Women over 50 experience our share of challenges… and one of them is figuring out how best to clothe and accessorize an aging body. Granted—this isn’t a life or death issue. But, as women, we care about our appearance and still want to look our best.
Enter Chico’s. Although this company doesn’t specifically brand its products “for the mature woman,” it seems the majority of its clientele are probably boomers. With generous sizing, brighter colors, and styles that flatter figures larger than a size 2, it’s become the go-to store for many of us on the far side of fifty.
I’ve become a customer myself and now receive a monthly catalog. The latest arrived a few days ago and, as I was thumbing through the pages, I had an epiphany. No, it wasn’t about the latest trends in style and pattern—my inner fashionista has definitely seen better days. My a-ha moment had to do with the models.
First off, I wish the women they chose to represent the Chico’s customer looked a bit more like us. Of course models need to be slender and pretty to show off the clothes to best advantage, but these young women actually were a size 2 or even smaller! And, believe me, there was nary a hint of a laugh-line, muffin-top, or droopy bottom in any of the photos.
Nevertheless I was pleased with the images. Why? Because—contrary to the fashion credo—these models were actually smiling! Yes, every photo displayed a woman who seemed happy and engaged in her life. Compare these pictures with some of the high fashion shots where the models look either bored, haughty, or like they’ve just eaten something that disagreed with them. (The truth is—they’ve probably gone without eating for so long they can’t help but appear both disengaged and sour.)
So here’s the insight I’ve gained from my Chico’s catalogue: Women our age really do smile and it’s better to boast a few pounds and a couple of wrinkles than to walk around looking like a sourpuss. Give me some color, a bit of fun, and a happy outlook any day!