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

Sep 30, 2011

Inspiration: Southwestern Trends




It is possible, that for the majority of us (ladies of a certain age that is), following trends is just not as much fun as it was when we were younger. I, also, realize that for some of you following a trend makes you too much like everyone else and could be viewed as robbing your individuality.




But, for the purposes of editorial….please allow me to discuss my inspiration for today’s outfit. I was looking over the Fall 2011 Trends and this layout from VOGUE was one in particular which caught my attention. I thought…”Santa Fe/Southwestern Style would be a piece of cake for a Texan!!” In fact, there were several different ways I could’ve gone with this inspiration look, but then I found a Chaps Cardigan at KOHL'S and I knew it was the statement piece! I also knew I could use it for many different purposes and looks. It’s lightweight so the warmer weather is not a problem. Southwestern style to me just screams SILVER when deciding on accessories…though I do have some bronze and turquoise pieces that I love.



Chaps Cardigan: Kohl's
LRL, Lauren Jeans Co. Skirt: Macys




Chico's Southwestern, Vintage Tank


Jewelry: Stein Mart

Shoes: Ross
Toes by Opi: Suzi Takes the Wheel (Gray!)

What about you….is there a particular trend that you just had to follow this autumn?




BITS & PIECES:








First, this article caught my eye in the San Antonio Express News yesterday. It was written by Molly Glentzer and titled: MESMERIZED BY AN EXOTIC PAIR OF DROP EARRINGS. She fell in love with this pair of Ralph Lauren earrings during the runway show for the fall collection. “But I am still dreaming of the Orientalist drop earrings that danced around the impossible long necks of Ralph Lauren’s models in February, when I saw the fall collection on the runway. There are many variations on the theme, but the pair I covet features a crystal rhodium rondelle in red above an elongated teardrop of black onyx. (The design was also made in jade). His fall 2011 collection – widely considered his best in years – is pure Shanghai Express. Look at stills from the 1932 film, and you’ll even see Anna May Wong in the earrings. The tassel necklaces, hats, and scrumptious coats – pure Marlene Dietrich as Shanghai Lily.”


I would link her entire article if it was available and if it becomes available online….I will go back and do that. But for now, I share her love of Oriental jewelry and her desire to own these earrings which are a bargain (sarcasm!) over $700. Molly and I can only dream.








Finally, I also loved Gigi’s shoes yesterday! She wore them with some fabulous tweed pants from Kohl’s and they made the look.










Have a Wonderful Autumn Weekend Everyone! I can’t believe it is already October!

Sep 29, 2011

Before You Leave the House, Put a Little Laughter in Your Bag




Jacket: Stein Mart
Blouse: Coldwater Creek
Blue Pants: Coldwater Creek
Shoes: Marshalls
Earrings: Garment Exchange
Something to laugh about?
The blouse is too big, because
I have lost weight!!


I begin every day with headlines….breaking news alerts….and constant bullets shot into my brain of what is happening in the world. You have to be fairly thick skinned and well balanced in order to be in journalism. If not, the depressing news will get you down. That is why I think it really is beneficial to have a sense of humor and not take life too seriously.


This year is the 60th anniversary of “I Love Lucy.” I grew up on the messes of Lucy and Ethel and at times, I still find them very funny. Honestly, how many of those candies can you really hide in your mouth and shirt from a supervisor??



 I know one thing….it is good to laugh and sometimes television can give us that outlet. I no longer watch Saturday Night Live, but remember crying over classics by the original cast…or finding the escapades of Rachel, Phoebe, Ross, Joey, Chandler, and Monica to be hysterical.


Dana Buchman Bracelet: Kohls


As someone surrounded by so much gloom and doom, I try to live one day at a time and every day find something humorous…whether it is a high school moment while I am teaching or classic comedy….both will work wonders to get you through.


What are your favorite funny scenes from television?

Sep 28, 2011

From Hating Jeans to Loving Them!


Jacket: Dress Barn
JNY Top: Consignment
Lee Denim: Kohls
Flats: Old Navy




About ten years ago, I absolutely hated jeans! That’s right everyone’s favorite, go-to, life-wear was my worst nightmare. I just was misinformed and believed all jeans were light blue denim, mom-jeans, which had to be saggy in order to fit! If you had asked me then if I ever saw myself wearing jeans to work, I would have scoffed at your suggestion big time.


Dark denim trouser jeans were introduced to me by Stacy and Clinton on WHAT NOT TO WEAR and I would wear them every day if I could. This was another one of those things that I had to try them on to be convinced that they were slimming and stylish. I wore a pair once to a football game and one of the moms asked me why I was so dressed up! Such is the power of the dark denim jean.

Dana Buchman Necklace: Kohls
Bracelets: Kohls
Animal Print Watch:  Garment Exchange Consignment
Boutique



Today’s look is just one of the many ways that I style them for teaching, but what is so great about this jean is that you can wear it almost anywhere. I have worn them to work, church, casual functions, shopping, luncheons…and I have never felt out of place. By the way, this Jones of New York animal print top was purchased at the resale shop in Blanco, TX. I wrote about on Monday. Gigi talked me into it!

I also think it is perfect for Silverstyle's Trending through the Decades: Animal Prints Challenge  Who knows how old this top really is, since I bought it in a re-sale shop, but one thing is for sure, animal print is ALWAYS in vogue.


In the top picture, I hid the sleeves
to the JNY shirt.  Here they are out of
the jacket.  I like both looks.  It could go
either way.


Sep 27, 2011

I've Got Good News and Bad News



Blouse: Ross $7.00
Talbot's Capris
Target Shoes: Goodwill for
$1.99



I’ve got good news and bad news….first the bad news. South Texas has soared back into temps over 100 and predictions keep us breaking records for 100 DEGREE days in 2011…which means we will see more after October 1. That keeps me in bare legs, capris, and summer skirts longer than I wanted to be. I long for a real autumn…the heat has been excruciating this year and the drought is so, so sad. I drove by one of my favorite rivers last week only to see boat docks sitting on the bottom…it is really concerning for those of us who love this state. The colors we see in the forests are not seasonal color changes, but rather too many dead trees from lack of rain.





Rainsticks sold in boutiques


The good news? It’s Tuesday! That means that because I am over 55, I can save an extra 10% at ROSS. My ROSS is surrounded by Payless, Dress Barn, Michaels, and Office Max. I accidently discovered that since ROSS does the discount on Tuesdays, so does the entire complex. They don’t advertise it….the customer has to ask. There are also more retailers who offer a discount to teachers…it does pay to do your research.


Bracelet:  Forever 21
Ring:  Stein Mart




Does anyone else know of some great discounts out there beneficial for all of us?

Sep 25, 2011

Uniquely Visible: How Do You Do It?




Sarah Johnson Sweater:
Marshalls
Dark Denim Trousers:
Coldwater Creek
Wanted Gold Flats:
Marshalls

 

Reader question: You wrote recently that there are ways to look unique and not like everyone else who shops at the same stores in the malls. How do you do that?


What a great question for VISIBLE MONDAY! This person obviously desires more visibility! There are though more answers than I can tackle in one post. I answered some in the Foundational Five post where one of my questions is to ask, “Do I think the look reflects my creativity and uniqueness before I either wear it or purchase it?” I make effort to balance my creativity with the other four steps of my style guidelines, but I definitely want the creativity showing. I also wrote about designer lines now shown in homes such as the "W" line and Jana Kos, and how your personal shopper will protect their client from looking like everyone else.

Scarf: Marshalls
Necklace: Lane Bryant
Bracelet: Kohls


Another way to make sure you do not look like a cookie cutter, is to shop in boutiques and off-the-beaten path retailers. Gigi and I recently stopped into Blanco, Texas, a tiny country village which caters to tourists with boutique and antique shops. Several boutiques feature artwork, pottery, and jewelry by local artists. We each left with jewelry selections we had not seen anywhere else, and, if I had more money, I would have walked away with some amazing pieces which were out of my budget. The most fun we had was in the Brieger Pottery Shop where, lo and behold, at the back was a wonderful consignment area!! After lunch at the Redbud Café, we were ready to head back to San Antonio with our purchases. The area is known for its lavender and hosts a Lavender Festival every fall… So, the whole town smells great!


Jewelry Made from Real Copper


Loved this necklace in beautiful Blanco


Hopefully, you will check out the other unique ladies on Patti's Site for their visibility….but, let me ask everyone, how do you keep from looking like everyone else who shops at the same stores???

Here's what we both wanted but
left in Blanco!!  So sad!

Here's what Gigi took home!


Fun antiques


Having a blast in Blanco: The Red Razzle Dazzle Red Hat Ladies
from the Austin area!
Our beautiful waitress at the Red Bud

How do you make a Reuben Sandwich Diet:
Substitute Corned Beef for Turkey
and Thousand Island Dressing for Mustard
DELICIOUS!


Yes, they buy them from Mexico for
their shops!



Beautiful Antiques!!

Also, I just noticed that this is my 300th post!  Wow!  Time flies!

Sep 22, 2011

TGIA....Thank goodness it's...Autumn!

Jacket: Old Navy
Blouse: Chicos, consignment,
Serendipity Clothing SA
Coldwater Creek Jeans
Target Ballet Flats


My favorite time of year is finally, officially here!! There is just something about the feel in the air (even in Texas)…the shorter days…the vibrant colors…acorns on the ground…cinnamon brooms…Pumpkin Spice Lattes…Friday Night Football in small-town Texas…cool breezes…and homemade soup. What is your favorite part of Autumn??


Bracelet: Langford Market


While you are thinking, enjoy these pumpkins taken by one of my students last year…he will be famous someday… he just doesn’t know it yet…remember Andrew Matalon! I hear there is a pumpkin shortage this year…so sad!

 
 
 
 
 




 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
HAPPY AUTUMN!!!!

Sep 21, 2011

Fear of the Form...Should we Confront It?




Cardigan: Marshall's
Skirt: lane Bryant
Shoes: Target




It took a long time for What Not to Wear to get me out of oversized clothes. Big Tops were my comfort zone.... the bush I would run to hide behind. I came into my 50s quite overweight and had just stopped caring for myself. Oversized polos, T shirts, and tunics were safe and I honestly did not believe looked that bad. It took a bold Stacy London and Clinton Kelly to get me to see that fit….even at my current size…was more flattering than the really big shirts. I had to see it for myself.


They were right….smaller shirts made me look thinner ….not the blankets I would throw on every day. A form fitting top and jacket will take off more pounds, faster than any diet I know of. Now, Clinton says, “VA VA VOOM!” when a woman’s curves suddenly appear!!


Bracelet: Forever 21


Other than a perfectly fitted jacket, my favorite VA VA VOOM-look is a buttoned cardigan. I feel thinner, younger, and more stylish when I wear one. Yes…I will say that I feel sexy in them! Gigi is modeling another slenderizing look…the fitted jacker. It can make a huge difference.


Jacket: Kohl's


This realization has been so life changing for me that I want to share it with everyone, but sometimes I worry that women will be offended when I do. They could ramp up their WOW-factor….enhance their beauty…and feel better about themselves just by tossing the big, floppy shirts. I always hesitate and even feel bad when I try to tell women to go the more fitted direction.


Scarf: Stein Mart


Why is it that we want to hang on to those security blankets we hide behind ? What do we really fear?

Full Disclosure: I attempted to tell a really attractive lady on a blog that she would look
thinner if she would avoid over-sized tops with big horitzontal stripes.  Her blog asked what the readers thought of the top.  I told her that she was way too pretty to wear the big blouses.  I guess I offended her.  She removed the comment from her sight.  Are we always just to say
"great look today?"  Or is it better to say nothing at all?  Even when asked for opinions?  I am grieved she may have taken my comments in a wrong way!

Sep 20, 2011

I Want to be Just Like Cher!!










Well, not really Sonny's Cher……but Sher Canada, Chico’s Style Expert! After all, she and I must be best friends. She emails me all the time! Her last, very personal message said, “DRESS LIKE YOU MEAN IT”….Set a tone for effortless chic with dark wash denim, a fabulous blazer, and statement accessories.



 It was actually Sher’s outfit which caught my eye…I loved the look. When I am “inspired” by a look I find, in order to make it work for me, I ask these questions:


1. How many of the pieces do I actually own?


2. Where do I see myself going in the outfit?


3. Does it meet the FOUNDATIONAL FIVE I have already established for my personal style?

 With Sher’s look, I owned everything but the animal print jacket. I looked at it on CHICO'S site and knew that this month was tight with college expenses, so I filed the look in the back of my mind. I could see myself wearing it for work or fun, so the outfit made sense for my life and it DID meet my foundational five goals…..


STRIKING THE SHER POSE:


Black Shirt: Kohl's
Leopard Jacket by Westbound:
Consignment
Coldwater Creek Jeans
Target Ballet Flats


Then…the next day I went to cover SERENDIPITY CLOTHES, the new consignment shop on my side of town, and lo and behold, there I found this jacket! Though it is a lighter print, I thought….WOW…this would work! Of course, I would buy head to toe at Chico's if I could, but for now this inspiration looked really made me smile.  What do you think?  Does it work?




I have a folder where I put inspiration looks I pull from magazines and a bulletin board in my closet where I pin the ones I am currently working on….that helps keep me blogging and looking individual and stylish  (I hope)!! Does anyone else do this?


Pearl Necklace:  Simply Vera from Kohl's
Pearl Bracelet:  Premiere Jewelry
Man's Watch:  Similar Size to Sher's watch in
photo


By the way….thanks Sher…can’t wait to hear from you again!!






Sep 19, 2011

Victoriously Visible: The W Line






Gigi and I spent the weekend preparing for VISIBLE MONDAY by getting up close and personal with the “W” Fall and Winter Collections. “W” is a bridge-line division of Worth which was started two years ago in answer to the economy and features wonderful pieces in a price range from $68 to $548.


The same power house sales team you have seen featured here selling Jana Kos is selling the “W” line…you might recognize the home décor. We were pleased to see seven racks packed with beautiful pieces which are perfect for several lifestyles, but I think particularly great for professional women. We found fabulous knits…appropriate bling…flattering seaming…and eye-catching textiles.



The line’s motto is “Empowering Women through Style” and I will confirm that I felt empowered in many of the outfits I tried on. So many fun jackets, capes, sweaters, and knits….bring on the cooler weather. I am running into more and more women who like this personal, in-home sales touch. This type of shopping also provides a way to look different from others who are hitting the same shops in the mall. I have been really impressed with this particular group of sales associates and how they are putting San Antonio on the map with personal shopping success.


My favorite jacket in a plaid
featuring RAISIN one of
my favorite colors!


For those interested in “W” check out this W website and for those interested in visibility check out Patti's Site (Anyone in San Antonio, can call 210-822-7572 for your own up close and personal look!!)