Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Menocore style because they're not menopausal

A woman turns 50 and she suddenly turns into a confident potato with waistless pants, at least that seems to be the view of menocore, the hot flash style trend among 20- and 30-something women who love dressing up (in this case, dressing down) as menopausal women. How flattering - a style that looks so good it's simply named after our reproductive life cycle. And by the way, you have the face for radio!

When I found the word menocore in a New York Times article, The New Mom Uniform of Park Slope, the hair on the back of my neck stood up, like a detective who smells blood - or not. The writer called it a "a hateful takeoff on normcore." I followed the link to the source: the blog Man Repeller, a June 2018 post called Menocore is the New Normcore, and It's a Lot More Comfortable. Now I know who dunnit.

Mel Kobayashi, gold catsuit, yellow wig, fertilcore style
This coat is a men's XXL - solid menopausal style.
photos by @vancouverbarbara, edits by moi

I learned that menocore celebrates baggy clothing, hair scrunchies, exposed bra straps, neutrals, and a host of other fun stuff we wear. And we are lauded for not caring how we look to other people. It's because we're so frigging confident. Ross writes that with the menocore trend, we middle-agers are finally getting our time in the spotlight, meaning, presumably, baggy neutrals have never looked so good because now they are on young bods?

Don't get me wrong. Menocore has certainly empowered me. That's why I'm excited to announce here, for the first time, a new trend for us of the baggy-pants set: Fertilcore (or Menstrucore, your call), named after the reproductive life cycle of women in their 20s and 30s. How freeing to feel insecure enough that we can finally care how we look! Hooray! If my friends raise an eyebrow and say, Gee, Mel, you're looking very Fertilcore today, I can blame it on those frisky fertiles.

Mel Kobayashi, gold catsuit, yellow wig, fertilcore style
New fab Fertilcore look: gold lycra catsuit, platform runners, neon yellow wig, white brows you can't see here. This outfit is not my fault!

So rip up those What Not to Wear Over 30 lists, my menopausal friends. Hello mini skirts, stilettos, and hoop earrings! And don't miss my soon-to-be-released list of What Not to Wear in Your Reproductive Years. I mean, if you want to dress as mutton, you better do it right!

Mel Kobayashi, fertilcore debut
Fertilcore - here we come! 
See my attempts at super-tight leather pants here and here if you haven't already.

I have to say, I won't hold menocore against its adherents. I am satisfied knowing that hopefully some day they will all experience the special secret surprises that accompany menopause and middle age.

And I get it: comfortable clothing feels good and can look great. But why not have the vagina (because balls are for juggling) to just own it all on its own? I think that's what menocore is about anyway - confidence, period, or not. My fertile-free-ness should not be an excuse for someone's neutrals any more than someone's fertility should be an excuse for my platform shoes. 

I thought women's style had progressed beyond an us/them issue. We are all in this together, for the whole ride. So how about we forget about ageist labels altogether and enjoy what we all bring to the table? (Like Pao's comment - womanocore?)

As Jessica at Warning: Curves Ahead concluded in her famous viral blog post in response to a list about what women shouldn't wear over 30: "24 Things Women Over 30 Should WearWhatever the f*ck they want." Words we can all live by any time.

Mel Kobayashi, gold catsuit, yellow wig, fertilcore style
Cool sparkly owl pendant from Patti, Not Dead Yet Style.

Edit: I'm linking up to Catherine's #Share All Linkup at Not Dressed as Lamb. And later to her #iwillwearwhatilike. I'll also link to the next Visible Monday at Patti's Not Dead Yet Style.



41 comments:

  1. This reminds me of something Suzanne said in her latest post I think #menocare
    Baggy neutrals? Tres tres glam.
    What a bod in your gold catsuit?!!
    xo Jazzy Jack

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    1. Yes, I saw she put that tag. Wondered if she meant menocore. But care is a good thing. I like baggy neutrals, just not the term. But I LOVE lycra catsuits more. Heh.

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  2. (sharp breath intake!) It's Lady Godiva rocking sans horse. menocore? what about womanocore for crissakes!

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    1. Ha, Lady Godiva freezing her ass off - if only it worked. Womanocore, I'm with you. I shouldn't be so harsh on these women. I know how easy it is to toss out a phrase like this.

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  3. I'm with Pao...Lady Godiva sans horse.

    GO GO Mel!!! I think you need to wear this outfit for your next video with Sherry.

    Yes, won't all those 20 and 30 somethings be delighted when the open their secret surprise gifts of middle age?

    I hate that we aren't told all this stuff as kids. They could have given us both of these books as kids, "You're A Woman Now" and "You're Not "Quite" A Woman Anymore." So sad. Too bad. The book will explain all of the fun shit waiting for you on the other side. You could draw the illustrations! Think of how much joy it will crush/inspire to those youngsters.

    At least we can cloak ourselves in our confidence. That makes up for everything else. Right? (eye roll)

    Suzanne
    http://www.suzannecarillo.com

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    1. They can't give us those books because even more we wouldn't want to get older. But then again, even if they did, we'd ignore them because, hey, we're young, right? Been there. Hahaha. If ever there was a time to test confidence, it's in these middle-aged tween years.

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  4. Those who can't think for themselves will always follow trends no matter how terrible.

    http://a-woman-of-a-certain-age.com/

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    1. Trends are easy. Some people who may lack style confidence turn to them for structure and safety. I get that, as long as it doesn't diss other people, right? I think this menocore term is supposed to be a compliment to us. Hmm.

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  5. Don't they say youth is wasted on the young? Can't believe that anyone would willingly wear baggy neutrals and stuff. How can this even be a trend? As if normcore wasn't bad enough. *Shudders* Hooray for Fertilcore! That gold cat suit! Lady Godiva indeed! xxx

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    1. Yeah, the NYT writer made a similar comment. Baggy neutrals can be cool, literally, but to name a trend after a whole, huge, wide demographic based on age? Hahaha. Yeah, Fertilcore!! Hahaha. I hate that word core.

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  6. Yay for Fertilcore! Although wearing whatever the f**k I want is the style guideline I adhere to at all times, of course. For every trend, there is a backlash, so just watch. I bet you we'll swing all the way over to sequins and spangles and spandex (Spancore?) soon enough.

    Kudos to you for pushing your way right through that envelope, Mel.

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    1. You are sooo good at your effing style, Sheila. Hahaha!!! Truly. Backlash is my specialty, for a couple of days until I forget what I was pissed off about. The benefits of the menopausal brain.

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  7. Brilliant post. Because of your insight, way with words, the gold lamé jumpsuit (gosh what a terrific body you have), the wordplay, the teeth you are showing! Just brilliant. Melanie, you are so good.
    Greetje

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    1. Yeah, I needed to do a good gnashing of teeth about this trend. I posted this for about five minutes then took it down, then put it up again about a week later. Now I don't care, but I got it out of my system. Thanks, Greetje. xo

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  8. Geeze... Man Repeller is up to their old tricks. A couple of years ago, I read a post in which the writer said she wanted to "dress like a retired person"... well that post certainly got up my recently retired nose. And when I posted a comment complaining about their ageism, she responded by saying that she meant she admired us retired people for being able to wear what we wanted. Like baggy clothes and slipper, I guess. Same old, same old.

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    1. I actually remember that now and you calling them out. I thought, "You go, Susan!" I admire them young'uns too, hence the spandex. Heh. It's pretty awesome how ALL RETIRED people fit into one style category. Now this is out of my system I shall carry on as usual. But geez, this bugged me.

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  9. Pfff, who cares.....we are the IT girls! And your the queen of us IT girls!

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    1. How right you are!! Iris Apfel just signed with a major modeling agency. I may not be the queen, but I like to think I'm no lady in waiting.

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  10. As it normcore wasn't bad enough! (as Polyester Princess wrote!). I've been reading all the stuff and the comments and I'm still in shock by the lack of empathy from these young girls who can't understand that putting matured women into that 'baggy pants and neutrals' cathegory is not only ageist but also close minded.
    It looks like wearing glasses without lenses (I'm nearsighted, are you kidding me?!) because it's trendy!
    Obviously, I subscribe Pao's comment, you look like a Lady Godiva rocking!!, womanocore!!
    besos

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    1. Yeah, normcore made me feel vomitous. By supposedly buying out of fashion, people shopping retail normcore were still buying into it as a trend, not an escape after all, just a disguised manipulation. Without lenses? Hahaha. I like glasses, not only because I need them, like you, but they look cool. Not sure I'd wear them without lenses though. Womanocore, yeah!! xo

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  11. Yes I wear baggy clothing. I have no waist, and no boobs to stop the upward flow of skirts.
    I DO NOT, however, wear all neutrals. So there!

    Am happy to discover that I can again wear turtlenecks. I had to give them up ten years ago due to hot flashes. MAYBE my hot flashes are done. I'll take the flashes of genius instead, thankyouverymuch.

    Looking forward to the next episode of the Tight Leather Pants. Those videos are HILARIOUS!

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    1. Baggy clothes and neutrals - all good. But do we ALL dress like that? Pffft. I'm glad you got your turtlenecks back. I suffer, not in silence either. Heh. I'm enjoying your flashes of genius.

      And I'm so glad you liked the videos. So. much. fun. to make. There will be more.

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  12. Perspective takes time and experience that this young blogger clearly lacks.
    Fashion choices should bring artful and uniquely individual delight, PERIOD.
    Love, Jude

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    1. Yes, you are right. I am thankful there was not social media when I was their age. I would have been in big trouble. You have stated this very eloquently. Thank you, Jude. xo

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  13. What. The. Fuck?????? As I enter into the cusp of “mid”60’s, I find that ai love wearing really NICE clothes more now than ever! Jesus, Mary and St. Joseph—even when my kids were young, and I was a SAHM I dressed nicely when I left the house. You’ve given me an idea for yet another blog post on this subject! So glad I found you through NDAL’s blog!

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    1. I found you right back. Love your work/play! We have choices - invisiblity, non-invisibility. But invisibility is often not a choice - it just takes over like a fog. Gross!!! To be visible is often a conscious choice. I'm not sure who these menocore women are looking at: the visibles or the invisibles. The point is, we are all lumped together as menopausal. WTF? I love NDAL.

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  14. If I had a pair of pom poms I would be jumping up and down cheering this post and your rockin' gold jumpsuit. I'm still cheering--just without pom poms.

    What you said about this not being "us vs. them"--how that is the ideal--to me, this is the most important lesson to pass down to the youngsters. At the age they are now, they've no idea the hurt it causes to make such a division using perceived styles based on age. I remember a time in my life when I did the same. These young women see it as a compliment that they would throw us any kind of praise--which, of course, is incredibly patronizing, but they are young and do not have the hindsight we do. Your post sets the record straight. It is an act of correction that is needed. I, along with all the other commenters here, applaud you for correcting our younger sisters in such a cool, non-baggy pants way.

    M! E! L! GO! GO! GOoooooo! MEL! :)

    Hugs,
    Sherry
    http://www.petiteover40.com

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    1. Sherry, your words ring so true. Absolutely true. As Susan Burpee commented, she pointed this issue out to Man Repeller before, but I guess they didn't learn, or the staff changed. Heh. It will take many teaching opportunities to fix something so ingrained I suppose. When I was young, who knows what I was saying? I'm just glad it wasn't captured on social media. It's a different world. Thanks for these words, Sherry.

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  15. Excellent post! The right mix of black humor and putting your finger at it while coming up with a suggestion to make this a better world!

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    1. I almost let this one go. I opened this post for five minutes, took it down, then put it up again a week later. I don't like this kind of issue very much. And as a minority, even though our demographic will be a majority, or is already, this can be a hard message to convey. Thanks for your comment.

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  16. I read the same New York Times article, followed the same link, and had the same "Oh no she di-int" moment. Those MR girls really just don't geddit. I wish we lived in a world where a woman's fecundity, or lack thereof, was not such a focus. It seems especially bizarre given the extreme political correctness and sensitivity of the younger generation that they would make such a thing of age and style. Eh, it doesn't compute. Don't they also worship at the alter of Iris Apfel, like the rest of us?

    I love your response. You are rocking that gold jumpsuit like a true pro, no matter the state of your eggs or how many times you've been around the sun. Well done, Mel! xx

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    1. That's what confuses me, the huuuuuge, massive lumping-together of styles they include in their menocore style definition. Pfff. Whatever. I'm over it now. Opening this post felt good. This gold catsuit is good for a few more orbits, but it's starting to rip. Thanks for this comment!! xox

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  17. I love wearing baggy trousers, and not just because I am an old fart. Always loved them, and they always fit!
    That said, your gold lame leggings are all the fabulous things, as is your attitude and creativity. Keep rocking in the real world, my groovy friend, xox.

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    1. I'll try to keep rockin', Patti. Along with you and all my pals. Baggy clothes are great but I am confused about why they have to call it menocore. Why not just wear the clothes and feel great and call it nothing? Sigh. xox

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  18. Contrast with:

    "Watanabe called it Silver Swagger, outfitting salt-and-pepper gents in workwear-inspired jackets, flannel prints, and wide, just-so cropped jeans and khakis. It was not dad-core, the tongue-in-cheek parody of normie style best epitomized at Demna Gvasalia’s Balenciaga, but daddy-core, a smart, polished, just-on-the-hinterlands-of-sexy take on the modern man over 40. The brand told Vogue’s Chief Critic Sarah Mower, “Watanabe-san finds that today, older men possess stronger personalities and are cooler than the younger generations.”

    https://tinyurl.com/yaxx9xex

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    1. I might be on board with oldfartcore. Hahaha. Not. Just sayin'. This whole "core" thing has got to stop. When I first heard that word at some exercise thing, I hated it. Just call it what it is. I did not know about this Silver Swagger or Daddy-core. Blech. Like distinguished silver at the temples. I shake my head. But I do like that older generations are considered cool. But again, a sweeping, sweeping generalization. Thanks for this food for thought. xo

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  19. YAHOO! Toss that hair! I read the same article in the New York Times and had the same thoughts as you did. I feel like "Menocore" as described in the article could refer to my whole summer wardrobe - loose linen tops and pants in neutral colours. It seems lately that every style that 20 & 30 somethings adopt that is seen on older women has an unflattering name. I don't want to see any more styles with the word "Core" in the title.

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    1. I was tossin' and tossin'. I was also freezing my ass off. Hahaha. I do not like that word "core." It sickens me. If they could all just stop it. Hahaha. Loose is great, baggy is great, but no need to label it after post-reproductive women. Then they mentioned old Italian women and retired masseuses. Whaaat? xox

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  20. The gold catsuit, that body, the brilliance of your writing, hurrah and thank you x

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    1. This was a fun, but cold, shoot with Barbara. After, we went for hot coffee and nibblies. The catsuit has seen better days, but it's so much fun to wear. Thanks for stopping by, Anna! xo

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  21. Great post it is. Great thoughts shared here, thank you. Need to have this type of sight. For beautiful socks ideas and try different types of socks visit Socks from hell.

    ReplyDelete

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