Gigi and Sofia Shoemaker, Linnea and Dylan Vaughn, Ty Sitzmann, and Mia Spinello of Omaha model their favorite back-to-school fashions as they explore the Desert Dome on an outing to Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium. Special thanks to Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium.
I wish I could be the cool and fashionably late gal. But as it turns out, my body doesn’t process late or fashionable. There’s just one thing I put off until the last minute: buying school clothes. Aside from my disdain for clothes shopping, there’s reason in waiting until the very last minute—my kids grow, and they grow fast.
Being a six-footer since I was 12, you’d think I’d be completely aware of fast-growing kids. But just a glance at my kids’ feet and I’m overwhelmed. “Growth spurt” in our house isn’t so much the adolescent years as much as an incessant lifetime.
When I was a kid, school clothes shopping was a time-honored tradition a few weeks before school started. Not the case here. One look at my kids and their clothes, a slight calculation of weather not cooling down for a few more months, and we’re the chumps who wait for the first snowfall to go from flip flops and shorts to boots and pants.
If I buy my kids jeans for school, in August, they are guaranteed to be wearing said jeans as capris—maybe even Bermuda shorts—by October. Shoes are a crapshoot; they are updated when toes poke through the shoe.
Lucy needed a different color dance shoe than she had for her recital. Much to the chagrin of the dance teacher, who I promised I’d get the shoes, I waited until the week before the recital. Sure enough, when I took Lucy to get new shoes, she was sporting a full-size bigger than her current shoe.
Even with all those clothes and sizes in all those stores, with all of the updated fashion and technology, any mom with a kid of any shape or size has a hard time finding clothes that fit.
Factor in the new adventure of tween mood swings (I’ve passed down my bad attitude of clothes shopping) and the shopping experience is doomed to fail. There’s just something “unfun” about relentless reps of fiddling through racks of clothes, finding something both the kids and I like, finding their size, the right color, and then the calisthenics of oddly disrobing in an open-aired, quasi-private dressing room. You do all that, pull it on, and then it’s too short. So you get all your clothes back on, trek back out to the rack of clothes, find the next size, back to the dressing room, off with the clothes, on with the new find, and it’s long enough but too baggy. Tack on the fact that my kids now sport adult sizes. Finding age-appropriate clothes in adult sizes makes me feel like I’m Bear Grylls looking for food in the desert. Except my task is way harder.
So we wait. We wait on our shopping attitudes to change and for the weather to chill. The weather happens first. We’re still waiting on attitudes. A promise of mall food and a cookie can only buy so much time. Be assured, when we finally go, we get to the stores early. I’ve patiently waited until far into the school year to buy the kids’ school clothes. We go in, we try everything on, we find what fits and what the grumpy tweens like, and we buy everything in that size, style, and color.
The kids arrive to school fashionably late with their school clothes that fit…at least for a few weeks.
Read more of Murrell’s stories at momontherocks.com.
Sixty may be the new 40, but the reality is at 60, NOBODY looks like they did at 40! You can exercise for hours, spend a fortune on face creams, have this, that, and the other tucked or filled, but the reality is you end up looking great for 60 but not like you did at 40. Hair, makeup, and wardrobe all need to be addressed at 60 to make a new and fabulous you!
As a fashion designer for more than 30 years, I’ve spent thousands of hours in the fitting room with clients of all ages. I’ve seen and worked around the subtle changes that creep onto all of us over the years. I like working with women over 60. I love creating and styling for the woman who understands that it’s important at all ages to look fashionable, but that age and shape need to be considered when determining what fashion trends are right after turning 60.
Nothing looks worse than a 60+ woman in a dress that’s too short and too revealing, as she stomps around in shoes that are ridiculously high, rattling costume jewelry that’s “cute” rather than sophisticated. The opposite extreme that’s sad to see is a perfectly lovely 60+ woman hiding in boring, understated pieces that do not have a contemporary cut, and wearing belts, shoes, and jewelry from another time. Old clothes are especially taboo as we get older. They’re vintage and fun to 20-somethings. They just plain make a seasoned woman look even older.
We all need to embrace and glorify who we are at every age. That starts with an investment in Quality. A few classic, quality pieces speak a language of style that translates to fashion when accessorized for the times. Quality makes a difference in everything, especially clothes! It speaks volumes about you as a person and makes you feel better about yourself, too. Don’t let a cheap look bring you down, and remember, quality doesn’t necessarily mean expensive.
I believe in comfort, but clothes that are too comfortable make us lazy. Dressing up energizes us. I’ll admit it’s a job, and that’s why I keep busy styling people. Most of us accumulate and save too much. We become overwhelmed with decision-making as we dress for everyday and for special occasions. It takes someone with an eye for cut and proportion to determine what is flattering and right for the individual. That last comment brings me to relationships…so important in fashion, and I’ll write about them next time.
WARDROBE MUST- HAVES
- Classic white shirts
- Great-fitting Pants
- Great-fitting blue jeans
- Great-fitting black jeans
- The right black jacket
- Shell and cardigan sweater sets
- Fashion eyewear
- Statement belts
- Oblong scarves
- Fashion flats
- Fashion heels (within reason)
- Contemporary jewelry
- A lightweight high fashion bag
- Dresses, skirts, coats & boots are must-haves, too, but not the same for all!
- QUALITY is a must for all!
I welcome your feedback and invite you to send questions to email@example.com.
Mary Anne Vaccaro lives in Omaha. She designed and made couture clothing for an international clientele of professionals and socialites of all ages. She created ready-to-wear collections that were sold from her New York showroom, and she designed for the bridal industry. She designed for three Ak-Sar-Ben Coronation Balls and ran a fashion advertising business in five states for a number of years. Invisible Apron® is one of several products that she has designed and developed. She still designs for select clients and works as an image consultant, stylist, personal shopper, and speaker on the subjects of fashion, art, and style. For more information, visit maryannevaccaro.com or call 402-398-1234.