How do I find My Style?
I just spent near on two days searching for My Style. My Style pretty much looks like this picture here. It's kind of neat, respectable, practical Aussie Mum wear. Neat. I like neat. And comfortable. That too. Unfortunately it's not considered style as such.
Anyway, in pursuit of My Style, I Googled until my fingers seized, retreating into arthritic claws, begging for mercy. In desperation, I checked underneath the lounge cushions and in between the console and the car seat in case My Style had somehow got wedged in there. Everything else does.
My Style wasn't there. I did find my favourite lip wand though so ... BONUS... right?
Here's what else I discovered (Googling, not under the couch cushions)...but be not fooled...I'm none the wiser.
Apparently at 55 years old, I should not wear my hair long, nor let it be grey. I should maintain a svelte figure, but not dress to show it off. I should keep my bosom and my bottom bound and covered, preferably in lots of spandex.
One source said pastels were flattering. Another said no self respecting Fab-50 would be seen dead in pastels. I don't mind pastels personally, but for me, prints are a dead set no-no. Others like them though, so, you know...whatever. I'm confused already....are you?
Apparently if you dare to wear your hair gracefully grey, you should then not wear grey clothing. Or black. Black is too ageing and grey is just wishy-washy....so it's said. I like both grey and black and wear a lot of them...I like them.
To me, that piece of advice is like telling a blonde not to wear beige, or gold or yellow or ecru or taupe or champagne....like this....
I actually like this look and when I WAS blonde (and slender), I leaned towards these sorts of neutrals. I've always been a fan of the monochromatic look.
So if you have dark brown hair, do you not wear brown? Bewildering.
One little wisp of a thing that looked all of 19 in her blog profile pic, advised we older ladies, to please not wear anything made for younger women because it just looks silly and we're embarrassing ourselves and the rest of the world. I'd direct you to her blog, but I wouldn't want her to get the traffic. Spiteful, I know.
Parisian women, we've all been told for years, wear fitted ensembles to their dying day, lest their naughty husbands stray. My French friend who is also a husband, takes great exception to this myth. His wife is cuddly and wears flowing bohemian outfits (albeit with stunning one of a kind sterling silver accessories made by a clever friend...but then I do that too, and I'm not Parisian) and the thought of straying has never entered his mind. Consider that myth busted.
All the same, flowing clothes make you look fat apparently. I've been wearing flowing clothes ever since Stevie Nicks did it back in the 70s. I wore them when I was a size 2 (size 8 in Australian). I like them. I like the way they ripple around me when I walk. They make me feel girly and feminine. Why should I change that and get all anal retentive (psycho scientific expression, not anything to do with bottoms actually), wearing cropped jackets and booty enhancing capri pants, now that I've gained a few pounds. I don't get it. Really shouldn't it be the other way around?
Another thing that bothers me enormously is where one is supposed wear all these things that a stylish woman is meant to wear. I'm all for zhooshing up the neighbourhood with my personal fabulous-ness, but picking plums from the ugly produce section of the greengrocer is a little at odds with the Chanel-esque way of life. Maybe the greengrocer would like it. He's Italian and always greets me enthusiastically, so there's a good chance it'd brighten his day enormously. But then he might think our little dalliances over the ugly plums meant more to me than to him. It might get uglier than the plums. Sigh.
I go to the school in the morning, stopping by the greengrocer on my way home. I stay home, cooking and doing home type things, then I return to the school. Occasionally I lunch with a friend. I visit my sons and granddaughters. I go to teacher meetings and committee meetings. I like to look nice, but Manolos don't work with two year olds and school carparks, no matter what anyone says.
And on the subject of shoes by the way, one person says heels elongate the leg and we should all be wearing them. Another says heels are too try-hard and we should all wear orthotic sandals and to hell with what the world thinks. I think both have their place, frankly. I favour anything that doesn't cripple me.
As for dresses, well we curvy girls should wear them (says someone with fashion nous), and all the photos I saw of curvy ladies in dresses certainly looked fab. But any time I try a dress on, it looks fine from the front, and as soon as I turn sideways I go 'what the HEY! I forgot I was FAT!'. I bet if they took side on shots of those plus sized models, we'd be saying the same about them. I just can't do it. Aside from that, I just don't like dresses that much. I'm a pants and long tops kinda gal. Dresses are channelling Granny to my way of mind.
Several bloggers swear that the element of surprise is the key and that we should all be wearing biker jackets with our emerald necklaces and chiffon, and that ripped jeans are terribly terribly wrong, with the inference that they're a bit....well....ugh....common. I can tell you right now that if I started wearing my black leather jacket over my chiffon, dripping in emeralds, there'd be surprise for sure. But not the kind they're talking about. And I like my ripped jeans. Mine have red Chinese brocade under the rips. I put it there. I like it. It's like wearing nice underwear, except others can see peeks of it. That's my biggest surprise.
And bows...well anyone over five shouldn't go there. Sniff. I love my bows. Always have.
Well. Gosh. Fail, fail, fail, fail, disastrous fail.
I'm done in. I can't be bothered asking anyone else how I should look. I'll decide for myself from here on in thanks.
So here's where my Pinterest board comes in. It's titled 50 and Fab, and it's here
I've been pinning on there for a couple of years now. A couple of years of things I like, how I'd like to look. More than a few sessions of finding the me I'd like to be.
So here's what I've found.
I like long, well groomed, well looked after grey hair. I like minimalist makeup and excellent eyebrows. I like flowing cardigans and white jeans.
I have an unhealthy obsession with fabulous flat shoes. From Lanvin ballet flats with chain embellishment...
...to metallic Wicked-esque green Oxfords from Dieppa Restrepo...
...to all kinds of things with patent leather and bows...yes bows...
...I love bows no matter what anyone says. This is not my behind, nor my bows, but it is grey, it has bows, and it's probably something I would wear, so it's included....
...and grey hair. With bows. I wear bows in my hair often. I'm 55. I don't kid myself that I'm some sort of Audrey Hepburn Ingenue. It's more a Brigitte Bardot vibe...womanly and a bit teasing. The Musician Husband likes my bows. He likes undoing them...you know...
...grey hair, Balyage silver hair...all gorgeous.
Layers. Flowing, soft layers. But neat. Neat layers. It makes sense to me. You don't want to look like you just rolled out of bed and forgot to take your sleepwear off before getting dressed.
I love a bit of chiffon and lace too. Lace trimmed sleeve cuffs, and deep lace frills on utilitarian fine knit hoodies or roomy cashmere sweatshirts are sort of Mumma glam round these here parts. This lady is my role model....
...sleek hair. I love sleek, well groomed hair. I'm sleek and smooth these days. I finally wrestled my GHD into submission.
Grooming extends to nails. They don't have to be red. Mine are mostly pinky, peachy, opalesque or neutral.
I rather like the Rock Chic look too. This lady is 72 years old and she OWNS this look. Not for the greengrocer perhaps. Not here. But something to aspire too when I'm 72.
And clearly this lady below, didn't get the memo about the ripped jeans either. Or the pastels. Or the one that said rolling your jeans up over your ankle is strictly for when you're wearing sneakers. I'm with her.
I do love a neat handbag though. So well ordered and tidy.
And must add, I have a fetish for fabulous hair accessories. This one is to-die-for.
Frankly, no matter what you wear, there's a lot to be said for general grooming, and looking like you've made an effort.
I saw a lady today who was wearing something that broke very style rule in the book. But upon closer inspection, she had immaculate nails, clean comfortable shoes that made her walk with a spring in her step, hair that looked like she'd just washed it and fluffed it and let it be, a killer smile and red lipstick.
She looked fabulous.
What's your style?