over50feeling40: July 2010
Fashion and Lifestyle Blog for women over 50 to help achieve strength, confidence, joy, inspiration, and, of course, head-turning personal style!

Jul 29, 2010

Timeless vs. Old Fashioned

Classics. Timeless or stodgy? The word “classic” actually brings controversy to the world of fashion. The article about Grace Kelly in the August Harper’s Bazaar already had me thinking about what makes a classic. Then I saw that the fall fashion line up once again includes tailored white shirts, black pants, camel-colored trench coats, pearls, and a touch of leopard! These are all classics.

I am in the camp that associates classics with synonyms such as flawless, superior, ideal, distinguished, top notch, timeless, vintage, and quintessential. The little black dress (one that fits your curves), pointy toed shoes, stilettos (for those who can still wear them), all versions of pearls, the Chanel-tweed look, lace, and pinstripes are all classics which enhance your wardrobe and your sophistication.

Now, I realize some of you look at classics as old-fashioned, archaic, typical, obsolete, conservative, and antique. Once again, I will challenge you to change your way of thinking. Think: CLASSIC MEANS CLASSY. To have these in your wardrobe, will ultimately help us in achieving the goal of confidence, strength and dignity. It is hard to go wrong with a classic look…unless it just does not fit well.  Also, there are many versions of the classics.  They are updated and brought to us in a variety of ways every season.

I watched Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr in An Affair to Remember this week. For the most part, her clothing would be just as timely today. The way the first evening dress she wears on the cruise fits her body is beautiful. No matter your age or your body type, you can have the style of a Grace Kelly and can make heads turn when you enter the room. Enter the room with confidence…carry yourself with grace…look in mirror today and say, “I AM A CLASSIC BEAUTY!” Believe it and make sure the classic staples are in your closet.

I found this book published in 1883 on my grandparent's East Texas farm.  This refined lady was inside. We've come a long way, baby!


Jul 26, 2010

Over 50 and Goth?

Next, we must venture into a very dark place.…. The black hole closets of those addicted to black. You know who you are. When you enter your closet, the organ prelude for Phantom of the Opera begins to sound. Seasoned women cling to black for a variety of reasons (S & C 101).

Do any of these sound familiar:

1. You have fallen for the myth that black is slimming. In fact, you think black, drapy, loosey/goosey, oversized clothing is more slimming than anything else.

2. It has become your comfort zone. That place where you hide from the world is a bottomless, black pit.

3. You think that it is the way to look sophisticated and professional.

4. Because colors and fashion scare you, you would just rather stay in the black.

Please do not get me wrong, a little black is perfectly fine. But it must fit and not dominate your wardrobe. Stacy said once that few women can successfully wear black, because it does not complement our skin tones. She often recommends chocolate brown rather than black… it just looks better on us. It is softer and not as harsh. At the time that I began to change my wardrobe, I would wear elastic waist (a big WTNW no, no) stretchy, knit black pants…..a lot. I was amazed at how much better a proper fitting black trouser looked! The stretchy pants are now used for lounging- around- the- house- pants. I have added a couple of black trousers with pinstripes, because I really like the look of black and white. I also have a boyfriend jacket which is black with a khaki pinstripe. It is one of my favorite jackets and I often wear a green or even a brown top with it.

Let's just face the hard cold facts...when we wear all black or even mostly black, we are not the kind of women most people want to approach.  They want to run away!  It is honestly scary.  It does send a message and the message is not good.  Unless it is a form fitting, classic, tailored black suit!  Or a form fitting, classic, little black evening dress with incredible accessories.

Ladies, it is time to come into the light! If it has an elastic waist, toss it. If it is oversized, toss it. If you have nothing but black, toss the pieces that don’t fit your body. Then replace with some color which complements who you are. The world is full of vibrant colors and you are missing out by hiding in black.

Save Phantom for a rainy afternoon. Put on some classic rock n roll (for me it's the Beatles) and tackle the closet now!

Even at night, there's beauty and a touch of color!

Jul 22, 2010

HAIL TO THE QUEEN!.......okay, maybe the maidservant.....

I didn’t think about it at first, but there is a certain air of mystique that comes with keeping my identity a secret. Possibly, you envision me as a powerful Meryl-Streep-Devil-Wears-Prada type. Fully in control of the fashion industry…lending my expertise and knowledge to all of the “small people” while designers shower me with their wares and interns bring me mass quantities of Starbuck’s. They tremble when I speak and fashion stands still until I render my thoughts.

Possibly, I am a high dollar television producer looking to start a new reality show with the assistance of model/producer Heidi Klum… kind of a Project Runway for the Seasoned Woman…building an audience through a blog which is secretly written by an assistant, not me, but of course I get all of the credit once the real author is announced in a major press conference to the entertainment world.

Alas, were one of those scenarios only true. The truth?? I live among the glamorous world of laundry….where a good day turns football practice stains to white…everyone likes and eats the evening meal…and all cars run without problems. My world is full of students who forget homework….parents who make excuses for kids who forget homework…193,000 miles on a car…a new car payment…layoffs…higher insurance… college tuitions….and a cat who is bipolar.

So, this brings me to fashion magazines. How I got to that was through the frustration I have with all of them, because rarely do they produce style for the woman in the trenches. Some make a valiant effort. The August issue of O magazine teases with this headline “265 Unbelievable Bargains Just for You.” I just think Oprah is so far away from a reality such as mine, that she doesn’t understand that $99 per item is not enticing. Her under $100 section features mostly items from $50-$99. A fall coat for $748 does not work in our family or my wardrobe.

I like to look at the Harper’s Bazaar section titled Fabulous at Every Age. Let’s just look at the prices for the age 50s section in the August issue. Purse: $1,995; Shoes: $550; Blouse: $1,175; Earrings: $2,358; Skirt: $2,595; Jacket: $7,615…….Really?? I really wonder how many women in America can do this.

But I am here to tell you, ladies, that you can look fabulous in quality clothes on a budget! Yes, I will tell you things like layering pieces can be found for $5; but, come on, they are layering pieces, they go underneath the good stuff. Pay attention to my shopping suggestions and you will be able to look like you came out of a magazine for far less than those prices.

I look at the magazines for suggestions of what looks good; what’s in style; and then decide how I can mimic it. Remember FIT MATTERS. AND FIT IS AFFORDABLE!

I just asked my teenage son to bring me Starbuck’s and a salad! He laughed out loud.

HOT FLASH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                         MORE REASONS TO LOVE JULY!

Coldwater Creek has some incredible savings on their website in the outlet. I got this wonderful blouse which was regular price, $70, for $18 and I ordered it on a day when free shipping was offered. Sign up for the emails so that you know when those days are. Look at the detail on this blouse. The seaming and fit is excellent to slim your body and give an expensive look to a simple top. I always read the reader comments and the site is good to show the negative comments along with the good. It’s girly! And looks great with a purple silk jacket I already have!

Finally, most stores such as Coldwater Creek and Chicos will allow you to
return your online purchase at the store if you are unhappy.  That makes life
a little easier!

Jul 19, 2010

The Long and the Short of It

I realize that I started sharing trends with you for the fall, but overall I do not have the income or the inclination to follow trends. I just happen to really like the khaki and leopard combination. In fact, it seems like the animal prints are in one year…out the next…back again…out again…but somehow, worth keeping in the closet. You will be able to tell what I like pretty quickly, but hopefully, you will begin to notice what you like…what looks best on you…what feels best on you. The goal is to look good and feel good, so that you are not really even aware of the clothes.

Stacy London says on the WNTW website, “I never believe in trends. Wear just what looks good on you.”

She and Clinton talk a lot about the benefits of “elongating your look.” In fact, Clinton often says that the goal is to look like a tall, cool glass of water. Sounds good in our summer heat, right? This is very beneficial no matter what your height or weight is; taller women sometimes dress in ways that cut themselves short. Those of us over 50 struggle with other issues here. I swear I think I have shrunk. I haven’t been diagnosed with osteoporosis, but the last two years at the doctor, I have been a whole half inch shorter!! But, just saying the words, ELONGATE YOUR LOOK, makes me sit taller at the computer. Elongation and good posture (shoulders back everyone) go hand in hand.

So, here are those tips (S & C 101):

1. Make sure you have a full length mirror. If you don’t, truck over to Target and get one today! You do not have to spend big bucks, but you need this in order to see your complete outfit.

2. Wear V-neck collars more than anything else. They open up the neck, face, and stream line the look. I have fallen in love with V-necks and wear them more than any other collar now. After hearing this, I could tell how a turtle neck or wrapping a scarf up to the chin really made me hunch over.

3. Watch the length of your skirts and short pants. Wearing skirts to your ankles actually makes you look shorter. A nice mid length showing some of the leg will add length and be slimming. A Capri, as I said before, cuts you off mid leg, so it is actually more slimming to wear a walking short which hits at the top of the knee. When you begin to try things on armed with knowledge, you will see the difference in the mirror and have new understanding.

4. Use accessories to add length. I will wear a scarf hanging long down the front of the shirt or on either side rather than bunch it up around my neck. I tend to wear the longer necklaces than shorter…though I do change it up some.

5. Stacy reminds us that a heel (even a small one) will elongate the look. I know many of you cannot or will not wear a heel. I am going to discuss this more when we get to shoes. I had the dreaded bunion surgery three years ago and have said good bye to heels, but there are fun options out there.

6. Watch the lengths of your jackets, cardigans, and shirts which are worn outside. Traditionally, they need to hit top of the hip or mid-hip. If they are too long, they can cut your height off and not be flattering. Look at the longer ones for a long time from all angles before you buy it and be sure it is a flattering fit to your body type. DO NOT BUY CLOTHES WITHOUT TRYING THEM ON! It saves you so much money and time if you adhere to this rule.

7. Finally, if you are a TUCKER, you might consider changing your ways. An un-tucked shirt is now in style, and really slims, elongates the look. The slimmer and taller ladies can get away with tucking more than the other half. I, also, learned at Chico’s that pulling your sleeves to the elbow (I have said this before) and not wearing the sleeve all of the way down, will elongate and slim the look. The employees at Chico’s are armed with little tips such as this one! But, if you prefer to shop alone…you might want to try someplace else! I have learned great tips from them though.

Whew…now I’m going for the tall, cool glass of water. Wish you could join me and we could just sit outside and get to know one another better.

Shopping Note: Wal-Mart has great V-neck layering t-shirts for under your structured jackets or cardigans. They have a variety of colors and they sell for $3.50-$5.00. They hold up pretty well in the wash, but I hang them to dry.

Jul 18, 2010


Remember, I was going to look for a camel colored jacket to go with that great scarf I found on sale (OK, maybe I am addicted to scarves!) well, I found the jacket!! I’m thinking brown pants and red shoes, but I might change my mind in a couple of months. I love separates…this would go with a pencil skirt or jeans! When shopping for jackets, remember to avoid shoulder pads…we just do not need to look like linebackers! I cleaned out all of the shoulder pad equipment when I swept through the closet with new resolve. I do have a couple of jackets with very small shoulder pads in them…just not the 80s big ones. I actually had a seamtress remove shoulder pads from two jackets I really liked.

S & C 101:  You control the clothes do not let the clothes control you.  You might need a little tailoring every now and then to get the perfect fit and a stylish, modern look.

Speaking of the closet…have you started cleaning it out yet? Just start now with the items you cannot wear…or start with all of the items that do not fit. My closet cleaning was a process, but when I finally finished, I added a small artistic rug and a little detailing to make it a fun place to get dressed. It is now a place I look forward to walking into and not a place I disrespect and avoid.

OK, Girls, we are on our way! In future posts, I will discuss overabundance- of- black- clothing; elongating your look; shoes (how could I wait so long to discuss shoes!).

Feeling younger yet? More confident? It will come, trust me.

Jul 16, 2010


While I was running errands today, I saw a woman who really caught my attention. She was striking in her appearance….very simple and classy. Her face bore the bronze lines of distinction of a woman maybe in her late 60s with a trendy, short cut for her silver streaked hair. I was envious of her thin physique which she clothed in straight leg jeans, sandals, an artistic graphic T of tans, browns and greys topped with a rustic tan cardigan. She carried a classic leather bag and caught my eye because she walked with strength and confidence which is always attractive. He straight, “shoulders back” posture reflected the confidence she exuded; yet, I felt like she was approachable with no walls built around her. I wondered if she was always strong as she appeared or if there was a time, like with me and some of you that she faced the need for change and inspiration.

 Have some of you read through this blog from the beginning and still not seen the need to go from frumpy to fabulous? Maybe, acting like you don’t care has become easy or is your form of rebellion. Or you think, “I have no other options…this is the way it is and has to be”. Or you just feel tired. I struggled with it all. Prior to the driver’s license incident, I lived and walked through many different emotions and scenarios. There was a cast of characters who had commented on my dress for years; all family members. I just could not get it right. Through three children, three C-sections, and a hysterectomy, I gained weight. The weight just dragged out the problem of what to do with my looks and always made things more complicated. It was so hard to please all of these people and be overweight at the same time! It was easier to walk away from the mirror than try to create the image all the naysayers wanted reflected in it. Around this same time; I began to associate with some very wealthy women. Their children were friends with my children and I also began to teach their children. I really wanted their acceptance; their friendship. However, I was only allowed into their circle so far. For whatever reason, I was not asked to join in with their social clubs…supper clubs, evenings out, etc. It may have been because of the way I looked and I certainly received it that way. But, I did not have the income to spend on expensive clothing as they did. It may have been other reasons. I will admit that sometimes, I tried too hard to look fashionable. I mean, really too hard…I cringe when I think about some of those glittering, shimmering disasters! Hot pink capri pants covered in colorful martini glasses might give you some idea of what I am referring to. This crazy path led me through a state of rebellion and confusion right at the timeI turned 50. It was my way of throwing all of my self- esteem issues back in the faces of everyone I felt were judging me. I thought it was too late anyway and this was the way I looked and the way it would stay.

As I said, looking into my reflection on What Not to Wear opened my own eyes to just how bad I looked. My appearance literally said that I did not care about life. I tell you all of this, because you have to want to change your look for no one else but YOU. As my style began to reflect me, I grew in confidence and everything around me changed for the better.

I am going to end with this picture of a drawer knob. I have had the same chest-of-drawers for years and last spring one of the handles broke off. I just left it broken for months because I did not want to face changing it and I wasn’t sure how to change it. Recently, I replaced the two handles with these porcelain drawer knobs, and I LOVE THEM! It really changes and improves the look of the chest. Don’t let fear hold you back, just go for it! Start with small changes, but make a commitment to change. Stop the excuses. You can look better no matter what you have going on right now. You will be surprised at just how good you feel about everything around you. Do this for YOU!

“Don't rely on someone else for your happiness and self-worth. Only you can be responsible for that. If you can't love and respect yourself - no one else will be able to make that happen. Accept who you are - completely; the good and the bad - and make changes as YOU see fit - not because you think someone else wants you to be different.”

Stacey Charter, cancer survivor

HOT FLASH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A close friend told me to check out Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale. It looks great and if you normally cannot shop at their regular prices here is a way to get everything from bras to boots at about the same costs you might  find other places….but, of course, top designers and fashionable selections are in every department at Nordstrom's.  You can discover clothes for every season at this sale. I saw Stacey and Clinton staples such as, dark denim jeans, jackets, and pointy toed shoes and boots. I keep saying July is the time to shop!  But, remember items online and in the stores go quickly and once they're gone, they're gone!

Jul 15, 2010


 As you prepare to hit the July sales and maybe even look for those great structured jackets, make sure you remember that all the DETAILS are important!  Looking for special details on a jacket is where you begin to develop a style that is all your own.  First, remember to make sure the jacket fits you and has great seaming.  Then look for unique details and begin to build a wardrobe of separates that can produce many different outfits.  I like to have several jackets of neutral colors:  black, brown, tan, grey,white. (S & C 101) Then I can make the outfit interesting with print blouses or great scarves.  I have begun to look more for creative, interesting details so that my style is unique to me.

For example, look for detail on

POCKETS...For one of these looks, I found a blouse with brass buttons to match the brass button on the jacket pocket.  These are small ways you can tie a look together.

CREATIVE TRIM OR SEAMING...which will also flatter your body.

BUTTONS....either creative buttons or used in a stylish way on elements of the jacket...pockets, sleeve, in addition to the functional front closure buttons.

BACK DETAIL...Always check to see if there is something special about the back!

SLEEVES....one of the most fun details I learned from the stylists at Chico's is that if you want a slimmer look, then go for jacket sleeves which are folded or designed to hit just under the elbow. To go all the way to the wrist creates a heavy look.  But, I think Stacy and Clinton would disagree with that, so just try it both ways and see how it looks on you.  You must always try clothes on before you buy them (S & C 101)  Any way, there are fun sleeves out there!

Jul 13, 2010

HOT FLASH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

HOT FLASH…..This is my first hot flash report for this blog…just so that we have HOT FLASHES to look forward to…this is not the bad kind….but the SAVING MONEY KIND! All summer Stein Mart has featured some of their ATTITUDES jewelry line at major discounts. The earrings in this picture were only $4.99 each and the necklace was $6.99. The great scarf was on clearance for $8.00 as part of their RED DOT clearance sales. I LOVE JULY CLEARANCE SHOPPING…it is the absolute best.

The July edition of VOGUE magazine features this fall fashion trend: Anything beige or camel with leopard accents. Then they pop this with a fun red or orange bag or shoe. I am going to look for a beige top or jacket to wear with this scarf!


I hope by now that some of you have decided to come out of the tired “I - give- up” looks that so many over 50 women wear and come into the fun, feeling younger light! Please share with us what you learn along the way and recommend your own retailers and products!

Change was exhilarating for me! I felt better when I went to work, to meetings, to lunch, out with my husband, to church, to run errands…all the way around I was feeling better. I know there are some of you who are creative-types like me (you know, happier in art & drama classes in high school than in math & science) and will understand completely when I say that ACCESSORIES are the SPICE of fashion. Stick with me through this analogy, a meal without spice is bland….but a meal with too much spice is inedible. Therefore, you goal is to combine your spices so that the meal is incredible! The right accessories are not only fun, but also functional. Just as some of our spices are healthy...OK, you get the picture, I hope. I long scarf or necklace can elongate the body. A great belt can define a waist. A unique, creative line of accessories can expand your wardrobe.

Just heed this WARNING…these spices can be addictive. You can definitely do too much, so do not forget less is more. There is an old saying that you should remove at least one accessory before going out the door. I confess: sometimes I do this, and sometimes I don’t. Accessories should be proportional to your size and body type. Shorter women can be over powered by long scarves and big earrings. Make certain your earrings and necklaces do not compete with one another. Simple and classy are always the best ways to go. I love fun, long, earrings…but I am taller, longer and do not have to wear a traditional business suit to work. However, I try to only wear the bigger earrings when I do not have on a large necklace.

One of my favorite looks has become a simple, neutral top with a long, fun print scarf, earrings which complement the scarf but do not compete with it, and a bold bracelet. I was asked recently by a student how many scarves I have, so maybe I do scarves too often. But, I really like the look. I found a wonderful scarf at Marshall’s recently full of creams, orange, and green, but it was one of those Infinity scarves which go around in a circle and I did not like the look on me. It was on clearance for nine dollars. So I bought, and cut the circle on the seam…jagged the edges a bit with the scissors and it looks great. It is now one of my favorites and the print is bold with colors I really love.

I have a personal rule when I am shopping: I do not pay full price for anything UNLESS it is the most amazing thing I have ever seen. Sale shopping for accessories is very easy and most of the major retailers provide coupons, birthday discounts, frequent shopper rewards, etc. I take advantage of everything I can. Always check the clearance sections for great accessories.

There will be much more about this topic later, because after all it is the SPICE. But I had to end this entry with the picture of this purse I recently purchased at Marshalls for the fall. I love the vintage, fun look of this purse. It just makes me smile. Look for something that makes you smile when you look in the mirror and have fun with your shopping!

Jul 8, 2010


It did not take long for me to see that a staple in an S & C 101 wardrobe are great structured jackets. They do make one look much thinner and always add a touch of class & sophistication. I get frustrated with the ladies who believe that jackets are too conservative….I’ve never seen a jacket vote! But, I get the point. It depends on what you do with the jacket as to whether they look old fashioned or unimaginative. I wear them often with trouser jeans and feel so much better about an outfit wearing one. But, again, you must try them on! There are some real dogs out there and you shouldn’t waste your money…or reputation…on them.

Fit is crucial with jackets. More guidelines from S & C 101: Make sure the shoulder seam hits at the shoulder; the buttons need to able to button (not because it should always be worn that way, but because that means it fits your body); to elongate your body, make sure the jacket hits at the base of the hip or top of the thigh; for those with a larger chest, a three button jacket is preferential in order to “lock and load the girls;” and seaming is very important. Look for jackets with great seaming and don’t try on the many that are out there with no seams to their names. A variety of jackets in neutral colors can really expand a wardrobe and I know this from experience!

Last spring, I added a couple of the longer jackets called the boyfriend style cut. While I personally love them, they are not flattering to a large middle section. After losing some weight, I will love them more.

You must shop for them…shopping means to take the time to look around….you will find jackets that do so much for your look and body that they are worth paying the big bucks. Occasionally, you will discover treasure. I have two jackets which I have owned for about four years from Target and Old Navy…. they fit and look great! The cost was next to nothing and I continue to wear them today. I also have some really nice designer jackets which I found at Marshall’s, Ross, and Macy’s and fit incredibly well. I love jackets and even in the Texas heat, it is possible to wear them with a sleeveless tank and not burn up! I also have a couple of mid-length sleeve jackets…great for warmer weather. Every woman should own a supple leather jacket, but be picky about the fit. Shop around…yes, now, even in the summer heat…you can find a great summer clearance price and be ready for the first cold snap. Clearance prices are tempting on line and can be found on fun locations like Macy’s and Nordstrom’s. Make sure any online shopping includes an easy return policy, because the fit must be excellent in order to justify the expense.

Jul 5, 2010


“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.”

- Mary Engelbreit

Fun - over -  50, Mary Engelbreit, is one of my favorite graphic illustrators and if I could get her to pen her words on a plaque, I would. These words are a charge to action for most of us when we enter the dreaded fifty-zone….we can make a decision to go forward one way or another. I faced a lot of changing when it came to the way I saw many things. My biggest hang up was my weight and much of the dysfunctional closet had to do with my weight. I had a section of clothes waiting for me to lose the pounds which came and stayed so easily after my children were born….a section of oversized clothing to hide the pounds…and a whole lot of things that just fit really badly. But it would be months before I was able to completely empty everything. If I had foreseen the future, I would have captured these rare finds for historical purposes. But, alas, they went to thrift stores before that could be done. Once again, it was a process. My thinking had to change in so many ways.

Let’s just look at the oversized clothing. A standard lesson in S & C 101 is clothes that fit and elongate the body make you look thinner than the big clothes. I had to see this one to believe it! But it’s true.

Horizontal stripes make you look bigger…once again, true! Any tapered pant makes you look like an ice cream cone! And capris are the worst (I really think that 85% of the women in Texas keep Capri designers in business.) The day I stood in front of a full length mirror to test this theory was horrifying because I really did look like an ice cream cone! A really big dip. I think there are some out there who will struggle with giving up capris more than anything and of course, it is not as big an issue as it is for the thinner fare.

Much to my dismay, I had to change my thinking about my bra. I really hate spending money on what’s underneath! Stacy London is famous for telling women that if they get a proper bra fit, and hold up those girls, you will look like you have dropped twenty pounds. I had not had a bra fitting in years and yes, the boobs hung low and wobbled to and fro. So, I hit the mall and went for the fitting. I was like every other woman enrolled in S & C 101; my bra size was drastically different from the size I was wearing. But, VIOLA, once those girls are hoisted, you do look thinner…the waist is revealed.

A big roadblock for me was that I had to change my way of thinking about woman’s sized clothing and the stores which sold them. I did not want anyone to see me walking into a Lane Bryant. I was embarrassed. For me it was almost as bad as being seen walking into a male strip club (just for the record I do not go to male strip clubs). Baby steps are good in a journey of change, so I sucked it up and walked into Lane Bryant. Today, the ladies in the location nearest me are friends and will save and look for items for me. I am about to lose the weight to where I will no longer shop there, but they give great service and I will miss them. They helped me along that road toward feeling 40!

Shopping Notes: For bra fittings: department stores, Victoria Secret, and Lane Bryant will fit you with awesome selections. I also have two Bali Bras from Kohl’s which I love…thick back straps, padded thicker shoulder straps, comfortable and pretty.

Jul 2, 2010

Change is Possible with New BFFs!

I found myself depressed, discouraged and thinking I was to live with the woman in the picture. For some reason, I was stagnant. I did not know if change was possible, and became another Scarlett O'Hara....I would think about it tomorrow! Five months later, my teenage daughter told me to watch a funny show with her, TLC's What Not to Wear. I thought I was joining my teenager in a fun, fashion experience, but soon realized (with great horror) that many of the women, hosts Stacy and Clinton were ridiculing, dressed exactly like me. I began to keep a checklist:
* Tapered capri pants
* Oversized tops
* An over abundance of polyester
* Light colored...just bad....denim
* Hand me downs from my elderly mother-in-law
* Styles from the 1980s
* Clunker shoes
* Many exotic, Goodwill finds
and Finally, the one I think they hate the most:
* Holiday sweaters
They were all there in a messy, packed out closet which officially made me a schizophrenic. I confess, I felt very overwhelmed sitting in the floor of that closet, but at least I had a starting point. What Not to Wear became my new college class and Stacy & Clinton my new best friends.
They had now opened my eyes to change and given me a place to start. It would be awhile before I believed change was possible and as I said this is a journey..not one big jump. We had many obstacles to confront, but I had two new friends to lead the way for now. From this point on, when I refer to something that I learned on the show, I will designate it as S & C 101. I want to make sure they get the credit....as any BFF should. Today, ask yourself this:
Are you ready for change?
Are you willing to change?
Don't use excuses....it will not cost Fifth Avenue Prices....or take all of your time....or be self indulgent.... all ages can be helped...all body types...and, the best part, it will give you confidence and strength!

Jul 1, 2010

Seven Years and Blooming

I knew I had to get my driver's license renewed when I turned fifty, but I honestly never thought they would take another picture. After all, why bother...the old one looked just fine. So, I was shocked seven years ago when the woman blandly said, "Step back stand on the line, look at the camera." I argued..."WHAT YOU MEAN STAND ON THE LINE, LOOK AT THE CAMERA! The old picture is just fine". She looked down at the old license, looked at me (while smacking her Trident) and said, YOU DON'T LOOK LIKE THAT, STAND ON THE LINE.
When it arrived, I knew it would be bad, but I had no idea how bad. The woman staring back at me was a stranger...an old woman with gray and straw blonde twined together through straggly locks; pale wrinkled, saggy skin; an oversized man's shirt; and the convict's scowl. I looked 90! Not even close to 50!
At this point, I realized that my fast paced lifestyle kept me from looking too closely at the woman in the mirror and I had no idea what she had become. That picture, now a source of great encouragement, began to haunt me. I had proudly told friends that I would not care when I began to gray and wrinkle, but looking down at this woman made me see that I had just flat lied. I did care.
This blog is to bring encouragment and ideas to all of you who have stared into reality....whether from a driver's license or a mirror. Hopefully, others will share their ideas and journeys. My journey, now seven years long has resulted in some retailers actually questioning if it is my real license. I put it beside my faculty ID in my wallet just to deal with those times when someone thinks I am pulling one over on them, and then I usually walk away smiling with immense pleasure.
Finally, I want to assure you that my journey does not include plastic surgery or vast amounts of money. I am not working for any of the products or retailers I will endorse or critique. This is my real walk and what I have learned. I truly believe that by sharing it, I can help so many other women who are stuck in a rut and feel FRUMPY. I have chosen to keep my identity a secret, because I do have friends who would say to care so much about our outsides is trivial and unnecessary.  Though I agree that beauty and confidence begin on the inside, I also have discovered that looking great on the outside helps our confidence and is not a shallow pursuit.  For now, we will get this party started, see how it goes, and maybe I will reveal my true identity at some point. Until now, I am the REVIVED, the over 50 woman who is happy to say that the old picture no longer is ME.