“I’m not buying that!”

Photo of me, taken by my mother, Claire

Photo of me, taken by my mother, Claire

Welcome to my first “I’m not buying that!” … a weekly series of thoughts from me, a fashion outsider. My blog and podcast is called Turning Fashion Inside Out. The fact is that I am not a fashion insider. At 53 years old, I am … a wife, mother, substitute teacher at an all-girls school, writer and lover of fashion. I love sharing my fashion stories and others’ stories about how fashion is central to our self expression and ultimately, our self-esteem. But there is more to turning fashion inside out: there is commentary. There is me …

I went shopping with my mother recently and was disheartened to see how few options there are for women over 70, at least in the suburbs. I’m sure it’s different in larger cities where there is more of everything giving people more options. But here, if you are over 70, stores see dressing as an after-thought. You are relegated to the top floors of the department stores and the pickings are slim. Gone are the stylish prints and fabrics, replaced by over-sized tunics and out-of-date patterns: it’s simple – my mom is not finding clothes she likes. My mom has always been so stylish and someone to whom I look for ideas and trends (and frankly, to borrow clothes!). She is the same woman now that she was then and she still wants to feel stylish in her clothes; no less than when she was in her 20s and 30s and 40s.

Should we be paying LESS attention to those over 70 while at the same time ignoring their style? And continuing to omit them from the fashion scene? I’m not buying that!

 

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Bland is boring when you’re talking about food but good when you’re talking about skin …

See? No more brown spot!

No more brown spot!

Last week Chaz Dean talked about the two most important things when it comes to our self-image, self-esteem and confidence: our hair and our skin. Hair may be our crowning glory but our skin is the mirror to what’s going on inside. Neither should be overlooked and both need to be protected. The winter months can be especially hard on our skin and the elements create dryness and chapping that needs extra tending.

Aging and growing older shines a new light on caring for our skin. A few years ago I had a rude awakening. I began to notice a large brown spot on my cheek that wouldn’t go away; in fact, it got darker and more noticeable with time. What was it? A large freckle? An age spot? Whatever it was I didn’t want it and it began to bother me, to the point where, when I looked at myself in the mirror, it was all I could see. Through a recommendation, I met a lovely woman, Dr. Lisa Breslauer, Board Certified Dermatologist. After performing a series of laser treatments Dr. Breslauer removed that stubborn brown spot and I was able to see myself again! Continue reading

Age-appropriate to Simon Doonan

Simon Doonan interview with Etsy - Photo credit: Albert Sanchez

Simon Doonan – Photo credit: Albert Sanchez

“I like flowers. I thought we all liked flowers. Flowers come from God. What’s wrong with flowers?” ~ Simon Doonan, “How I Became a Fashion Don’t,” Slate (Magazine).

Simon Doonan had much to say after reading his October Details Magazine, when a caption under the photo of a hip older gentlemen read: “Are you too old for your outfit?” Simon, whom I recently featured here, says no!, Continue reading

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No midriffs for me

Rodarte Spring 2014 Photography by Peter Stigter

NY Fashion Week – Rodarte Spring 2014
Photography by Peter Stigter

One of the big trends we saw for Spring 2014 at NY Fashion Week was exposed midriffs and crop tops. It’s nice in theory, but trending for me? I don’t think so.

One of the strangest things about aging is the realization that your body is morphing; sometimes the change is gradual and sometimes it completely shocks you to your core taking you by surprise. Continue reading

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Age-appropriate dressing

More Magazine, March 2013, with Connie Britton (What to wear at 30, 40, 50)

More Magazine, March 2013, with Connie Britton (What to wear at 30, 40, 50)

Dressing appropriate to our age is an ever-present battle. It is something we think about or perhaps we should think about more often. I’m at an age when the things I used to wear may no longer work for me but that doesn’t mean that I’ve lost all sense of style or the need to look relevant and fun. And what about others – all age groups – teens, 20s, 30s, and beyond? It would be great if there were a guide book to help us. As it is, we have our inner guide and our friends to help us navigate. And there is More … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday Joan Rivers!

Joan Rivers

Joan Rivers

I enjoy life when things are happening. I don’t care if it’s good things or bad things. That means you’re alive.” ~ Joan Rivers

Joan Rivers turned 80 years old last Saturday and boy is she alive! Tonight her show “Fashion Police” on the E Channel is throwing her a birthday bash at 10:00 p.m. (EDT). Joan Rivers has remarkable energy for 80, or any age. She doesn’t stop moving. She is an entrepreneur and a survivor and re-inventor and frequent flier. I found the 2010 documentary, “Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work” to be incredibly honest and touching. She makes it appealing to love to work and work to love.

 

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Prom: Now/Eric …

Eric: Prom 2013

Eric: Prom 2013

I couldn’t resist one more feature on prom 2013. Eric is my son; he is 16 and a junior in high school. Last night he went to his first prom. There wasn’t much fanfare to prepare for the occasion except to take a trip to the barber shop for a new haircut, rent a tuxedo and shoes and purchase new dress socks. And of course, he selected a corsage for his date. But this story is worth telling because he attended his prom in the very same location where my junior prom was held 36 years ago! That does kind of freak me out but it is special and something that he and I will share forever.

My last prom feature is about my own son and a connection with me, his mom.

What do you think?

Eric and me

Eric and me

Your thoughts?

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Fabulous at every age

Harper's Bazaar - Fabulous at Every Age with Drew Barrymore

Harper’s Bazaar – Fabulous at Every Age with Drew Barrymore

Fabulous is a big word, full of imagination, evoking big dreams for all of us. The key here is all of us. Fashion magazines tend to make us feel less-than, like we may never measure up to the people in the photos. In general, we often feel like we need to change something about ourselves in our quest for perfection — even our age. But we are who we are and we are meant to let our age shine and not hide from it or try to look younger.

There is a bright spot: Harper’s Bazaar has a Fabulous at Every Age section, highlighting ages 20 through 70. There is an acknowledgment that we are beautiful at every age.

Just one question from my fashionable and chic 80-year old friend, Jean: Why doesn’t Fabulous at Every Age extend to 80 – and beyond?

What do you think?

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Cindy’s BOOM! Revolution!

Cindy Joseph

Cindy Joseph

Women take on a unique beauty every chapter of their lives.There is a shift that occurs as we age. One kind of beauty is replaced with another as time goes by. When we stop hiding and start celebrating and wearing our age proudly, others recognize our beauty as well.” ~ Cindy Joseph, CEO and Founder of BOOM! by Cindy Joseph, makeup artist turned supermodel, introduces the first pro-age cosmetic line for women of every generation

At a time when many women are confronting the negative messages they have heard about aging, Cindy is guiding them to a new path by sharing how she has come to embrace and celebrate her own age at 62!  Cindy says, “Some say I have an ageless beauty, however, I am not a blank ageless slate. I believe the beauty they see is age-full.” Continue reading

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More with Jillian …

Jillian

Jillian

Here is part two of my conversation with Jillian. I started off by saying …

Jillian, I am now 52. There is a big question about what is age-appropriate at every age, but it seems especially important for women making the transition in their late 40s and early 50s. How can makeup help us or hurt us at this age?

Oh the transition!” she said with a sigh 🙂 This is a big one, and one that I didn’t understand until I made it myself. I remember being a thirty-something makeup artist and telling women in their forties and fifties … ‘So what? You’re gorgeous! Who cares?’  Their response: ‘You won’t understand until it happens to you.’ Now I get it! Here is the thing: We are all going to age, no one is exempt. Once you accept it and truly decide to be fabulous in your own skin you’re practically there. My friend Quentin Phelps, an amazing artist/stylist, said it best: ‘You’re a woman, so own it!’

So, ladies in your forties and fifties, you are no longer the ingénue … so, be the Goddess!!!
Here are some of the biggest mistakes women make as they age:

Hanging on desperately to the makeup from the era in which they grew up. You cannot wear the same makeup you wore twenty years ago. It is a tell-tale sign of age. (This includes hair styles). Solution — Try an adjusted version of what you are comfortable wearing. Instead of using lots of shadow and mascara, try a smudge of taupe or gray with a good eyeliner and some mascara.

Wearing a heavy, full face of makeup everyday, and at every place, including the gym. Solution — Take it down a few notches, and go to your essentials. You will look fresher if you adjust your makeup to where you are and what you are doing.

Wearing too much foundation and powder and trying to sculpt the face with darker shades. Solution — If you want to look fresh and more youthful, get that skin hydrated and use only a drop of foundation. If you need your powder, instead of using a pad, try using a really fluffy brush and dust lightly. Never sculpt the face, unless you are sitting for a soft focus photo or under very dim light. And even then, make sure a professional helps you! It usually ends up just looking like dated streaks of brown. As we age we lose collagen and we want the face to look softer. Use an over color complexion enhancer or soft bronzer to get the skin to glow.

And some women do the opposite and decide that they shouldn’t wear any makeup. This is aging, too… Just because you are more mature doesn’t mean you can’t look gorgeous and still feel like yourself. Don’t give up. Be true to yourself. If you have always been a natural girl you can still keep it simple. But just like women who wear too much makeup and need to tone it down, you may have to take it up a notch. Solution — Try a tinted moisturizer or a lip gloss – whatever makes you comfortable.

How would you describe the connection between makeup and self-esteem? What have you noticed about that connection?

It depends on the woman. I believe you should do what makes you happy and confident. Confidence is the number one key to beauty.

Has your makeup regimen changed since you first started?

Yes! At 25, I would go to bed with a full face of makeup after being up all night. And I would go outside without sunscreen. I wouldn’t dream of it now; at 48, if I stay up all night, my face screams I’m tired! And we all know that the sun is extremely damaging and aging to the skin. You have to adjust everything with age. From the 20s to the 90s we are in a continuous state of aging and changing: adjust all routines, diet, exercise and skin care, according to what your body and your skin need. Keep your skin clean, exfoliate, (Retin A is great for skin) moisturize, take vitamins, drink tons of water, don’t smoke, use SPF 50, and sleep at least 6 to 8 hours a night!” ~ Jillian

I appreciate this time with you Jillian. I am embracing my inner Goddess now!

What do you think? Will you too?

Jillian applying makeup

Jillian applying makeup

Your thoughts?

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