“You can be gorgeous at thirty, charming at forty, and irresistible for the rest of your life.” Coco Chanel
There are a lot of things that become more challenging as we age, but shopping should not be one of them. Finding clothes that are in style, affordable and look good on you should not be an issue. But for me it seems to have become one and I know I am not alone. I work full time in a creative field so I do not have to be “dressed for the office” – whatever that really means, but I think you know what I’m saying!
All I know is I want to look fashionably pulled together when I head out of the house. I have a good eye for what looks best on me and I have learned how to adjust to what no longer works on my body. But just trying to find those items is not always easy. And I have to say, when I do find it, I buy in bulk.
Even if you are not working in an office any longer, we all go out to lunch, go to a museum, have dates with girlfriends and husbands and maybe even a blind date. And we want to look great, it does not matter if we are more traditional than trendy, we just want to look good. We want to be fashionable @ any age. And there is nothing more appealing to me than to see a really fashionably dressed Platinum Boomer. We might all have a different image of that look, but we know it when we see it. And that’s what I’m talking about here girlfriends.
I think it is shameful that most American retailers are the biggest offenders of turning a blind eye to Platinum Boomers who have not lost their sense of style with the gain of years that birthdays bring. Yup, I know there are parts of my body that just should not see the light of day anymore and I’ll step right up and admit it. But hey, the rest of me knows how to put myself together and make a pretty good statement on style. But I gotta dig, search in the most unlikely places to find those items that work.
If you are headed into a larger store today you can glance over the departments and see where most retailers have pigeon-holed us. You have entered “The Age Appropriate Zone.” Well not me, I’m not going there! What I realized is you have to be a part time fashion detective. You have to look outside the “Zone”. Seek out those other departments or other stores and find the mannequin with the fabulous outfit that just makes your style mojo sing and before you can say to yourself “I can’t wear that anymore” pick out the one item that you can still wear. Just that one piece can make any old thing in your closet set you apart and trend up your look. I am not denying my age and saying I want to look 30, I’m saying think outside your birthdate.
I have a friend who searched for days to find a stylish dress; she found tons of dresses she would wear in a New York minute…20 years ago. All she wanted was a great dress with….sleeves. Just a little bit more than a cap please, perhaps something quarter length would work, but it was not happening. A couple of weeks later we were out window shopping after lunch in a small outdoor shopping plaza and we popped into one store that is an over the top “age appropriate zone.” All the glitz on the outfits leaves you, us anyway, rolling our eyes and heading for the exit. But a few doors down we found White House/Black Market. www.whitehouseblackmarket.com and I have to say I was surprised. Having passed up the store while shopping in the past thinking it was just not for me. I found a couple of the all-important items…those one or two little gems that make the LOOK happen. And my friend did not find a dress, but she did find a really great floral pencil skirt, a little cardigan and together with what she already has in her closet….voilà. She went to the wedding in style.
An all-time favorite store is Zara, www.zara.com. I found Zara 12 years ago in Paris and really bought in bulk and I have to tell you I still have a couple of shirts from that trip that I wear today. Now that I have my sizing down pat I can go into any of their stores and be my most commando like self and just load up. For me the best items in Zara are their 100% cotton tee-shirts, why? Because they have quarter length sleeves, a great fit, come in every color of the season and also in the best stripes, very French, [even though they are a Spanish company]. My uniform for work is skinny jeans, a tee shirt and great accessories and I’m done.
Oops I almost forgot my other obsession shoes, and then I’m done.
I want to close this post with a few very personal thoughts. When it comes to the reflection in the mirror that moment is between you and that inner beauty that stares back at you. I named my reflection Kat; she is my muse and my most confident stand-in when I am not. She stays with me when I turn from the mirror and am only left with the feelings I have about myself. Kat convinces me that I am walking my tallest, holding my head the highest and not thinking about what ever my age is that day. I think it is our obligation to take the best care of ourselves in every aspect of our lives.
I just ran across the phrase “growing old gracefully”. I think aging gracefully is taking the utmost care of yourself, being your most beautiful self, inside and out. And most important – defying the odds that society has set to box us into an old way of thinking. It is up to us to set the new paradigm of what aging is and how to re-define it.
Age is a state of mind and my mind is full of wisdom and the reflections of my life. I will continue to keep my youthful thoughts and visions and I’ll mix it up with my Goddess knowledge and I hope that it will be a good blend for a successful life. And whenever I want a poignant reminder of aging gracefully I’ll read the lyrics of Forever Young by Bob Dylan. With those lyrics in mind, I will be forever young and it will show.