Too Old for a Micro-Mini?

When Is It “Mutton Dressed as Lamb”?

Wednesday, August 13, 2014
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There’s a colorful old expression favored by cattish biddies. They let it fly when they spy a middle-aged woman sporting the flashy or revealing clothing you’d normally see on a much younger lass.

“Mutton dressed as lamb,” the harpies hiss, straightening the seams of their own sensible vestments and clomping away in their Easy Spirit mid-heel wedges.

I confess the phrase has been flitting, uninvited, through my head lately as I get dressed:

Hmm, the miniskirt today? Maybe, Ms. Mutton. Or the skinny jeans and pirate boots? Sounds great, Mutton Mama.

Mutton, if you didn’t know, is the meat of old sheep — although the sheep prefer to be called “mature.” It’s tougher than lamb. It’s cheaper. And according to one online cooking site, “Many find it distasteful.”

Starshine Roshell

Since tough, cheap, and distasteful describe me and most of my girlfriends — and since, at 42, I just received a heck-yeah birthday gift card to Forever 21 — I have to wonder if I’ve skidded right over that lamb-to-mutton line without knowing it.

Is this the year they’ll drag me from Macy’s juniors department and shove me into the Charter Club section to collect my tailored capris and nautical tees? Dear god.

The Daily Mail — arbiter of nothing significant, ever — once published a survey decreeing that broads should stop wearing tube tops at age 33, leather pants at 34, miniskirts at 35, see-through chiffon blouses at 40, knee-high boots at 47, and the list goes on.

But since that seemed stupid, I asked my girlfriends for insight. Their responses were as varied as their skirt lengths:

… My 21-year-old son said to me recently, “Where are you going dressed like it’s Coachella? Don’t you know you’re halfway to 90?” I didn’t know whether to laugh or flip him off as I headed out the door. …

… A micro-mini and a deep cleavage reveal do not go together after 40 — choose one or the other. …

… Women should wear what makes them feel confident and secure, regardless of some societal stereotype. …

… But there’s a line between feeling confident and looking desperate. …

When one old (er, mature) high school buddy of mine complained that the only fashion choices at our age are “way immature or near retirement,” a mutual friend interjected, “Girlfriend, if I catch your hot body in a Chico’s, I’m staging an intervention.”

Here’s what I think. We lamb-dressers — henceforth, let’s call us frilly mignon — aren’t trying to compete with twentysomethings or to fool anyone into thinking we’re younger. We don girly getups for three reasons:

1. We know better than anyone that we’ll never again look as good as we do right this very minute. Peeking back at old photos, we’ve come to realize that we didn’t appreciate what we had while we had it — and that two years from now, we’ll have even less of it. So we’re gonna show it off a bit longer and maybe even a bit louder, thank you very much.

2. Putting on something you wore when you were young — short shorts, say, or a backless halter—is like listening to a song you loved when you were a girl. It’s a slightly-too-tight time machine that helps you recognize the old “you” within. And she’s kind of a hottie.

3. Frankly, we were too insecure to wear some of this stuff back when we had the bodies to pull it off. Now we’ve got the chutzpah but lack the muscle tone. Go figure.

Or as one of my girlfriends says, “I’m currently vacationing and have loaded my 44-year-old boobs into a tube top, so I should probably stay out of this discussion — except to say that as I get older and less self-conscious, I think it’s good to teach our daughters that not every flaw needs covering. And if I have three folds in my armpit, so be it.”

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Independent Discussion Guidelines

Starshine, I have always been a connoisseur of mature ladies since my early years and the 40's are still smoking hot!

dou4now (anonymous profile)
August 13, 2014 at 6:33 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Sealion, get off your phrase " Women should wear..." Look to thine own woman-whipped self and keep whining.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
August 13, 2014 at 10:41 a.m. (Suggest removal)

John_Adams (anonymous profile)
August 13, 2014 at 11:21 a.m. (Suggest removal)

c'mon now starshine...the real reason you dress like that or wear your lululemon outfits to whole foods is becuz you dig it when guys heads swivel when you sashay on by.

besides, by now you should be at the stage where you wear what you like, and if nobody likes it, its their problem.

and for all females of age, whether lamb, mutton, or chewy piece of bark, if you can strut it, have at it..........we be digging it. even sealion.

lawdy (anonymous profile)
August 13, 2014 at 11:45 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Good one , DrDan

JohnLocke (anonymous profile)
August 13, 2014 at 12:36 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Yawn. Another article about the writer's favorite subject: herself.

Simpleton (anonymous profile)
August 13, 2014 at 3:57 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Uh Sealion clearly you are holding your own as your self gratifying posts are evidence.

Herschel_Greenspan (anonymous profile)
August 13, 2014 at 4:18 p.m. (Suggest removal)

How sweet of the aptly named "simpleton" to keep reading columns of someone who only writes about herself. Must be a BIG fan!
Another well written column Ms. Roshell. I'll look for more soon!

carole307 (anonymous profile)
August 13, 2014 at 4:42 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I have to side with my fellow Aquatic Anthropomorph Sealion. I think the clothes women wear is shameful, therefore, I suggest all women go nekkid. Thats right, au natural, skyclad, buck naked, in the altogether star, peeled star,stark star, in their birthday suits, but also, all men would have to do the same. That's right, Sealion, Ken_Volok, Barney Brantingham, Herschel_Greenspan, clausen, (rumoured to weigh over 400 pounds) and of course, Dr. Dan.

As Hitler said in the movie Nine Lives of Fritz the Cat: "Vehn zah fuhrer is naked, everyone is naked!"

dolphinpod14 (anonymous profile)
August 13, 2014 at 8:59 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Robin Williams died from (not all, but MANY) women's addiction to getting free stuff from disposable men and the fascist, enslaving gender bigoted court system.

Great job.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
August 13, 2014 at 9:01 p.m. (Suggest removal)

That's total BS Loon, you have no clue about Williams and the demons that drove him.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
August 13, 2014 at 9:05 p.m. (Suggest removal)

And Loonpt lays a giant turd. Dude, light a match!

Herschel_Greenspan (anonymous profile)
August 13, 2014 at 9:07 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Actually Ken the hour long video provides extensive first hand evidence of what I just said, but thanks for trying.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
August 13, 2014 at 9:23 p.m. (Suggest removal)

BTW, Andy Kaufman really IS dead too as is Jim Morrison before that pops up. Grace Slick's brain is anybody's guess. :)

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
August 13, 2014 at 9:25 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Hey Sealion you come across as a unhinged stalker. What is your problem with Starshine? This light hearted Indy column has been around for years and deals with Starshine's observations as she lives in Santa Barbara. I know that you are a warrior for men's rights, but pick your battles bro. It is time to relax your flipper and slide that baculum back into its sheath.

Herschel_Greenspan (anonymous profile)
August 13, 2014 at 9:25 p.m. (Suggest removal)

And Loonpt lays a giant turd. Dude, light a match!

Herschel_Greenspan (anonymous profile)
August 13, 2014 at 9:07 p.m.

MR Greenspan, here, Randy Marsh reenacts Loonpts movement in less seconds than the number of minutes his post lasted. Enjoy!

dolphinpod14 (anonymous profile)
August 13, 2014 at 9:26 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Yes Ken, Andy Kaufman died in 1984, just like James Paul McCartney died in 1966.

dolphinpod14 (anonymous profile)
August 13, 2014 at 9:30 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Anybody who watches the video I posted will know EXACTLY what demons Robin Williams faced, from the time he was a child until the moment he killed himself and exactly what the causes of those demons were, and you can hear them straight from Robin Williams himself along with an excellent, as usual, psychological analysis from the one and only true modern day philosopher Stephan Molyneux.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
August 13, 2014 at 9:31 p.m. (Suggest removal)

What a coincidence, Molyneux also comes from a boxing family.

dolphinpod14 (anonymous profile)
August 13, 2014 at 9:34 p.m. (Suggest removal)

'what's between her ears matters a LOT more than what's between her thighs or what's between her boobs'

At the best of times, that's a judgement call.

Hey, i kid.

lawdy (anonymous profile)
August 13, 2014 at 9:35 p.m. (Suggest removal)

'what's between her ears matters a LOT more than what's between her thighs or what's between her boobs'

Yea, but if she got a roll of $20 bills in her cleavage then it does matter!

dolphinpod14 (anonymous profile)
August 13, 2014 at 9:38 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Fat chicks should stop wearing revealing clothes at any age.

Botany (anonymous profile)
August 13, 2014 at 9:47 p.m. (Suggest removal)

If women have "monopolized the Vagina Monologue (sic)" that is because she they have one. Do you wish you had one? You should write "the Penis Monolouges" it should be a hit with dicks.

Herschel_Greenspan (anonymous profile)
August 13, 2014 at 9:51 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Ladies let your freak flags fly. If you are feeling it wear it. We love you what ever shape, size or color you are. Men too. The last person that should be telling a woman how to dress is a man. The only outfit that I have a problem with is the track suit. It is just plain lazy. Oh and guys, shave your beards. What are you hiding?

Herschel_Greenspan (anonymous profile)
August 13, 2014 at 10:02 p.m. (Suggest removal)

When Eve dances amongst us, all should be pleased to behold her in her many glories...for those with hate, pity you! no more feedin that troll, he's boring and needs some meds or, as H-G said, hope he's at least holding his own

DrDan (anonymous profile)
August 13, 2014 at 10:17 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I am having a gender reassignment, Im not sure to which sex. When I do, I will run around scantily clad.

(British comdian John Cleese)

dolphinpod14 (anonymous profile)
August 14, 2014 at 2:41 a.m. (Suggest removal)

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