a pink polo shirt

a pink polo shirt: 
alternative palette

More northern skies.

polos and khakis

The TV commercial, either for medication or insurance, opens on an older couple strolling, hand in hand, on the beach. Perhaps there’s a big dog running ahead, perhaps not. The couple is dressed nearly identically, she in a pink polo shirt, he in a light blue one; he in “khakis,” she in “capris,” most likely white.

They are, for all intents and purposes, dressed like toddlers, no, babies.

My eyes immediately begin to roll, and my hand inevitably reaches for the remote and mute button. What is going on here? Why are these olders dressed like this, and what does it mean?

It’s a truism that the “elderly” often come to resemble babies in meaningful ways.

But while some aspects of the aging process may be inevitable for some of us, e.g. diapers for incontinence, no one need ever put on a pink polo! And older couples need not dress alike, like twins in a double stroller.

Although they may feel like twins, people who live together for a long time do really come to resemble each other, this “twinning” baffles me, especially when it’s done intentionally. It seems like some kind of “blending” that some people are comfortable in, but I want to ask why.

Are people infantalizing each other and themselves, in essence telling the world “we’re done,” or “we’ve reverted to a former state?”

Are they saying they no longer want to own their age and experience? 

Or are they, as I believe, most often adhering to the expectations of a society that values individuals less and less as they age? Marginalized into invisibility. 

And when “casual” dress becomes every day dress, as it has, the continuum of aging  from child to adult to elder can all be “covered” by the simple, the big, and stretchy, asexual, “athletic” style. And from brunch to dinner you’re ok in your capris and khakis. Another option:

“There is, for example, a style that can be termed “sweet old lady” dress. A distinctive style characterized by floral patterns, soft fabrics, frills, high necks and long sleeves, it represents an enduring mode and not just clothing that is out of date (though such is the nature of fashion that it is periodically in vogue, usually identified by terms such as granny style.)”

—Julia Twigg

I like this man’s style.

alternative palette

Grind and Glaze

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that my fall palette, what I like, is generally darker than this and it contains more “red” and “blue” tones. But this is a nice alternative. It really reminds me of the colors of the leaves one sees in Central Park in the fall. It’s lighter and less mood than what I tend to be drawn to.

This “colorstory” is from Grind and Glaze, a small batch, sustainable, and low waste brand by Tessa Clark, a designer and a design contestant on Season 17 of Bravo’s Project Runway Reality TV show. How many fashion designers do you know from Cincinnati? Well, now you know one.

When you go to look at Tessa’s site or Instagram,

don’t expect to see loads and loads of new designs for every season, plus a “cruise” collection.

That’s not how small makers work, and that’s a good thing and not something to be afraid of.

Sometimes I get the sense people think that if a fashion brand doesn’t have a big company, a big site, a big collection, and a big “flagship” store, they’re not real, not legitimate. Nothing could be further from the truth. I suppose though, it’s how we define the word “legitimate.”

If one thinks that being able to shop on a frequent and regular basis, in a big store, or on a big e-commerce site, that has a large selection of cheap fast fashion, makes a brand legitimate, then naturally, small and sustainable makers, are not that. 

But if you think that a genuine concern for the future of the planet, a small selection of well made garments, often made by people in your own community might just be more real and worthy, then you might have a different idea of legitimacy. And you might consider supporting more small and ethical makers.

They’re everywhere, Cincinnati even.

Grind and Glaze

For those of you, who wear tights or leggings, these mustard colored, pumpkin colored ones are from the Grind and Glaze Fall Collection and are coming soon. I wear tights and leggings a lot when it’s cold because I don’t just wear pants; tights and leggings give you more options. 

Another brand, of tights, I really like is Heist. I’ve raved about them before, and I probably will again, because honestly, they’re life changing. And also they have added “shapeware” to their line, a kind of shapewear that you may actually want to wear.

*Question: do you tend to like the same kinds of colors for everything in your life; garments, decor, cars etc.? Or do you have different favorite colors for different things?




  • Leslie says:

    Heist — yeah, I learned about them from you. I have EIGHT pairs of black opaque tights from them. How do I have eight? By accident.

    I have thought for awhile that ‘granny dress’ is whatever that person wore when they were younger that they thought looked good on them then. My mother-in-law was 85 and in a memory care unit and really, really wanted a bright red plunging neckline evening gown which she swore would look awesome on her. It would have, actually, thirty years earlier.
    Granny-wear indeed!

    It’s interesting though — to look around an assisted living facility at the faces. As we age, sometimes, our skin becomes more delicate and transluscent…and perhaps pastels do look better on us in that state.

    Someone quick google “Iris Apfel pastels” or “Joan Didion in sweats”.

    Let’s see how that goes.

  • SUE K BLANEY says:

    Great read! Thank you

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