I Have a Fashion Emergency

by Sandy L on January 24, 2011

So, I’m at the hair dresser on Friday night getting my hair done and I now have an official fashion emergency as a result.  Friday is the day that all the little old ladies go in to get their hair done.  One of them is my elderly neighbor that is in her 80’s.   She is very active for her age. She mainly keeps fit by calling the cops on people’s dogs and complaining about neighbors she doesn’t like. Before her husband went into a nursing home, those two would have the worst screaming matches.  I’d hear “Go to Hell” from the husband and then she’d yell back “NO I WON”T!”   She gives out pretzels on Halloween and a couple of times she showed up at my door dressed up  with her grandkids. One time she was in a witch costume and the other in a Clown outfit complete with over sized polka dotted pants, an orange afro wig and face makeup. It was disturbing yet completely appropriate.

Nevertheless, she’s always been nice to me because I’ll periodically snow blow her driveway or bring her flowers from my garden.  My husband always picks up any big branches that fall in her yard and gets rid of them for her. Our rule is that you take care of your elderly neighbors no matter what and it’s paid off.  So far, she hasn’t stolen any kick balls that fall in her yard and doesn’t ever care if my kids wander onto her property.

My $9 Naots in need of polishing

Anyway, so here I am sitting opposite her getting my hair rinsed while she’s gossiping with another old lady under the hair dryer. She gives me a big smile and says hello. She apparently was talking about shoes and she points to my Noats and says “I love your shoes. Those are the kind I should get.” “Thanks” was all I could I could muster.

Now my brain is racing.  How did I let things get this bad?  You know you have a problem when an octogenarian starts complementing you on your fashion sense.  Especially when said octogenarian is wearing orthopedic foot ware and her pants sit half way up her chest like Pee Wee Herman. I walk back over to the chair and quickly tell my hairdresser my dilemma and proclaim that a shopping spree in in order right away.

A couple of days go by and now I’m back to my senses a bit. If I actually liked shopping, it would have been all over, but my desire to insulate my mom’s upstairs trumped any shopping spree that my mind was concocting. The Naots by the way are super comfy and no old lady’s comments will make me ditch them as one of my favorite winter shoes. The best part about them was that one of my good friends found them at a thrift store for like $9. They were just a hair small for her, so she bought them anyway and gave them to me. She knew what a find they were and just couldn’t walk away.  Actually, the first thing I did is call her and blame her for my dilemma.  I always tell her she’s an old lady in waiting. She spent a lot of time with her grandparents growing up so she loves cribbage, wears her grandmother’s housecoat around in the summer and has a thing for quilted jackets.  She really is quite hip for her age, but once you get to know her, you’ll start to see the old lady creep out.

So what’s a girl to do?  I think the impulse to buy things has passed, but I don’t want to be horribly out of style either.  The best thing I could do for myself is lose that last bit of baby weight.  Nothing makes a person look younger or hipper than being thin and right now I’m about a size bigger than where I want to be.

Is there anybody who’s hip that reads my blog? if so, help..I need a makeover!  Please share your tips as I’m in more desperate need than I initially thought.

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Andrew @ 101 Centavos January 24, 2011 at 8:12 AM

What’s the problem? Those are very sensible shoes.
Although, I think they’d clash with an orange afro wig and polka-dotted pants.

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Sandy L January 24, 2011 at 7:22 PM

Unfortunately I got rid of my red doc martin steel toe safety shoes. My husband used to call them my clown shoes. Otherwise, I’m sure she’d love those as well.

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Nicole January 24, 2011 at 8:55 AM

Don’t knock them. They look like my Stoneflys.

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Little House January 24, 2011 at 9:50 AM

I am soooo not hip, so unfortunately I can’t help you. However if it makes you feel any better, I constantly get compliments on my Keen H2O sandals from older people – they’re really strange looking but so comfortable and last a really long time. Your Noats don’t look all that “granny” to me anyway. ;)

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Sandy L January 24, 2011 at 7:23 PM

Little House – it does make me feel better. I like the Keene’s too. Maybe comfortable footware is just something that me and old people have in common.

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Laura January 24, 2011 at 10:20 AM

They look extremely comfortable, my main criteria for shoes nowadays; long since given up being hip…..anyway if SJP wears a shoe similar to a Naot then you’re already on the road to being hip :)

http://www.naot.com/cgi-bin/seen_in.pl?action=show_article&id=58

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Sandy L January 24, 2011 at 7:24 PM

Maybe I’m before my time. Yes, SJP wearing them just made my shoes a little cooler.

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Everyday Tips January 24, 2011 at 11:43 AM

I am the opposite of hip. I am short and have to shop in the petite section a lot, so I am always terrified I am dressing like an old lady. (I draw the line at shirts with strawberries on the front…)

My first thought is that she was just making conversation and really had no intention to go buy your shoes. If you go buy different shoes, you will probably never find some as comfortable, and what if she then compliments those shoes?

I say, just enjoy the shoes!

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Sandy L January 24, 2011 at 7:27 PM

I have the exact opposite but similar problem. I’m 5’10” so many of the styles that come in Tall are far from fashionable. In fact the brand that fits me best is Eddie Bauer and they’re stuff is pretty utilitarian and not always cute. I feel your pain, but I’ll still say that almost every store has a petite section and most only offer tall sizes through mail order. Plus, you can hem pants if they are too long. Shirts and pants that are too short are not alterable, so count your blessings.

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lizzie January 24, 2011 at 2:13 PM

Hip? Not me. I wore Birkenstocks to work today!

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Sandy L January 24, 2011 at 7:30 PM

Lizzie- my berks have come unglued, but I’ve never worked at a place where I could go that casual. I’m jealous.

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Crystal @ BFS January 24, 2011 at 4:23 PM

Sorry, I’m 28 but I’m a little old lady in waiting. I dress for comfort unless it’s date night – then I dress in low cut tops and tight pants or a nice black skirt. That’s as hip as I get…

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Sandy L January 24, 2011 at 7:31 PM

Crystal, that doesn’t sound old lady at all.

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Aloysa January 25, 2011 at 8:51 PM

Yeah, it was me thinking too… An old lady wearing low cut tops and a nice balck skirt? Rrrright!

I am all about comfort. I stopped wearing heels because they hurt my back. But I do like to dress up and wear makeup and have nice hair… It costs a lot, though. Your shoes looks comfortable. If you love them, enjoy and who really cares what others have to say? :-)

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Molly On Money January 24, 2011 at 5:03 PM

I have always been known for my own sense of style. I like to think it’s a good sense of style. I’ve noticed I’m a bit out of it in the last few years (it’s like I got off track in 2008!) and so I’ve turned myself over to my two 12yr old girls. They have a great eye and dress me totally appropriately for my age (42).
Last month we were in a consignment store and my girls were trying to find me a pair of boots. There were several woman in there watching who boldly told me that I should be confident and trust what I felt good in and not worry about my girls opinions. I responded, “I tried that, something is going very wrong with my style lately so it’s all up to my girls now. All decisions on clothing must go past them. And I say this with confidence!” My girls (whom I often embarrass with my soapbox diatribes) strutted out of the store and laughed all the way to the car.
I can rent them out but I’m warning you they don’t hold back and they expect you to follow without questions!

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Sandy L January 24, 2011 at 7:33 PM

Molly I’m doomed with 2 boys. I’d totally borrow your daughters if they were close by.

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Nicole January 24, 2011 at 6:28 PM

My stoneflies are actually black. So not the brown ones. :)

Maybe the shoes are just so awesome that even the little old lady likes them. Would you stop liking ice cream or chocolate just because the little old lady likes them too?

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Sandy L January 24, 2011 at 7:46 PM

Nicole – I still love and will continue to wear the shoes. I just need to make the rest of me cooler to compensate for my comfy footware.

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Cro January 24, 2011 at 11:52 PM

I just so happened to click on the link to your blog as I was searching for my favorite link to the weather and low and behold, there are the shoes! I loved the story and thanks for the voice mail. So a point of clarification, the shoes were only $5.99, or less. The funny thing is I thought you were talking about the other old lady pair of shoes i gave you, you know those brown funny quilted stretchy ones that we both can only seem to find one of at a time and they keep going between your house and mine…they kinda look like sneakers….old lady delight…the naots are not old lady at all…well i suppose under the wrong lighting they could be mistaken…but if you find the other brown quilted sneaker shoe, wear those to the salon next time and see what kinda of octogenarian comments you get…hey and when you used the word octogenarian…or whatever it is… i immediately thought of my trapezoid…not sure why…i think cuz they both sound like geometry to me :) glad you had a productive weekend…catch up soon…oh and this … three dot thing…solves my run on sentence queen problem…i can … indefinitely….ok latah gatah and glad you like the shoes

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Sandy L January 25, 2011 at 5:44 AM

Cro – woo hoo. Thanks. I’m psyched to finally get a comment from you. Figures you’d finally read it on the day I write about you. I’ve been living in those Naots this winter. They are the best.

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Squirrelers January 25, 2011 at 1:14 AM

I may not be able to help much, but I was entertained by your story. And yeah, it’s interesting getting positive fashion feedback that someone of a generation (or 2) older. It might make we want to follow that advice from a Seinfeld episode, I think it was “opposite day” or something like that. If I recall, George Costanza did everything the opposite of how he normally did them and his day went spectacularly great. So if someone like the lady you mention offers such compliments, wear something totally the opposite!

Having said that, I actually think those shoes are good. Now, I just hope you don’t take the opposite advice from me:)

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Sandy L January 25, 2011 at 5:46 AM

Squirreler – I love that episode. In fact, I’m currently implementing the opposite approach on one project at work as we speak and even referenced the Sienfeld episode with my boss about it. I have this project that has been going on for 5 year and still hasn’t gotten finished and/or killed. It’s dragged on forever always close to success but never quite getting there. We’ll see how it works out.

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Money Reasons January 25, 2011 at 1:55 PM

I’m so hip, I though Ugg (boots) was a type of rug or shirt (lol).

I’m sure the elderly lady was just trying to bring you into the conversation. ;)

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Jacq @ Single Mom Rich Mom January 27, 2011 at 4:52 PM

Well… how about a pair of shoes in a similar style to these?:
http://www.lacanadienneshoes.com/us/shoes/mid-heel/tallulah-black-leather.html

Not super trendy, but great with jeans.

I don’t think your shoes are granny looking necessarily, but then I remember most grannies wearing those patent leather pumps where their feet would bulge out of the top.

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Sandy L January 28, 2011 at 6:19 AM

Jacq – Those shoes aren’t bad, but I’m almost 6 feet tall, so adding a few inches to my height is generally not a good thing. Yuck. I know exactly what you mean about the cankles bulging out of someone’s shoes. I’m a prime candidate for old lady cankles. I always hated my thick polish ankles.

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