When is too old for cute?


I was at a Michigan Urban Outfitters location maybe a year ago with a girlfriend who turned to me and said something to the effect of, “I feel way too old to wear this stuff-I feel sort of ridiculous in it.” Now the thing is, this girl is like a size 4, button-nosed, can frequently be seen in pigtails, and damn adorable. Another friend recently told me that she was confronted by a classmate who told her that Hello Kitty was “her thing” and to not wear that kitty t-shirt again. Hilarious incident, but the suposed offender (my friend) is a mature late twenties beaut. who the younger hipster probably thought looked out of place in the international meow sensation’s iconic clothing. (BTW-my friend laughed off this weird act of her classmate).

The point is, I wonder if there is a line that is crossed visually, chronologically, or what, where it looks and feels a little ‘off’ to wear youthful clothes. And is that point really your late twenties early thirties? Seems a little early to me-yet-I am aching to buy the ring pictured above (check out the site pancake meow because the stuff couldn’t be any cuter and it looks well made), but haven’t, because I sometimes feel a bit like an asshole in such kid-campy gear. Other forms of campy work a little better, but I’m mulling over this in-expensive ring purchase, not because of it’s price or style, which are both absolutely fabulous, but because I don’t know if I’ll really wear it anymore.

Harlo was recently describing my style as sophistipunk, which is probably accurate, and probably fits a lot of my friends as well. But, does the “sophisti” part equate an abandonment of cute or fun? Not sure. Maybe not an abandonment of fun, as whimsical headscarves, vintage skirts, and kicks with personality are crucial in my wardrobe. But cute, hmmm, I think cute might be something that can best be gotten away with when partnered with a sharp comment, or in-joke slogan, sort of counteracting the cuteness. Ala a Paul Frank shirt I posted about a few months back that features all of his baby looking animals, but they’re posed in the Madness stance, or another shirt I have with that adorable Brit lovin’ Bon Bon girl, waiting by the phone with the saying “London’s Calling” next to her. While those are still cutsey, they aren’t pure cute as they make reference to adult music. Similarily, it’s complicated because some of the best fine and pop art these days is embracing animation, toys, vibrant colors, and is saturating the underground and the mainstream with images of big eyed, blue haired, retro or spacey looking figures that often can best be described as cute. And I really like a lot of this stuff (see Juxtapoz if you aren’t sure where I’m going with that). Maybe it’s ok for my walls but not my clothing? I haven’t come to a conclusion, but I do know I still want that ring….

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1 Comment

  • Chrissy September 26, 2007 09.10 pm

    never ever too old for cute!


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