One of The Daughter’s fashion magazines recently recommended that young people search their parents’ closets for tracksuits. Remember them? They were either slinky polyester with Adidas stripes, stiff nylon, or tacky velour. Darn! I just gave my last set away. It was lavender, and I thought it made me look really old and out-of-date.
What do I know? I’m in love with yoga pants! That’s right. Yoga pants. Who says old ladies can’t wear yoga pants? I wear them, and by many reference points (AARP, my local senior center, Regal cinema, Social Security, the Goodwill on Tuesdays), I qualify as an old lady.
Well, I’m here to tell you that they can be worn, but there’s a right way to wear them, especially if you’re over 16 and haven’t seen a yoga mat from the downward dog position in your life. Flared yoga pants are better than leggings, because leggings end at your ankles, clinging like plastic wrap. When you’re suddenly overwhelmed by heat, you can roll the flares up over your knees, plus they accommodate your sneakers and balance out the width of your hips. Tracksuits just billow around you and make you sweat.
Yoga pants, like many fashion trends, are a mine-field of potential disaster. While I like to express myself through my clothing, I’m also careful about the message that I send (eg., today, I’m Tasteful Lady, tomorrow, I’m Work-Out Girl, or whatever). I googled “Yoga Pants Disasters” and noticed that, in every case, a longer shirt, covering the hips would have solved the problem…or maybe a mirror and a rational mind.
A man recently referred to me on two different occasions as “spunky” and “a classy lady,” so you can rest assured that I know what “tasteful” means. Here are some other clues:
Crop tops and sports bras: In the privacy of my own home, I love to wear sports bras with my yoga pants. I plank. My upper arms aren’t bad. My abs are a little iffy; ok for the beach, not ok for the mall. (I don’t have a plastic surgeon on retainer.) In public, I keep them covered with a hip-length jacket or sweater, because I don’t need the attention and don’t have a navel piercing to show off.
Underwear: I know you don’t want to see my old lady panty lines, either above the waist or digging into my upper thighs, so, if my top doesn’t cover my hips, I wear low-rise panties (which is kind of a thrill at my age, actually) or lightweight Spanx. Yes, I do hate Spanx, but I hate panty lines more. And all of my yoga pants are thick enough so you can’t see through them. I can’t afford Lululemon. (Really? $428 for a synthetic “Cashmere” sweater at the brand’s affiliate Kit and Ace?)
Belts: I have a pair of “dressy” yoga pants (an oxymoron, if there ever was one) with belt loops. What is the point of belt loops on yoga pants? The pants are so tight, they aren’t going anywhere. How can you do crunches while wearing a belt? Doesn’t the buckle pierce your navel? Is that how the yoga moms get jewelry in there? Ouch!
Pockets: Several pairs of my yoga pants have tiny little pockets. I’m not sure why. I couldn’t get my car key in it, so there’s certainly no room for a cellphone. Except for a Kleenex, why would you put anything in the pockets of yoga pants? Why would you create more unsightly bulges? “Oh, dear, Suzanne really should get that lump on her hip removed.” I use a jacket with pockets.
Color: There is only one appropriate spandex color for most old ladies, and that is black. That being said, I have a brown pair and a dark plum pair. But…no floral prints, no stripes, and, God forbid, no powder blue.
Hip-huggers: There is only one place to wear hip-hugging pants, and that is around the hips. I NEVER pull them up to my waist, because that creates that crotch crease named for the foot of the Ship of the Desert. (A little puzzle to exercise your brain.) Eeek! I spend so much time pulling down at the thighs of my pants that the dents in my pants look like I have cellulite. Again, better to cover my hips.
Footwear: Never wear loafers or flats or high heels with your yoga pants. Never. Ever. I’m not sure why I even have to tell you that. Around here, women wear flip-flops with their yoga pants most of the year, but I am one of those silly and boring women who prefers Uggs, which are just one step above slippers. So, sue me. Socks with yoga pants? Probably not.
Length: A common complaint about yoga pants is that they’re too long. When I was passing through Miami International Airport awhile back, a young woman came out of a restroom stall wearing yoga pants that were frayed and wet around the hem from dragging on the floor. When I looked down, condensation from the tropical humidity had created a sea of God-only-knows-what swishing around. It made me woozy to think about it.
Sleepwear: Sometimes, when I come home and put on my comfy yoga pants, I sleep in them. However, I don’t wear them the next day, unless I’m holding down my sofa and writing. It’s tempting to go from day to night in the same pair of pants, but, remember, it’s just one small misstep from comfy to frumpy.
Doesn’t it just figure that, by the time people our age embrace a fad, it’s “out”? If tracksuits are now “in”, you’d better drag out your Bedazzler. Nothing says “1980s” like a rhinestone-studded velour track suit with shoulder pads and mile-high hair, unless it’s a teddy bear-appliquéd sweatshirt. And please, please, please, no fuschia velour pants at your age with “Princess” embroidered across your bum!
It’s been three months since I let my Match.com subscription expire. In the beginning, there was some withdrawal. I didn’t miss it when I was on vacation, but I didn’t realize how entertaining it was. Oh, I don’t mean the dates. They ranged from pitiful to downright creepy. The profiles and photos were pretty funny but not $140 worth of funny.
My last date tried too hard to sell himself. At least three times during our second date, he told me that he was “very wealthy” (his exact words). This was during dinner in his country club’s formal dining room at 7pm, for which I had dressed up. He ordered first, from the sandwich menu. I recalled that he was the same guy who made me buy my own coffee the first time that we met (during which he ordered nothing, which should have ended our potential relationship right there). I followed his lead and ordered a single lunch-sized crab cake with saltine crackers. It came with a handful of potato chips. I treated myself on his dime to a glass of house chardonnay. How else was I going to make it through the evening?
Mr. Very Wealthy also didn’t listen. He prefaced nearly every sentence with the exclamation “Jesus Christ!” I subtly told him that I was the Senior Warden at my church and explained that it is the lay leadership position. It went right over his head. Then, I told him how important my faith is to me. He still didn’t get it. That’s clueless. I wasn’t going to shout, “Stop it, you cretin!” When he walked me to my car, he said, “Well, Suzanne, what do you think?”
“I think not,” I smiled kindly. “We just don’t seem to have enough in common.” He appeared shocked when I told him I didn’t want to see him again. Hope I didn’t break him with the little crab cake and cheap chardonnay.
Unfortunately, I had just been groped in a rough, forceful manner on a second date with a college instructor who told me, when I gently objected to his “ardor” (my word, not his), that I had “liked it” and had “misunderstood.” Nope. I hadn’t. And I wasn’t even wearing yoga pants.
Match wants to help me. They’re going to give me 50% off, if I sign up by tomorrow at midnight. They send me that offer at least once a week, so I’m in no hurry. I keep meeting lovely people who met lovely people online, but it’s just not for me. I feel guilty laughing at the dating prospects, but, when I responded to some of them, I couldn’t help but think that they were insincere. I had to ask myself if I equally was clueless about who I am. Do I value myself too highly? Am I nuts? Am I unrealistic? I’m just going to stay out of the fray for a while.
By the way, Karma is taking care of the man who stalked me about a year ago, one body part at a time, so, who am I to complain? Life is good (mostly). Soli Deo Gloria!