A daily chat between girlfriends for inspiration, encouragement and guidance to promote joyful aging while wearing strength, confidence, and head-turning, personal style.

Aug 29, 2010

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

Wal-Mart solved several of my problems today! School spirit shirts are notoriously frumpy or too small…rarely is there an in-between. These frumpy, shrunken shirts are also usually over priced by Booster Clubs attempting to fund the school athletic program. Now, I don’t mind the fundraising if the product is good. But, today these stylish polos caught my eye as I came off the peanut butter aisle! They are only $13….several different colors…and have an amazing fit. The tag: Riders by Lee, Instantly slims you; Slenderizing in the seams; Shaped side seams; Curved front hem. The seams are incredible and the 97% cotton, 3% spandex blend makes them soft and cool to wear. I am now ready for a maroon out and a white out. Bring it on!!

GO TEAM!!!!



I was on a Roll- Back- Roll when I saw nearby long sleeved dark denim shirts! These are returning to the fall fashion scene with browns and camels for career and casual wear. Wal-Mart’s Faded Glory version is only $12…I am still kicking myself for throwing out the one I had, but they haven’t been back in style for a long time.

Looks just like the expensive ones!

Finally, my favorite color to wear, olive green, because, YES, it brings out my eyes is really big this fall. I found this knit top just behind the denim for only $8.00 and it was also available in several colors. These are excellent layering pieces for under those form fitting jackets we talk so often about.


Scarf is from Marshall's - Cejon brand only $13

I got groceries too…I just wasn’t as excited about them!









FINALLY, CHECK OUT GIGI!!  This great form fitting pencil is from Stein Mart!  She's got the art teacher look in urban chic!

Aug 21, 2010

HOLLYWOOD AND CRICKETS

The Fabulous Mrs. A
One of my high school students and twenty-something former students love, love, love the store, Anthropologie. But, I confess, I have always thought of it as a store for their age groups, but not mine. However, my glamorous friend, Mrs. A, wore the most incredible vest to a faculty dinner last week…from a clearance rack at Anthropologie! The colors in the vest were fabulous (sorry my picture isn’t) and she topped it with a wonderful necklace of stones mixing like colors. I love to see what she wears as she is so classy….a model…and beginning a new acting career. She was fresh off of filming a small speaking-part scene in Dallas the day of the dinner. I was fresh off of sweeping dead crickets out of my classroom, so you can see why I follow her around.


Gigi!!!
Also, check out Gigi’s necklace from the same dinner. She had just picked it up for $2 at a re-sale shop that afternoon. Remember part of this journey is changing our way of thinking…if you have hang-ups about wearing formerly owned items…you will be poorer than the rest of us!! If you have hang ups about stores like Anthropologie, you might miss out on unique pieces that help create individual style. 

One last comment from Mrs. A….she says that it only takes five minutes to change a purse. The wrong purse can destroy your outfits…so I’m off to change the purse!
Good to go!


Aug 14, 2010

READING NONVERBAL COMMUNICATION

Mrs. Belle?  This is how your feet should look!!

I have a confession to make. When I was in high school, my fellow Rebels (we really were the Lee High Rebels) and I loved to torment a substitute teacher named Mrs. Belle. She always wore polyester dresses to her ankles covered by intense colors and big, clunky nursing shoes. She was overboard strict and we did things just to get a reaction….sorry, Mrs. Belle, just know what goes around comes around and I have had my share of student torment. But, I still have an image of her screaming at us and threatening to throw one of those shoes, which could have easily sent one of us to the emergency room!
I think throughout history teachers have been one of the worst groups of fashion offenders. I love my co-workers, but I have heard every excuse for poor style……My dress is comfortable….On my salary? Please, I dress well with the income I have….who has time for style with all those papers to grade….and on and on. The reality is that few (not all) teachers do not stop to think about their influence as a role model for young men and women. They are simply living in a dream world if they think parents and students do not hear the message that they do not care about how they look.

I heard a stylist say the other day that fashion is non-verbal communication. I really believe that to be true. If you want respect in the classroom then in helps to dress in such a way as to garner respect. Maybe we do not all want to work in administration, but we should dress like we do. I want my teenage ladies to reflect strength and dignity at their age, but if I do not reflect it also at my age, then I lose them as listeners to the message.

   We were instructed to come to in-service this week in "business casual" attire. The vague description flung wide the door for everything from shorts topped with a masculine polo to some very classy looks. The look on this blog was worn by my dear friend, Gigi. She is 56 and one of the classiest women I know….of course it helps that she is a renowned art instructor and interior designer. But, what is so great about Gigi’s look is that every piece was bought on clearance. Even her fabulous shoes came from The Rack at Nordstroms, all clearance. Maybe she isn’t intentionally dressing for the job she wants and not for the job she has, but with an incredible look like this one, she will be called up to New York to work as a designer any day now.


Students will not torment someone dressed like this!

Aug 6, 2010

Printaholics Beware!

Walk away from the flames and the picnic checks!! 


This subtle print has a touch of red and looks great with a neutral cardigan


When used properly, prints can give you style, fun, and a distinguishable trademark. When over used or paired improperly, they can have you labeled the insane old lady of the neighborhood. If people snicker when you walk by, it might be time to tone it down. Seriously, I love prints and feel very young and fashion forward when I wear them. But there are a few basic rules that you should keep in mind:

1. Understand what colors look best on you. Typically, it is best for our age groups to avoid pastels and look for saturated colors. Instead of baby blue look for teal; instead of bubblegum pink go for maroons; instead of lime green go for the military green, etc.

2. Pair your print with a simple neutral jacket or pant. Neutrals are black, white, brown, tan, grey, or varieties of these with a very small stripe or plaid.


Belt a flowy print to define a waist

3. If you choose to follow the current trend of mixing prints, make sure the colors complement each other and can be found in both prints. They just have to GO not MATCH perfectly. In fact, avoid matching perfectly at all costs. Caution! There are only a few people with artistic eyes who can do this successfully. It is a great look, but can also be a train wreck if done wrong.

4. Prints can be found in all pieces of clothing and accessories, so make sure the entire OUTFIT goes.

5. Keep it simple, ladies. You do not want the prints to overpower the look.


WRONG!  TOO MUCH!

6. Smaller women should were small prints, and larger women can wear the larger prints.

Do not fear prints or color…they really make putting together a new look each day great fun! I taught school with a lady a couple of years ago, who said that she has never worn the same outfit twice. At the time, I thought she must have a separate bedroom just for a clothes closet. But now that I have built a wardrobe of primarily separates and accessories, I see how she is easily able to do that. There are so many different ways you can pair items together and stretch your clothing dollar. It can really be a lot of fun.

A little bling is perfectly OK!

Fall's favorite print is leopard!

Aug 4, 2010

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

I have rediscovered a San Antonio designer, Kathleen Sommers, who I honestly had forgotten about.  On the front page of her website, http://www.kathleensommers.com/, she says this, "I design clothing that encourages each woman to develop a style that expresses her own unique spirit."  She is about a casual, shaped, and easy look.  Years ago, I loved visiting her vintage Main Street store near the downtown area.  Then the weight came!  But, great news, she has some designs in plus sizes!!  I love the chenille tapestry trench coat!! Would look so great with simple neutrals underneath and a great leather boot!

http://www.kathleensommers.com/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=8_1_12&products_id=120


Aug 3, 2010

THE GOAL IS TO LIVE...REALLY LIVE

This is a lot like using the best dishes!
Read on.......
I fear there are readers out there who find all of this advice to be a bit ridiculous. Why should we attempt to improve our appearance every day…who cares if we dress shabby in the heat or go to the grocery in pajama pants….who cares if we look twice our age….who cares? Maybe you feel as though no one cares, but, please remember, this is about you and only you. You should care….if you want to experience joy….you should care…if you want to grow in strength…you should care… if you want to grow in confidence…you should care…and if you want to live “life after halftime” to its fullest…you should care. Those who say joy doesn’t come from Saks Fifth Avenue are right. Joy does come from living. Often when we engage back into life and feel and look our best then we are on a path to joy. God created us to love life…to be beautiful…and to be women of strength and dignity. God is the gifter of joy.


Just prior to that dreadful driver’s license picture, I had been through one of the most difficult times of my life. I was living with my husband, three children, my mother, my mother-in-law and two dogs … all under one roof! You may have just shuttered and thought why in the world would any sane person do that!?!? We thought we had good reasons but many days an asylum seemed the better option for me! The morning began with criticism and ended with criticism. Many days, I felt defeated and just did not care if I looked defeated. As I have written before, not fixing up was a form of rebellion. I knew that the way I looked was discussed by the “moms” every day, so I just gave them fuel rather than try the impossible task of seeking their approval. The defeated, stressed face became my style of choice and it was the picture which woke me up to just how devastating that choice had become.

When your eyes open, they open to many other areas. For me, I noticed that I had several wonderful pieces of china, crystal, cookware, party platters etc. that I had never used. Why should they sit waiting for a special occasion? Life is a special occasion. Now, I use them often…..even with apple juice at breakfast. The goal here is not to get you to spend a vast amount of money on a new wardrobe…the GOAL is to LIVE…..really LIVE.




Apple Juice tastes oh, so better!

Aug 2, 2010

SUMMERTIME AND THE DRESSING AIN'T EASY.........

 Beware: Bad Fashion is found all around you!



As a teacher, I listen to a lot of excuses. There are times when every home computer and printer mysteriously shut down over night…it is amazing! Another excuse list which runs rampant around some of the ladies I know is the one about how the excessive heat is an excuse not to take time in the morning with clothing, hair and makeup. The shapeless polyester comes out and the hair goes into pony tails without a moment to consider the years it adds to a total look. Tapered Capri pants and tattered flip flops just make the situation worse. Now, don’t accuse me of not understanding. I am born and bred in Texas. Most years, summer goes all the way to November and I even remember one January in a school carpool line when it was a sizzling 102! I have been the one who used the heat as an excuse and want to apologize to my children right now for all the years of looking horrible while they were in elementary and middle school. Also, I have learned that it is easy to look good and be cool as a cucumber.


What Not to Wear!

Some of your best friends in the summer can be skirts, dresses, walking shorts, and cute short sleeved tops. Think of ways to take a simple sundress adorn it with cute (not tattered) sandals, sunglasses, colorful purse, and fun earrings…then you are good to go! Big floppy hats are acceptable anywhere and even more acceptable for those of us over 50! The younger ones are still catching on to the importance of skin protection. When the first wrinkle appears so will a whole new understanding. Think simple, cool cottons and add to them with simple cool accessories. It does not take any longer to do this than it does to hide in a floppy polyester shirt; but can mean the difference between looking younger or being called grandma by young, cocky store clerks. Gershwin’s summer song ends this way: “Your daddy’s rich and your momma’s good lookin’. So hush little baby, don’t you cry.” Oh yeah, and your momma’s good lookin.’


Summer Beauty...Just Like You!