Wednesday, February 13, 2013

It's Fun to be Cute!

I was contemplating the purchase of a new skirt (not that I need one). This one had me at "clipper ships on a black background". It looked like the wallpaper in a little boy's bedroom circa 1950 (when it was still okay for me to play in one). As so often happens, my first reaction was "Now who thought that was a good idea?" The more I looked at it, though, the more those ships were inviting me to sail away.

But who needs a summer skirt in February? Time and again I make the mistake of buying too early, regretting purchases made for occasions that haven't occurred. So far I've resisted said skirt, though it's playing on the soundtrack of my mind.

This skirt's provenance has a website— with product reviews. Though praised for its quality and style, one reviewer said, "...if I were a few years younger I would get it in a heartbeat. However, I am 50, a young looking 50, but, still, there comes a point when something can be too cute. Don't get me wrong, it's not overly cutesy. It's just not for me. Or maybe not at full price."

We're not talking "Hello Kitty" cute here. No ruffles or bows. Not too short. Not Rainbow Brite. What is it about the skirt— or the concept of cute— that is not acceptable? By "cute" did she really mean "fun"? In the lexicon of retail-speak we are taught not to label anything flattering as "cute" because we, as grown women, don't want to look "cute". On the other hand, "cute" is the first thing we hear among friends who are shopping together and praising each others' choices. "Cute" is a wink and a nod to youthfulness in a way (I've always thought) that was positive. And "cute" is certainly fun.

Since when does fun have an expiration date? Shouldn't our goal be to lighten the atmosphere, not weight it down? Sure, cute can turn silly in the wink of a feather eyelash, and fun gets funny in two letters. Neither is then a good look. Why this skirt? Why that thinking at all?

The reviewer did show signs of a possible change of heart. She did not eliminate the possibility of buying it once it goes on sale.


  1. I think it's a fabulous skirt! Why not go for it? I would!

  2. The question is "Will you wear the skirt, or will the skirt wear you?" On the other hand, you are fun, you are cute, and you can pull it off (I couldn't) so keep the conversation going. This is original and different, and I feel quite sorry for the skirt that it has to wait to be discounted before someone loves and appreciates it!

  3. You are so right about the word "cute." My friends and I always use it, and we are all 50 - 70ish and there's not much "cute" about the way we actually dress. But we do dress to suit our individual styles, and that involves having fun with clothes.

  4. One of my favorite books as a child was "Fun With Paper Dolls"— all about how to make them, dress them and house them. I thought it an odd title as paper dolls are always fun. If there were a book "Fun With Clothes" I'd feel the same way. Aren't clothes fun??? I'm so glad to hear you and your friends agree.