Monday, August 29, 2016

50 & Fab....using Google and thrifting to make better sense of your wardrobe...

 Look, not all of us are natural Fashion Divas, are we.
I was fairly accomplished at looking good when I was younger and a size 8-10 (that's a 2-4 U.S.), but I've bemoaned  here and here, as I've grown older, I've found it more difficult to find what suits me and makes me look up-to-date and trendy. This wouldn't matter so much if I didn't still have a teen daughter at school, who constantly urges me not to look 'old'. Ummmm. Thanks Honey.
Quite often, I have the basics on hand as my wardrobe is primarily black, white, neutrals and denim, but I'm at a bit of a loss as to how to put it all together. You too?
I know how I'd like to look though. Just neat, and maybe a little edgy, but not ridiculously so. It doesn't help that at 163cms tall I am a petite Plus size though, so therein is the rub. How to find things that are photographed on slender people, that also suit little, cuddly me. 
So I tend to Google. Even admiring things on Polyvore or Net-A-Porter, isn't necessarily helpful, as I actually need to see the components on a human, to decide if they're worth a try for me.
At the top of my post here, is an image I found on Google, that utilises pieces very similar to those I already have on hand. Yes the models are younger, and slender, but I could tell straight away, that even these looks, can translate suitably to short, cuddly, 50-ish me.
Here are my versions...

Outfit one:
Distressed jeans from Big W $30
White T-shirt Big W $15
Quilted black sateen jacket Lifeline $25
Prada belt Lifeline $12
Vintage beaded clutch with chain - my own - needs repair...waaaahhh! It's about forty years old!
Outfit two:
Same distressed jeans
Soft denim coat with interesting details Target $80 (a splurge last year)
Black t-shirt Big W $15
Silver Cuff Lifeline $2
Prada sunglasses - a gift

Outfit three:
Black Ponti knit pencil skirt Lifeline $25
White T-shirt Big W $15
Black and White polka dotted double georgette scarf Lifeline $4
Black sateen vest with quilted collar and interesting details Lifeline $25
Vintage leatherette clutch - my own
Outfit four, just to show the difference accessories can make:
Same as above, but with...
H & M scarf in Spring tones Lifeline $4 (brand new still had the tags on it)
Pearlised Baby Pink Louis Vuitton look-a-like tote, purchased in Turkey on our cruise last year for 45 Euros
There's really nothing hard there, is there? It's just a matter of looking at how the elements are combined to yield a certain look. You then of course, keep your eyes peeled at the sales and the thrift shops, to find similar components.
Yesterday I Googled 'over 50 fashion', and found the images above of some 50-ish ladies at London Fashion Week. They sported the sort of look I like. Not too much frou-frou, comfortable, and just a little unusual.
Note the first lady with her hat, tweedy jacket, cross-body bag, and lounge slippers, the second one with a tunic top and a fringed skirt with ankle booties, and the third with my favourite look of cigar thin pants, loose top and great accessories. I even have those shoes, albeit they're not the real deal and they're bright orange (see, I do like orange...just not close to my face!). None of these ideas is difficult for me to replicate.
Over the next few weeks, I'll be returning to my favourite Op Shops, to find what I need to achieve these looks. Here's my list:
Black felt fedora
Grey tweed like jacket
Something with a fringe that I can cut off and use to stitch to a skirt I already have
Black silky blouse with white trim (dang...I had one just like this and recently returned it to Lifeline as I hadn't found a way to wear it!)
That is actually all I need. I have all the other elements.
And next time, I promise I'll ask my daughter to photograph me IN the clothes. That's a difficult task when you're in the house alone...hahaha!
Have fun!
Read more on this topic here.
Remember that Five Star Frou-Frou is now a never ending linkup with a feature each time I post.
Todays feature is this lush Summer Salad from Fabi at Fabi-Fabu, just right for the gently warming temperatures in my part of the world. Thanks for linking Fabi!
Love ya, Mimi xxx


  1. So loving these Op Shop posts, Mimi! Yesterday's ideas were fabulous, and today's outfits are simply and classy.
    I am looking forward to the rest of your posts on this subject...and I plan to have a harder look when I am next Op Shopping ;) The ones near me do tend to be the sort where people have donated their cheap-to-start-with clothes. But there must be a diamond in there somewhere, some time... xx Fiona

    1. Thanks Fiona! It's an eye opener isn't it? It really does help to visit the thrift stores in more affluent areas, or adjacent to affluent areas. It's amazing what you'll find :) Mimi xxx

  2. Those pics really help thankyou. At 52 and have lost 13 kilos i find i am looking for nicer clothes that enhance my figure not hide it anymore. Our op shop has huge sale and got 2 pairs of good brand jeans for $2 each and Laura ashley blouse $2. Will be going back tomorrow for more bargains. Am no good with accessories so am studying your photos. Thanks. Ruth.

    1. Hi Ruth. Yes, it's daunting when you want to look good, but don't know where to start! I'm glad I've helped. Mimi xxx

  3. I am loving this! Since I am now home most of the time and not working, fashion has rather escaped me. I still do like to look nice and I guess somewhat boho when I go out. I will have to do a search for some clothing that I really think is me. I love to thrift so this is a good incentive! Have a beautiful week my friend!

    1. I know what you mean Lynn. Just because you're at home, doesn't mean you have to stop caring how you look! There is so much out there to help you these days too. From Polyvore, to Pinterest, if you Google the right combination of words, you'll find inspiration. Love, Mimi xxx

  4. Dearest Mimi!

    Thank you for these posts! I am also a petite plus size, or as I call myself ~ fluffy ~ girl! My problem is I am at the tall end of petite and the short end of typical. I am 5'4" and it's hard finding the length I prefer. I am also short-waisted. So it's interesting trying to find clothes that look right on me.

    I also am a dandy thrift shopper! Never thought I would be. I grew up in an area where there weren't any. Five years ago I moved to a rather large city and it's a thrifter's paradise. lol Thanks for your tips and hints at looking our best!

    Love across the miles to you!

    1. Dear Melinda, Yes! That's me, 5'3 1/2", short waisted, and 'fluffy'! Yay! A twin! I have a sewing machine, so do not hesitate to shorten pants and skirts, roll jeans cuffs to show ankles, change sleeve lengths (I prefer mid forearm to wrist for jackets, coats and blouses), alter the shape of the hemline of a jacket, or to add embellishments. It's a bit of an obsession! So yesterday, I found a tweed-look jacket, that is actually a Summer weight linen, that has an interesting collar shape, to use as my replacement for the lady in my photos above with the hat and tweed jacket. But it has a regular boxy looking front that is a bit...well...daggy as we call it. I've already marked out more of a curved front like her jacket, and I'll trim it and refinish the hemline today, before washing and starching it to get that look. I find separates are definitely the way to go for we short waisted ladies. Finding dresses that look right, unless they're the unstructured type, is a lesson in futility! Have fun shopping at you thrift shops there! Love, Mimi xxx

  5. Hi, None of your styles are me. Still trying to figure me out! Making a list of points I think look good on me. I wear nylon sweat suits a lot!!! Comfortable but I get tired of them. So outdated I am. Jeans are probably 15 years old or more! LOL Want new ones but fat ankles so would like something not too tight around ankles but legs not baggy. Need to go shopping more. Right now have fatigue from Lyme Disease so will have to wait till better to do this. About 5 ft. 5 inches and 133 without clothes so trying to figure out comfort, hide imperfections, my age, etc. I enjoy reading your blogs!! Thanks for sharing!! Nancy

    1. Dear Nancy, I think my advice would be, for you to do as I have done, and Google 'petite mature fashion' or other combinations of words to that effect, and see what comes up. I wouldn't imagine your fashion sense would mirror mine in any way, as you, lucky thing, are still quite! Have you considered some lovely slimline drapey jersey pants? There's a fabric these days that has the feel of silk jersey, but is a knit and is very comfortable and still looks quite classy. I'll try and find out what it's called for you. Non iron is good if you suffer with fatigue for any reason, and I tend to wash everything on the Delicate cycle, and hang it all on hangers to dry, so that it's ready to wear. As I've mentioned, I prefer solid colours and think they make you look fresh and modern, but if you adore floral prints, then perhaps lean towards a small print so you don't get engulfed. Cute comfy shoes would be a must I think, and if you need to wear a certain type, then it's amazing what you can do with shoe colour change paints. I recently covered a pair of Birkenstock sandals, in glue and sprinkled them liberally with silver holographic glitter. Everyone comments on them, and I still get to make a 'statement', in my comfy shoes :) Good luck. Mimi xxx

  6. Definitely some great choices!

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

  7. Fantastic post Mimi....since l'm also 50ish and no longer a size 8;-) l felt this post was written just for me:-) l love to look funky but not silly and it IS hard trying to find that balance. Thanks for the many great tips and l love the looks the ladies are wearing in the photos...l'll definitely pop back to see if your daughter has taken some shots of you in the clothes you find.


I love hearing from you! I always respond to comments, so don't be shy! Mimi xxx