Showing posts with label dressing after 50. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dressing after 50. Show all posts

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.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Upon the Mountain

Today we took a drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway to one of our favorite villages, Blowing Rock, North Carolina.

Our visits to Blowing Rock almost always end with Mr. Mickey and I enjoying a scoop of Kilwin's ice cream while sitting on a bench in the park across the street. Today I shared a bench with a scarecrow! 

This is the door of a stone church in the village.

For some people, Sunday afternoon is a time to watch football. Shopping is a sport isn't it? Unfortunately, all of my shopping lately has been at Lowe's. 

Here's a peek at my new home. 
We stopped there on our way out of town.

I will be moving my furniture in soon, but for now there is still more work to be done.

Today I am wearing a dark purple sweater from Chico's with a lighter violet tunic from Covered Perfectly. This is my version of a sweater set. I don't care for those short clingy ones that you often find in stores. The necklace and brown ponte pants are also from Chico's. I now have my favorite Louise et Cie shoes in brown leather, black suede and animal print. They are so comfortable! You will find them only at Nordstrom. The bag is old.

Thank you for reading my blog. I hope you had a lovely weekend as well!

Susan Street is the President of

Friday, October 18, 2013

Finding Your Black

Is head to toe black your "easy to get dressed without thinking about it" look?

In the 1990's all black became the uniform for an easy dressing option for many women.

In the Polyvore fashion set I created above, I selected items in different shades of brown but varying shades of any color would give the same effect. 

Color is just one part of my decision making process. As in all the tips I share with you, I will use myself for the example today.

I like very much to wear soft flowing lines in a longer jacket or sweater. A simple cowl, oval or rounded V neck top works best with my round face and wavy hair. This neckline also gives my favorite necklaces a simple background. Another tip: When I wear a necklace, I wear very simple smaller earrings. If I wear a larger pair of earrings, I skip the necklace. Too much going on around your face is not flattering, especially since most of us wear glasses now. Speaking of glasses, a squarish frame in a softer gray or brown tone is much more flattering to my coloring and face shape. 

Since the top half of my body is larger and longer than the lower half I like to wear slim leg pants and shoes with a bit of a heel or wedge. This helps to balance the halves of my body.

This is an example of a look that is easy and comfortable for me.

I hope this post inspires you to think about details such as the lines, the drape and the cut of the clothing you wear as well as the color. If you understand how all the elements come together to flatter you, getting dressed is so much easier. If the colors in your closet all truly flatter your own coloring it is amazing how they also work together. This makes getting dressed in the dark almost possible.

Thanks for joining me on this journey! I love hearing from you.

Susan Street is the President of

Monday, May 27, 2013

The Pergola

Our date nights became few and far between during the month of May. The reason was that Mr. Mickey and his crew were building a new pergola by his pool.

Later this week the pool will be open for the enjoyment of family and friends. Thankfully it is heated so we won't have to wait for summer to actually arrive.

Soon those colorful vines will wrap around the columns and travel across the top of the pergola.

Among the many interests Mr. Mickey and I share, is a love of beautiful grounds and surprises in the garden.  There are several sculptures, a fountain and benches tucked into the corners of his property.

There are also meditation gardens where you can sit on a bench and watch the birds and squirrels, soon forgetting that you are in the midst of a city neighborhood. 

My jacket is navy linen from Coldwater Creek. Cool spring days are the perfect time to wear a three-quarter sleeve jacket. The cream colored tank and tan pants are from Talbots. The gold studded sandals are by Kenneth Cole Reaction via T.J.Maxx.

I hope the sun is shining where you are and that you have a lovely day.

Thank you for reading!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Black Is NOT Safe!

Do you reach for black as if on automatic pilot when getting dressed?

This photo was taken a couple of years before I lost forty pounds. We won't even talk about that hair! I guess I thought a bit of height would make my round face less so.

For several years, I dressed in flowing layers of black. I wore a lot of V-Neck tops with jackets and pants. It was a uniform for me, but I always wore dramatic jewelry such as this necklace which is one of my own designs.

The reasons I wore black were only partially because of my size. Now that I look back on that time there was a much deeper reason for it. Perhaps I felt I didn't deserve to wear color, or I felt I could be more invisible in black.

Our self-image is reflected in what we wear. It's our flag to the world that says "This is me, and this is how I'm feeling today."

I don't pretend to be a Psychologist, but I know I had sadness issues for many years. Wearing black is a sign of mourning in many cultures. I suppose I was in mourning for twenty years, but I won't bore you with that story again.

After I had lost forty pounds, I branched out into wearing wild colors such as white and gray. I'm kidding! It was very difficult for me to stop reaching for black as I was shopping for a new wardrobe after the weight came off.

As we age, our coloring softens and shadows appear near the corners of our eyes and around the nose. When we wear black near our face, it accentuates these shadows, and some of us look older and more tired. Which is also very true if you color your hair all one dark color or wear a lot of black eyeliner all the way around your eyes. It can be a very harsh effect.

The lighting in my breakfast nook is not the best but even here you can see that color near the face makes me look younger, happier and healthier. I am much happier and healthier! This picture was taken last night and the other two were taken a few years ago. It was a rainy day so I did wear black pants and boots. I always wear dark pants on rainy days because the little water spots from walking can permanently stain lighter colored pants.

I love to wear black but it isn't for everyone for the reasons I mentioned above. I still wear black often, but I add a statement necklace or a scarf with white, red, or royal blue. 

Thank you for reading. I hope that you have a colorful week!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Wednesday Date Night

This was a beautiful day! The temperature was so mild that only a light jacket was required and the sky was the most fabulous blue all day. Date night was equally perfect!

The snow is gone now and there was no rain so I could wear my favorite booties from Nordstrom. They are by Vince Camuto and they have sky-high heels with a gold trimmed platform. High heels are still my guilty little pleasure! I feel so feminine and special when I wear them.

Tip: I never wear light colored pants in wet weather since it causes dark little water drop stains on the backs of your pants as you walk.

 The necklace is one of my own designs. The ring is old from Stein Mart. The bag is from T. J. Maxx from a few years ago. I always buy unique evening clutches when I find them. For less than twenty dollars, you can really upgrade your look for evening. 

 I was sold by the belt detail construction on the back of this jacket. It visually cinches in the back for a more feminine silhouette. This jacket was purchased a few days ago at Coldwater Creek from their fabulous end of season sale. The pants are my favorite side zip style from Talbots also from the end of season sale. I'm wearing a sleek long sleeve slim fitting black tee under the jacket. Foundation tees or tanks made from thin silky material are great to wear with jackets when only the neckline shows. I wouldn't wear them by themselves since they hug everything a bit too much but as a foundation they are perfect.

 Since my top half is a full two sizes larger than my bottom half, I often wear a dark color on the top and lighter color on the bottom. This helps to visually balance my body.  

 By the time Mickey arrives for our winter date nights, the only good lighting happens to be in my dining room.

 Dinner was the perfect ending to the day. That's a goat cheese and arugula salad with Pinot Grigio I'm enjoying. We talked nonstop for two hours while we enjoyed our meal at our favorite restaurant in town, Gourmet and Company. When you are in Johnson City be sure to stop there for dinner. The first entrée on their menu is vegetarian and named after Mickey!

 We have plans for a great weekend which will provide much more interesting backdrops for photos.

Thank you for reading.
I hope you have a great rest of the week!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Column Dressing

Column dressing is using color to create a long slender illusion.

I often use this dressing technique to appear taller and slimmer. Choose a top and pants in the same color and a topper in another color. A topper can be a sweater, a jacket, vest or a blouse left mostly open or even a large scarf draped across your shoulders. 

Add accessories that tie into the color of your topper to look really polished and put together. Looking at the pieces already in your closet in a different way can often give you a new look.

Thank you for reading and for all your kind comments. I hope you have a great day.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Window Shopping

After a week of snow and ice the sun finally showed up today! Early in the morning my neighborhood was encased in ice but the sun soon melted it all.

When the weather finally allowed safe passage, 
I was eager to leave my home for the first time in a few days.

Mickey took me out to lunch and we ran a few errands. 
It was so good to see sunshine!

I'm wearing straight leg heritage fit jeans and a white tunic blouse from Talbots with Ralph Lauren booties via T.J. Maxx. The red bag is Tahari via T.J. Maxx. The tunic length sweater is from Ross. The animal print chiffon scarf is old. Layering for warmth can be tricky because it adds so much bulk to our silhouettes. To balance this effect I wore the slimmest jeans I have with boots which have a higher heel.

There will be no outdoor dining today!

Isn't it wonderful to have a best friend? That's my sweet Mickey with me in this photo.

We both have a weakness for chocolate desserts. A couple of times a month we share one after a light lunch of salad. This way we don't have to totally give up life's small pleasures.

Thank you for reading
I hope you have a safe and happy day. 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

A Sunny Sunday!

Mickey and I often take a drive over the mountains to Asheville, North Carolina. It's only about an hour from my house but there's so much to see and do there.


We walked around that corner behind me and into the artist owned Mystic Masala Gallery where I found a great necklace.

Many of the buildings in Asheville have an Art Deco design. This is the Flatiron Building and in front of it is this sculpture of an iron...

I'm wearing the new necklace here. The pants are Peck & Peck from Stein Mart. The denim blazer is old from Dillard's. The red long sleeve tee is from Talbots. The red bag is by Tahari and the booties are by Madden Girl.

On almost every corner there is a street performer.

This lady sounded so much like Tracy Chapman. 
They were all really good!

The Early Girl Eatery on Wall Street was made famous when Rachel Ray did a segment of one her shows here. We also had a great meal there today!

Your table is ready!  
(Mickey's piano keys scarf was the hit of the day. He got lots of compliments!)

We can never be this close to The Chocolate Fetish without stopping in for dessert.

 Awesome truffles to share!

 I hope you had a wonderful weekend as well. Thank you for reading my blog!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Animal Print Jacket

Life is finally getting back to normal after the holidays immediately followed by all the issues associated with launching a new web site for my company. I was so ready for this Friday date night!

This was such a busy day I didn't have time to do much more than touch up my makeup, change shoes and slip into this jacket. During the day I wore black low wedge shoes and a purple three quarter sleeve thin knit sweater.
The animal print jacket is made from a wonderful light weight metallic material. I wore it with a white silky tee and a tribal inspired necklace by Erica Lyons from Belk. The gray slacks are from Talbots. The evening bag is by Kenneth Cole Reaction. The shoes are BCBG. The large face watch is from Stein Mart

I hope you have a wonderful weekend. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Come as you are... Really?

Our society has become so very casual that we now see grown women at the Post Office in pajamas and fuzzy slippers. Would you really want to run into your boss, your potential client or your high school rival in your pajamas in a public place? It takes only three minutes to get dressed for running an errand if you have a couple of planned outfits hanging in your closet together and ready to slip into. You will be glad you took the extra minutes to put on actual clothes when you have to look someone in the eye and speak to them whether you know them or not. 

You say you are more comfortable in jeans and a tee? These three looks are built around jeans and a tee. The sources for all these products can be found at my Polyvore page. You can look really nice and well put together no matter what you feel most comfortable in. 

As our American Thanksgiving holiday approaches I am so grateful for the chance we have had to get to know each other over the past year. I look forward to sharing more with you in the coming years!
Thank you so much for reading!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Evening Attire

Last evening I walked the red carpet with Mr. Mickey by my side. The cameras were flashing and there was an adoring crowd. 

OK it wasn't THAT red carpet but it was fun!

We attended the 'Spirits of the Season' gala for the American Cancer Society after which we attended the November performance of the Johnson City Symphony Orchestra. The evening's events gave me the opportunity to view all ages and sizes of ladies in their evening finery. 

Please remember that if it isn't appropriate for your age and body shape or size during the day it doesn't magically become so after dark. I saw dresses that were too small, too short, too plunging and too shiny for the women who chose to wear them. There were ladies who seemed to be wearing every single piece of bling they owned and if that wasn't enough they also wore glittery eye shadow. Oh my! It was difficult to maintain my composure at times.

Many of my friends who attend these functions on a regular basis were also at both events I noticed that there was a common thread uniting all of us. We were dressed in attire that was devoid of excess glitter, extra bling or plunging necklines. There wasn't a bare back or arm among us. I dare say none of us rushed down to local Pageant Boutique to by a special dress for this event. We looked attractive, comfortable and appropriate for any evening event.

Dressing well includes being comfortable. If you look silly in your skin tight satin dress without the benefit of proper foundation garments at home, you will not look better when you get to the event. 

I strongly believe that you should be able to combine the clothes you already own to make them work for any occasion. You have seen some elements of my recent looks before, which proves I make investments in clothes and shoes which can be worn many times in different combinations to make them earn their worth. 

Your attire at any event should reflect a woman who is confident, well dressed and comfortable in her own skin. I would prefer to look as if I've been here many times and it's no big deal instead of "I'm wearing my daughter's slinky prom dress with four inch heels I can't walk in. Don't I look ridiculous?"

You may also be attending parties and special black tie events this season so remember these tips when you do. Be comfortable. Maintain your dignity. Be true to yourself. Look special and elegant. Have fun!

Thank you for reading!