Privilege Blog

No, Seriously, What Can We Wear?

So let’s be serious. What does a High WASP midlife woman, tormented by the death problem, and attempting therefore to maintain an ironic stance to her identity, wear? In my 40’s I was working at corporate jobs. As a result, I developed a uniform. Every day I wore a pair of pants, a t-shirt, and a cashmere cardigan. Well, except when I worked for the dot-com when I temporarily wore things like low-waisted corduroy pants and tops designed by arty men from Spain. One must adapt to one’s surroundings after all. Anyway. So for most of my 40’s I looked like this:

Cardigan 40's
Cardigan 40’s – by High WASP on

In my 30’s I was mostly pregnant or home with small children. You know what that looks like.

In my 20’s I was natively good-looking enough that who cares what I wore. I wish I had known that then, as we all wish we had been wiser when we were young. It would have saved me a lot of capacity for anxiety that I could have used later in life for more important issues.

Now that I have hit 50, I find a little more effort is required. Things on the top half of my body need structure, i.e. a jacket. I can’t for the life of me wear low-waisted jeans, I get too exhausted from holding my stomach in all day. But the pants that used to look classic, or so I told myself, now look dowdy. So trouser jeans it is. Shoes need some kind of a heel, or some girly sort of detail, otherwise I look too butch. I suppose as I get older I am in fact losing some dimorphism (i.e. that set of characteristics that make me look different from males) hence the increasing tendency towards looking too butch if I don’t watch out. A little butch is good. A little butch says don’t you DARE think you can swindle me into giving you more money than is fair, don’t you DARE think you can ignore me when I tell you your calculations are incorrect, don’t you DARE write me off in any way that matters. But I’m still wearing girlier shoes these days. For the most part.

For example, in the every-item-costs-at-least $200 from Bluefly/Petit Bateau/Cole Hahn world we have this:

Over 50
Over 50 – by High WASP on

And, in the no-item-costs-more-than-$50 from Target (except the necklace) world, we have this:

Target Over 50
Target Over 50 – by High WASP on

I would be lying if I said I have ever actually gone out into the world wearing nothing but clothes from Target. However, now that I think about it, why ever not? In fact, I may actually GO TO TARGET, I love Target who are we kidding, and try some clothes on. Wait, do they have dressing rooms? It is difficult to be a High WASP in this day and age.

3 Responses

  1. Ahhh I’m so late to the party!! This is making me smile!! So did you find out that they do in fact have dressing rooms? I have something on from Target nearly every day of my life. Sometimes I use the French pronunciation to make it sound more posh ;)

    And you are right about the benefits of looking “a little butch”. Although I absolutely love androgeny, I’m too cute to look very butch so I sometimes have to go “a little bitch” which isn’t nearly as fun.

  2. I was researching signet rings and found your High WASP commentary. I am starting from the beginning…I don’t expect to comment but, wow.

    1. I am hoping you see, as you go through, that I am a High WASP who lives in Northern California, votes Democrat, supports gay marriage, and believes in an inclusive model of identity. AKA, heritage is on thing, believe structure another.

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