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

Nov 30, 2010

A Little Rebellion Never Hurts

Anne Klein Denim Jacket, Boots, Madden Belt:
Ross; Blouse: Chico's; Lane Bryant Pants
We decorated the classroom for Christmas!



Remember all the fashion rules we (meaning Baby Boomers) were asked to adhere to in our younger years.


 Rules like:



1. Don’t wear white after Labor Day or Before Easter (there were lots of things you don’t do after Labor Day: don’t go barefooted, don’t go out in shorts, etc.)


2. Always wear stockings with a dress


3. Always wear a dress and maybe even a hat to church


4. Never wear a scoop necked or V shaped blouse (too risque)


5. Don’t mix metallic’s…jewelry should be all silver, all gold, or all bronze…but not mixed up


6. Purses must match your shoes


7. Never mix patterns


8. Don’t break up suits



Thank goodness there is currently more freedom. While some common sense rules (spoken & unspoken) might well exist…for the most part anything goes if it suits your personal style.



Today, I broke a couple of those antiquated rules. FIRST RULE: Women over 50 should not wear sparkles on anything to their day job. I did this today, though it was subdued underneath my jacket and the sparkles just poked out every now and then. The sparkles were well received by co-workers. I purchased this blouse (Chico’s) four years ago to actually wear to an evening event, but I really liked wearing it today.


See the Sparkles!



SECOND RULE: Your watch is always worn on your left hand. I do not understand why …I like it better on the right arm. But, I probably would not have changed it if it had not been for the fact that this incredible bracelet does not go over my right hand…only the left one. NOT ONE SINGLE PERSON noticed the change.


Flipped the Hands...Do You Care?



If what you are pondering works for you, don’t worry about the so-called rules. It’s a new day, ladies!





TAKE NOTE: Last year, I added to the makeup drawer a pair of needle nose pliers; primarily because of mornings like this one. I got up and coordinated my outfit…the necklace I selected went perfect with the bracelet, earrings, belt, and watch. But, the necklace was broken. I pulled out the needle nose helpers, found a connector ring on an old piece of jewelry and fixed the necklace so that I could still wear it. This took only a couple of minutes and was well worth it! Add one to your supplies and you will not regret it.



Nov 29, 2010

Did You Get the Color Memo?

Sweater & Earrings: Thrift;
Jeans & Jacket: Lane Bryant;
Scarf: Marshall's
Boots: Ross
EVERYONE NEEDS THIS COLOR!



This seems to happen a lot at work: there will be days when the majority of people just randomly wear the same colors. It seems to happen most often with black & white. But today, it was this wonderful shade of purple that suddenly appeared on several of the ladies on staff.


The Lane Bryant Jacket was only $15 on
a clearance rack with a coupon!



I researched this color on a couple of sites and found a variety of names: Magenta, Medium/Dark Violet, Dark Orchid, and Royal Lilac. I have always thought of magenta as a shade of red; but, whatever you call it, the color looks fabulous on anyone who wears it. I purchased the sweater and earrings recently at a thrift store….it amazes me how close the earrings and scarf are in color selection; they could have been designed by the same person. I usually do not wear a dominant print in a scarf and a multi-colored earring together, but the light neutral in the jacket seemed to help it work this time.





Mrs. Joy's Look



FYI…when researching the color names, I found the Spring/Summer 2011 Color Forecasts. There is a light version of this color which is predicted to be big this spring and it is called Soft Lilac. It is among a variety of soft colors with hand tinted finishes which we supposedly will see frequently on the sales racks soon.


These teachers didn't get the memo but still
look fabulous!

The good Dr. combined a great jacket
from Stein Mart with a necklace from
Charming Charlies; look at how
this color makes those blue eyes
POP!




Nov 28, 2010

Dressing For Celebrations

ALLOW ME TO INTRODUCE MYSELF!!




This is a big week! This week my marriage will be 27 years old and my blog will be six months old!


As all marriages, we have had our ups and downs and all a rounds, but who could be unhappy married to a hunk like the one pictured here. He is one of the kindest, gentlest souls around and has been a blessing to his entire family!

I call him Bear; Others call
him Bill Clinton!

The blog also has had its ups and downs, but in celebration of the ups, I think at the halfway point it is time to officially introduce myself. I am Pam Lutrell…57 years old….and having way too much fun doing this most every day! Anyone who really knows me knows how much I detest having my picture taken, so the irony of this is really sweet! I am forced to let go of certain inhibitions in order to reach the goal that I have set for this blog.

I started this six months ago at the encouragement of a close friend when I said that I desired to inspire and encourage women over 50 to live as women of strength and dignity.

When I spoke those words, I was witnessing many women who were shut down, despondent, and feeling like they had no purpose past child rearing. They look in the mirror and think the image is supposed to look forlorn simply because they are aging. They do not feel useful or joyful and lack confidence and direction.

Those are the women that I desire this blog to help. I was helped seven years ago to come out of the doldrums and a major part of that journey was creating a new personal style and beginning to care again about my appearance. It resulted in a new era of confidence and joy for me.

My daughter questioned if this was the right venue, because she does not believe that women over 50 will follow blogs or spend that much time on a computer. But, with women 40 and above making up over half of the current U.S. female population according to the Census conducted before the most recent one, I believe there are many women online who will enjoy a blog like this one.

So, I am dedicated to finding them and persevering. I believe I have learned principals in the past seven years that keep me balanced, dignified, fashionable, and fun…..but, also are principals for the everyday woman within her budget…within her comfort zone…within her world.

There you have it…I am Pam and I have much to celebrate!




Chico's: Jeans; Koh's:  Simply Vera Purse;
Stein Mart: Favorite Brown Boots





This week starts with a coat I found over the summer at Ross. I love this coat (Jones of New York, Signature) and I am so, so happy that the weather down here finally turned cooler. I have learned that making off season purchases really pays off…even though it is hard to buy something like this when it is over 100 degrees and then wait so long to wear it.

When I wear it, I feel like I could walk into this picture and walk right into the party at this house!!


Here's to Anniversary Celebrations and Holiday Parties!

Nov 26, 2010

I SURVIVED!

Full Parking Lots at 4:45 AM!

I’m exhausted…but who wouldn’t be after cooking a full Thanksgiving dinner for the family, getting up in the middle of the night, and spending several hours with THOUSANDS of their closest friends!


I really think I do Black Friday more for the fun of it, than for the prices. However, looking at my Kohl’s receipt and seeing: You Saved $133.67 on just seven items helps!

After years of many Black Fridays, I have learned these lessons:

1. ALWAYS, have a game plan. Check the ads, the web and organize coupons and specials. Know which stores open first and what perks are available at different hours.


2. You must go with a mindset composed of patience and a sense of humor. There are line cutters and just rude people out there and you must not let them get to you.


3. It is important to wear layers. When I left the house I was freezing, but after standing in the checkout line for one hour at Kohl’s and I began to sweat, so the first layer came off. I was alone, but smarter shoppers brought family so that one could stand in line and the other could run and bring items.


4. Comfortable shoes are more important than style or fashion at this point. If your most comfortable shoes are worn out, just go with it!


Boots in Line in Front of me..she
said she got them at Charming Charlies

I realize that I could do most of what I purchased online, but that would take the fun out of it. I always meet interesting people and learn a lot about consumers and buying habits when I do this. Today, most of the people shared stories about retail outlets I currently do not frequent…like Toys R Us. It sounds like it was a zoo there at midnight. I learned that Black Friday in the small towns of Kansas is like a family affair and everyone works together to help get what they came for. So, there’s much satisfaction amidst the fatigue….I saved money and watched with great entertainment a woman try on clothing as she moved from rack to rack through the store while standing in the checkout line at the same time…it was hysterical!


A happy shopper!!

Nov 23, 2010

Time to Play and Family On the Way!



The week off has allowed me time to play with my design elements!  Let me know what you think and if I am moving in the right direction!

I have family coming...cooking to do...so I will not post until the weekend!  But, allow me to say that I am so thankful for every comment, every follower, every voice of encouragement!  I hope everyone has a

Blessed Thanksgiving with much joy!

Nov 22, 2010

Don't Worry About the Green Guys

Sometimes treasures are not buried at all but right in front of our faces.



She stands alone in the crowd!



For instance, take this tree…I feel like I just saw it for the first time today. But, I have decided that this one little tree symbolizes the style I desire…bold, dignified, bright, youthful and standing out from the rest of the green crowd!

I am at home all week and cleaning out. First I discovered, this incredible pin underneath a storage bin, pounded into the carpet. It is in perfect shape, and now I just need to come up with something to wear it with.


I  set it on leaves from the stand alone tree since it is a stand alone
piece of jewelry!

Next, I went through some bags of discarded items that my daughter asked me to take to resale. Among them, I found these four pair of shoes and this purple plaid scarf. I immediately thought….I WANT THESE! I do not feel bad about helping myself to the items because I paid for most of what she owns and wears!! I was still able to take almost 100 items to resale after that, so she will reap the rewards.

The scarf looks good with this jersey jacket
I already have!

These purple flats are my favorite pair






But, what a great day! I will end it with new clothing items that are appropriate for any age and a portrait for my laptop of a tree which says to me…be bold, stand out, have fun, and don’t worry about the green guys!

Nov 21, 2010

Today Was ME Day!

I HAVE NOW OFFICIALLY SHOPPED...Well, it is the holidays after all!



After a difficult day with my mother (86) yesterday, my sweet husband said that I could have a “Me” day today! I really needed it…mother had just told me that the government was looking for her because she knew how to fly the Rio Grande border between Texas and Mexico and I was NOT to give her location to anyone! (hopefully no one is monitoring blogspot during the search…in case you are wondering, she has never flown a plane…ever)


Anyway, I put on my favorite anorak and my Cole Hahn walking flats that I picked up at Marshall’s a couple of years ago and headed out. A friend had told me about a new resale shop near where I live, The Garment Exchange, so I decided to check it out.


These Cole Hahns were $15!

The owner, Marilyn Caskey, is a sweetheart and was happy to show me around and explain her point of view for a resale boutique. She has a trendy, boho chic feel that she’s aiming towards for men, women, and youth. I had a great time in her shop and will definitely return. I know I have been avoiding shopping, but, it’s resale…right?

Marilyn owns The Garment Exchange! Pictured
here with a new staffer!



I found a pair of shoes for my daughter, a sweater for me, a necklace, earrings, bracelet, and a great ring…all pictured here for $44.


Seychelles Ballet Flats for my daughter

After that, I popped into Ross looking for a gold belt and found this Steve Madden belt marked down to $11…I really love the bronze metal aesthetic on this belt.

Necklace & Bracelt for me!
Ross Steve Madden Belt..for me!

$1.99 earrings for me!


Yes!  Ring for me!



Finally, I made my way to the movie theater (yes, alone…that doesn’t bother me as long as it is not often) and saw Morning Glory. Being a journalist, I was drawn to it and, I found myself looking at Diane Keeton and Rachel McAdams’s outfits… seems like it is really in my blood now.

I’m back home and the feds have not found mother yet….thank goodness!



The day-out outfit:

Military Green Anorak by Liz & Me

Black Cami from Chico’s

Black, White, Red, Green wool floral scarf & bronze earrings from Stein Mart

Bronze Bracelet from Kohl’s

Bronze watch from Target

Jeans from Lane Bryant

Cole Hahn Flats from Marshall’s



Nov 20, 2010

Here's To "The Lasts"


I must take a moment to stray from the outside into the inside; for today I am pondering “the lasts.” We have many lasts in our lifetime; but, what stinks, is that they intensify with age and become so,well, final. From our last day on the monkey bars….to the last time the Beatles performed together…to the last college final…to the last day in our first family home….the moments to stop and reflect grow longer and longer. The moments of sincere thankfulness grow deeper and deeper.


Today will be the last day that I ever wash my sons’ football pants. After about 12 years of football, I will use intense soaking in Oxy Clean for the FINAL time.



I have loved football since I was six years old when I began watching the Dallas Cowboys with my father. My high school football team was featured in the movie Friday Night Lights…and I guess, yes, in Texas, it is a religion. To have sons who played high school ball, and played it well, was one of the greatest joys of my life. We lost our playoff game last night and amidst tears and shock, I began to be hit with an intense, stomach gripping pain as THE LASTS set in.


Of course, last road trip...we get lost!!

So, with a sense of joy, I raise my apple juice glass this morning in honor of the LASTS. In this moment, I thank God for cold nights in the stands, warm peanuts and hot chocolate, road trips with good friends, homemade pies on country roads, drum lines, cheerleaders, mascots, the Stat Man and tough defensive stands. But, mostly for two little boys who walked on with helmets in hand and walked off as men, tears in their eyes, for the very last time.



Here's to you, #50  & #4



Nov 18, 2010

Day 25 - Looking Different Every Day

What's Black & White & Red All Over?
    Not a newspaper…a journalism teacher! Maybe that's why I love this combination. I believe some of you will look at this and wonder if I was asleep in the closet this morning, but (in a quirky way) I really like the mixed up combo.


Where is that newspaper??



One thing about flower pins…every time I wear one, I get compliments all day long. There seems to be a happy response to a flower pin! I am so glad that they no longer mean “ELDERLY.” Since they were marketed for the younger fashionista, I believe to have floral on your jacket or in your hair is accepted as fun!


Sad how much hands age a person!



Thursdays are FASHION day in the Lifestyle Section of our daily newspaper and today’s feature was about “Updated Styles: Specialty retailers offering pieces that fit lifestyles, not trends, to broaden customer base.”



I underlined this paragraph: “Companies do understand that today’s woman does not live by age, but by lifestyle,” said retail expert Tom Julian, president of Tom Julian Group, a brand consulting firm. “These brands have a loyal customer base – sometimes urban, sometimes suburban – and these women are chic and modern, but not overly trendy. Many live for style, not fashion. Many mix and match versus dress head to toe from one look or label.” (San Antonio Express News; November 18, 2010; Page 2F)



Young-at-heart but not trendy is the message! They discuss the recent changes with retailers like Chicos, Ann Taylor, JC Penney, Talbots and Jones of New York. Last quote from a retired teacher: “I never used to shop at Talbots because the clothing looked very buttoned up. Now it seems they’ve loosened up and it’s much better.”



I completely agree with the Julian comments….as evidenced today, a very mixed up outfit!!


Sweater Jacket:  Dress Barn
Cami:  Avenue
Pinstripe Pant & Flower Pin: Lane Bryant
Boots: Ross
B & W Ring of Bling:  Premiere Jewelry


Mrs. Joy, my daily photographer, had a
great sweater look today!






 




Nov 17, 2010

My Wonderful World of Color

Day 24 – Of Creating a Unique Look Every Day

“Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.”

-Coco Chanel

Color Begins My Day at School
Color Ends my day at home
I love saturated, vibrant color. Since I hit the big 5-0, I have stayed away from pastels, mostly because I prefer the look of deeper color.

The blouse I wore today, I picked up off of a last, last seasonal clearance two years ago. You know, these are the racks with the remaining things that no one wanted. I was immediately attracted to it, but shuffled around the store wondering why it was still there. What was wrong with it? Nevertheless, I liked it, so I grabbed it for around $8.00. I have only worn it about three times.


So many colors in this blouse

I know the skirt is long, but it may be awhile before I feel comfortable in shorter skirts again. That is a weight thing…but my confidence grows in that area.

I chose to go with a touch of vintage on the accessories.





Pocket Detail of the Denim Jacket

So, here is how the outfit goes:

Jacket, Cordoroy Skirt: Lane Bryant

Blouse, flower: Stein Mart

Flower Ring: Target

Belt: Good Will Military Belt, $1.00

Boots: Ross


By Special Request:
The necklace men like....close up!

Again, I have no idea why so many men compliment this necklace!


ALSO:  DID YOU SEE IN THE NEWS:
Google announced a new website today
http://www.boutiques.com/exploreboutiques.py?profile_type=blogger

Actually has Fashion Blogger Boutiques on the site!! 




Nov 16, 2010

The Necklace Men Like

Day 23




Don’t you just wish that sometimes there was a big STOP SIGN that appears right in front of your face when you are about to make a wrong decision?


This morning I almost made one. Let me stress almost…because though the big STOP SIGN did not appear in my closet, I somehow shook off the fatigue and focused on the blog.

Twenty three days ago I challenged myself to see how long I could go creating different outfits from my closet without shopping for something new. Though the shopping thing has been much harder than I thought, (maybe I am addicted though I insisted that I wasn’t), I have continued to go for a different look every day!

I had to remind myself this morning that I was trying not to repeat an outfit because I was about to reach for a favorite that I recently wore. About that time, I heard the winds blowing outside and it also blew me back to my challenge. This sweater jacket sounded perfect.



I wanted a different white shirt from the one I wore last week, so I selected this one with the sequined collar and cuff. Sometimes these even go unnoticed at work.






My weekend discovery, Marylou, gave me the courage to wear one of the big rings I have accumulated over the years.

One note about the necklace…this one gets more compliments from males every time I wear it. For the life of me, I have no explanation as to why!!



A Special Guest!


Mrs. A & her scarf





The incredibly gorgeous Mrs. A stopped by to show me her new way to tie a scarf.  She said that she learned it from a website she has found that she really likes, http://jonesdesigncompany.com/.

I loved this scarf with a flower pin
from the Jones Design Company Website