Through the ups, downs, and sideways’ of fashion, I have remained tenaciously, solidly, anti-fashion.

My cameras are downright trendy. So is my computer. My Kindle is getting old, but it’s so much better than the new ones, I think I’ll keep it until it finally died completely. Even my telephone — which I pretty much never use — is relatively new, though I’m pretty sure this model (Samsung) was never especially trendy.

Our car is what people buy when they live in super Snowville, U.S.A., in this case a small, 4-wheel drive Jeep — but it was 4-years old when we bought it “new.”

Otherwise? Fashionable? Garry was fashionable — once — and he has always been a snappy dresser. But he hates the new clothing that men are wearing. Too tight and unflattering. He can’t understand how people who have the money to buy anything will buy clothing that makes them look like they found their poorly fitted suit on a clearance rack at a sleazy mall.

As for me? Hah!

Photo: Garry Armstrong – Nautical me.

I have never been fashionable. Never the right shape. Even when I was thin enough, I always had shoulder that were too broad and breasts that were too big. Fashionable clothing is designed for women who look more like boys and the shoes are for women who like pain. Stylish clothing was never me. Too tight. Too pointy. Too bright. Too striped. Too, too.

I never even tried to be fashionable. As a twenty-something, I wanted to look like Joan Baez. She was stylish, in her own way, if you liked the east Village hippy concept. I never liked wild patterns or very bright colors (on me — they are okay for foliage and flowers). Early on, I found shops in Greenwich Village where they designed my idea of fashion. I continued to buy the same style of clothing everywhere. I still do … and it is a lot of years later.

L.L. Bean. Land’s End. Coldwater Creek. JJill. Gap.

Jeans with anything. Tee shirts and turtlenecks. In black, taupe, gray, navy, and occasionally, mauve. Jeans became yoga pants. Once you go stretchy, you’ll never go back. Long, loose dresses because I have a stupid itchy rash and often can’t wear elastic waistbands. Denim jackets. Baseball caps.

Chicos for special occasions — if they have a sale. Three sizes fit all.

No matter how hard I try to avoid them, there is always a wedding, funeral, or some kind of group event to attend — at least once a year. Sometimes, I can’t find an excuse to avoid it and have to go. I need a dress — something I can wear with flat, comfortable shoes. I hate winter events because all I own for winter footwear are Uggs and Emus.

On the upside of unfashionable, I can wear the same unfashionable clothing pretty much forever. It was out-of-date when I bought it and it will be no more out-of-date five years from now. Periodically my complete lack of fashion becomes fashion. Every now and then, I discover I am “IN.”

Around here, I AM fashionable or as fashionable as anyone is. Yesterday, at the supermarket, I saw a rather young woman who looked just like I used to look. Ankle length skirt from India. Long, flowing blouse. I though only women my age wore that stuff.

Central Massachusetts rural living is anti-fashion. I have come home.

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. I am retired and delighted to be so. May I live long and write frequently.


  1. I am with you all the way. The problem being that Swiss people all seem to be neat and never go south. Sizes go to 44, and 46 if you are lucky, but even with 46 I cannot bring the zip together. Flowing clothes are only on internet in amazon and they do not deliver to Switzerland for some unknown European reason. So it is wide trousers from the supermarket and a t-shirt at home and anything that fits outside.


    1. I have been lucky that there are shops — both in the malls and online (same stores) — that pretty much cater to people like us. Their size extra large IS extra large. And everything is LOOSE. If I had to really “zip up” everything, I’d have to wear a night gown or pajamas all the time.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hmmm. Maybe Mass is where I belong as well. Except for the colors, you’re style and mine are almost identical. I like a nice yellow (soft butter yellow, not that screaming horror that dominated the 70s), blues, teals and of course purples (not screaming loud purple though), pink (and various shades of pink …who says pink is only for ‘little girls’? Old ladies like it too!), peach (never orange) and sometimes a very subtle red (not a bright red mind, something in tomato or that range). Jeans are my preferred choice of clothing, denim skirts and jumpers…and of course the loose, long dress. I say we of the casual cadre ARE chic on a very high level; we know comfort and we embrace it. To me? That’s the most fashionable thing one can be!


    1. I think my color choices have more to do with what looks good on my than anything else. Yellow makes me look … yellow. Beige makes me look downright ill as does a lot of things that are green or greenish. I used to look great in black. Not so much now, so I wear a lot more navy and a lot less black. Red is good for me, too. Dark purple that’s almost black. I don’t look good in pastels. I’m too pale and anything that light makes me look sickly.

      But otherwise, yes, I think we ARE fashionable, in our own way. At least we know how to find clothing that looks good on us, which is more than i can say for a lot of so-called fashionable folks!


  3. Ahhh, fashion! I love fashion, and I even call myself a fashionista in a bathrobe lifestyle, because I wear scrubs daily for work now, and I work 3-11 pm, so when I am home I wear my pj’s and robe, slipper sox, and headband on my head, a beautiful sight. Unfortunately I don’t have many opportunities for dressing up, or wearing fashionable work clothing even, sneakers, crazy colored sox and often crazy holiday themed scrub outfits, sad situation for my full wardrobe, with zillions of pretty scarves, belts, nice shoes, boots, and camisoles. To enhance my scrub wear I wear coordinating camisoles with lace at neck and hips, my sox match my outfits, as well as my many pairs of sneaker options.

    I have pretty sweaters, and lab coats as well. I wear make up every day, and a bit of jewelry, always earrings, and a watch. During the holidays I wear seasonal pins and maybe a fancy headband, or hair jewelry. Fashionista in a bathrobe lifestyle originated when I was working night shift, 11-7 am, I came home from work, ate breakfast with my husband, went to bed about 9:30 am, and awakened about 7 pm, I lounged around in PJs, showered and off to work, scrubs and sneakers. What a life for the fashionista in me, I have, and love all of the brands mentioned, Chico’s, Lands End, J Jill, in addition to others I love, like Ralph Lauren, DKNY, Calvin Klein, Macy’s INC brand.

    I love skirts, dresses, khakis and boot cut, or boyfriend jeans mostly. As we get older I think comfort becomes priority, feet ache due to foot surgery, and neuropathy. Low heels and flats are best for me these days, I wear insoles, arch supports, heel guards, and ball of foot gel cushions, I hoard these items, and compression knee high sox, I found a few pretty ones, so stocked up (7) YAY! I love pretty PJs, have lots of nice robes and slipper sox to keep legs warm while out of bed, I also have one of those snuggie blanket with arms….drag that around with me during day to keep warm while sitting at computer, or resting on sofa with my dog, yeah, big time fashionista, loving my bathrobe lifestyle, hey, I even go out on my porch, and walk around in my yard with my robe and slippers on, it’s my yard, I figure at least my robes and PJs are nice looking, not ragged or stained, so….I am either Pjs and headband, no makeup, or fully dressed in scrubs, sneakers and makeup, off to work! That’s my life until I retire, then…..I will be a fashionista in a retirement lifestyle. I can’t wait, but I am holding off as long as I am healthy enough, physically and mentally to enjoy my work in healthcare, subacute unit, mostly chronic conditions with acute incident, such as fracture, heart or respiratory problems, falls often, and advancing dementia complications.

    It is a sad situation often, most are depressed, and have many losses to deal with, poor appetite, and sometimes cancer, with hospice/pallitive care services. My work is busy, and nursing is pretty consuming, so fashion and most other things fall by the wayside, too tired to think much about it, but I struggle to keep up appearances just because I feel better when I do, and want to try until I can’t do it anymore. I am on a shopping ban, and de-cluttering my house before I retire, this is a goal that is in progress. We are working on house, repairs and upgrades also with the idea of retirement and being able to safely navigate without killing ourselves tripping over stuff….too much stuff. A work in progress. I read, and love Courtney Carver, who originated Project 333, she is my inspiration, as well as the My sink is shiny each evening, and I am de-cluttering my life to have more room for life.


    1. I had a lot of attractive outfits while I worked. You couldn’t call them fashionable because I had no idea what was in style, but I knew what looked good on me and that was what mattered. But after I retired, I found myself with a huge amount of clothing — dress casual — for which I had no use at all. I gave it away, eventually. When you don’t work anymore, you really don’t need that kind of clothing. So much of it was designed for office wear — or interviews.

      We got rid of a ton of stuff. But somehow, it keeps coming back. Even having gotten rid of thousands of books and widgets and gadgets and furniture … we still have too much stuff. I think it all breeds during the night!


    1. I do like jeans that are aged because the brand new ones are so stiff, you have to wash them 100 times before they are soft enough to wear. But … not holes. I can make my own holes. And not pay extra for them.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. At this point in life, that seems standard for almost everyone I know. I suppose there are old, rich people who still get “dressed,” but I don’t hang out with that crowd.

      As soon as arthritis hit my feet in my late 20s, fashion disappeared for me. It hurt too much to even think about it.


  4. When I retired, I loaded up the car three times with suits, blouses, heels and matching purses, that I donated to a women’s employment network. I don’t own a dress or a skirt, and I like that way. If it is not comfortable, I don’t wear it. I consider the ability to do this one of the finest benefits of this age. 🙂


  5. My entire wardrobe consists of….

    About 15 solid color, cheap polo-style shirts. Most in navy blue for work, the rest either red or royal blue.

    About 10 pairs of jeans of varying wear and tear. Most blue, a few black since that was work dress code for a brief period of time.

    Cheap, disposable velcro sneakers that usually wear out within a couple months.

    In case of wedding/funeral emergency, I have one dress shirt, pair of dress pants, and non-sneaker black shoes to wear. I rarely have to break that glass, though…

    So, yeah, I’m with you on fashion. To hell with it!


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