Thursday, November 29, 2012

What's Your "Bridge Too Far?"

One of my favorite bloggers, That's Not My Age, featured a new (to me) undergarment on her blog today: shapewear for arms. Yes, for arms! As TNMA herself said, " . . . I prefer to let it all hang out. That's Not My Age Mansions is a Spanx-free zone." Hooray and love you for saying so, TNMA.


You can buy this version via HSN. The model looks pretty delighted.

The post got me thinking about how far we'll go to "perfect" our faces and bodies, to make them more palatable to the world at large (no pun intended!). We all have our Bridge Too Far, I think, that place we will not go, that discomfort we will not bear for the sake of conventional beauty.

I don't own a single compression garment, for example. No control-top hose or Spanx or middle-slimmers. But I am pretty thin, so I realize I don't have a dog in that fight. If I had a little more flesh on me, would I endure those squeezy things? Probably not; I usually tear off my regular tights, along with shoes, watch, earrings, belt, and rings within sixty seconds of walking through the door.

But I'll suffer other discomforts for "beauty": I have bleached my teeth, plucked my brows, lasered some brown spots and (once upon a time) straightened my hair. For me, these completely unnecessary procedures seem/ed worth the pain and expense. So I clearly buy into the advertising-fueled belief that "natural" isn't acceptable. I pay to color the gray in my hair (financial pain counts!) because I believe my natural gray isn't as attractive.

We've all got our limits, our Bridges Too Far. For me, it's constrictive underwear. For you, it may be expensive hair color. I'd love to hear what you think. No wrong answers, we're all working this out.


The Forth Road Bridge in Scotland

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

My Year-of-Birth Twin: Polly Draper

Remember thirtysomething? It was such a big hit in the 80's when many of us were, uh, 30-something. I could feel the angst of these characters, sorting out their careers and relationships, just like us only prettier! I had such a crush on Peter Horton, the unmarried, self-centered hunk who kept playing with Melanie Mayron's heart. I was her, I was Melissa!

The cast of thirtysomething. Polly's right in the middle in the dark sweater.
That's my TV boyfriend, Peter Horton, on the far right.

Anyway, my age-twin from the show is Polly Draper, born in 1955. She's been in dozens of TV shows since thirtysomething, including Law and Order, Monk, and The Big C. I've always liked her look: not too done-up or made-up or surgically enhanced. Well, except for this 80's makeup bonanza:

From her early TV days - how 80's are those eyebrows and door-knocker earrings?

With her husband, musician Michael Wolff, and their sons in 2010.

Appearing on Broadway recently. She looks terrific, imho.

Any age-twins you'd like to share? Or 80's TV shows that glued you to the TV? (no DVR-ing in those days; you had to make a commitment!)


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Visible Monday #74: New York State of Mind

Welcome to Visible Monday #74! If you want to participate, it's so easy: just go to the bottom of this post for the easy how-to.

I'm finding ways to wear my summery dresses in the cooler weather. This cute polka dot shift takes a turn under a black knit coat-dress by CAbi, thrifted for under $5. The dress has a nice smooth hand, and I can wear it over some skirts too. It doesn't button all the way down, so it makes for a too-revealing stand-alone!

I think I was in a New York State of mind, because I stayed with nearly all black accessories: thrifted sparkle-belt, cable tights and Gianni Bini boots (consignment). Only my bright green bangle rescues me from black-and-white world.

I like the polka dot popping out as an accent here, rather than a main attraction.


Are square-toes boots out of style now? Oh well, they're staying, I love 'em.


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

The guidelines to participate in the Visible Monday Link-Up are so simple!
  1. 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, November 24, 2012

OK, Let's Not Do This

From the New York Times' Opinion page, graphic art by Barbara Kruger:




I am working to resist this consumer principle, and trying to buy only what I truly love and will use frequently. I've also signed up with Bella's Shop Secondhand First pledge, and am committed to keeping at least half of my wardrobe sourced from thrift and consignment shops.

I'm not 100% there yet; I just bought two brand-new items online yesterday. But this graphic is a great reminder to keep at it! Especially as the consume-more-and-more season is upon us.


Have a blissful Saturday, and don't forget: Monday, November 26th is Visible Monday. Everyone is welcome to participate!


Join us! Click the Spotlight

Friday, November 23, 2012

Online Picks, Problem Solvers and a Wild Card!

Happy Friday! I hope your Thanksgiving (U.S. folks) was wonderful. We had dinner with my sister and her family, and played Trivia on the Wii. It was great family fun, even though I was soundly beaten by my 13 year-old niece. Many thanks were given for family, health, opportunity, and the good fortune of having all we need.

Although we have all we need, thoughts turn briefly today to shopping (from my laptop)! It is hard to resist the tempting sales at many of my favorite online stores: Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, ASOS, and especially Nordstroms. In fact, I found two of my highly-desired items at Nordie's online and put them in my cart (free shipping!):


I think this blouse may be the solution to my ivory topper quest.
Flowy, deep neckline and washable, woo-hoo. And under $40 on sale.


Very cool almond-toe flats by BCBGeneration have personality as well as classic style.
And on sale for $60.


And a piece I have been wanting, but didn't allow myself the luxury. It's still not-inexpensive, but looks like a timeless wardrobe staple:


Black cashmere cardigan, cut just the way I love. On sale for $119.

And just for fun, I fell for these boots. Statement piece! I'm not buying them, at this price point anyway, but they are candy for the eye:


Baby pink leather booties. They'll go with everything, really! $500 (really!)

What's on your list today? Shopping for others or yourself, or a bit of both? Or eschewing the consumer pressure, and enjoying those fabulous stuffing sandwiches?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Big Girls Do Cry


We are in our new home now - a condo, actually, with gorgeous views of the Atlantic Ocean. It's still a big mess, lots of boxes to unpack and we haven't touched "decor" yet. Our wonderful, familiar king-sized mattress did the job of helping us feel a bit homey. Then King used it for a litter box! (It's OK, he's stressed and trying to adjust).

But when we went back to the cottage to retrieve last-minute paraphernalia, I had an unexpected, and vigorous, cry. The old house was so good to us - we knew every crack and groan, every scent from the lush garden. But we had decided we wanted to move, to downsize and simplify, so we did. So what were the tears about?

I reflected on this (naturally -- the unexamined life being not worth living and all that), and I think age is part of the answer. The future, while still promising, is foreshortened. We aren't going to buy a dozen more homes, maybe only two or maybe none. So as any of us who've crossed the mid-line have noticed, every day seems more valuable, and change can feel momentous.

We only live in one direction, forward, so on we go with plans large and small. New views, both physical and emotional await. But a good cry is OK too, for leaving and changing and moving on.
 



Sunday, November 18, 2012

Visible Monday #73: Crisp White (Man's) Shirt

Welcome to Visible Monday #72! If you want to participate, it's so easy: just go to the bottom of this post for the easy how-to.

I've discovered I really appreciate the slouch of a man's shirt. I can't wear my husbands', as he's 6'3" and his shirts swim on me. But a men's Medium or 15-ish neck is great. The thrifts seem to have plenty, in excellent condition (like the guy bought it for a wedding, and never actually put it on).

I paired this crisp shirt with a simple black pencil skirt by Laundry. For accent and a touch of color, I chose a vintage scarf as belt. My familiar friends, comfortable booties by Tsubo, took care of the feet. I like the final look: a feminine shape for the skirt and masculine construction up top.


Oh yeah, and I cut my hair. I prefer a little more length, but I
like the new bounce.

I think gray nail polish is sophisticated for Fall. Do you like?

I will do my best, but may not get to commenting on all your fabulous entries this week. I will read every one, and appreciate your participation with big thanks. Moving house is in process! Deliver the red wine first!  : >


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

The guidelines to participate in the Visible Monday Link-Up are so simple!
  1. 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, November 17, 2012

Packing!

Not for a trip to France, either! We are moving house - the actual big guy movers are coming Monday. So we're selling stuff and packing stuff, and wishing we'd never acquired some stuff  : >

My regular readers know I have a touch of OCD, so the mess created by moving is not easy for me. I am doing a lot of meditating, deep breathing, and soothing self-talk ("soon this will be done"). Luckily, my husband is the cool, reasoned type, and has a strong back too!

Here's a glimpse of my previously meticulous world this morning:

The cat high-rise is not for sale! says the kitteh


Anybody need slightly used cookware?

The Moving Sale brings hordes of lookers and some buyers, which also elevates my stress (breathe). And I haven't gotten to the clothing closets and dressers yet - I feel sure the Humane Society Thrift will be getting a box of treasures later today.

If there's a lesson to this rambling post, dear readers, it's this: never buy anything!! Live in a stainless steel and glass box and when it's time to leave, just leave!! Take your cats, laptops and go. Well, take your favorite boots. And that great Frye hobo bag. And maybe one or two cashmere cardigans. . . .



Have a wonderful, well-organized Saturday, and don't forget: Monday, November 19th is Visible Monday. Everyone is welcome to participate!


Join us! Click the Spotlight

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Some Things of Beauty

These Etsy shops are featured in the current Australian Vogue magazine. The unusual offerings caught my eye and made me linger. Perhaps there's an inspiration here for gifting to special someone, or a treat for your own hard-working self?

Love Obsessed: Vintage Jewelry Re-Imagined. This talented designer, Stacy Dill, fashions one-of-a-kind pieces from old jewels. She has dozens of pretty offerings, including these:

I love this vintage ring, with re-painted rhinestones, $25


And this pretty hand-painted 50's bracelet, $65



Hollie Point offers fabulous vintage dresses, shoes and hats. As a former buyer and seller of vintage clothing, I have a pretty good feel for prices, and some of these are very attractive. For example:


I'm grooving on this 60's Nehru jacket in heavy cotton, $24


And I may have to own this 60's color-blocked suede purse, $44


Happy shopping and happy Thursday!


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

When Cliches Are True!



We women of style and taste have been reading for years that an edited closet makes dressing easier. Yeah, yeah, yawn.

Well, life has gotten very interesting around here lately ("interesting" in that sense of "I curse you with an interesting life!"). We are moving house, that's a happy and hectic thing. We've just had a big family wedding, moved my mother into Assisted Living, and are trying to sell her condo via a short sale. And etc. You have similar lives.

I don't have time to get creative in the morning over my style. I have to get up and go. Over the last eight months or so, (see this and this post, e.g.) I've been paring the closet and adding just a few key things that truly are making life simpler. It works!

Every work-day last week, for example, I wore a black or navy long sleeved tee with a full or pencil skirt, tights and boots/booties. I have several nice leather belts that pull the look together, and a simple cardigan makes the topper piece. I added a scarf two days, and pretty earrings the others. I feel stylish and current and stress-free, at least as far as my wardrobe goes.




Fall Uniform

 This is close to what I've been wearing . . . frequently.
I don't own those Rockport booties, but aren't they fab?


When life calms down, will I get bored with my streamlined closet? Maybe. But I think I will keep loving it, and just add a few new pieces per season, like those vaunted French dames. New-to-me shoes, scarves and other accessories are always welcome, to stave off tedium.

How's your tolerance for wardrobe boredom? Do you require an infusion of new, or recycle from the back of the closet, or re-fashion with your DIY skills? Or do you simply toss on a different scarf, a new lipstick, and call it a day? No wrong answers, of course! We all have our ways.


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Visible Monday #72: A Dress Is A Blouse

Welcome to Visible Monday #72! If you want to participate, it's so easy: just go to the bottom of this post for the easy how-to.

What to do with a too-short, but otherwise cute dress? Layer it over leggings or tights, or even jeans. Or - turn it into a blouse by layering it under a full skirt.

I like the print and cut of this thrifted Karin Stevens dress but the best part of it is the bodice. So I slipped my trusty Talbots silk skirt over it and got a whole different look. My sparkle-suede belt gives it a waistline and black booties pick up the dark background of the top.

I see now that the dress is ever-so-slightly visible (heh, Visible) under the skirt in the top pic, but blends away in the second picture. So my advice is to choose a skirt that has some body and will stand away from the dress.


I like being able to stretch my wardrobe this way. Before blogging,
I rarely colored outside the lines!

A lacy scarf gives more modesty for office hours.


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

The guidelines to participate in the Visible Monday Link-Up are so simple!
  1. 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, November 10, 2012

Fab Slide Show: Grace Kelly Through The Years

Oh man, she was a beauty. From babyhood through full maturity, Grace Kelly had an other-wordly elegance. I really enjoyed this retrospective and wanted to share it with you. Click here:



In this slide she is rocking some amazing black lace capri pants and a ruffled shirt, as effortlessly as if it were jeans and a tee:




She transforms the safari look into a chic ensemble

The LBD. Just drop earrings. Sigh.

Age 47, refined and lovely in soft prints.


Have a marvelous Saturday, and don't forget: Monday, November 12th is Visible Monday. Everyone is welcome to participate!


Join us! Click the Spotlight

Thursday, November 8, 2012

What I Wore: Sharp Pencil

Today we are feeling the chill of Florida winter! But yesterday was a more typical 75+ degree day, and I dressed accordingly.

I showed off the black version of this knit pencil skirt for Visible Monday. Here's the blue one I ordered as soon as I tried on the black one! The blue gives a different vibe I think. It's more a focal point here than a solid background piece. It will do well with simple neutral sweaters all Winter, or I can go bolder and pair it with burgundy or green.

I chose a classic topper, a chocolate bow-tie blouse with mini polka-dots. It was thrifted, along with the suede belt and colorful bangles. And the skirt was a steal, via Ideeli.com.




How do you style your bright skirts/trousers? Are they the stars of the show, or equal partners with your other pieces?


Linking up with Thrifter Thursday at Coffee and Cardigans.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

How I'm Doin': Shopping List Check-Up

Forgive the New Jersey dialect - you can take the girl out of Nutley, but . . .

I wrote two months ago about my shopping list for Fall/Winter 2012. Here's the graphic of my wish-list:



I've had some great success tackling my list (any of you with a touch of OCD know how satisfying it is to make the check-mark!). I bought cool eyeglasses and feel really hip when I wear them, forgetting that 20 years ago no such device was needed to read. I have a new striped tee by Jones New York that fits the bill.

I bought these surprisingly great jeans via a tip from Angie of YouLookFab. I thought I would dislike the whiskering, but I really love wearing these "curvy" straight-legs: the rise is for grown-ups and the fit is just perfect.

I don't love the look with the pumps! But I wear these with booties and do like.


I found the full khaki skirt I'm wearing here at a consignment store. It's perfect for work and weekends.



Two very pretty non-silk scarves made their way into my scarf drawer, via eBay. Still looking for that perfect high-end one that will rock my world. I love the hunt, so no stress here. I also bought a soft, pretty ivory cardigan from (yes!) the 15dollarstore, and it's a great wardrobe-stretcher.

So I have done rather well, IMHO. Still on the list are:
  • The dream ivory blouse: loosely fitted, three-quarter or long sleeves, low-ish neckline and washable. It's been a real challenge. If you have any suggestions, I'd be grateful.
  • Ballet flats: I've tried on lots but most have felt "too flat" (I know! what a pill I can be!). I'd like a little support and a slightly pointed toe - almond, I think?
  • Oxfords: There's plenty of good choices at Zappo's, so I just need to get in motion and order some. I am crazy about the ones shown above but they cost $450, or in my new parlance, a very nice comforter set for the condo.
How are you (NJ: youse) doing with your shopping lists? 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Visible Monday #71: Camouflaged!

Welcome to Visible Monday #71! If you want to participate, it's so easy: just go to the bottom of this post for the simple how-to.  

I'm wearing my Vivienne by Vivienne Tam camouflage top today. I love this warm shade of green, it matches my eye color. I read in a style book that matching one's eye color with a top or scarf is a fool-proof color selector. I like fool-proof. And this top is really fun to wear. It's long and flowy, but not baggy, and has a cool exposed zipper.

The layers are a simple GAP tee and a new knit pencil skirt I bought on Ideeli.com. Have you ever shopped there? I'm cautious because my research has shown they don't always offer a true discount. But this Thalian skirt was only $18. It fits perfectly, so I went back and bought a teal one too!


It's still warm enough in Florida to show toes.


Love that zipper, although I was sure I had the top on
inside-out the first time  : >


Can't go wrong with a knit pencil skirt that moves well with you.


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

The guidelines to participate in the Visible Monday Link-Up are so simple!
  1. 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, November 3, 2012

Aging Beautifully: Lena Olin, My Age Twin

I am having fun looking up famous people born the same year I was. Both Steve Jobs (miss you, Steve) and Bill Gates, for example! A fine year for entrepreneurs. Bill Paxton, Bill Nye the Science Guy, and Billy Bob Thorton: a Bill-ish year, too. And this gorgeous actress, Lena Olin:




Ms. Olin is a Swedish actress whose first international notice came in the sensuous, serious film The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988). It's a bittersweet movie, co-starring one of my movie husbands, Daniel Day-Lewis.


Swoon

She's appeared in over 40 films, including another personal favorite, Chocolat (2000), and one I have not seen yet but is on my list: The Reader (2008). She's won Golden Globes and an Academy Award and countless accolades for her talent.

At the premiere of The Reader. Love the red lipstick and simple hair.

She has a natural, confident beauty and a glow that says "I am not too young, but don't think about putting me in the corner!" Keep glowing, Lena Olin, age 57.

Have a fabulous Saturday, and don't forget: Monday, November 5th is Visible Monday. Everyone is welcome to participate!


Join us! Click the Spotlight

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Classics: Khaki Skirt, Black Cat

This is a simple outfit I put together for a light day at work: a GAP black tee, khaki midi skirt, and animal print flats.

I think I can do a lot more with this full cotton skirt in future wearings, like using a colorful scarf as a belt. Patterned tights would also be cool, with short boots. And etc. I like to add neutral basics like this to my closet and then play with them.

A favorite photo-bomber is Stinky, my sweet eleven year-old cat. We found her abandoned on our street at about three months old, and she's been a lovable little friend ever since. In human years, she's just a little older than I am, but she can leap on the screen and terrorize a lizard. It hurts when I do that!

"I am mildly suspicious of your behavior, innocent as it may seem."


"You have disturbed the force, now I show you my tail."











Have you added a simple classic piece lately that you're having fun with?