Life after Juniors Section: Woman Shopping Faux Pas


Too often while shopping I see a woman clearly out of an appropriate age shopping for herself in the junior section. Everyone has seen this type of woman. She is the lady decked out in a Juicy Couture velour set perusing the racks at Forever21 or Bebe. Essentially, she is a living version of the character played by Amy Poehler in “Mean Girls.”

Obviously, once a woman reached 30, the juniors’ section should be a foreign concept, a long lost memory of happier and more carefree times. It is because of this that I was completely appalled at finding an article early last month by fashion blog Refinery29 titled “How to Shop at Teen Stores at Any Age!”

The article was comprised of nine slides with alternating pictures of “Dos” and “Don’ts” to commit while shopping at teen stores. Although I completely agreed with all of the “Don’ts” I was little more than dismayed by some of their “Dos.”

The first “Do” on the first slide was the worse. It instructed its readers to make teen stores their first stop when looking for dresses for events as they tend to be inexpensive. What the article’s author failed to mention was that these dresses also tend to be clingy and are not suited for every body type, much less the typical mom, who is forever complaining about the extra weight she never managed to lose after the birth of her first child. Even if an older woman was amazingly fit, teen dresses tend to be too short for a woman past her 20s and in some cases even a teenager.

Many of the women who commit the heinous fashion crime of dressing younger than their age do so in order to fill a gap, because they feel as though dressing younger will make them feel younger and thus bring back the blissfulness of their youth. However, dressing like an adolescent does not reverse the aging cycle. If a 40 year-old dresses in overalls and ties her hair in pigtails, it does not magically make her five again, the same holds true for dressing like a teen. Age reveals itself through wrinkles and experience, and truthfully there should be no shame in showing off how wise the years have made someone, even if it is through something as taboo as wrinkles.

Fashion does not make you youthful. There are plenty of clothing stores that have chic, more flattering selections for older women. Being an aging woman does not mean being a boring one who wears nothing but black clothes from neck to ankle like a second skin. It simply means a more mature, sophisticated person and so their fashion should reflect the same. Older women should own up to their age with and show teenagers that age is nothing to be afraid of.