amitoooldforthis

I bought a yellow polka dot dress.

While I was trying it on, while I was paying for it, while I was walking around the mall with it in a bag wondering what color shoes one wears with a yellow polka dot dress, I found myself pondering a larger question: “Am I too old for a yellow polka dot dress?”

Initially I thought that I would accessorize with red. And then I wondered if pairing “STOP” sign red with bright yellow was not, perhaps, a bit over the top. Would red shoes complement the yellow dress or would they scream, as I feared they would, “This woman has NO idea how to dress herself — at her age!”

I mentioned to my sister, as I was borrowing the far more subdued black and brown dress that she had agreed to loan me, that I had, on a whim, purchased a yellow polka dot dress for the occasion. I even took it out of the bag to show her. She swore that she loved it. I swore that I saw (or at least sensed) a faint narrowing of her eyes. Did SHE think I was too old for a yellow polka dot dress?

Yup! This is it!

Yup! This is it!

I took the black and brown number from her just, you know, “in case”. In case I spilled coffee on the spiffy yellow dress. In case I accidentally burned it with the iron. In case I couldn’t find the right color shoes. In case I chickened out.

She advised me that I should be on the lookout for a purple pump to pair with the snappy yellow dress. She told me that red would be too “predictable”, navy blue too “boring”. Purple, she said, would “pop”.

Off to the shoe warehouse I went. I couldn’t find purple. Apparently purple is not “in” this year. They had plenty of hot pink and turquoise, which, much to my surprise, looked great with the dress. (Yes, I had brought it with me!) Still, I found myself unable to make a commitment to either of these colors. And then, buried on the clearance rack, lo and behold!, I found a pair of coral patent leather heels.

Some combination of their color, sheen, heel height (4″), and design (retro ankle strap!) made them the perfect accompaniment to the sunny yellow dress. They all but shouted “Pick me! Pick me! I’m what you’ve been searching for!” It didn’t hurt that, to boot, they were also quite the bargain!

They are trendy. They are also, much like the dress for which they are needed, completely and utterly out of character for me.

So is the jewelry that I bought to go along with the outfit — white, beady stuff that clanks when you wear it. Yum!

While I will admit to drawing no small amount of comfort from the fact that I found THE shoes, far too many white, beady accessories (I’ll put them all on and then, as Coco Chanel advised, take something off before I leave the house), and replaced the boring white belt with a coral one (Yes. Yes, I did!), I still find myself wrestling with the question “Am I too old for a yellow polka dot dress?”

THE shoes!

THE shoes!

For the record, I am 48 and 5/6 — give or take a sixth. I am a woman of what used to be termed “a certain age” — too old, perhaps, for the yellow polka dot dress and the coral heels, too young for the dowdy florals and the sensible shoes.

Because I used to be heavier, I have a closet full of “slimming” black clothes. When I can’t find the proper black thing in my own closet, I can rely upon my sister’s closet to yield something boring, yet acceptable. (It’s not that my sister wears boring clothes. She doesn’t. It’s that she only thinks to loan me the staid, traditional garb — the stuff that, I’m sure, she normally reserves for job interviews and funerals.)

I also wonder if, when I wear the yellow polka dot dress, people — and by that I mean other women of “a certain age” — other women my own age — won’t say, “OMIGOD! You look GREAT!” and then, the minute they’re out of earshot, whisper to their best friend, “OMIGOD! She looks ridiculous. You know she’s our age, right?”

Even my own husband was taken aback by the purchase. When I asked him what he thought he, very diplomatically, said, “It doesn’t matter what I think, you’re the one who has to wear it.” I reminded him that he would be the man WITH the woman in the yellow polka dress and coral heels. He just shrugged. Because, yeah, he’s THAT guy.

My daughter, on the other hand, in a rare moment of female solidarity took one look at the ensemble and said, “Mom, it’s fabulous! What size are the shoes?” She even agreed with my decision to add the coral belt. So, there!

As the event for which the dress was purchased is a dinner to celebrate my daughter’s academic achievements, I’ve decided that I’m going to accept her assessment of my choice. I’m going to embrace the fabulousness of the jazzy yellow polka dot dress, confidently stride into the room on my shiny coral heels, and appreciate the clanking of the clunky white beaded jewelry.

Mostly, though, I’m going to bask in the celebratory nature of the evening. As I do so, though, I will also carefully and strategically arrange my napkin to catch the greasy gravy or the buttery potato drippings that will inevitably accompany the barely warm prime rib and the rubbery chicken that are so often served at these things. After all, I wouldn’t want to ruin my lovely, new yellow polka dot dress.



UPDATE: I wore the dress. I felt fabulous in it! And my daughter, well, she’s just so damn cute, isn’t she? She could rock a toga.

Just me and Fangette on, you know, a random Monday night! LOL!

Just me and Fangette on, you know, a random Monday night! LOL!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Am I Too Old For This?

28 thoughts on “Am I Too Old For This?

  1. penpen says:

    At 60, maybe. You’re not even 50. Go for it and enjoy how great you look in it.

    Like

  2. That dress is adorable! I totally relate, though — as someone who also has lived in black or at least solid colors, that would be hard for me, too. I’m sure you will look and feel great in it!

    Like

  3. Ellen Dolgen says:

    You go girl! i bet you looked fabulous in your outfit. I don’t subscribe to any fashion rules. I think you should dress your own personality and be free to find your own unique style! Whether it is a black dress, sweats, or a polka dot dress – enjoy the clothes that you wear. How YOU feel inside is where the real beauty of style!

    Like

    • javaj240 says:

      To be honest, my own personal style usually includes black sweats, which is why the yellow polka dot dress is such a departure for me. But, I love it. It’s fetching and it’s fun. More importantly, though, I feel great wearing it!

      Thanks so much for hopping over here. I love your blog!

      Like

  4. I think what you chose is perfect. I am 52 and I would wear it in a hearbeat. Go for it. The shoes are the BOMB!!

    Like

  5. kim tackett says:

    I’m certain you look great in the dress…and I am impressed you can wear the heels! You go girl!

    Like

  6. You are NEVER too old for pretty things. At almost 52 I am definitely not too old to wear lacey combat boots with my dresses!

    Like

  7. syidanick says:

    that dress never show how old are you. but it will show u look more young n trendy by wearing it. I love the color of your dress. If u dont mind, wear it with that shoes, take a picture and post here. I love to see it.
    btw my hijab is pink polka dot. I love polka dot so much.

    Like

  8. javaj240 says:

    I just can’t bring myself to wear white shoes —EVER. I think I was psychologically damaged by years of blue and white saddle shoes (Catholic School!). The coral shoes are, shockingly, very comfortable. I swear. I am embracing the yellow polka dot! Thanks for your support, Leslie!

    Like

  9. In a word: NO. In two? ABSOLUTELY NOT.
    Carol
    http://www.carolcassara.com

    Like

  10. I totally agree with your daughter–it’s fabulous–and coral/tangerine is a very “in” color this year. I’m 20 years your senior and think you made a great choice! Would love to see a pic.

    Like

  11. There’s a difference between too young and youthful and you seem to have a pretty good grip on it. Color and polka dots just say “fun” and you can’t have too much of that.

    Like

    • javaj240 says:

      I am a “fun” gal!

      I like your distinction — If I feel judged while wearing it, I’m going to say “Don’t you think this color is youthful?” That will shut up the random naysayer! Thanks!

      Like

  12. I love it! It is something that I would look at in the store and chicken out. I always end up in the boring black and gray. Wish I had your bravery but for the record I think it looks terrific!!!

    Like

    • javaj240 says:

      I’ll tell you something, the minute I put it on I loved it. I forced myself not to chicken out. Now, it’s done. And I’ve got the damn shoes, so I’m wearing it! LOL!

      Like

  13. conniemcleod says:

    Love the dress and the red shoes. And no one is ever too old for color!

    Like

  14. swo8 says:

    I think I’d go with white shoes. The coral ones are pretty but they look painful to me. And no, you are never too old to wear a yellow polka dot dress.
    Leslie

    Like

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