One of the joys of losing weight is going shopping for new clothing when everything starts getting baggy. (What? Were you unaware I was losing weight? You must not be reading my weight loss blog then!)
Such was my joy this weekend when I went out to Kohl’s for a little “me” time in the evening. I had gift cards from Christmas, I had a coupon, and I was ready to spruce up my wardrobe.
I walked in the door and was immediately distracted by the cute dresses on my right. The pull of ruffles and stripes and soft fabric drew me to the racks as I quickly found myself immersed in spring fashions. Another woman, younger than me, was also browsing in this section.
One top caught my eye, so I started digging through the rack, looking for my size. The other woman was practically right next to me looking at shrug sweaters. Not finding a large, I muttered out loud to myself (because I talk to myself all the time), “Darn, I wish they had this in my size. I doubt a medium would fit.”
The other woman – who really couldn’t have been more than 22 or 23 years old – looked me up and down for a split second, and then replied, “You’d probably find more for you over there,” and nodded across the aisle with a sigh and a withering look on her face.
(Were she 50 years old and southern, she’d probably have added a “well, bless your heart,” to the beginning of that statement. Instead, I got the teen “geez, mom, you’re so out of touch!” tone of voice.)
“Oh, thanks,” I replied, not realizing what she meant. A moment later, it came to me: I was in the Juniors’ section of Kohl’s. The area she was nodding to was the Womens’ part of the store. You know, the area for females who are of a certain age and should be dressing a certain way.
And for just a moment, I was truly embarrassed. I shuffled away from the soft ruffles and left the Juniors’ section to those without wrinkles, hoping no one would point or stare at the old lady thinking she was young again.
I mean, I’m four months away from 35 years old, where I’ll officially be in my “mid-thirties” and can no longer pull off the “early-thirties” label. I don’t plan on wearing an ultra-mini skirt anytime soon, but I didn’t realize that the entire Juniors’ section was off-limits for me.
But I like some of the clothing there. Sure, I won’t be wearing anything that bares my midriff anytime soon, and Juniors’ jeans are simply never going to fit my legs. The tops and dresses, though, are a mixed bag – some are really cute, and while most aren’t work appropriate, I could see wearing them on a casual Saturday afternoon, out with friends, or even to a blog conference. No inappropriate baring of skin, no squeezed into something like a sausage – just trendy ruffles and floral prints and clothing cut in a way that makes me feel happy.
To be fair, I like some of the clothing in the Womens’ section, too. This is not a rant against matronly clothing for those of us who can’t like Justin Bieber without it feeling kinda creepy. I buy most of my clothing from that area of the store, to be honest. I just don’t see why I should feel guilty shopping in the Juniors’ section as well.
So tell me: is a thirty-something mom of two considered too old for clothing from a Juniors’ section, or does Miss Teen Fashion Police need to zip it and let women shop where they want?