Let’s Talk About Style. Finding Yours!

Style (as a noun)

/stīl/

  1. A Manner of doing something
  2. a distinctive appearance, typically determined by the principles according to which something is designed.

And the way I look at it is this: take fashion. Fashion is what you wear.  Style is how you wear it.

Style is this “thing”. It isn’t really tangible, but when someone who has a lot of it walks by you, then style becomes tangible.

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Model Carmen Dell’orefice is 83 years old. 83!!!  She drips of style!  Look at her. And the fact she makes this shit-brown dress look fabulous is a testament to her style! Her trademark big hair. Her bone structure. Her ability to be chic better than anyone else…all add up to a remarkable sense of style!

We all have a certain style. Whether in our clothing or our home or our life—there’s some style in there. It is who we are and what is a part of our being.

People may influence our style. We may lean toward a style that makes us comfortable.  Travel can affect our sense of style.  Life events can affect our sense of style.

View from the kitchen window

I’ll attest to the fact that travel has definitely had an affect on the style of my home…

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You can notice the influence in my lack of color–just like Paris rooftops!

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I keep it simple and uncomplicated

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And color often comes in splashes…

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The most color is in my little sunroom. My most comfy area of the house!

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The weird thing about this plate is that I had it BEFORE I met MY Bonaparte!  Napoleon must be watching out for me!

And you know what?  Even those who don’t think they are very stylish—well, they are!  You just need to dig a bit into yourself and figure out what you like and don’t like. That’s it! It’s simple!

My personal style is pretty basic—and I don’t mean that in a boring way. At all.  I’m not big on extravagance and formality. It just isn’t me.  That doesn’t mean I don’t like a formal or extravagant style—I do. Formality and extravagance just does not fit into my lifestyle. And that’s ok—because it fits perfectly into the lifestyle of many others. In fact, it fits so well into one of my favorite bloggers style.  The Vintage Contessa. (Click on the link to her blog. You HAVE to read about her–she’s a riot!!!)  She literally is a study in all things perfectly elegant but in such a non-intimidating way.  I love her!!

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My favorite Contessa!  She’s so elegant. She’s so fabulous. She’s so elegant in the most unintimidating way. I hope she isn’t angry at me for taking the liberty to post a pics of her!!

That’s what makes us different.  We all need to celebrate the styles of other. It makes life more interesting and fun.

Style doesn’t come easy for many of us either.  It really took me years to hone in on the style that I’m most comfortable with and what works best for me.

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Yes. This would be me. And it has taken me a lifetime to finally find my true style!

I think when you are younger you have more of a capacity to follow trends but as you age you really do become more in tune with what works with you and what doesn’t. It’s a learning process!

I’ve always loved the style of Stevie Nicks. Her gypsy/fairy/boho look has been her trademark for many years.  It works for her and she absolutely owns that look.  And as much as I love it on her, I could never carry it off.  Why? Because I would never be comfortable wearing those clothes.  I wouldn’t feel quite right—that look doesn’t fit my personality.

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I would not even make a small attempt to wear the huge platforms that Nicks is known for. It would be a great danger for me.  But for her–it’s her style!

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I would look like a freaking clown if I wore this. Stevie Nicks looks like an ethereal princess–and THAT is because she OWNS this style!

But it isn’t to say that I’ve not been influenced by it!  When I wear a maxi dress, I feel that a bit of Stevie is with me.  It’s a touch of boho that I can be at ease with.

Old Navy berry and blue with denim jacket

The closest to a Boho or Stevie Nicks look that I will ever be comfy with. (My post on Maxi-dressing)

Let’s take a look at the women who do have an influence on how I like to dress.

Lauren Hutton.  THE perfect example of casual.  I love her look. I love her casual approach to dressing. Comfort done in a classic and uncomplicated way. I also love her because she’s got a lazy eye!

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I love me my Pixie Pants too Lauren. She how simple but classic this is?

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The quote. The quote ladies. She’s sooooooooo correct!

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She’s 73 now..but damn, she looks no different now than five years ago. Advertisers need to see that THIS is a large demographic and we want to see more like HER in truth in advertising for beauty products!

Diane Keaton.  She’s been a big influence on me since the days of Annie Hall. I adore her tomgirl feminine/masculine approach to clothing.  I had the pleasure of being at a film premiere back in the late 1970’s when I lived in NYC–she was there and I saw her up close and personal. Her outfit was literally head to toe black and there was a ton of fabric–but she turned an outfit that would have been a bit — well, grandma-ish and frumpy into a unique ensemble. On her, it worked. And it worked because of her incredible personal style.  And older women have a great sense of self!!

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I remember this photo that Annie Leibovitz took of Keaton for Vanity Fair magazine.  There’s a lot of clothing here and she’s covered up and it looks great on her!  

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Who has glasses like this?  Who?  Who?  Oh don’t we know!!  And I love my glasses!  Diane’s influenced me without me even realizing it!

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The only difference  between me and Keaton is–I would never wear those shoes. I’ll wear pointy toed kitten heels. But his outfit. THIS is an outfit that I would wear if and when any of my children get married. YES!!! This would be my mother-of-the-bride-or-groom ensemble! It is simple and chic and would allow me for hours of dancing and running back and forth to and from the bar to refill my beverages!

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And yeah. I am that woman who would wear a very fitted tuxedo to a formal affair. I would have the pants cut to ankle length so that my heels would be showcased. Her style if freakin’ impeccable!  That girly menswear look is fantastic!

51158795 'And So It Goes' actress Diane Keaton leaving Jeffrey in New York City, New York on July 19, 2013. ** USA & UK ONLY ** FameFlynet, Inc - Beverly Hills, CA, USA - +1 (818) 307-4813 RESTRICTIONS APPLY: SEE CAPTION FOR RESTRICTIONS

Guess who has pants like these? Yours truly!!!

Catherine Deneuve. I love her French Ice Princess look.  The simple lines of dresses she’s worn in film and real live are another influence on what I look for in dresses!

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Hair clipped back off her face. Hoop earrings. A thin chain around her neck. A Simple watch. White sleeveless tee.  You cannot get more basic and Deneuve brings this to an elegant level.  A perfect summer look!

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My heart skipped a beat when I saw this photo. The coat. The only accessory is the gold buttons.  The simple flats.  And this is why I love Catherine Deneuve’s style!!

Bardot. You would think in all the years I’ve been traipsing around St. Tropez I would have been lucky enough to run into my style influencer Bardot.  I haven’t.  I love her style because its good girl gone slightly slutty.  Who doesn’t love a look like that. Bardot brings out our inner bad girl–but in a ballet flat kind of way!

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The look on the right–I live in that look during many casual moments of my life. Skinny pants or jeans. Repetto ballet flats. A slightly oversized but fitted sweater. Thank you Ms. Bardot for influencing me!  I love the way her hair looks with that big-ass headband. I can never get that look just right on me.  Even with fake hair I always manage to mess it up!

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Those tight-cropped ankle pants!  The ballet flats.  The fitted shell. OMG. I LOVE this look so much. And the hair!  Oh if I only had my thick head of hair back I would tease it up to God to have it look like that!!!

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The Breton shirt. I must have at least five of these but look how Miss Brigitte gives this shirt her own style with the rolled up sleeves. 

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She’s not even wearing as much as earrings!  When you have style like Bardot–you really don’t need anything else!  This simple dress is so streamlined and fits so well.  A true classic. A great example of classic and French style!

Jackie Kennedy.  In my opinion, the greatest example of classic American Style. Pragmatic and uncomplicated. A simple shift.  White jeans and a dark shirt. The head scarf. The oversized sun glasses.  She was beautiful and the camera didn’t do her justice. I had seen her a few times on the street when I lived in Manhattan. She was tinier than photographed and she looked very sweet and delicate.  Her style influenced many–me included!

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This photo was taken in the early 1960’s. The outfit would be completely fine worn today. THAT is what makes a classic!

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The hair and glasses. I’m so in love.  The black turtleneck and tan coat. OMG.  No wonder I love this color combo so much…

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Her relaxed style makes all her looks look like “Oh THIS?”  “I just threw it on”!  And she probably did–women with great style don’t have to spend hours over what to wear.  They are aware of what looks great on them and they stick to it!

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Again. No accessories. She is her own accessory!

Natalie Portman.  Hey. She may be on the younger side, but this girl has a ton of style. I think she is the best-dressed actor in LaLaLand.  Stylists should study her because Portman’s taste is perfect–and as she ages, she will only get better–as if she needs improvement!

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If only I could wear a red lip!  But I CAN wear everything else in this look.  I adore everything about his look. The shoes, the rolled up jeans, the blazer, the bag that is so out of my price league I can vomit.  This is a great look for women of all ages! And it can be duped at a discounted price!

CULVER CITY, CA - JUNE 10: Actress Natalie Portman arrives at the 38th AFI Life Achievement Award honoring Mike Nichols held at Sony Pictures Studios on June 10, 2010 in Culver City, California. The AFI Life Achievement Award tribute to Mike Nichols will premiere on TV Land on Saturday, June 25 at 9PM ET/PST. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images)

This dress. It’s the perfect length. And I’m not crazy about lace nor pink but, boy, this dress is just stunning. Her style is what makes it all work!

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Portman’s trench look.  Even on errand day she still manages to bring great style to a basic look!

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A simple dress, classic shoes and her lone accessory is a pair of earrings. Simple done right!

All of these women influence me when it comes to dressing.  But remember! Find your personal style.  Be influenced but be your own icon!  Don’t allow fashion to dictate what your style should be. Nuh unh!  Find you style. Own your style. Wear it well. And proud.  And yeah, flaunt your style. It’s ok to do so.

It’s been a tough week for me. I’ve been quite ill with this stomach bug but when I did make it back to work, I kept true to my personal style. I’m not being narcissistic when I say this but I am my own style icon. All that means is that I have my own style that has been influenced by other people and elements.

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Plaid blazer–my love for plaid can date back to wearing plaid uniforms to school for 8 years.  The Repetto ballet flats and Longchamp bag are influenced by Bardot and trips to France. The Tomgirl look influenced by Diane Keaton!

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Oh look!  I’m wearing the same plaid from the pants that Diane Keaton was wearing in the photo at the top of my post!

gmtu1671I wore this the first day back at work. You can see from my face that I am still lookin’ pretty bad.  A week later and I’m finally beginning to feel normal again!

jrsd7107My favorite look of the week. Yesterday’s errand look. Cropped ankle jeans. Loafers. Plaid shirt. Schoolboy blazer. This personifies my personal casual weekend style. It’s what I’m most comfortable in and I know it looks good!

I watched a great documentary yesterday afternoon on HBO.  “About Face: Supermodels Then and Now”.  Talk about style, this was an intense study of style and I recommend this as required watching for every woman over 50!  It was insightful and incredibly truthful.  And the interviews with Isabella Rossellini made me so angry at Lancôme for dropping her.  Isabella is one smart woman who speaks the truth!

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Models of the past–and they are filled with stories of wisdom!  Carmen Dell’orefice, quite possibly the most chic and stylish woman of all time. Jerry Hall, she seems like one of the most fun people ever and Pat Cleveland–her story touched me to the point of getting misty-eyed.  Older women need MORE recognition! All are highlighted in the HBO documentary!

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Isabella Rossellini. Man, what I wouldn’t give to interview her!  She is the wisest woman in the industry. I wish she had her own cosmetics line! Shame on Lancome for getting rid of her!

My style is who I am.  It is a reflection of lifetime events, influences, travels and people who have affected me.  What about you?  What’s your style?  Do you agree?

Here’s a nice tribute by John Cale and Lou Reed about Warhol’s style—his may not have been the preferred style of many, but the song is absolutely moving and beautiful.  “Style it Takes”.

About Catherine

Far from perfect, but enjoying life as a non-perfect and flawed individual at 60 years young. I'm still wondering what I'll be when I grow up! The characters in my life's screenplay include my better half. He is a refined Frenchman who grew up in Paris and summered in St. Tropez. I grew up in Long Island and summered in Long Island. I am not refined. My three grown children are also a big part of my life. For their sake, they happily live where their careers have taken them! But I can still mother them from a distance! I write about the mundane. I write about deeply shallow issues. But whatever I write or muse about--it'll always be a bit on the humorous and positive side! It's all good!
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27 Responses to Let’s Talk About Style. Finding Yours!

  1. hipchick66 says:

    Great post! I’ve been influenced by many styles, and I change my own style quite a bit, but Bardot will always be my Queen!

    Like

  2. Momcat says:

    That line about Carmen Dell’orefice’s brown dress is priceless!God she is the bomb, 83!! Ie you wear the dress it doesn’t wear you. I think this post needs to be required reading for many women. Young and old. I see so many ‘slaves to fashion’ out there. Too many fashion house logos prominently showing. Look at me I can afford this so…I MUST be stylish! In other words people buy shit then believe they have style…that’s not how it works. Stylish women stand out because they don’t follow the herd. Sure they may carry a fancy bag or two but the logos are usually discreet. Ok…I am no Anna Wintour but have been known to splurge on occasion. I wanted a Longchamp bag so badly I could taste it…but not the styles that have become pretty ubiquitous…and I wanted leather. Well 800.00 CDN wasn’t in my budget but I got it on Black Friday 50% off…it’s the Cody in black lamb and red suede and we are having a great time together & Longchamp has a VERY subtle logo. I throw the long strap on,go cross body over my red parka and off we go. It’s not going to sit in my closet..

    .I don’t like when I read comments on other fashion blogger sites that are pretty damn cruel ie telling women over a certain age that they shouldn’t wear this or that, embrace grey, get rid of the grey, cut your hair, let your hair grow blahbla blabla …or worse, offering ridiculous diet tips. You know, eat nothing but fruit for breakfast, never touch a carb etc. Bulltitties….you, my friend, are keeping it real and as a result I have culled my reading of many other bla-gs (!)
    I love that you take your own photos and are not preening and posing out on the street, your outfits are wearable and affordable but your not shilling for anyone. You comment when an average babe writes in ( not just bla-ger friends, a pet peeve of mine…just hate feeling like I dropped into a meeting of the Mean Old Girls) I love when you drag something out of the closet and you triumphantly announce “now it fits me”. I guess style is much more than the clothes on your back, it’s attitude, confidence, and something undefinable…sense of humor?
    Be careful you might become the style icon of this generation! ….just guard those Longchamp bags very carefully:)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Catherine says:

      Momcat. Thank you. Thank you a million times because I often think that I’m the oddball by not promoting all the logos etc and having the cool professional pics. I want to keep it real and keep it normal. I’m NOT going to wear all the logos. I’m not the trendy fashionista. I simply want to get the point across that we should not be intimidated by what the “fashun” experts say. They are all about the $$$ and youth. That’s it! Fashion and style are about more than that!
      Those Longchamp bags–huh? I love mine! And although the red leather Longchamp bag was a birthday gift, my other leather Longchamp bags were purchased at deep discounts–and they all get better with age. Not logos needed.
      Hey. I love when I can wear stuff that didn’t fit for a long time!!! Thanks so much for the compliments. You have no idea how much I appreciate your positive energy! XOXOXOXO!!!

      Like

  3. LA CONTESSA says:

    LANCOME has HIRED HER BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!I FOLLOW HER ON INSTAGRAM!
    I ADORE CARMEN…………she just modeled at 85 in PARIS a few weeks ago!YOU SHOULD SEE THE OUTFITS!!!!!Check out guopeofficial……..on IG!!!!!
    Millie GRAZIE BELLA……………….I have NO IDEA what my STYLE is and HONESTLY I get compliments on STUFF that I think WHAT???I just throw it all together……..NO THOUGHT goes into ANY outfit I wear and most of the TIME I think to myself OH that color matches this color and it REALLY GOES!I JUST DRESS MYSELF!I could NEVER teach someone HOW TO……………XO

    Liked by 1 person

    • Catherine says:

      Elizabeth. You ARE your own style!!! And just the fact that no thought goes into what you are donning for a particular day proves you bleed style! OK??
      And thank you for telling me about Isabella’s IG feed. I subscribed. I’m very happy that Lancome hired her back!! BTW, Carmen is the bomb!!!!

      And I”m glad you are ok with the fact I mentioned you! XOXOXOXOXOXOXO!!!

      Like

  4. LA CONTESSA says:

    NO NOT ANGRY!YOU MADE MY DAY!!!!!!!!!XO

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Excellent piece. Of course my favorite is The Vintage Contessa she has taught me so much about being free and showing off your style. You want Aunrie Mame? You got it in her. 👍😎👍

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Susan B says:

    What a great post, and so much fun to read! One of the things I enjoy about style is that it continues to evolve.We keep refining as we go along.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Susan! Thanks! I’m so glad that you enjoyed the post!!! Isn’t it true though that our style is always evolving and being refined. I actually like that you said refined because that’s exactly what it is!!! XOXOXOXO!!!

      Like

  7. Anna says:

    I love seeing other people’s style icons. Personally, I struggle with finding style icons who also have similar body types as me. Do you ever have this struggle or do you just pull what you love and work it?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Anna. That’s an interesting point you bring up. My body type is weird. After having three children, one a ten pounder, I would say I’m relatively bottom heavy. I have huge hips. And that’s ok. My waist would be less thick if I excercised but let’s not go there for now. I have a gut. But overall, I’m going to wear more of what works for me. I realize there are some things that will never work for me and I avoid those clothes like the plague. Flares. Bootcuts are absolute no-no’s for me. Loose fitting shirts aren’t for me either. I like a more fitted look. It depends on what you are comfortable with. I’ve been known to go on three-hour shopping jaunts just to find the best fitting dress or skirt or shirt or jeans. You need to put the time in!!! XOXOXOXOXO!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Anna says:

        I have never had a baby, but I am definitely curvy…. everywhere. Bottom, middle, and top. But the style I am drawn to is very Hepburn… which doesn’t work on curvy like it works on slender. But I agree… you do have to put the time in to find what works for you!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Nancy says:

    Hi Catherine–
    You know, I do love your red carpet reviews of all the glitterati, but I think I enjoy your own style posts best. I have to admit that you and I do have in common our love of Lauren Hutton and DIane Keaton–I loved Annie Hall and all of the looks that came from that! She is the queen of the “Big Belt” which occasionally bugs me but somehow she pulls it off and no one can deny her uniqueness. Another style icon I think is worthy is Coco Chanel who gave us the LBD, ropes of fake pearls, and the clean look of quality clothes well cut. Icons, all.
    With all that in mind, I don’t know that my own “style” is well defined. I like clean and classic, and since I once worked at Gap, I like simple basics–jeans, white oxfords, a very muted color palette (black, beige, white, navy in a pinch) but mostly black (easy to match in the mornings when I leave and everything goes with everything). But even at 60 I’m still experimenting.
    I do like your style choices as well, so keep posting all of your stuff because it’s often way more fun to see real-life fashion than the red carpet.
    Have a good week!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Nancy! Yayah!!! Hutton and Keaton, I think, had a huge influence on women our age! Right?? I think we have similar styles as well! I’m so happy that you like when I post my stuff!!! Thank you!!! XOXOXOXO!!!

      Like

  9. anne says:

    Hi Catherine, I have never commented on anyone’s post before but I have been reading your blog for some time now and have enjoyed it very much. It has taken me weeks reading every one of your posts and I am sad that I have caught up – now I look forward to each new post! I have laughed so much at your great sense of humour, admired your honesty, loved your fashion style, enjoyed so much your travel posts and photos,feel I know you, your family, your dog and your job! I am from Australia, the little island state of Tasmania so you are reaching out a long way. I am happier for knowing you, love Anne.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Anne. Wow! Thank you so much for such kind words. I’m also very glad that I’m able to make you laugh. We all need a good laugh every now and then! And hey Anne, you know you will never receive alternative facts from me–I’m honest!! I love Australia. I visited some years back and got to meet family members I had only written to. I loved Sydney and everything about the City. You have some mighty fine people living in Australia!!! I’m happier for knowing you too Anne! XOXOXOXO!!!

      Like

  10. Miss Bougie says:

    Love love love this post! Merci Cathérine!!
    Love your outfit on your first day back to work. Very well put together. Thanks for reminding me of Lauren Hutton. She completely slipped my mind. Wasn’t she on the ad for that Revlon perfume? Charlie I believe it was? It was my first perfume and I remember I wanted to be like her. All grown up, successful and stylishly dressed. She is still such a stunner!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Miss B! Oh…which reminds me, Lauren Hutton is in a current ad for Bottega Veneta. I want to write to them and thank them for using an older woman! I can’t remember if Hutton was the model for Charlie but I do remember Shelly Hack being in ads for Charlie. Oh..Hutton looks better than ever these days! Where I’m like a fine whine, Hutton is like a fine wine–she gets better with age!!! XOXOXOXO!!!

      Like

  11. calensariel says:

    I’m so surprised you didn’t include either one of the Hepburns in there!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Catherine says:

      Oh. Lady Calen. I had to cut the list. I even omitted Jane Birkin–and I love her. But yeah, the big oversite was Katharine Hepburn because she had that tomgirl wardrobe down pat!! There’s always another post floating around my gray matter!!! XOXOXOXO!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. patty blaettler says:

    Clothes must fit correctly! Your plaid pants fit you nicely. Diane Keaton’s plaid pants were a hot mess in that picture.

    Like

  13. Yvonne says:

    You always find the perfect song. As you probably gathered from Instagram I’m in London where’s everyone looks so stylish. Struggling to get up as know not what to wear and packed so badly. But you have inspired me to get up and on with it. And I did bring a few scarves.

    Like

  14. Pasunejeunefille says:

    Catherine, you hit it out of the park again. I love your take on style for us women of a certain age! Please keep it coming.

    Jane

    Liked by 1 person

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Jane! Thank you!!! Oh, I’ll definitely keep it coming. Remember. The Oscars are on this coming Sunday evening. I’ll be covering the fashions in my own little world!!!! XOXOXOXO!!!

      Like

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