Rock Wife, night on the town
What a rock wife really looks like!
A few weeks ago I went to get my haircut at a different salon and I heard something I never ever heard before … The hairstylist said she couldn’t picture me at a rock club; noting that I was quiet and dressed conservatively that day.
For a person who never gave a shit about hair, nails, or styles; has tattoos; and wears heavy eyeliner — all the time — this was an absurd thing to hear. (Especially since on that particular day I was bra-less).
But, after giving it much thought, yeah, I guess I do look conservative in a day and age where everything goes. From as far back as 15, I dressed “different.” But in the late 1970s, a ton of make-up, messy hair, leather jacket, and lots of new wave and punk buttons was considered radical. I got bullied for how I looked back then. Now, no one would bat an eye. Ahead of my time? Perhaps. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Fast forward a few years … I’ll never forget when I started dressing conservative, or what they’d call today “business casual.” I was in my late teens and a male friend I had a crush on said he liked the “secretary look.” I cleaned up my act of leather, ripped jeans, combat boots, and bleached blonde hair and started buying more fashionable clothing. But that got old and for the next 30 years I flip flopped back and forth between edgy and radical to simply pretty — or as the old friend would say, the secretary look.
The thing is, I was never one to pigeon-hole myself into just one look like I did as a teenager. The first time I left my punk look behind, I’d go back again and again and again, but I grew tired of people staring and calling me “punk” 24/7. In time, I liked having a choice. I’d punk out — or rock out — at a club, but then be more subtle at other times. (Nevertheless, I still stood out for the very reasons mentioned in the second paragraph).
Call me a sell-out, a cop-out, or a poser, but I know what is in my heart. I can love music without advertising it. I have one small tattoo, on my wrist, of a 45-rpm spindle, which is my “music charm” and that says it all. I don’t need to dye my hair some pastel color, continue shopping at Trash and Vaudeville, or pierce my face to make a statement. Anyone who knows me, knows I am the biggest music freak ever.
The thing is, I love to shop anywhere and everywhere. I’ll try all kinds of styles. And like my eclectic taste in music, I feel I’m equally as diverse in dress. That’s the greatest thing about being a woman — being able to experiment with clothes, hairstyles, and make-up.
I think it’s essential to really know what looks good on you as you age. I take all those “Over 50 dos and don’ts” with a grain of salt and just work the looks as I go along. There are some things I highly doubt I’d ever wear again; others I can still get away with; and then others I’m not quite there yet (so I’ll just say “no” to the jogging suits, for now!)
If this makes me the kind of person one couldn’t picture at a rock club, I am fine with that. I prefer outdoor oldies concerts, these days, anyway.
Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is the author of “On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist” Available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Guest-List-Adventures-Music-Journalist/dp/162903908X
She’s also the author of the steamy 1980s romance, “Love Cats” also available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00YBGVJQS/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1