Saturday, September 22, 2012

Beautiful Women Over 50

Everyone needs role models, not just young children and teen-agers. I have different role models for different qualities: spiritual role models, intellectual role models, and among others, role models whom I look up to for their beauty and youthfulness. These role models are beautiful older women who are aging gracefully. They eschew both the "grandmotherly" look and the "I'm a teenager look", and are comfortable in their own skins. I look for their beauty tips and secrets whenever I can find them.
beautiful women over 50
Catherine Keener is a beautiful woman over 50 whose sparkling personality makes her seem much younger, as does her gorgeous long, straight hair, and fresh make-up.
beautiful women over 50
Barbara Hershey is 63 years old! She has not succumbed to the trend of so many over 50 women to cut her hair. Note her fresh makeup with ample brows (very youthful looking).
beautiful women over 50
Goldie Hawn may have overdone the sun at one time, but it's hard to tell now. The over 60 grandmother looks gorgeous and as glamorous as ever by playing up her big, blue eyes, softening her blond haircolor, and wearing a color that absolutely makes her glow!
beautiful women over 50
Jaclyn Smith still looks angelic.Soft. long hair a lighter color than it was 30 years ago brightens her face.  Her round, flushed cheeks and bright eyes make her look well-rested and younger than her age. She is an excellent role model for graceful aging.
beautiful women over 50
Susan Sarandon is on everyone's list for a beautiful woman over 60.
beautiful women over 50
Jane Seymour cut her long, long hair to a slightly shorter length and went from stick straight to pretty waves and a lighter color which soften her face.
beautiful women over 50
Geena Davis's smile is her signature. White teeth and minimal make-up give her a natural beauty.
beautiful women over 50
Jerry Hall has been a favorite of mine since the 1970s.  She looks unbelievable!
beautiful women over 50
I believe that Mary Steenburgen is one of the few women who is actually better looking now than she was 30 years ago. She credits her good looks to loving and being loved, always important, but I'm betting a good skincare regimen helps as does her great haircut, winsome smile, and slender form!
Who would you add to this list of beautiful women over 50?

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Why I Love the Duchess's Style!

  • Photobucket
As I peruse the fashion pages of the many magazines I look at,from Vogue to Lucky, and read different fashion blogs, I am just amazed at how many fashions I simply don't care for. I'm not talking about the younger, kickier stuff that no woman over 40 should wear, but many of the outfits I see on celebrities who are 30+.
 One celebrity that I've fallen in love (her fashion sense, anyway) is Kate Middleton, the new Duchess of Cambridge. Now I am not a special fan of royalty or nobility, and I didn't really care for Princess Diana's style at all. But Kate has something about her look that I love. She's young, so it may be caused by royal restraint, but she epitomizes good taste in fashion. The clothes she wears could be worn by anyone over 40 with very few exceptions (women who don't like their arms won't care to go sleeveless). So am I saying that she is dressing like a middle-aged woman? NO. I am saying that she dresses so well and timelessly that even middle-aged women will look good in the clothes that she wears. In the picture above,you see Kate in jeans (great fitting and slim)with a casual striped top (stripes are so in right now) and a pretty , fitted navy blazer. She looks great. The scarf adds just that extra touch that gives a bit of style. The espadrilles say casual.
  Now what I also love about the Duchess is that she constantly reuses her clothing (some celebrities try never to be seen in the same outfit twice). Below, you see her in the same navy blazer with the great cut, a simple white shirt, the same espadrilles and possibly the same jeans.
I even love her outdoorsy look her. The boots are great, and you are never too old to tuck them into jeans.
Above and below: classic looking coats. It doesn't get any better than this!  The wonderful cut emphasizes Kate's slim figure.  For those of us not so slim, the coats would have an elongating and slimming effect.Photobucket
The blue Missoni coatdress above is perfect for Kate's coloring. I love her monochromatic look which generally makes one appear slimmer (not that she needs it).  She pairs the same outfit with two different pairs of pumps. I love the grey suede! They are a bit high for some of us however.  She changes accessories with the occasion.
Yes, she looks wonderful in red. Note that the dress is well cut and fits her perfectly.  The secret to looking really good often is not an expensive wardrobe, but one that you've taken to a good tailor so that the fit for you is impeccable.
Love this white suit, below.
Two great dressy looks.
The lessons here:
  • Fit is extremely important. 
How to apply:  Find a tailor, a good one (someone recently suggested to me that a man's tailor is best) and get your clothes tailored to fit you.  Even that wool skirt that you've been wearing for 5 years can benefit from tailoring if your body has changed or if it never fit you quite right to begin with. You'll know when the tailoring is working when your clothes not only look great, but they feel great when wearing them.
  • Accessories can make a big difference    
 How to apply: If your budget is limited, spend more on your accessories.  Hermes scarves (or good quality silk scarves), pretty jewelry in sterling silver or genuine gold, different handbags (which can be used for years) can change outfits fast and help you to dress up or down.
  (If you're budget is very, very tight, then buy good quality costume jewelry when it's on sale and buy classic pieces. Try outlet stores for your handbags.)
  •  Good shoes are a must
Spend your money also on good shoes, even if you have to buy them on sale.  Your feet will thank you and you will look much better when your feet aren't killing you.
Don't get locked in on the idea that there is only one pair of shoes that you wear with an outfit. Mixing up (and not necessarily matching up) can give you a different look.

  • No bare legs with "work" clothing (dresses, suits)
Of all the styles lately, the style of not wearing hosiery is the one I deplore most.  In the summer, when it is very, very hot - okay, but not with a business suit. And the rest of the year most women (not just women over 40) do not have skin that looks good without tights or hosiery, yes, even the flesh-toned kind.  Most have too-white skin or spend wasted hours at a tanning salon ruining their skin; leg makeup rubs off on clothes and chairs, and self-tanner is a pain, and really doesn't look very good in the winter.  They always look as though they have forgotten part of their clothing!
  • Buy quality, not quantity
This one always bears repeating - buy the best you can afford, but don't feel you have to have a lot.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

The Myth of French Chic

Paris in the Summer
On the Pont Marie  Longchamps bag, Cole-Haan sandals,Banana Republic top, Old Navy tee

  To be a Frenchwoman!  That was one of my earliest dreams. When I was in junior high, I got really lucky when Dominique moved in next door to us, a 24 year old Frenchwoman whose American husband was in the service and always away.   She became my mentor (we didn't use that word then) and I frankly worshiped her.  She was from, of all places, Biarritz.  Heaven!
  She had a wonderful French chic: a Sassoon style haircut in a reddish color when no one had Sassoon or was doing red. She didn't wear foundation often, but her skin was lovely. No matter what she put on, she was sexy - and she had 2 adorable litttle girls that I wanted for my own.
  She was one in a thousand, so I was really lucky to have her living next door to me. She taught me a lot, but the best lesson was to be "happy in your own skin."
  I've just returned from Paris, and while I adore Paris, love, love the French (who were wonderfully sweet and very, very friendly), and will still look to it as a style capital, the idea that French women are undeniably chic is a myth.
  I was all over Paris, from Montmartre to the Bastille, to the Left Bank, to St. Germaine, and the number of truly chic women I saw could be counted on the fingers of one hand. True, I didn't see tacky, that is the purview of the Americans, but I didn't see chic either. I saw women who dressed okay, pretty young girls in colorful dresses (the greatest difference between Paris and the D.C. area where I live), but not the kind of style that makes you want to follow a woman down the street and say, "How do you do that?!"
  On Blvd. St. Germain, I saw some women who looked elegant, but no more so than those I see shopping in Georgetown or at Tyson's here in the metro area.
  However, that does not mean that French women do not have much to teach us because they do.  If we took their lessons about grooming, skincare, clothing, and accessories to heart, we would look better, be happier, and probably have more money. Why? Here's why:
  1. The first lesson: self-confidence (being happy in your own skin). It's powerfully chic and very sexy!
   2. Less is more.  You don't need all those clothes.  Buy good clothes, but only a few (two pairs of jeans tops!) You can afford the good clothes if you don't feel that you have to go a month without wearing the same outfit.  French women wear the same outfit more than once a week, but they change it up with accessories and other pieces.
   3. Buy good accessories: own a Hermes scarf and wear it different ways.  Make sure that you have good, real jewelry, a really good umbrella, a decent hat to wear when it is really cold. 
   4. Your shoes should be comfortable, but still look polished. No bulky white trainers. A small heel because you walk a lot.
   5. Don't wear your workout clothes unless you are working out.
   6. Spend your money on a good haircut.
   7. Take care of your skin. Makeup removal every night! Use creams every night and day as well as sunscreen.  Don't try to get a super tan.
   8. Don't pile on makeup, but always wear a bit of mascara, blush, and lipgloss at least.
   9. Make sure that your entire wardrobe for any season could fit in a single armoire.
   10.  Amend your diet the minute you are one pound overweight.
   11. Femininity is good.
   12. Every item you purchase must be becoming to you - color, shape, fit, style.
Ines de la Fressange, the current style icon is 53 years old.
Marion Cotillard is classic perfection.
Big handbags are everywhere in Paris. Chic outfit, but you can tell it wasn't bought as a "set".
French women wear lots of neutrals with pops of color.
So, yes, there is more, so much more that French women could teach us that they take for granted.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Off to Artomatic

Off to Artomatic on Saturday! Artomatic is a wonderful even where an entire office building is taken over (this year in Crystal City) in order to display work from artists using different media. The art we saw was so interesting we only made 2 floors of the 8!  But we were rewarded with fabulous and interesting works and installations.  The wonderful part of Artomatic is that any artist who pays $110.00 can have a space to showcase his/her art, so even artists who have never shown before get a chance to display their work.
    Dress had to be very casual since we walked for hours; comfortable shoes a must!  My shoes are by Blowfish, very comfortable criss-cross wedge sandals. Casual Old Navy tee, and Land's End pants in khaki (flat front, side zip with no pockets).  Bag is Prada quilted navy tessuto with chain straps.
Fashion and Beauty
Gucci watch. Cluny Grey gemstone necklace featuring aquamarines, rubies, sapphires, emeralds, and 14 karat gold-filled accents. My favorite necklace is this Portuguese cross, a Christmas present from my husband when we were in Portugal. 
Perfume: Fracas
Nail Polish: Essie, A-dor-a-bal
Fashion and Beauty

Thursday, June 21, 2012

What I'm Wearing

fashion and beauty tips
The shorts are new for me. I'm not sure how  feel about them yet, but after wearing them a few hours, I've found that they are quite comfortable.  I'm trying them out for our trip to Paris.  We'll be taking my grand-daughter to Euro-Disney and I'm thinking that it is going to be too hot for long pants.  And you know how I feel about crops!  These have a cuff and seem a little dressier than most shorts. I'm wearing them today with a turquoise tee from Old Navy, my favorite Franco Sarto snakeskin sandals, and my Hermes Andalucia scarf.  David Yurman watch. Cluny Grey mixed gemstone necklace.
fashion and beauty tips
I find that I often wear my hair in a ponytail.  I wear a high ponytail although I've read that at my age, one isn't supposed to.  But it's the most comfortable for me and I think looks better than a lower ponytail (which also bothers the back of my neck).
Below, in keeping with being truly realistic about what I wear and how I look, I have not done anything to the photo below. (I see some messy eye makeup!)
  Estee Lauder Fresh Air foundation; Armani blush in #10; Estee Lauder lipstick. Underneath, Estee Lauder Daywear moisturizing cream with SPF 15. And yes, my hair needs trimming badly!
Fashion and Beauty

Sunday, June 17, 2012

How to Look Slimmer for Summer

On my way to do errands. I'm on a diet, trying to do Weight Watchers online. The best part is the being able to keep up with what you eat online and have the app automatically gauge points for me. The hardest part is to get exercise. I get busy and forget to take a walk or do something active. I've got to work on that! Today, I'm wearing very inexpensive clothes. I've had the pants for about 4 years; they are from Land's End and are their side-zip flat fronts that they unfortunately don't make any more (why!?). The tee is also from Land's End. Although the quality of their clothing has sadly decreased lately, I do like their tees that are fitted. They are more slimming as long as you order the right size. The important thing is to wear a bra that fits and to keep everything smooth that you are wearing.
Watch is David Yurman; shoes are Franco Sarto. 
Rutilated quartz bracelet is a Cluny Grey.Photobucket
I've found a new go-to nail polish that I am loving. It's from Essie and is called A-dor-a-bal. It's a soft, clean but not bright white colour that looks great for summer! Photobucket

Friday, June 01, 2012

Capris: Please, Just Say NO!

It's that time of year: the time when many otherwise chic, sensible and even elegant women feel the heat and decide to wear that which is lovely on almost no one! I speak of course of cropped pants and/or capris.  I've had a longstanding animosity for what was known in the 'fifties as "pedalpushers" probably because I was so skinny in grade school that my mother would not let me wear shorts, but instead put me in cropped pants.  They usually just covered my kneecap in a very awkward way and sometimes made sitting and other movement problematic because they were binding there - that is, until I had worn them for several hours and they had stretched out or ripped and were even more unsightly.
  I am (just last week) 61 years old, and well aware of the changes time has wrought: no more shorts for me outside of my house and the beach. Cropped pants would seem to be a good alternative to the hot summers here; they would cover my upper legs and yet be cooler than long pants.  I understand why women want to wear them.
  But if you look at the evidence, better to suffer the heat or put on a simple short dress than wear one of the most unbecoming garments ever constructed.
  Above, a young, very pretty, very thin model wears cropped pants and looks, well, okay. Now if you were going to say that she looks fabulous (which she does in face and body), stop and really think about what she is wearing.  Yes, she has long legs and thin ankles - a must for wearing cropped pants.  But look at how disproportionately wide her hips appear in these pants! She would look much sexier wearing shorts or long pants.
Above, three chic women who don't look all that chic thanks to the crops.  Cameron Diaz looks ready for the office from the waist up, and ready for the gym shower room from the waist down.
  I adore Gwenyth Paltrow but I have never, ever seen her look worse! If she looks like this, just think how you will look with that 20+ extra pounds you've put on in the last few years.
  Who is thinner than Victoria Beckham with her invisible hips?  Still, not a good look for her either.
Perhaps one of the worst aspects of cropped pants is that they are heavily advertised to, well, heavier women.  The result is not pretty or chic. And if you are dressing to look slimmer, my first tip is to avoid cropped pants.
  Above, she needs balance for those hips, even though she has worn high heels and does have good looking ankles.
Below, if you are an apple, stay wwwwwwwwway away from cropped pants.

These casual cropped cargoes are good if you are on an archeological dig; otherwise, just say no!
Above, these cropped pants stop at the worst possible point on this plus model's heavier legs; she's compounded the squat look by wearing flats with crossed straps that hit right at what should be the thinnest part of the ankles. Yes, this is a fashion problem. Imagine how much better she would look with long pants and even a low heeled pump.
Above, while a bit longer, these crops are wide at the bottom so that they will soon wrinkle and flare out above these flat thongs.
  Cropped pants are not always terrible. If you look below, you see some cropped pants that actually look chic, but note that they are really what some would call "ankle" pants rather than cropped.  The pants stop at the smallest part of the ankle - good if you have pretty ankles and wear the right shoes.
The right shoes are usually heels although not always. Below, since these pants are longer and the model is very thin and tall, she can go for flats. Notice though that while her sandals have crossed straps, they are well below the small of the ankle.
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Above, yes, it's one of the Olsen girls; keep her in mind the next time you decide to try on cropped pants if you are under 5'6" and weigh over 130 pounds.
  I realize that some of you may think I'm harsh, but remember, I'm talking about what looks good on a woman over 50, and what will look chic.  I have sweats I like to wear (and often do), but I don't try to accessorize them and think I will look elegant.
  Do you have a picture of yourself in cropped pants that you think looks great? I'd love to see you!  Please share!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Ready to Do Errands!

I like doing errands when I'm on my own; doing them gives a different structure to my day, and often provides me with that wonderful feeling that I've been productive and busy - a feeling that tends to make me more productive and busy.  Sometimes the best time to do errands for me is as early as possible.  Eager to be on the go, I don't really dress up (after all, I'm buying cat food, doing a quick grocery store run, stopping at the hardware store, the frame shop, the post office).  I often don't even dry my hair if I am really in a hurry!  I pull it back in a messy, wet bun and use one of those large clips in a colour the same tone as my hair. And of course, I have to wear my gold Portuguese cross. With it on, I always feel ready for anything!Photobucket
Just so I'm not too scary, I do put on minimal makeup. I put on a bit of eyeliner and the lightest coat of mascara possible. Lipstick is a must. And yes, my hair is wet here!
   Below, for errands, nothing is quicker than jeans and a white tee.  Low platform sandals are easy to run about in, and cool at the same time.  Mine are Franco Sarto, a brand that fits me well and has the added plus of being very comfortable! Here my cat Cluny decided that he had to get in the picture, too.
On a slightly cooler day I wear a thin cotton, lace-trimmed 3/4 sleeved jacket I bought at Banana Republic over 8 years ago. Underneath, a cotton tee from Old Navy, and cream cotton no waist pants. Photobucket
Perfume for errands? A light spritz of Bulgari's Jasmin Noir, fresh, light, and unobtrusive. Gucci watch.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

SALES For Summer!

I hear so many people griping about the price of clothing and accessories, and the truth is, they are expensive. But with some judicious shopping, you can find some very nice things. I love internet shopping for sales at high end stores. Of course, I have a good idea of the size that I will take, and a knowledge of what will work for me and what won't. I have also learned not to be fooled by the skinny models who look unbelievably chic and sexy and to do some simple things like look to see what material clothing is made from. Here are some things that can be found on the net right now.

At SAKS: Have you always wanted one of those unbelievably beautiful Judith Leiber jeweled bags but couldn't afford it? Try sunglasses instead. Judith Leiber makes quality products and her sunglasses are tres chic! These can be had for $139.00, and there are others. SAKS Judith Leiber
Yoana Baraschi Cap-Sleeve Dress/Red:  If you have the figure for it, this is a great dress for summer dining out. And it is still available in sizes 8, 10, and 12. The curved pockets are quite slimming (providing you don't put anything in them), and at 89.00 this is a steal! It is made of viscose which does breathe. The cap sleeves hide just enough of the underarm to be attractive.
  The next dress is also Yoana Baraschi and also is 89.00. In black with wonderfully slimming vertical blue lines, this dress is sure to be a favorite.  Both can be found here.

I love flats! These are perfect for summer since they are decoratively vented. They also come in tan and black. Pour le Victoire flats are only 69.00.

Don't you need a new watch for summer?  Breil square stainless steel and mother of pearl chronograph watch is fairly easy to read and looks great on your wrist with its bone-colored band and rose gold plated rim. Retail price is normally about $750.00, but it is on sale for 215.00