Thursday, May 31, 2012

Scenes From The Big A!

Hello, my friends! I have missed my regular blogging schedule, and have not been keeping up with my reading and commenting, sorry.

We're on day three of our six-day visit to NYC, and of course I am in my slice of heaven. Our little studio is perfect for us (tiny, but we like each other's company  : >). And Sarah Jessica Parker lives just a few houses away! (But we haven't seen her yet; I doubt she lunches where we lunch).

Today's highlight was the Exhibit at the Fashion Institute of Technology. It's called "Fashion: A-Z". There are about 60 representative pieces "from Adrian to Zoran". If you can make it, I highly recommend this view of fabulous wardrobing.

My heart was pounding at an exquisite satin Christian Dior dress from 1954. No photography was allowed, but here's a small official pic:

Feminine perfection, IMHO. Source.

A fabulous Pucci mini-dress was another standout, and a sculptural gown by Charles James left both my husband and me bewitched:

Dusty rose silk taffeta. Source.


Then, snacks!

Wednesday was my birthday!


Followed by thrifting at some of my favorite stores, including Buffalo Exchange:



And Angel Street thrift (proceeds "benefit innovative programs for individuals and families affected by Substance Abuse, HIV/AIDS and Mental Illness."):



Hope you are all well, thrifty and fabulous.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Visible Monday #48: Visiblity Without Labels

Welcome to Visible Monday #48! If you want to participate, it's so easy: just go to the bottom of this post for the simple how-to.  

Here's a Visible outfit for either work or play that I feel very comfortable in. And going back to my post about my unofficial "uniform", I see that it qualifies. (I'm not trying to dress in a uniform way; I do find myself drawn to this formula).

I love this Tommy Hilfiger navy skirt. It's a crisp cotton and has good weight to it, so it holds its shape. I thrifted it, and it's two sizes larger than my usual, so lesson for me: pay no attention to size labels! In fact, pay no attention to labels at all, and let clothing (and people) unfold just as they are.

The little gray knit jacket is by Limited, also thrifted. I like the drawstring close, even though it's thisclose to being too casual for the office. A thrifted scarf is my belt, and my blue suede shoes are the stars of this look. I think I love them too much, it's not normal  : >

All neutrals, with a dash of cobalt at the feet!


Just playing with the photo editor, and I like the stark, clean
look of black, white and gray.


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


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, May 26, 2012

Packing for NYC! and Visible Monday Is On

Ever-gracious blogger Pam of Over50Feeling40 asked if Visible Monday was on for Memorial Day - yes! Please come over and post your fabulous, visible selves this Monday, May 28th (the post actually goes up Sunday evening).


Join us! Click the Spotlight
Click on the logo for the easy how-to.

This weekend I am starting to pack for our trip to New York City! We're going for our fourth annual World Science Festival. My husband is an engineer/deep thinker and he enjoys the lectures by some of the world's top scientists. I attend, and try to absorb a few ideas, heh. There are also some lectures in the mental health field, for moi.

We've secured a cool little studio in the West Village to stay in for a few days, and of course there will be plenty of time (says I) for thrifting and vintage shopping. I am packing light, and will supplement my wardrobe with some NY finds as I go, like I did last Fall. Whee!

I have followed the guidance of Une Femme, a very experienced traveler, in creating small capsules. I'll be relying on a couple of knit skirts and tops, a Karina dress and one pair of jeans, plus ultra-comfortable walking shoes. The shoes are the key to a happy NYC vacation!


Good old Docs, great for stomping around the city


Fidji makes a very comfortable walking bootie too.


Posting will be light next week, after Visible Monday. I'll be shopping up a storm expanding my mind. Have a wonderful Saturday.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

A Simple Uniform That Works For Me

Sally of Already Pretty asked a few days ago about our clothing "uniforms"  - formulas we rely on as the backbones of our wardrobes. It's such a terrific concept, and it takes away a lot of morning stress for me. On many work days my uniform is: Full skirt and feminine top, plus shoes with a bit of personality. Usually I add some kind of light jacket or cardigan for the chilly office.

As I looked over some recent outfit pictures, I saw that I was right-on in my description. Here's a recent outfit that I really enjoyed wearing because it's: 1) feminine, 2) easy to wear all day in comfort, 3) flattering, and 4) got a touch of personality with the black booties.


Black knit skirt and graphic blouse. It fits the "uniform"

Does the uniform concept resonate with you? Take a look at some of the fifty replies Sally received to her post - there's a lot of individual versions of uniforms!

Happy, happy Friday to all!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Real Difference Between Men And Women

 . . . is  shopping. How I know: this past weekend my husband said "All my shorts are worn out, let's get some new ones." (Note difference #1 - "let's get some."  I have never, ever said to him, "I need some new open-toe wedge sandals, let's go get some.")

So we went to Target, one of his best spots for casual wear. And almost everything he wears is casual because 1) we live in Florida, and 2) he works from home. Target has a great selection of cotton, knee-length cargo shorts in the colors and sizes my DH likes. I like them too, and his tall, rangy frame looks great in long loose shorts.


A handful of these, and he's good for a year. That's my guy!

No exaggeration, ladies, we were in and out of there, groceries included, in 20 minutes. My man had four new pairs of good-looking shorts and a pair of surf trunks. He was really happy. In fact, his quote upon exiting the store was, "Well, that'll do me for another year." In case you didn't notice, that quote exemplifies differences #2 through infinity between him and me with regard to shopping.

Definitely not my guy. No Target bags. This link is to an
interesting article about men spending more on impulse items. Heh.

I don't consider myself a shopping addict, nor a super-shopper, nor even a leisure-shopper. But I do enjoy the activity, and I like to add and subtract from my wardrobe regularly to create new looks. I'll wager most of you reading this share similar tastes.

What about the men in your lives? Can they shop for a year in twenty minutes?  Do you shop for, or with them? Or do they venture out and style themselves on a regular basis?

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Visible Monday #47: The Boots Return

Welcome to Visible Monday #47! If you want to participate, it's so easy: just go to the bottom of this post for the simple how-to.

I said I had put my boots away, but I brought the bronze cowboys back for a Spring encore. They just felt good with this otherwise light-hearted look.

I am mixing two families of green today, warm olive green and cool spring green. I didn't dare do this a decade ago; it was always warm-with-warm and cool-with-cool. But this looks fresh to me, and nobody laughed, so -- a victory for rule breaking  : >

The blouse is by Ann Taylor Loft and the silk skirt is by Talbots. Boots were thrifted for under $10, and they're by BCBGirls. The beaded necklace was made by a friend.


Boots in the Spring, and color mixing - such a rebel I have become.



I wish I could find more of these silk skirts. This one feels so great.


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


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, May 19, 2012

Trending: Leather Sleeved Army Jackets

The delightful Bill Cunningham features this jacket today in his On The Street video for the New York Times online. It's a military style jacket in army green/tan, with leather sleeves, and he's seeing it all over the city. (Bill's videos are the highlight of my Saturday mornings.)

I haven't seen the jacket here in the 'burbs yet, and I'm not sure if it's for me. It is a little edgy and a little funky, which I like. But maybe too masculine for my style? I'm not buying yet, but I'm watching for Fall.

What say you all?


A very boxy version, ASOS, $217


I like the shape of this one better. Veda Jones, $450 (ouch)

Fab blogger of The Fashion Blanket makes her own!


Have a wonderful day, and don't forget, Monday, May 21st is Visible Monday! Everyone is welcome to participate!


Join us! Click the Spotlight

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Checklist for a Fab Maxi Dress - What's Yours?

I am hoping maxi dresses are still in this summer. Ah, who am I kidding, I am going to wear them this summer, in or out. Being of a Certain Age, I have guidelines. But I can't resist the ease of a long dress and the wonderful leg-cover it allows.

Here are some of the things I look for:
  • A bit of back coverage. I prefer just a nice scoop in the back, not a deep vee that exposes lots of skin.
  • A strap that is bra-friendly, or at least friendly to a supportive camisole.
  • Clean, simple lines - not a boat-load of ruffles
  • Solids, stripes, or simple graphic prints, maybe a subtle floral - but no Hawaiian explosions for me.


Yummy color, forgiving fit, simple cut - is the slit a little daring?
Nordstroms, $78


Simplicity defined! But it would be a fun backdrop for summer
jewelry and scarves. Nordstroms, $118


For my Boho side. I love the airy fabric and Ikat print.
I'd def wear a cami for the neckline exposure.  Amazon, $175

Do you wear maxi dresses/skirts in the warm months? What are your preferences for style, fabric, colors? Or am I already way past this trend?  : o

Happy Friday to all!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Looks That Date Me, Not in the Good Way!

I try not to prescribe or make judgments for other women.  I do observe, and make judgments about what pleases me, style-wise. At this Certain Age, one of my style goals is to remain not-dead-yet in my appearance. There are some fashion statements that scream to me "I am old!', and that I therefore avoid. (If they scream "I'm nineteen", I try to avoid those too.) 

I think the following concepts can be worn ironically by younger women, or by women of any age who enjoy and feel good in them. For me, they bring on premature feelings of mushy veggies and Matlock reruns.

Here are my personal "Not Yet!" items; I'd love to hear if you've got any too:

1.  The tie-up puffy shoe. Comfortable shoes have gotten so, so cool looking. And brands that were formerly "orthopedic" are now funky and fun, like these:

Adorable! And wear them all day. Zappos.


But these will not pass my toes -- they are wonderfully comfortable but M.M.F.O. (make me feel old). I can't even articulate all the differences, but I know 'em when I see 'em.


Source



2.  The camp shirt. These are perennially available, and have always looked dated to my eyes. The vibrant prints are hard to wear, and the complete boxiness hides and overwhelms my shape. I look like an older gent on a cruise.

Colorful! But it M.M.F.O. Source.


A more timeless look for me is a slightly fitted cotton shirt or blouse, with a slimmer sleeve and a more modern print. Wearing this, I feel classic and any-age:

From Nordie's.


3.  Non-clothing wise, I find a very structured hairstyle aging. When I have "set" my hair, I immediately look older. Loose, casual, a little messy looks better. I have seen some younger women wear fab retro hairstyles that are precision-set. Katy Perry and Gwen Stefani do this very well:

So cute! But on me, it would be very aging. Source.


This is a hair style I feel great in:


OK, she is a goddess! I'm just grooving on the loose waves  : > 

What do you think? Are there styles/items you don't wear because they M.Y. F. O.?

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Visible Monday #46: Stripes Forever

Welcome to Visible Monday #46! If you want to participate, it's so easy: just go to the bottom of this post for the simple how-to.

I got the tip-off to buy this Breton-striped tee from fabulous blogger Allie at Wardrobe Oxygen. It's from Land's End Canvas. I really like the quality for the modest price (about $30).

This time I mixed it with a black silk skirt from Banana Republic (thrifted) and a teal suede belt (also thrifted). My lucky owl necklace is from Forever21, and perforated sandals from White Mountain (similar).

This is a perfect office look for me, neither too casual nor too corporate. It is that so-desirable "C" word - "comfortable". I'd like to own this top in a more colorful stripe too, to make the outfit a bit more interesting.


The all-seeing kitties have their eyes on the Lucky Owl necklace . . .


I never wore black and navy together in my youth;
so many "rules" have fallen away  : >


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, May 12, 2012

Have You Shopped at the $15 Store?

It's very Juniors-oriented, and the quality is quite variable. But I've found some good bargains there, and it's fun to browse through the $15 Store site every couple of weeks. Yes, every item is $15, no exceptions.

For example, they carry Romeo and Juliet Couture, some of whose designs can be wearable for any age. I'm thinking about picking up this maxi skirt for summer:


It's all cotton. I think it would make a cute sundress too, with a cardi over it. Source.

And I have purchased this sweater, also from R & J Couture, and worn the heck out of it:

Not for summer, but a great staple for Fall/Winter. Source.

Very cute Betsey Johnson Belt!




And colorful Kenneth Cole vegan wallet:




Be aware: all sales are final. So I'd avoid tricky things like jeans and shoes. But for accessories and forgiving-fit tops/skirts, I've found the site an enjoyable, affordable wardrobe source.



Have a wonderful day, and don't forget, Monday, May 14th is Visible Monday! Everyone is welcome to participate!


Join us! Click the Spotlight

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Episode Three of 1980's Nostalgia!

We've been having some fun studying ads from 1980's issues of Vogue magazine (here and here). We've had lively discussions about what qualities make clothing more "timeless" vs. more dated. (Not that there's anything wrong with wearing straight-out 80's as a look, if that's your thing!)

Here are a few more goodies I gleaned from Vogue, and I'd love to get your opinions:

I adored this Geoffrey Beene look in 1986, and I kinda love it now.

This exaggerated dirndl skirt and severe cropped jacket was a hot look in the mid-80's, for the more creative set. I do still love this silhouette, especially the long, full skirt and boots. I would forgo the bow and lose the buttons on the jacket, but I might enjoy a version of this outfit today. Disclaimer: I work in a casual environment, and I don't have to dress to impress with the latest styles, either  : >


So "First Lady"
This was another prominent mid-80's look, one that I wore then but would flee from now. So perfect, so matched, not a hair or thread out of place. On the other hand, she could be 30 or 60 and pull this off, so I suppose it was a utilitarian look. A little heavy on the red, eh? It was the ultimate 80's suit color for women.


Chillin' on the beach, 80's style 



Here's another look I like for today. It's got classic, casual lines, cool menswear details and an adorable hat to top it off. Her makeup is not too heavy and she's not wearing door-knocker earrings. The big shoulder pads date it to the 80's, so I'd take those out. I'd also leave off the skinny tie and add a loose flowy scarf. Oxfords would be more "now" than these sandals.  I get a peaceful, easy feeling from this one.

What do you say, women of the style world? Would you wear any of these? (or did you?) Have a wonderful Friday.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

My Biggest Mirror Challenge Is . . .


Source

How would you finish this sentence: "When I look in the mirror, my biggest challenge is . . . " Note I didn't use self-negating words like "What I hate" or "what I have to change".

The "challenge" can be something psychological, like "accepting the fact that my face isn't so taut anymore" (OK that's one of mine, got me!). Or "recognizing that I have hips like almost all women, and not like the 3% who are naturally built like supermodels."

Or the challenge may be (and this is confessional too), that "I get a bit lazy" about going the extra step to improve my look. Black tee, check. Dark jeans, check. Everything clean and fresh? Yes - ready to go. My "challenge" is to take a few extra moments to reflect about a scarf, bracelet, killer shoe or lipstick that will raise my physical confidence.

I almost never get my outfits ready the night before. I envy women who do. They are probably much better put together the next morning (duh!) and have fewer mirror-challenges. So I am working on this. Many of you bloggers are helping me.

So fresh, so cool, so organized! OK, it's Barbie, but still, I envy.

I am working on the other issues too -- about the not-quite-so-young (but Not Dead Yet!) face that looks back at me. This is head-and-heart work. Recently I have been saying aloud things like "You've got your own face now, and you earned it, congratulations!" and "That smile has something interesting to say, my dear."

My goal is to have many, many endings for this sentence:  "When I look in the mirror, what I love is . . ."

Please share any ways you might complete the sentences. I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Visible Monday #45: I Pose With Only My Toes

Welcome to Visible Monday #45! If you want to participate, it's so easy: just go to the bottom of this post for the simple how-to.

You may remember when I wrote about ordering some very flirty, colorful shoes to spice up my Spring/Summer wardrobe. I had purchased these beauties:

Poetic License "Dear Diary"

But they hurt! And that is a situation up with which I will not put. So back they went, with a few heavy sighs.

Then I found these Sofft sandals, at Nordstroms, for $79.90. You probably already know: Nordie's offers free shipping both ways, so it's easy to take a chance on a pair of cute shoes.

And the clouds parted and the sun shone. I really heart these shoes. They're comfortable, colorful, affordable and Very Visible!

Yes, blue suede shoes!

Can you see how cute the soles are? A shame to scuff them up!


I didn't feel great this week, so shooting pics of shoes was a relief, aesthetically  : >


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!

Friday, May 4, 2012

You Go, Little Sister!

What a hopeful and uplifting read in this morning's New York Times: Fourteen year-old Julia Bluhm is unhappy about the Photoshopped images of young women in magazines, and is fighting back.

Julia Bluhm, age 14. Image via The New York Times/Angel Franco

Julia says, of her favorite magazine Seventeen, "I look at the pictures and they just don’t look like girls I see walking down the street." She believes the super-polished images contribute to young girls feeling bad about their bodies and their faces. She's a blogger at SPARK, a site dedicated to combatting the sexual objectification of girls and young women.

Blogging about the Photoshopped images wasn't enough for Julia, though: she started an online petition asking Seventeen to "commit to printing one unaltered — real — photo spread per month." She has 46,000+ signatures already.

Image via Women's Rights Petition site

The article gives fair time to Seventeen as well, who say they are not the sole, nor the most grievous, purveyors of the "perfect" image. But Little Sister started with her favorite magazine, and one of the most popular in the country, so here's a huge salute, cheer, and Hallelulah for girls like Julia.