Saturday, July 21, 2012

My Style Journey into my 50s and my A-HA moment visiting Fabulous Florida Mommy Today!

Happy Saturday All!

I just got back from taking my daughter to buy new glasses - she really needed them before starting back to University this fall and we had fun picking them out.  It is a particularly lovely day here - 75 F or 24 c and not a bit of humidity!  I got to wear a couple of things that have sat in my closet for a couple of months because it was so hot...

I sort of felt I was channeling my inner Janet from the wonderful Gardener's Cottage blog, which you can visit here.

I am wearing the J Crew factory camp shirt end on end, which you can buy here.  It is very soft and has a slight sheen.
 Factory camp shirt in end-on-end

I have paired them with my cafe capris in natural, which are still available on line here.  I bought petite and have regretted that since.  Because these cut my leg off at a certain point, I have to be careful that shoes do not as well.  For this morning, I am sporting JCrew Mila Ballet Flats in neon peach, which is a fun colour and which are still on sale, but in limited sizes here.  They are comfy for short jaunts around the city, but as per Dani's recent NYC experience, and a previous one of my own, they are NOT for all day walking!
Mila ballet flats

 I was actually quite happy with this outfit.  It felt like me.  One of the interesting side effects of starting this blog, besides getting to share a piece of my life with other's whose lives and perspectives I have come to value, is that I realized that many of my outfits, or how I was putting them together, is lacking.  Oh sure, I could blame some of having pictures taken by my 6'3" husband (his pictures of me make me look like I have no legs) or a poor BB or needing to lose 12 pounds, but that could not be it all...  What I was struggling with was finding comfort in my style and I knew I was not there yet!  I adore Dani and her blog, as she has taken us on such a wonderful journey and she is such a role model to me and a real style icon!  AJC, FFM, Tabitha (for all things glamorous), Rynetta, Janet, Slastena, Ema, Tiffany Rose, everyone who has decided to "follow" along with me here at this blog have all inspired me so much!  I need to change my style up a bit - not because I do not have lovely clothes, not because I do not have okay taste, but because I am thinking that I am going into the next 50 years of my life and I want to look "elegant". 

I have been thinking this all week and then, this afternoon, I dropped into to see what FFM was doing and she had this picture up:

 She described it as "Understated. Elegant. Effortlessly Chic."

and I went "Holy Cow! THAT is how I want to look!!!!!"

It was the same feeling I had when I saw the following outfits on the recent J Crew rollout:

Collection organza sheath dress

Telegraph pencil skirt in Super 120s 

No. 2 pencil skirt in snake print

Stretch suiting tee

THIS is how I want to dress in my 50s... (with the odd lovely funky piece thrown in, because Ru-Paul does still lurk within me!) and so all decisions, all wardrobe review, are now against these measures!  I will leave the trendier pieces for you lovely younger ladies who wear them so well!

For my 50s,  I want to be more like Rita Wilson:

Rita Wilson Photograph

Hold my feet to the fire and help me - PLEASE (and oh by the way - i am going to need some comfier shoes...) 

And yes, I think Rita might have worn my OOTD to go to the Optometrist... or I hope so, anyway!


  1. Yep, my style has changed a lot in the last few years, no more short skirts, no more push up bras, no more 4 inch heels that I can't walk in - oh and I need bifocals but keep spending my money on other things. I want to be comfy, feel like me and elegant when I go out at night. I love what you're wearing today.

    1. The worst is that I keep making mistakes! Honestly - I am making a list and then checking it twice!! I need to be much more discriminating and with much less clothing. I think I will sort out all work stuff and move it away from the casual frocks so I don't get too mixed up (deliberately or otherwise!).

      Do you have the Icon trench? I am trying to recall who does. I think that needs to be on the list... oh my....

  2. Hmm, my blog hasn't updated since Wednesday on feed rolls, do any whizz kids know how to fix it?

    1. Lord - don't look at me - I am useless - I am stil learning on a daily basis...

    2. Tabitha - that happened to me a couple of weeks ago, and it had to do with my Feedburner account. Do you have one? If so, I can email you and try to walk you through the steps to fix it.

  3. What a great post WMM, and thank you for the mention! I think our personal style needs to evolve the older we get. Some of the pieces we would have/could have worn even just 10 years ago often just do not 'fit' with our present age, or who we have become through those years.

    Starting several years ago I began to feel a shift in my personal style...a less is more approach, classic and feminine silhouettes, clean lines, beautiful fabric and prints, understated elegance, along with a 'nod' to the trends every now and then. I want a simplified wardrobe consisting of quality pieces that will endure the test of time, not 'disposable' clothing that I can only wear one or two times before it is ready for the trash bin. I have become a lot more 'strict' about what I will allow to take residence in my closet, and if an item arrives that doesn't meet my expectations or criteria then back it goes immediately. I wrote a post about personal style back in December of last year, then another one in March, and plan to write a third one in the near future, sharing some of the tips that have worked for me when it comes to shopping for items to add to my current wardrobe, and figuring out just what I want 'my' look to be.

    I think that your plan of approaching your purchases with 'your' new look in mind is going to help you so much, especially as you approach fall, and all of its new retail offerings. I would suggest that you go through your present wardrobe to see just what you have, and then decide what items fit into your new personal style vision. Separate out the items that do work from the ones that don't, and then make out your fall shopping list. This is the way I approach each new season. I evaluate my wardrobe to see just what I have, what is needed to complete certain outfits, and also what I might simply just 'want' because it is fun. Then as the fall rollouts arrive in the stores, I can see if any of the items fit with the ones on my list. If they do, then I purchase, but if they don't...I leave them at the store. This has saved me a lot of returns, unwanted purchases, and unworn items. Plus it is excellent for my budget. I also then don't mind spending a bit more on one quality item. I would rather have one item that is well-made and loved, than multiple items that are disposable, and get tossed away or sent to my closet archives.

    Btw, I have the J.Crew Icon trench, and I do think it should be on your list. :)

    1. FFM - you are one of my style heroines! I am very familiar with your posts on style and look forward to the 3rd!

      In the next couple of weeks I am going to lay it all out for this fall. You folks will be my helpers! I sort of feel a bit "Gladiator" about it all - thumbs up or thumbs down!

      Wait till you see tomorrow - My beloved husband asked me to take a picture of him and blog about him!

  4. I love your outfit today and I too have changed my style this past year. Yesterday I asked Tabs if she has dresses with pattern and she replied only one. I think this is where I was making a big mistake as after a few times I would be bored with the printed ones. So I'm going to keep it simple and no black as I find navy suits me. Speaking of navy ... have you seen the Crew trench in Midnight. Love your blog.

    1. Thanks Marsha! I hadn't seen the crwe trench in midnight! Of course I ran right over (can you say "ran" about the internet? I interrupted my sipping of maple ice wine to visit the J Crew site..) That is a seriously beautiful coat and might look better than the icon trench on me, which would always require a scarf up near my face, as beiges/khakis drain me out...

      I think you are right about the printed ones! Solid colours are more versatile, and can be "played" with via colourful scarves or necklaces! Thanks so much for the heads up about the midnight trench!

  5. I have that shirt you are wearing, in 3 colors lol! I know what I like :) I love the ballet flats you are wearing, are they comfortable? How do they fit, TTS? It's a great OOTD, you look very nice!

    I want to pare down to a simpler wardrobe. I have asked myself, if I had to fill one suitcase with only my favorite things, what would they be? I don't really fill a suitcase, but thinking about it helps me get rid of things sometimes.

    I am still figuring out my style too. I don't like to draw attention but I like to look put together. I'm finding out that I like very simple clothing punched up with accessories. J. Crew is my favorite because their basics are stylish and I don't have to think too hard about putting things together. If I get bored, I can add a basic in a fun color.

    I don't have the Icon Trench, but I have the Banana Republic trench and I love it (I think AJC has reviewed it).

    My hope is to have a good base wardrobe that I don't need to add onto, then use DaniBP's "3 things" (or better, your "5 things"!) idea to accommodate the seasonal "wants".

  6. Thanks Cate! I dug out my ballets to give you a good sense of the sizing of the Milas. IMO:

    The Milas fit more snuggly (is that a word or a nice blue blanket?) than the Lulas (I have the beet patent Lulas and love them, but even they are a bit more snuggly again than the basic leather ballets. In other words, I would say the leather ballets fit TTS (I am a 6 or 6.5 and I bought the 6.5 in all ballets), but the half size up in the Milas might have been a wee more accommodating...

    I hear you on a good base wardrobe. I think I am close to getting there, but still hit the bumps. My biggest problem is the "OOOOOH I love that shiny new object" and then buying it and not wearing it... I think Dani's plan (which from FFM comments above are soundly supported!) of 3 (or 5!) things once you have your style and have the basics are right on! Too much is too much for me! You will see, and be horrified! I am not over-the-top, but I see the top... :-)

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. I don't have a number limit for the items on my list each season. Since I have spent many years building up my wardrobe, there is never really a need for too many items, but I still prefer not to limit myself to a certain number (I think I would obsess way too much if I did, and then feel guilty if I went over my set number). Instead, I like to write down everything I need/want to add to my wardrobe, and then pare it down as the season moves on and more merchandise is introduced by retailers. I do put the most needed/wanted at the top of the list to get them crossed off first, then move on down the line though.

      For example, a few of my fall shopping list items so far are the Jeweled-collar sweater, Double-breasted schoolboy blazer, a couple of new fall/winter dresses, Navy Downtown Field jacket, a new pair of jeans to wear with my feminine blouses (as a counterbalance to make them 'casual chic'), new large gold watch, and the polka-dot invitation clutch. So far I am on waitlist for the sweater and double-breasted blazer, so that will be two items already crossed off my list, and they are also the two at the top of my list. Since the polka-dot clutch would be a nice addition, but isn't in anyway necessary, it is at the bottom of the list. Of course I don't end up purchasing everything on my list each season, but I do like to put down in writing all the things I would like to have, and go from there. :)

    3. I appreciate the sizing advice on the Milas! I wear a 7.5 in the ballets or Lulas, so I think I'd try an 8 in the Milas.

  7. Thanks FFM!

    This is good advice! I am getting things out this week and will have some more posts for advice!

    I am contemplating the jewel sweater myself! I like idea of ranking - I think it is important to prioritize and not get caught in the moment as I have been want to do in the past!

  8. Thoughtful post! My personal style is definitely an example of evolution run amok. Including the examples of the fauna of Australia and the Galapagos, because I'm still fearful that very large shoulders will come back. So the first thing I would change is my own bad habits, starting with hanging on to things that I don't wear any more.

  9. HA! If very large shoulders come back I will personally come visit you and buy your first new Joan Collins jacket!!!!

    Oh wait till you see the torture I go through in the coming days! I am ready to cannibalize!

  10. What an excellent post and excellent comments!

    Okay I have to talk about the 3 things, I am adopting FFM's attitude because it is a total failure! Which is making me feel guilty! I've just done another closet purge myself and I have set up my items for fall, I have decided I want to add in, get ready... TWELVE THINGS!
    But I am having fun with it so I don't care. Many of those items are long-sleeved shirts and some pants so I can put together some sensible outfits. I always want to buy all of the party frocks and none of those are on my list.
    Oh and no patterns on my list either bringing it back to Marsha's point. I love patterns but I tend not to wear them so much.
    I see a gap in my wardrobe around navy wool basics which is why I am trying a navy wool day-dress, some navy wool capri pants, a plain navy wool pencil and a navy silk blouse.
    As you know I am addicted to Chie Mihara shoes but luckily I don't need to buy any for fall and winter as I shall be running out of money shortly.
    My color story is camel, brown and navy with bits of pink, green and mustard yellow, leopard print accessories... of course I'll let you know how any new items work out.
    I wish we all lived closer so we could come over and help you, we'd have a big party!

  11. Thanks for saying those nice things about me though I am no role model I am afraid (TWELVE).

    I am looking to FFM to save us!


Kindness is a virtue...