Oldies but Goodies

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Tonight was my first “evening at the beach” of the summer. It was still hot hot when I was getting ready to go out and I just wanted to be comfy and cool…so, not caring about schlubby/not-schlubby, I went with an old favorite. A Mossimo (Target) dress I’ve had about 10 (yes, ten) years…and *I* didn’t even buy it new then, I thrifted it!

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And my Mephisto footbed sandals I’ve had, are you ready for this, for TWENTY YEARS. No Joke. I know they’re hella ugly, they look a little like orthopedic sandals, but when I just want easy, they’re my go-tos. As big fat puffy swollen as my feet can get in the summer, these always fit.

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It’s good to always keep some old favorites in your closet…sometimes you just need the comfort and ease they can bring, in spite of what they look like. I wouldn’t wear this dress to work, it’s too worn and low-cut…but it’s perfect for weekends and casual evenings.

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What’s your longest-held-onto article of clothing that you still wear? Neither of these are my *oldest* items. But that’s for another day.

And speaking of oldies but goodies…a lonnnng time friend sent me these pictures earlier this evening, from our horsey high school days…

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That’s me on the right. In the orange bare midriff halter-tube top. Man was THAT  a lifetime ago!!!

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I would have been 17 here. And I thought I was fat.

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Me on the right again. JUMPING. Over things. Wow.

I’ll think of this picture tomorrow morning when I’m trying to get up out of bed. Sigh.

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Who Do You Dress For?

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I spent some time this afternoon with an *old* friend…who revealed to me that he has seen this blog…and commented that there have been a couple outfits he hasn’t liked…and that in particular he does not like these sneakers (above)…which, ha ha, I just happened to be wearing today.

And I just thought “….oh. okay,” and moved on. I didn’t feel insulted. I didn’t even really care. I’m not dressing for him. I’m not dressing for *anyone.* I’m just dressing for me.

They say there are different kinds of women…women who dress for men…women who dress for women…and women who dress for themselves. At this point in my life I am most definitely the latter.

Which is not to say that if I had a gentleman suitor 🙂 that I would not want to look nice for him…but I would want to look how *I* think I look nice.

Some of that is tied into personal confidence (and the lack thereof)…and some of it is probably about trying to be a pleaser, which in the past I have been, to my own detriment. And I wish I could have been as much of my own person when I was younger…not giving as much importance or power to other people…about how I behaved or how I looked. But…I’m glad I finally got here. And I hope my daughter has more inner confidence than I did at her age. I think she does.

 

Dressing Your Age…wh-a-a-a-t???

I’m going to turn 55 in September. I’m going to turn SIXTY in a little over 4 years. I keep seeing articles about “fashion over 50” and “tips on dressing your age.” I don’t know what that even MEANS. I don’t FEEL like I’m almost 60…so why would I focus on LOOKING that way??

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Me at 31.

I actually think my “oldest looking” decade was my 30s. I was a new mother, I was doing Mommy Things, I wasn’t giving a whole lot of thought to my appearance (sorry, Ex Husband). I didn’t really give a you-know-what. But now I do…and I just want to look the way I want to look! The picture above is not *really* a good representation of how I looked at 31, I was visiting family out-of-state and you always make more effort then. And it was partly the style of the decade (90s), but I feel like like this is something a much older person should be wearing!

I don’t try to look younger when I dress…but I also certainly don’t want to look older! I will say I feel that I do see more young style influencers than my age – both in real life and on the internet. And that certainly can skew your taste. But I think that modern simple pieces are ageless. And if you don’t want to be modern and simple…but outrageous and colorful…then be that! However old we may be, life is too short to worry about what other people might be thinking about our clothing choices. Dress for who you want to be!

So I’m not wasting any more time reading “tips for dressing my age.” Will you??

Only Got a Hundred Years to Live

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When I was in my late-30s I had a little pre-mid-life event…I lost about 180 lbs (aka got a divorce) and decided that by 40 I wanted to be the best I’d ever been.

It didn’t quite happen.

In my mid-40s I decided I wanted to be the best I’ve ever been by 50.

I didn’t quite make it.

Are you seeing a trend?

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Now I’m almost FIFTY-SIX and I’m thinking maybe I should start making some effort to be better than I’ve ever been by 60.

SIXTY. It hardly seems possible that I could even BE 60. Grandmothers are 60, knitting in a rocking chair with a purring kitten in their lap and a cup of tea by their side. That’s what 60 looked like when I was young. FORTUNATELY that doesn’t HAVE to be what 60 is and I have no intention of knitting or rocking (in a chair, anyway) at 60.

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I’m feeling very inspired by the women in this article like Linda Rodin and Diane Keaton. And I think I definitely should start coming up with some sort of plan for HOW I’m going to be better…because right now, while “Fabulous at 40” and “Fearless at 50” seem like great plan titles for those decades, the only thing in my head for the next one is “Scared
Shitless to Turn 60” !!!

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I’m already trying to present myself better to the world in some ways – like clothing, and trying (TRYING) to stay on top of hair cut and coloring so I don’t end up again with Crazy Old Lady Hair…but an even bigger (no pun intended) issue is my weight…and not just for weight’s sake, but for two things (for me), 1) fitness and 2) being able to fit into the more readily available clothing sizes. I don’t even mean “straight” (aka Not Plus) sizes, I mean that I’m challenged now to even find clothing that fits me at most plus-size clothing stores or departments. I want to at *least* get down to a solid 3x. It’s been so long since I’ve tried to buy many clothes, it was just now so struggling to build a better wardrobe that I’ve discovered just how out of the readily-available commercial plus sizes I am. And that is very frustrating to me. And fitness – for the sake of being able to do things I like without having to throw in the towel early because I’m exhausted or my hip hurts or I have a pain in my side or my feet hurt or I’m sweating like crazy (I work with someone who at times calls me Sweaty Bettye. I know he means it affectionately, but still.). I LIKE going on walking tours in the city or on art gallery crawls in Brooklyn and for little hikes in the woods with the dog, but sometimes the thought of all that walking puts me off from doing things that I like. And I don’t want to be like that anymore.

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For the record, I’m not talking about losing half my body weight and being THIN. That may be the PC goal, but…I’d rather keep it real and say my goal is to be more comfortable with moving around and to fit more easily into a common size of clothing. I don’t feel it’s about a number, I think I’ll know when I get there…and then I’ll reassess.

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And what does any of that have to do with this dress? Ha. It’s all about transformation and trying new things…and this dress is way more “saucy secretary” than I usually dress, and the dress more form-fitting than I usually wear. Is this The New Me? No, ha. But I gave it a go. Trying new things can sometimes help confirm what you *don’t* want so you know
better what you DO want.

Photography by Linda Asparro Photography.

What I’m wearing:

 

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