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Message Board > Fashion Styles and Trends > Middle-aged style ( Moderated by Lynnelle)

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Middle-aged style
Post de-frumping inspirations here
Vintage Joan
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Vintage Joan
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Member since 7/16/07
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Date: 8/16/11 5:07 PM

I'm in my mid-late 50's and have been living a bit like a recluse for years -- working freelance, etc. I'm soon about to re-enter the world of human beings (rather than cats, lol), and nearly every time I pass a mirror I want to cry. I need a (virtually free!) makeover, fast.

I have questions -- maybe you have answers...? I don't want to tread on any toes -- if you're as unglamorous as I am and are perfectly content, please don't think this is aimed at you. I don't care what people look like. This is just a brainstorming idea for those of us who feel the need of a little lift.

So... questions:

-- Are there middle-aged women whose style always strikes you as ageless, and if so, who are they? Post photos if you can.

-- Are there ways you know of to turn a frumpy/tired look into a spunkier but still age-appropriate look, without a lot of cash?

-- Are there any items of "work-from-home" clothing someone trying to polish things up a bit should absolutely avoid? (Other than the obvious -- clothes you'd wear to change the oil or whatever.)

Thanks... oh, and I'm not entering a world where strict business attire is required or anything. Just sort of casual/quasi-professional... pants/nice jeans/skirts, etc.


-- Edited on 8/16/11 5:08 PM --

------
my shield and my very great reward ~ Gen. 15:1

Photo: A long time ago

NancyZL
NancyZL  Friend of PR
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Date: 8/16/11 5:42 PM

Hi, I checked out this book from my local library & found it very good:
"Steal This Style: Moms and Daughters Swap Wardrobe Secrets" by
Sherrie Mathieson .
There is also a good style-makeover book by a pair of British women which is a fun read ... can't think of their names right now but someone else must know of them.
And, of course there is plenty of inspiration right here on PR.

rmusic1
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rmusic1
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In reply to NancyZL


Date: 8/16/11 6:20 PM

the British ladies you are referring to might be Trinny and Susannah

MNBarb
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MNBarb  Friend of PR
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Date: 8/16/11 6:41 PM

I've been on a year-long quest for more style.

I thought this book was helpful.
Forever Cool by Sherrie Mathieson

Since I am a "book person" I went to my well-stocked local public library and entered "style" into the search database and found many current books on how to dress for your shape and personality without looking dowdy.

The good thing is that the addition of a few fun wardrobe items and some cheap, colorful pieces of jewelry, good shoes get you off to an affordable start.

If you Google search "fashion over 50" you will also find some tips.

------
Barb
"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." Thomas Edison
"I not only use all the brains I have, but all I can borrow." Woodrow Wilson

jannw
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In reply to Vintage Joan


Date: 8/16/11 6:49 PM

Interesting topic..I'll be interested in your answers...
Have you seen this blog? It may help a bit..fab after 40

Personally, I just tossed my extremely comfortable, but stretched out sweatpants in the dumpster..won't be tempted to put those on again..got the sneaking feeling that my flannel pj pants should join them...

This fall, I'm going to go for more leggings, tunic tops and longer skirts. I've been wearing variations all summer (very cool here) and do feel more dressed up and better put together than when I'm in the basic jeans and shirt.

good luck with the project..

------
2009-113.25 yds
2010-115.5
2011-80.25+30+donated
2012 86.3 yds..
2013 21.0
Everyone who sews seriously has a stockpile of fabrics, because it is natural to purchase more than can be sewn in any one season" Singer, Timesaving Sewing, 1987

NancyZL
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In reply to rmusic1


Date: 8/16/11 6:50 PM

Yup, that's them .

JTink
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JTink
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Date: 8/16/11 7:03 PM

Joan, I'm so glad you started this thread. I don't have any suggestions...I'm going to be lurking to see what others come up with. I need a re-vamp too. I have gotten too old for the empire style dress and blouse. Even if it is comfortable, cool(hot flashes) and hides the fluff. I feel so stylish in these things, until I catch an unexpected reflection of myself in a store window I never recalled looking quiet so frumpy in my own mirror, before leaving the house....Mirrors lie

a7yrstitch
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a7yrstitch  Friend of PR
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In reply to Vintage Joan


Date: 8/16/11 7:40 PM

I'm going to mull this over for a bit. In the meantime, I keep thinking about those British women on Oprah going to malls and shoving all different sizes and types of bottoms into tight jeans with pockets across the cheeks. And they were particularly grabby in their enthusiasm. The pocket thing got to me because they weren't always proportioned to the bottom. Oh well, that doesn't help, does it?

I'd say start by giving yourself a good scrub! What???? Reevaluate what you do by way of skin, hair, nail care. Be sure that your hair, no matter the length or style, is freshly trimmed. Whether you color or not, make sure that your shampoo/conditioner combo leaves your hair bright and smooth. Your hair texture or color may have changed and you may need to update your products. If you shared your hair type and color, someone here could probably make good recommendations. There has been a discussion thread in the last 3 months about facial products. The new products do work and there are the old great standby's. I can't tell you how rugged I looked after taking care of my brother,ooh, it was bad. When I finally got home, I added the serum category to the moisturizer routine. The results were so impressive. Check online for instructions for very gentle exfoliating. Maybe your'e not a makeup person like me. Good use of good products morning and night freshen your appearance. Your lashes can be dyed or you can use a tint and you'll need a little something on your lips. If you hadn't had a manicure in a while have your nails reshaped and buffed to give yourself a nice start. Sorry about this, we are vintage, you know about the guys who get ear hairs, well we have spots we need to check too.

Look at undergarments before you start on the clothes. There is a lot of great new stuff out there. It doesn't have to be about tight, it should be about smooth. You'll surely be wearing knits when you venture out into the world. New knits require new underpinnings.

Lord, have mercy, the shoes.............focus on nice and comfortable shoes, well maintained.

And, now the clothes. So, if you hit the above areas, you ought to be able to go into a dressing room (other than lingerie, you will need to try on those new bras) and not be so frightened under those horrible lights. Brace yourself for 2 or 3 days of serious trying on. You want to find a basic skirt, pant and jean (maybe jean trouser) shape that looks good on you first. And frankly, even if you can make it, if you find a superbly fitted item in these categories that enhances your figure, you should probably buy it, quick! After you've figured out the bottoms, work on trying on the tops. Hopefully, you will have found a skirt that you like and you can wear that on your next try on outing with tops, same for pants. Base your sewing project list on your try-ons.

For sewing, Loes Hinse offers patterns and styles that can be dressed up or down and totally individualized. Check out this discussion for some different ideas regarding tops. Think about planning your wardrobe in color families. Navy looks better on me than black, my skin is brighter, there is more clarity to my eye color. Find out which basic is best for you to start with; black, chocolate, charcoal, navy, etc. Do a little interchangeable set based on your two best basic colors.

Add your accessories at the end. Something decent to carry your things in and out of the office. Belts/scarves/vests according to taste. Think about a couple of small bulletproof pairs of earrings that are comfortable when you are on the phone. Consider adding a little style in a signature piece of jewelry.

Boy, is this pushy or what? I'll probably edit it out later. It's just that sometimes we do get caught up in our own little hermitage and need to shake it out a bit.

Left out name of PR thread:
tee fashion around the country and the world
what design details do you see and like/dislike?
You'll want to look at it as MarciTilton has some ideas for adding a little style and sometimes elegance to comfort and the posters provided some great links.
-- Edited on 8/16/11 7:46 PM --

------
I have no idea what Apple thought I was saying so be a Peach and credit anything bizarre to auto correct.

a7yrstitch
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a7yrstitch  Friend of PR
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In reply to Vintage Joan


Date: 8/16/11 7:56 PM

And..................try on clothes outside your box! Knife edge pleats are flattering to my plus size figure, I'd have thought it would be the opposite. Medium pink looks horrible on me so I never gave much thought to medium lavender...............found out it looks great and makes my eyes vivid green. Spend a really long time in that dressing room. Take pictures of yourself. If you think something is a possibility, check it out on the floor in more natural lighting. Toodles

------
I have no idea what Apple thought I was saying so be a Peach and credit anything bizarre to auto correct.

Vintage Joan
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Vintage Joan
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In reply to a7yrstitch


Date: 8/16/11 8:06 PM

Wow, cool -- lots of great thoughts here. Please don't edit it down -- I may need to come back and refer to it later. The thing that most caught my eye (other than the "ear hairs" comment, lol) was the suggestion about picking my two best basic colors and doing a little interchangeable set based on them. But there's lots of other food for thought here, too.

You're right -- my hair needs a makeover, too. I have medium-short hair and keep it brown to dark brown (maybe sometimes too dark, but the coloring fades a lot more quickly than it used to). I've been (!!!!?!) cutting it myself for most of the last three years, due to lack of cash. I'm pretty skilled at this by now -- someone young and stylish once complimented me on my new haircut and almost dropped on the floor when I said I'd cut it myself. BUT I know... I will need to get it cut "for real" soon.

I'm a step ahead of you with the new bra thing -- I had a free professional fitting the other day. Very nice lady, and she seemed to know her stuff. And yes, the result surprised me (apparently I take a smaller band size and larger cup size than I thought).

I'll have a fresh look at that t-shirt thread -- thanks!

------
my shield and my very great reward ~ Gen. 15:1

Photo: A long time ago

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