over50feeling40: Foundation #2 - Dressing with Class
Fashion and Lifestyle Blog for women over 50 to help achieve strength, confidence, joy, inspiration, and, of course, head-turning personal style!

Jul 14, 2011

Foundation #2 - Dressing with Class

Cardigan: Kohls
Annalee & Hope Blouse: Marshalls
Skirt: Jana Kos

“A girl should be two things: Classy and fabulous.” - Coco Chanel

When I think of the word classy….I think of timeless, sophisticated, elegant, simple, understated, effortless, chic and classic. Now, I know that some of you may consider classics as old fashioned and too conservative. That is why your FOUNDATIONAL FIVE
might not include the word classy.

But, for me it is something I have wanted to communicate for a long time. Far too long, in my forties, I think I communicated wacky…maybe even clown-type wacky. I do not think I am being too hard on myself…just honest. It is easy for me to skew that direction, so if I make sure I ask myself before I buy IS THIS LOOK CLASSY? Then hopefully, I will make fewer mistakes. Women who dress with class look as though they just got out of bed, put on a look, and did not give it that much thought…and they look amazing. You can look very classy in a pair of jeans…what accompanies those jeans is what determines the look.

Class calls for Pearls!
Bracelet: Premiere Jewelry

I realized I was drawn to these styles when I looked at the ladies whose fashion I love…Ines de la Fressange, Audrey Hepburn, Katherine Hepburn, Diane Keaton, and, yes, I am a fan of Princess Kate. Kate is such a healthy role model for young women today….I am very glad to welcome her to the fashion scene. When I am seeking a classy look, the fit has to be fabulous; the materials rich; the colors either soft or saturated, but not bright pastels…remember the yellow shirt from Monday? Too bright, a little oversized.  From now on, in order to hit my closet, the garment must make me feel fabulous or it stays at the store…no "in between" any longer.

Shoes: Areosoles

My Classy Lady Hall of Fame:  (Would anyone like to add a name?)

Katherine Hepburn

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Ines de la Fressange

Diane Keaton

Princess Kate


  1. I've always admired Carolina Herrera and Jackie Onassis.

  2. Pam, you look amazing here!

    I also try to embrace a degree of simple, classic elegance. As you've mentioned, you can create a classy, elegant look even with casual pieces. (In my mind's eye, I'm picturing Jackie O in her jeans and a simple top, flats and big sunglasses.)

  3. Classy is definitely one of my words,the others i'm still working on it.You should check dead fleurette 's blog if you haven't already. You will be amazed how mature for her age she is.

  4. You are the definition of 'classy' in that blouse with pearls, including the background.

  5. You are the picture of class, Pam. That is a fabulous outfit, again you could be the CEO.

    Your icons are for the ages. I'll add Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, I think she always looked classy.

  6. A word I like to use that is related is "appropriate"-- I do know some "classy ladies" who can look a bit overdressed at some occasions. I think what you are also trying to convey with "classy" is quality and effortlessness--not trying too hard....

    I'm really liking the tops you are wearing under jackets and cardis--with jabots! I must look more closely at some of the tops on the racks at TJs and Marshalls11

  7. Oh dear.
    I'm not in favor of clown-like, and frankly I've seen some clown-like get-ups on fashion blogs, thankfully not yours!

    Dress reflects personality. Jackie O, Carolyn Bessette Kennedy were cool snobby women who spent small fortunes looking understated and like they'd never cracked an honest smile in their lives. IMO Diane Keaton does sometimes veer into clown-like. You just caught her on a good day.

    I'm good with classy as a foundational guide, but make it your own. Ice princess doesn't seem like your style!

  8. Class is definitely something I strive for as well, and something I think YOU achieve very well!

    Come take a look inside A Working Mom's Closet

  9. you put Audrey, so I'm happy. :)
    Stay classy, Pamela!

  10. Love all the ladies you chose for your classy hall of fame. I would add Jennifer Aniston as a modern day classy broad. She wears simple, elegant, classy items all the time. Classic!


  11. love a timeless classic look
    there is a difference between old fashioned and classic! some people just don't get that

  12. I'd add Jackie O too. She was really an icon. Maybe also Grace Kelly & Brigitte Bardot. But, generally, I'm agree with everyone in your hall of fame, but Kate. Yes, she`s the it-princess these days, but I don't think she`s smartest than other royalties like Maxima Zorreguieta,Letizia Ortiz, Mary Donaldson, Victoria of Sweeden, Rania of Jordan, Caroline of Monaco& her children...

  13. You look classy AND fabulous!!! I'd love to add Sofia Loren! I've always thought of her as amazingly beautiful and elegant. Hugs girly! ~Serene

  14. Hm, I'm thinking classic rather than classy...and Kate Hepburn's trousers were "wacky" in her day and Diane Keaton in her Annie Hall days would have been "wacky". I like classic...it's safe.

  15. Pam, YOU are a class act!
    Have a PRETTY day!

  16. GREAT outfits over the past few days Pam.. love it.. and love your style and how it is evolving!!
    you look so great!! xox oJ

  17. How about Diane Sawyer? Always classy!

  18. Hi Pam- i love Kate Middleton as well- she was in my fair province in July - Quebecers were quite taken by her - I love her style - ok now a name....style icon in my town ---my daughter - check out her blog she is fantastic! my style icon - laviecestyeye.blogspot.com

    ciao Pam you look great!

  19. That is an amazing picture of Diane Keaton -- I didn't recognize her.

  20. Strangely enough, I've always found the word "classy" to be quite tacky :-O

    There's something about it that rubs me the wrong way.

    1. WendyB sweetie, Class is all that and then some. Class is style, grace, how you carry yourself. Clearly you misunderstand the word "classy". Take some time and watch some old movies on TCM and you will better understand where the word classy comes from.

  21. Pam~I can see you are having fun and doing a great job with your new wardrobe! I bet there aren't too many clothes in your closet that still fit you--so you can start afresh.
    I sort of agree with Wendy--I can hear a cheap, startlet in the movies saying, "I just wanna be classy"....Just my own audio/visual.

  22. RoseAG pointed me to this post in a comment on my latest post -- very interesting! I have written about how social class and style are related, but never thought of the word "classy" in this context. I can see why WendyB finds it tacky. I like to think that style can transcend social class. I prefer "elegance" to "classy" when describing a refined style.

  23. Just found your blog; it's great. Really like your Foundation Five: strength, class, etc.
    In addition to the women you've names, Meryl Streep and Helen Mirren also look wonderful.

  24. I thoroughly agree with Susan and Wendy. At home in Britain (as amongst the English-speakers of my adopted country: France) "classy" is a rather vulgar word, no elegant person would ever use. An elegant style is not rocket science. It is based on a simple concept: less is more. Rather than a wardrobe full of cheap clothes, a far smaller number of "investment" pieces in neutral colours that can be mixed and matched and give years of pleasure. These high-end basics can be pepped up with a few accent pieces( a brightly coloured cashmere scarf worn with a beautifully-cut black or camel coat, for example). Other key elements of true elegance are beautiful leather handbags, boots and shoes. (The fewer obvious logos, the better!)

    Another thing, the very best clothes will NEVER be truly elegant, unless they are accompanied by flawless personal grooming. French women know this better than any others. Glossy hair, well manicured nails (which may be simply a matter of colourless nail polish or buffing to a satiny sheen), and making friends of your local dry-cleaner and shoe-repairer are all vital, as is good skin care.

    Finally, in France, we rarely wear costume jewellery. A few well-chosen gold pieces are far more elegant, as is a high-quality watch. I personally have worn the same white- and yellow-gold Omega wrist watch for the past twenty years, and will almost certainly do so for another twenty. So, yes, it was expensive, but as with clothes, one has to evaluate the cost-per-wear. On that basis, my Omega was a positive bargain.

  25. I love your blog and I really totally understand where you are going and what you are trying to achieve. Love your definition of being dressed or being 'classy'. However, it reminds me of a friend I have who is continuously bringing up the word 'classy'...and just yesterday she posted something in her blog that I simply had to show to my husband. He was silent for a minute and then remarked that she would never be considered classy, but 'braggy' and typical American. Constantly talking about logos, and of course 'class'. Those who really have it, do not flaunt it nor brag about it. It is worn with style and elegance, quietly with self confidence. So, dear sweet Pam, start walking with your head held proudly but not adorned with any fashion jewellery, lol.


Thanks so much for joining in our conversation today! I appreciate your time and love hearing from you!