Friday, February 26, 2016

Mature Fashion: Fashion as Fun

Good Day, Fashionistas and Stylinista Friends;

We all know that dressing appropriately for all the roles in our play of life can be very serious, so much so that I have posted several times about its influence on job interviews, financial interactions, etc., etc., in the various blogs. 

This post, however, is about the ample fun side to the art of fashion.  Although the fashion critics have been very critical (so far) about the 'disappointing boredom' of the Fall/Winter 2016 runway shows, I have been hugely delighted with the shows I have seen. Although I do agree that the fashions themselves for the most part are simply extensions of styles from the previous two years, I am delighted with the way the colors and patterns have been re-worked; the fantasy and inventive use of color, design, and pattern are compelling, and simply, quite wonderful.  The shows provide marvelous inspiration for playing with our own wardrobes and adding a bit of sheer joy in mixing and/or buying our clothes for the upcoming fall/winter season.

To the left you see (corrected) of another prevailing theme in the collections; more use of unisex dressing, with many of the shows intermingling male model as well as female wearing very similar garments. In this picture I was beginning assembly of my "closet collections" for winter.  I have on only the main garments and have not chosen the accessories for the necessary "pop of color", (updated 2/29)

For us older ladies, we will definitely be blessed with low heeled and sturdy flat heeled shoes with very masculine details. I had two pair and purchased another in a style I saw frequently on the runway (closeout, $13.00 that were originally $70.00)

Speaking of shopping, it has been my experience that although many women say they 'hate to shop' most of those who hate it are insecure about the way they look in the clothes they find, do not feel well enough to trudge around to find the garments they like, or do not have the budget to subject  themselves to the temptation.  Women who care about the way they look and/or love fresh new ways to present themselves to the world usually love to shop.  It is important to us as evidenced by all the retail sources available.  Many of us use shopping as 'retail therapy'.  I have to admit, I make a game out of dressing as wonderfully as I can on a limited budget.  Styling is grown up fun; an adult form of dressing Barbie.

.................Have fun styling!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Mature Fashion: New York Fashion Week

Greetings all my Fashionista and Stylinista friends;

I have just finished watching Michael Kors runway show on (thank you, thank you ).  I love the fact that I had the best seat in the house right here in front of my computer. (You sport fans will love the vantage point just like in professional sports).

Although I have watched most of them to pick out the looks I want for my own closet collection for the Fall/Winter season, I really want to comment on the Kors collection because I think he creates clothing that is very wearable by a woman of any age.  He also keeps just a light enough touch in his designs to make even the most mature woman feel she is wearing fresh looks and up to date garments.

The fashion collections this year really offer something for everyone; I am actually delighted with the playfulness of a lot of the designs; I'm not too crazy about the "rag bag" look that so many designers are showing that make me think of homeless people who are wearing all of their clothing at one time; I'm all for layering, but this look is a bit much, and I believe, can only successfully be worn by someone very tall and very slender.  This look is certainly difficult for many of our 'mature' bodies.

Speaking of bodies; many of you follow my fitness blog.  In my last post I thought I could gain a little more motivation on keeping a food journal if I posted online (If I knew people were watching, I would be more likely to stay on the straight and narrow?).  From day 1 this exercise has been frustrating from dead batteries to the final realization that my beginning weight of 134.4 was probably somewhere in excess of 137, because that is the weight I was when I finally have a scale that is working!  I also found out that it is much more time consuming to record online than jot it down in a paper journal!!  I will continue to reach my goal of 125 (reporting back to Tonya).  I really need to do this to feel that I am controlling my weight, that it is not controlling me.  I do hear from Tonya that her mother has now lost 18 pounds.  I'm sure she was inspired by Tonya's loss in excess of 50 pounds!! (I understand she (Tonya) is still planning on losing a bit more!).

I am so pleased to see so many people looking at the fitness blog; it is the baby of the "Rock My" blogs, but I think it is actually growing at a faster rate than the earlier ones.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Mature Fashion: Re-Evaluating

Greetings to friends and followers;

Today's post is just a reflection and re-evaluation of how our life does change over the decades and how we have to make changes to accommodate those changes we may not like.

I look at the changes I have experienced over the last decade and ponder what in my life has degraded and what is actually an improved state.

Ten years ago I was maintaining the role of a full time home school teacher and caregiver to a pre-teen grandchild with severe emotional difficulties accompanied by some physical and cognitive challenges. During the previous 10 years I had let myself "go" as the role was then expanded to full time caregiver to two children.  I developed type II diabetes, primarily due to poor diet and resulting weight gain, lack of sleep and exercise, and severe stress (one grandchild almost died due to an uncommon blood disease).  I was able to lose a lot of the weight and maintain a more healthy diet and exercise program during the following several years.  However, my entire focus was on caring for the children, seeing to the younger's educational needs, and dealing with the doctors and tutors, and running them from place to place, a very time consuming effort as one of the children went to school in another town.

It was only five years ago that I took a good look in the mirror and discovered that the fashion conscious career woman who I still saw in the mirror had changed and looking back at me was an aged "frump" whose entire wardrobe consisted of coordinating cotton shirts, colored and denim jeans, and comfortable loafers and tennis shoes.  Unfortunately, I had a serious injury that resulted in brain surgery with a lengthy recovery period so I couldn't bounce back quite as quickly as I liked. I also struggled with the sale of a home I had lived in for over twenty years all during this same time and, really had not much time for shopping. I did get rid of a lot of clothes (not really well thought out at that time).

Fortunately, I had lost a little more weight due to the aftermath of surgery, so I really had to buy a few new clothes, mostly pants and skirts.  This is when I really dug back into the years of fashion study, etc. and decided that since I now lived alone and was responsible for and only to me, I would make the best of my remaining years. First, I had to take a serious look at rebuilding a wardrobe from the ground up.  I only had old career clothes and frump garments.  Unfortunately, many of the fashionable friends who I had years of social intercourse had moved away for retirement or passed away. 

I took a part time job during this time and used most of the money for shopping and the travel I should have done in earlier years, and "fixed up" my own place in a rural community just south of the Bay Area where I live today.  I also resurrected my life long fashion interest and fascination with the effects ones appearance makes in business and social intercourse. I was especially struck by the fact that during the time I had let my appearance decline, I also felt rather terrible about myself much of the time; when I got myself back together and started to care about my appearance, I also began to perk up in general. One harsh reminder of how much what I wore mattered is a treasured picture I have of me during this time taken in Paris.  I am wearing a sweater much too large for me, somewhat bagging knee length capris, and open toed flats, all of which make me look twenty pounds heavier, have absolutely no style although classic black and white, and generally do nothing for me at all. 
(in fact, those pants were not suitable for my figure type in the first place..and I actually had the buried knowledge!!) Sometimes I think of taking the picture to someone who can photoshop into more flattering attire.  (Hmm...Wouldn't it be more fun to go back to Paris and have the picture retaken?)

Of even greater fortune, I accidentally discovered the diet doctors I discuss continually in my "".  Between my resurrected fashion and styling interests and improved physical fitness, I really do feel I am rocking my age now, and certainly plan on continuous quality of life improvements, even though I am an aging woman.

My blogs have become my on-line journal about achievements, disappointments, and overall state of life.  I had hoped to create a "support group" for those of us who want to live life to its fullest even thought we may be "old" in the eyes of many, disabled, or otherwise.  I also wanted to document fairly fully all that I have learned about using fashion to improve a figure that isn't exactly ideal, be comfortable at all times, and share information that may be helpful to others.

I have been somewhat disappointed in the lack of interest or in reaching many of the people I would like to connect with; some people have told me that too many of the women in this age group are not computer literate, so I cannot reach them.  I have also been told to join Instagram, Twitter, etc. which I have neither the time or interest to do.  I have also been told that most "mature" women just do not care about their looks as long as they are "neat and clean".  I have had the good fortune to connect with a few and I have thoroughly enjoyed the interchange and mentoring, but I selfishly would like to connect with others who have suggestions, especially on ways to "keep it up".  We all get a bit discouraged sometimes, especially with so much propaganda about learning to "love our body", "it shouldn't matter", etc.; information that is down right harmful to those who suffer physical decline because of excess weight, poor diets, too many prescription medicines, and effects of her appearance on job interviews, business meetings, and general social situations. Appearance and the physical condition DO MATTER.