Saturday, April 9, 2016

I Traded Old for Bold!

 Did you go boldly into middle age without skipping a beat? Not I!


Most of these photos were taken yesterday as I carried out my usual Friday responsibilities. I had no meetings or appointments so I could throw on a pair of jeans and a tank with a black linen biker jacket and a pair of sandals.

Personal style is the interpretation of a suggestion.

And then there is this.


The photo above was taken in 2010 shortly before I turned fifty-four. I weighed about forty-five pounds more than I do now. I was very sick and suffering from deep depression. I was still traumatized that I had turned fifty a few years before and couldn't figure out how to dress for this new phase of life. For some odd reason, I believed I had to follow a new set of rules and wear different clothes as I aged. That depressed me even more! I wanted to dress age appropriate, but I knew of no guidebook for that.


I also wrongly believed that gaining weight was part of the aging journey. The aches, pains, health problems and a weak immune system that came along with the weight gain were also attributed to the process of aging.



In my late forties, I gave away all my jeans and high heels because I thought I needed to dress for this new stage of life in a different way or risk looking foolish.


I remember standing in a shoe store looking at a fierce pair of strappy high heeled sandals and wanting with all my heart just to wear those shoes one more time. An evil little, wretched voice in my head whispered, "You are too old for those."


I realize today that the depression and weight gain were part of a grieving process. I was mourning the loss of the person I wanted to continue being.



In a few months, I will turn sixty but I am not depressed about that milestone at all. The difference is my attitude mixed with a bit of wisdom. I know now that with a few tweaks, I can keep my life long personal style.

I am wearing an old black linen biker style jacket from Express. The Erin London silver gray tank top is from the Marble Lion boutique located in the Inn at Biltmore estate. The jeggings are from Chico's last year.

The bag is by Zac Posen via Saks Off 5th. The shoes are by Sam Edelman via Nordstrom a couple of years ago.

The fabulous necklace and bracelet are from French Kande. The watch is several years old from Belk.




I went to see my friend and stylist this week. She gave me a fresh chrome mixed with pearl glaze and a trim. I am good to go for another five weeks! Thank you, Myra!





Rock on sisters! We've got this!




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

Created in collaboration with French Kande
All words, styling, and creative direction are my own.

27 comments:

Harold Ellebracht said...

Your post this morning is the perfect antidote for the weather here in norther NJ!
Nancy

Karen S said...

I love this post. I unfortunately had let myself go way back in my 30s and wasted 20 years being overweight and frumpy. Then I had a health scare at 51 which had me make some major changes. It's been slow but I was nearly 100 lbs overweight (goodness I've never admitted that out loud before) I'm down 60 lbs from my highest weight and have about 35 more to go. I started working out with a personal trainer last summer and LOVE it! First time really doing something for me. I am feeling so much better, strong and more confident. I am slowly developing a personal style. Your blog has been a great inspiration...Although I wish I could rock those heels but I have arthritis in my knees. Keep posting as I look forward to reading each day!

Lynn Marsh said...

You look great Susan You give me inspiration.

belinda said...

You -- and all the other wonderful blogs for femmes d'un certain age -- are right. There is a huge need for blogs just like yours to show how older women can look fresh, au courant and beautiful -- just maybe not like a 16-year-old. Thank you for sharing your highs and lows. You come across like a friend sharing wonderful secrets! Have a lovely weekend. Looking forward to Monday's blog with your weekend ramblings with Mr. M!

Lucy said...

Susan....I have been following you for some time, but never left a comment! I have to, today! I LOVE this picture of your color and cut in today's post!! I have been considering letting my hair go "natural," but my stylist talked me into continuing to cover the roots with blonde! I am a decade older than you !! and would like to, at least, try the natural look! I'm so curious about this "chrome and pearl glaze" that you mention!? Your stylist has got the perfect "do" or you!! She "rocks" too! Thank you for sharing!!

Bonnie Mort said...

I'm so glad I discovered your blog. After I retired from my teaching job my "bold" look consisted of ill fitting jeans and over sized t-shirts. I had gained weight and gotten flabby. That, combined with a lowered income convinced me that I didn't care what I looked like as long as I was comfortable so why invest in new clothes. Recently I lost 10 pounds and was going to see my sisters for Christmas so wanted to spruce up a bit. I discovered jeggings and tunics which were perfect for my long skinny legs and short, flabby waistline. I've been feeling foolish for wearing a style I thought was inappropriate for my age. Then a few days ago I discovered you! I've gone through almost every old post and have learned so much. Thank you, thank you for sharing your journey.

I responded to your blue/white post, but don't see it posted anywhere. I've never done this before so don't know what I'm doing. I'll keep trying.

Lorraine Watkins said...

I do like your current style! I am 61 and with your help and a few other boogs I feel I look stylish not foolishnor frumpy. Will you be make ng any personal speaking appearances in Virginia near Hampton Roads? My girlfriends would love to meet your u.

Susan Street said...

Lorraine Watkins, I lived in Virgina Beach for twenty years! I would love to come home for a speaking engagement anytime. I just need an invitation!

Patricia Whittington said...

So love this. I started a strength training program about one month ago. At almost 59, I had my doubts I could accomplish this. Now I am able to do more than I ever thought posdible. Attitude is such a big part of any change. Thank you for your inspiration.

Andrea said...

Your current look is really timeless. Someone 20+ years younger could wear it and feel & look great!

Kristien62 said...

Just stunning. And, I swear, that other picture must be your mother, not you.

By the way, it is downright blustery in Asheville today. Seems I brought New York weather south.

Prairie Poulet said...

Congratulations on your upcoming milestone birthday. Straight forward, no fear. You are a bright light.

christy said...

As always I enjoy all your posts and love how you share your tips together with your very brave pics and comments of where you go wrong. I learn so much from not what went right but also what went wrong. Keep up the good work and being 60 will be a breeze.

Barbara Lawson said...

Susan - do love your blog. Had to respond today as I also had a great deal of trouble transitioning from my 40s into my 50s. I just didn't know how to dress anymore! I just turned 70 last year and looking back, it took me an entire decade - all thru my 50s - to readjust my look. There just weren't any guides or blogs like yours at the time. Keep up the good work. I'm getting such great ideas from you even though I'm 10 yrs older. Especially what brands you are wearing. I've purchased many of them! I can't wear quite as high a heel as you do but have found some really on trend caged sandals with mid heel height made by Aravan, Cobb Hill, Softspots. So I can mimic your shoe look and still be comfortable walking. Thanks for everything you do!

Tammy L. Grace said...

One of my favorite outfits and looks for you...and I can't believe you will be 60! You have such a youthful appearance and I love your classy outfits!

Susan Umberger said...

I'm 64, work out 5 days a week and garden like a fool. I also volunteer and keep my whole extended family together with family traditions. The worst thing you can do is give up and sit down! I'm not the most stylish person due to my outdoor avocation (not what you would call the genteel gardener!!) but when I do clean up I enjoy combining all my outfits in different ways and buying trendy accessories. I love your
shoes, Susan, but due to foot problems could not wear them for long. Oh well, there's always a wedge, I can do some of those...attitude is everything!

Angelina said...

No matter how many times I see a "before" and "after" photo of you, I continue to be amazed!! You look fantastic!

dinah412 said...

the exact same thing happened to me when i turned fifty and i didn't even realize it, when i figured it out and started turning things around again, i bumped into your blog! perfect timing! even though our styles are different you give me a jolt of inspiration every time i come across your facebook posts. thank you susan, thank you very much. rock on girl!

Lynn said...

I had a corporate job and always dressed well for that but my out of office clothes were frumpy to say the least! I had no idea, but since I've retired blogs like yours have really helped me in finding my style. I could lose a little weight, but feel and look,so mch better. Thank you.

ci said...

Susan, thank you for sharing your "ROCK ON!" view on life with all of us who are paddling in the same boat.!!!! You have been such a huge help for me with my wanting to stay fifty not frumpy , but now i am so past that and am rocking in my 60's!!
thank you, thank you thank you!!!

The Pouting Pensioner said...

I married in my late 50s and believed it was my time for dressing my age. I bought what I thought suited the Married Lady image. Of course, it didn't take long for me to realise the look wasn't me, the clothes I'd bought were for some other lady who'd always dressed that way. So now I've switched back to wearing just what is me, the style I've had all my life, with a few little tweaks to suit my more mature body, changing lifestyle and current styles. I'm back to being me and my hubby has got back the woman he fell for!
Loving your blog, as always, and loving Myra's work

monica dunton said...

Susan. I too have been followingredients you for some time. I love this hairstyle so much for you. I've been trying to post myself to instagram accounts but it too seems like an outlet for 20 somethings. Thank you so much.

Coblusky said...

Thank you so much for this blog! I have been lurking for a few years and will be turning 53 this year. While my husband and I are very active, I have gained 20+ pounds in the last 3-4 years. It is incredibly discouraging to weigh this much and not be able to feel comfortable in clothes any longer. I have made a promise to myself to change eating habits and increase exercise in the coming months. Even signed up for a Half Marathon with my high school besties! Something has got to change...you are my inspiration!

kim polzin said...

Been loving your bog and the new Blobs. Tell me more about your "chrome"? Not sure what this is. I'm in the process of going gray. Thanks!

Susan Street said...

Hi Kim, My stylist creates the combination that is the right tone for my hair. She leaves it on for only a few minutes before the shampoo. A hair glaze, similar to a gloss, is temporary. They can be clear to just add shine or have some pigment to complement the tone of the hair color. Unlike a gloss, a glaze does not contain peroxide or ammonia. It simply coats or sits on top of the hair.

Amy Adair said...

I love your blog! Great haircut! I'm 51 today (woohoo!) and was diagnosed with breast cancer in August. I just finished radiation last week and my hair is slowly growing back after months of chemo. My interest in style and clothes are signs of LIFE!! I love reading your blog and enjoying this stage of life. Thanks for posting your fun and happy style. I have bought several pieces that you have suggested and feel great in them! I teach at a university and want to be stylish and up-to-date but have to dress professionally. Your blog helps! Thanks again for sharing!

Amy Kennedy said...

I am so grateful for your posts. You bless me! When you put in your blog, "Rock on, sisters, we got this!" This just made me smile and gave me a little pep talk! Thank you thank you thank you! You are a treasure!