Wednesday, July 29, 2015

50 & Fabulous....find your own style...

How do I find My Style?
I just spent near on two days searching for My Style. My Style pretty much looks like this picture here. It's kind of neat, respectable, practical Aussie Mum wear. Neat. I like neat. And comfortable. That too. Unfortunately it's not considered style as such.
Anyway, in pursuit of My Style, I Googled until my fingers seized, retreating into arthritic claws, begging for mercy. In desperation, I checked underneath the lounge cushions and in between the console and the car seat in case My Style had somehow got wedged in there. Everything else does.
My Style wasn't there. I did find my favourite lip wand though so ... BONUS... right?
Here's what else I discovered (Googling, not under the couch cushions)...but be not fooled...I'm none the wiser.
Apparently at 55 years old, I should not wear my hair long, nor let it be grey. I should maintain a svelte figure, but not dress to show it off. I should keep my bosom and my bottom bound and covered, preferably in lots of spandex.
One source said pastels were flattering. Another said no self respecting Fab-50 would be seen dead in pastels. I don't mind pastels personally, but for me, prints are a dead set no-no. Others like them though, so, you know...whatever. I'm confused already....are you?
Apparently if you dare to wear your hair gracefully grey, you should then not wear grey clothing. Or black. Black is too ageing and grey is just it's said. I like both grey and black and wear a lot of them...I like them.
To me, that piece of advice is like telling a blonde not to wear beige, or gold or yellow or ecru or taupe or this....
I actually like this look and when I WAS blonde (and slender), I leaned towards these sorts of neutrals. I've always been a fan of the monochromatic look.
So if you have dark brown hair, do you not wear brown? Bewildering.
One little wisp of a thing that looked all of 19 in her blog profile pic, advised we older ladies, to please not wear anything made for younger women because it just looks silly and we're embarrassing ourselves and the rest of the world. I'd direct you to her blog, but I wouldn't want her to get the traffic. Spiteful, I know.
Parisian women, we've all been told for years, wear fitted ensembles to their dying day, lest their naughty husbands stray. My French friend who is also a husband, takes great exception to this myth. His wife is cuddly and wears flowing bohemian outfits (albeit with stunning one of a kind sterling silver accessories made by a clever friend...but then I do that too, and I'm not Parisian) and the thought of straying has never entered his mind. Consider that myth busted.
All the same, flowing clothes make you look fat apparently. I've been wearing flowing clothes ever since Stevie Nicks did it back in the 70s. I wore them when I was a size 2 (size 8 in Australian). I like them. I like the way they ripple around me when I walk. They make me feel girly and feminine. Why should I change that and get all anal retentive (psycho scientific expression, not anything to do with bottoms actually), wearing cropped jackets and booty enhancing capri pants, now that I've gained a few pounds. I don't get it. Really shouldn't it be the other way around?
Another thing that bothers me enormously is where one is supposed wear all these things that a stylish woman is meant to wear. I'm all for zhooshing up the neighbourhood with my personal fabulous-ness, but picking plums from the ugly produce section of the greengrocer is a little at odds with the Chanel-esque way of life. Maybe the greengrocer would like it. He's Italian and always greets me enthusiastically, so there's a good chance it'd brighten his day enormously. But then he might think our little dalliances over the ugly plums meant more to me than to him. It might get uglier than the plums. Sigh.
I go to the school in the morning, stopping by the greengrocer on my way home. I stay home, cooking and doing home type things, then I return to the school. Occasionally I lunch with a friend. I visit my sons and granddaughters. I go to teacher meetings and committee meetings. I like to look nice, but Manolos don't work with two year olds and school carparks, no matter what anyone says.
And on the subject of shoes by the way, one person says heels elongate the leg and we should all be wearing them. Another says heels are too try-hard and we should all wear orthotic sandals and to hell with what the world thinks. I think both have their place, frankly. I favour anything that doesn't cripple me.
As for dresses, well we curvy girls should wear them (says someone with fashion nous), and all the photos I saw of curvy ladies in dresses certainly looked fab. But any time I try a dress on, it looks fine from the front, and as soon as I turn sideways I go 'what the HEY! I forgot I was FAT!'. I bet if they took side on shots of those plus sized models, we'd be saying the same about them. I just can't do it. Aside from that, I just don't like dresses that much. I'm a pants and long tops kinda gal. Dresses are channelling Granny to my way of mind.
Several bloggers swear that the element of surprise is the key and that we should all be wearing biker jackets with our emerald necklaces and chiffon, and that ripped jeans are terribly terribly wrong, with the inference that they're a bit....well....ugh....common. I can tell you right now that if I started wearing my black leather jacket over my chiffon, dripping in emeralds, there'd be surprise for sure. But not the kind they're talking about. And I like my ripped jeans. Mine have red Chinese brocade under the rips. I put it there. I like it. It's like wearing nice underwear, except others can see peeks of it. That's my biggest surprise.
And bows...well anyone over five shouldn't go there. Sniff. I love my bows. Always have.
Well. Gosh. Fail, fail, fail, fail, disastrous fail.
I'm done in. I can't be bothered asking anyone else how I should look. I'll decide for myself from here on in thanks.
So here's where my Pinterest board comes in. It's titled 50 and Fab, and it's here
I've been pinning on there for a couple of years now. A couple of years of things I like, how I'd like to look. More than a few sessions of finding the me I'd like to be.
So here's what I've found.
I like long, well groomed, well looked after grey hair. I like minimalist makeup and excellent eyebrows. I like flowing cardigans and white jeans.

I have an unhealthy obsession with fabulous flat shoes. From Lanvin ballet flats with chain embellishment... metallic Wicked-esque green Oxfords from Dieppa Restrepo... all kinds of things with patent leather and bows...yes bows...

...I love bows no matter what anyone says. This is not my behind, nor my bows, but it is grey, it has bows, and it's probably something I would wear, so it's included....

...and grey hair. With bows. I wear bows in my hair often. I'm 55. I don't kid myself that I'm some sort of Audrey Hepburn Ingenue. It's more a Brigitte Bardot vibe...womanly...and feminine...
...grey hair, Balyage silver hair...all gorgeous.

Layers. Flowing, soft layers. But neat. Neat layers. It makes sense to me. You don't want to look like you just rolled out of bed and forgot to take your sleepwear off before getting dressed.

I love a bit of chiffon and lace too. Lace trimmed sleeve cuffs, and deep lace frills on utilitarian fine knit hoodies or roomy cashmere sweatshirts are sort of Mumma glam round these here parts. This lady is my role model....

...sleek hair. I love sleek, well groomed hair. I'm sleek and smooth these days. I finally wrestled my GHD into submission.

Grooming extends to nails. They don't have to be red. Mine are mostly pinky, peachy, opalesque or neutral.

I rather like the Rock Chic look too. This lady is 72 years old and she OWNS this look. Not for the greengrocer perhaps. Not here. But something to aspire too when I'm 72.

And clearly this lady below, didn't get the memo about the ripped jeans either. Or the pastels. Or the one that said rolling your jeans up over your ankle is strictly for when you're wearing sneakers. I'm with her.

I do love a neat handbag though. So well ordered and tidy.

And must add, I have a fetish for fabulous hair accessories. This one is to-die-for.

Frankly, no matter what you wear, there's a lot to be said for general grooming, and looking like you've made an effort.
I saw a lady today who was wearing something that broke very style rule in the book. But upon closer inspection, she had immaculate nails, clean comfortable shoes that made her walk with a spring in her step, hair that looked like she'd just washed it and fluffed it and let it be, a killer smile and red lipstick.
She looked fabulous.
What's your style?
P.S. I've since softened my stance on some of these views. If you go to my Dressing the Petite Plus Apple sized posts, guided by my menu across the header of my blog, you might get some tips that are actually useful ;-)


  1. I will have to think about that when I finish laughing, Mimi! I always have your comment about wearing Miller's T-shirts in the back of my mind when I pass by the shop. LOL!

    1. Oh lol Nanna Chel! I'm flattered that you think of me at all when shopping, but pleased that you avoid the Millers t-shirts! Mimi xxx

  2. Mimi, I love this ... it has me written all over it!!! Thank you for this post!

    1. I'm glad it resonated with you patsi. It seems a common problem! Mimi xxx

  3. I




    At 54, I'm becoming more and more into BEING THE ME I AM, I ARE, I WANNA BE.

    Loved this, Mimi! We each should embrace our style. Our Creator made us just as He wanted us to be!

    My style?
    Earth tones
    Letting my red hair evolve into graying-"chicken yellow" (as my aunt calls us) and "maneuvering" the blonde streaks so they show prominently-- streaks so many PAY for
    Dolman and Kimomo style sleeves
    Push-up sleeves
    Princess style seams
    Skirts below the knee
    Shirt dresses
    Low heels
    Very pointed toes
    Embroidery on any piece, anywhere
    Invisible zippers
    Swingpack Coach bags (I have 8 or 9)
    Brown is my black
    Knit lace
    Vintage styles, especially from the '50s and '60s
    Chopsticks to hold up my knee-length hair
    Beauty parfum by Calvin Klein (my signature fragrance)
    Dickies or camisoles that cover my chest, thank you
    Clean, natural skin and nails

    Thanks, Mimi!

    1. I LOVE your comment Kelley! And where are you my lovely? Your blog hath evaporated into thin air. Come back to us! I adore your list and it truly does sound just as I'd pictured you. Love, Mimi xxx

  4. At 58 I am still to work out my style - moving from one climate and living on building sites as we do houses up has meant that often I wear practicle rather than what I love, shoes are also a problem during these times.

    I keep my hair short because I have a double crown - still mainly brown but more grey showing through which seems to be evident when my hair is longer. It grows so quickly in the warmer months that it would be easy to grow longer if it didn't get so humid.

    I love the crinkle cotton look that you included - it would fit my new relaxed lifestyle.

    Living in a seaside town calls for a relaxed way of dressing, yet I still need to be able to dress up a bit for other places and events.

    I have a leaning towards ivory - never been a pure white kind of girl so just need to look for a nice base colour.

    Lots of food for thought.


    1. Yes Lynette, the humidity here is a challenge. So many of the things worn in air conditioned offices and stores, have no place in the real world! Ivory is softer on some complexions I agree, and the crinkle look is a boon when you don't feel like ironing! Mimi xxx

  5. what a great read, quite a few chuckles too Mimi. I agree about societal expectations and firmly believe that you are right. Grooming says it all. I am 51 and still can't even work out what colours I like best, but I do know if I have a 'face' on and hair done and clean clothes then I'm 85% of the way there.

    1. Hi Fiona...I'm pleased to have given you a chuckle! Face and hair done, and clean and tidy truly is a lot of the picture. I agree wholeheartedly! Mimi xxx

  6. I laughed through the whole post Mimi. I would love to be able to wear what is "fashionable" but at 155cm(when I stretch) most things don't look good on me. I would love to buy some Manolo's but I don't think they come in wide fittings with a small heel, the only type I can wear without causing major pain, and unfortunately has always been like that. I wear what I feel comfortable in, though my favourite jeans have been put in the bin because the seams have finally given way, not a good look for a 61yr old lol.

    1. Maggie, a laugh is good...and if we can't laugh at ourselves, then what sort of life is it? I think comfort is important, but I'd like to think, as you do, that comfort and style can co-exist. Mimi xxx

  7. And I smiled all the way through this too Mimi hehe, I so know what you say!
    Im more comfortable in leggings with longer tops and some jewellery to set it off,but I alos like dresses with thick tights in winter .While knee length suits me best ,a bit longer in summer is what I feel most comfortable in as Im sick of using tanning products . But I will use leg makeup for special occasions. A few years ago I said no more high heels but they seduced me one more time, and I have found a few comfy ones also for special occasions. But like you my life is home making , dance classes and socials where I dress up a bit more, body class and a group I go to which I also dress smarter for.
    Im the same age as Maggie :-) and my hair is light and dark blonde/gray, first impresssion is blonde(faded next to what I was). I nearly cut my hair short earlier this year and my hairdresser trimmed in layers shorter, but that's cured me I'm growing it out and not going to the hairdresser now, trimming my hair myself.
    A few years ago I found a way to give my fine, straight hair a wave without the fuss I use to go through... ,my mums encouraged me to wear rollers and perm my hair. This was growing up and continued until my 40's.
    I love Stevie Nicks too and her style snap! Polish my shoes actually wear mainly short boots in winter,and love bling like you.Ive got silver extremely bling flat slipons and similar strappy bling sandals.I love longish dresses in summer and long unusual skirts in winter. I feel the cold so that can get in the way of style at times ;-)
    Just finished decluttering my nail polishes and products. Stopped wearing nail polish this winter as my nails were breaking so much. I hear pale is in for this summer.\
    I have to confess Ive recently been watching Melbourne Housewives, the fashion and glamour bling and glitz caught my magpie eye lol and its when Im sitting down for a rest then.
    And I love lots of colour, and light colours. I recently took my young niece out for her birthday and she looked so glam in cream, top to toe, and blonde hair.So Aunty stepped up her outfit and by contrast I was mainly in black.A lovely young shop assistant came up to me and said ..I hope you don't mind me saying but you both look lovely ! The power of dressing which my niece has learnt early.
    Have a beautiful weekend , love Maria xx

    1. Maria, I must have a peek at Real Housewives of Melbourne... I know that Faux Fuschia (blogger on the right of screen) watches it while she irons! It sounds a bit of a hoot. You and I have always had a few style ideas in common, I think, and Stevie Nicks is still gorgeous. How lovely for your niece to have been paid a compliment...and you too of course! Mimi xxx

  8. Dear Mimi,
    My style is casual, pushed up sleeves, nice handbag, good nails, hair and all of that. I notice if you have clean lovely hair and are neat and put together THAT ALONE now makes you stand out.
    I used to have a lot of clothes. But always I had tow or so favorite outfits of them all that I loved most and felt best in. I think most of us have that... the few very best outfits we like and feel suit us, we feel good... so I just wear those few things now and forgot the WHOLE lot of the rest. It is so much simpler! I never have to think about what to wear. I mix up my accessories and scarves. I truly am happy with about a dozen pieces of clothing. Peace.
    Much advice is stupid and an attempt to make us spend money.
    My rule to make life easy is match and compliment your hair and eye color. Easy!

    1. Hi Annabel. I love the pushed up sleeves look too and have a pair of gold elasticised armbands that help the sleeves stay up. Of course Coco Chanel favoured 3/4 sleeves to show off her bangles and bracelets, and I must confess I have a weakness for those too! That's interesting that you survive on fewer items and more accessories. I think I've been reading that piece of advice since I was about 12, but of course it doesn't really seem relevant until you get to 'our age'! I always keep your advice on eye and hair colour in mine when shopping. It's spot on. Love, Mimi xxx

  9. I am mid-50's and lean hard on jeans as my wardrobe staple. I did a series of posts this spring and summer under the Retirement Remedies title Stretching My Wardrobe in which I showed a pinned outfit and compared to what I had. I think I am a casual classic type with a little bohemian/artistic flair. Never heard of it? It's MY style...unique to me. I love the things you showed as your style and the 72 year old rocking the combat books and off shoulder dress...well she's gotta be my hero. Loved this post!

    1. Hi Terri. Aren't jeans just the best? Dress 'em up, dress 'em down, make 'em anything you want really. I love your description of your style because it's YOU! Yes, that lady, I must find her name....what a great example of how most style advice should be! Mimi xxx

  10. Very entertaining post with a multitude of good points!!!

    I am rounding the bend to 70 now......a little on the plump side......and I got shorter, now how does that happen?? In my 50's let my gray hair grow in and have never regretted it, and I wear it long, trim it myself. Love wearing it up in a knot or twist and LOVE hair jewelry!! Guess I'm a casual traditional kinda gal. Neat and clean, solid colors, boots, sandals, and being a product of the 60's, always wear jeans. Have them in all colors. Last year I discovered leggings, I know, life in the fast lane!! Any who, my legs still look good and the leggings are amazing and tunic type tops, raglan sleeves, push up sleeves and wearing layers esp. tanks under shirts. I am modest. This year I bought a pair of navy blue heeled sandals with rhinestones on the front, very sassy with denims rolled up.........oh, is that wrong??

    I don't wear prints, they don't look good with my hair and coloring, so stick to solids, mostly gray, ecru, honey tones, cream, blues, and recently fell in love with black. Also love purple, clear reds, and sparkle jewelry......some boho, and some bling!!

    And that's how I am.........xoxoxo

    1. Hi Sweet Violets. Another who has embraced the grey....long live the silver I say! You sound like my kinda gal. Hair jewellery, solid colours, boots, jeans, tunic tops...yes, yes, yes. And I can imagine the sassy little sandals with rolled up jeans....are you sure we're not! Bling is so important I think *wink*. I'm just not right without my bling. I hope you'll come back for another visit soon. Love, Mimi xxx

  11. You are such a delight, Mimi :) You write in such a way that brings a smile to the readers face and you always give us much to think upon.

    I agree with you, my friend.... look well-groomed with whatever your style it. I think everyone has their own style and they should get to wear it if they so desire. Me: I love the 50's look and have many dresses and skirts that are fitted at the waist and flare at the hips. I love flats paired with fitted jeans and I love the comfortableness of flowing tops. I love putting on a pair of high heels for special occasions and in the winter I adore knee length boots and scarves. I guess I like a bit of everything.

    And as for the grey hair.....isn't that what God gave us? To me grey is simply another color just like brown is one. I am not quite 30, but I already have silver strands threading their way through my hair. At first I was horrified, but then I realized the grey is simply a part of me :)

    Thanks for sharing this lovely post with Roses of Inspiration. Hugs to you, dear one!

    1. Hello lovely Stephanie. What a picture you paint and why is it that this is just as I imagined you from your posts! The epitomy of femininity! I think that our grey hair is something we've earned and to cover it is to deny the life we've lived. I think your philosophy is perfect. Love Mimi xxx

  12. What a great post! I really enjoyed it! I'm 55 too. I have sleek long hair that at the moment is salt it pepper but will never be grey. It will always be silver. I also love flowy skirts and long tops. And I look nothing like the model! Keep writing. You're very good at it!

    1. Hi Judy, and thankyou for your lovely compliment on my writing! Yes, we are silver aren't we, it's an important distinction from just plain 'grey'. I hope you'll pop back...we sound like two peas in a pod! Mimi xxx

  13. This is hilarious! I chuffed out loud at the side view comment. That's the worst part of shopping for clothes. But I'm over 50 and wear pastels, sparkly shirts, rolled up jeans, you name it. If I like it, I wear it. My hair is mostly silvery white on the surface and dark underneath so it looks kind of funky cool when it's pulled up, which is most of the time.
    Visiting from Roses of Inspiration, and now following your Pinterest boards~

    1. Thanks Anne! Well it's true on the view from the! Your style and mine sound like a 'SNAP'! Thankyou for joining my lovely group of followers. Love, Mimi xxx

  14. Hi Mimi, you totally rocked this post!!! LOVE your "style"! we're all so different and have to go with what works best for us. we just need to stay plugged in to what's going on around us. that way we can sort stuff out in a timely "fashion", without getting totally out of step. thanks so much for joining in with SYS!

    1. Hi Debra, and how lovely to see you here! I'm pleased to have made you smile. I hope you'll pop back more often. Love, Mimi xxx

  15. Hello, my lovely friend :) I wanted to let you know that this post will be featured at Roses of Inspiration later this afternoon. Thanks for sharing. Hugs to you!

    1. Stephanie, I'm thrilled to be chosen! Thankyou sweet lady! Love, Mimi xxx

  16. Hi Mimi, I saw your feature at Stephanie's party and just had to come see! I so loved reading this post. It made me smile, chuckle and then laugh out loud. You have fabulous style - in your approach to life and writing as well as clothing choices.
    Thrilled to find your blog :)
    Have a great week!

    1. Hi Robyn. Thanks so much for your visit. I'm glad to have made you smile. I hope you'll pop back soon. Love, Mimi xxx

  17. Hello Mimi, and how delightful to meet you!
    I am visiting you from my dear daughters party over at The Enchanting Rose ~ and I am so thrilled I took the time to visit.
    You had me chuckling through out this fabulous post!
    I'm 56 and loving every bit of it from the gray hair to the lace and feminine tops to the pastels, which I adore and wear plenty of to the lovely black, oh did I say black? lol capri pants. Let me not forget the vividly bright colors in my sport shirts and shoes. Those colors might be for the younger crowd, but they sure do make me feel young and spry!
    I think a women looks her loveliest when she wears a smile on her face, hair of her color cut in the style she loves and dresses so as to bring contentment and joy to her own soul.
    I'm not real sure I have ever had a "style" I just wear what I love and find comofortable.

    I just had to follow along with you here, and I look forward to reading more of your inspiration.
    Stephanie was right ~ this was a must read post.

    Have a beautiful day!
    Joy! Debbie

    1. Debbie, it's not hard to see where Stephanie gets her lovely ways from. You and I sound similar in our style choices, so perhaps we ARE the! I couldn't agree more that a smile, and a joyous demeanour make for the most stylish outlook. I hope you'll pop back soon. I think we might be soul sisters! Love, Mimi xxx

  18. I love this post!! I am pushing 60 and refuse to dress like it! I still wear Zebra striped legging capris with a tastefully long top! There are a few things I won't wear because of my age and a lot of things I don't wear because of where I live and my lifestyle. I recently went into a fabulous gift shop in a upscale town in MA who carried designer clothes that were a mix of Boho and Country Western....gorgeous! Not me and not anything I could wear....ever! (sigh) but I want to!

    1. AnnMarie, zebra striped capris sound WOW! And if you want to wear that stuff, I think you just should go and do it. Mimi xxx

  19. That bow top is too cute and I love your writing style, very charming and witty! I too love sleek hair, probably because my hair is only sleek after I spend an hour flat ironing it. lol.


    1. Thankyou Carrie. I feel your pain on straightening your curls. I know. I know. Mimi xxx

  20. What a wonderful post! -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

  21. I love this! I'm not yet 50 but my still-blonde-ish hair is sprouting increasing amounts of tinsel and glitter. My grandmother had the best tinsel and glitter so I'm hoping mine comes in that way, too.
    Blessings, Leigh

  22. Fabulous post!
    I love posts like this.... full of tips, hints and a personal touch.
    Thank you so much for sharing!
    Fake Fabulous | Style and fun with fashion, over 40

  23. Lovely post, I like your style. Flat shoes are great, aren't they :) Thanks for sharing at Creative Mondays.


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