Please, international designers and clothing manufacturers, permit me to hand over my hard-earned money in exchange for outfits that look good, wear well, and don't make me appear as if I am trying to pass for twenty-five, or eighteen, or-god forbid-twelve.

Would somebody, somewhere, please start making clothes women my age want to buy?

We're a big consumer market share and we are just waiting to fling our money at those who provide garments with the right cut and drape.

Especially if you don't make any bad puns involving the word "big."

Look, you wouldn't even have to admit you're doing it to gather in dumpsters full of dollar bills; you could even tell yourself you're doing it to jumpstart the economy. You'd be celebrated equally by members of NOW, the AARP, and the AAUW, as well as by members of NASDAQ and the NYSE and readers of the WSJ.

Imagine: everyone would get together and build a monument to The Well-Dressed Woman and she'd be wearing YOUR design. Since the design would be timeless, you'd always look as good as she-and we-would.

I am tired of living in the World of Unmatched Black Separates, as if I am waiting to be inducted into a religious order or about to proceed directly to a funeral. I am tired of living in the World of The Unflattering Cowl Neckline. I hate the new world of the Garments that Make You Look Pregnant Even When You Are Too Old to BE Pregnant.

I resent even seeing photographs of the Land Combining Palazzo Pants and Poofy Sleeves and despise the universe of Spanx, which is more or less a kind of sausage casing for the adult female form.

I used to like The World of Eileen Fisher and Chicos, but even they have made it hard to feel the love. It seems to me there's a betrayal of middle-aged broads by these two designers/retailers: either they're giving us hideous Floridian prints or putting us in bizarre old-hippy costumes. I don't want a "get-up"-I just want clothes that look nice when I go out.

No more clingy yet bulky cable-knit sweaters.

No more footless tights. Are you kidding or what?

Forget the featherweight anything. (Cheap cashmere shows your contempt for us.)

Low-rise is nobody's friend-not over thirty. Sorry if you think you look good in those jeans-you are wrong.

No more big buttons on the bustline. (Can you acknowledge that we have a bust line a little back fat without forcing us in jackets that look like bathrobes?)

All I want is stuff that doesn't make me look like an oven mitt (no more quilting), a mattress pad (no more quilting), or Yoda (make something with shape).

Or, at the very least, if you could all use the same color black, you would be surprised at how both the general economic indicator and the overall sense of consumer confidence would suddenly rise.




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