"My daughter says I am too old to wear this."

I am acutely aware that the following is a ridiculous and trivial situation. But I seek your counsel none the less.

On Friday night, I was preparing to go out to a very groovy evening. I had been invited to see Madonna‘s producer/DJ play in a tent in the city and there were to be hipsters, a pop up noodle market and craft beer! This event wasn’t in any old army surplus tent mind you, it was a super dooper dome situation flown in from New York.

Obviously this was serious business. So it required an equally serious outfit.

I have my own way of dressing (to put it mildly). If you think a combination of Freddie Mercury and Bjork with a light dusting of Madonna circa 1989 – you may be somewhere near where I land in terms of fashion choices.

As I got dressed on Friday night I felt good. I felt fresh. I felt like I was pushing the boundaries a little but not so much that people would feel inclined to throw food at me.

I had chosen a high-waisted leopard print skirt purchased from Zara that day, (at a BARGAIN price of $34 mind you!) some black suede ankle boots, an oversized heart pendant and my leather crop top.


As is tradition before I go out, I paraded my outfit for my children to see. Odette, six, who has the exact same dress sense as me just with more pink and glitter involved, said “You look very fancy Mum”. I smiled, enjoying the glowing review probably a little too much.

My eldest Marchella, 12, said: “No Mum”.


I was confused.

“What do you mean no? Don’t you like the skirt? The shoes? Should I wear heels not boots? It is going to be dusty, there will be hipsters. I don’t think hipsters like heels…”

Marchella pointed a long, judgmental tween finger at my amazing on-trend leather crop top and said: “That top. You are too old to wear a crop top”.

For the record, I am 34.

I stood and stared at her. Her words falling around me like dead autumn leaves, a fog of disbelief filled my head. I shook it, “I’m sorry, what now”? I responded. “It sounded as though you just said I was too old to be wearing this amazing leather crop top. Obviously my ears are playing tricks on me as no child grown, loved and cherished in my very womb would ever say that to me”.

Marchella just stood there slowly shaking her head. I immediately went to Odette for back up.

“Odie, do you think I am too old to be wearing this top”? My eyes pleading with her, I am sure she sensed my desperation.

“No Mum, you look beautiful,” she assured me.

Em Rusciano with her six-year-old daughter, Odette.

Marchella snorted and said to Odette: “Pfft look at what you’re wearing. Of course you like it!”

I quickly took in what my ally in arms was wearing. She had on a flower headband, a bikini top, no pants and gumboots. Oh dear.

I stood firm and wore the outfit to the tent event but my head was not held quite as high as usual. Marchella’s words impacted on me heavily. I know I shouldn’t care what a 12-year-old thinks of my fashion choices but I do.


I have always prided myself on the fact that I dress a little differently to most people. Up until this point my kids have loved the way I dress. Surely Marchella is just rebelling and trying to hit me where it hurts because of those bastard hormones now in fluxing her body?! Please say it is the hormones?!

Perhaps deep down I know I am too old to be wearing a leather crop top. I don’t feel like a tragic cougar when I put it on, but am I delusional? Do other mothers listen to what their children say when it comes to fashion?

I guess my choices do impact on her when her friends see me each day… it’s just they always compliment me and ask where I buy things from..



Twelve and 13-year-old girls are coveting my clothes. Friends I am having an epiphany as my hands move over the keyboard RIGHT NOW. I suppose it is conceivable that I sometimes dress like a tween girl.

My initial reaction to that is, so what? Who cares? (That may be your reaction to this entire post!) Well my kid cares apparently and that is something I cannot ignore. So my question to you, readers, is a two-pronged one: Am I too old to be wearing aforementioned crop top AND do you listen to what your kids say when they comment on your clothes?

You can check out some more of Em’s outrageous fashion items here…

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