Sunday, July 13, 2014

Mid-Summer: Best Buys Right Now!

fashion for women over 50
   This is a great time to stock up on summer clothing.  Of course, the August sales may bring somewhat cheaper prices, but I've found that right after the 4th of July, prices are low and the selection is still good. This means that you can find pieces that actually fit you well instead of 
settling for a size too big simply because it's 70% off (really, a no-no).

   My first and favorite buy is this pima cotton tee from Charter Club at Macy's.

  Why I like it: If you are over 50, it covers the worst part of the arm while                                  remaining cool; it's also fitted without being too tight. 
                       Runs a bit large, I took an XS instead of a SM.
   Price: 19.99  although a few colors are on sale for 14.99! 
fashion tips
   Below, Tahari pants in white.  Can be found at Marshall's and T.J. Maxx depending on your store. 
    Why I like it:  Not too sheer and unlined so they are cool, but not                                            transparent.
    Price:  19.99 
                                                       white pants for women

Dooney bag
     If you don't know about Dooney and Bourke's Specials each month, you're missing out! This month two of the specials are the Florentine satchel that you see above, and the Croco Fino satchel below.  If you go to the site, you will find more.
     The satchel above is regularly  priced at $318.00 and now is on sale for $238.50, a substantial savings!  It is only available in salmon (shown above) and ivy.
      The Croco Fino satchel is a classic.  It is available in 7 colors!  Shown in red below. It's regularly priced at $348.00 and is currently on sale for $261.00.
       Why I love them:  Dooneys are well-made bags that will last. 
                                  The satchels are classic looks made of good leather
                                  that will look good for a long time.
Dooney bag
   Below, a Michael Kors assymetrical bathing suit on sale at Macy's (along with many other suits as well).
       Why I like it:  The assymetry gives this classic suit a bit of an edge. 
                             With its cut it will look good on anyone!
        Price:  67.20  (originally 112.00)
Kors bathing suite
Happy Shopping!
  Please note that I am not an affiliate of nor do I have any financial connection to the products listed.

Monday, July 07, 2014

To Wear or Not To Wear: The Bikini If You're Over 50

fashion over 50
   It's an ongoing debate: should women over 50 wear bikinis or two piece bathing suits. 
   First, I do truly believe that people should wear whatever they want to wear. 
   That said, this is a fashion and beauty blog, and I am concerned with not just appropriate attire, but also what looks good on women over 50 especially.  Since the point is to look good, that is the position I'm coming from.
  Pictures always help, so first, above, Courtenay co in an elegant black bikini.  At exactly age 50, she can still look good in a bikini, and certainly she should wear one if that is what she is most comfortable in.  Imagine how elegant she would look in a one piece though! Why?
    Well, one thing that you will notice is that very often older women will have a certain je ne sais quoi at the top of the hipbone. It's a slight heaviness, or fat, that can look like a wrinkle.  Courtenay has it, most of us over 50 have it.  The key to an older woman looking good in a bikini is the amount of aging shown by the middle part of the body.
  Below, Sharon Stone still has a great body. No one would argue that. In fact, even though she is several years older than Courtenay, I would say Sharon looks much better in her bikini than Courtenay does in hers! 
women over 50 in bikinis
    Below, of course Helen Mirren looks good in her bikini. Again, I'd say she'd look much more elegant in a one piece simply because if she were 25 with the same body, I would recommend a one piece.  It's about looking good, and she could look better.
older women bikinis
    In my book, for the best look, Anjelica Huston should definitely not be wearing a bikini. 
   Does it have to do with age? No, it has to do with the way that her body is shaped. Her legs look okay and so do her shoulders; cover up the part that doesn't look so good - her middle, and she would look much better at the beach.
women over 50 in bikinis
   Below, Janice Dickinson is nice and thin, no question.  But she does not look good in a bikini! 
   Her skin on the middle part of her body is loose, not toned, and the hip line is very pronounced. Notice the "lines" or shadows you can see starting with her rib cage and going down (no, those are not her ribs).  Although she is skinny, it looks as though I could pull skin from her body in my hand. A one piece would cover that middle part that really shows her age!
women over 50 in bikinis
    Below, Christie Brinkley is gorgeous and still has a gorgeous body.  Her body looks toned, filled out, but still not overweight. She fills out her skin.
women over 50 in bikinis
 Below, I'm a big fan of Julianne Moore. Her middle part isn't bad, but she would still look so much better in a skimpy one-piece suit.
fashion over 50

   So, should older women wear bikinis? If you are over 50 and you want to look the best you can, you probably shouldn't wear a bikini!
   However, I was on the beach once in Brazil in my one piece American bathing suit when I saw a woman about my age or older in a Brazilian bathing suit.  She was a bit larger than me, certainly had one of those beautiful Brazilian bums, and the marks of time showed on her as she stood there with her husband and two grown and beautiful daughters.  She had stretch marks and aging skin, but stood there as comfortable in her own skin as she could be, in fact, she was much less self-conscious than either of her two beautiful daughters.
   My own son, in his early thirties at the time remarked that he thought that the freedom that she had to wear that bathing suit at her age without anyone thinking twice about it or being judgmental was wonderful.  And I know exactly what he meant!
  Me, at 63, I'm sticking strictly to a one-piece although I may wear a bikini when I'm in my best friends pool (as I did in my own pool)  and it's just the two of us. The feeling of freedom is just too tempting!

  Note: some of the photos here came from

Monday, June 30, 2014

Best Dressed? Sorry Elle, Not If You're Over 50!

I adore fashion magazines. Always have, probably always will, although I no longer pore over them endlessly the way that I did in the 1970's when I had no money at all to buy clothes or accessories or even the way I thumbed through them over and over in the 1980's when I lived in a too-small town for the clothes I really would have liked to wear.
But now that I am, ahem, over 50, (really I'm over 60), I am constantly amazed at what is considered to be "well-dressed."
I really got tickled when I was looking at my Elle magazine and saw this best dressed list that follows. 
Needless to say, I vehemently disagree, but especially if you are over 50, you need to avoid these looks like the plague.
As usual, I will tell you exactly what is wrong with each one!fashion dos and donts
Above, okay, Dakota Fanning is cute and this is a really young look.  I don't find it becoming to her though for several reasons. 
  1.  Look at where the skirt stops at a most unbecoming place on her legs causing them to look stumpy instead of curvy. 
  2. Then the dress looks particularly shapeless; even though it seems to have a drawstring, it hangs completely straight.  
  3. This color does nothing for her either. The shoes are okay, but I don't find them flattering either. 

If you are over 50, this look is the kiss of death.  Why?  
  • Are your arms completely muscular and toned?  With this sleeveless dress they will need to be.  
  • If you are over 50, this length will look "old-lady" on you unless it happens to be your "g-spot" length (what I call the skirt length that hits at the most flattering place on your legs).

Only if you are a bit curvy and you pull that drawstring to show off your waist will this look the least bit okay on you. 
fashion tips

Gwen Stefani made Elle's best dressed also.  You won't if you are over 50 (personally I don't see how Gwen made it either).
  1. If you are over 50 avoid wearing a jacket that:

  • has too many zippers
  • has too many additional details such as the large flaps near the hem
  • is super bright neon orange
You may be able to get away with one of these, but all 3, forget it!
  1. The boyfriend jeans with their loose fit will look like "mom" jeans, dowdy and unbecoming because they will likely add an extra 5 to 10 pounds to your lower half.
  2. Don't wear t-shirts with lettering unless you are playing a team sport or coaching dos and donts

 Above, there is so much wrong with this I hardly know where to begin. 

  1. Remember Ralph on Green Acres? Then you are too old to ever wear over-alls unless you are repairing something.
  2. Stripes are good; spaghetti straps and cut-out sleeveless tops are not.
  3. Leather baseball cap? Just say no.
  4. They may look cute on Miley, but if you're over 50, be careful about wearing gold shoes with casual wear.

fashion tips
Alessandro Ambrossio got it right.   Everything works here.  
If you're over 50? 
Let the hem down, and unless you are extremely graceful and have never taken a fall in your life, get shorter heels. Otherwise, perfection. 
   Oh, but avoid the long single braid.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

It's Summer! Do's and Don't's If You Are Over 50!

1. DON'T wear panthose. Now I love pantyhose and hate the bare leg look when it's the least bit cold. But in the summer, pantyhose don't just look hot, they look sweltering!

2. Do: Use a spray tan just on your legs, a light-colored spray tan if you don't use it on your arms or the rest of your body. Otherwise, use leg make-up. I know, sounds awful, but it looks great, actually much nicer than most spray tans! Sally Hansen makes a great one that you can get at the drugstore.
leg makeup

3. DON'T have arm swing. If you like your arms, you can show them off.  But be realistic; are they really toned and smooth? Did you look at your arms from behind, too?

4. DON"T go as short as you can!  Save the mini-skirts for winter when you can wear opaque tights with them.  With bare legs, the mini on someone over 50 just looks wrong... sometimes almost naked, even if your legs are beautiful.
mini-skirt over 50
So many things wrong here! 

5. DON'T pile on the bronzer. Be judicious and use a lighter color bronze than you may think you should use.  You don't want to look like a terracotta pot.  What you want is a glow.
too tan and too much bronzer
Everyone has seen her, but are you sporting the same look with makeup?

6. DON'T go more than one shade darker with your summer foundation. Again, you want a bit of color, but you don't want to sweat brown or have streaks on your face.  Add most of your color with powder.

7. DO: Change your colors.  Try pinks and corals and lighten up on the red.  This not only goes for your lipstick and blush, but also for finger and toe-nails.  Pinks are especially flattering to older skin.  Dark red polish will age your hands and feet.
pink lipstick helps with aging gracefully

beauty tip is do wear pink lipstick

8. DO: Wear a sunscreen.  All the time, and all over, not just on your face.

9. DO wear underwear the same color as your skin, especially if you are wearing a lot of white.  People who have to look at you from behind will thank you.  By the way, this tip is good for any age, not just those over 50.
avoid white underwear

fashion tip is don't wear white underwear

10. DON'T wear short-shorts.  Do I even have to mention this? Good.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

What To Buy Now for Summer

straw hat
Straw hats add protection while being relatively cool.
 Before it gets any sunnier or any hotter, there are four items you need to make sure that you have ready to go for summer - especially if you are over 40.  These are not just fashion accessories; they will make your life simpler, make you look better, and protect you from the harsh elements of summer.
A HAT:  I know. You hate hats. But a hat will not only protect your hair from sun damage as well as your tender scalp, it will also shade your face and reduce the sun exposure your facial skin receives.  Although many people wear sunscreen, some still get a rash from being directly exposed to very hot, very bright sunshine (alas, I am one of them!). 
Canvas hats are great: they can be rolled up and stuffed in a suitcase, but they can also get a bit hot.  Your best bet for running around town is a closely woven straw hat.
straw hat
SUNGLASSES: Your eyes need to be protected just as much as your skin does.  Too much sun exposure can lead to cataracts.  Be sure to buy sunglasses that fit you without sliding off when you sweat and those that flatter your face shape.  Below, Coach, Fendi, and Prada sunglasses are great, but if you are like me and constantly misplacing them, the cheap ones are okay. Just make sure that they meet the following standards:
  • UV 400 protection. (These block light rays with wavelengths up to 400 nanometers, which means that your eyes are shielded from even the tiniest UV rays.)  (fr
  • Lenses block 99% or 100% of UVB and UVA rays
  • Lenses meet ANSI Z80.3 blocking requirements. (This refers to standards set by the American National tandards Institute.)
  • om WEBMD)


A GOOD BEACH TOTE:  Forego the cheap bags that barely outlast the summer unless you know that it's going straight into the drink the first time you get into a boat, kayak, or canoe.  A good bag can be used when running errands around town and still look chic. You can still be colorful; just avoid kitschy (always avoid kitschy!). 
The bags below range from $9.99 to over $370.
coach tote bag
Coach Tote Bag with Colorful Stripes
beach tote bag
Large Striped Beach Tote from WalMart
Longchamps tote bag
Longchamps Travel and Tote Bag in Colorful Stripes
A TUNIC COVER-UP: Don't go inside the snack bar in your bathing suit.  Get a tunic that can double as a run about town top over pants or shorts and a cover-up over a bathing suit.  The tunics below are modest, cover up drooping upper arms and your lower bottom when worn over a suit, and look airy and summery over a pair of leggings or shorts. These three tunics are from Soft Surroundings, but they can be found at most department stores, and specialty stores such as Anthropologie. (I love Anthropologie's Striped Swing Tunic, not pictured here).
tunic cover-up

tunic cover-uptunic cover-up

Thursday, May 22, 2014

More of My Favorite Products

If you've ever read this blog before, you know that for most of my adult life (from about ages 30 something to 58) Aveeno lotion is the only lotion and/or beauty product that I used on my face with its ultra sensitive skin.  While I don't use it exclusively anymore, I will still use it at night when I have any kind of skin rash or problem, or sometimes over a stronger retinol that I may be wary of using.
However, I still do use Aveeno lotion all over my body.  It is hands down one of the best moisturizers that I have ever used, and with a chronic dry skin condition known as icthyosis, that is saying something.  For summer, I use the Aveeno lotion with a sunscreen all over my body.  Cures dry skin and protects it from sun damage. It also seems to "plump" my skin; my skin seems thicker after application.  After using for about 30 years, I have to say it is still a winner!
By now, everyone surely knows about Essie!  If not, here is some good news for your nails, especially for those of us over 40.  Essie nail polishes go on smoothly and last.  They have one of the best choices of light colors that look good on over 50 hands.  The light pink (see below) flatters older skin, a good thing since our hands are one of the first places to show age.  My favorite range from white (looks so clean and fresh, especially in the summer) to a medium dusky pink.  Sugar Daddy and Mademoiselle are almost cult favorites: pale pinks that look good on everyone.  Some of my favorites: Fun in the Gondola, Eternal Optimist, Fiji, Mademoiselle, Sugar Daddy, Ballet Slippers, and Vanity Fairest.
Essie's best invention: No Chips Ahead.  This marvelous topcoat dries quickly and really makes your manicure long-lasting.  I've had a paint job last for a week!  Really!  I love this stuff and will never be without it.  To me it seems to work best with Essie polishes although I've used it with other brands as well.

Donna Cluny Gardner

Monday, May 19, 2014

Two Products I Swear By!

Revlon Grow Luscious Plumping Mascara: It Works!
I love finding new products that work!  Two that I've found lately are making my life much happier. Disclaimer:  I am not advertising nor do I receive any renumeration in any form from these two companies or any other having to do with these products.
First, finally a mascara that I can love using everyday.  Through the years, my lashes have grown thin owing to my using extensions for years and years (those things are very, very hard on your lashes and everyone ends up losing some permanently), then using strip false eyelashes everyday for at least 10 years.  Many people swear by products that help lashes grow that you put on at night before bed, but I was always forgetting to put those on.  Coming to my rescue: Revlon's Grow Luscious Plumping mascara.  It has the ingredients that help your lashes grow, but in a mascara that actually looks good.  And since this is mascara, I don't forget to put it on.  I'm wearing it everyday as part of my regular makeup routine.  It's a good mascara that thickens lashes when you apply it, and over time actually helps your lashes grow.  It has minimal flaking, a big plus for me!  And of course, since it's a drugstore mascara, it's relatively cheap, about $7.99 per tube.  I use a tube about every 6 weeks or so.  It will last longer for people who don't use mascara as heavily as I do.
estee lauder foundation
Estee Lauder Re-Nutriv Intensive Lifting Makeup SPF 15

Second, a product that will cost you more, but if you measure the effectiveness of a product by how it makes your skin feel and how many compliments you get,  is definitely worth the money.  I am known to be an Estee Lauder fan and have used their foundations, especially Fresh Air makeup base, since the 1970's. While I still think that the oil-free Fresh Air makeup is one of the best ever, ever made, it lacks a sunscreen.   On Saturday, I turned 63 years old.  I need a foundation with a sunscreen, even in the winter months, and even though I use a cream with an SPF of 15 every day. I splurged and bought Estee Lauder's Re-Nutriv Intensive Lifting cream foundation in the Fresca shade.  I though that it was a bit shiny, so I also got the Re-Nutriv finishing powder.  I didn't really need to though since the subtle glow/shine is what I get so many compliments on.  Does it really "lift" (I could use the lift)? I'm sure it doesn't, but for the finish it gives my skin and the comments I've received, it is definitely worth the $75.00 price tag for the jar. A plus, a great range of shades for all skin colors.
Below: my face with only a bit of lipstick, eyeliner, and my foundation.  No blush, basically a blank canvas.  Doesn't my skin look great!?