Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Perfect Cable Poncho

I love wearing this cable knit poncho from Foxcroft.

While I rarely wear a sweater in cable knit, this poncho works as the perfect outer layer. It takes a long sleeve black tee and jeans to the next level without adding the normal bulky look I get when I wear a sweater.

The leather buckle detail at the neckline is just the right edgy touch to make the poncho feel special and updated.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Foxcroft Sequined Blouse

You may not think of Foxcroft for evening wear, but they do have something for every occasion in your life!

I wore this black fully sequined blouse from Foxcroft to dinner and the Symphony on Saturday evening.

Since our weather was quite chilly that evening, I topped off the look with a black ruana with faux leather trim. I wore tailored black pants with black evening pumps. One of my friends stopped by to say hello at the intermission of the symphony. She told me I looked like a movie star. I know it was the sequined blouse that dazzled her!

We have had rain and overcast skies for several days, so finding the light to take a good photo of this beautiful blouse has been very difficult. We took these photos to show the detail of the blouse on another day. I wore it with the front tucked in a bit to accentuate the waistline on the evening of the symphony.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Casual Look

We went out for bagels and ran a few errands on Sunday so a comfortable casual look was perfect for the day.

The knit blazer is old from Chico's, as are the jeans and the tank and the necklace. Basic pieces in neutral solids can serve you well for many years and in a variety of combinations. I invest in the best quality I can afford and only buy what I love. This ensures that I can always reach in my closet and pull out three pieces that will go together and look nice either alone or combined with other pieces.

The flat shoes are by Born via Dillard's a couple of years ago.

Even when I am dressing in casual comfortable looks I still want to be presentable and polished.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Foxcroft Sweater

I have been wearing items from Foxcroft for a few years and I always find the high quality and classic style to be wise additions to my wardrobe.

This red asymmetrical cowl neck sweater is one of my favorite pieces from Foxcroft. The loose bold style of this sweater looks great paired with narrow dress pants and cute shoes.

The pants are old from Chico's. The box clutch is old via T.J.Maxx. The shoes are by Charles Jourdan via Saks Off 5th.

I wore this look to dinner with friends on Friday evening. I received lots of compliments on the sweater. I love the fact that it is also very comfortable.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Lady of The Fountain

New bricks have been installed and were dedicated yesterday at the Lady of The Fountain at Fountain Square in old downtown Johnson City, TN.

The purchase of bricks and plaques by the community helped fund the restoration of the fountain. The continued sale of bricks will help fund other beautification and projects in Downtown Johnson City.

Dignitaries from local government and some of the folks who worked in landmark shops that were once found in downtown Johnson City were in attendance for the unveiling ceremony.

On this beautiful breezy fall day, I wore a tank top and jeans from Chico's. The blazer is from Stein Mart. The layered necklace is from Monkee's of Johnson City. The bag is from Express.

The blue suede shoes are by 9W Loves INStyle.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Daily Favorite

We all have our favorite looks to throw on and go out the door on a day to day basis. My first choice in colder weather is a blazer over a tank and jeans with short booties.

I added a black and white polka dot Ralph Lauren silk-like scarf from Stein Mart. One of my favorite ways to wear a scarf is draped around my neck with a jacket holding it in place. This allows me to add interest and pretty details to my look without adding any bulk to my bust or my middle. This works great unless I am wearing a scarf for warmth. In which case, I try to make the tie low at the throat instead of over my bust.

The pop of red from the Tahari bag keeps the look from being too drab. I enjoy carrying a bag that is an accent color. The bag is old from T.J.Maxx.

The tank and jeans are from Chico's. The jacket is from Express. The short black high-heeled boots are a couple of years old by Nine West.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Little Luxuries

Coming home and closing the door on the world to relax in my own home is a luxury I never take for granted. Just a few short years ago, that was only a dream for me.

Being surrounded by the objects I have collected in my travels along with living orchids and fresh-cut flowers puts me at ease.

The search has been on for the right lamp with an oval shade for some time. I found the perfect one this week to light the way to my breakfast nook. I love to use lighting to create a focal point or to encourage visitors into a room.

A beautifully scented candle can make my whole home feel warm and welcoming.

Live plants and stacks of books give me a connection to nature and make me feel happy.

A freshly made bed with "baby's bottom" soft sheets and a new magazine to read makes for the perfect evening! In fall and winter, I love to use rich dark colored sheets that make me feel warm and cozy even before I turn on the electric blanket. These sheets just arrived this week. They really are called, "Baby's Bottom"! They are the softest, most generous fitting sheets I have found. Even if you have a pillow top mattress these will fit properly. Arthritic hands really hurt when you have to struggle with a fitted sheet that barely goes over the mattress. These are a delight! I got them from Perfect Linens. This color is called espresso and I knew as soon as I saw them that the color would go perfectly with my comforter set.
This is a $35 discount code for readers of Fifty, not Frumpy!NotFrumpy35 

What special touches make your home feel luxurious to you?

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Wearing A Dress!

I attended church with my family and Mr. Mickey on Sunday.

I wore a knit dress from Chico's last year and my favorite IC Collection faux suede trench from My Fair Lady. 

Dresses are outside my comfort zone, but when I do wear them, I pair them with nude pointed toe heels to visually lengthen my legs. This is about the shortest I would ever go unless I am wearing a straight black skirt or dress with opaque black tights and black boots.

I am wearing the most fabulous pantyhose, which were a gift from a reader while she was visiting the Monoprix in Paris. (Thank you, Marty!) If you can find 5 or 7 denier ultra-sheer stockings, you will love them. They make your legs look like silk, but it feels like you aren't even wearing stockings!

The necklace is also old from Chico's. The bag was made in Italy, and I found it at T.J.Maxx last year. The nude pumps are by Steve Madden.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Featuring Janna Beatty, Co-Author Of Quintessential Style

Janna Beatty wrote one of my favorite style guides with Sharon White. I learned so much from this book that I thought I would introduce you to the author Janna Beatty. I am turning the blog over to her today so that we can get to know her a little more.


Janna Beatty in her studio.

      “Fifty Not Frumpy,” what a remarkable blog site. Wow, I was so excited to be invited to contribute to Susan’s blog.  I’ve been working with women for over 30 years, and we all need to be reminded that age doesn’t mean much—it’s all about attitude.


      I was recently a guest on a radio talk show, and the host made this comment after reading our book: “I have highlighted something on almost every page of Quintessential Style. I’m 47 years old, and I feel like I’m learning about my style all over again.” This comment has been repeated by hundreds of clients over the years. Mid-life seems to be a transitional time for most--empty-nesting, returning to the workforce, loss of loved ones, divorce, physical changes. Women regularly seek my services during some kind of “shift” in their lives.

Janna shows clients which patterns and prints are most complementary.


      When I read Susan’s blog, I could understand immediately why she has such an enormous following. Susan’s story of transformation during mid-life could be any of ours. She went from “now to WOW.”

      In the busyness of day-to-day living, we can lose our identities—especially women, who are natural caregivers and frequently don’t take time for themselves. More often than not, when I meet a client, I predominantly hear negative self-talk rather than positivity. “I’m fat, I’m getting jowls, I have wrinkles.”  Their confidence levels are sometimes at an all-time low.

Janna shows clients which colors look best on them.

      When I meet a client for the first time, I see none of that. My eyes focus only on their marvelous attributes: a beautiful smile, high cheekbones, amazing eye color, gorgeous hair.

      Most women engage in too much negative self-talk. And over the years, as our bodies, our hair, and our skin change, we no longer see the vibrancy in the mirror. Our tendency is to envision an older, less attractive version of ourselves. We may begin comparing ourselves to others, or who we used to be. It is all very self-critical and detrimental.

      I went through this myself. And even though I am a professional image consultant and have been advising women for years, I had to figure out what to do when I no longer reflected the vibrant, energetic person I once was. After all, it was my job to be the expert.

      I went through what I term in the book as “My Falloff Point.” It means a point I had reached the point where even though I was putting more and more effort in, I couldn’t quite get myself looking as good as I once had.

      I began to learn what was causing my “fall off.” I started putting systems into place to combat the changes. I had to reevaluate my life and ask myself: “Who am I, TODAY?”  I focused on the present, not 20 or 30 years ago.

Janna and Sharon co-wrote the book.

      Thus became the inspiration for our book: Quintessential Style: Cultivate and Communicate Your Signature Look.  It was a 3-year project. My co-writer, Sharon White, researched book after book before we began writing. What we found was this: Every book on the market talks about how to dress. QStyle talks about how to dress YOU. It is meant to speak to each individual reader about her life’s journey, no matter the age.  What do you want to communicate? How can you do it? QStyle’s intention is to enable every woman to “see” her magnificence more clearly.

      Susan reevaluated her life at age 54 and made changes to support her wants and needs. Then she went even further to share her journey with the world. Brava Susan! Sharon and I hope we can help women at any age realize that change is inevitable, and you must flow with it. But if you need a little guidance, take the first step and figure out, “Who you are—TODAY?

Janna designs custom jewelry based on color types.

The link below is a special offer for Fifty, not Frumpy readers, to get $10 off the book.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Antelope Ankle Booties

This is such a beautiful time of year to go for a walk in east Tennesse.

My new Antelope ankle booties were the perfect choice for a Sunday afternoon walk. These booties are so comfortable!

They are made from supreme raw leather, that was cut by hand! The remarkable craftsmanship shows in every detail on the inside and the outside.

This is my second pair of Antelope boots. I wore my great looking black pair on this blog post. My new khaki ankle booties are the perfect casual look with faded boyfriend jeans, a long sleeve tee, and a soft comfortable jacket. 

Antelope ships free across the US and Canada!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

A Speaking Engagement

The talk at the Johnson City Seniors' Center went really well on Thursday evening. Mr. Mickey graciously agreed to video the event for all of you who couldn't be there. 

We learned that my camera is not up to the task. Even though I had used the largest data card available, it wasn't enough to record all of the hour-long talk. What we did capture is included in the two YouTube videos linked below.

I wanted to show respect to the people who came out to hear me speak, so I dressed up a bit. I wore black dress slacks from Saks Off 5th with a black tank from Chico's and a slightly fitted jacket by Tahari via Dillard's. The shoes are by Louise et Cie via Nordstrom. The silver necklace is from Cali and York.

During my talk, I featured the perfect long sleeve top, which is from Covered Perfectly. You can shop for it here.

This first video includes Part One of the talk.

Almost all of Part Two of the talk is in the second video below.

It was such a great pleasure to meet so many Fifty, not Frumpy followers and several women who did not yet know about the blog. Many of them stayed afterward to ask more questions and take notes.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Oil and Water

There is always a pretty glass of water on my desk. I sip water throughout the day and I always take a small bottle of water with me when I am in the car for any length of time.

Our bodies are about 60% water.

Drinking water throughout the day helped me to lose weight and to keep it off. 

Drinking water helps my skin to remain clear and fresh looking.

If your lips are often chapped it is likely because you are not drinking enough water.

If you have tummy issues or can't go as often or as easily as you would like, you may need to drink more water.

If you have headaches often or if you have trouble concentrating you may need to drink more water.

If you feel sluggish, you may need to drink more water.

Mild dehydration (fluid loss of 1-3%) can impair energy levels and mood, and lead to major reductions in memory and brain performance.

I can tell a difference in my hair, my eyes, and the quality and tone of my skin if I am so busy I am not able to drink enough water for even one day. When I come home from a trip or get up in the morning, the first thing I do is get a glass of water and sip it slowly over the next hour. I feel revived quickly.

Olive oil is perfect to use for the relief of the uncomfortable feeling of dry skin. Just put a few drops in your palm and slowly massage it into your skin. It absorbs in a few minutes and the salad smell goes away also.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

A Dress Three Ways

Do you also enjoy wearing well-made classics that can be worn in a variety of ways?

This very comfortable and versatile corduroy shirtdress is from J.Jill.

I can wear the dress in a casual way with black tights and over the knee boots from Vince Camuto. The crossbody bag is from Ross last year. The opaque black tights are by Yummie Tummie.

This dress can also be worn with a low slung hook belt and high heel ankle boots. Style tip: Never button all the buttons. The clutch is from Express. The belt is from Chico's. The boots are from Saks Off 5th.

For a more continental look, I can pair the shirtdress with a silk scarf and flats.

The sunglasses are by Tommy Hilfiger via T.J.Maxx. The scarf is so old I don't recall its origin. The bag is Italian made via T.J.Maxx. The shoes are by Rockport.

I have always been a fan of shirtdresses! This one will certainly get worn a lot this winter. It comes in two colors, balsam, and walnut which is the color I am wearing. 

You can find similar dresses and lots of other great classics at J.Jill.