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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Age appropriate? On trend? Huh?

 Partly because of the blog I am getting a better handle on my own personal style. Part of the style is a Boho vibe. I've always wanted to be a hippie. The freedom displayed by the hippies when I was in my early twenties pulled at me. I know myself well enough that I wouldn't have been able to totally commit to that lifestyle. One of my main needs has always been for safety. Unfortunately I made the mistake of depending on others for safety and they were either unwilling or unable or both. So after my  parents were gone and I was divorced it hit me that I needed to take care of myself and to create a safe place for myself. I haven't ever been good at it. I'm still learning.

One of the problems with taking care of yourself is that sometimes you must find out who you are. I have become someone I don't recognize. I have spent tons of money trying to become on trend, elegant, chic, pretty, or just acceptable. I went on a diet a year ago to become more acceptable to me. I now weigh more than I did then. I have purchased, willy nilly, clothes to make myself feel better only to arrive at the conclusion that they don't fill my needs. Some of them are trendy. At least they are trendy for someone who weighs what I do. But that doesn't help. I find myself going back to the same few outfits in my wardrobe because I know they fit. And many of the other things may fit but I'm afraid to try them on because they might be too tight. I don't know what to do now. Resolutions I make are forgotten. Or ignored. I have been unhappy with my looks all of my life. All of it. I've decided I am not going to be pleased. So I have to come up with another way to deal.

I always have loved color and pattern. Not Missoni. Jerky patterns make me nervous. I am reminded of sharp things. But flowing colors and patterns are very soothing to me. I think I am defining what is "On Trend" for me. With my need for color and flow, the top I am wearing (HSN) is an example of what I'm drawn to. The closest to a spiky fabric I can handle is an Ikat. I've posted one before. Anyway, I love the ethnic looks also. Some seasons they are "IN" and some seasons other things are in. I've been really disappointed in the designer offerings this year. I've found most of the fashions depressing and I'm really glad I don't have to dress that way.

Above you can see me in one of the outfits I have been wearing. In the summer I really don't wear much jewelry, it feels heavy to me. And basically what you are seeing is me in something I can get on my body. And it's boring. I have beautiful jewelry. Much of it came from Avon, like the ring below. But much is one of a kind and handmade. I think I've used the jewelry and handbags as my only form of expression because in a lot of the cases one size fits all. 
The newest thing, on trend, must haves are all expressions being bandied about in the fashion world now. On trend seems to be skinny jeans that are so tight they pull across the legs. Pants that sit so low that they look like they are going to fall off. Crotches at the knee. Cut off jeans and high high heels. See thru clothes with mismatched bras. Bulky scarves with flip flops(saw that one yesterday). There are bags big enough for everything one could ever need. There are shoes that are much larger than the foot wearing them. There are 2 part outfits, (dressy on top and relaxed on the bottom). I saw on MSN Glo a picture of a girl who had 4 different patterns on, and they were wrinkled. (I used to think that meant the give away bin at the thrift store.) There are models who make heroin chic of 15 years ago look fat. There doesn't seem to be a dress on the red carpet that isn't cut down to there, or up to here, or both. So it's difficult to know what to do. Young women don't get dressed. They style themselves. Make-up is either non-existent or it is totally wild. There are bracelets on both arms from wrist to elbow. I saw a fashion pic in which the model wore 4 watches. Some of the designs out there would look great on a slender person in their 50's or 60's. But I am stumped when it comes to finding clothing for myself at 66 and very overweight.

I realize that many of the things I have mentioned are marketing ploys. But I am as gullible as the next person when it comes to that. I want someone to turn around and look again and say to themselves, "She looks good." And I do recognize that because of my age, things that look good to the very young aren't pleasing to me. Some of the styles popular now would have been worn by women in the exotic trades when I was a young married. And I promise that mini dresses have been in and out several times. However, I don't remember when showing the underpants was OK. I guess that now I think fashion is an anything goes business. I don't envy the designers. It must be hard to stand out when there is no really specific trend that everyone wants. But I also think it is difficult for any regular woman to stand out. Many use pics of "fashion inspirations" and that may be one way to go about being fashionable. I dare anyone to find a truly fashionable woman of my age, my weight, and my lack of income that I can use as a fashion inspiration. In the meantime, I am glad I like change because the seasons are changing here and the problems will come up again with my winter wardrobel

That's all for now. I am not sure whether I am bitching or just jabbering. I suppose you'll have to decide.


Amber Blue Bird said...

One thing I've learned since blogging is that "on trend" fashion items arent what I should concern myself with. You really have to focus on what looks good on you first and then maybe add a bit of the "in" thing later (ie a bold shoe, neon scarf, etc.) Does that make sense? I hope so. I also hope you start to see the beauty in yourself and covet the person you are.

Serene said...

I hear you. Seriously. All of it. Judy, this is your chance to be a trailblazer! To begin with, I rarely see a woman over 60 blogging at all, much less about fashion. So good for you! Secondly, bodies are made differently. I really believe the worst thing a person can do is diet. Simply start healthy habits and then just let your body be. I think you look wonderful! I really do! Play with some of your clothes. Don't be afraid of something not may be surprised! Let's face it, so much of what is shown on the runways, and even some of the bigger blogs is really not practical for middle America every day wear. I wish I could point to someone similar to you, age and weight wise, but right now I'm drawing a blank. But I meant it when I said, that that is opportunity for you...for you to be an icon for others to be inspired by. Where there is no trail....BLAZE ONE! I'm watching!!! Big hugs to you! ~Serene

Judy C said...

I love both you young women for your support. A trailblazer. What a concept! What fun! I love it!!!!!

Birdie said...

Age approptirate? I think now is a great time to wear whatever you want.

Lorena said...

Well we agree on many things Judy.
First you look great in that first outfit.
I also find myself wanting to have a "freer" lifestyle but focus so much on playing it safe and being financially secure that I just cannot commit to doing anything that keeps away from that.
I have stayed away from Fashion Week, I am just trying to get through my days.

Elaine said...

I think I see your point. I've stopped following trends because even though it'll look good on others, I don't want to be on trend and try to dress like the runway or try to keep up. I want to form my OWN style and not what the magazines or runway tells me.

Phyllisa said...

Hi Judy.You said "I dare anyone to find a truly fashionable woman of my age, weight, and lack of income that I can use as a fashion inspiration". You have just found that woman..Me!And many more come in to the store where I work.I weigh a bit less than you because I make certain I keep very active, but I am near your age and income is tight. But I can assure you age, weight and lack of income can take a back seat when you arm yourself with a little knowledge like I have.I LOVE fashion and color and I know how to use them.
I work part-time in the fashion industry and I am an artist. But that's not what I mean by having a little knowledge. If you are willing to put in some time to learn, you can dress fashionably for YOUR coloring, YOUR style and YOUR income.You just have to know the BEST places to look.Because I am not where you are, I will recommend my favorite books (get them at the library). First one, to determine your coloring, is Color Me Beautiful by Carole Jackson. A classic. You probably like that outfit in the first photo because the colors are good on you (except the black). A newer book on color is Color Me Beautiful's Looking Your Best by Mary Spillane and Christine Sherlock. This one gets into the topic of Style Personality also.Here's where you can bring out your inner hippie(sometimes). Now for stores for fashion at our age, try Chico's and Cold Water Creek at their Outlets and on sale.Forget "Trends of the celebrities and young" and at least get ideas from these stores, even if you don't purchase all your items there. When you have the knowledge, you can shop thrift stores and find the right items.Then to top off the good news, you will only need 9 to 12 coordinating items (A Capsule Wardrobe) to put together 40+ outfits! Yes, it's true. I just planned out a Capsule Wardrobe for fall with 9 items for 54 outfits. But they have to be the RIGHT items. Learn more about capsules in Looking Good by Nancy Nix-Rice. And don't miss the chapters on how important makeup and accessories are!
Jewelry, scarves, belts,shoes and bags finish your look.
I hope you will use my suggestions so you can soon be
dressing for YOU and receiving many compliments.

dressingup-everyday said...

I think you're a beautiful, well dressed woman.Forget this nonsense about your weight and wear all things you like.

sacramento said...

Gorgeous Judy thank you for being there.

Debbi@SheAccessorizesWell said...

I am learning that some of the things that I thought would look great on me really don't look so good. It is really hard to be plus size in this world. I wrote a post that I will never publish about how it feels. It did me good to just vent! I think you and I are close in age and size. I just carry my weight differently. I plan on creating some posts on outfits and accessorizing soon.
One other lesson I have learned is that I am much harder on myself and that other people don't necessarily see me as I do myself.
This blogging for older women is a new thing and we must be as some others have said, trailblazers.

paula devi said...

Here's what I want to say to you Judy. You are a beautiful woman. You would be a beautiful woman in a burlap sack - though that might be a bit itchy. Your beauty shines through your eyes, your face. I have never been trendy. I'm not sure what trendy is. Long ago when I was much younger and thinner, I was wearing old white pants and an old red & white stripped t-shirt. I was barefoot as I stepped out the cabin of a lorry. It was in the desert and I think I hadn't showered for a few days. The girl standing at the foot of the lorry steps said "jeez, you look like you just stepped off the cover of Vogue". I was surprised, but when I though about it I realized that I just had to be comfortable in my clothes whatever they were. My clothes are never fancy or famous. I an't afford that. But somehow the kooki, out of fashion looks works for me. And if the truth be told, who cares? Beauty and identity come from inside. Remember what I said, your beauty would shine through a paper bag.

this free bird said...

I don't think you're bitching or jabbering, Judy. I think you're telling it like it is and I appreciate that.

First--you look good in both of those pictures. I love the flowy print and the solid black with jewels. What's most important is wearing things that YOU feel good in because then your confidence will shine through.

I spent a good portion of my life terrified of everything. It takes years to recover and sometimes I find myself stepping back a few, but let me say this: for those of us who en route to recovery it is only natural to unleash your inner hippie. I think it's who we've always been anyway--someone/something just tried to tell us otherwise.

Carry on, friend. As cliche as it sounds, the true beautiful you is on the inside. Get in there and love that person!!


Lesa said...

Judy, I really related to your post. I am turning 50 next week, and I have 17 yr old twins who are my shopping partners. I have so many different looks in my closet and things I bought because they looked good on them, but when I get them home, not so much on a 50 year old overweight woman. I get angry with myself because I spend so much money just buying something that catches my eye and then I bring it home and it either lingers in my closet or I resell it at a loss on Ebay.
I am FINALLY starting to come to terms with the fact that I may never be thin again, and that I don't want to do diets, I want to have fun, be with my kids, read a book.

I just have to learn to pull myself together and figure out what I am doing.

I used to work with a woman in her mid 60's (I suspect she was a former hippie) She wore black pants and a top every single day (very flowy, and big earrings, cool scarfs, maybe a vest or a big necklace to add color and she was so content in her own body, had so much grace (even while wearing birkenstocks). she was a woman who had found her style and was good at it.

Me, I'm everywhere, anyway thanks for such a well written post, and just by the way, I love your top in the first picture.

Always summer

Debbie Baker Burns said...

Blogging is definitely a great way to find your personal style and develop it. I've learned more from personal style bloggers than I ever got out of years of reading fashion magazines. I like how everyone has their own style, the clothes aren't expensive and it doesn't matter about your size or age. I have favorites of all ages and sizes! Debbie