Saturday, March 31, 2012

Pre-Summer Skin Alert: Sunscreen Every Day, My Friends!

Most of you probably do wear some kind of sunscreen every day, in your moisturizer, foundation, or powder.  I use a moisturizer with SPF 15, and a foundation with SPF 15. I know they don't "add up" to 30, but I figure doubling up doesn't hurt.

We're headed for longer, sunnier, and more skin-exposed days, so please up your numbers. This simple step is crucial to save the health and beauty of our skin, all shades of skin. I've already had a basal cell and squamous cell cancer removed, and I'm sure some of you have too. Mine were no doubt formed back in the 1960's, when I sunbathed in nothing more protective than baby oil!

Some fascinating studies with identical twins have demonstrated the damage that prolonged sunning can do (most of these subjects who sunned also smoked, so it's not a precise comparison).

Identical twins, age 61. One smoked and sunbathed. Source.


For the next six months I am going to use Neutrogena Ultra Sheer SPF 30 on my face, neck, chest and hands. It's very gentle and sheer. When I venture onto the beach or take a long bike ride, I'll use the SPF 70. My husband says if they made a sunscreen that worked on the surface of the sun, that's the one I'd buy  : >

Good stuff. Under $10

I love to enjoy the outdoors and get a little bit of sun. But for me, the key is with protection. Aging is doing its thing without much assistance from me, so one does what one can!

What's your favorite sunscreen for everyday, or do you (gasp!) do without?





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Visible Monday Link-Up Reminder:  Monday April 2nd is Visible Monday, a group posting for anyone who'd like to participate. The simple guidelines are here. Basically, just post something that makes you feel wonderful/visible, and link to it via my Monday post. Easy and fun.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

What I Wore: Slightly Messy, But Full of Fun

Really, I didn't know until I looked at the pictures that my shirt was hanging crooked! But I still enjoyed the look; it's a more colorful one than I usually wear for work.

True confessions: I didn't wear the cute Farylrobin shoes to the office, because they hurt. I do love the style and details though, so I wanted them in the photo.

The shirt is by Izod, recently thrifted for a few dollars. It's a very nice cotton, and doesn't need any ironing after machine-drying. Who doesn't love that? You have no doubt tired of the skirt - it's an old favorite by Old Navy. I tend to hang on to my favorites and wear them to the point of obsession. Is that wrong?  : >

I am crooked, but not ashamed!


I look very happy for a woman whose feet are crying.


I hope your Friday is full of delightful surprises and little pleasures.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Surprise Your Friends and Relations!

It's fun to be unpredictable and color outside the lines. I have ordered these shoes, and they are most certainly not my typical shoe, but . . . why not?

Poetic License, via 6pm.com, $56.99


Is there a contradiction between having a signature style, and pulling out a surprising piece? Perhaps: Jackie O. would never have been photographed in a leopard print bodysuit, nor Coco Chanel in a leather moto jacket.

But I am not so firmly ensconced in a signature style, at least not yet, that I don't enjoy a truly out-of-the-blue piece. The only rules are that it must tickle me, make me feel good, and not scare the children.

Not Dead Yet, ya know. Do you like to surprise yourself?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Visible Monday #39: Black and Blue and Springy Green

Welcome to Visible Monday #39! If you want to participate, it's so easy: just go to the bottom of this post for the simple how-to.

It is really Spring now and bright colors will be seen everywhere! For today's look, I chose a fairly somber base of black and blue and splashed it up with a bright green silk top and vintage scarf-as-belt.

Boots are still in rotation, but this full skirt looks good with ballet flats, and they allow for a scrap of skin to show.  The black jacket makes the look work-appropriate, and without it, the look is more fun and fresh.

Our weekend has been stressful, as our sweet cat Skinny had to have emergency surgery. She had been bitten, it seems (we didn't know), but showed no signs of trouble until Friday night. Her paw then began to swell up till it looked like a catcher's mitt! We rushed her to the emergency vet, where they drained a large and painful abscess. Poor baby. She's doing very well today, on antibiotics and healing nicely. Sandy and I are still recovering  : >


Jacket: Chadwicks, thrifted; Skirt: Tommy Hilfiger, thrifted; Blouse:
Ann Taylor; Flats: Coldwater Creek


Feeling very visible and cheery, after a difficult cat adventure.


Now, let's see what you're wearing!!

The guidelines to participate in the Visible Monday Link-Up are so simple!
  1. Any Monday, whoever wants to can join in! Just compose a post that includes any outfit, accessory, piece of jewelry, hairstyle, cosmetic or other adornment that makes you feel more confident, alive and visible that day.
  2. Include a link to Not Dead Yet Style somewhere in your post.
  3. Go to the bottom of this post and click on this cute little link:


In the "Next Step", you crop the pic (easy tool) you want to display, and you're done!




Saturday, March 24, 2012

What We Already Knew: Skirts Are Great!

Source

I think we've been out in front of the New York Times on this one, my friends: skirts are versatile, fashionable, and fun to wear. There's a lengthy article here about the many joys of skirts. Go through the slide show too, if you can; the offerings are beautiful to see, if rather pricey.

As the article points out, and I heartily agree: a skirt is "a lively way to recharge a wardrobe and give a vigorous kick-start to spring."

Fortunately, the length of our skirts is not a huge issue anymore: “We spent so much time wondering which length or trend would dominate,” [trend forecaster Catherine] Moellering said. “Would mid-calf skirts mean anything? Would the maxi gain traction? Would it be a high waist or low, a pencil or an A-line?” Such questions, in retrospect, seem meaningless, she said. “The answer is yes, to all of the above.” Yay!

Skirts do take more thought and care to style, says young fashionista Miranda Berman: “You can’t throw on a skirt the way you do a dress,” she said. “You have to really think about putting together an outfit. When you get it right, it looks like you’ve made an effort, like you care about fashion,” she said. “Skirts are a statement for sure.”

I couldn't imagine my closet without at least a half-dozen great skirts, from my beat-up denim to the silky floral to my pleated maxi. Are you also a cutting edge fashionista, who's discovered the wonders of the humble skirt?  : >




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Visible Monday Link-Up Reminder:  Monday March 26th is Visible Monday, a group posting for anyone who'd like to participate. The simple guidelines are here. Basically, just post something that makes you feel wonderful/visible, and link to it via my Monday post. Easy and fun.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

What I Wore: Creature(s) of Habit

Didn't I just write that I was not so crazy for animal prints anymore? Wrong. I do still love this skirt. It's got a great silhouette and a nice heavy cotton fabric that holds its shape. I feel good when I wear it - maybe it'll become a classic!

The H and M skirt was thrifted as-new for about $10. The shirt was also thrifted. It's by Lafayette 148, a quality brand, I later discovered. Don't you love it when that happens? This shirt confirms the good press: it's very soft woven cotton and washes/dries beautifully.

The shoes are new, by DKNYC and yes, they are animal print too. But they're my only tiger-print piece, so I'm claiming an exemption  : >


Leaf pendant from Forever 21. That's where teenagers shop.
I'm young at heart.




I think I need to assert my right to change my mind about animal prints, at any given time in the future. Hope you all have a wonderful Friday!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Plain or Fancy, I Can't Decide. Help??

I'd like to get a new purse for Spring/Summer. I've been carrying a dark brown Cole Haan bag that I bought while thrifting in NYC (name dropping!!). I do enjoy it, but it looks like Winter to me now.

I won't bore you with all the different bags I've got my eye on, but the main categories are Plain and Fancy.

Plain is good quality, good construction, solid color leather in a neutral color. This bag will "go" with everything, hold all my goodies, and make me feel well-dressed when I use it. I will get two years' wear from it, and then pass it to my baby sister (age 42), who seems to love all my purses  : >

The Plain Bag looks something like this:

Lovely, right? By Fossil, about $200 when not on sale.

Fancy is also good quality, but it's bold, colorful and has a point of view. It might not go with everything. It will make me smile when I look at it. Will I love it for two years? Not sure. I love it right now! It looks like this:

Crazy pretty. Anna by Anuschka, about $136

Help me out, friends. Which should I buy? Please vote in the comments, if you have a moment. I appreciate your feedback and fashion wisdom!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Visible Monday #38: Stripes and Sheers

Welcome to Visible Monday #38! If you want to participate, it's so easy: just go to the bottom of this post for the simple how-to.

I've made no secret of my love for stripes. I think I have four striped tops, and they remain in heavy rotation. Since I don't love vivid prints next to my face, I like stripes for interest.

The skirt is a thrifted DKNY find, one of my favorite "fun" skirts. I really enjoy the pleats and the sheerness, as a refreshing change from my dark neutrals. So the overall look is nautical-with-a-twist.

I am trying to wear my new Farylrobin pumps. The delightful Megan of Megan Mae Daily turned me on to this pair via eBay and they are a fabulous bargain! But alas, I cannot seem to find comfort in them, no matter how many insoles and socks I try. So they'll go back on eBay (sad!), although I adore the style.

I feel just the right amount of Visible in my red, white and blue, and I make a cool swishy sound when I walk (Audible Monday?)  : >

Top: Land's End Canvas; Skirt: DKNY, thrifted; Shoes: Farylrobin, eBay



I like the long-over-long silhouette in this outfit.



Now, let's see what you're wearing!!

The guidelines to participate in the Visible Monday Link-Up are so simple!
  1. Any Monday, whoever wants to can join in! Just compose a post that includes any outfit, accessory, piece of jewelry, hairstyle, cosmetic or other adornment that makes you feel more confident, alive and visible that day.
  2. Include a link to Not Dead Yet Style somewhere in your post.
  3. Go to the bottom of this post and click on this cute little link:


In the "Next Step", you crop the pic (easy tool) you want to display, and you're done!


Saturday, March 17, 2012

When Clothing Boredom Sets In . . .

Does she look bored enough??? (source)

Do you ever get the urge to toss your whole closet and start over? I mean, just as a fantasy: a clean slate, an empty closet, a couple extra thousand  $$ in hand?

I get this urge now and then, and I interpret it as a symptom of 1) spoiled, pampered American disorder; and 2) boredom with my wardrobe.

There are times when a completely new wardrobe is called for, but I've never experienced these events: big changes in weight, natural disasters, airlines losing all my luggage. So my closet has edged forward incrementally, adding and subtracting each month, and mostly getting better over time.

I'm not a fickle person by nature. I've had the same loveable guy in my life for twenty years, and I've worked at the same rewarding job for nearly twelve. My youngest cats are seven, and I hope to have them fifteen more years. But clothing -- I want something different!

Since $$$ is (always) an issue, how do you deal with your craving for novelty, wardrobe-wise? This is what I do, until that mysterious benefactor's check arrives:

  • Study my favorite blogs for new ideas. I saw the lovely Mongs at My Thrifty Closet tie a scarf around the shoulder of a sleeveless top and wow - what a cute, new look for a tank. Sheila of Ephemera and Angie at Fashion Me Blog have such creative ways to re-work their clothing.
  • Drag out my vintage scarves. I have a small, but pretty collection of silk scarves I have used for decorating. Now I am trying them as belts and necklaces, even as a bracelet.
A fresh look (source)
  • Troll the thrifts, naturally. I look for pieces I wouldn't have normally bought in "serious" shopping trips. Like my oversized print cotton shirt that I can belt over jeans, or my bronze cowboy boots. I try to not exceed $10 for any of my experimental items.
  • Wear surprising shoes. I've been trying out some masculine loafers with my jeans. I also bought sky-high suede wedge booties from Old Navy (very not-me) and I love them to pieces.
These are from Payless, but very similar to mine. Yes, I love them!

  • Experiment with my jewelry philosophy. I went from loving multiple pendants to eschewing necklaces altogether and wearing cuffs. I found a pair of pearl studs while cleaning out my jewelry, and wore them for two weeks straight, no danglers.
  • Buy some makeup. My hair doesn't lend itself to much experimentation; it is what it is and resists change. But I like a new makeup color, and just got some Benefit ChaCha Tint. I like it! It's a liquid blush and lip tint in a mango color, very nice for Spring.
And I do remind myself that wardrobe boredom is not really a life problem. Life itself is not boring and I am fortunate to have so much to contemplate and work on. But fantasies are fun! Care to share any of your clothing boredom-busters?



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Visible Monday Link-Up Reminder:  Monday March 19th is Visible Monday, a group posting for anyone who'd like to participate. The simple guidelines are here. Basically, just post something that makes you feel wonderful/visible, and link to it via my Monday post. Easy and fun.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

What I Wore: Simple and Matchy

Hey, we can't be marvels of creativity and wow-itude every day! Here is a simple and (perhaps overly) coordinated outfit for the office. But I can swear that before my blogging days, there's no way I would've worn a scarf as a belt in a slightly non-matching print! Or blue tights! Or booties!


Hmmm, could have done with a colorful necklace, I now conclude.

Tee: Land's End Canvas; Skirt: Vintage, thrifted; Booties: Sofft, thrifted.

Do you ever make yourself over long after your picture is posted, and it's too late to change anything?  : >

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A Shopping/Wishing List for Spring

I don't really do seasonal shops, at least not epic ones. But here are some items on my list for spring/summer (and I actually carry a list in my purse now!):


Wish List


  • I need a couple of lightweight, pretty floral tops like this one, to wear with my solid skirts and with jeans on the weekend, $46
  • I am looking for a cool pair of wedges that have some personality, but can be work-worthy, like these Naturalizer platform sandals, $89
  • I like this smallish bag, and it comes in a bunch of fun summer colors, like Strawberry and Seafoam: Dooney & Bourke handbag, $178
  • A pretty and unusual bracelet would fill in a lot of accessory requirements. I love the color of this one: Kenneth Jay Lane cuff bangle, €120
  • A long, colorful, but not overwhelming scarf will also expand my summer wardrobe nicely. Bindya scarf, £125

So, do you have a written list, a list in your head, or do you let the mood move you for Spring? Any must-haves? Would you wear those festive wedges to your workplace?

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Visible Monday #37: A Go-To Knit Dress For Versatility

Welcome to Visible Monday #37! If you want to participate, it's so easy: just go to the bottom of this post for the simple how-to.

I really enjoy wearing this simple Eileen Fisher knit dress. It's so effortless, easy-care, and a great backdrop for accessories. Lucky for me, I discovered it at a consignment store during my NYC trip . . . for $30. Sometimes, the shopping goddesses smile.  : >

Today I chose a vintage scarf, tied willy-nilly (I need to study those scarf tutorials!) as a colorful accent. My so-cheap bangle bracelet added more color and I wore my new tiger-print flats. I think the overall look is approachable, pulled together and age appropriate. For a more festive occasion, I'd replace the scarf with sparkly necklaces, and the flats with open-toe wedge heels.


Dress: Eileen Fisher; Scarf: eBay; Shoes: DKNYC


I wouldn't mind a bunch of these dresses, in navy, ivory, red and black!

Now, let's see what you're wearing!!

The guidelines to participate in the Visible Monday Link-Up are so simple!
  1. Any Monday, whoever wants to can join in! Just compose a post that includes any outfit, accessory, piece of jewelry, hairstyle, cosmetic or other adornment that makes you feel more confident, alive and visible that day.
  2. Include a link to Not Dead Yet Style somewhere in your post.
  3. Go to the bottom of this post and click on this cute little link:


In the "Next Step", you crop the pic (easy tool) you want to display, and you're done!


Saturday, March 10, 2012

How Thrifting Can Cure You of Size-Phobia

Maximum mid-thigh girth?? I feel bad already.

We all know clothing size is just a number, not a marker of our beauty, smarts or self-worth. But we are a size-minded culture and many of us (me too, of course) get caught up in the size game. I am sure that's how "double zero" sizes came about, we wanted to be smaller-than-small!

I adore Brenda Kinsel's style books. In her "Brenda's Bible", she has this to say about size-phobia:

"There are no rewards in Heaven for designer labels in size 8. There are rewards for appreciating the body you are currently in."  Thank you Brenda! (I recommend the book in its entirety; it's only 80 pages but they're full of useful tips.)

Thrifting has cured me of negative thoughts regarding labels and size. Here's how:
  • Sizes have changed dramatically over the past five decades. A skirt from the 1960's marked size 12 often fits my modern size 6 body perfectly. So what size am I really? Who cares, as long as it fits and flatters?
  • Thrifted clothing has likely been washed, dry-cleaned, maybe even altered by its previous owner. So the item marked size 10 may be the equivalent of a 6 or 8 now, and again, do I care?? Jeans are notorious for this phenomenon; I think sometimes they were dried in a kiln so as to shrink them to their smallest possible size.

OK, who did this??? (source)
  • The size label does not matter when you're going for a new look via thrifting. I have a lovely floral blouse by Izod, size Large, that looks great all poufed up and belted. My usual size Small or Medium would look silly this way. Thrifting has allowed me to think outside the lines, size-wise.

Are you label-conscious when it comes to size? Please be kind to yourself and know that numbers -- weight, age, dress size, or W-2's -- don't determine how wonderful we are meant to be.



Join us! Click the Spotlight


Visible Monday Link-Up Reminder:  Monday March 12th is Visible Monday, a group posting for anyone who'd like to participate. The simple guidelines are here. Basically, just post something that makes you feel wonderful/visible, and link to it via my Monday post. Easy and fun.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

What I Wore: Animals Prints, Do I Still Love You . . . ?

I found this sheer animal print top (what animal is this supposed to be?) at a local thrift store for just a few dollars. It's really fun to wear, very loose-fitting, with dolman sleeves, but with a built-in elastic waist for shape. It's very sheer so I wore a black tee underneath, and paired it with my favorite Laundry pencil skirt.

I am almost ready to put the animal prints away for a while; my passion is cooling (see my post about love affairs and clothing here). But I do really like this easy piece. I'll wear it with skinny jeans a few times too, before I give it a rest. I think it could use a pop of bright color next time, with a bright bangle or scarf.


I do appreciate an open neckline like this.



Do you own a black pencil skirt too?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Falling in Love With Your Clothes

Source

Do you fall in love, or get infatuated with your clothes? (I am not comparing this love to the Real Thing: none of us loves our clothes the way we love our children, husbands and pets . . . I hope). But I mean, do you get crushes on your clothing, and then how does it work out?

Like romances with lovers, romance with clothes can be a hot, sweet affair: the faux fur vest, open-toe shooties, wide yellow belt. I was crazy, crazy for statement pendants for a while, then I fell out of love. I'll still wear them once in a while when the mood strikes, but the heat is gone.

Sometimes we fall in love with potential. Our mothers warned us about this (with regard to men, anyway). Unless you're a skilled re-fashioner, most garments aren't going to become just-right for us if the lines, color and shape are all-wrong at the start. We might do better leaving the potential at the shop and moving on.

We also have to beware of falling simply for a name. Not all designer labels are worthy of our love. Versace makes gorgeous pieces, but they mostly don't suit my life or style, not even taking price into account. It's like choosing the man just because he's a CEO. Great guy, perhaps, but not necessarily a great match in love.

Some wardrobe love affairs are meant to last: your best, best leather boots, tailored blazer, cashmere v-neck, and silk blouse, for example. For me, it's my skinny jeans, gold dolphin earrings, black Aldo boots, and black pencil skirt.

I still love you little guys, twenty years later. (Similar)


I think it's wonderful to have all varieties of clothing-love in our lives. Clothes should be fun and flattering. I enjoy the little skip in my heartbeat when I spot something beautiful, whether it's forever or for right-now.  I continue to let my "crushes" lead me astray now and then, and that's how I keep learning.

What say you? Do you follow your heart? Are you a more logical, disciplined wardrober? No wrong answers, of course, just different ways to approach the closet.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Visible Monday #36: A Pretty Dress is Always in Style

Welcome to Visible Monday #36! If you want to participate, it's so easy: just go to the bottom of this post for the simple how-to.

Today I am wearing my second Karina dress. This is the Carmen, and like all Karina dresses it's made from the most wonderful stretchy, comfortable fabric. Karina dresses hit me right at the sweet spot, length-wise too.

I really like an open neckline, and this one is open, while remaining work-ready. And I do love a sleeve, especially a fitted one like this: it shows off the shape of one's arms without showing skin. Thanks Karina, for making dresses that make women smile.


Dress: Karina; Shoes: Tsubo; Necklace: Made by friend;
Peacock bracelet: Forever21


Dresses are so easy to wear, and fun to accessorize. I'll wear this in the
summer with platform sandals and hoop earrings.


Now, I can't wait to see what you are wearing today!


The guidelines to participate in the Visible Monday Link-Up are so simple!
  1. Any Monday, whoever wants to can join in! Just compose a post that includes any outfit, accessory, piece of jewelry, hairstyle, cosmetic or other adornment that makes you feel more confident, alive and visible that day.
  2. Include a link to Not Dead Yet Style somewhere in your post.
  3. Go to the bottom of this post and click on this cute little link:


In the "Next Step", you crop the pic (easy tool) you want to display, and you're done!


Saturday, March 3, 2012

Presto Change-O, We're Going Out!

Image via Shine @ Yahoo

I remember reading fashion magazines as a young woman that offered advice on how to transition from office-to-dinner date. You know: Wear a silky camisole under your pinstriped suit, then whip off your jacket at 5 o'clock, change into fishnets, spritz on some Charlie and boogie out the door.

These articles are still appearing of course, because articles in women's magazines are mostly recycled decade to decade anyway. Now we pack a slim clutch in our tote, along with a pair of spiky heels and sparkly earrings. Add red lips!

There's some common sense in all these tips, but they no longer apply to my small-city, office-casual lifestyle. I do still enjoy going right from work to a favorite pub with my husband on a Friday evening. Here is my simple ritual, and I would love to hear yours:

  • Freshen unruly hair with damp hands and a squirt of gel.
  • Powder! At my advanced age, I still get a shiny nose and forehead. I keep a small compact at work.
  • Loosen up: remove any restricting blazers or neck scarves that are worn for office modesty. Re-tie the scarf around the waist, perhaps?

This can be loosened up for pub-wear
  • Brush teeth: boring but good.
  • Lipstick - yes, that old tip still applies. A fresh dab of lipstick brightens my face. I cheat and put a smudge of it on my cheeks too.
  • Scented hand lotion. It's a two-in-one: smells good, feels great.
I don't look very different at this point, but I feel different, ready to relax, change gears and laugh a lot. What are your little rituals for switching from work to play?




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Visible Monday Link-Up Reminder:  Monday March 5th is Visible Monday, a group posting for anyone who'd like to participate. The simple guidelines are here. Basically, just post something that makes you feel wonderful/visible, and link to it via my Monday post. Easy and fun.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

What I Wore: New Boots, Cowboy Style



Body Image Warrior Week continues! Please check out these sites for essays and personal stories about loving our bodies, at all ages and sizes:

Already Pretty
The Beheld
Decoding Dress
Dress with Courage
Eat the Damn Cake
Fit and Feminist
Medicinal Marzipan
Not Dead Yet Style
Rosie Molinary
Virginia Sole-Smith
Weightless



I found some awesome BCBG Generation boots at one of my favorite thrifts last week and I couldn't wait to wear them, warm weather be ignored! It's actually freezing in my office every day, so except for a few minutes outdoors, these babies could be worn year-round.


Sweater: GAP; Skirt: Vintage 70's and thrifted


The pointy toes slay me! I like the bronze-y gold color too.

How long into the spring do you wear your boots? I don't want to give mine up.