Thursday, March 3, 2016

Frumpy to Fabulous First Friday

Do you feel a bit frumpy sometimes?

The Frump Busters are here to help. Jennifer of A Well Styled Life, Susan of Fifty, Not Frumpy, and Pam of Over 50 Feeling 40 will collaborate on the First Friday of every month to bring our individual interpretations of how to take a frumpy look to a fabulous style. Let’s put frumpy behind us for good! #FrumpBusters


I recently spent almost twenty-four straight hours in an airport or on a plane. Watching people is my favorite thing to do when I am in such public spaces. I find myself guessing things about the journeys and the lives of the people I see there. 

I believe that how you present yourself to the world and how you carry yourself tells a story. My heart went out to all those women I saw who wore something very similar to the sad look below.

It showed on their faces that it had been many years since they had made themselves a priority. I recognized these women so quickly because I was one of them a few years ago. 

It was normal for me to get up and put on just anything to get me through the day. If I could zip the pants, they were good enough, and if the shirt (sometimes a man's tee shirt from K-Mart) covered my tummy, that would do. If it was cold outside, I put on a jacket but didn't think about if it went with anything else I was wearing. I was too tired and sad to care about what I looked like anymore.

Something unexpected happened when I changed my diet to correct health problems. I started to lose weight and feel a lot better physically and emotionally. I began to care about my clothes again. I began to enjoy putting together outfits and looking for just the right jacket. My outlook on life improved and my spirits lifted. I felt like going for a walk and working in my flower gardens again. I smiled more and slept better because I was happier and much healthier emotionally and physically. More importantly, I was now able to do more things to help others because of my better health and attitude.

Below is a typical very casual look for me now. I might be staying home because it is snowing and cold but I still get dressed. I am now acutely aware of how it lifts my spirits to get dressed and take some time for myself. These days I never spend the day in a man's tee shirt over sweatpants. That would be very depressing!

The red turtleneck top was supplied to me by Fabrizio Gianni. The Allison Daley vest from Dillard's is several years old, and the ankle length jeans are from Chico's. The boots are a couple of years old by Ralph Lauren via T.J.Maxx. 


Dowdy, unfashionable, drab, dull, homely, shabby, scruffy all are synonyms for the word FRUMPY. We know women often face times of shutting down, either by circumstances or critical people when there exists no motivation or inspiration for self-care. Sadly, sometimes a lack of self-respect is why a woman may fall on the side of frumpy and begin not to care about her appearance at all.

So, the Frump Busters are here to help. Jennifer of A Well Styled Life, Susan of Fifty, Not Frumpy, and Pam of Over 50 Feeling 40 will collaborate on the First Friday of every month to bring our individual interpretations of how to take a frumpy look to a fabulous style. Let’s put frumpy behind us for good! #FrumpBusters

Thank you for joining us on this journey through midlife and beyond. The second fifty years are truly the best!

Susan Street is the President of

Represented by Talent Trek Agency in Knoxville TN.

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Pam @ over50feeling40 said...

You are the perfect example, Susan, for fabulous! You always look amazing and your journey inspiring. Thanks for being here to help others on the first Friday of every month!

Unknown said...

But I LOVE that varsity jacket! (Not the one Pam was holding, I'm not sure I could work that... but I'd try!)

I'd wear a good black skinny jean, some black booties with a 2 inch stacked heel, a black cashmere turtle neck. Push the sleeves up on the jacket to show the black sweater sleeves. Accessorize with a bright red lipstick and a good quality satchel style bag. Subtle makeup, clean shiny hair, and a "hello world" attitude.... and this jacket would be a knock out!


emmapeelDallas said...

I agree with Pam. I just read her post on this, and I told her (and I'll say it here too): what a terrific thing that the 3 of you are doing this. Thank you. I find it very helpful to see how each of you puts an outfit together, but it's also really helpful to see the "before" outfit, because so many of us have spent so many years dressing in variations of that outfit. What a kind, compassionate, non judgmental heart you have, Susan. It comes through in the way you describe the many women wearing that outfit, (which so many of us have worn a variation of, for too long): "It showed on their faces that it had been many years since they had made themselves a priority". That sentence really touched me. Thank you for always providing inspiration, not just to look good, but also to be good, not just to others, but also to ourselves, so we can find our way back emotionally, too, which is such an essential (but too often overlooked) part of this journey. You do more good than you will ever know. Thank you.

Donna said...

Thanks for your collaboration with Pam and Jennifer on this series. There are alternatives to sweats, tee shirts and trainers. I recently flew back home from Dallas after visiting with family, and the people watching was fascinating (like watching a train wreck). Travel attire is very different from years ago when it was just expected that one would dress up a bit to get on an airplane (or go anywhere for that matter). I sat next to a lovely lady from Memphis who follows your blog and pins your outfits. Small world...

Prairie Poulet said...

EmmapeelDallas said it! Thank you for your compassion, Susan. It's about caring for ourselves and manifesting that on the outside. This journey isn't really about fashion or being a clothes horse. It's about discovering that we matter and projecting that out into the world. Baby steps as we adjust our self-perception.

Unknown said...

So thankful to you for mentioning critical people! This is so important since we women generally aim to please those close to us. It is so easy to give up on oneself particularly when we have a "partner" that sabotages us for losing weight or otherwise improving our health and appearance because they are threatened that we might actually look attractive in public. Sign me, a woman that spent too many years basically dressing like a unisex redneck man (sorry, only word I can think of) every time I left the house to avoid the nasty remarks. :) (Keep going, Susan! You are an inspiration.)

LoriM said...

Ha, love it. I'm so glad you just did a (Polyvore?) collage thingy and didn't actually snap some pix of those frumpy ladies.

I'm doing my best. Was proud of my look a month ago when I travelled by plane; I did wear tennis shoes, but also decent jeans with a jean jacket and scarf. Baby steps! I was happy for the comfy shoes as we had to change flights and did a bit of walking.

Unknown said...

You look fabulous Susan! Your transformation is a testament to the power of self care. I'm delighted to be sharing this venture with you and Pam! You inspire so many women everyday. I admire you gorgeous!

Unknown said...

Great advice!

Andrea said...

This is such a fun series the three of you are doing! (And your two blabs have been fabulous, too!). I already check out Jennifer's take on the look and loved seeing yours. You look great as always. Can't wait to see what Pam came up with!

Unknown said...

This was great! I read all three blogs and each gave such great ideas. I like this new Frump Busters!