Be a trail blazer!

Luxe Rachel Zoe chocolate suede jacket

Luxe Rachel Zoe chocolate suede jacket

There is something about a well-fitted modern jacket that feels like armor. If it’s cut well, it adds a dose of cool to anything you wear it with and does the heavy lifting when it comes to creating a flattering shape.” ~ Stacy Londonstylist, television personality, and author – from her new book, The Truth About Style

Do you own a blazer? Have you checked your closet recently? Blazers are so important for pulling a look together, and having a few well-fitting jackets, as Stacy London says, is necessary for feeling your best. I like the notion of a jacket as armor and I agree. Sometimes you want to say more rather than less. Sometimes you need the extra coverage; not just to complete a look, but to go deeper – to give you a sense of control and purpose when you need confidence. Sometimes, as your body ages, you simply need a little more structure and form, especially in the shoulders. And nothing, nothing gives a man or woman a sense of power and elegance like a blazer.

The expression ‘go to’ really fits when it comes to wearing a blazer. I have a few; a white and yellow for spring/summer, and my recent purchase – this Luxe Rachel Zoe chocolate-suede from her QVC collection. I chose it because of its good fit and interesting detail, including the puffed-sleeves (love!) and multiple zippers. And brown looks great with black, which makes it a classic for everything.

Take care of yourself and add your own protection with a proper jacket. Be a trail blazer!

What do you think?

Aging: A slight shift in perception

Me, age 52

It is inevitable. One day you find yourself over 40. You look in the mirror and find that you are not the young person you were. I know about this: I am 52 and I have made this realization several times in the last few years. I am shocked when I notice any number of changes to my body: My arms look a little funny in a specific light, the lines on my face are increasing, I am more aware of the need to pull my stomach in, and my size and weight is up and doesn’t seem to be going down any time soon. A friend told me that she heard actress Goldie Hawn talking about aging, and she said that you must come to terms with the fact that after 50, you may indeed go up a dress size. Hmmm …

I say don’t give up on yourself! In your heart you are the same. Actually, because you have the wisdom of age on your side, you are more the same than ever before. You are still vibrant and want to feel good. You may have to make a slight shift in perception, but you don’t have to give up who you are. In fact, enjoy this new phase and let your fashion choices enhance your life.You may want to wear it knee-length, but wear that skirt. You may want to check the rise on your jeans, but wear those jeans (and wear them fitted; stay away from baggy and non-fitted because they actually make you look older). You may want to check the fit of a tee, but wear it if you like tees and sleeveless shirts as I do. Never forget to wear color. Black will always be slimming and chic. Smile back at yourself the next time you look in the mirror! And don’t stop wearing that dress, no matter what the size.

What do you think?

Smile back at yourself the next time you look in the mirror!

Fast Girl

Ingrid,’s book, Fast Girl. Photo by Klaus Schnitzer, well-known car photographer.
“I was looking for something that said ‘fast’ and ‘girl;’ I think
this Karen Millen cocktail dress says both.”

All of us are a lot more capable than we think we are.” ~ Ingrid, a.k.a. Fast Girl

Ingrid Steffensen is a Fast Girl. How do you explain why, at 45, this college professor of architectural history, this classic “good girl” –  suburban wife and mother of daughter Emma – took a hiatus from teaching to dive in to high-performance driving? And not only that, but also to tell her story in a new book, entitled Fast Girl. How? Better yet … why? Because as Ingrid says, “I’ve discovered the fierce joy of biting into life like a juicy steak …”

Ingrid’s husband, Mr. B. as Ingrid refers to him in her book, was the initial high-performance driver in the family. His passion for driving never interested Ingrid when he first started: She was too busy taking care of a baby, then toddler, then young child. But fast-forward seven years, and Ingrid, now with a ten year-old daughter, sees the possibility of joining him on the track, and it becomes a reality. “The first time I was terrified out-of-my mind. I’m proud of myself that I did it anyway.” And so our Fast Girl started her journey of high-performance driving on her own. When asked about a defining moment when she knew she was hooked Fast Girl responds: “I was driving my Mini-Cooper and an all-black Porsche Turbo with spitting flames, literally, was in front of me. But I was faster. Ultimately, he had to concede and let me pass. I felt a great surge … ‘Oh Yeah!'”

And now Fast Girl is a bona fide high performance driver; in the spring of 2012 she became an instructor herself, to both men and women. She is also an author, sharing her story of growth and confidence with all of us.  “I’m 45 and all of a sudden people are calling me a bad-ass!” ~ Fast Girl, Ingrid!

What do you think?

Fast Girl Ingrid at her book signing (Words Bookstore, Maplewood NJ, with owner Jonah Zimiles) wearing another Karen Millen dress, her favorite designer. “I’m a fan of her designs; they are beautifully tailored and have impeccable seaming.”

Laurie: The evolution of fashion

Laurie

Fashion after 40 becomes more about you as a person, from the inside out rather than from the outside in. When you’re younger you think fashion is the clothes, the outside – but as you get older you realize that it is more about how you feel within. You make the fashion. My daughter is seven. She has a favorite skirt and you can see how special she feels in it; when she puts it on she just wants to twirl! All girls that age are like that. They pick clothes that make them feel good. Self-confident. As girls get older and reach the teenage years and beyond they are so affected by what others are wearing that they think only about the clothes. And finally, as women get older, hopefully we begin to trust ourselves and stop trying so hard. It’s no longer about what might be in, but more about what feels right to us. That is the evolution of fashion.”

~ Laurie

“You have to see this! …”

The New Yorker Magazine Cover
September 10, 2012

… said my neighbor Jean. I visited her this afternoon, which I do as much as I can. You know Jean by now – my 80-something friend and neighbor. We have shared many conversations about life and fashion – from tuxedos to handbags – and today’s topic was this cover of The New Yorker Magazine. Jean continued with this question: “Where is fashion going? Lately I have been feeling like the older woman in the illustration – out of step and befuddled.” Enough said. This image says it all.

What do you think?

Barbie and Marilyn

Marilyn Monroe Barbie in the famous scene from                                                 Billy Wilder’s 1955 “Seven Year Itch”

I’m reflecting on the fact that this year marks some interesting anniversaries. Barbie is 50+ and it’s been 50 years since Marilyn Monroe’s untimely death. It happened 50 years ago this past weekend – either Saturday or Sunday – no one knows for sure.

I’m not certain what this means in the cosmic universe but I think it is interesting to note and to stop and take in. Two icons recognized the world over, lost in time, sharing a kind of beauty that is hard if not impossible to attain. And after I just asked the question … what is beauty, anyway?

Hmmm …

About “About Face”

HBO Documentary
“About Face: The Supermodels Then and Now”

It’s no fun getting old and sick and dying, but why shouldn’t we be allowed to age?
~ Supermodel Jerry Hall

Last Monday, HBO aired a documentary called “About Face: The Supermodels Then and Now.” Directed by photographer and filmmaker Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, the film contains conversations with the worlds’ most celebrated Supermodels of the last 60 years. What started as a concept for a photo shoot of a core group of models from the ’70s and ’80s developed into a full-blown film with a much broader spectrum and selection of women (Carmen Dell’Orefice is 81 years old, for instance, and began her modeling career in the ’40s when it was considered not much more than prostitution) .

I knew the names – I recognized the faces. Christie Brinkley, Jerry Hall, Beverly Johnson, Cheryl Tiegs, Carmen Dell’Orefice, Isabella Rossellini, Paulina Porizkova, Carol Alt and Kim Alexis to name a few. But I had never heard them tell their stories and that was most illuminating for me – to hear the voice behind the face and to go deeper into the fashion world. And Mr. Greenfield-Sanders did not hold back on heavy issues: issues such as racism, sexual harassment, drug abuse and of course, the rarely discussed question of aging. He wanted to explore the idea of beauty as it ages, and what happens to women considered especially beautiful, because as he says, “Aging is difficult for all of us in America. For women who are all about their looks it’s an even more heightened issue.”

Especially beautiful? Is there such a thing? Isn’t it possible that especially beautiful comes with age? I think so. I enjoyed seeing these women as they are now, after time has passed and they have not only survived but thrived; they are more beautiful to me than ever. Aging is real for all of us. Yes it is difficult, but even supermodels find their reality in the aging process; that we are relevant and we still matter in the world. No matter who we are.

What do you think?