over50feeling40: over17feeling50
Fashion and Lifestyle Blog for women over 50 to help achieve strength, confidence, joy, inspiration, and, of course, head-turning personal style!

Aug 7, 2011


Hello, Pamela's Populace of Readers! I am Mary the Intern (click my name to see my blog!), and today you get to read something I wrote! How exciting, I know. Unfortunately, Pamela is feeling ever so slightly under the weather today, so she asked me to step in. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers today so you can get back to reading her witty yet encouraging repartee tomorrow!

I titled this "over17feeling50", a slight pun of the blog's name. In a little under six weeks, I will (finally) be turning eighteen. Strangely enough for me, I seem to be aging a little bit more than the rest of my generation. This might be why Pamela and I remain such great friends despite our age difference... and the fact that I graduated high school with her son. Anyway, I know that I am not what most of you expected to read when you logged on today, but I hope you can be entertained by me none the less.

Clothing Swap 2011
Although I am not the fashionista most of my friends are, there is no denying that I love clothes. Due to being relinquished from my uniformed high school, my love for clothes has increased threefold this summer. At last I can retire my maroon sweater and plaid skirt, my knee socks and my penny loafers! The problem is, when you’ve been wearing a uniform to school for thirteen years, you come out realizing that you really don’t own any clothes at all.

Shoes from Clothing Swap 2011
Hence why Kiwi and I began our “Annual Clothing Swap” in October 2010, before our senior year. We were preparing ourselves for the imminent lack of clothing we were sure to have. The idea came from my cousin Janna, a very fashion forward young woman in her twenties. She gave me the left overs from her swap, which gave us clothes to start out with. Our swap was a very secretive affair, we only invited about ten people who were about the same size as us. We didn’t want to offend anyone, after all. When we finished I came out with some plain shirts, tanks, and cardigans. But the most exciting pieces I came out with were three pairs of high-waisted shorts, in black, red, and tan. My love of Audrey Hepburn (and fashion of the 50s and 60s) paired with my curvy figure caused me to reach out to the shorts. And these days, they are my trademark.

After the success of our first clothing swap, Kiwi and I knew we wanted to hold another one. This one would be bigger, longer, and more exciting than the first. We all would raid our closets, and come out more successful.

C modeling her new shirt, and my "old" jeans!
And last Wednesday, the second annual clothing swap struck success again. With some clothes donated from Pamela’s daughter Jessica, my cousn Tiffany, and the attendees of the swap; Kiwi’s living room was filled with clothing. “My favorite part was socializing and seeing everyone’s unique style!” says C of Slight Alteration, “it’s fun how an item can be worn so differently by different people.” C had been looking for a pair of gray jeans for quite some time, and found a great pair at the swap. I call them “great” because they used to be mine! The unfortunate pair I stopped wearing due to their (in my humble opinion) excessive tightness, fit C like a glove. Paired with the cute brown shirt she found at the swap, she was excited to have found a complete outfit, not to mention multiple other pieces this year.

Kiwi modeling Jessica's dress!
Kiwi found this year much easier to host on account of the fact that many girls brought food to share. Plus, she states, “I’m gonna be super honest and say that the free clothes were my favorite part! I love free stuff.” She picked up a dress that once belonged to Pam’s daughter in skepticism. “Do it!” I urged. “TRY IT ON, KIWI PLEASE.” And she did. And much to my delight it fit perfectly, and looked darling! Being the tall and statuesque type, Kiwi often struggles with finding a modest length for her dresses. The dress complimented her skin tone, and did not cause her to flash the world.

Sarahliz modeling her dress from C!
“My favorite part,” mused Sarahliz, “was just the fellowship with the girls and how smart of an idea it is, that something old of mine is something new for someone else.” And for Sarahliz, something old of ours was something new for her. Sarah made much success in this swap, especially in trying new outfits that she wouldn’t have tried in the past. Like C’s dress she bought for her NHS induction, for example.

And finally, Sarah Joan touches on a subject dear to me. “I loved seeing my well-loved clothes find a new home!” Yes, it’s true. Not all of the clothes that were found at the clothing swap were unwanted. Many of us have simply grown out of them in one way or another. We’re women! Our weight shifts! We get taller! Our tastes change! But that doesn’t mean that we don’t still love certain outfits. It’s just time for them to move on. Which is why Sarah Joan and I exchanged our favorite dresses. My brown 50s collared dress for her navy and pink floral one. 

Mary the Intern and her car, The Batmobile
Jacket - C
Skirt - Kiwi
Shirt & Shoes - Marshall's Clearance
I myself had a great deal of success at the clothing swap. I had had my eye on a red and yellow floral print skirt of Kiwi's for months now, internally begging her to give it to me, since she didn't enjoy wearing it. I snagged C's green blazer, several cardigans, jean shorts, and scoop necked tees. They all fit my foundational five, too: classy, modest, unique, flattering, and confident. 

At the end of the day, it is so important to feel great in what you wear. This is going to sound super cliche, but every woman in the world is beautiful in their own way. Because we are all different. I know I may be a little bit younger than the demographic of this blog, but I will be the first to admit that age is a state of mind (trust me, I've been told I was "born forty" way more than once). And that you women are some of the sweetest, most beautiful ones I have met. I read your comments. You can't slide it past me. 

So, if you want something new, try turning over that which is old. I feel like every one can benefit from that. 


  1. We have just decided we will bring the rest to Victory Outreach,on the southside,needless to say this was a great humongous success. Well done girls! Mary to you,a compliment from one 50+ to another...

  2. Thanks for stepping in Mary....I am feeling better...turned out to be a little bit of a wild weekend that I did not expect! You are the best and the clothing swap looks like a huge success!!

  3. Hi Mary - your clothing swap sounds like so much fun. I love your handkerchief hem skirt and bright red pumps. Hope to see you posting again!

  4. I so want to participate in a clothing swap! My friends are just too far-flung (both geographically and in our tastes & sizes). Try to enjoy stocking (and re-stocking) your wardrobe. You probably have many style personalities ahead of you. Enjoy the ride!

    And please give Pam our best.

  5. I love the post title. :) I'm so glad you and your friends are appreciating the value of pre-worn clothes. My daughter is almost 16 and I think after scoring some amazing pieces at Goodwill, she really gets my love for thrifting. I'm going to suggest to her a clothing swap with her friends.

    Pam I hope you're better. Take care of yourself.

  6. the swap is a great idea. a local boutique here started one called closet swap and it is a huge affair!


  7. That's a GREAT idea, I suggested it to one of my freinds, an accessory swap, but it didn't go over too well. Mary, you seem like a great girl!!!

  8. Finally! Sorry Pam was sick, but finally nice to meet you, Mary The Intern!!
    I can totally relate to you, as I grew up wearing an ugly brown uniform to school every day. Those days are long gone, but still sometimes I reach for my other uniform, Soccer Mom uniform of old tees and capri pants or shorts. It's so easy to hide behind what everybody else is wearing, isn't it?!


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