Mullets and Me

Just the other day I saw a woman, who was about my age or a little older, wearing skin tight acid wash jeans.  I looked at her for a minute, trying to decide if this was a new trend and that is what the young folks are wearing these days, or if she had been wearing those jeans since the eighties.  Based on their style, I would have to vote for the latter. 

I’ve been thinking about style lately and how it changes and how it can be very confusing for women of a certain age, and by that I mean women of my age.  Specifically, me.  I want to look attractive and fashionable but yet I don’t want to look like a crazed cougar wearing styles that are clearly not meant for me.  Although, saying that, some current styles are really not suitable for anyone, i.e., jeggings.  I want to buy clothes that are an investment, that will last for a long time, but not so long that I find myself wearing trendy clothes twenty three years past their prime, as in the woman with the high quality acid wash jeans. 

What’s a mom to wear these days?  Specifically, what’s a stay at home mom to wear?  We all know it’s a job, blah blah blah, but really – there are no rules.  It’s like Casual Fridays at my old place of employment; people would wear everything from mini skirts and tees to pajama pants and sandals.  I came across this piece about Fabulous Moms versus Yoga Moms and I felt extremely conflicted, and slightly, but unspecifically, offended.  I would like to think that those of us who come to school drop-off wearing saucy jeans and heels can associate freely with those of us who show up in, as the author quotes, “yoga pants and Birkenstocks”.

Although, I have to take issue with Birkenstocks.  I know, I know, Birkenstocks have changed and expanded their product selection, and I know, I know, there are many cute new Birkenstock styles out there – just like Sorel boots – but I have a very negative association with them.  Intellectually I know there are cute, feminine Birkenstocks, but emotionally I associate them with my macroeconomics professor who used to walk barefoot through the filthy lecture hall, wipe his grimy feet on his own jeans, and then slide those same, slightly less dirty feet into a pair of Birkenstocks.  This is the same professor who, when I wore a tight trendy t-shirt with French writing across it, said “Does your shirt say ‘Look at my tits?’?  Because it’s working.”  True story.  So let’s agree that if we are talking about the new, cute styles of Birkenstocks, we shall call them something else.  Birkencutes?  Babestocks? 

Where am I going with this?  I don’t know.  I DO know that I worry about losing self-awareness about my own appearance and just looking like one of those inappropriately dressed and styled women.  I don’t want to end up in O magazine’s makeover issue like this woman:

Business in the front, party in the back!
I mean, I’m not worried about LITERALLY turning into this woman – I certainly don’t have a mullet – but this woman has had the same hairstyle since 1985 and, since no one CUTS hair like this anymore, she has been maintaining her own style.  Yikes.  This concerns me.  I’ve had some variation on the long, wavy hairstyle for many, many years, the only changes have been in colour and number and length of layers.  Will I one day wake up to an intervention about modernizing my haircut, like Mullet Lady?  Will I one day find myself in O magazine, complaining about the inability to find someone to style my hair the way it suits me, because no stylist wants to be associated with me?  Will I one day notice people staring at me, not because I’m all that and a bag of chips, but because I’ve become a fashion relic?
So here is my plea to you, dear readers.  Don’t let me turn into Mullet Lady.  Please.


  1. Look, don’t friggin’ ask me. I have no idea how to dress for my body type. I’ve had one of two hairstyles (very short or inverted bob) since I was a teenager. I always say I’m going to buy investment pieces but than I price them and freak out, and end up buying some shit at Old Navy that loses it’s shape two months later and basically my entire wardrobe is composed of some variation on jeans and t-shirts.

    I used to beg my husband to nominate me for What Not to Wear. He never would. He always said my ‘style’ wasn’t wacky enough to make it to air. Which is probably true. But I still would love love LOVE to have a stylist throw out my wardrobe and then tell me how to buy a new one.

  2. This whole entry made me sad, sad, sad. I’m sure Mullet Lady is only doing the best she can. It seems as though the eighties were very, very good to her, and who wouldn’t embrace that? I’m glad she still has that crazy, crazy hairstyle. She reminds me of the local karaoke lady. Stop being mean, Nicole!

  3. I’m one of those women that wear yoga pants to school drop-off. In fact I would say the majority of the women do…but not the men. I think I dress alright the rest of the time, but then so did that mullet-woman. I think you look great. You’re no mullet-woman I can tell you that.

  4. You are nothing approaching a mullet lady. Even if you were, people would be too busy staring at your yoga-perfect rock-hard ass to notice. I, on the other hand, wear orthotic sandals all summer that probably look much like the Birkenstocks you hate. I look stupid in strappy sandals anyway and I assumed nobody was really noticing my feet and even if they did I kind of like how simple they are. But now I’m worried that they’re like a mullet for feet. Sigh.

  5. My internal monologue often centers around whether I have a timeless sense of fashion and am impervious to the whims of fads, or whether I’ve just given up being fashionable, a la poor, delusional Mullet Woman. Based on the size of the shoulder pads, I think her suit is from 1985, too.

    Birkenstocks are ugly, but they are…medicinal. No. It’s true I had plantar fasciitis & was in a lot of pain, until I started wearing them as slippers. Despite this I find them offensive — not for their admittedly ugly appearance — but for their cost. They are stupidly expensive.

    Now if you’ll excuse me I have an overwhelming urge to watch LA Law. I wonder why…

  6. What I wear in the school yard varies widely, depending on the To Do list for the day. Usually I’m in the yoga pants category. Today I was in a dress and heels, and everyone was shocked. Huh.

    I read the articles connected through your blog (including the Macleans one) and had two thoughts: 1)our children are taught to be judgemental, and 2) Cinderella, at the core, was the same girl in rags as she was in the princess dress and glass heels.

    It felt good to be in the dress, though I can’t see making the effort on yoga-pants-would-cut-it days.

  7. I used to wear Birkenstocks back in my hippie days. Not anymore. Don’t worry. We wont’ let you turn into a mullet lady. Unless of course that comes back into style.

  8. But even then, Jessica, we’ll stop everyone from returning to Mullet lady.

    I often wonder who can afford to keep up with the styles. I figure jeans never go out of style – except the acid wash variety.


  9. I cannot believe your professor said that to you. That is all.

  10. I fall into the yoga pants/workout clothes category. And when I see the skinny jeans and high heel ladies at drop off I am reminded why I squeezed into the gym clothes that morning-so that I can one day look hot again as a skinny jeans and high heels lady myself.

    Sadly, I haven’t made wardrobe shopping a priority since I’ve had children. The majority of my wardrobe comes from Sam’s Club and target because they have shopping carts I can strap my children into. There. Snif snif. I said it.

    I buy clothes in stores that also sell toilet paper and hotdogs. And I don’t even try them on first!


  11. I worry about this all the time – the hair thing. I haven’t changed my hairstyle in at least 15 years and constantly fret about whether or not it’s out of date…but yet I totally fear changing it.

    In 20 years, tie me down and chop it off! It’s for my own good!

  12. I live in yoga clothes….I am a yoga teacher. This is my uniform. I, also, have the mommy ponytail. One day I will have to do something with my hair. Great post!

  13. I am picturing the grimey foot teacher and his slimey birkenstocks…ack…

    Since I stopped working in February, I’ve been seen wearing PJ’s (sometimes consecutively) yoga pants, jogging pants…I know…I’m glamorous.

    I miss getting dressed up.

    do you have Pinterest? If you don’t, get it. You’ll love it. There are tons of ideas for things that are in style. (and no, I do not work for pinterest)

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