So this is me, today. On my birthday – at 57. It comes as a surprise that I am 57 years old. I don’t feel that age, whatever that means. Well, most of the time. To be honest, it has become harder to take pictures and expose myself in the 7 years since I started my blog (just before my 50th birthday). I am aware often now that certain things just don’t feel the same; like the time recently when Kendra was taking a photo of my necklace and I saw that my neck was getting wrinkled. Or the time when we took photos highlighting my very high wedge shoes and I was aware more than ever of marks on my legs. Or the close up of my hands holding a necklace, only to see a few extra brown spots that weren’t there before. Sharing yourself as you age is an interesting reality. And I am not always good at it. I often want to go back to the body I had. And I understand and do not judge anyone for wanting to do whatever you can to look as young as possible. And yet, I also know this. Writing a blog is about being authentically you. You must be your true self so that those who log in feel that they know you. The real you. And since I write about the connection between fashion and self esteem, I must be honest, too, when my own story wavers and my own self esteem falters. Which it does.
Aging isn’t easy. You are forced to face things you would rather not face. But I hold true to this: my clothes are a part of me and I am a part of them. They fill me with happiness and help me to be more of myself than any other thing. When I wear things that make me happy, I am ageless. I begin to look beyond wrinkles and marks and spots. I see only me. Wear what you love, find clothes with colors that brighten your mood (even if it is black, which can be the best color of all!), fill your closet only with things that fit you properly and throw out or give away the rest. And do it now, wherever you are in life, whatever your age. So this is me, today. On my birthday – at 57.
Dress, James Perse Los Angeles; shoes, Missoni for Target
Photos, Abrina Hyatt
My friend Michal took these pictures of me not long after I started taking her class. It was my first formal exercise routine in a very long time; I was nervous and intimidated. At first, everything seemed too hard and scary – I felt unsure and unsteady. To match my insides I wore gray sweatpants and tees. I thought that would make me feel better, more comfortable. What I didn’t realize was that the clothes actually made me feel worse; they were not helping me to feel stronger or better in any way. Eventually, I decided to invest in proper exercise clothes and see if that made a difference. It worked: my Lululemon clothes helped me to feel stronger and gave me the confidence I needed to keep going. Even when I felt unsure, wearing the proper gear helped me to feel that I belonged in the class. I let the clothes work for me.
Now, I find myself feeling unsure all over again. I have a new full-time job and I can’t get to Michal’s class during the week. After much research I decided to join a gym. I was never a member of a gym – it is new for me – and the feelings of insecurity are returning. Just walking though the weight room to get to my class feels like an act of bravery. So once again I have decided to invest in new exercise gear that will give me the boost I need. Let your clothes do the work and lift you when you need it; they have that power.
Workout gear, Lulemon; photographed by Michal at MONDO Summit
This morning, while trying to make a transaction at the bank (and with several people behind me) I shuffled through my handbag in search of what I needed. Of course I apologized profusely to those behind me as I kept coming up empty in my search. Finally, after finding what I needed I realized that this simple task of trying to find my missing piece in my all-too-large handbag has been my story well, for forever. And then something else hit me: it doesn’t happen with only my larger handbags – it happens to me with handbags of every size. Why am I always searching my bags for the right item? Is there a part of me that loves the hunt? Am I doomed to be unorganized with the one article of clothing that is supposed to keep my life neat and compact? And here is another question: Does anyone reading this relate?
Maybe it is because my life is more complicated than ever and having my “things” in my handbag helps me to feel safe. Maybe not. I cannot say for sure. What I can say is that it happens more often than I like and I’m not sure this part of me will ever change. So, to those people at the bank this morning – I am sorry for keeping you. And to those whom I might put out in the future … again, I am sorry.
Photo by Alexandra