Fashion

Get Your Glitter On

HO, HO, HO, it’s time for presents, pie, peace on earth, punch, and my favorite – party outfits! Anyone who knows me, knows I love a good party, and dressing up is one of my favorite pastimes. The way I see it, a woman is never too old for some silver and gold, especially during the holiday season.

Today, we’re rounding up some ensembles you can feel fabulous in, even if you’re in the f word of the forties. Some of the pieces are currently trending, while others can be paired with staples a forty something may, (read should), already have in her closet. Shopping info provided! 

Does anyone else dream of living in Anthropologie? You know you want to. Seqionskirt2 This outfit is head to toe Anthro. I’ve had this skirt for a couple of years, and I’ve dressed it up or down. Wore it to a winter wedding with an off the shoulder black top. Put my hair up, dangled some earrings and slipped on a couple of bangles. Done.

This red top from Anthro is everything. Everyone should own a statement top; this one is timeless. I’m not wearing it in a picture only because my friend borrowed it for a party! You can pair it with jeans, or if you really want to turn heads, get some faux leather leggings, which are everywhere now. (I love Spanx leggings. I thought they would feel tight on my skin, but you barely know you’re wearing them.)

The beauty of being forty is we’ve lived through trends and probably have some kind of leopard top or shoe in our closet. The one featured is also current from Anthro, and currently being borrowed by a friend! Like all things Anthro, it’s classy and somewhat trendy. The back has a small opening – just enough to add some mystery. I love it.

A friend of mine once said to me, “You love sequins.” My response was, “Who doesn’t?!” And sequins are everywhere right now, as they are EVERY holiday season. If you don’t own a sequined skirt or pair of pants, get on it. The pants here are from Ann Taylor, but I’ve seen similar ones this year at BCBG, and Polo Ralph Lauren has a beautiful pair in black.  Banana also has a beautiful rose gold sequin skirt, (not on sale), and Free People has a sequined trumpet mini I’m stalking.  My cami is Topshop, and my faux fur jacket is actually Forever 21. Purchased that two years ago, refusing to spend a lot on a trend. Guess what? They are also everywhere now; my small investment paid off. Sequinpants 

Jumpsuits have been the new dress for a couple of years now, and you don’t want to know how many I own. They make dressing up so easy. Snagged this one at Nordstrom a few weeks ago; the color is a beautiful bronze. I’m wearing a small, but if you’re short like me, (5’2″), you will need a hem. 70s2USE (Gettin’ my 70’s vibe on.)

This red one I’ve had for a few years now too. It’s from Polo, but do a search on Nordstrom and a bunch of beauties will pop up. I’ve worn this one a least once a year!Redjumpsuit2USE So what are the takeaways here? Let’s review:

Every woman needs sequins during the holidays. (If you’re me, all days.) A sequined skirt or pants paired with a current trendy top can be worn year after year.

Jumpsuits aren’t going anywhere yet. (Thank goodness)

Invest in a statement top – or two, three…

Anthropologie is life.

Mix and match – find something from your closet and pair it with something trendy.

What’s old is new, and that’s the beauty of being old enough to have lived through trends. Enjoy the ride.

Fashion

It’s My Forties, I’ll Shop Where I Want to..

The other day I had to spend some time with a woman whom I had never met before. One of those mom events that force us to awkwardly make conversation, the whole time silently hoping, “maybe she could be my new Mom Friend?!?” Meanwhile, I had to remain cool – can’t let desperation show its weird, high pitched voice as I calmly discuss random topics. Fortunately for me, she opened the floor with something I can relate to – clothing.

“Your outfit is super cute.” Her voice was level, matter of fact. 

Me: “THANKS!” I moved to the edge of my seat, believing my high pitched squeal was purely due to excitement over a discussion about fashion – a favorite f word. “It’s all from Old Navy,” I began to prattle, “Super cheap, and it’s so comfy, I…”

“Old Navy?” She cut in. The corner of her mouth turned up. “Ugh. I only shop there for my kids, never for myself.”

Me: (in my head) “Why the F not?!?”

Out loud, I unfortunately said nothing. I may have made some kind of mature noise and shifted back to the rear of my seat, away from her judgy, upturned mouth. A surge of  emotions washed over me, most of which included being miffed at myself. For not responding, not letting her comment roll off my shoulder, and for letting my enthusiasm evaporate. (How much fun is it to tell someone how inexpensive your outfit is, especially when they like it?) After a moment, however, these feelings subsided. My forty something self actually let out a giggle.

Wait a minute, I thought. Did this stranger just fashion shame me?

OldNavy “Super cute” outfit.

This was new. After my slow processing skills took effect, I found it comical. She was the one who said my outfit was super cute! I thought about the day I had bought it. I had two hours alone with my daughter, Charlee.  Luckily for me, she shares my passion for fashion, and luckily for Joe, I chose Old Navy – an inexpensive place for us to try on clothes and just be girls. We had a blast. She even wanted to get matching shirts. (I realize that Charlee is five, and this may further prove The Stranger’s point, but who cares?!) I’ll never forget how much fun she had and her reaction when she saw my outfit: “Mommy,” she breathed, “that is sooo soft. Get it! Get it! GET IT!” She clapped her hands. Best $44 I ever spent.

I, and a lot of women I know, often struggle with how to dress in our forties. Lack of time, money, online purchase mishaps, (that’s a whole other post), and not quite knowing where we fit in make it easy to don some leggings and call it a day. But I’ve never been that girl. I’ve been planning my outfits every day since I was ten. Sometimes I get confused about where to shop or about what’s appropriate for my age; I try to laugh at the struggle. Forever 21 is pushing it at 45, and I’m sure Chicos is a lovely store, but I’m still not ready.

It may sound frivolous to some, but fashion was always one of the few arenas in which I had courage and confidence to express myself. The only part of me that couldn’t care less about other people’s opinions. Why would I let a stranger’s comment affect me now? I also could have totally misinterpreted what she said. Everybody loves a bargain; maybe she doesn’t like to score her’s at Old Navy. I don’t judge.

I’m well aware that one day someone may snub Charlee’s, choice of attire, but Lord help me if I’m going to get her hung up on labels or judgements at the age of five. She does have her own mind, and our future shopping trips may not run as smoothly as our time at Old Navy. But for now, she can rock rainbows and tutus for as long as she wants. And as long as she’ll have me, I may even join her.

 

 

 

Fashion

What Goes Around….

TBT to 1997 – my friends and I are huddled at a bar, navel rings glistening between the sandwich of low rise jeans and Britney Spears style crop tops, beer bottles dangling from our fingertips. We’re watching the makeshift dance floor that would erupt around 10 pm, when the dinner crowd fizzled and the locals would let loose.

“Dude, look at them,” we’d sneer. “They are so stuck.” They were a group of women, older, sooo much older than us, in their high rise mom jeans, hair way too sprayed for the decade of grunge, waving their hands in the air and dancing like they just didn’t care. They were stuck, we judged, in the 80s – the decade of their youth, unable to let go of the look they sported in their prime.

“That will SO never be us,” one of us would drawl.

“Word.”

“Totally.”

Well, here we are, twenty something years later, in the land of never. The irony is, crop tops are back, and most of us wouldn’t even be caught sneaking one on in the privacy of our own attic. We are now the forty year old moms, longing for a night out, wishing we looked like we did in our twenties, and not quite sure how to create a look that’s youthful, but not insane, for our forties. We’re straddling the line between Bebe and Not Your Daughter’s Jeans.

Fashion has always been one of my favorite f-words, and like many things in my  forties, I have finally learned to find it freeing. (The alliteration here may even be too much for me.) I understand that sparkly Ugg boots would make me look slightly crazy, but I’m also not ready to shop in Chicos. The forties have, however, let me experiment, have fun, and take some risks. (I also did this in my twenties, but I wasn’t nearly as good at it.) Being married also allows this; I love testing an outfit when going on a date with my husband. It’s safe to look a little wild when you’re with someone who vowed to stay with you through sickness, health, and a gold lame jumpsuit.

The even better news is, I also do NOT want to look the way I did in 1997. Plaid shirts and baggy jeans were not flattering on me, and my eyebrows are now paying the price for all that tweezing. (I blame you, Jen Aniston. All you talked in the 90s was how much you loved to tweeze Courtney Cox’s eyebrows.) I’ve accepted that I am five foot two inches, I have calf muscles that rip skinny jeans to shreds, and straight leg or bootcut jeans make me appear taller. It’s a sigh of relief to not try a trend just because and to understand what makes me look better, and what makes me look nuts. And if gold lame makes me nuts, make room for me on that dance floor.