Thursday, January 28, 2016

Mature Fashion: Social Psychology & Why Fashion Matters

work and dinner with Grand-daughter
Greetings Fashionistas and Stylinistas;

Why does fashion and appearance matter so much?  One reason, of course, is it is FUN, retail clothing stores love it! this fun is also very profitable (so much they hold four fashion shows every year) and almost every form of business has some reference in their human resource materials regarding a dress code.  If you watched the "Devil wears Prada" and remember Meryl Streep's lecture to Ann Hathaway, every statistic she quoted on the importance of fashion to the American economy, she was absolutely correct (It is all on record).

Although most women know most of this and have a vague understanding that they must dress and style themselves a certain way to create a "good" impression, many do not believe this is applicable to them in any context other than interviewing for a job or a significant social event.  "Rocking My Age", to me, at least, means minimizing as much as possible the negatives of aging and making use of all the positives to live a quality life during the time that is left to me.  I learned long ago in classes and textbooks the statistics, results of many studies, etc. that support my beliefs. However, the most significant reality was observing the truth of these studies in day to day life both in my career(s) and day to day social and personal business interactions.

Many women simply do not realize they are creating an impression every single time they encounter another person and that it will have an effect on them, positively or negatively to a small degree or to a very large one. Dressing with authentic personal style allows a woman to project her personality and qualities in the manner she chooses; basically, she can direct the observer to the impression she desires.  That is a lot of power!! 

Her fashion choices are also part of this powerful tool.  The three major elements of first observations are looking healthy, "put together", and stylish. (I deliberately did not use the word "neat").  In numerous studies, people who projected these qualities were rated higher in all core competencies IN ALL SOCIAL and BUSINESS applications where these studies were performed. (Sorry, I can't remember citations, some from classes many years ago, etc.  If you are interested in reading source data, you can do the research; it is out there)

I deliberately did not use the word "neat" because there was an interesting side note in one of the studies I read long ago; women who dressed super conservatively but  who chose clothing where the fashion was dated, although the interviewee was neatly combed, pressed, and clean did not rate well on judged competencies that involved innovation, creativity, and mental flexibility.  In other words, "old fashioned" in performing the work was mentally transmitted to the interviewer.  Oddly enough, I have noted the phrase "As long as I am neat and clean..." stated in a somewhat defensive manner by several women when discussing my psychological interest in this field. "Put together", although a slang term, really says it all. It says she is neat, her apparel is appropriate to the job, she makes a good visual impression.  To be well put together means using the fashion and styling norms of the times. Needless to say, a more mature woman who dresses "frumpy" has just placed an obstacle in her own way.The implications of this study (intelligence was one of the core competencies) would extend to other business applications than employment. Because I have personally interviewed hundreds of people in my work experiences, I certainly agree with these conclusions.

In my personal life I love fashion and am totally intrigued by its use affecting results that improve my day to day life and let me make the most of whatever I am doing. I also have a lot more fun, which certainly helps me "Rockmyage".


Friday, January 22, 2016

Mature Fashion: Pre-Fall 2016

Greetings Stylinistas;

The holidays just got over and it is literally still freezing some nights; spring has not yet spring, and here I am talking about what is in fashion for Fall/winter 2016, but that is the fashion industry ! As stylinistas wanting to freshen our fashion looks for each season while keeping control of our budget, it serves us well to know what is in store as soon as possible. Here are some trends that have been showing on the Pre-fall runways:

Neckties:  Think "Dress for Success" little skinny ties, often in a droopy tied ribbon or just fluttering around the neckline, somewhat like a seamstress's measuring tape.

Graphic coats; coats with large appliques, especially leather coats with appliqued leather botanicals and other graphic themes.  Bold, bright designs, similar to school room drawings.
Butterfly design expected to be seen everywhere.

Quilted coats:  Anything quilted; jackets, especially in leather, coats, skirts, etc. Mixed animal prints, leopard and tiger combined.

Transparence : the see-through look continues with a updated l lingerie feel with lots of bedroom type lace, silky, lush materials broken by large transparent areas. Transparent black tights with patterns, especially ones that have patterns below the knee only.

Unisex dressing:  As mentioned in previous posts; the difference between a trend and a fad deals with time.  The trend to wearing garments that are worn by both men and women.

Stark minimalism-Many looks on the runway show this trend is also continuing; minimal shapes with few lines, but where the lines are, colors and bold and contrast decidedly with the main garment.

Nautical look carries over from S/S 2016; very masculine look.

..Just a "heads up for the garment design expectations for the F/W 2016/17 runway shows at Fashion Week in February.......


Saturday, January 16, 2016

Mature Fashion: Why Four "Rockmy" Blogs

Varied shades of plum work uniform

Greetings, Stylinistas/Fashionistas:

I finally put my Christmas decorations away for the year and thought I could concentrate on completing a few projects before I had to return to work.  Due to the unexpected demise of a co-worker and conflicting vacations of two full time employees, I had to return to my sales associate role at American Leisure Patio earlier than expected.

Before I get back in the swing of things on posting to the blogs, I want to address a few questions as to why I have four different blogs instead of just posting everything to one as I had originally planned. I soon realized as I began posting that my overall mantra "You feel good if you look good" was a bit to broad in the hows and whys to accomplish that goal. Also, a goal  of the blog was to become an online journal of fashion self expression.  It was to be a vehicle of sharing with like minded Stylinistas and Fashionistas ways and means to accomplish the goal.  I realized one blog would be too hard to manage and cover all the important subject matter.  I separated the areas of styling into four focused areas.

Rockmyages is meant to address the all around issues that deal with women aging with confidence and acceptance of our place in the world at this time.  The focus of the blog is mostly on how our appearance  affects our interaction with people in all the roles of our lives, all the time, every day. It is not a vanity blog; its entire purpose is to use these tools (our appearance and self confidence) to promote our emotional and physical health, and to simply have some fun, which in itself promotes our well being. The blog is eclectic; for the time being it is mostly informative as to what is going on in the other blogs which are slowly being built. The basic personal mantra is "You feel good if you look good". The subject matter will range from the unique problems to which a woman over 40 must adapt and explore exciting things and advantages a mature and confident aging woman can enjoy based on the limits of her physical capabilities and enhanced by her physical appearance.

The premise of Rockmyrole is that each of us play many roles in a stage play called "My lifestyle". is more or less a blueprint of how to authoritatively portray those parts and to maintain a wardrobe of costumes that allows us to project the image we desire in those roles. In addition to designing and purchasing the costumes for the appropriate roles, fashion styling includes make-up and hair styles that compliment the role. Fashion tips in this arena are also shared on the blog. This blog also demonstrates the whys and hows of creating all this authenticity within the budget of our production.  Many of our tips are based on the less expensive ways to accomplish the task. Many of the posts are being created and the information prepared will remain a resource for the reader.  This blog will not post as frequently after the structure is created (like building a house, then maintaining it). is simply an on-line style book that is shared to illustrate the fashion combinations I use to create the costumes in "My Lifestyle" and to demonstrate how these costumes are created in the prevailing fashion world. The roles of the play are those of a mature woman who desires to have costumes that will contribute to her enjoyment and the credibility of her roles; Posts will be intermittent and seasonal. is all about feeling good enough to want to play these parts.  Its mantra is "if you don't feel good you won't look good".  It is dedicated to sharing information about physical appearance. (no medical advice; I am not a doctor or a nurse. I am just a well read older woman who has a deep interest in the psychology of looking good! Anything I share is either anecdotal, personal experience or gleaned from  articles  read in quoted literature, or from a quoted source on-line or PBS)  I try to quote any authority when possible, but much of the material is alreadh known to the reader. I try and present a fresh approach and give tips as to how to incorporate your own practicioner's medical advice into your roles.  The blog basically addresses diet, exercise, skin care, sleep, and homeopathic stress reduction.  This blog will be updated every time I encounter something I think should be shared with a reader of a fashion blog for mature women, both as an information resource and a reminder, most of all to myself. 

Each blog also serves as a personal diary that encourages me to "rockmyage".  I hope  it also brings some benefit to you, the reader. I also want to benefit from your feedback.  All of the blogs solicit the sharing of additional information. The purpose for me in creating the blog aside from the sharing of information was to glean new and different ideas.  I want to learn from my readers as much as possible.  Together let us all make 2016 "Rock".

Happy New Year,

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Mature Fashion: Off To A Fresh Start

Winter white uniform with cape & accessories
Happy New Year, Stylinistas

The beginning of a new year always signals a time of new beginnings;  for a dedicated stylinista it is also a time for taking stock of ones wardrobe and making sure it "rocks our age".  Many changes to our life may have happened in the past year that might affect what items we decide to keep or add to our individual closet. 

Several women over forty and most women over fifty and all women, women who have lost or gained a significant amount of weight, or younger women who have just completed their education have one wardrobe challenge in common; re-adjustment of their wardrobes to meet challenges in their wardrobe.  Many women over forty, especially ones who have been full time homemakers with children have a very limited wardrobe of practical jeans, etc. This age group are the women who may be contemplating return to the work force, may be experiencing a change in their personal relationships or just abandoning a "part time" job for a career.  In all cases, for both the mature women and the younger, the roles of their lifestyles have changed and wardrobes need to be adjusted. 

 "" is the blog dedicated to wardrobe for the roles in our lifestyle;  in that blog you will discover how to divide your lifestyle into the roles of full time homemaker with children, career professional, working mother, retired volunteer, etc., and plan your wardrobe needs accordingly. It is also the blog to assist in planning fresh new approaches to wearing clothes already in your closet and any purchases for the upcoming season.

"Rockmyages" is the blog dedicated to using that wardrobe to live life to the fullest and the sense of well being that is generated when we know we look great; that we are "rocking our age".  We simply feel better, act with more confidence, and reap more rewards as a result. 

I have been generating this blog for four months and have learned a lot of new and renewed skills in some of today's social media and smart phone technology (learning also keeps all adults youthful), some of which I want to share with you today.  As you already know, these blogs are really targeted to women over 40, although most of the material applies to any fashionista, and certainly to anyone who is interested in creating fresh and stylish clothing ensembles.  It also means many of us are not that involved with Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, or the other myriad of social media streams. I am posting this because I have learned first hand how many of us in the plus 50 age group have been short changing ourselves. (for some reason the 40 to 50 age group are much more in tune with the technology of social media-maybe because they grew up with cell phones?)

Rocking our age means keeping ourselves in tune with the world around us; I am appalled at how rusty I have become on the uses (and mis-uses) of these new technical toys and tools.  I have been using my desktop for years to create a style book of new looks, ideas, etc. for style enhancements.  I have also mentioned several times how important it is to keep a stylebook to provide inspiration in updating our fashion look.  Today, in a casual text conversation with my niece, I discovered that technology in the form of Pinterest would have saved me oceans of time in creating these style books.  My style books would have been far more effective had I bothered to learn how Pinterest worked. Fortunately, I had just started some pre-fall 2016 research. Using my Pinterest account, I was able to create one in less than 1 hour.  (I have had an account for months; so long ago I can't remember why I got it) .

In these four months I have learned how to save tons of time and money by using the existing capabilities on my cell phone, my desk top, and the entire social media to make my life more interesting and efficient in more ways than just fashion research.  I am passing this on because as an older member of the group, you are missing so much of your family life, especially extended family and friends by not being involved in these technologies. Just transferring pictures alone makes it worthwhile, not to mention all the communication and educational benefits.  I have also discovered a lot of resistance of its use, primarily in the 50+ plus age group.

Yes, there is bad as well as good, but just as in all other forms of social life, it is fairly easy to adapt the manners of social intercourse to avoid most pitfalls.  Yes, there is a certain amount of danger, but certainly nothing that basic common sense cannot mitigate.  There is danger in simply living; as a younger 40+ once told me, we evolve or we die.  Personally, I believe that "rocking My Age" means evolving.  I hope that you agree.

Rocking My Age also means living all parts of my life in the manner I wish to do so.  The only inconvenient result of these blogs is the amount of time I spend preparing them.  I am trying to find ways to do all that I need to and wish to do to minimize the time expended.  In the meanwhile, I will be reducing the number of post that I make to just once per week.

Well, happy 2016; let's see what new slices of life confront us as we all "Rock Our Ages".

Friday, January 1, 2016

Mature Fashion: More Fashion For Us......

Happy New Year, Stylinistas and Fashionistas;

2016 appears to be ideally suited and kind for the mature Fashionista and Stylinista;  the current trend for "effortless" dressing and intentionally "casual" hairdos create a youthful appearance to any age. It is important to remember that "effortless" means the look of the garments and accessories just all happen to marvelously blend and work together although they were chosen at random.  The same for hairdos which give the appearance of needing more bobby pins, bands, or just use of a comb or brush. Roots are okay; from one inch to 6 inches, or graduated in ombre effects.  White and grey (as well as purple, green, and blue) hair rocks on women of any age!! Additionally, though this is an unfortunate fact, over 40% of all young women have waists, butts, and thighs as thick as their mothers or grandmothers.  The point being, other than wrinkles and physical abilities, the gap is closing between fashion for younger and older women. It also means more garments are being made available that suit and fit mature figures. 

Another advantage an older woman has in styling is her ability to use fashions of a few past seasons yet still look current and fashionable. When the general population views a 40+ woman who is still dressed in the fashions of her youth, she looks older; when a woman who is nearing 60 or so, wearing the very latest fashion can make her look like she is "trying too hard" to look young; she usually has to tone down her look a bit.  It is my belief that current fashion styles that  can be worn one or two seasons by those younger than forty before they look dated and about three or four seasons by women older.  As always, this is not a "rule", just an observation that generally works.  Each woman has to judge for herself.  In any event, it makes it easier on the pocketbook. 

The continued trend toward unisex dressing also is kind to the mature female figure.  Women tend to lose "hour glass" body types as they age and blend into more rectangular, oval, or inverted triangle shapes.  Menswear looks can be quite flattering on a mature figure as long as she avoids frumpy fit and accessorizes with imagination.   One of my close female friends and I were shopping in the city (San Francisco) this past weekend and street style for both sexes was basically interchangeable.  

Needless to say, as Nina Garcia (Project Runway, Marie Claire) says, it takes a lot of organization to look effortless; or as Zac Posen says, not "look a hot mess".  I have found that once a woman is organizied, effortless dressing really can be effortless. (well, almost effortless!) In "" we will discuss how we can organize our garments and accessories to be fashionable literally at a moment's notice.

The taste range of fashion styles shown in both the S/S 2016 Fashion Week and in Pre-Fall 2016 also appears to be kind to our age group(s).  Classic styles with imaginative and thoughtful use of accessories allow any stylinista to re-imagine her current wardrobe to every fashion level.  Of course, there is a lot of multi-texture garments and a mish-mash of colors very visible in the styling, however, a stylinista can create the same effect with many garments she may already own.  We will discuss ways and means in future posts.

In the meanwhile, here are some "heads-up" for late 2016; this will provide some clues to how our fashionista or sylinista can plan current and future purchases:

Leather appears to still be a strong influence, especially blocks of color in leather garments; the sporty influence is still strong with clunky and often chain laden strapped sandals and open backed slippers.  Textured hose, (especially a mix of transparency and texture),snake skin prints (usually larger patterns that previously), pony spots, and nautical themes from the spring collections will continue into fall but in darker blues and black.  Stripes will be mostly wide and vertical.  Transparent garments still popular and buttons, buttons, buttons as a design element. White, Black and lavish  multi-colored prints still seem to be en vogue. 

In another week I will begin curating my own closet for the next season; I am glad I did my research because I had a couple of blouses I was going to retire, but I will hold on to them now that they will fit right in with the predictions; the same is true of an old leather skirt. Doing the necessary research, etc. for this blog has been good for me in re-inforcing my own personal styling practices.

Of course, we still have almost two months before the fall 2016 shows, but Pre-fall is usually a pretty good indicator of what will come.  Do expect another surprise or two in late February.  Do check out "" and "" for new tips on ushering in 2016 fashionably and with good health.