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.
Perhaps it was watching the 1934 film, The Man Who Knew Too Much. Since that moment I have been pining for a pair of man-style trousers. I found them in this plaid pair by Michael Kors. I bought them a bit too big around the waist but I saw their potential, and had them taken in – voila!
I love mixing man-tailored clothes with feminine touches so I paired the trousers with a soft tie and heels.
On February 9th, British designer label, Peter Pilotto, will launch its collection with Target and for once, I won’t be there. Even with a new twist – the collection is simultaneously available on Net-a-Porter – I still won’t be there. I was there for the Missoni for Target launch; I was there for the Prabal Gurung for Target launch; I was there for the Phillip Lim for Target launch; I was even there when Target and Neiman Marcus launched its Holiday Collection. I fought the crowds and the crazy, just to have a chance to own high-end designer originals at a fraction of the price. Was it worth the hassle? I think so, because I love what I own and I know that I could never have afforded these pieces without Target’s prices. But now I would say no. Why? The collection is full of vibrant colors and campy prints, but it’s just too young for me. It’s made for a woman who doesn’t mind wearing crop tops and surf-inspired summery blends. The collaboration is fast-approaching but I prefer to dress my age. “I’m not buying that!”
Wearing my Phillip Lim for Target French Terry Sweatshirt, Boom Print – Photo by Alexandra
Last Sunday I witnessed another launch of a Target/Designer collaboration, as I had done before. First, two years ago with Missoni, followed by Jason Wu, Prabal Gurung and now … Phillip Lim. And I am asking myself, why? Why did I participate in the crazy, the lines, the waiting, the anticipation and often, the disappointment? Here is what I think …
“I want to put on the clothes and let them do their job … you shouldn’t have to work too hard for clothes.” Kim, fashion stylist
How well do you know your clothes? When was the last time you checked what was in your closet? I thought I knew my clothes and I thought I knew what was in my closet. I am often telling people to shop their closets first before heading to the store to make a new purchase. But what did I really know about my own closet? It turns out, not as much as I thought, and today was the moment when I put my money where my mouth is! My new friend, Kim, a professional stylist with Style for Hire, a company co-founded by Stacy London and Cindy McLaughlin, came to my house where we spent a few hours editing my clothing and performing a closet audit.
I was nervous and I didn’t know what to expect. First, I worried about how I was dressed. Would Kim think I was dressed appropriately for a closet audit? What is appropriate anyway? (in turns out that it didn’t matter because I was dressing and undressing the entire time!) And what would happen if Kim removed clothing to which I was still attached? I had too many questions, but fortunately for me, Kim was delightful and warm and funny and kept the mood light, which really helped. What also helped was that she knew what she was doing. Here is what we did: we pulled out everything in my closet and Kim looked it over. And if it was a ‘no go’ I said a quick good bye and didn’t look back. If it was a ‘yes,’ I tried it on. But here is where the magic came … Kim showed me surprising and unexpected ways to wear my own clothes. She styled everything with a twist and by the end of my time with her I had new outfits and was seeing my clothing in a completely new light. It was exhausting and draining and uplifting and fulfilling and emotional at the same time. Kim took pictures too, so that I could recreate the looks on my own. Continue reading →
… always get me down. Actually, I am not down today, because I have some great rain boots to help me weather the storm. They are treats from my Missoni madness shopping adventure at Target (see A Tale of Missoni Madness, September 15, 2011). The idea for rain boots came from my younger friends and now I think everyone should have a go-to pair. They make all the difference on a rainy day. That, and a cup of coffee with a friend, helps too!