Fashion sense doesn’t have to be tied to age

Published 9:47 am Monday, April 1, 2013

Column: Something About Nothing, by Julie Seedorf

The Monday before Easter I had the pleasure of a shopping trip with my grandchildren. Maggie and I went shopping while Grandpa took Jake to Barnes & Noble.

Maggie and I, surprisingly enough, have the same taste in clothes. We both like glitz, sparkle and color. Maggie is 9, but she has her teen fashion sense already established. One of our goals was for Grandma to spend the $10 coupon she had got in the mail from J.C. Penney Co. I had not been in J.C. Penney for a long time.

Julie Seedorf

Julie Seedorf

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I had read about their reduction in prices, but I absolutely do not like their newspaper ad catalog. For some reason it doesn’t strike my eye, and I quickly discard it. I found in conversation after my recent shopping trip that others do not like the ad catalog, too, and this stops them from shopping in J.C. Penney.

We started our shopping trip in J.C. Penney. We had a certain amount of time, and we decided to stop in J.C. Penney before we started our trip down the mall.

We never made it out of J.C. Penney. We loved the clothes, and we loved the prices. The everyday prices were fabulous, and they did have some sale prices. Maggie and I were able to purchase the coolest clothes for her and Jake at the sale price, now get this, the sale price of $2.

Now that I have you suspecting that J.C. Penney is paying me to shout words of praise for them, that is not the reason I am writing this column, but I did have to document my surprise at the awesome things we found.

As we shopped the kids section and bought the sparkly tops for my granddaughter, we then went to the women’s section. My granddaughter loves helping me choose clothes, and she is brutally honest, unlike many friends who don’t want to hurt our feelings, and sales people who tell you look good in anything so you will buy something.

As we were leaving we walked past one display and my granddaughter pointed out a pair of colorful pink, yellow and black flowered leggings. Hanging above those leggings was a hot pink, light weight sweater. I immediately fell in love. The best part, each piece was only $5, and they weren’t even on sale.

We oohed and awed and my granddaughter thought I absolutely needed them. I absolutely loved them, but I reminded her that I am 62 years old and possibly I shouldn’t wear something like that. It kind of goes along with a former column of what reactions I would get if I dyed my hair pink.

She didn’t understand what age had to do with it, and in that instant I made a split second decision. I bought the leggings, and I bought the sweater, and we added another pink top to the mix, only that top was $4 on sale.

That decision was made because I decided that in my granddaughter’s eyes age didn’t matter, yet when it came to wearing what we absolutely loved. She hadn’t learned yet at the age of 9 that our decisions about what we wear, our hair color and how we decorate our houses is many times influenced by what other people will think when we become adults. We change because we want to fit in and we feel we have to behave and dress as grownups, whatever that means.

It will be sad to see that viewpoint change as my granddaughter gets older and learns the ways of the world. Maybe she will be one of those lucky people who will walk to the beat of her own drummer, and is comfortable with that.

Will I wear those clothes, absolutely? Maybe just like my Granny character in my book “Fuchsia, Minnesota,” who wears wild and crazy nightwear when her children aren’t around so they won’t send her to the wrinkle farm, I will wear them in the privacy of my bedroom so my kids don’t send me to the wrinkle farm early. Maybe I will be brave enough to wear them in public and not care that people might think they should haul me away because I am not dressing appropriate for my age. I would be wearing what I loved and what could be better than that?

Thank you, Maggie, for fresh eyes that still sees the world in colors and not age.


Wells resident Julie Seedorf’s column appears every Monday. Send email to her at