A little over a year ago, I wrote Age-Appropriate: Can Your Mother Wear Combat Boots? and followed it up two months later with Giving Age Appropriateness The Boot. Today, I’d like to offer up another perspective on being ageless from the viewpoint of the changing landscape of retail shopping. Oh, and bonus, I’m teaming up with the very awesome and most wonderful Shelbee from Shelbee On The Edge to give you a chance to win a fabulous giveaway from StyleWe and, extra bonus, there’s a link up on her site that you will want to join, too. Details on the giveaway and the #SpreadTheKindness link up are at the end of this post.
According to recent news, the landscape of retail shopping is changing as evidenced by the pending closures of 68 Macy’s Stores and over 30 Sears/K-Mart stores later this year. The Limited stores have all just closed and many other retailers are focusing on expanding their on-line business as they reduce their brick & mortar locations. Personally, I’m finding the practice of some retailers to offer greater discounts for on-line purchases very frustrating (I share an actual experience in Am I Repeating Myself?) because I truly enjoy the touch and feel of shopping.
Truth be told, I don’t shop at Sears or K-Mart because there are other retailers in those price points that I prefer so those closures only bother me with regard to the changing retail landscape and for the loss of jobs associated with those stores. Nor will I be mourning the Macy’s closures but for different reasons. It’s my observation that Macy’s (actually it’s parent company Federated) has contributed to this current state. Shoppers are looking for a diversity of choice and options for goods and the expansion of Macy’s through the acquisition and closure of other same-market department stores drastically reduced those choices and options.
In my opinion, it’s because of those acquisitions that Macy’s is no longer the premier retailer it used to be. I can name at least four department stores chains in my region of the country that have all come under the umbrella of Federated. As such, Macy’s has little direct market-share competition and, over time, the merchandise carried seems to be repetitious throughout the departments. With each merger/takeover, another part of Macy’s unique flare was lost in the effort to satisfy the newly expanded customer base.
In my area, shoppers looking for alternatives in the realm of department stores either have to step up to Nordstrom and Bloomingdales or step down to J C Pennys, Kohls, or even Target (no disrespect, Target has some great stuff). The fact that I’ve not really shopped at or bought anything from Macy’s in over 6 months just goes to show how dissatisfied I’ve become with this retailer.
So, how is this connected to combat boots, OTK, and ageless style? Another option to the traditional department store is shopping at smaller stores and at more specialized retailers. In this exploration, we can find a broader range of choices and opportunities to make new style discoveries. While the styles at some fast fashion retailers are truly more suited to the younger set, treasures can be found anywhere one is brave enough to look. No longer pigeonholed into “the missus” department, we are free to experiment and adapt any and all trends towards our own personal style.
No longer pigeonholed into “the missus” department, we are free to experiment and adapt any and all trends towards our own personal style. Such is what happened last year when I first considered buying a pair of combat boots. My daughter and I were shopping and I asked her if she thought combat boots were age-appropriate for me. My ‘oh so wise’ daughter said that she didn’t think that they were inappropriate and, that the way she saw it, a woman can wear what she likes.
It’s an important concept to remember. We can wear what we like and, even more so, we should wear what we like. Of course, care should be taken in consideration of fit, coverage, and occasion, but otherwise style is a personal choice. It should be an expression of who you are and not what mass market retailers want you to buy. A trend such as combat boots or OTK boots should not be discounted solely out of fear of “inappropriateness”.
There’s a whole world of options available so there’s no reason to limit ourselves and it’s logical that the next option to explore is on-line retailers. The offerings are increasing as on-line retailers are expanding. All of this couldn’t be happening at a better time for me because I’m feeling that my style is evolving and the styles I’m looking for aren’t carried my local brick & mortar stores. More and more, I’m finding myself looking on-line for the options I’m seeking.
Utility jacket – GAP (exact, but limited sizes, similar look)
Dress – Mossimo (exact but sold only in stores, similar look)
Combat boots – Rock & Candy (exact, similar look with fleece cuff)
Even as I begin to embrace on-line shopping, I struggle with the aspect of not being able to touch and feel as I shop. Slow to load websites are frustrating as are the retailers that offer limited views and/or descriptions of the items being sold. The delayed gratification that comes from the disjointed experience of purchase to when the item in hand is another component of this struggle.
On the flip side, there is shopping in your jammies on a cold and wintery day. There are new emmerging designers who are embracing the concept of ageless styles and offer a range of sizes not always carried in brick & mortar stores. Previously loved retailers that struggled with the costs of maintaining stores in shopping malls are finding new life through e-commerce and regionally based merchants can now tap into a national, and sometimes global, market.
Once again you must be wondering, how is this connected to combat boots, OTK, and ageless style?
Let me start with the camo utility jacket I’m wearing in the photos above. I first saw it during the after-Christmas sales and because its price had been marked down, the jacket wasn’t eligible for the store-wide additional 40% discount. It would have been less at 40% off than its marked down price and that bothered me. At the price, I wasn’t certain that it was “age appropriate” so I didn’t buy it.
The next day I was reconsidering that decision (remembering that I should wear what I like) and while at another mall, looked for the jacket but it wasn’t carried in that store. When I looked on-line, I found I could buy it at the discounted price plus 40% off (an option not available in stores) so I bought it.
There was no hesitation on my part in buying the blue open-front cardigan you see in these photos when I saw on the website of an e-commerce retailer. I’d won a giveaway (like you have a chance to do below but from a different company) and this sweater was one of the items I purchased. The colors, pattern, and texture are all design details that I adore and I think that the style and drape of the cardigan are flattering to my figure and stature.
Like with the combat boots, I was drawn to the look of OTK boots but unsure as to how I could incorporate them into my style. Nevertheless, they were on my wish list and when I found this pair on the clearance rack of my favorite footwear retailer, I bought them. I must confess that I haven’t worn them much yet but inspiration struck when the cardigan arrived.
Many women wear OTK boots with leggings or skinny jeans of a different color but I don’t think that look flatters me. I prefer a boots and skirt combo so paired up the cardigan and OTKs with a blue and black tweed pencil skirt. This one of the looks I sent to the ladies that run a monthly How I Wear My round-up on their respective blogs, The Rich Life In Wine Country and Everything Just So. The featured item for this month was tall boots and these OTK boots are the tallest ones I have. Click on the links to their websites to read the posts and see how the other contributers are wearing their tall boots.
Alright, now for the details on the StyleWe giveaway. Super stylish Shelbee from Shelbee On The Edge invited me to host this giveaway with her. How fabulous it that! Anyway, if you win the giveaway, you will get to select an item of your choosing up to a $60 value but you must live in the USA, UK, Australia, Germany, Italy, Canada, or France to be eligible. Entries for the giveaway will be accepted until January 30th and the winner will be announced on January 31st.
So, there you have it. Combat boots, OTK, and a perspective on being ageless as well as a chance to win a fabulous giveaway from a pretty great on-line retailer. Please do give Shelbee a visit if you haven’t stopped by there already and add a post or two to her new #SpreadTheKindness link up (you’ll want to browse through her on-line store as well).
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