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

Jul 29, 2011

Atta Boy....Bert!

From all of the Project Runway Season Nine hype and promos, I thought I was going to hate the oldest designer last night. Implications were that Bert Keeter, 57, was the next Santino…the guy you love to hate. Granted we have only seen one episode, but based on just the one, Bert is gracious, kind, and good at what he does!!

Bert in the workroom wearing the
boxer shorts

Each season brings moments of immaturity running rampant through the workroom and hopefully Bert will make the cut to bring some sensibility to a few of these challenges. He definitely has talent as we saw last night when he took his boxer shorts and a T shirt and fashioned them into a cool, fun, trendy dress. The only negative comment was on the way he styled his model’s hair, makeup and accessories….Michael Kors was appalled…but they rewarded the dress last night not the complete look.

No matter how long he is here, Bert has done the following in just one episode:

• Inspired those over 50 to go for what you love and not give up

• Inspired anyone, at any age to not let difficult circumstances keep you down, but fight to come out of them and SHINE!

• Proved that you do not have to be younger to be cutting edge with women and their style...he seems to understand what women want now!

• Demonstrated the importance of listening and learning from the judges when they comment on your work…he did not get whiny or take it personally when they gave him suggestions in the initial interview…he just brought it.

The dress he creeated from
the boxer and T shirt.!

I would like to encourage all of you baby boomers to go to this Project Runway/Bert Keeter Link and vote for Bert as your favorite designer….he needs support from the home team. He won last night and also won immunity for the next challenge.    Hopefully, next week he is not about to become a Jeffrey and make someone’s mother cry!!

Jul 27, 2011

Menswear- Inspired VS Menswear

As a journalism major in the early 1970s, there were two things that captured my attention….the Watergate Investigation and shopping in Men’s Departments for clothing.   The female budding reporters thought the male-look was really cool and somehow helped establish our credibility in the campus newsroom.  But Menswear-Inspired Fashion is something that has come and gone several times since women became more accepted in the corporate world.

When reading Parisian Chic by Ines de la Fressange this summer, I made note of her suggestions in a section called EFFORTLESS STYLE. She writes:

*Hunt for Vintage men’s scarves and wear them with everything.

*Wear your teenage son’s shirt with a push up bra underneath (And don’t try to hide it) (Just a note, I will not be seen doing this one)

*Cinch everything with a big, well- worn man’s belt. Tie the excess length in a loose knot.

Man World Shops are decorated differently from
Girl World Shops!!

So, I decided recently to do a little shopping in MAN WORLD. It was not as much fun as I hoped it would be. It is too early to find the vintage scarves…not that many men wear them in Texas anyway. The belts were too new….I am still in search of the well-worn belt. I did find one denim blue men’s, V neck, T shirt which had a great feel and fit very nicely. It is a thicker cotton, so I will wait until cooler weather to wear it with a jacket and jeans.

This is complete male consignment and located in
a higher income part of town in order to solicit designer

But, I think I will just stick with styling MENSWEAR INSPIRED looks for now, instead of actually shopping for MENSWEAR…unless I happen to see a great scarf…”wear it with everything??” Really?

I did make one purchase in the men's
section of Marshall's. This T fit better
than many women's T-shirts do on
me.  I love the fit and the color...it is
what I would call DENIM.

 Has anyone had great success shopping in MAN WORLD??

Jul 26, 2011

But, Baby It's Hot Outside....

Jacket & Earrings: Stein Mart
Tank: Marshall's
Skirt: Lane Bryant

I mentioned this recently, but I am really serious about it…summer heat has zapped my enthusiasm for style and fashion. When the majority of your summer is over 100 degrees ( 20 days in a row today) and absolutely dry as a desert, then it is hard to have much clothing touching the skin….and the thought of scarves and necklaces is just sticky.

I realize you have seen this skirt before on my blog, but summer has me wearing all of my skirts over and over again. I do attempt to style them differently whenever I wear them, but I have found skirts and dresses to be the coolest option this year. Maybe if I lose more weight, I will personally enjoy walking shorts more, but for now I feel more confident in the skirts and dresses. Also, the idea of wearing anything with a SPANX is just brutal.

I know it is completely out of character for me to WHINE…but the weather has me a little whiny. It’s sad…in Texas, we are currently looking out toward Cuba at a cluster of rain and actually wishing it will turn into a tropical storm and head toward us. Our beautiful lakes are drying up…it is difficult to find “lush” greenery…birds in the backyard fight over the pet water bowls.

Oh well, does anyone have any ideas for professional summer looks which keep you cool…my ideas are running high and dry!!

So sorry, that my smile is beginning to melt!!

Jul 24, 2011


Dana Buchman Print: Kohls
Tahari Purple Tank: Marshalls
Jeggings: Lan Bryant

The last week of July is a mile marker for me…I have about 15 days until I return to work fulltime and I have to make sure I have reached certain summer goals. One of those goals is to perform one of the bi-annual closet clean outs. So, yesterday was the day and unfortunately, it took all day.

But, I was pleasantly surprised to find a couple of surprises. Hidden deep within a pile of clothes on the floor was a ring my husband gave me for Christmas one year! I had not been able to find it for some time and had just been too lazy to deal with the growing pile of shorts, T shirts, and PJs. Thank goodness I found the ring, before he noticed it was gone!

One of these shoes had been missing for months.  Found
it in a corner under purses! Bought them last year at
Rack Room Shoes.

Also, at the bottom of this same pile I found several items I had considered taking to Goodwill. One was this bright patterned top by Dana Buchman for Kohls. I purchased it a couple of springs ago. But, after much thought and a little re-styling, I decided to hang on to it a bit longer. I am still weeding through some oversized clothing and hoping that I am not going to gain the weight back….I really want the fact that I have rid my closet of so many of the larger clothes to be a statement …NO GOING BACK!!

The top includes brown in
the mix...so I wore my
brown leather Areosoles
from Ross!

Has anyone else made great discoveries when they cleaned their closet??

Whew!!  Saved by the closet clean out!! Here is the
ring my husband bought for me several Christmases

Jul 22, 2011


First, I would like to thank everyone for the sweet birthday wishes yesterday!! All of you are so great! I really appreciate your thoughtfulness.

It’s time for the weekend which usually spells fun….so I thought I would share some fun recent decisions with you. Yesterday, I gave myself a birthday treat with a pedicure…felt, oh so wonderful on tired, hot feet. I just love this new color by OPI honoring TEXAS. This color is called BIG HAIR, BIG NAILS….gotta love it….where is Sue Ellen when you need her to be there for nail color celebration??

Back to School sales means the retailers are going through clearance, and stocking up on everything, so selections are better during this time! That is why I always use a smidgeon of my hard earned summer school income to gear up a little for the coming year….

DSW clearance racks displayed many shoes as low as $8 a pair. Using my "new personal style guidelines," I selected three which would enhance my wardrobe, but walked away from several I found to be fun…just not what I am going for at this time.

These are the ones I purchased....have to have a red shoe!!

Really cute, but I have too many sandals...left these behind!
So cute...but I left them behind...though tempted by
the $8 price!!

Finally, this Steve Madden satchel caught my eye…I loved the combination metallic, touch of tan feel and it has a middle zipper pouch where I can easily store my cell phone and keys for quick retrieval! Original price was $98…marked down to $39! I will save it until I begin full time teaching again!


Jul 21, 2011

Thrifting Shoes Is Like Eating Carbs!!

Today is not just THRIFTING THURSDAY on Every Body Every Wear, but also my 58th birthday! Woo Hoo!! So, in honor of my B-Day, I wanted to talk about something I really love and that is SHOES!!

Shoes are like carbs to me….I absolutely crave them, but have to watch out not to overindulge with them!! I have better luck thrifting accessories more so than clothing….I do not believe that would be the case if I was a smaller size. It just is a little more difficult to seek out treasurers of great designer clothing in larger sizes. But, I always seem to find a fun pair of shoes when I go to the thrift or consignment shops in my city. Last year, I even forgot about some of my fun shoes, because I just had too many…so I took a small boat-load of those to the resale shop!!

I love these little leather flats...only $3!!

Another thing I am going through at the moment is that I am really, really tired of summer. The non-stop sunshine; droplets of rain only twice in five months; excessive humidity; and little hope of change have all taken the fun out of summer clothing for me. I was able to find a couple of beautiful silk items at GOODWILL recently, but it was just too hot today to even put them on my body!! So, shoes it is!  And, you know, for some of my
outfits...it is all about the SHOES!

$1.99 at Goodwill...brand new!!

They are fun and not hot at all!! Now, in honor of my birthday…bring on the carbs!!

To enjoy a plethora of fun styles from successful thrifting trips, just go to:


Birthday Flowers from my sweet hubs!!

Jul 19, 2011

Foundation #5: Dressing In Clothes that Fit

I confess. I was one of those women….you know the ones who really believe that the bigger the garment, the more late night ice cream is hidden. It took much coaxing from makeover shows to get me to the point where I had the courage to wear clothes that actually hugged my curves and fit my body. I was stunned the first time I did this…starring in the mirror wondering how it looked like I lost weight…when I knew I hadn’t.

Now, there’s no turning back!! I want to wear clothes that appropriately fit my body. This doesn’t mean I still may not make a mistake or two along the way….but I can now see with my own eyes the huge difference between clothing that fits and clothing that flops on my figure.

Today, I am a size 16!! I truly hope to lose down to a 14 or 12, but I want to fit my size 16 body today. If I look for the seams and the proper sizes, then I will look good right where I am at the size that I currently am. Did you know that size 16 is the most popular women’s size in the country and will usually sell out first?? For those of us 16s…that’s a bummer!

According to this fifth pillar of my FOUNDATIONAL FIVE
shopping guidelines, if the garment is too big or even too small, it stays at the store!!   I look for garments with seams...especially seams designed to slim;  I prefer a V Neck or open collar to elongate my look; and unless it is a special design, the shoulders must fit my shoulders and not droop off to the side.  Since I changed my ways, shoulder fit is the first place I look...In the past I didn't check it at all!

Now, I have discussed all of the foundations that make up my personal style! Is anyone else ready to share their foundations yet….what do you want to communicate with your clothing??






Now Shop!!!!!!!!

Jul 18, 2011

Foundation #4: Dressing Youthful....for Visible Monday!

"Fairy Tales can come true…they can happen to you…if you’re young at heart…"

Yes, Frank Sinatra sang to me as I wrote this post. This line from the song actually would have been a perfect fit in Tom Hank’s new movie Larry Crowne. Without spoiling it for you, Larry Crowne is reinvented and rejuvenized by a group of college students….kind of like I am each day when I face high school students. It’s a fact spending time with youth will help you to feel young.

But, we are really here to discuss the fourth pillar of my own personal FOUNDATIONAL FIVE 
shopping guidelines….Dressing with YOUTHFUL in mind. When I look in the mirror, I make myself find the balance in appropriate age dressing. I look at the piece I am trying on and ask….DOES IT MAKE ME LOOK OLD? DOES IT MAKE ME LOOK TOO MUCH LIKE I AM TRYING TO BE YOUNGER? I want to find the balance and do not want to be accused of being either too young or too old with my style. This week I will turn 58…now I find myself a lot closer to 60 than to 50!! So, my age questions are going to be different from many of yours. I would love to be accused of looking 40…but I do not think I will ever look 30 again…so I am not going for that. What I want?...is for people to be shocked when they find out my age!! Again, please remember this is one of the five questions I now ask when I shop or style a look. Yes, age is a state of mind and the good thing is I DO NOT FEEL 58! I really feel younger and hope to hold on to that for a very long time.  Now, a word about this color...I know I wear it alot!  Someone commented yesterday that the color is drab.  I just happen to love it...mostly because of what it does to my eyes!!  These are my foundational five™... and the colors are ones I select for me...if it is drab to you...then that's OK...don't wear it!  I encourage you though to find the colors you love and you think look best on you...the colors which increase your personal confidence.  That is what drab army green does for me...I am always more confident when I wear it!

Yes, there were a few issues
with the camera today!!
I wish you could see
the metallic gold strips
in the cardigan.

You bet I feel visible in this Calvin Klein outfit…it makes for a perfect date outfit with the hubs. I love the sequins on the sweater and the fit of the sweater. I love the cardigan with its touch of sparkly gold stripes on top of my favorite color. I will probably wear the cardigan to work but with a more work appropriate blouse underneath. Look for it restyled this fall! The sparkly sweater and cardigan are Calvin Klein from Marshall’s….and you have seen my Lane Bryant jeggings before. Now hum a little Sinatra and hop on over to Patti’s site and see all of the VISIBLE MONDAY looks!!


Jul 16, 2011

Foundation #3 - Dressing With Creativity

Just a touch of creativity
in this look with the
Shirt is from Ann Taylor and
the emulets keep the scarf in place.

Creativity….my favorite FOUNDATIONAL FIVE
step. I love color, art, out-of-the-box fashion ….I am naturally drawn to it. But that is the exact reason why I need five steps to keep me in check. Some of you referred to the “Classy” step with phrases like ICE PRINCESS...tacky...cheap starlet....I know you were referring to the word and not me...

I get that. I thought it interesting that one of you observed ladies in the Classy Hall of Fame do not smile that much. Anyone who has read this blog for very long knows that I like to smile….and a colorful scarf will definitely bring on the smiles. But, I personally need guidelines which will temper the creative side of me or I go completely crazy. The majority of clothes I have wasted my money on in the past have one or two problems: They are either oversized or kooky or both!!  The word classy communicates to me...and that is why each list of five will be personal to the individual to assist that woman is creating a style that is uniquely her.

Now, when I take a garment into the dressing room that I was drawn to because it is fabulously different….that garment must also meet all of the other guidelines. I can still go for my creativity, but it must be strong, classy, fit well, and be age appropriate all at the same time. The FOUNDATIONAL FIVE™...for me is not only a way to create a personal style, but also a check and balance system to keep me out of trouble. I need the creativity in order to keep my love of fashion fed and to be approachable. You are right…sometimes the regular public is not drawn to an ice princess….I want to feel great about the way I look, yet remain the girl next door.

I observed on blogs from France,
women there wear off the shoulder
scarves and I like the look!!
Sometimes creativity comes
from a style technique and not
the actual garment!
In looking at this, I think I will
switch sides next time....

I hope this is truly helping others and that some of you are beginning to better define what you desire your style to be….It has helped me so much and my recent purchases now have exclamation rather than questions marks hovering over them.

A special thank you for those who have mentioned the FOUNDATIONAL FIVE post on your blogs!!  Thanks so much for keeping this conversation going!!!

Does anyone else have ideas on how you tone down creativity in your personal wardrobe or should it always fly free???

Jul 15, 2011

Pausing Foundations for FBFF & Winner Announced!

Mary has a unique heritage of English and
Texan blood!

Meet My Intern – Mary, Mary (quite contrary!!) I describe her as creative, diligent, talented, diverse, fun, joyful, intelligent, beautiful, loyal, and sometimes….giggly!! Mary will be leaving the San Antonio city limits next month to head off to college seeking a Theater degree and I will really miss not having her around every day. For the past three years….I label Mary as indispensable!

Katy from Modly Chic has selected a difficult topic today. She gave us questions to answer about connecting the labeling of people with our blogging. I am not an advocate of labeling people, but in the world of communications it is helpful to define groups of individuals. I have a marketing background where for over 25 years professionals drilled in my head the importance of understanding your target audience when you are communicating. In order to understand your audience, you must describe it with the use of demographics. That means the audience must be defined into sexes, age groups, income levels, etc. That is not a bad thing.

With this understanding in mind, I started this blog one year ago for a very specific audience. I wanted to encourage women over 50….especially those struggling with mid-life and feeling a little shut down. I love it that others read this blog and I welcome anyone, but I do write for a specific audience. I would be fooling myself if I tried to pull off a fashion blog that younger women were interested in…most girls in their 20s do not want to know that I do not wear high heels because of bunion surgery!! The greatest benefit to understanding target audience is if a blogger plans to be professional. I will not lie…I would love to be professional and find a way to make more money with writing.

Mary is already an incredible

Therefore, I will proudly label myself as an over 50 lifestyle blogger and that also defines the audience I write for….Of course, I am drawn to predominately over 40 bloggers, but I do read blogs which pertain to other subjects besides fashion. My blog list is diversified. There are also some fashion blogs I read by those younger, because I have learned much from them. But, reality tells me, that there are only a handful of younger fashion bloggers who will like my blog and, you know…. that is OK.

Yes, of course, we are all just people...beautiful because we are diverse…just as snowflakes are unique…each one of us is unique and will be attracted to different blogs for our own unique reasons.  Labeling can be very detrimental to many people, but for success with communications of any kind, defining your audience is necessary...not a bad thing...it just helps the direction of your writing and your blog.

For other thoughts about labeling others, please go to




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