Sunday, April 29, 2012

Visible Monday #44: 1980's Revival

Welcome to Visible Monday #44! If you want to participate, it's so easy: just go to the bottom of this post for the simple how-to.

I just wrote about how much fun it's been to thumb through issues of Vogue from the 1980's. In keeping with that theme, I chose a dress that harkens back to that lively era.

This Leslie Fay dress was thrifted for a few dollars. I think I owned it in 1989 too! I took out the shoulder pads, although you can still see they were there. I do like the muted floral print and the slim, uncluttered lines of the dress.

I added just some black leggings, a studded belt and my Impo shooties, for a retro-but-not-costume look. I don't think I'll wear this dress much, but it was an enjoyable revival and I felt very Visible.


In the actual 80's, I would have worn pale pantyhose and
conservative black pumps. Boring!


Experimenting with the decades -- it's a lot of fun.

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, April 28, 2012

Short(s) And To The Point

Summer casual dressing is always a challenge for me. I live in the near-tropics, and we have many months of 90-degree weather. So jeans, my favorite casual items, are often not wearable. And shorts -- well, I don't feel happy in them except for workouts, gardening, and brushing the cats.

Until I rediscovered slim, knee-length shorts. Call me crazy, but I find these so flattering, comfortable and versatile. I wear these on my days off to shop, go to lunch, movies, and the bookstore. They look good to my eyes with a simple tee, tucked in and belted. I also dress them up with a print blouse/tunic. And the shoe options are fun too: from sandals, sneakers and espadrilles to wedges and even shooties.

These are so perfect for my summer wardrobe. Nordstroms, $59


So cute, and so versatile. Also Nordstroms, also $59

I like them very slim at the knee, with no embellishments, cuffs, print, etc. How do you like your shorts, if you wear them? Or are you strictly a sundress, summer-skirt kind of woman?



Have a wonderful day, and don't forget, Monday, April 30th is Visible Monday! Everyone is welcome to participate!


Join us! Click the Spotlight

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Three Days In a Row, And Nobody Knows!

I feel so mischievous. I wore the same skirt three days in a row this week! (One wash in between). And I don't think anyone, including my husband, knew or cared. Ahhh, what a rebel I am becoming.

I t wasn't a very striking skirt of course. Nothing like this:

Gorgeous, but quite memorable. Source.

It's a simple black knit skirt by Randolph Duke, that hits below the knees, like this:

Boring? Perhaps, but a great canvas.


On Day One I wore a cream silk sweater by Banana Republic, with a vintage scarf, black tights, and (what else?) black booties.


Day One




On Day Two, I baffled everyone I came into contact with by changing to . . . a striped boatneck knit top by Canvas/Lands End, black leggings, and metallic Mary Janes:


Day Two




And on Day Three, I was a clever chameleon in a black tee with over-sized teal top over it all, no hosiery, and black shooties.


Day Three



Lesson learned:  A few great skirts will get me through two weeks of work! In my new, pared-down wardrobe phase I need to concentrate on great-looking tops and distinctive shoes to keep up the interest. This could be a lot of summer fun.

Happiest of Fridays to you all!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

What Makes a Look Timeless: A Fun Retrospective

I was fortunate to find several issues of Vogue from the 1980's, at my favorite Humane Society Thrift Store. What great entertainment for fashion junkies! The ads, the prices, the beauty advice is so much fun to read 25 years later. There was nostalgia plus a good dash of humor/horror as I feasted on the 80's styles.

It struck me as I was reading that certain images still looked very current. What was it about the particular hair, makeup, and clothing that withstood the test of time, while others, so cutting edge then, seem costume-y to my eyes now?

Here is an example from the June 1986 issue of a look that I think could be worn now, without irony:

A little funky, with the cropped leg and yellow socks, but it
  doesn't scream retro.


What is it about this look that renders it current, if not timeless? The yellow jacket is the right color for spring, and the messy pixie hair style is current as well, not over-styled. The silhouette is edgy without being exaggerated, and black is always cool.

And here is a quintessential 80's look that I'd only wear now to a retro costume party:

 80's enough for you?

The severe hair, enormous earrings, linebacker shoulder pads and shiny purple fabric all scream 1980's (and I wore most of this back then).

We should wear whatever pleases us, of course. Some women love to dress in pure 60's, 70's or 80's style, and enjoy every minute of it. I'm interested to uncover the elements of style that transcend decades, just for the pure fun of it, not to judge. It does make sense when planning wardrobe budgets, though, to save big splurges for the looks that may last a while.

For example, here's a 1986 look from Calvin Klein. I think it would've endured for many years, if you just altered the shoulder pads. A simple, monochromatic suit with menswear touches, and unfussy hair/makeup:

I would almost wear this today, minus the shoulder pads!


And finally, although the 80's were famous for big eyebrows, bright eye shadows and glossy red or fuchsia lips, this gloriously simple face was everywhere. Still looks fabulous:


A light hand with makeup is obviously a timeless look!       


I've got more pics to post later, and more ideas about what makes a look transcend time. I'd love to hear your ideas, of course!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Visible Monday #43: Simple, Easy Style

Welcome to Visible Monday #43! If you want to participate, it's so easy: just go to the bottom of this post for the simple how-to.

On mornings when I want quick-and-easy wardrobing, I often choose this black knit dress and throw something over it. (I wish I had invented the black knit dress!). I add a little jewelry, and shoes with personality, and that's it. Am I lazy or "dressing like a French woman"? Don't answer that, please.

I love the colors in this tank top. All shades of olive are good for me. And I really like the drape. I'm looking for more pieces with this cut; it's so much fun to move around in.

I see now that a little more jewelry would be good -- some gold hoop earrings, I think. I do like a simple open neckline, though, and wouldn't add a necklace. My heeled shooties are keeping me Visible!


Dress: BCBG, thrifted; Tank: Vivienne by Vivienne Tam;
Shoes: Impo, thrifted.


Add lipstick, and head out the door! Sometimes dressing is simple  : >


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, April 21, 2012

PJ Party at Terri's!

You must go over to Rags Against the Machine for Terri's Pajama Party. Women of all ages are sharing their sleepy-time wear, or snacks, or favorite beverages. Memories!!



I scrounged mightily to find photo-worthy sleepwear!

Today Sandy and I are preparing for an Open House. The list of chores seems endless, but we'll blast some tunes and get though it. Tonight we'll reward ourselves with a few Netflix episodes of Battlestar Galactica.

Have a wonderful day, and don't forget, Visible Monday's almost here!


Join us! Click the Spotlight

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Urge To Chop

Do you get it sometimes? The urge to chop your hair? And what do you do about it?

My hair is very fine, curly, and on the fuzzy side. There aren't a lot of styles that suit it. I'm not complaining; I really do like curly hair. Yes it's thin, but as my dear Dad used to say "Who wants fat hair?" (he was quite bald) (miss you, Dad).

I am coming upon a whack-it-off period, I can feel it. I know that I can't go too short, as it will look like I have no hair. I also have a long face and strong chin, and cute pixie cuts are not flattering on me.

I am drawn to messy, shaggy cuts that you can scrunch gel into and play with. I don't mind using pin curls, products and diffusers, but I won't have a hairstyle that has to "stay put". It also has to be friendly to Florida's high humidity (i.e., feature lots of curl/wave).

Here are some styles I've pinned to my Pinterest account. I'm not going to do anything yet, just a color and consult at my next appointment with the hair goddess. But maybe for the June appointment . . .

Ah, the super-sultry expression . . .   But I like that she has
fine hair like mine
  


This would need a little cutting and a lot of styling advice
from Goddess Joy. Maybe a pint of mousse.




The lips and eyes hypnotize me! This is as short as I'd ever
go, and I'd keep it longer on my forehead. But I like the shape.


Any feedback? And any happy or horror stories about cutting your hair? Please share, and have a lovely Friday!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Masks of Beauty . . . A Disturbing Image

Dezeen Magazine recently published photos of artist Meike Harde's latest art installation, "Too Beautiful To Be True."





The artist/designer created masks that cover women's faces, or parts of faces, with so-called "ideal" features culled from popular media. Here's more from the article:

"German designer Meike Harde generated masks which picture the eye and mouth area correspond to the current ideal of beauty.

When put on, however, they cause a contortion of the face. This is meant to show that artificially produced beauty is not always beautiful; instead it can evoke the very opposite. Furthermore the pressure to be beautiful is to be questioned and denounced.

The visitors of the exhibition were free to take along an exemplar of the masks, which, not only inside the exhibition rooms, resulted in many unsettling reactions during the evening."

Unsettling, I am sure!

These images are exaggerated of course. But the point is made. There really are no "ideal" features. And the more we try to squeeze and conform ourselves to expected style/age/size norms, the more painful it becomes.

When I see these pictures, I want to hug my own, imperfect-but-real face!


Sunday, April 15, 2012

Visible Monday #42: Spring Dots are Chic!

Welcome to Visible Monday #42! If you want to participate, it's so easy: just go to the bottom of this post for the simple how-to.

I just read today in a high-end fashion mag (I forget which; I read them at the bookstore with a cappuccino) that "polka dots are chic, and color is chic, but colorful polka dots are NOT chic". Whew! I passed the bar!

I love these dots. I don't often go this bold in my dresses, but I felt springy and ready for a change. This dress is by  La Cera, a manufacturer of well, muumuu type resort wear. And it's a size Large, not my usual, so it had all kinds of new vibes going for it.

But when I tried it on at the thrift, I just liked it - with a belt, of course, to rein in the roominess. I like the light, airy fabric and the lower neckline, and the sheer sleeves. I tried something outside my zone, and came up a winner. And it was $6, new with tags!

The plain black jacket is a nice basic piece, by Chadwicks (similar, in pretty spring colors). The suede studded belt was picked up at the Humane Society Thrift Store, at the same time as the cool black Impo shooties (they're a little high for me, and needed a lot of extra insoles).

The dress is a bit short for my comfort, and requires leggings or tights.

Thanks to blogging, and wonderful bloggers, I'm willing to
experiment with new looks. Stay Visible, my friends.



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, April 14, 2012

What Would You Wear To A Gala?

I created this Polyvore about four years ago. I was working on some political campaigns, and had fantasies that I'd be invited to the Inauguration! Well, I wasn't. But I still love this capsule:


Inauguration Outfit


What's not to love about a Christian LaCroix dress and $5,600 topaz earrings?? I did say I was fantasizing, right? Do you ever create an outfit for a gala event, for which price is of no matter? I'd love to see/hear about your ideas!




Join us! Click the Spotlight


Visible Monday Link-Up Reminder:  Monday April 16th 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, April 12, 2012

What I Wore: Pinks, Oranges and Reds

We had a slightly cool spell, so I took the opportunity to wear a bright cotton cardigan today. It was a find at the "new" JCPenney's. Their monthly sales can be awesome, with markdowns as low as $4 -- and that's what I paid for this ruffled cardi!

I mixed it with an orangey-pinky floral skirt by Odille (some similar on eBay), thrifted for just a few dollars. A plain black camisole and my favorite black Sofft booties finished the look. Bare legs again, and leg grooming was required. I miss you, tights!

I realized when I saw this that all the reds make my face pinker than ever!



One of my friends made the colorful bead necklace.


I've been doing two outfit posts per week for many months, one on Thursday and of course, one for Visible Monday. I'm thinking of reducing that to just Visible Monday. My closet clean-out and less-is-more philosophy are making "new" looks more challenging, and I don't want to bore you with the same-olds. I am not at all bored, but I realize you can only view my black booties and full skirts so many times before you, well, yawn.

I still have plenty to say about style, beauty, aging, ageism, the meaning of life (it's 42!) and general streams of consciousness. And I still love looking at your outfits when you post them. And, on the third hand, I might change my mind and post a boatload of outfit pics in two weeks. But I am taking a small photo break, and giving my handsome photographer a vacation too.

I wish you all a festive Friday!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Two Fantastic Beauty Finds, On the Cheap!

I am not a major makeup snob, nor am I an expert by any stretch. I have only one small zip-case of makeup in the bathroom, and a smaller one in my purse. I do love to try new things, though, especially inexpensive new things. Here's two I just picked up, that are really worth their price, and more:


e.l.f. Essential Luscious Liquid Lipstick, $1
The sales site says: "Lip therapy is here! Intensive hydrating agents along with natural pigments leave lips with long-lasting color and moisture."

I agree! I bought Ruby Slipper, a sheer red, and it's actually smooth, shiny and not gloppy. It doesn't last all day, of course, but it makes it a few hours, and it's fun to re-apply. I'm definitely going to get more colors.


A nice variety of cool and warm shades.



e.l.f. Studio Tone Correcting Powder, $3
The claim on this one is: "The lightweight formula evens out skin tone and absorbs excess oil, and sheer formula brightens, mattes and neutralizes the skin. The colors are meant to be blended together as the Blue neutralizes orange, the Green neutralizes red, the Pink neutralizes grey and the Yellow brightens and neutralizes red."

By golly, it does, at least for my overly-pink face. I use a big brush and mix all the colors together, and I love the results. I'm not sure it would be workable on medium-to-dark skin tones, however.


It does what is says! For fair-to-light skin, anyway.


And it feels very frugal/virtuous to buy new indulgences for so little $$$. Have you tried this brand? Any reviews you are willing to share?

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Visible Monday #41: Spring Lace and Hello to Sandals

Welcome to Visible Monday #41! If you want to participate, it's so easy: just go to the bottom of this post for the simple how-to.

Spring means lighter colors and yes! bare legs, in all their pale splendor. I used to do the self-tanning thing on my legs, but I am OK now with my milky skin.

I really like this lacy top, although it does resemble a tablecloth -- a pretty, vintage one. It's airy and feminine, and I'll wear it with jeans too. The silk skirt is a favorite, by Talbots, very flowy and fun to wear.

This is my first outing with my Kenneth Cole sandals for 2012. So I did get a pedicure last week, and I badly needed one. I get them about once a month in Spring and Summer, but the toes are not very picturesque in colder months  : >

And you can't see them well, but I am wearing my gold dolphin earrings. Sandy gave them to me almost 20 years ago, the first jewelry he ever picked out for me. So I love them for their beauty and their memories.

Blouse: Democracy; Skirt: Talbots; Shoes: Kenneth Cole Reaction (similar)


I've learned to love my pale skin. All shades of skin are beautiful.



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, April 7, 2012

The Purge Has Begun!

Not my actual closet! Source

I wrote a couple of months ago about a new phase in my wardrobe: a winnowing of pieces down to more quality and less quantity. I said that I was emerging from an accumulative phase (lots of thrifting and experimenting) to a more pared-down phase.

Well, I am in the winnowing process now, and I'm finding it quite exciting. The change of seasons is of course a great catalyst. Gray and navy sweaters don't look interesting now, and even my hair is reaching out in new, unexpected ways (humidity!).

Having studied some of my favorite blogs and style books, I came up with simple criteria, and applied them to every piece in my closet. I didn't try everything on, as many books suggest, because I wear almost everything regularly. I just put my hand on the hanger, and talked to my clothing like this:

  1. Are you good quality?
  2. Do I want to wear you right away?
  3. Do you flatter me when I glance in a mirror?
  4. Are you easy to take care of?
  5. Are you the style personality I am feeling now (feminine, casual, a little funky), or a true Classic piece?

Many items have flunked the test/s and were taken to various charity shops this past week. Some worn-looking tees, knee-length shorts, denim skirts, two pairs of dated shoes and two inexpensive rayon dresses were out. A few nicer pieces were given to my sisters. I also gave away some costume jewelry that didn't pass muster, and streamlined my scarf drawer.

There's still work to be done, but I'm feeling optimistic. I'll write next week about the pieces I've been eyeballing, to fill in the holes.

Are you doing any seasonal edits? Feeling an urge to purge a part of your closet?



Join us! Click the Spotlight


Visible Monday Link-Up Reminder:  Monday April 9th 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, April 5, 2012

What I Wore: English Schoolmistress

This is a more conservative, slighty masculine look for me. I do like the bright purple of the sweater though, and the modest V-neck.

The sweater is by Izod, all cotton, and was thrifted for about $3 at the Daily Bread Thrift Shop. I support all their activities, and I'm happy to contribute whenever I can. The skirt is an old standby, by To The Max.

I'm not sure about the Sonoma (Kohl's brand) shoes: they're a bit too schoolmarm for me, I think, although I like them with jeans. They're also thrifted, from Goodwill, and very comfortable.



Maybe I should belt the sweater next time, for more interest?



Thank you for all your thoughtful and heartfelt comments on my last post, about saying farewell to our former faces. I wish you all a happy, peace-filled Friday.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Face I Used To Know

Source

It's a funny thing, this aging. So incremental, so subtle. It's not like when we were 10 years old, then 15 - wow, what a sea change! And from age 15 to 20 was morphing from a kid to a young woman.

But after about age 40, the changes are more delicate, and we get used to whatever face looks back at us in the mirror every morning. We know we look "younger" in certain lights and from certain angles. Sometimes we gently pull back the skin on our necks and cheeks, to see how we'd look with a little "work". But mostly we just take a look, and go about our business.

I've had a fairly thin, angular face for most of my adult life. I'm blessed with high cheekbones and a strong jaw. Years of heavy-duty sunscreen and retin-A have kept the texture of my skin pretty smooth.

But a glimpse in an outdoor mirror today took me by surprise. That woman looked, well, older than me. But she was me. There's a hint of a jowl, some deeper lines around her mouth and eyes, and some indefinable not-youthfulness about her.

There's nothing very remarkable about this; I am sure it happens to many of us regularly: we get a glimpse of the aging process in the stark daylight. And there's nothing inherently bad about it. It is reality. If we're lucky, we get older. No one is immune. The Kardashian sisters will have these moments 30 years from now (although I suspect there may be more interventions!).

But I do sometimes miss my face. The firmer, smoother one. Is that bad? Is it shallow? Probably. What I think I am missing is all the possibilities that are attached to the young face, all the options that are ahead. And yes, the power of youthful beauty too. There's no denying that youth = beauty in our culture, and beauty bestows power.

We women of a certain age have "our own faces." As Coco Chanel famously wrote, "Nature gives you the face you have at twenty; it is up to you to merit the face you have at fifty." Our faces show that we've lived a bit. We are not naive, not easily fooled. We have wisdom, grace under pressure, experience in love and loss, and deep friendships.

I wouldn't mind having all those things, and my younger face. That's not a real option though. Even painful surgeries don't "turn back the clock." I will have a moment of grief for my formerly young face, then move forward into all the thrilling possibilities still ahead.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Visible Monday #40: A Dress Can Be A Skirt

Welcome to Visible Monday #40! If you want to participate, it's so easy: just go to the bottom of this post for the simple how-to.

This simple black Banana Republic dress has gotten many wearings in the last two years. I dread the day it can no longer come out and play. It's a sleeveless knit with a plain top and knife-pleated bottom. The bottom makes a great skirt!

This time I wore a feminine ruffled blouse over the dress and it makes for a nice silhouette. On colder days, I've worn a slouchy sweater on top, or a well-made tee and a blazer.

It's blogging and reading blogs that's taught me how to multi-purpose my clothes. Thanks, everyone!

Blouse: GAP; Boots: Nicole, thrifted


Probably the last showing of the boots until October -- goodbye, dear friends!


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!