fashion-grannyDear FASHIONGRANNY,

I am 54 years old and have a penchant for the look of an “empire” waist in my clothing choices. You name it! Dresses, jackets, blouses, tops, I just love an empire waistline!

My adult daughter has repeatedly told me that this look at my age is inappropriate. What say you?


Signed Marie A.


Dear Marie A.,


Is that short for Marie Antoinette? You and your empire waist! You go girl! Keep on going far, far away from this mode of garment. Empire waists are great on children and expectant mothers only! Oh, maybe during the sunshine of one’s youth, a well-designed fashion dress was acceptable, but not now Marie. Not now.

For those of you fledgling fashionistas, the empire silhouette, for example in a dress, is high-waisted and worn near or just under the bust line with a long loose skirt.

Having the “line” raised above the natural waistline, gives the illusion of length of stature and camouflages a bottom-heavy figure or thick waist.

FASHIONGRANNY sees empire styling on us grown folks as figure sabotage. With your bosom trussed up into a little space at the top of your body and all this fabric flying down below, it brings to mind a feed sack with two hogs in it fighting to get out!

If indeed you are trying to hide your figure, there are many suitable ways of doing so.

One suggestion – if indeed your reason for this mode of dress is to “cover up” a bottom-heavy figure – would be to start shopping at the big girl stores. There is no shame to this game. Fashions for zaftig women are fabulous today and have a lot more variety than in the past. If you are trying to relive your youth and your happiest times through empire styling, trust me, you will be the only one on that cloud and remember life is relationship.

Ultimately, ditch the empire look, and no matter what your body style is, get real with it, treat and dress it kindly. Simple feminine styles will always fall at the waist and below the knees. Tops will fit and dart properly around your bosom and pants will land at a perfect hemline. You will never go wrong with age appropriate and gender appropriate clothing!

Marie, I am sure this task of completely changing your wardrobe could be somewhat daunting, but you can do it! You have a daughter who cares about how Mother looks and I don’t think you would write me if you were not on board in spirit.

Hey! This is a great time for you! A revamp is good for us all, and occasionally, as we grow up, we come to these little checkpoints. It is what we do with them that separates the wheat from the chaff. You’re wheat, right?


P.S. If you email me at the below email address, I will personally take you through a new look and locate the retail outlets that are perfect for you!



Hey Fashionistas! As FASHIONGRANNY peruses the magazines, internet, clubs and street-wear, I came across a list that I wanted to pass on to you. This list was a hilarious reminder for me, and titled “Failed Fashions We Don’t Want To See Again.”

I checked the list to see if I ever fell – or still fall – victim to these trends.

`It is time for you, my dear readers, to take the test. Don’t worry, we WILL NOT share our findings!


Thongs on display

Wedge/rocker sole sneakers

Designer Trucker caps

Hobo chic

Short-shorts showing pocket liners

Socks and sport sandals

Velour warm-up suits

Leggings worn as pants


Fur Boots



This is a partial list of course, and just a smattering of the more ridiculous! Have some fun on your own and add your personal faves! Email me with your additions so that all my readers can have a laugh, as I will post a few each column. FASHIONGRANNY is very interested in your ideas about fashion faux pas!


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