worse Minnie 
Mouse.  Besides, the suggestion/advice is that if it was in style when you were 
young and it's now on its second time around, please do not buy that style...it 
won't suit!

I've shopped at Eddie Bauer, and Old Navy/Gap/Banana Republic.  They're good for 
some looks.  I've shopped on-line at Nordstrom and not been too overly happy.  
Most has to be returned and then you end up messing up your credit card balances 
with the returns that take forever with the credit card companies.   Everything 
is either too young or too old.  I've searched the Internet for fashion for 
women over fifty and am not getting good results.  Heck, even the couple of 
times I've been in a store in person at Macy's or Saks, I've had to dig to find 
anything suitable and usually end up buying something only out of desperation 
and not because I've fallen in love with said garment.  

Of course, why would I need clothes when I basically live only in long cotton 
nightgowns?  Well, a girl has to have something to wear to see her doctor or get 
her hair cut every few months.  I still have SOME standards.

Any suggestions for on-line shopping for the over-fifty's?  Let me know!  It's 
getting a bit tough to laugh about anything as serious as fashion. ;)


  1. I'm LOVE internet shopping!!! You would imagine being mostly homebound would mean less shopping for girl. Not the case with me.

    How about Zara Clothing?? I think their clothes are suitable for a range of ages. However, as it is Spanish the sizes are very small fit. I tend to order one or two sizes up from what I really am.

    1. I just looked up Zara USA and at a quick glance saw quite a few beautiful things, Treya. My fear is what you mentioned, that the sizes are small. I'm big busted plus have an unusually large rib cage, so will have to do some research. I loved some of the longer T's and a black dress in particular.

      Thanks so much for the lead. I guess we both know what I'll be doing in the next day or so! ;)

  2. Hey Babe,

    I feel your pain. I have narcolepsy and sometimes I can manage it and sometimes I can't. If no one wakes me up, I can sleep more than 36 hours, but I think I've gone for a week. So, I do a lot of online shopping. Why waste my precious waking hours in a store? I don't know what you like or what size you are, and I'm a boho type who's in between an XL or a 0X/1X. I'm an "apple" shape so you might fit into the things that I like:

    I prefer dresses, but stretchy pants (that don't look too granny) and maxi skirts are my thing. Try looking into:

    Kiyonna This is a great dress if you have enough energy to go out to dinner: http://www.kiyonna.com/plus-size-clothes/11112202 This is a good top for me: http://www.kiyonna.com/plus-size-clothing/Separates/28102205

    Macy's Elementz: I have a black tank top (wide enough for a bra) and some matching black pants. I think mine are in 1X or 0X but they fit and they stretch.This black pants outfit was extraordiarily cheap, but I can tart it up with cool jewelry and other stuff. I also bought a black and white polka dot dress from Macy's but I don't see it online.

    Your best bet is to look for something with stretch. If it has a zipper it's not something with truly stretchy fabric. But, my true love of the week is Kiyonna. If you're skinny, I don't know where you should go. And, I do like T shirts from Old Navy. If I find a color I like I get several because they may be gone in a month.

    Hope this helps. Christina Gregoire from Boomerinas.com.

    1. Wow! Christina, so many suggestions! Thank you so very much for taking the trouble to read and then to comment! I will definitely check these all out!

      So sorry to hear about your narcolepsy. Isn't it crazy how some people sleep too much, others not nearly enough. Hope to hear more from you! xx