Friday, December 21, 2007

Oprah's latest.

Chelle mentioned this magazine, and I picked it up the other day, mostly for the article on how not to dress old. I hadn't looked at it until today, but Chelle reminded me that I did want to read it. I was particularly interested in the how not to dress old article, because I do have to get my almost 50 year old ass out on job interviews AGAIN. While I am diligently working on losing my extra pounds, I spent the last few years in a casual office, I haven't put on a skirt since my father's funeral, and I do not own anything downtown-ready. It occurred to me this week that I will actually have to go buy clothes to interview, I don't have anything suitable. I am not sure I even know how to dress downtown-ready in 2008 - the last time I worked downtown I was 15 years younger and about 25 pounds lighter than I am now. I shall get rid of the 25 pounds, but the 15 years aren't going anywhere, and I want to look "age appropriate" as they say, but still hip. So I was most interested in this article.

Okay, I read the article about how not to dress old. I already knew all that, thanks, but I have just one burning question - why does this woman have an issue with nude hose? I can certainly understand banning hose with reinforced toes and open-toed shoes, duh, or those dreaded white stockings that women were wearing for a while there, so bizarre, but "nuke the nude hose - it's the most aging thing you can do?" Compared to, say, showing up at the office wearing a vest decorated with snowmen and Santas? Compared to 20 year old sandals with shiny support hose - the kind with the armor-plated toes? Compared to baggy t-shirts and elastic waist pants? Or my personal favorite, the shirt jacket-shell combo in bright shades of polyester, the office attire that officially says, "I have batwings and back fat." There are more creative ways to hide figure flaws than cliched matronly things like that. I can think of so many worse "old lady clothes" crimes than nude hose.

Where was I when this "nude hose is a fashion crime" edict was issued? I know I've been working in a casual environment (until the layoff) and spent all of my time in slacks or jeans and mostly sandals (but cute ones, with heels) for the last few years, so nude hose hasn't touched my own personal legs in years - but not because they are "the most aging thing you can do." Is she nuts? WHO, besides this chick pushing her book, decided that an innocent pair of nude colored stockings is a crime against fashion? Sorry, if I'm in an office in a light colored skirt in the near future I am not going to use the disgusting spray on color she suggests - it doesn't keep the goosebumps of air conditioning off, for one thing. That was some of the craziest advice offered - most of it was "well, duh," - yes, please, burn those tacky Christmas sweaters, quit wearing your glasses on a little chain around your neck and buy a bra that fits, and so forth. Nothing new there. But the random attack on innocent stockings struck me as someone who personally hates them for her own weird reasons dictating to everybody.

This same person advises wearing "bike shorts" shapewear (what mom called a girdle) - oh, right, like that doesn't scream "My ass has fallen and it can't get up!"?? And isn't hot, binding and uncomfortable when you sit at a desk all day? Nothing says fresh and youthful like a woman in "bike shorts shapewear" trying to stand up after it cuts off circulation below the thighs.

Dear Oprah's Fashion Dictator Expert: If I promise not to wear thick, shiny support hose with reinforced toes with sandals purchased in 1984, may I please keep my nude hose? Because I'm not about to put spray-on shit on my legs and then put said makeup coated legs into a skirt that probably cost around a hundred bucks and must be dry cleaned. And my goosebumps in the air conditioning? While not technically aging, definitely more of a fashion don't than nude hose.

Silly-ass article. Unless you are wearing a sweater with rhinestone reindeer on it, then, please, buy and study. I think I'll stick to consulting my fashionista 24 year old daughter - "Would I look stupid in this?"


ChelleC said...

Yeah, I have to definitely agree about the nude colored hose. I wondered why that? I absolutely see no problem with that. The spray shit, forget about it. And nude hose will look a hell of a lot better than my starkly white legs au naturale, believe me.

Catherine said...

Exactly! Nobody wants to see my legs in their starkly white goosebumpy state, even in A/C in July. I do not spend enough time lounging by the pool to develop a lovely glow, they remain very pale.
It was the tone of it: "nuke the nude hose" and NOTHING is more aging? That's insane. So, I was disappointed, it was just another "Yeah, we already know that," article except for the weird hose fixation. I would like to see an article that suggests actual office-friendly clothing for a woman over 40 that doesn't involve an Yves St. Laurent suit as its base! What brands of jeans work best? How about cute, supportive camisoles? I could think of a couple of dozen specific questions I have, and this answered NONE of them.

Anonymous said...

I hadn't heard the "nuke the nude hose" bit. Out here in San Francisco, it's "nuke the suntan-colored hose" unless you're a fashionista, and then it's apparently "nuke all hose unless they're black". I think it looks awful when women of any age wear stiletto heels with bare legs - come on, can't you afford stockings?
Personally, I wear nude (but not suntan) hose, and so do most of the mature, well-dressed, affluent women in SF. It helps with the professional image, and looks so finished.

/Diann (

vi said...

no one needs sunburnt varicose veins
believe me when i tell you
screw the spray on paint crap

keep the hose
match to your leg color
or get flesh colored TIGHTS
and tell the 'expert' to sell her stock in the paint on leg company

they did that schtick during the war and it didn't work THEN


but i have no opinion.............

Catherine said...

Vi, that is exactly what I thought of - during WWII women painted their legs, and it was out of desperation because they couldn't GET hose. It was a failure and everybody celebrated when they could buy stockings again. Now we're supposed to paint our legs "just because?" Crazy. Here I do see SOME young women (those who don't have undead white flesh) going without hose, but most still wear it. It's part of being "fully dressed." So that article was rather disappointing, but I'm going to read the others with an open mind. ;-)

Diann - maybe it IS a fashionista thing, but I think it's a fad that will pass - a season of sitting in an overly air-conditioned office with gooseflesh running up one's legs should put an end to it.

Elizabeth said...

That is really weird advice. All I've ever heard is don't wear suntan, match the hose to your skin tone as much as possible, and stay away from colors (other than sheer black, etc.).

As someone who is young and has semi-decent legs - even I would look like an idiot in that spray on stuff. Maybe in summer when stockings and tights are uncomfortable, but not in winter or normal times.

Catherine said...

I've always heard "match to your skin tone," and to me the ultimate fashion atrocity hose-wise was that damn sheer white color that women were wearing a few years ago, at least in the South - dear God, I never did understand the point of wearing a navy suit, navy shoes, and stark white legs. I can see sheer black with certain things, of course. As for the spray-on, I'm thinking practically here - in this climate, you get into a hot car and develop a temporary case of what is charmingly called "swamp ass," and I don't care what they claim, I know that the leg color would sweat off all over your clothing and the car upholstery. Yes, hose is a little hot in the summer, but at least it won't ruin an expensive skirt or the driver's seat of your car.

Anonymous said...

Agreed on the nude hose bit (and I'm 25 - but you aren't going to catch me out of the house in a skirt shorter than my ankles without hose on... it ain't happening (well at least in winter and such - as long as my knees are well covered I will attempt to go without hose in the summer occasionally - but the shorter the skirt goes (And the dressier) I say no way!)

Now if she was meaning the horrid suntan color that my mother used to wear... that would be another story...