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Fashions For 50+ Women: Do Beauty & Suffering Go Hand In Hand? Yikes!

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Ok, the phrase “beauty is pain” may seem over the top. But the truth is that of all the comments and email inquiries I get, nothing is as pointed as the comments about clothing and fashions for 50+ women.

Not one time have I had someone write and say, “Oh, I have no trouble finding all kinds of great clothing that fits my mature frame perfectly, looks awesome and – affordable too!” Seriously…where are the clothes?

Here’s just one email I received from a site visitor recently:

“I keep hearing (reading) about fashionable clothing for older women but find it very difficult to locate. Yes, Chico’s is great, however; two areas I continue to search and would appreciate feedback; 1.) Professional wear that is trendy / fashionable but age appropriate and 2.) “Sexy” date night wear, I don’t insinuate that a 50 year old can or should wear “club wear” but most sites appear more for a much younger and THINNER age group…”

This sums it up for a lot of us! Of course there are great fashions and shoes out there, but you have to shop piecemeal at 20 different stores, and if you do find a great line you absolutely love, who can afford them? Yes, I do buy certain pieces for my wardrobe that are high end. But I’m not in the habit of buying $350 jeans, or blouses for work that cost $150 a pop. Sorry.

The saying “beauty is pain” has been around a long time. It was used frequently during the Victorian era when corsets were basically required, not only hurting women but making it difficult to do many physical activities. However, the relationship between beauty and pain continues. Consider tattoos, piercings, ridiculously high heels that can cause foot pain and disfigurement. Let’s not forget the possible ramifications of things like lip injections, face lifts, tummy tucks, etc. Seems the Victorians’ fashion sensibilities weren’t so barbaric after all.

My daughter and I are always laughing at a saying we have, “Beauty is pain.” When it comes to attractive, affordable fashions for 50+ women, there all kinds of ways that beauty is pain:

  • Emotional Pain: There’s the kind where you keep seeing great clothes in the catalogs or hanging in the store, but when you try ‘em on, suddenly it looks like some sort of nasty bait-and-switch.
  • Financial pain: There’s the pain of finding something that’s absolutely exquisitely perfect till you look at the price tag and do an old-fashioned swoon.
  • Social pain: There’s the pain of realizing you just spent your entire day off shopping and came home empty handed and so frustrated you want to curl up in bed with a pint of Ben and Jerry’s. (Well, at least I do…)

Of course this is a tongue-in-cheek look at the decidedly dismal fashion landscape for baby boomer women, but it isn’t that far off the mark. When you’re struggling to figure out where your menopausal curves are headed next, it’s tiresome to feel like the designers just can’t see you.

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