Wednesday, July 1, 2015

How To Swoon Over Your Clothes

I've always wanted to wear clothes that looked good, naturally - so few of us dress to look wretched. But I would buy a lot of "useful" and fill-in-the-gap and on-sale pieces that looked fine, but didn't move me. Now I mostly shop for clothes that make me swoon.

My shopping mantra is: Good enough isn't good enough. And we don't need a special occasion or a lot of $$ to wear what we love. One of the questions I ask when I contemplate a new purchase is, do I want to wear you right away? Am I excited about wearing you? Will you shout "pick me!" from my closet? This last question is borrowed from Olivia Goldsmith and Amy Fine Collins little treasure of a book, Simple Isn't Easy.




There are so many clothes in the world, at every price point. In case I had doubted that, volunteering at the thrift store brings the point home. Clothes to the ceiling! If you leave an ivory tulle skirt behind because it doesn't sing to you (as I did yesterday), be certain there is a skirt that will.

I like it but I don't love it - the fabric feels cheap and it's too full at the waist. A near-miss. 

I used to exclude socks, workout clothes, and sleepwear from the "must love" requirement, but now I look for winners in those categories too. Why not have socks that make you happy, or a nightgown that makes you smile. Why not choose the softest tees as your basics, and your favorite color for your sneakers?

I love wearing my crisp white cotton nightgown. So pure!

Wearing what I love means repeating pieces, and sometimes whole outfits, quite a bit. I don't mind, and others don't either - because no one is doing an audit of my wardrobe.

I look like this many days, with some version of a loose, light top and boyfriend pants.


Stay fabulous, and keep loving your closet,

Some of the objects of my swoon:
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Monday, June 29, 2015

Style Confessions: Bra-less At 60

Source
I have a wardrobe confession: I don't wear proper bras. I wear lightweight "shelf" bras built into camisoles. And this is not my first life era going bra-less: Naturally I went sans bra in the late 60's - early 70's to show solidarity with the Movement, and because I had a small chest.

These are my go-to cami-bras in navy, black and nude.

I had breast implants in my early 30's and enjoyed having a different silhouette for a decade and a half. I wore "good" bras then, wanting to protect, serve and uplift my bosom. One of my implants burst, and I had them removed. So I am small-chested again and loving it.

But even while larger-busted I found bras uncomfortable, and they were the first things to come off after work - sometimes while in the car (though never on the subway). I know, I was probably "wearing the wrong size, like most women." TL;DR, I've never worn a real bra, of any brand or price, that was truly comfortable. 



I love the comfort, freedom and modesty of my cami-bras, especially under a sheer top. I will probably not go back to proper bras, at this advanced age. (I do wear a supportive sports bra for working out.)

Another easy cami-bra, from Anthropologie.

I'd love to hear from you - have you found that perfect bra that you enjoy wearing? Or are you still doing the major ahhhhhh at the end of the day when you take it off? No wrong answers, of course, we like what we like.

Stay fabulous,

Browse the bras - it seems like there's something for every taste : >
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Saturday, June 27, 2015

I'd Like To Be . . . In An Octopus's Garden With You

I just got this tee from Etsy, and couldn't wait to wear it - I am four years old! I was going to save it for the Vancouver blogger meet-up, but it's best suited for casual runaround-town days. But with an octopus on it.

I love browsing on Etsy for unusual items, like these hand painted Lil Bub sneakers and vintage lizard earrings. The world is so full of a number of things, props to R. L. Stevenson.

GAP boyfriend trousers, Walking Cradle shoes, cheap sunglasses and red lippie. Done

Octo close-up

Enjoy the classic tune:




Stay fabulous,

Not Dead Yet Style is a ShopStyle affiliate – please be aware that all links to these vendors are affiliate links. I do benefit from your purchases through the links on the blog.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Summer Reading Club: Post Your Recommendations!

Summer is the traditional season for big, trashy beach novels and there's nothing wrong with that. I'd rather read a trashy book than watch a trashy TV movie, any day. I try to read more memorable books, though - the kind that turn into an earworm for your brain.

Sandy is a pure sci-fi/fantasy reader. He can work his way through a twelve-volume series like nobody I know. If a book has a bosom-y spacewoman, or arty spaceship on the cover, he will read it (along with the classics of Heinlein, Asimov, and Clarke).

My reading tastes skew to mystery, suspense, courtroom drama, and humor. I love a good dark mystery like those by Ruth Rendell and P.D. James. I also read (browse really) lots of style books and have a nice collection. I enjoy the history as well as the mechanics and art of fashion.

Reading requires reading glasses, once you've passed age 40. We look like a meeting of the Nerd Club.

Here are some recent reads from our bookshelf. I would love to hear what you're reading this summer.

  • Foundation Trilogy, by Isaac Asimov. Sandy is re-reading these classic tales of the Galactic Empire.



  • The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, by Robert Heinlein. My favorite science fiction novel of all time; I re-read it last month and relished it again. It's a bit juvenile, but still has a gripping plot and modern social/political parallels.



  • I Am Not A Serial Killer, by Dan Wells. My current read. It's from the point of view of a teenage boy, John Wayne Cleaver, who knows he could become a serial killer, but really doesn't want to. It's surprisingly hilarious.
  • A Reliable Wife, by Robert Goolrick. A suspenseful and twisty story of a woman and man, drawn into a strange marriage of convenience. I couldn't stop thinking about Catherine and Ralph even after I'd finished.
  • The Hanging Valley, by Peter Robinson. A good old-fashioned murder mystery with love gone wrong, a bucolic setting, and sturdy British detectives. Starts with a rotting corpse, say no more.



Stay fabulous, and enjoy your summer reads,

Browse the reading section:
Not Dead Yet Style is a ShopStyle affiliate – please be aware that all links to these vendors are affiliate links. I do benefit from your purchases through the links on the blog.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

A New And Natural Moisturizer: Biossance




I was invited by Biossance to review their new moisturizer for skin and hair, The Revitalizer. I'd been hearing positive buzz about the company, and was delighted to accept. A special thanks to Biossance for sponsoring this post. The opinions of the product are 100% my own.

Biossance relies on moisturizers found in our own bodies, one of which is squalane. Their patented plant-derived emollient, Neossance Squalane "instantly hydrates, while locking in essential moisture, leaving your skin feeling nourished and noticeably revitalized."

The Revitalizer can be used by all skin types/ages, and is dermatologist tested, paraben-free, non-comedogenic and hypoallergenic. That's what I look for in my skin products these days.

The company reports promising results after clinical trials:
  • 93% of women agreed that their skin felt instantly hydrated
  • 95% of women agreed that their skin appeared softer and smoother after 1 week
  • 84% of women agreed that their skin felt revitalized after 2 weeks
I've been using the Revitalizer for about ten days, on my face, neck and hands. I use only a couple of drops for my face, and another couple for my neck and hands - especially my dry cuticles. I apply some to the dry ends of my hair, too, and it encourages the curls.

I'm delighted with the way the Revitalizer keeps my skin feeling moist, but not greasy. More like a subtle glow than a shine, and the moisture is long-lasting. I apply sunscreen over it, and feel comfortable going out without foundation or powder. And it's nearly scent-free, a big plus for me.

Biossance plans a full launch on July 20th, but you can purchase it right now, through their website. And you can sign up to learn how you can receive a complimentary sample (US Residents Only). I think you'll enjoy it, it's simple and natural.

Stay fabulous,

Monday, June 22, 2015

More Easy Dressing, And A Magnificent Cat

I hope I don't have to hand over my fashion blogger card, but now that I don't work in an office, I have a simpler wardrobe. Please forgive the repetition! Most days I wear some version of this or this:

I get slightly dressy with my leaf pendant (similar) and Anne Klein wedges (sim). And ping pong balls.

I want to look fresh and modern, even if only for my music lesson and Starbucks. So I rely on easy trousers, like these ill-named "jogger pants." I have never jogged or even walked quickly in these, but I love the drapey fit. The white tee has a trapeze shape, one that I really enjoy (similar). It's by Andrea Jovine and I picked it up at the Humane Society Thrift for a couple of dollars. Thrifting forever.

I cannot resist my big boy cat, King. He takes the top floor in the cat condo (he's the king, duh.) You can see his toys everywhere, but of course he prefers a string. Don't buy expensive cat toys!

Sorry for the out-of-focus. But he is a handsome dude, trust me.


Stay fabulous and have a wonderful week,

Browse the look:
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Saturday, June 20, 2015

Dealing With The Changes Aging Brings: Some Experts, And Me



I have been wanting to read this book for a long time, so I was interested to see this brief summary at Psych Central, one of my regular reads. The authors are both psychologists and former models, and now in their 50's. They wrote about how to cope with the changes that aging brings to our self-image.

I've quoted from the article below, and added my own commentary (in italics). As always, I'd love to hear from you in the comments.

"How do women escape the judgment conferred on them every time they open a magazine, get online, or turn on the tube?" Very deliberately and carefully, say Vivian Diller, Ph.D and Jill Muir-Sukenick, Ph.D, in their book, Face It: What Women Really Feel as Their Looks Change. The authors propose six steps.

  • "Step one: Confront our changing looks. The authors call them 'uh oh' moments: when you notice your first wrinkles, smile lines, graying and thinning hair, darkening circles below the eyes, varicose veins, brown spots on hands and face, loss of muscle tone, hanging skin on arms or neck, and hot flashes. Me: Oh yes, the uh-oh moments. Mine often come when I see a candid picture of myself or catch myself off-guard in a rear-view mirror.

Source

  • "Step two: Identify our masks. Diller and Muir-Sukenick mean the ways we hide from or avoid our fears by layers of protection that, in reality, make us look ridiculous. Like, for example, deciding to wear our daughters’ clothes to work, in order to prove to ourselves that we, too, can wear a size six, and that our body looks like an 18-year-old’s. Me: I favor our right to dress as we wish, without recrimination. But I also favor reality over denial. It's not realistic that I look 25 years old, no matter how mini my skirt is.
  • "Step three: Listen to our inner dialogues. It’s an ongoing conversation within us that we are, most of the time, oblivious to. But the rest of the body hears the dialog and registers the message: You’re old, fat, ugly, and useless. Me: We have to practice talking to ourselves the way we talk to loved ones. We'd be so much kinder.
  • "Step four: Go back in time to your earliest messages. It's helpful to know where your self-image is coming from, because only then can we redesign it based on what we know about ourselves. Me: We can write our own scripts now, that reflect our reality and have nothing to do with Mother's and Father's pronouncements. Freedom!
  • "Step five: Consider our adolescence. No, you might say - I buried those scars long ago. The authors suggest there are parallels between gray-hair anxiety and the awkwardness we went through as adolescents. Me: remember that we've survived transitions, and are creating a new way of life.
  • "Step six: is to let go. To mourn the youthful part of ourselves that is embedded into our memories. It’s about coming up with a new meaning of beauty, a new definition of 'youthful,' one that, perhaps, doesn’t require a plastic surgeon, but just a lot of raw and candid self-exploration and acceptance." Me: as Mr J said, We are not worse! Only different. And not dead yet.

Photo by Mr J, on my 60th birthday, with the beautiful Judith.

Stay fabulous, xo

Browsing some of my favorites - jumpsuits, full skirts and fun tanks:
Not Dead Yet Style is a ShopStyle affiliate – please be aware that all links to these vendors are affiliate links. I do benefit from your purchases through the links on the blog.