Friday, July 29, 2011

Drab outfit for a drab day

It finally rained today, but only a very small amount which just made it more humid. Our part of the state is officially in a severe drought. I doubt the rain did much other than settle a bit of dust. Today I put on an outfit that looked like I felt. Drab. I just could not get up the energy to put together something more colorful.

I like all the pieces I have on today, but I do not usually wear them all together. The shoes are some fun camouflage Airwalk Hope shoes I got at Payless. Pretty comfortable and they are part of Payless' Good Shoe Project which donates a pair of shoes to a child in Central America for each pair of Hope Shoe purchased.
Jacket: TanJay Dillards
Top: Chico's
Jeans: BandolinoBlu
Shoes: Airwalk Camouflage Payless

Necklace: StyleMint

Bracelets: Left - Talbot's
Other Three From Jewelry closet

Do you ever dress according to your mood?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

What kind of animal is that?

I love to wear this jacket. It is a combination of leopard and zebra print with a bright pink lining. Being as it is not a real animal print, it probably would not please Stacy and Clinton but it sure makes me happy.

My necklace is a vintage Elizabeth Taylor for Avon. It is a Goldcoast Coin Necklace inspired by antique coins collected by Ms. Taylor. Each "coin" is engraved with an E that has the look of an ancient script.  Elizabeth Taylor was an extraordinarily talented women who created a wonderful jewelry collection for Avon.

One thing I know Stacy and Clinton agree with me on is the finishing touch of a jacket. It takes an otherwise plain outfit of jeans and a tee tank and pulls it together to make an outfit that I feel good about wearing for a lunch with a friend.

Many women today have spent most of their adult years working outside the home. I hope that my outfits show that being retired does not mean you have to be any less stylish than you were when you were working.  When I was working, I only wore some of my work wear on the weekends. I tried to keep it "nice" for work. It is so nice to wear whatever I want now without worrying about it. Another nice benefit of retirement is that I can wear jeans whenever I want!  

Jacket: Chico's
Tank: Chico's
Jeans:: BandolinoBlu
Bracelets: Kenneth Cole (I think)
Shoes: Think! Julia Black Patent Sandals

This is our female Airedale, Jada.
We call her our wooly sheep-girl because her coat is so thick and curly.

Elizabeth Taylor for Avon necklace.
It is a fairly heavy and well made piece.

Today I made an investment in a new Canon DSLR camera. I am hoping we can figure out how to use it properly. Last summer I took a class on How to use a Digital camera. I did not realize that it was primarily for DSLR users and not just point and shoot digital camera's. Unfortunately, I don't remember much the teacher showed on DSLR's. At least I will be able to take my own pics using a tripod. I actually had gone to find a new battery for my Sony camera. I was horrified to find out the battery was $57.00. We had been talking about getting a nice camera, so I decided to just purchase it now.  No new clothes for me for a while.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Red, White, Black & Blue

To be honest, I did not have this outfit on for very long. It was 111 in the shade and it was stifling outside. Thank goodness for air conditioning. It has been in the high 80's even early in the morning. We have been close to breaking the all time high of 114. Some records just should not be broken.

I really liked this jacket and have worn it a lot. However, I am finding that by taking outfit photos, some of the things I thought looked really good just don't. This jacket has too much fabric at the bust and is too boxy. I think that I can find something else in black that is more flattering.

A project I want to undertake is to try on and photograph all my jackets to see which really do look the way I want them to. That will really help me to reduce my work wardrobe down to a more usable retirement wardrobe. I only want to keep the clothing that really makes me feel good when I wear it.

Jacket: CJ Banks
Top: Dressbarn
Jeggings: JMS Walmart
Shoes: Payless
Belt: ?

Zebra bracelet - Dillards, Red & White - Talbots

Necklace: Chico's
 I really like the shoes I am wearing. I found them at Payless in the children's section. They are black ballet shoes with silver colored studs on the toes. Payless children's sizes go up to 6, which is the equivalent to a size 8 woman's shoe. I have a wide, rectangular foot. Children's shoes are made with more toe room, which is perfect for me. I have to wonder though, why would you need more toe room as a child and then suddenly not need it as an adult? Feet don't change shape that much! Mine have always been better suited to the box than the shoe.  If you wear a size 8 or below, try Payless children's shoes for some inexpensive simple shoes.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Is it vanity or sharing ourselves warts and all?

Patti at Not Yet Dead Style posted today about vanity and personal photography. Tammy at Silverstyle posted about vanity a while back.  I have been thinking about the same thing for the past week or so. I read several blogs discussing positive body image. One from Medicinal Marzipan, State of the Union, Body Positive Blogs, had some interesting thoughts. Several statements made on Medicinal Marzipan really bothered me and have been in the back of my mind for a while.  (Please read the article as there is much more than what I am writing about, and it is a much bigger subject than I choose to address here.)

"Body positive photo blogs are not inherently detrimental, but comparing yourself to others is."
 I totally agree with this statement. We all have our flaws and many of us think that others are judging us on them.  Maybe they are, but then again, maybe they aren't.  Patti said she worried about her hair. I think her hair is beautiful.  What she may see as less than perfect, I see as a very lovely part of her.  

The other statement made on Medicinal Marzipan follows:

 "Posting pictures of yourself online IS inherently narcissistic, but you don't have to let it make you crazy."
There is a lot more to the article, but the statement above really got to me. & Am I really so vain and seeking attention and validation?  I don't think so, but this subject has been on my mind almost daily. Before I ever started my blog, I spent a lot of time reading blogs trying to decide if I wanted to participate. I read blogs from women who are very young, young, middle aged, 50+, plus-sized, ethnic, and from different countries around the world.  I saw women that I admired and some who really inspired me with their life's journeys. Genuine, caring women who were sharing themselves with many others.

Sure, I try to post pictures that don't make me look like a dork. (I can get some pretty strange expressions on my face sometimes.) I don't erase any wrinkles or change myself to look "thinner".  I do adjust color and crop backyard junk out of the photo. ---Let me interrupt for a funny story. Today I went to my Mother's house and she asked me to show her my blog, since she is not really good on the computer. When I called it up, on her monitor, I looked really thin! Who knew that a computer monitor setting could make me look thinner?

I haven't arrived at the answer as to whether or not it is vanity to post photos of me in what I am wearing. I wonder though, is it vain for a model to have her picture taken for a magazine or walk a fashion runway? I like to think that what I am trying to do is to help other women realize that they are not alone with their body or age issues and hopefully share some ideas about accessorizing.

Everyone I have encountered via my blog or their blogs has been wonderful. I feel like a part of a very wonderful community of admirable women.

By the way, the reason there is no photo of me today is that I did not change from my exercise clothes. Like Pam at over50feeling40, I have been dealing with the heat for far too long and I just could not get up the energy to dress up today.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Visible Monday - Blue Monday

Visible Monday, started by Patti at Not Dead Yet Style, is a weekly challenge for everyone, but especially those of us over 50 who choose to show that we are not invisible.  The number of over 50 women is growing every day. As young women, we helped change the world how the world viewed women; as seasoned women hopefully we will change the way that women over 50 are seen and heard.

The song "I am Woman Hear Me Roar" has been playing in my head as I write this. For those of you born after 1973, it is a Helen Reddy song that was used as a voice of the women's lib movement.  In 1973, I was told that I could not have a job because I was a woman and men could not handle a woman telling them what to do. Today, women work in fields we did not dream of in 1973. Back then, the technologies we take for granted today were the stuff of science fiction.  We have the opportunity now to change how women in the future will be perceived. At least I hope we do.

Necklace: Chico's

Bracelets: Left Chico's, Right Vintage & DKNY watch

Jacket: Chico's
Top: Anne Klein
Jeggings: JMS
Sandals: Think
In reviewing my photos, I notice that I usually either roll up my sleeves or just push them up, which is kind of a messy look. I have started thinking that I may tailor the length of my sleeves to either just above the elbow or 3/4 length. I am not sure how to determine which would be better. Any suggestions?

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Creamsicle - Orange & Pink

Yet another hot as hades day. If there were a real creamsicle involved I think it would have melted in seconds.  The top I am wearing has hot pink and orange mixed together and reminds me of a creamsicle. There is more pink in the top than the pictures show. Interestingly, I had not noticed that the front of the top has a large area of white that shows up like a bull's eye. I think that from now on, I am going to take a camera with me to buy new clothes. It is amazing to me how much shows up in a photograph that does not in the mirror. 

You have seen Harry, my Airedale Terrier, before, but this is FarleyJoe's first appearance. He is my old boy. We adopted him in 2000 and I don't know how old he was when we got him. He is the sweetest boy anyone could have and is definitely a "momma's boy". He looks a bit like a well loved teddy bear. He cannot handle a day at the groomers, so I trim him myself with scissors. Blame his pitiful grooming on me. Jada, our only girl, was inside and could not be coaxed out. Smart girl. All three are rescues and are our treasures.

FarleyJoe was barking at me as was Harry until he picked up his ball.
Harry wanted to play, FarleyJoe wanted him to leave me alone.

Jacket: Coldwater Creek
Top: Chico's
Shorts: Chico's
Shoes: Think

FarleyJoe, the best, sweetest dog in the world.
Top 2: Chico's
Next 2: Dillard's (One is on top of the other)
Bottom: JCPenney

Necklace: Chicos
The top of the pendant is actually pink and matches the top.
It looks purple here, but it is not at all.

Friday, July 22, 2011

A great find and my blue security blanket

This has not been the best of days for me. I woke up feeling awful from sinus and asthma problems. When I finally started feeling better I called my Mother, who was out and about, and asked her to meet me for lunch.  I had a really nice salad with strawberries, apples, bacon bits, and grilled chicken with a light vidalia onion dressing. I have been using fruit in my salads quite a lot this year and the recipe for Pomegranate Dressing The Wilted Magnolia posted today sounds like something really good to try.

After we finished lunch, we went to a couple of estate sales in the area. There was nothing at either of those that interested us so we decided to go to the Salvation Army thrift store. That was where some fun began. My Mother found a couple of decorative plates and I found a really pretty necklace that is the best thing I have ever found at a thrift store. I have it on in today's pictures. The Salvation Army merchandise is often priced awfully high for a thrift store. My necklace was $9.99, but it was so pretty and was worth it to me. The tag on the chain is marked Avon, so I am assuming that it is an older Avon piece as it is very heavy and well made.

JudyC asked how I could wear a jacket in this heat. I think that since I had my mastectomy, I use jackets as kind of a security blanket. The Urban Dictionary defines security blanket as "anything an adult uses to reduce their anxiety". Yep, that fits me. Jackets make me feel as though no one will notice my strange chest anatomy and my apple middle.  I my head I know that a jacket will not hide everything, but it makes me feel better about myself.  Sometimes it is really too hot to wear a jacket, but I do it anyway.

Jacket: Coldwater Creek
Top: Anne Klein
Jeggings: JMS Walmart
Sandals: Think! Julia

Necklaces: B w/pearls Anne Boleyn Repro
Gold and Blue w/pearl, Avon, thrifted
Long Pearl necklace, gift
Flower pin from local boutique, Carla's Love It
 I think we all probably have some body issue that we try to hide in some way. Many times what we perceive as very noticable others do not notice at all. Do you have any security blanket you use to feel more confident and reduce anxiety?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Using Shoe Clips to expand your shoe wardrobe

It was horribly hot again today. I know you are probably saying, dang lady, you say that every day! But the heat is starting to make me tired and aggravate my asthma, so I did not change out of my yoga gear after class this morning. Me in yoga gear is not something anyone wants to see, so, I had a different idea for today's post about another form of accessory.

Today, Pam @ Over50Feeling40 wrote a post about thrifting Shoes . Unfortunately, I do not have much luck thrifting shoes, although I do occasionally buy some via ebay.  I do have lots of sandals for the summer, but winter shoes are fewer so one of the ways I use to increase my shoe wardrobe variety is to use shoe clips. The heyday of shoe clips was probably in the 60's, but they are still available. One really good source is I have purchased several shoe clips from them and have been satisfied with their quality and service. (I have no affiliation with them.) Ebay is another source of vintage clips.

I have taken 3 pair of just plain ballet flats and attached some of my shoe clips to them to illustrate what they look like. It is a fairly inexpensive way to make your shoes look different and unique.  To make them more versatile, I try to get clips that can be worn on more than one pair of shoes.

The shoes are all French Sole New York ballet slippers.

I think you can click on the photo to have it open larger. (At least it works
that way in Internet Explorer for me.) I am still working on my photography and photo manipulation skills. By the way, I would not necessarily wear some of these clips with these particular shoes, I was just using them for illustrative purposes.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Minnie Pearl moment

I know some readers will not remember Minnie Pearl. Minnie was a country comedian who wore a hat that had the price tag dangling. Of course, her tag was intentional.

Miss Minnie Pearl
 I went to lunch with some people I used to work with and wore the khaki jacket in my photos below. Somehow, I forgot to remove the tag and when I put the jacket on the darn tag was hanging off the back of my neck (why oh why it couldn't it have hung inside the jacket?).  I sat through the whole lunch and no one said a word until we were leaving and one of the guys said, "do you know you have a tag hanging?" I pulled it off and felt rather embarrassed, although I was very thankful that he told me or I would have gone to a couple of other places inadvertently channeling Miss Minnie. Have you ever had this happen to you?

 I love summer, but this year it has been just miserable here with heat warnings every day. Two people have died from the heat. I cannot imagine what life was like before there were air conditioners or at least fans. My grandparents told us stories of sleeping on the riverbank at night to be able to get at least a little cool breeze. We took the pictures pretty quickly as I was roasting.

My outfit today is a bit of a remix. The jeans I have worn several times and the top was from the military w/feminine touches challenge.
Jacket: Chico's
Top: Dressbarn
Jeans: DG2
Sandals: Think!
Necklace: Ebay

An action photo taken as I said I was done taking pictures
and headed for the a/c.

All Bracelets made by me. Michele Watch
As usual Harry wanted to play ball. He drooled on my leg trying to get me to throw the ball.
Unfortunately, I throw like a girl so the ball never goes very far.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

InStyle inspiration day

I would like to say how sorry I am that Borders is closing. I love book stores. No electronic device will ever replace the feel of a book in my hand or the thrill of discovering a new book that I would not have known about if not for exploring a book store. My world will be a little smaller without Borders.

Today's outfit is inspired by a picture in InStyle magazine this month. I often tear out pages that have something on them that inspire me to create an outfit or piece of jewelry. As soon as I saw this page, I knew I had to create something similar. I kind of like what came out, but I am not satisfied with the jacket. I should have pulled the drawstring to give the jacket more shape. 
Here is the inspiration look:

InStyle Magazine, August Issue , Page 106
 Here is the look I created:

As usual, Harry has to be in the picture. Silly dog.

I had to add this one; Harry had dropped his ball wanting to play.

I thought about erasing the wrinkles on my hands,
but I did not. Here are some old hands.
Jacket: Lane Bryant
Tank: Chico's microfiber
Jeggings: Just My Size
Shoes: Reiker Fisherman Sandals
Necklace: Forever21
Yellow Bracelet: JCPenney

I know some of you keep an inspiration file. How do you keep yours? Do you file them away (and often forget them like I do) or do you display them on a board to keep them visible.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Visible Monday - Leopard

Visible Monday, organized by Patti of Not Dead Yet Style , is a wonderful way for us to share an outfit in which we do not feel invisible. ( I am posting this Sunday night so that I don't have to wait until Monday evening to publish.)

My VM outfit consists of a Leopard print jacket, a terracotta colored tank, and my new jeggings. I purchased them at Walmart for just $10.00. Today is my first time for wearing them in public. Surprisingly, I think I like them. I wasn't too sure I would as they are fairly narrow legs and some fashion experts say that plus size women should not wear jeggings. But, the camera said they did not look bad, so I am thinking I will wear them more often. They are comfortable (oh no! Stacy and Clinton would be horrified!) and easy to just pull on and go.  I especially like the front seam. They may be a little long, but I will wash them a few more times before trying to hem them.

The colors in this outfit really look better in person than in the pictures. For some reason, the tank did not photograph well nor did the jewelry, which is really a warm, golden color.

If you notice that my jewelry sometimes falls to one side, that is because I have scoliosis and one shoulder is visibly lower than the other. I am hoping that yoga may help by strengthening my back muscles to better support my spine.

Jacket: Dressbarn
Tank: Chico's Microfiber Tank
Necklaces: Forever21
Jeggings: Just my size Walmart
Sandals: Think! Julia

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Cool colors for a melting hot summer day

It is currently106 degrees F and it is too hot to do anything outdoors. Those of you who have more bearable temperatures are very lucky.

This morning I read Pam's post at over50feeling40  on her Foundational 5, rule number 3 Dressing with Creativity. She asked if anyone had any ideas about how to tone down personal creativity or whether it should be toned down. It made me think about my self and I realized that I love color so much. The outfits that I feel the best in have an intense color. I have purchased neutrals, but for the most part I am not really happy in them. So one of my Foundational 5's would be Color: It must have color!

In response to Pam, I think that for me clothing is my way of expressing my creative, artistic abilities. The colors I wear are like the colors in a painting and I think I may be a bit more Kandinsky than Vermeer. I am inspired by the beautiful, classic styles like I see on Mai Tai's Picture Book  or Une femme d'un certain age  Both ladies are very stylish. I might wear something classic occasionally, but not everyday. Because I am retired, I do not have to worry about making an impression at work.  That said, I am using most of the clothes that I had at work, so you can tell that I was a little bit colorful even when I was working.

I think the most important thing is to be appropriate. At the wedding I attended last night, there were some women who were dressed really sexy. I think there is a time and place for that, but not at a wedding. It was a more casual affair, but for me really short skirts and low cut tops are just not appropriate at even a casual wedding. Just my humble opinion.

Now to the fun--today's outfit. 

Top: Chico's
Jeans: Chico's Barely There Flare Jeans
I think I may just be an old hippie girl at heart.

Two Chico's necklaces layered

Bracelets: Forever21
Sandals: Silver Haflinger

Harry has decided that he must be outside when we are taking pictures. He brought his ball over, dropped it a couple of times, then started barking at us. We did throw the ball a couple of times, but it was too hot to let him play for very long. The two older dogs, FarleyJoe and Jada have the good sense to stay inside in the air conditioning.

Friday, July 15, 2011

What I wore before the wedding I will attend

It is hot and muggy today and I feel worn out from the heat. I went to the Mall today and it was even hot in the stores. Usually, stores are so cold that it is nice to have something covering your arms, but not today.  I sure hope the wedding tonight is inside! This has been a really hot summer resulting in water rationing in many cities. I expect we will have that here soon if it does not cool down or rain.

In reviewing the photos of my outfit, I think I need to hem the skirt up a few inches as it just seems a bit too long. It is funny how something you never notice even in the mirror shows up so well in a photo.
 I love this denim jacket. It has really pretty pale green plastic buttons that really add a lot to many outfits.

I really wanted to participate in the FBFF, but I do not have time to do that right now. If I can, I will edit this post later this evening. 

Harry is getting to be a real pill about wanting to be in the pictures.

Bart wanted me to remove my glasses since there was too much reflection in them.
Unfortunately, I can't see much without them.

Sarah Cavendar Metalworks necklace

Kate Spade Rick Rack Bracelets, Michele Watch, Vintage Ring
 Jacket: Coldwater Creek
Tank: Chico's
Skirt: Talbots
Shoes: Think! Julia sandals

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Turquoise and Purple two of my favorite year round colors

Please excuse my wet hair today. I had a limited window of time to have my DH take the photos.

I know some of you say that you never find anything at Chico's. My problem is that I find too much. The three quarter sleeve denim jacket is a new Chico's purchase that will be great to wear with sleeveless dresses so that I can cover my arms. 

Bracelets from L to R Picture 1 Dillards, Art fair, Michele Watch, Etsy,
Picture 2: Gift, Art Fair, Silpada, Art Fair
Necklace: Chico's (I have worn this necklace a lot. It is a summer favorite.)

Jacket: Chico's
Belt: Chico's (It ended up off center.)
Dress: Target Mossimo
Shoes: Think Black Patent
Harry has decided that he likes to be in the photos.

I have been thinking about Pam's Foundational 5 post at Over50Feeling40 and I think I have the first 3 of my foundational 5.
  1. Versatility: I should be able to wear it with more than one outfit
  2. Maintenance: It should not have to be ironed or dry cleaned. I do not want to iron every day like I did when I was working.
  3. Really, Really Love it: It should be something I really love, not something pretty that is just a bargain. ( I am really guilty of buying things that seem to be bargains, but are really not since I might only wear it once.)
I am still thinking about my other 2 and I will post them as soon as I decide.

I have a wedding to attend tomorrow at our local botanical garden. I think I may wear this dress and jacket to the wedding instead of the dress and shrug that I had planned to wear shown on this post. It is a casual wedding and this is a comfortable colorful dress.  I am hoping I might be able to take some photos of the gardens.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Don't Compare & Despair

I wasn't feeling well today, so I spent some of my time watching TV. What Not to Wear was on and as I watched it, something Carmindy said struck a nerve.  She told the young lady she was doing makeup on, "Don't play the compare and despair game."  

I know that I am guilty of having done just that. I see models in magazines and actresses on TV that are so beautiful and thin.  Fashion models are often under 20 years old, so no wonder they are so pretty and thin!   The lovely actresses are mostly young too. Plastic surgery and hair extensions help out too. It is silly for me to compare myself to them!  I know a lot of women over 50 who are beautiful because they are so smart, talented, kind, and generous of spirit.  Their physical beauty may have faded but that does not mean they are not attractive.

I also received a new fashion magazine today and saw an ad featuring Jennifer Lopez. You could see that her lipstick had been applied to make her lips look larger than what they really are. A picture of Diane Keeton in another ad had obviously been airbrushed. I have seen photos of her that were not retouched and she has wrinkles just like the rest of us!  No wonder that some women feel they are lacking when we compare ourselves to images which have been altered to show perfection not reality.

I am so thankful for all the over 50 bloggers who are showing other women that they are not alone and that their worth is not in physical beauty but in their talent, style, honesty, integrity, and generosity.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Fashion Challenge-Summer Trends - Military paired with Feminine

Megan Mae Daily's Fashion Challenge Summer Trends Military Paired with Feminine sounded like a lot of fun, so I decided to participate today. I have always had a thing for military styles. Give me braid and buttons and my heart goes pitty pat. I haven't found much plus size military that I like except a couple of jackets I got at Lane Bryant. They don't have all the details, but they were as close as I could get to what I really wanted. 

Today, we took photos in the front yard to keep Harry from getting my pants dirty. Harry is a pants licker and I cannot break him from doing it. He will follow me around and lick where ever he can get to before I jerk away. I have often said that if CSI looked for trace evidence on my jeans they would find the mother lode of dog snool ( a potent combo of nose and tongue liquid.) Sorry if it is too much info, dog people know this sort of stuff.

The feminine parts of the outfit are the necklace, top (which has a really pretty neckline), the bracelets, and the shoes. The military is the jacket and the pin which I wore on my jacket to resemble a medal.

My photographer did not tell me the necklace had a leaf that had turned the wrong way.

Jacket: Lane Bryant
Top: Dressbarn
Jeans: Chico's Slim Leg  (Not sure why they call them that, they really aren't that slim)
Belt: Target (I turned the buckle part to the back)
Necklace: ebay vintage 80's
Bracelets: Silver cuff Coldwater Creek, others Miscellaneous sources. The bracelet with the pink disk beads I made.
Shoes: Target

Monday, July 11, 2011

Visible Monday - Lolla Rosa Pink

It is Visible Monday organized by, the day those of us who occasionally feel invisible become visible women. This outfit makes me happy every time I wear it.  I wore it to dinner tonight at Red Lobster. You would think that a seafood restaurant would have good seafood. It wasn't good at all, except for the biscuits.  Now I remember why it had been so long since we ate there.

Harry wanted to play ball.
He was barking at us, trying to get us to play with him.

Jacket: Chico's
Tank: Chico's Microfiber tank
Jeans: BandolinoBlu
Bracelets: Kate Spade Rick Rack, Vintage Charm Bracelet
Shoes: Think! Julia
Sunflower Pin from a local boutique, Carla's Love It