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I’ve never really been a big clothes shopper. But when I was younger, it was definitely a lot easier. I was tall, thin and in the age group designers targeted. I could walk into any store, pick out my size and it would more than likely, fit as it was intended.

I didn’t shy away from any trends, styles or colours. My personal mantra was “anything goes”. Not sure if that worked for me but I was very confident I could pull anything off.

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Recently, I went shopping with a friend. She was looking for sundresses for an upcoming vacation to Italy. Being a good friend, I quickly got over my pangs of envy and secret wish to make sure she didn’t look good AND have fun travelling, and focussed on the mission at hand. I got into the summer spirit and started looking for outfits for me too.

We zig zagged the store, I don’t know how many times, calling out to each other, holding things up, criticizing each other’s choices and inevitably returning most of the items back to the rack.

I soon realized that clothes shopping for women over 50 is much, much harder. Why?


  • Length too short
  • Sleeves too short
  • Too tight around stomach, butt, bust
  • Too thin and see through(rag after one wash)
  • Too heavy
  • Too young
  • Too old
  • Too complicated to put on
  • Too long  to remove to go pee
  • Too blingy
  • Too much pattern
  • Too plain
  • Neck too high
  • Neck too low

Have I missed any?

I think we touched every item in that store, twice. The few items that passed the “looks good on a hanger” test, were set aside to try on. The change room was an even bigger hurdle to cross. The item had to pass each of the following progressive steps:

  • past the knees (why did I think I could fit into that size)
  • all zippers and buttons done up
  • motion agility test
  • over all mirror appearance
  • friend’s thumbs up

It took an hour and a half but we were successful, even with all of our tests, restrictions and qualifications. With the store paging it was closing, we checked out. She bought two tops and I…I got a purse.

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