Saturday, November 10, 2012

Friday Date Night!

Friday is always date night for us. We get dressed up and visit our  favorite gourmet restaurant. Even if we just share an appetizer and have a glass of wine, it is a ritual that we both enjoy very much. It is our time to relax and share the events of the week, our hopes and dreams. One must always have dreams!


This week I wore a jacket I bought earlier this year from the half off sale rack of swanky boutique in Asheville. It is now too big for me but I layer it with a tank to still make it work. Here I'm wearing it with wider leg black crepe trousers and a black tank with a draping neckline which is a bit dressier than a form fitting one.



My stylist gave me a great wash and go cut today. Thank you Allison! I am not one to spend any time on my hair so it will always be a simple let it be style for me.


Thank you for reading. I hope you have a great weekend!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Shoes and Earrings Relate

When you are getting dressed, do you ever think ... these earrings go great with these shoes?




It's so true! Shoes and earrings are related. All the components of your outfit make a small statement that add up to the total look and tell your story for the day. 

Jewelry tells a story for me because I was a designer for so many years. I went on market trips to NY and Atlanta with boutique owners so that I could start creating appropriate jewelry for the lines they were buying long before they arrived in the stores.  Accessories that are not so much matching but complementing in color and attitude complete a look.

Think about the attitude of the pieces you are putting together. For example the navy strappy sandals say evening wear as do the navy drop earrings. The T-Strap suede shoe says fashion forward and a little daring... so do the suede hoop earrings. 

Accessories from head to toe should speak the same language. 

I hope that the hurricane has now passed and that you and your loved ones are safe. 




Thank you for reading!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Animal Print Vest

The weather was unseasonably warm for late October so my outfit for date night included light weight layers and black sandals. 



The long sleeve black tee is from Chico's. The pants are by Anne Klein in a wonderfully smooth heavy knit fabric from my fabulous haul at Ross yesterday. The animal print flowing sheer fabric long vest is from Coldwater Creek. I love these vests as a third element. They can be worn as a scarf, a wrap or a vest and will serve as a year round accessory. I've found them at Chico's and Coldwater Creek in several color combinations.
 


The necklace is by Erica Lyons from Belk. The black sandals are from Stein Mart and the pewter clutch is by Kenneth Cole Reaction via T.J. Maxx.

Thanks for reading! I hope the rest of your week is fabulous.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Formula

Do you have a formula for the way you dress? 




Long ago I realized that if I wore smooth flowing fabrics in a soft palette of colors I would be able to layer items or combine them in different ways to create outfits for many occasions. My closet includes basic pieces that can be worn with different accessories to elevate them from daytime work wear to elegant evenings with friends. I won't buy a wardrobe of clothes which serve only one purpose (such as evening wear). A silk blouse I might wear with jeans to run errands during the day can also be worn with a black pencil skirt or crepe pants for dinner with friends. Accessories are the key that make these combinations work for me.

Large scarves, wraps or shawls are a great way to add dramatic color and 'temperature control' as is so often needed at this stage of life. Sunglasses are a daytime staple for me. I never leave without them. Earrings with a button top and dangles or hoops are much more flattering than those little wires that pass through the hole in your ear. A large link bracelet or a stack of bangles (or both!) are great accessories to add to almost any outfit. If I wear a statement necklace, I balance the drama by letting it take center stage and wear minimal other accessories. 

Structured handbags and clutches are much more flattering than big shoulder bags that make you look lopsided and sloppy. 

Interesting but comfortable shoes are a must! Life is way too short to wear boring shoes. 

This is my formula for shopping and getting dressed everyday. I have soft contrast coloring and a subdued quite personality. These tips serve me well and have helped me get ready for any event for most of my adult life. 

If you have high contrast coloring such as dark brown eyes with an olive skin-tone and dark silver gray hair and a bold outgoing personality your formula would be very different from mine.

I hope that sharing my concept of a "Formula" for dressing will help you put together easy, fabulous outfits so that you can get busy enjoying life.

If you would like to shop for the exact pieces I use in my fashion sets here and on my Facebook page you may visit my Polyvore page.

Thank you for reading! I hope you have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Breaking Rules

You may have heard the saying, "You must know the rules in order to break them effectively." With my soft contrast cool coloring, I should not wear brown or warm animal prints... but I love both! 




Last night for date night I wore an animal print tunic from Chico's Traveler's Collection. I layered it over a sleek long sleeve tee with spandex and Lycra, also from Chico's last year. The slim black pants are from Stein-Mart last year. The high heeled booties are by Vince Camuto and they are from Nordstrom. In spite of their high heels, these booties are comfortable and easy to walk in.

The little evening purse is one of my favorites but it must be fifteen years old. The silver and clear rhinestone hoops add a touch of cool tones next to my face.

The tunic is a little too large but I would prefer anything which buttons to not fit too tightly across my bust. I often go up a size in tops for that reason. I will also be able to wear this light weight tunic over summer clothes with the sleeves turned up.


The key to this outfit is the balance. I would never wear these slim leg pants with anything but a long tunic and I would never wear this tunic with anything but slim leg pants or a pencil skirt. Never wear two pieces that visually add width together. Always balance flowing boxy pieces over slim fitting pieces or vice versa. (For an opposite example: a slim tank top over a flowing maxi skirt.)


Thanks for reading. I hope the rest of your week is wonderful!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Wearing Tights

I love the look of chunky booties with tights and a pencil skirt for daytime in the cooler months. When the proportions are right for you and the skirt isn't too short you can still turn heads in a good way. 




Proper fit is always important but especially so in a skirt. If the skirt is too tight or short you will not be comfortable or appropriate. Wearing a skirt with tights during the day in the cooler months is a great fresh look. Tights are opaque leg wear that allow us to get away with so much more than sheer stockings would. I normally wear sheer black stockings for evening only. Wolford makes top of the line tights which are well worth the investment. (They create lots of other fabulous items we need too!)

Here I've paired a graphite skirt with a loose fitting graphite long sleeve tee and a scarf. The scarf brings in the other colors to add. Burgundy is the color for us! It's very flattering to the face and can be worn with all the neutrals so well.  Add a few gold tone bold accessories and you can seize the day.

If you would like to shop for the exact items I've shown here you can visit my Polyvore page where I create wardrobe and outfit ideas. I normally list only items that are less than $100. I don't shop for high end expensive items but I do want to look current and attractive. Those are the tips I share with you here and on Facebook

Thanks so much for reading! I hope you have a wonderful day.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Beauty Routines After 50

Many of you have written to ask for tips on makeup and hairstyles that respect our changing faces. I am sharing my step by step routine with you here.





Permanent makeup, fillers, and plastic surgery are not options I am considering. I don't mind the character and expression lines that my face has developed over the years. I firmly believe that healthy eating, lots of water and regular exercise are the best beauty routines one can follow.



After fifty, some things became easier and for me, a hairstyle definitely falls into that category. I stopped coloring my hair after my fiftieth birthday and found a great stylist who gives me a softly layered angled bob cut that frames and slims my roundish face. Ask your stylist for a cut that works with the natural tendency of your hair and one that complements the shape of your face. A good stylist will also consider if your style is complementary to the size and shape of your body. For example, a petite woman peering out from a huge bush of long hair is not in balance with her proportions.






In the photo above I have just returned from my stylist. She gives me low lights about twice a year which keep my hair from appearing to colorless and dull. The chrome glaze she adds every five weeks gives it a nice shine.

As for styling products, I don't use anything but a gentle sulfate-free shampoo about three times a week. I sometimes just rinse my hair in the shower and then reshape it for the day, but skip the products entirely on most days. My thinning hair and dry scalp do not respond well to most products. A build up of styling products adds too much weight making my hair flat. It also gets trimmed about every five or six weeks. I don't allow my hair to get too long or get it cut too short. Both extremes add years to my face.



Warm water and a gentle skin cleanser remove makeup in the evening. Liquid Neutrogena in the pump bottle is my choice for a cleanser. I splash some warm water on my face to rinse it and then pat dry. I find that eye creams add puffiness and night time moisturizers cause me to break out so I skip those. One of my all time favorite moisturizers for my whole body is Coconut Oil.




My makeup routine has also been streamlined. In winter, I use a heavier moisturizer but in summer, I use only a tinted moisturizer or very light foundation that is appropriate for the texture of my skin. I apply the foundation mostly in my T-zone. (The T-Zone is the center of your face from your forehead down to your chin where most of us were a bit oily when our hormones were plentiful.) Use a small makeup sponge or brush to blend gently away from your nose and skip the area around your mouth so that you don't emphasize lines. This technique of starting your makeup in the center of your face and blending away helps to avoid the dreaded line of demarcation where your makeup stops and your neck begins.  

Here is a blog post including a makeup video.



I use makeup brushes rather than sponge applicators. They allow for better blending and less tugging on the skin. I use a liquid eyeliner applied into and under the base of my upper eyelashes (on the waterline). I don't apply liner or mascara to my lower lashes because this looks very harsh on me. My eyeshadow is always the same in varying degrees of depth of color for the day versus evening. The palate includes soft beige, a very pale shell pink, gray and rosy browns that complement my cool skin tone. I start with the darkest brown in my lash line and just above it. In the crease of my eye and just above it I blend a medium brown. I blend the lighter colors up to my brow and then blend. 

For more definition and drama, I add a smoky gray color at the outside corner of my eye. I use a blonde eyebrow pencil to fill in my thin brows, but I'm careful to blend and brush that out as well. I use a brown/black mascara and that's it for eyes. 




I brush on a bit of blush in a rose tone high on the cheekbones, the bridge of my nose and under my chin. If your skin is very dry cream blush might be best for you. Once again blend, blend, blend! Note: Do not smile and put blush on the apple of your cheek as we were taught when we were younger. When you stop smiling the blush will be lower than you want and not have the effect you want at all. 



I apply a lip liner over my whole lip and then a very similar color of lipstick. After blotting, I'm finished with my daytime makeup routine. During the evening, I may wear a brighter lip color but I apply and blot it several times while I am applying my make up so that it stains my lips rather than sliding around on top. I will use a similar color lip balm to touch up during the evening.


I almost always wear sunglasses when I'm outdoors and if I will be in the sun for more than a few minutes I also wear a hat. Skin cancer is no fun and I hope to never have it again. 


Thank you for reading!
I hope these tips prove to be helpful to you.

Susan Street is the President of VintageJewelrySupplies.com.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Confidence looks good on you!

Celebrating our fiftieth birthday often means a rounder body is the gift we receive. Hormones and lifestyle play a part in this new body shape but we still want to look nice and dress in a way that is both flattering and comfortable. I've been a larger woman for most of my life so these tips are ones that I have always used to conceal a tummy that will never be flat no matter how much weight I lose.



1. Wear a top and pants or skirt in a similar color. Always wear a scarf, an open jacket, a blouse or a sweater in a different color to add a vertical line. The top should never be tucked in. If it stops just below your tummy that's a very good thing. Look for pieces that have smooth finishes that flow across your body rather than clinging to it. Avoid anything quilted or bulky. Pants and skirts should fall from the widest part of your body. If your thighs are that point, pants should skim your body to that point and then flow smoothly from there. Skirts should end at the slimmest part of your leg which is normally just below the knee. Pants should stop at the bottom of your heel. If you wear Capri pants, always wear a platform wedge shoe with them to lengthen your leg.

2. Look for silky smooth scarves in oblong shapes. The idea is to add a nice long vertical line, not bulk. Don't tie the scarf around your neck so that it ends with even tails in front. Try tucking it under the collar of your jacket so that one end is shorter than the other. Avoid horizontal lines of any type across your body. If the scarf is long enough try looping it over itself to create a V below your bust. A V shape neckline is usually more flattering than a round one.

3.Try to always wear a thicker, low heel rather than a totally flat shoe. Carry a bag that isn't too small or puffy. A sleek and structured bag looks much neater and doesn't add width to your silhouette. Be cautious with shoulder bags that hang right there beside your hips giving you more width where you least want it.

4. Wear the biggest clip on earrings you can get away with. Earrings with strands or movement are a great friend to us. Never wear a pointless little button stud earring that barely covers the hole in your ear.

Hold your head up high and smile. Confidence is your best accessory!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Long Sweater Vest

When the evenings start to turn cooler, I find that a long sweater vest is the extra layer that works for me. This one is from Chico's. It's a soft tone of blue red that isn't too bright. I've paired it with a crossover tee in black and tailored gray slacks. When I want try something trendy like these fun wedge boots in black I look for a cute inexpensive option. I found these at Target. 



Mickey was taking me out to dinner so I switched to a small black and gold leather clutch bag. I'm wearing a red bangle with gold medallion details and gold with silver hoops. 

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

Monday, September 24, 2012

Layers are Great!

Fall is in the air which brings out the sweaters and jackets. This can be a great look for all figure types if you use layers to your advantage. 

If you have long lean legs you can wear leggings or straight leg jeans with almost any type of boot. Just remember to balance the slender bottom half with a layered longer top half.
Create a long slender line with one color in different tones. Add color around your face with a scarf and a long cozy sweater.

If you have a few extra pounds around the middle (don't we all?!) remember to keep those first layers smooth and sleek. The sweater may have to come off as the day gets warmer so I normally wear a large scarf as well. Later in the day it will be the outer layer I drape across my shoulders when I have to take off the sweater for the afternoon.

Petite Layers

If you are petite (5' 2" and under), a cropped cardigan or jacket and tailored pants will likely work better for you. Wear a smaller silky scarf and carry a more tailored messenger bag. The best jacket or sweater for you will end at your hip bone or just below your natural waist and close in a V shape. Steer clear of double breasted closures.

Enjoy this beautiful time of year and stay comfortable in layers. 

Thanks for reading!

 

Friday, September 14, 2012

An Evening Out

Mickey and I are on our way to an evening fundraiser. My jacket is a very light weight wrap style with a collar and I'm wearing a black tank under it. The lined black crêpe skirt is a bit shorter in the front and has a ruffle. The black satin sandals are by Sam & Libby. 


Over the years I have collected pieces that are appropriate for evening wear. I mix and match them to create looks for the numerous evening events we attend. When I'm shopping I always look for pieces that will work well with this mix. I can never seem to find anything for an event if I go shopping at the time of the event so I've learned it's good to be prepared for anything with separates that can be paired together. (Actually this philosophy extends to my daytime wardrobe as well.) 

I normally wear only one piece of major "bling" for evening. Here I've added a dinner ring with a big pink stone mounted in antique silver. I always wear earrings because my ears are pierced but here they are very understated diamond wide half hoops. Resist the temptation to wear every shiny thing you own for evening. That makes you look much older and too cluttered. The tiny evening bag is woven black satin with a simple silver ball closure. Always switch to a small bag for evening.

Thanks for all your sweet birthday wishes yesterday. I had a wonderful day!

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

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Frumpy No More

This is me in 1998 at forty-two years old, five feet seven inches tall and weighing two hundred pounds. Those pants are a size 18!






My life was crumbling beneath my feet and sadness oozed from every pore. I hated my job but was too deep in debt to start over in another. My then-husband was having an affair with a much younger and more fun woman. I was grieving for the children and family I would never have. In short my life was a big mess! I cried every single day... sometimes all day long. 


When I hit rock bottom I decided to change everything that I had the power to change. I started to eat more fruits and vegetables and fewer heavy late in the day meals. I started walking. At first, I had a difficult time just walking to the end of the block. Soon I was walking for a couple of miles every day. The weight started to come off and I started to formulate a plan to survive this difficult time. 

After the marriage ended I moved to the New Orleans area. That was not the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow but it was an immensely better life than the one I left behind in Virginia. I made new friends and joined two gyms. My walks turned into five-mile runs and my time in the gym filled the huge void in my life. 

This photo was taken at the peak of my bodybuilding obsession. I'm forty-five in this photo and I weigh one hundred and thirty-eight pounds. I'm still an empty shell of a human but at least, I look better!






In 2003, I left New Orleans and returned to my hometown in the mountains of east Tennessee. There were still some bumpy roads ahead for me but I was home with my family and I owned a successful business.


I'm telling you my life story for a reason. I hope that you will read this and say if she can do it, I can do it! If you are unhappy with some part of your life or your body, make up your mind to change it. Take little steps every day. Pretty soon you will be running (if not literally then figuratively). The mind is our most powerful tool. Think of food as the fuel it is. Don't let it be your comfort and your entertainment. If you want to be healthy and thinner, you have to make wiser choices about the foods and quantities you eat every day. The other twenty-two hours a day are worth making a few changes in the food choices you make.






The photo above is a more recent photo taken just before my fifty-sixth birthday at one hundred and forty-two pounds. 
Those pants are a size 4! 

I will turn sixty later this year (2016). I have kept the weight off and I am still finding joy in my daily life.

My life truly did begin at fifty. I've never been happier or more healthy than I am right now. Not that being thin is the answer to all life's problems, but when you can sleep well at night without being in pain or struggling to breathe, you can make better choices during your waking hours. Sometimes things aren't as bad as they seemed after a good night's sleep. 



Even though this job of fashion blogger pays next to nothing, it is very rewarding to know that my story touches the lives of other women who might be going through something similar. I hope that you enjoy reading my blog and visiting with me on Facebook. I share fashion tips and my personal tragedies and triumphs in the hopes that you will be inspired to make a better life for yourself also. 

Here's a toast to the second half of our lives!


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


Susan Street is the President of VintageJewelrySupplies.com.

Represented by Talent Trek Agency in Knoxville TN.

Visit me on Twitter.
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Visit me on Polyvore.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

September Date Night

Cool Fall weather hasn't yet arrived here in east Tennessee, so I took one last advantage of the warm evening to wear a breezy summer look for Wednesday date night with Mickey.

 
 I would not normally wear heels with Capri length pants but in this case the long white tunic from Chico's paired with the khaki and white pants from Coldwater Creek almost gives the illusion of a dress. I wear a platform wedge shoe with Capri length pants in most cases.
 

The suede booties are by Nine West. I found them at Ross for only $24! You know I had to wear them right away.



The khaki and white straw bow trimmed clutch was purchased at T.J. Maxx this year.  I often wear silver or white gold jewelry because it is more flattering to my gray hair. The link bracelet and ring were purchases from my travels and are old. I'm sorry I can't remember the designers.


The khaki cord, shell and silver trim necklace is from Belk by Erica Lyons. Small crystal and silver hoops are also from Belk.


Next week is my birthday week! Look for numerous new posts. Mickey has lots of events planned to celebrate.


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

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Last Days of Summer

Hi everyone! It's September already so here in the States that means summer is starting to fade away but the afternoon is still very warm. Yesterday was consumed with preparing for a big family get to together for Labor Day. My cool and comfy daytime outfit includes khaki ankle pants and platform cork sandals both by Adrienne Vittadini from T.J. Maxx.  I'm wearing a white gauze Old Navy tunic over a Coldwater Creek cream tank top worn tucked in only in the front. The over-sized silver and crystal watch, sunglasses and hoop earrings are from Stein-Mart and the gold and silver link bracelets are classics I've owned for many years. The bag is from T.J. Maxx from a couple of years ago.





As Mickey and I walked through the grocery store last night we passed a woman with her twenty something daughter who looked me over and said "Love your shoes!"


Thanks for reading! I hope you have a great Labor Day weekend!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Wednesday Date Night!


Mickey and I have a fun tradition of getting dressed for dinner and having a mid-week date night. When he picks me up for our date we leave our stressful first part of the week behind us and relax with a light meal and a glass of wine. We visit with old friends or make some new ones and unwind for a couple of hours. This breaks up the week and relieves some of the stress of running our businesses and maintaining our homes. It also gives me the chance to wear the shoes I might not otherwise wear!


The three elements of my outfit are all from Coldwater Creek in the Peerless Shopping Center in Johnson City. The black and cream sheer blouse has an uneven hem which dips to a curve in the back. The cream tank has tiny straps which are adjustable. The cream linen type pants are the Natural Fit.



 The secret to a happy relationship is to be with the one that makes you giggle!
Hair by Allison at Reflections Salon and SPA in Johnson City. 


Earrings by me. All the components can be found on my web site VintageJewelrySupplies.com.


Always switch to a small bag for evening. You really only need lip gloss, tissues, business cards, cash and or a charge card. No need to lug your life around when you are only going to dinner. Evening bag by Kenneth Cole Reaction. I layered two fun "diamond" rings for drama.


A pedicure is a great time to relax and make sure you have healthy happy feet. For me those toes are an important summer accessory. The OPI nail polish is the color Dutch Tulips. Danielle at Austin Springs SPA is great at what she does. 

Shoes by Impo.

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


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Celebrating Stylish Friends!


We are a group of friends who love to get together with Rose, the wonderful friend we all have in common. She and her sweet husband Jerry, recently invited all of us along with our significant others over for brunch. I'm so glad my dear Mickey took this picture of us standing on the steps. (When you live on a hillside at the lake, you have lots and lots of steps.) This picture speaks to me on many levels. We are all vibrant healthy attractive normal women from all walks of life and in many stages of life. This is a true picture of women. Why do the 2% that are twenty something, perfectly thin, tall and stunningly beautiful represent all of us in catalogs and magazines? I believe that the day a company decides to use real people in their advertising, their business will skyrocket. I celebrate women who have fun with current styles and yet still maintain their dignity and present a confident appearance that turns heads at any age.

One of the greatest things about this stage of our lives is that we now have some time to get comfortable with who we are, being with friends sharing laughter and the stories of our lives. Whether you are my Facebook friend or one who lives down the street, I'm so grateful to have you in my life.

The style sets that I create on Polyvore are wildly popular. A few of the sets are shown below. Visit FiftynotFrumpy to see more and to find out where all these elements can be purchased.




My blog and Facebook page (Fifty, not Frumpy) are dedicated to women who might be over fifty but are still having fun with fashion and enjoying life. Here's to you beautiful ladies! May the second half of your life be even more fulfilling and exciting than the first.

Thanks for reading!

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. 

FiftynotFrumpy

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.