You know when you catch yourself acting like your mom and are all like, how did that happen? That same shock and awe can transfer over to us when we find ourselves veering off into a more grown up style. While the thought of adulthood often has the potential to make one shudder and pour a circle of salt around ourselves, it doesn't necessarily mean that one Monday morning we'll wake up to find a closet full of pinstripe suits for the weekdays and matching sweater sets for the weekends.
Nope. The fall into grown-up-hood is more subtle (and less quarter life crisis inducing) than all that. You likely won't develop a yen for pearl earrings and Mary Kay makeup all of a sudden. (And if you do, all the best and safe travels on your journey.) But the majority of us are probably going to have tiny tell-tale signs of tastes changing and preferences morphing into an era of maturity.
Some of it is going to be exciting. Some of it is going to make us want to cringe. And a lot of it is going to make us want to question our sanity. Below are 11 style choices that prove you're becoming a grown up. How many have you already been guilty of?
1. You Steal Your Mom's '80s Power Suits
Obviously you're not about to get an Anne Klein two-piece of your own, but you can kind of see the appeal. You can just feel the power of slipping into one of those beastly shoulder-padded blazers, and can imagine striding with force down the hallways of your office. Just imagine: If you had one of those on, you'd grow the confidence to confront the person that leaves the microwave dirty in the lunch room, and not just leave passive-aggressive sticky notes on the wall.
2. You Buy Your First Pajama Set
Remember the days you scoffed at those Charlotte York-approved pajama sets? The ones that cost the same as a brand new outfit and screamed "brownstone in the West Village?" Nah, you'll just opt to sleep in your dad's old Metallica T-shirt, thankyouverymuch. You're not a sucker who spends good money on matching tops and bottoms.
That is, until you have an insane moment at the department store (because grown-ups shop at department stores) and buy one — ultimately changing your life forever.
3. Button-Downs Become As Sexy As Bandage Dresses
Even if you never dabbled into the full-on, Jersey Shore-esque trend of bandage dresses, up until recently you likely felt that a good bodycon had the power to turn you into walking sex. And who doesn't want to feel that way every once in a while? So imagine your surprise when you found out that a white Oxford shirt loosely unbuttoned with rolled sleeves achieves the same vibe.
Check your license. It might have expired, you grown woman, you.
4. You Buy Your First Marge Simpson Robe
Who even needs robes? Back in the day, you'd just fly out naked from the bathroom and race to your room, hoping none of your roommates were around. But now you've purchased your first fluffy, to-your-shins, matronly pink robe. It might make you want to check if your boobs are still above your belly button, but you can't argue the coziness of the thing.
5. You Splurge On Non-Target Underwear
When you spend the equivalent of a month's worth of grocery money on a bra and panty set that matches, that is your first step into adult womanhood. Congratulations: You might not have it all figured it out, but with a push-up bra that costs more than all the dinnerware you own combined, you can at least pretend you do.
6. You Wear Socks With Your Sandals To Pop Into The Store
First, it's convenient. Second, it's a bit chilly out and the socks are mandatory. Third, you're just going to the corner grocery store. No harm, no foul.
That is, until you run into your friends at the movies six months later and everyone is politely doing their best not to look at your socks and flip flops combo. The transformation into the Sad Dad look is complete.
7. You Back Away From The Five-Inch Stilettos
The Friday night when you decide your go-to skyscraper stilettos aren't going to work is a sobering moment. It's not that you can't dominate the dance floor with the best of them anymore. It's just that you'd prefer not to do the Bambi-walk to the taxi cab at the end of the night. It might be a slippery slope to orthopedic shoes after that one, but it's one you're willing to risk once you feel how nice flats are when you're ordering the next round of martinis.
8. You Decide To Wear A Blazer To Work
You've been rocking the graphic tees and Doctor Who fangirl necklaces to work all year, but that first moment you decide to try on your black blazer with the tags still on from the back of your closet is going to be a weirdly scary slash satisfactory moment. Not that you won't wear the Tardis necklace underneath your shirt.
9. When You Kind Of Dig The Grandma Sleeping Gown At The Thrift Store
Sure, the plaid is reminiscent of an old couch in a basement decked out in wooden panel walls, and granted it has a turtleneck... but something about it says "yes."
10. When You Put Away The Bronzer
If you're anything like me, you have Facebook memory notifications popping up reminiscent of the first turkey you tried cooking yourself for Friendsgiving dinner. As in, your face looks fried to a crisp. Where an all-over Puerta-Vallarta-vacation-burn was amazing in your buck wild days, you feel the urge to dust on a little less orange when those adult tendencies kick in.
11. You Buy Your First Pair Of Nude-Colored Pantyhose
Like the ones you see '80s businesswomen rocking in 9 To 5. Because, darn it, they're comfortable as hell and sometimes you don't want to shave your legs.
Hello matronliness, I'm ready for you.
Images: Twentieth Century Fox (5) ; 20th Century Fox Television (2); HBO (2); Walt Disney Pictures; NBC (2)