over50feeling40: April 2011
Fashion and Lifestyle Blog for women over 50 to help achieve strength, confidence, joy, inspiration, and, of course, head-turning personal style!

Apr 28, 2011

What An Honor! I'm In Links a la mode!

I am so honored to be selected once again as one of the feature Links a la mode from the Independent Fashion Bloggers!!  The post was birthed from the connections we make online with other women and my broken heart over the loss of blogger Judith Boyd's husband, Nelson.  Their love story is one that will withstand time.  Here is the link to the post Pondering Much More Than OOTD and I would love to dedicate this honor to Judith Boyd, the amazing, fashionable Style Crone.

You really need to read the other selections in this weeks Links a la mode.  I had a little difficulty loading all of them here, but I have included the link so you can go right to IFB and check them out.  There are some amazing writers in the blogosphere.

IFB's selections begin with this paragraph:

"When you visit a fashion blog you often see a stylish blogger posing in a perfectly, put together outfit with gorgeous scenery. What you don’t see is the work that goes into curating and maintaining a fashion blog. This week the theme across IFB was outfit posts: what deems an outfit worthy, what goes into creating a stunning visual post and ultimately the comments (some not so nice) that we receive as style bloggers. Ultimately, blogging is a way to express our love for fashion and personal style but as this week’s links can attest to, there is much more to fashion blogging than meets the eye."

Is Springtime Light or Dark? Also, Special Ticket Giveaway!!

Saturated Green Blouse: Coldwater Creek
Grey Silk Jacket: Chicos
Pink Capris: Lane Bryant

Sometimes I forget that so many in my age group still are affected by the antiquated rules of fashion….but it does pop up occasionally in conversation. Recently, a lady asked me if we should only wear pastel, light colors in the spring and summer. She said that growing up women only wore light blue, light pink, light yellow, and on and on, during warmer weather months.

I shouted a resounding NO! Of course, not. In fact, (back to the book of What Not To Wear), Stacy London once advised that older women should mostly wear saturated colors….the deep rich expression of any color. I find that I am drawn to the more saturated colors rather than the pastels….but what is so great about modern day fashion is that you can wear either one…whatever YOUR pleasure.

 Yesterday, I went for both…light pink on the bottom….and saturated forest green on the top!!

Gold Flats by Wanted:  Marshalls

Attention any readers in the San Antonio area!!! I have ten giveaway tickets for this weekend’s Fashion & Passion Women’s Weekend. The first ten women to email me at over50feeling40@gmail.com will get the tickets! Or the first five who ask for two tickets so they can bring a friend….either way….this saves you $10 at the door!!!

Gold Necklace: Avenue
Gold Bracelet: Kohls
Floral Scarf: Lane Bryant

Apr 27, 2011

It Started With A Necklace!


 This necklace!  When I saw it at Tourneau in La Cantera Mall, I thought "I am not sure how I will wear it, but I am sure that I want it!!"  Have you purchased accessories before not really sure where they fit into your wardrobe, but just because you love them?

I wish I could tell you where I purchased the bracelets
but I have had them so long, I just do not

Since I happen to love accessories, I probably do this more than I care to admit.  And Tourneau had a great enticement going on last weekend...buy two, get the third for $1!!  Couldn't pass that up...right?  I really believe that before I buy any accessory that I should have in mind what I want to do with it...what it will go with...how much mileage I can get out of it...but occasionally an exceptional piece comes along and I throw my own rules out the window!

Denim shirt: WalMart
Cami: Chicos
Pants: Sein Mart  (new, but already too big!!)
Bronze Sandals: Marshalls
Watch; Stein Mart

So, today I pulled this outfit together just to go with the necklace and not the other way around!!

Apr 26, 2011

Purposeful Pattern Picks

Jacket: Marshall's
Traveler's Blouse: Chico's
Scarf: Forever 21
Skirt: Lane Bryant
Shoes: Target

“Her eyes must be going…poor dear…and so young!”…. One of the lines I imagine teachers saying in the teacher lounge on the days I show up for work in mixed patterns! It’s always risky, because so many people do not get it…however, I do find that it is mostly men who do not seem to like the look.

Another thing Stacey and Clinton from What Not To Wear taught me is that it’s fashionable to mix patterns as long as they are in the same color family!! That helps a lot if you are just not sure…check the colors. At first I looked for a necklace to wear with this outfit, then my eye fell on the scarf (hanging on my scarf tree). Do I dare? Well, I am glad I did…I liked the look and it was well received! At least I do not know for sure if I was discussed in the teacher’s lounge!!

From Beyond Beauty Basics, an article by Jennifer Long-Levy gave the following guidelines for mixing your look up:

1.Don’t wear two or more bold patterns together. The result is that they just compete with each other, and people will either think you got dressed drunk or in the dark.

2.Mix patterns that are in the same color family. This is kind of a no-brainer way to change it up with more than one pattern.

3.Don’t go overly matchy-matchy. Head to toe black and white polka dots in various sizes may seem like you’re following rule number one, but really you just look like you’re on your way to your prom. In 1986.

4.Some patterns are neutrals: Think tweed skirts and trousers or a small houndstooth. They are so classic and understated, they become a neutral.

5.Mix patterns of different weights. For instance, a cotton or silk blouse with a small dot or stripe pattern with a wool argyle sweater vest is a easy way to mix patterns. This look can even go with tweed and houndstooth for lots of visual interest, but no competing patterns.

6.Distance: Sometimes patterns work well together if they’re not against each other. For example, the other day a stylish friend of mine wore neutral-colored trousers with a light stripe with a black tunic. The pattern punch? A lovely leopard-print belt. The key was not belting the stripe with the leopard.

Have a Wonderful Day!

Apr 25, 2011

Pondering Much More Than An OOTD

Blogging is a curious thing.

Sometime in the next few days, I will write my 200th post on this blog. I began with few expectations and occasionally, wonder why I am here (online)? Of course, I have loved looking at all the outfits…learning from each other’s style talents…and following the wisdom of so many. What has surprised me though, is how close I feel to women I have never laid eyes on!

Blogs are similar to a favorite novel. There are characters that I love and want to read about day after day. And there are some women I have made a deep connection with on levels I never thought could happen in a platform such as this. I guess I should not be surprised… stories are told of those who wrote letters and grew to love each other through those letters like Julia Child and Avis DeVoto.

I have followed one of those love stories on Judith's blog, Style Crone.  When I read her words last night that Nelson had breathed his last breath, I was devastated. My heart began to ache and carries that ache even now. I have never heard Judith or Nelson’s voice, but somehow, feel as though I have. I can hear them giggling privately over a candlelit dinner in the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs….I can see them laughing during photo sessions as he was her photographer…I can see her sitting in quiet fear staring at the Rocky Mountains as she patiently waited through each chemo therapy treatment. Through her words, I laughed, cried, and felt pain along with her. I feel as though this amazing man with the 100-watt smile was my friend and that the world has lost someone incredible. Yet, I have never seen him anywhere other than her blog.

A couple of bloggers have discussed the fact the Style Underdog recently returned , but is not taking any comments on her site. Some think her care free/ no fuss plan for blogging is attractive. But, I would have to say, I think that is the primary reason we are all here. To connect. Laugh together. Discuss fashion together. Encourage one another. And feel each other’s hurts when the awful happens.

Yes, blogging is a curious thing.

 Please keep Judith in your prayers.

Judith's sweet Nelson

Apr 24, 2011

Shopping Can Be A Special Moment in Time

As many of you know, my only daughter is about to be married in June. Then, she is literally moving to the other side of the world with her new husband. So, our time together is drawing to a close…at least for what could be a long time. Our most fun times have been either shopping or watching chick flicks together. She is my delight.

With determination, goals to accomplish, and memories in our pockets we set out Saturday for a shopping marathon. Both of us needed dresses for the rehearsal dinner….she needed honeymoon and island clothing….she needed a ring for her groom…and I always need blog material!!

Cute Bench outside Anthropolgie!

La Cantera is an open air mall next to Fiesta Texas, one of our big theme parks. As you pull into the parking lot, you are also staring right up into a massive ferris wheel. One thing I love about La Cantera, is that the service and friendliness of those who work in each store is off the charts. You often feel as though you are leaving good friends when you go from store to store.

We scored big at Forever 21 for her honeymoon clothing…actually we left things we wanted behind, because we wanted so much!! We had already made a small purchase at Old Navy and the two stashes together compliment the tribal/island look she is going for.

Fun at Forever 21!! This is one of the best stores for young trendy
looks on a budget!!  I love it!

I can’t show you her rehearsal dinner look but it involves Anthropologie sun dress…a sparkly headband…and cowgirl boots!! My look came from Jones of New York at Macy’s. Her absolute…hands down…favorite purchase was her hat!! Once she discovered the treasure at Macy’s, it had to be worn the rest of the day including down to the River Walk for dinner. Thank goodness we checked off the list a fabulous ring for her hunny…and rehearsal wear…and her honeymoon clothes. The big clothing question is still ME…what will I wear to the wedding?? I have something in my head and it just hasn’t showed up in a store yet.

Honeymoon one shoulder look from
Forever 21

We laughed…shopped…ate salads at Nordstrom’s….shopped….walked from end to end….shopped….and simply enjoyed one another!!

Now for a very special THANK YOU!  to Burda Style  for the amazing Singer
Sewing Machine I just received.  It was one of the door prizes at the Texas  Style Council's blogger's conference in March!  My daughter
is excited to take it with her to her new home...learn to sew...and maybe
teach other women who need a trade.
Also, thanks to sweet Grechen of Grechens Closet  for the personal delivery!!

A Wonderful Prize and gift for a new home!

Nordstrom's court for eating and re-fueling!

We literally did shop until we dropped!!!!!


Apr 22, 2011

How Could I Resist: Friend Friday & Inspiration!

After I rose early and fired off a post…I later discovered that it is Friend Friday on a topic I love….INSPIRATION!!

So, here we go…

1. Which celebrities do you look to for fashion inspiration? I do not know that I “look to” anyone. But I have discovered that I love the style of Diane Keeton and in some movies, Meryl Streep. But I tend to be attracted to the style in a movie more so than the individual style of a celebrity.

Diane Keeton

2. When it comes to your own personal style, what inspires you? So many things. I gain inspiration sometimes from architecture and art; sometimes magazines; sometimes a movie; sometimes another woman I see while out; sometimes a mannequin. The city of New York changed me completely thirty years ago. The inspiration I received there jump started a whole new love for fashion and style.

Of course, there are several designers; such as, Dana Buchman, who inspire me!

Dana Buchman

3. How do you hope to inspire your readers? I have written this many times in the last year….But so many women 50+ are afraid of aging and their bodies and change. Some have become despondent and just given up on life. I hope to inspire them by showing them that feeling and looking great will help build confidence and joy. They can start small, but just get off the couch and start. Life is just too short to live it in the doldrums. I hope to bring inspiration and fun to fashion. It can be easy and affordable!

4. Outside the realm of fashion, who or what inspires you? Oh, so many on the list:

a. My family and friends…especially Gigi who is my blogging inspiration

b. My blogging friends and readers. It never fails…when I want to quit, someone will say something which inspires and encourages me.  There are so many with amazing talent and style on the blogs!

c. Creation! The beauty of landscapes, sky, flowers, trees, etc. Beauty all around us!

d. Art….I love just about any of it from landscapes to some modern pieces.

e. As I said, architecture and interior design…I love to look at buildings and then go inside!! So, many times I can actually see an outfit in my mind after looking at some building.

5. And sense Idol is ending…what songs inspire you? I love music…many different kinds and I guess really nothing inspires me more than music. I love Praise & Worship Music (KLOVE!); Broadway musicals; Country & Western; ROCK!; Sinatra; some jazz; some classical; and THE BEATLES!! Would all be at the top of the play list! I am excited that next week Idol is featuring music by Carole King….how cool! My personal theme song is one by a Christian Contemporary Artist named Twila Paris….title: THE WARRIOR IS A CHILD.

Now, head on over to Modly Chic  and check out how other bloggers are inspired!!

Once again, Happy Easter and for all of you who believe in the power of prayer...please pray for Texas, we need rain in the worst way...the state is literally on fire!

Shedding a Tier

Black Cami: Chicos
Black Cardi & Belt: Kohl's
Floral Skirt: Lane Bryant
Necklace: Boutique
Shoes: Payless

I’m off today and need a look which will be cool (in high humidity and heat); flattering; and comfortable. It is so funny how many women think the word comfortable means sweat pants and T shirts! I really find that comfortable to me has much to do with fit and confidence….also shoes…if I am going to be on my feet a lot…the shoes are a critical component for comfort.

Love this Floral Print for Spring!

Therefore, I think I will go with this tiered skirt! It is very light and fun. The greatest thing about the tiered skirt is the multitude of problems it hides…in other words, it is slimming. This look should suffice for all my needs

Floral Jewelry!!  I bought the necklace a couple of
years ago at a boutique; Ring is from Lane Bryant and
the bracelet from Stein Mart

A doctor’s appointment

Grocery Shopping

Meeting my family for dinner since they will all be in town

Then church for Good Friday services!!

It is possible to dress for many functions at the beginning of the day! Now, let me wish all of you a blessed Easter weekend!

Just Like a Light in the Darkness....



Apr 21, 2011

Still Trending: Sequins for Daytime

St. Tropez Cardigan - TJ MAXX
T Shirt W/Bling - Ann Taylor
Glen Plaid Capris - Stein mart
Ballet Flats - Target

In 2009, major designers introduced the idea of wearing sequins for day wear and the trend immediately took off. Fashion journalists predicted "day bling"would stick around for a while and it has!!

However, it is one of those trends that many 50+ women have difficulty “buying into” because they think it too youthful or too bold for daytime. I personally love it…after all women have always loved shine from diamonds to rhinestones….I am no different.

I actually put the OOTD together with Stacy and Clinton from What Not To Wear in my head. In the past couple of seasons, they have counseled that a successful look includes structure, texture, fit, and shine. I started with a pair of glen plaid capris (which fit); a shiny, sparkly T shirt’ and a fun textured cardigan.

Structure, Texture, Fit and Shine!  (Check!)

With the sequins, I think it is best to remember that subtly is the best way to go. Choose a gentle, sequined top or tank or a top with a touch of sequins and then wear it with a cardigan or jacket. A full sequined top might be best for evening; however, I have seen some worn with denim during the day that looked amazing. I probably would not do that for work however.

Decided to pop it with blue!!
Earrings thrifted from
Garment Exchange in SA

Bracelet from Kohl's

Apr 20, 2011

When Words Seek to Destroy

They're certainly entitled to think that, and they're entitled to full respect for their opinions... but before I can live with other folks I've got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience. ~Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird, Chapter 11, spoken by the character Atticus

Today, I begin on a more serious note. There are several things that Terri @ Rags Against The Machine and I share in common, but one sad fact recently popped up…both of our daughters had experienced bullying due to the paleness of their skin.

It is ironic to me that my sweet baby J had to face rejection for the first time during a middle school lesson from To Kill A Mockingbird….adolescents can be so blind. They began to bully and show prejudice at the same time they were reading about it. But, at that time, a group of boys started to call her “Boo Radley” (the albino recluse from the book) and once they knew it upset her…they poured it on. The only saving grace was that there was no Face Book at the time…the weapon of choice for most teen bullies today…which would have made an already unbearable situation much worse.

In Texas, women and girls are esteemed if they are bleach- blonde with tan skin and many of her MS friends already tanned to achieve this look and acceptance. Sweet J was horrified at her treatment and began a regime to constantly be in the sun or go to tanning salons. The boys’ words intensified in high school  and her obsession to look and be a certain way grew. Both of us look back on her high school years with sadness and wish we had stood up and handled this situation differently. There’s that “hindsight” again…ouch!  But all she really wanted was acceptance from a particular group which with held it just to be mean.

I am happy to report that she has overcome with maturity and faith the scars of her past. But, she constantly worries about skin cancer from the days that she would fry her skin to receive approval... which never really came. She is a gorgeous woman with beautiful porcelain skin tones and her compassionate heart, developed primarily from the treatment she received, allows her to reach out in love to people of all skin tones and to be forgiving of those who were so cruel.

Recently, some of the fashion bloggers have experienced a rash of negative comments on their looks and their blogs.... really, the same type of behavior as a 14-year-old, immature bully.  I would just say to the naysayers:  Words are powerful…they can cut deep wounds and leave scars which last a lifetime. Many of the sweet ladies who pen these blogs are just as vulnerable as my daughter was in MS.  Remember: Love & Acceptance are the salve which heal all wounds and breakdown walls.  Please think before you comment and do not take your words lightly.

Please join Terri for her story @ Rags Against the Machine.....

Apr 19, 2011

My On Again Off Again Love Affair with Stripes

Jacket: Marshall's
Blouse, Pants, Shoes: Stein Mart
Earrings: Lane Bryant

Today, at Pretty Shiny Sparkly bloggers are bringing their bold stripes and color blocking looks.  I went for the bold stripes!!

Garments with Chevron Stripes are magic since they are made of one of those amazing prints which do something that blesses me no end…they are slimming!! The zig zag of the print just focuses the eye to the tiny points of a woman’s body, so typically the style will take pounds away.

However, horizontal stripes can be the opposite …if not worn carefully, they will put the pounds on! Since I am in weight-loss-mode, I am just now returning to some horizontal stripes….as long as the garment fits well and follows my curves…which I have many!!

Peck & Peck Collections: Kohls
Pants: Talbot's
Cole Hahn Flats: Marshalls

Stripes have always said one word to me: FUN!! I guess because I can remember back in the dark ages, when I was a child, wearing them while playing in the neighborhood….I know, I know that is before many of the girls reading this blog on  were born. But, we can always have fun, ladies, and stripes are one way to say IT!!

Now, here's some fun: Stripes, polka dots
and flowers...all on one cake!!

And for more fun with stripes and color blocking, just hop over to Pretty Shiny Sparkly - Bloggers Do It Better

Apr 18, 2011

A Fitting Conversation About Fit - Part II

Carissa Rose Pintuck Blouse in Indigo
Black Pencil Skirt: Dillards
Pearl Necklace: Kohls
Scarf: Ann Taylor Loft
Pearl Bracelet: Premiere Jewelry

It’s exciting to find designers who actually understand the challenges of a full figured woman and want us to look our best. Carissa Rose out of Dallas is one of those designers. Take a look at the ad from yesterday’s JCPenney's circular! Typically these are the types of options retailers offer a curvy woman over 50. This is a crime!

So wrong on so many levels!!

Now, look at the blouse I am wearing with my pencil skirt! The structure and fit is incredible!! After I opened the box and looked the blouse over, my first thought was that all of the hook & eye closures would not be worth the time….believe me, they are worth the time! I can remember the day that one of my students thought I had missed buttoning my shirt because it was gaping open…I hadn’t missed a button! After that if I wore that blouse, I had to cover the button area with a scarf. Does this sound familiar to anyone out there?

If it does, then you need to check out the Carissa Rose line. It is worth it to pay for these beautiful, quality pieces rather than waste tons of money looking for the same effect….you’ve got it right here.

The dress structure is just perfect!

Carissa Brown started sewing with her mother, Helene Rose, at age eleven and eventually would begin this company as a tribute to her. Helene struggled with the same issues that many of us do….but, Viola; her daughter has solved some of these problems with perfectly designed clothing.

Carissa Brown, designer!

I have done a thorough job at bashing the retailers who are offering junk to women my age; therefore, I thought it was about time to send kudos the way of someone doing a great job. Here is the link to the blouse I am wearing…I highly recommend it…if you want your body to look fierce!  Portia Pintuck Blouse

An excellent professional look...I love the fact that
it does not wrinkle, bunch up, or gap open!
No wardrobe disasters here!

Apr 17, 2011

A Fitting Talk About FIT!

The dress must not hang on the body but follow its lines. It must accompany its wearer and when a woman smiles the dress must smile with her. ~Madeleine Vionnet

Nordstrom Look A
I feel great!! 

We have talked a lot lately about the way clothes fit. We have vented with frustration that more designers do not understand how to dress a curvy woman. But, ladies, we still have some power in our hands. I spent the majority of my overweight life wearing oversized clothing….under, the misconception that I looked better if I was in a sack…go figure. As I think about it now, I just do not know how I bought into that delusion.

The truth is…if we will have the courage to wear clothes that follow the lines of our body, as the above quote says, and actually feel the clothing we wear, then we look thinner and sexier. Oversized clothing is a way of hiding and it will feed someone who is depressed and desires to hide. I know…I’ve done it!

While in Nordstrom’s on Friday, I tried on a couple of the cute, trendy knit jackets on today’s market. You can see the difference between picture A at the top of the post and picture B here:

Nordstrom Look B:
Cute, but the jacket adds pounds.  The shirt underneath
fit well and needed no jacket!

While the jacket is cute, it is way too oversized and going down a size would not make a difference. Today’s post and the one I will do tomorrow are my way of encouraging those of you still hiding, to come out! Once you see the reflection in the mirror, you will not want to wear mostly oversized clothing again. Embrace those curves!! Come by tomorrow and meet a designer who understands curvy women and fits them beautifully.

Don't be afraid to wear clothes that touch
your curves...it's fun!!
Sweater & Blouse: Lane Bryant
Capris: Talbots
Shoes: Stein Mart

As Always, Accessories make an outfit!!!

Apr 16, 2011

When Fabulous and Finances Collide

I met this dress for the first time yesterday...it was love at first sight!  The day was spent looking for an escort (dress!) to my daughter's wedding and we met by chance in a boutique called Town and Country.  But, alas, this relationship is already on the rocks, because this Jovani Gown is $789!!!  That is over budget for the Mother of the Bride dress!!  My sweet husband said, "Do you think you would wear it again?" 
I have anticipated an invitation for an affair at the White House for years...but I am still waiting!  My sons will probably want to marry in the middle of summer, by a Texas River, in a jeans & boots affair.  So I winced and said sadly, "Not really."

Shopping for the dress was so stressful.  The really beautiful, affordable sizes do not reach Size 16!  The ones that do are mostly matronly.  My weight loss has created a weird body with a tiny top and still larger hips.  Any dress I tried on would need tailoring.

Gigi went with me and finally convinced me to get a bra fitting at Nordstrom's and find new undergarments.  Again, I was wearing things too big and ill fitting since the diet. 

Gigi tried on this fabulous St. John's
coat at Off 5th!  It was only $600!!  We love this
world, but do not live in it!!!

This gown was the only time I looked in the mirror and thought WOW!  So I guess I will keep looking, but now that I know alterations will be required... the pressure is on.

Close up of Jovani

With a tear in my eye, I kiss Jovani good-bye and dream of the moments we would have spent together!!
Good bye My Love!!!

This gown was not a wedding choice....I
just loved it!!