Thursday, March 31, 2016

Mature Fashion: Vogue's Ageism and Fashion

Greeting, all Stylinistas and Fashionistas over 40!!

WHY are we putting up with it!!  I just got an e-mail from that discussed the absurdity of runway models who are an average age of 16 to 26 modeling fashions that for the most part will be worn by women who are at least 30 years old.

This does not take into account "mature" women over 40..or 50..or..)  

I would send you the link but I cannot....don't know why..  I reached the article only by going to, clicking on 'runway' and searching for the title.  The article title is: "We Need to Talk About Fashion's Ageism Problem", written on March 25th by Janelle Okwodu.

At any rate, Ms. Okwodu brings to our attention the ridiculousness of the entire industry when it comes to women in our age groupings.

A few, very few, models slightly older than the 16-25 age group were shown on the runway by Prada, Theallet, H&M, and Kanye's "Yeezy", but out of the 250+ runway shows, that was about all there were. 

This is nonsense, and we should not put up with it!  Most of us bloggers show ourselves in clothing we are actually wearing; "real women", wearing real clothing in our real, every day life.  Most of us are not models, but women like Judith Boyd  (The Style Crone), or many of the ladies photographed regularly by Ari Cohen would make great models.  They are out there; I hope you will joint me in encouraging fashion magazines, etc. to use them.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Mature Fashion: Rockin' is as Rockin' Does

Worn with black fedora (cover hair when out and about
to get haircut)
Good Morning;

It has been said that the very act of writing an intention down is the first step to fulfilling that intention; an idea that I have certainly come to believe as fact.  I have found that I am more conscious of my diet, my daily physical routines, going to bed on time, and how I am generally handling the daily routines of my life.  This has been especially helpful because when I am not working at a job, I tend to be a bit more erratic in scheduling duties, etc. I am not saying every woman should begin a blog, but I do believe some recording of daily accomplishments and achievements is helpful to the psyche. I especially believe it is important for we older folk who sometimes feel a bit disgruntled about not feeling or looking as well as we believed we once did. I know it has really helped me.

I was surprised when I did the post on "" that so many women suffered from depression; I was also struck by the realization that one should have to "work" to have fun or retain a social life; that it was common for people, especially women, to become disenchanted with the 'golden years'. (why women especially?  we have allowed ourselves to take on most of the burdens of unexpected disappointments in later life; caretakers of parents, in-laws, grand-children, etc.).

Well, ladies, if that is what it takes (and it is according to Dr. Ian Cook, psychiatrist and director of the Depression Research and Clinic Program at UCLA), there is a lot we can do to fight back.  Changing our lifestyle is often all that is necessary to make one feel better; adding more exercise, (both physical and mental), eating a more healthy diet, getting enough sleep, and most of all, adding more joy to our lives.  One of my favorite philosophers, Socrates, the master of satire, whom I discovered right after graduating from high school, said that humor is the ability to not take life too seriously. He admonished his followers to realize that tragedy (and we all have some, or will) is very close to the comic; we must learn to laugh at life, what people do, and mostly, at ourselves.

Modern researchers in the field of neuro psychiatry advocate learning to laugh constructively boosts the immune system, reduces pain by releasing endorphins that are more potent than morphine (per Dr. James Walsh); University of Michigan research states that 20 seconds of laughter is equal to 3 minutes of exercise on a rowing machine!

I put this post in this blog because it pertains to our overall enjoyment of life, not just our physical fitness.  Joy is necessary to "Rock Age".  Feeling good about ourselves in the first step to feeling good about our lives. For me, it starts by presenting an image to the world that makes me feel good, and of having a neat, orderly home that is my personal slot in the world.

.........Let's all "Rock Age"

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Mature Fashion: Rocking "Impressions"

Hello Stylinistas and Fashionistas;

Rocking my age means feeling good about myself; feeling energetic, vital, and certainly not desperate to appear  "young" to the majority of other people. I do not believe in failing to smile to avoid wrinkles, troweling five pounds of make-up on my face to 'disguise' wrinkles, wearing the same clothing styles as my grand-daughter, nor experiencing life threatening surgeries to disguise my age. I also do not spend excessive time (I mean several hours a day) in the gym to defeat the effects of gravity. I exercise enough to keep myself healthy, avoid losing strength and tone in my muscles, and present as pleasing an appearance as is reasonable. (I would like to lose 10 pounds and a couple of inches off my waist, both for appearance and health!!)  I do not eat 1/4 portions on my plate, use diet type drugs of any sort (I place excessive tea and coffee drinking in this catagory), am not, nor have ever been regretful of my age (regret that I did not always live my life as productively as I hoped, yes, but that is another story!) I generally feel  vital, healthy, and "content".  If I could take a magic pill that would let me look the same as I did at 25, I would have to think about it; the lines, wrinkles, and skin tone were hard earned.  

Having said all that, You all know I believe that a woman's appearance in extremely important, especially for the person who appears 40+.  You also know by now that I believe in creating a desirable impression while being true to ones self image. I whole heartedly believe that for most of us, that means creating a 'youthFUL" image.  (energetic, vibrant, current, open minded, etc.) "Old", has a negative connotation, even in areas where the assumption is positive, such as "antique" (who really wants an antique sofa?, silver services? etc.?)  Maturity is a state of mind, not an age, and has a positive connotation, 'desperation' does not.  

I have repeatedly posted about the use of archaic "rules and taboos" as to what we older women should or should not wear, and I do find most of them totally irrelevant.  However, I have been reading a lot of advice lately that recommends and encourages an older woman to wear whatever she feels like wearing and not to consider her age at all.  Not one of them reminds the reader that she must accept the consequences of doing so.  Once again, I want to point out that dress code is important EVERYWHERE, not just for an occasion such as a job interview. Every aspect of our lives is an occasion and what we wear on the occasion will give an impression to the recipient.  

This is so important for the older person in general, especially in day to day activities such as getting a quote on maintenance services, financial transactions, medical care, etc.  There are examples of the differences in treatment of older women, based a great deal on their appearance.  Studies have shown judgement of intelligence level, ability to adapt, use of information, etc. are often based on appearance alone. I have personally read many of them, and have experienced some in my own life.

Oddly enough, there are many articles and advocacy pointing this out for people who are very much overweight, and the discrimination issues involved.  Very little is written about the trials and tribulation of older woman EXCEPT in the difficulties in male companionship/sexual relationship arena. Women experience far more discrimination than most men except in hiring for jobs that are minimum wage and not related to heavy lifting. 

Helen Mirren, my style icon, is a perfect example to me of aging with style, keeping current with trends, and never "over the top", no matter the occasion.  She also always dresses in fashions that flatter her body type; frankly, many of the fashion trends do not flatter almost any 40+ women..(or many, if any, under 40).


Thursday, March 17, 2016

Mature Fashion: Rocking Trends with Personal Style

ancient Isabella Fiore handbag
Hello Fashionistas and Stylinistas;

Today's post is just a word about "Rocking Age" while retaining a true personal fashion style.  I read an article from a fellow blogger the other day that reminded me that stylish women who were true to their own fashion identity only took ideas and suggestions from the latest fashion trends, and certainly did not become "fashion victims".  Although I agreed fully with everything stated in the article, there was an item or two that I thought needed an expanded view.

Although an older women who has an  authentic personal style will certainly not become a slave to the latest fashion "fad" or trend,  it is more important for her than to her younger fashionistas and stylinistas to be aware of them.  She is universally advised to carefully select and wear current fashion elements in the costumes she wears for her daily roles if she does not wish to appear "old" or her garments "tired".  (two disparaging remarks used frequently in all fashion media from Project Runway, Fashion Police, or pulp fashion critics) . It is my personal belief that a 40+ woman must do this every season if she wishes to appear youthful and vibrant.  The same is true for the hair and make-up styling elements.

Dressing well is wearing clothing that is comfortable, flattering, fits well, and projects a look of confident self expression; it must always look like it suits you, fits your lifestyle and is right for your individual body. Fortunately, with the diversity of fashion styles, (both designer and street looks) it is almost impossible to not find garments and accessories that will do that.
Thrift store dull webbed leather
with added frosted crystal fringe 

A woman does not have to lose herself when choosing trend elements of the season but she needs to be aware of what to choose from all the options.  One of the bloggers I refer to quite a bit in my posts is the Judith Boyd (aka The StyleCrone), a superbly stylish woman also in her very early seventies .  In every post she uses marvelous and often vintage clothing usually worn with a hat and other striking accessories  It is also noticeable that in every combination she uses at least one current trend; it may be color in one photo, unusual feathers in another, motorcycle style boots, in yet another, an animal fur, etc. etc. She never uses too many fashion elements in one styling, and every piece is perfect for her body type and true to a visable aesthetic, but she is always up to the minute in current fashion trends.  Like Goldilocks choices, her ensembles are always "just right".  It is no accident; she understands fashion and how to adapt it to her body and existing wardrobe.

The picture in the upper left hand corner is one of the shots I took for my Spring/Summer 2016 style book. The cream leather handbag I had on hand seemed like it would be a perfect accessory for the garment.  When I viewed the resulting picture, the handbag looked 'alright' but, frankly, for my taste the ensemble lacked any originality.  I wanted to wear those shoes, but that purse just looked too 'blah' .  I solved the problem by finding this "just right" leather no-name handbag that is the same cream with the same dull gold surface finish as the bag. I added some irregularly shaped frosted crystal shaped beads.  I love this purse for this look (and a few other outfits in my 2016 collections) and it cost me under $20.00, beads and all. 

Most of us are rather tired of the winter weather and are more than ready to move on to warmer weather and a change of wardrobe. I'm sure there are several new looks you can find in your own closet that will help you "rock age".


Thursday, March 10, 2016

Mature Fashion: 2016 Fall Trends Series # 1

Following a trend, Geneva style
Hello Fashionistas and Stylinistas;

There seems to be no better season to explore and enjoy  personal style choices than Fall/Winter 2016!  I mentioned in an earlier post to one of the blogs that there was certainly something for everyone offered by the designers; Vogue also mentioned that there were over 40 different trends as opposed to the usual dozen or so. I think any woman could find several of them to her liking.

I liked a few of the trends so much that I jumped ahead of the season and tagged it onto this season's fashions. The colors grey and camel-ish brown were very big, especially when popped with several shades of wine and hot pink and a clear light sky blue.  The "Indianna Jones" styled hat and wide belts worn over everything were shown by many of the designers. 

Other trends that are consistent for most of the collections were layered sleeves (perfect for concealing older arms), turtle necklines under everything, and "fussy" layered necklines of all types.  There was very little neck jewelry, but a lot of neck embellishments on larger than usual decorative collars, some of them with fur and/or large bows and ties. The use of animals prints still continues and the use of colored fur and leather-like fabrics.

 Although there were a lot of cropped pants, there were also many stylings from top rated designers using narrow pants for those women who still like their jeggings and tights. I do not think anyone will feel they need to throw out any of existing garments because of style change.  I do think, however, most women will want to add a lot of fun accessories to freshen the wardrobe.  I already see great "little things" in shops such as brooches, shoelaces, shoe clips, etc. that can perk up the look of most classic garments, shoes, and handbags. Glitzy beading and metallics, especially silver tones is still very current.  Boots, boots, and platforms are still very fashion forward as well as the "men's look" in comfortable, sturdy flats. (I want white leather riding style boots if I can find them!)

It is a dream season for the crafty; everything from quirky appliques, conventional crochet and knitting, as well as fabric paintings of all kinds fit right in with the season's looks.  I have already started painting some leather boots!!

Beautiful, elegant styling by Kors, Lauren, and all the usual suspects.  There were amazing fanciful styling by most of the designers that can easily be muted for the more conservative older woman, or can be shown in all its glory by the woman with the figure for it. (or the bravery).  

In the above picture, you can see I have mixed a few of these elements into the outfit I wore. I already love the season and will show more in future posts.  It is now time for us all to shop our closets and take note of what we may need (or want).

Happy styling,

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Mature Fashion: Fall/Winter 2016

Greetings, Stylinistas and Fashionistas;

Ready to Wear Runway shows will soon be over for Fall/Winter 2016;  As you know, I already posted some of my conclusions and reported some of the styling reviews and conclusions from editors who attended the shoes personally.

I was thrilled with the fashion shows (I have watched over 200 shows!!) and as mentioned earlier, the fantastic and really beautiful combinations are much more inventive this year; I also love the 'something for everyone' choices; hard/soft, frilly, excessive layers, sports looks, long/short, boots/heels/flats.  I also viewed the street style photos from New York, London, Milan, and Paris. I believe that watching them is almost as important as the runway. It is said that the street looks are influencing many designers as well as fashion buyers. (makes one think of 'chicken and egg' relationship, doesn't it?)

Being of a mature and "advanced " age, I loved the fact that fashion forward styling for all of 2016 is just right for our over 40 age group. Women who require shoes with a lot of support, cushioned soles, and low heels have an abundance of style choices that are right on target with the latest fashions.  The variety of sports looks and layered combinations look extremely comfortable and easy to style with just a little imagination. There are just so many possibilities that it is difficult to imagine having "nothing to wear"  in your closet.  

In my next post, I will begin publishing my take on the specific trends I believe will be best suited to my fashion aesthetic, lifestyle roles, and existing wardrobe..

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Mature Fashion: Senior Advantage/Fashion Advantage

Good Morning Fashionistas & Stylinistas;

Have you ever noticed how many of the great things in life deal with age being an advantage? Wine, the perfect whiskey, perfectly aged Brie. a certain steak?  Well, I believe the same logic should apply to women.  Notice, I said should, not does.  It is an unfortunate fact of life that women in ALL cultures are marginalized.  Now I know many of you of other cultures may reject my statement by reminding me that their elder women get a lot of 'honor', or 'respect', etc, etc., however, one has only to look at our 'trophy wives', all photographic advertising, all broad based employment studies, etc., etc., etc., to face the fact that this so called honor, respect, etc. really matters very little to society except within certain small family groupings.

One of our famous women's liberation icons, Charlotte Whitton  made the often cited quote that a woman had to perform twice as well as a man to be thought half as good to receive any recognition whatsoever. (she also said that fortunately, that was not hard) It is still true that after all our "equality" laws,whatever, the average pay for women doing comparable jobs is still only about 78% (depending upon which source you read, a little less).  It is also still true that for all the outrage against discrimination by the various races, gender identities, etc., the only discrimination that is still actively practiced and accepted by ALL of these categories is the discrimination against women; it is still the only one openly acknowledged even by some of our Christian churches (some churches still insist in "obey" as part of their marriage services and openly use terms such as "submit", refuse women equal opportunity within the heirarchy...need I say more?) It is still tragic that women can be pressured to believe they are less than a man; case in point: I see women pictured in race riots, I see them in gender riots, but when is the last time you heard of a woman's discrimination riot?

My fellow female blogger, Judith Boyd, authored a recent post on the older woman being 'invisible' to society at large (  I agree with the article in almost all areas although I do have one point I would like to make regarding this invisibility.  Because it is demonstratively obvious that all women are still discriminated against, and I believe, will continue to be so for many more years, it is much more important for the aging woman to pay more attention to the presentation she makes to the world than for a younger woman. Gloria Steinem (sp?), another icon of the women's liberation movement also made a significant point when she stated that men tend to gain power as they grow older but a woman loses power as she ages. This is especially true in economic power. Everything from Social Security, retirement plans and investment accounts is usually less for a woman than a man.  Many woman, especially the aged who usually are in more straitened circumstances as she ages needs to retain all the power she can. Tragically, the most discouraging fact is the examples I see almost every year of discrimination against an aged woman by a much younger woman who will become a member of the same category.

"Rocking age" requires some power; presentation of self is a valuable tool to be used as much as prevention or lessening of social and financial power as for our personal sense of well being. One great advantage most women can have in aging is the knowledge of there own bodies and of what looks best on them.  For the most part they are not slaves to the latest fashion quirks as are  so many younger women. We can use our acquired fashion experience to enhance our physical assets and to know that we can continue to look good in spite of our more mature age.....Let's continue to Rock Our Age, or if  you feel you do not now, maybe it is time to start. We owe it to ourselves.