Showing posts with label Mid-Life. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mid-Life. Show all posts

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Snowed in ... again!

Another snowy weekend means I am mostly staying inside and waiting for the storm to pass.

I had plans to wear something much more exciting today, however a pending snow storm changed those plans. I've heard the way to make God laugh is to tell him your plans.

Here I am in my old reliable layers and easy to walk in Clarks shoes with my wet weather faux fur hat. Mickey was taking me out for a quick lunch before the roads got too dangerous to travel on. 

Snow fell for the whole afternoon. I woke up to several inches of snow today. 
It's so beautiful, but absolutely no fun to drive in!

This is my back yard view from the side street after our last snow storm a few weeks ago. 

What do you do when you are snowed in?

On this evening, Mickey and I sat in front of the fire with snacks and Scotch and waters listening to piano music playing the background. (Those are my favorite linen napkins with antique French post card scenes on them.) I don't own a TV so we read, talk, share our dreams, laugh at our silly jokes and make plans for when the warm weather returns.

While we were having lunch in a nice restaurant earlier today I noticed something. How does one instantly know who the hostess, the waiter, the owner, the chef or the busboy is?

....By the way they are dressed of course.

What does your daily way of dressing say about you? Remember fashion is unspoken communication to those who see you but more importantly it can make you feel much more confident in the way you see yourself. You don't need to be the dressed to the nines everyday but do put some thought into your outfit and try to show your personality and look your best. You never know who you might run into today!

Thank you so much for reading.

Have a safe and happy week!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Easy Breezy Summer Afternoons

I'm wearing khaki ankle pants with a soft floral blouse from Coldwater Creek and Nine West shoes. The sunglasses and bangle bracelets are in brown tones and bone with brass accents.

I'm comfortable and casual for hanging out by Mickey's pool in the pavilion with friends.

Yesterday we went for a drive to the mountains of North Carolina. When we arrived in Blowing Rock it was quite a bit cooler than it was here in Johnson City. I stopped in to visit one of my favorite boutiques, The Fig Leaf Ltd where I bought this Damee swing jacket. It is a soft taupe/silver color with a bit of sparkle to it. The classic styling means I will be wearing it for years to come. I love the collar details, the three quarter length sleeves and three large buttons. I'm also wearing black Travelers pants from Chicos and a black tee underneath the jacket. My earrings are large silver hoops with tiny Swarovski crystal details within the hoops.  The platform pony-skin sandals are by Vince Camuto. When wearing a dramatic style jacket such as this I always keep all my other accessories minimal. It is enough of a statement on its own. One must be careful not to over accessorize because that can make you look older and cluttered. 

Thanks for reading! I hope you have a great week.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Balancing Act

Do you have an inverted triangle body type? Pictured here are two versions of the wrap top which always makes me feel a little slimmer when the heat requires that I not wear a jacket or sweater as a third element. I have an inverted triangle figure which means my top is larger than my bottom half. To balance this, I often wear darker colors on top and lighter colors on the bottom. I also avoid bulky materials of any type in tops as well as breast pockets on shirts or ruffles on blouses.

When wearing long pants, a maxi dress or long skirt I often wear low flat shoes. When I wear a shorter skirt or cropped pants I always wear at least a low heel. I prefer wedges or thicker heels since my calves are short and thick compared to my thighs. If I wore thin stiletto heels the contrast would make my calves and ankles look even larger. 

Thanks for reading! I hope my tips are helpful to you. 

Resources for the items shown here can be found on my Polyvore site at the link below. Click on the set you like and then hover your mouse over the item to see options for finding the site that sells the item. 


Sunday, July 29, 2012

Tank Tops to the Rescue!

One item of clothing shows up in my closet in multiples for every season. The essential white tank top is always there in a variety of shapes, textures and fabrics. It is the first layer in many of my outfits. It provides a smoothing effect under shirts worn unbuttoned a bit for a lighter weight casual third element, cardigan sweaters and all sorts of jackets. After my fiftieth birthday I found that three layers in an outfit was very comfortable and appropriate in almost every situation.

Tank tops come in all shapes and types of fabrics. Knit ones with a bit of spandex are great for the smooth line they allow. If the tank top is made from a soft tee shirt knit the next layer will almost always drag across it rather than flow smoothly so they are better worn with heavier fabrics like denim.


Tank #1 has tiny straps that can be adjusted to allow you to move the neckline lower or higher. This is a great tank to serve as a modesty layer simply for cleavage control and a foundation to give you a smooth back under jackets and cardigans. 

Tank #2 has wider straps and a rouching detail at the neckline for a bit of softness. It can be used as a relief layer when your top layer becomes too warm. It covers enough to still be attractive when worn alone while your "private summer" passes.

Tank #3 is a lace number which should be made from silk or rayon or nylon so that it is soft and smooth under dressy jackets and knit cardigans with ornate buttons (think Chanel style knits.) This one has the warm glow of cream white which looks soft and feminine in candlelight.

Tank #4 is a soft tee shirt material which can be worn under denim shirts or sporty knit jackets.

Tank #5 hugs you close and gives you a smoother body under thin jackets and sweaters when you want hold it all in just a bit.

Tank #6 is my necessary cream color tank when white is just too bright as in the photo below. (I now make sure I pack my cream tank when I take this sweater for a weekend get-away.)

 I'm wearing a thin knit cardigan with fringe detail and a silky smooth tank (which should have been cream colored) underneath.

 This is an Austin Reed navy blazer which has a low V-front closure. I always wear it with a white tank and either a scarf or an interesting necklace when we are going out to dinner in the fall.

 Here's another outfit including a silky white tank and the navy Austin Reed blazer.

 This is a black and white jacket that needs just a bit of modesty at the neckline
 so I'm wearing tank #1 here.

 There is a white silky tank #5 underneath this thin gray bomber style jacket.

Tank #4 is under this quilted knit casual jacket worn with dark wash denim and comfy luggage tan booties for a recent trip to the mountains.

Thank you for reading! I hope these tips help you expand your wardrobe and have fun creating different layered outfits with the essential white tank top.

Sources: I find a variety of tank tops in different shapes and fabrics at most department stores including Dillard'sBelk ,Target,  Macy's and Stein Mart.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Enjoy the Journey!

My page 'Fifty, not Frumpy' on Facebook has been a huge hit, with as many as 8,500 views per week. My sets on Polyvore geared to women of a certain age had more than 40,000 views in the first six months of being a member. The feedback and interest shown have inspired me to create a web site and devote my blog to the very popular conversations and pictures we share for those of us who are having fun with fashion later in life. Let's celebrate who we are now and make the most of our assets and have fun with fashion.

The fastest growing demographic on Facebook is women over fifty-five, but style and fashion tips geared toward us are still very few. My goal is to share a variety of outfits with links to similar items if you wish to buy them. I'll provide tips and tricks I've learned to use in making today's looks work for me as a more mature woman.

My outfit for the Tour of Homes in Blowing Rock, North Carolina had to be cool and comfortable for the heat of the late July day but also allow me to keep warm when the cool evening air settled onto the mountains. My option included a very soft knit black maxi dress with wider straps which allowed me to wear a black bra for proper support. I wore a soft knit raspberry colored cardigan with bronze bead trim as a coverup. When I bought it and the clutch bag I'm wearing as a cross-body bag, I thought I would be using them for evening wear, however, they seemed perfect for this daytime dress.

I kept all my accessories simple since I was wearing a hat and sunglasses otherwise my look would have been too cluttered.

The sandals are comfortable and low with embellishments that complement the details on the hat and the bag.

Later in the day when the heat was high and everyone was sporting their wet hair and looking wilted in their damp clothes I still felt comfortable and confident. I was flattered that so many people gave me compliments. One guy even whistled at me! That hasn't happened in many years.

This is my sweet wonderful gentleman friend and partner in adventure, Mickey.

Thank you for reading! I hope the tips and ideas I share with you give you inspiration for making fashion fun again.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Happier and Healthier

The person you see in the first photo is very unhealthy and unhappy with her body image on all levels. That's me in the Spring of 2011.

Spring 2011

Fast forward a year to the second photo. I lost more than forty pounds!

Spring 2012

I was about to outgrow size 12 pants in the first photo. In the second photo, I'm comfortably wearing size 4 pants. 

In 2010, I averaged two migraines per week. I rarely have even a headache now and the inflammation of joints that caused pain with every movement is gone. A backache that kept me from enjoying working in my flower gardens is gone. I no longer take medications of any kind. My lab test results are now perfect. 

Everyone who sees me for the first time in a few months is amazed at my transformation. The first question is "How did you lose so much weight so fast?" My answer is always "Read the book "Eat To Live" by Dr. Joel Fuhrman" to learn what to eat and why.


I am happy to report that I have continued to maintain my weight for more than seven years.


While doing research for the world's healthiest foods, I found that many of them were in what I have for breakfast every morning. This is a hot cereal breakfast that keeps me from thinking about food until late in the afternoon. I'm sharing the recipe along with my story in the hopes that I can inspire you to be a healthier happier more energetic person.

Susan's Power Porridge Breakfast

About 3 cups of unsweetened Almond Milk or Coconut Milk (add more if the mixture becomes too thick cook longer if it is too thin.)
2 Tablespoons of steel cut oats
1 Tablespoon lentils (I add a teaspoon each of three colors)
2 Tablespoons flax seeds (I grind them in a coffee grinder)
1 Tablespoon of amaranth
1 Tablespoon of millet
1 Tablespoon Chia Seeds  
2 Tablespoons of old-fashioned rolled oats (Added near the end of cooking time. Needs about five minutes of cooking.)
Optional items to add near the end of cooking time:
1 Tablespoon sunflower seeds and/or sesame seeds
1 Tablespoon of raw organic pepitas (no shell pumpkin seeds)
1 Tablespoon natural raw walnuts
1 Tablespoon natural raw pecans
1 Tablespoon Hemp Hearts (Sprinkle on top or add at the end of cooking.)
1/4 cup of cooked Teff and or Quiona
1 teaspoon of Red Star Nutritional Yeast (This is not brewers yeast.) It supplies B vitamins. 
3 Large dates (pits removed) cut in half
1 Banana or any fresh fruits you like.
Spices you might like to add, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, nutmeg or ground cloves. 

 (You may find these items on or if they are not available in your area.)

Heat almond milk to a gentle boil as you add lentils and chia seeds, grains, seeds, and then the oats. Stir well and turn down the heat to medium, continue to stir occasionally. Cook for about fifteen minutes until the lentils are tender. You may need to add more or less almond milk to keep the consistency creamy, not watery.

Add the Nutritional Yeast, nuts and dried fruit, stir and cover to simmer only until the dried fruits have warmed. Cut fresh fruit to add on top. 

This recipe serves two or saves well to refrigerate for reheating. I reheat with more almond milk in a saucepan and add the cold porridge to simmer for a few minutes until it is warm.

Packed with high nutrition this breakfast will help you feel satisfied well into the afternoon.

It's been more than six years since I began this journey. I haven't had so much as a cold since I started eating this breakfast followed by a large vegetable loaded salad late in the day. I drink a lot of water and eat fresh in-season fruits and vegetables daily.

I still have desserts occasionally and I still have a glass of white wine with dinners out with Mr. Mickey a couple of times a week. 90% of the time I eat whole real foods that have not been processed in any way other than perhaps being steamed. Mostly I just wash, chop, and enjoy. 

Countless people have asked me how do you continue to keep the weight off? This is my secret!

Friday, March 16, 2012

New Start!

Starting over is always stressful but later in life it can be downright overwhelming. You might think that getting a whole new wardrobe would be great fun but I'm finding that not to be the case. 

During the past year I lost more than thirty-five pounds. That equates to size 12 pants that were too tight to size 6 pants that are too loose in the rear. None of the old familiar favorites that have carried me through in the past will work for me now. Thus begins the monumental task of rebuilding a wardrobe that took years to acquire.

The pieces I've chosen above can be mixed and matched to get the most out of my investment. The exception would be the lighter blue jacket. It is more dressy and would only be worn with the black pants or a black skirt for evenings.  

My goal is to build a core wardrobe of basic pieces which easily move from day to evening and for any event. These pieces can be updated with accessories and layered over tops with interesting details or pops of color to make them current. 

I look for shapes and details that are appropriate for my body type. My upper body is still too thick as compared to my lower half. Instead of boxy large collar jackets, I look for deep V, single breasted closures or no closure at all. Lapels are notched high and upward with smaller or best of all, no lapels. This draws the eye up to my face which is quite round. To balance the roundness I look for lower scoop neck or V-necks in a simple style and sleek material. Showing a bit of skin above the cleavage elongates the face. (At fifty-five, I don't show wrinkly cleavage on purpose.) 

The shape of a jacket or blouse should be nipped in a bit at the waist but loose enough so that the back is smooth. Boxy jackets or ones that are too long will overwhelm me and make me look older and shapeless. My waist has always been thick but wearing a shapeless high neck jacket with a round collar or a chunky knit cardigan makes me appear to have no neck at all as well as no waist and makes my chin appear to rest right on top of my bust.

I always search for pants and skirts with a plain flat front and ideally a side zipper. Even though I don't have much of a behind, I don't want to draw attention to it with flap pockets or embellished details. I still want smooth very simple pockets on my slacks. Skinny jeans are for the very young and very skinny. I put those acid washed, weirdly faded, embellished jeans in that same pile. I look for dark blue jeans, white jeans and khaki pants with a slightly flared hem and smooth simple natural waistline. 

I prefer blouses with the same waist tailoring and a crisp collar that can be turned up for an extra lift to the eye. I really like three quarter length sleeves and always look for those in blouses, summer weight knit cardigans and crossover detailed tops. Showing a bit of skin at the neck and forearm gives you visual lift and makes you look taller and thinner. 

My calves are thick and short so crop pants are always worn with wedge heel sandals (never...ever high skinny heels). I need the added length to keep my legs from looking shorter and fatter. I have not worn shorts for twenty years and don't intend to start now. 

Wish me luck as I continue my search! I hope sharing this with you has helped you in your search for updates as well. Try writing down what you are looking for and why. It helps narrow the overwhelming choices when it comes to choosing what is right for you.