I’m Clothesed Minded. So, Don’t Tell Me What to Wear And Other Rants!

It started off quite innocently and without drama.  Bonaparte and I made a stop at Wegmans to do a bit of food shopping for our dinner.

And then it happened.  At the checkout.  I spotted it.  “Vogue” magazine.  And once again, my temper was triggered!

So Anna Wintour walks into a bar….and the bartender says “What’s your idea of diversity” And Wintour answered.  “A cover with a skinny Asian, a plus-sized model who is thinner than the average American woman, the one Kardashian who doesn’t have a huge ass,  a child of a Dutch Beverly Hills Housewive and her Arabic ex-husband, an Indian (not American Indian), an African-American and some other generic White model. All young. I am ageist you know”.  The sad thing is that this is no joke! This is the fashion and beauty industries idea of diversity. All thin and young. Very young!

On the cover was a group of models. The group was, in the world of Anna Wintour, who happens to be an old lady herself but is apparently in denial, diverse. It was diverse because this group included an Asian, A plus-sized model (who weighs less than the average American woman, a model from a Z-list celebrity family, an All-American looking model, an African-American woman, and a model who is the offspring of a Beverly Hills Housewife.

And these young women, folks, are the ideal of ALL women. Empowered women. Sage women. YEAH. THESE are women who’ve lived decades and decades of ups and downs, successes, and failures, mistakes and overcoming them.  Older women are basically ignored.

Let us get real here. Let us celebrate truly empowering women. Ripples, Wrinkles, and Brains!  Hillary Clinton–so she may not be everyone’s political cup of tea–but she is a strong, intelligent woman who KNOWS how Washington works.  Then we have Joni Mitchell, one of the most poetic and prolific songwriters of all time.  She’s another strong woman.  And what about Katherine Johnson, an African-American Physicist, and Mathematician who worked for NASA? At 98 she went unnoticed until the movie “Hidden Figures” came out. She should be celebrated in more than a film. And last of all, Jane Goodall, anthropologist, primatologist and humanitarian who has been empowering for years.  We cannot forget these women and many like them. And they are all great beauties!

Where the Hell is the real diversity?  Why isn’t the older woman represented in this group? Where is the truly average woman?  Where is the woman with thinning hair or alopecia?  Where is the cellulite?  Where is the woman with the gut?  I want to see skin that resembles crepe paper!

Diversity—and real diversity is all but ignored in the worlds of fashion and beauty.

Even if the industries focused on famous beauties who are older–why not have a cosmetics ad campaign with Francoise Hardy as a spokeswoman? She’s just as beautiful now as she was back then.

Or my personal fave older lady. Jane Birkin!  As she’s aged, her beauty has become more unique and she’s got a dynamic personality. I freakin’ LOVE this woman! Why hasn’t a skincare company used her as a spokeswoman? She’s got great skin!

And then my mind started spinning and, once again, I was brought to the land of fashion “experts” telling us what we should and should not wear when we enter that phase of life known as “older women”.

I find it rather interesting that “Vintage” style clothing is back. So where are the vintage aged models to showcase these vintage clothes?

Everyone loves a great vintage dress–especially one with a crinoline. So why not use a vintage model?  

Did you know that Elle Online is telling us that skinny jeans are now official “Out”?  Elle.com’s 2017 Fashion Trends  (click on the link to read) Not on my watch buddy.  Skinny jeans are, in fact, one of the most flattering style jeans that I’ve ever had the pleasure of wearing.  I can’t stand the jeans with no stretch. They are stiff and crispy and cumbersome.  Don’t get me started on that one!

Skinny jeans are out of style?  Good. Maybe I can buy AG Skinny Jeans in bulk since they are no longer “in”. Maybe AG will slash prices and I can be a happy consumer!

Who makes this shit up anyway?

Classic white sneakers are out too?  What mushrooms have these editors been eating? If classic white sneakers are out then how come I had to go to multiple stores to purchase a pair of white Converse Shoreliners if they are out–unless you mean out of stock because they are so popular!

Oh dear God. I am a Glamour “Don’t” in every fashionable way today. White classic sneakers–out!  Skinny jeans–out!  I’m sure my striped shirt has the wrong kind of stripes to be considered “in”!  And my fake hair. I’ll tell ya, I am a hot mess! And I like it that way!

I recall a few years back reading an article about why women over a certain age shouldn’t wear a bikini. Are. You. Kidding. Me? Honest. It was in the Daily Mail. Click This.  Although published in 2011, I don’t think mindsets have changed.

What’s the alternative then? A one piece that displays all the bumpy bits of the body?  A one piece that rides up in between your cheeks giving you a perpetual wedgie?

Sorry, but I’m not wearing a one-piece that needs ass adjusting all day.  I have a cheeky personality, but I don’t want my other cheeks on display!

No. When I go to the beach, I want to be comfortable. I want to be able to frolic in the sea without constantly adjusting my bathing suit.  The beach is hot. A one-piece bathing suit absorbs the heat. And when you swim in a one-piece, it feels heavy when you exit the water.”

The bikini fits my needs. And it fits the needs of many other older women.

Ba-da-Bing. Ba-da-bum! THIS is what I’m wearing to the beach. Sunscreen galore. The flabby bits sticking out. I don’t care because I’m comfortable!  As long as the “thighed burns” are shaved, then I’m good to go! Over 60’s CAN wear this!

This is where the Europeans got it right.  Go to any European beach and you will see women of all ages in the tiniest bikinis. You will see older women sunbathing topless. You will see overweight women in total comfort while wearing those bikinis.

When I talk about how much I love the beaches in France, my daughter gets a bit “OMG. Mom. You need to stop. You sound pretentious!”.

The fact is, I’m not being pretentious when I extol my love for French beaches. I’m admiring and am quite touched by the fact that women of all ages are celebrated and nobody minds if an 80-year old woman is walking gingerly in a teeny bikini!

I’m also done with the ridiculous phrase “On Trend”. This is just a lazy way of saying “You Need to Wear This Overpriced Piece of Clothing/Accessory/ Shoe That Will Go Out of Style By Next Season”

Trends from last year. Where are they now?  I’ll tell you where. In the trash and in consignment shops.

Trendy isn’t my particular style. Frumpy isn’t my particular style. Street isn’t my particular style.  And since it has been ages since I have read—I mean really read a fashion magazine, I would say that for someone who has stopped reading those magazines, I’m doing a pretty decent job when it comes to fashion.


Fuzzy photos aside, my style is my own, and it’s pretty much classic-inspired.

Among my influences were the uniform I wore to school. The uniform taught me that wearing a blazer will add a professional look to anything.  My love for plaid comes from wearing a uniform.

I can safely say that my obsession with blazers stems from the green blazer I wore to St. Patrick’s grammar school in Bay Shore, Long Island!

My mother also influenced the way I dress. As a young child, she made sure we were always dressed properly. Not trendy but more in a classic sense.  She also passed onto me the greatest advice that I’ve never forgotten. She said that you can buy an inexpensive and cheap dress and if you have a very well-made and good pair of shoes, you can look like a million bucks. But a cheap and shoddy pair of shoes can ruin the look of the most expensive dress you have. Those are words that I live by. And my mother was not a fashion expert. She was a real woman who raised five children on a police officer husband’s salary. She knew a great value!

My parents back in the day. Look at my mother’s dress. Is it not adorable? And that little necklace? She gave me great fashion advice that I’ve passed on to my own daughter, and I’m sure Oona will pass it on when she has a daughter!

I know I sound like a broken record on this topic but it really bothers me.  The older woman literally has no voice when it comes to fashion and beauty.

I have a big mouth. And in the past I’ve written about stuff we should be able to wear with no worries. In case you are a new friend to my blog, here’s the links:

How to Wear A Maxi Over 50

How to Wear Shorts over 50, 60

The Jeans for Every Body

I’m no expert but I know what I like!

We are all influenced for sure, but ladies, please. Be your own fashion icon. You are wearing the clothes. You know your body better than any fashion expert knows your body!

And why do fashion magazines continue to write about clothes that are financially out of reach for the average woman?  Really?  I do love beautiful clothing but within my budget.

I will gladly admit. I am in love with this Escada Matelasse Jacket and matching Sheath Dress. The prices are $1,450 for the jacket and $1,175 for the dress. Of which I cannot afford. But I CAN look for something similar at a much lower price point. So why aren’t alternatives shown in magazines–and WHY isn’t an older woman modeling this ensemble. Let’s get real–this ensemble is more on the mature side of fashion than on the youthful side!

Show me clothing that is affordable and fashionable at the same time.

Fashion and beauty magazines aren’t supposed to be deep. And that’s ok. I have The Atlantic and other publications for my deep reading.

But come on. Write about real issues such as how to tell a good wig from a piece of garbage. Lots of average women who are in the 50+ range suffer from hair loss. Whether from hormonal changes or aging or illness. It happens. Write about solutions and write about good and affordable ones!

This is a “Tony of Beverly” topper. I cut bangs into it. It was $55.00. It was a great price for helper hair. Why aren’t magazines writing articles about great fake hair?

Write about which foundations really are mature-skin friendly.  Let me and my peers read about the best way to fake tan—lots of us have had skin cancer and sun damage. Help us look good during the summer.

Three of the foundations in my regular rotation. To be truthful, the Marc Jacobs is the most mature-friendly of the three. It is chock-full of moisture. I need to repurchase. 

Inform us of the real movers and shakers of the older generation.  Let us read and celebrate older women who have really made a difference. With age comes wisdom.

Isn’t it about time to notice the older woman once and for all. Include us. We ask not for exclusivity, but for inclusion. Simple. We buy. We wear. We want to look our best—no matter how old.

“Isn’t It About Time” Stephen Stills and Manassas. From the Down The Road album. I loved this album when I was in high school and I wish I still had it!!  I’ll have to look for it on CD. But the song rings true. Isn’t it about time?

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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30 Responses to I’m Clothesed Minded. So, Don’t Tell Me What to Wear And Other Rants!

  1. tom says:

    Attn:: Helen Mirren, she has your back

  2. Susan says:

    I stopped reading Vogue when she decided to put Kanye and Kim on the cover. Who cares what she thinks????? I think you look great and I LOVE your style – it is very similiar to mine (I’m 53). I wouldn’t change a thing!!!!

    • Catherine says:

      Susan. That is exactly when I divorced myself from Vogue completely. That cover was the straw that broke the camel’s back for me and when Vogue lost all credibility with me. Hey. I like your style!!! XOXOXOXO!!!

  3. Charlotte says:

    This had me thinking about “the woman in the green dress” from one of your earlier posts. She was stunning. It is sad that we don’t appreciate or celebrate older women. Keep ranting!

    • Catherine says:

      Charlotte. OMG! I thought about her too. In fact, three months from tomorrow we will be on our way back to the South of France and I’m going to try to find her when we go to St. Tropez. That woman left such an impact on me. She is truly inspirational and mysterious and proof that older women can look fantastic!! XOXOXOXO!!!

  4. Gracie says:

    Thanks so much for this post Catherine. I always wonder why the fashion industry and magazines don’t cater to the older woman. We have the money to spend on clothes, make-up, hair products, etc., yet we are mostly left out of the equation. I don’t look like these young models and really don’t want to dress like them or any of the Kardashians. I know my style and won’t be swayed by what magazine editors tell me I should wear. What I want is more older woman modeling clothes that I would wear. This is why bloggers like yourself are so important. Your style is a style I love….classic mixed with new. By the way, you look fantastic in that bikini. When did the Kardashians become the epitome of fashion???

    • Catherine says:

      Gracie that is so true. I’m always ranting about the fact that it is the OLDER women who have the money to spend on the luxury items. The younger ones are just getting started in careers and life and if they do not work in the fashion industry, they do not have access to the luxe items–unless they are trust fund babies and that is not the norm! I know my style and that is why I haven’t read a fashion magazine in a long time. Thanks for the love on the bikini pic. It’s important that we prove that older women can wear stuff like that. The Kardashians became the epitome of fashion when Ryan Seacrest realized that their reality show (which I refuse to watch) became E network’s most popular show. THIS is what young people want to watch…I can’t even!!!! XOXOXOXO

    • Catherine says:

      Gracie!! Those Weejuns I have are the “Jackie” model. I looked inside the shoe! What a “duh” moment for me!!! XOXOXOXO

      • Gracie says:

        Thanks for letting me know Catherine. I ordered them on the Bass site. 60% off!! So, ordered the penny loafers too….. why not with that % off! At least that’s the logic I’ll use to my husband 🤑

  5. Catherine, you really hit the nail on the head! I look at fashion magazines, mostly to look at color trends and print trends, mainly because I like that, however the ideas behind most of the fashion photographs and styles being put out there are just so wrong. There is very little about them that elevates women, let alone women of age! I would “affectionately” term most of the pictures and styles as “skanky”! Women without underwear, wearing see through tops and bottoms; women with pouty lips and widespread legs…what the heck is that saying about fashion????? I’ve been thinking about doing a post on the whole issue. Maybe more of us, need to to just what you did, so our voices can be heard! Thanks for being the brave one and speaking up. I love your style too! Classic and chic are always spot on. Keep it up lady! – Amy

    • Catherine says:

      Thanks so much Amy! Your comment also hit the point with fashion photography. Why do all the poses have to be so provocative anyway? And why do the models have to look so miserable? Women our age are basically persona non-grata and it drives me nuts–especially with vogue. Wintour is an older woman–one would think!!! Thanks again!!! XOXOXOXO!!!

  6. doodletllc says:

    I’m on your wagon…love your looks…love your snappy attitude…speaking the truth…keeping it real.

  7. Amoy lily says:

    Fashion changes, but style endures. So just keep your own style, forget the so-called fashion! You are your own supermodel!

    • Catherine says:

      Thanks Amoy. I like that–fashion changes but style endures. It’s so true. Everyone has their personal style–and every woman should also be her own icon!! XOXOXOXO!!!

  8. Rachel says:

    Vogue can go to hell. The stuff they peddle is so self-serving – almost like they are trying to publish the most ridiculous thing in order to make the reader think: “man, I really have no idea about style… I must read this in order to know what to do”. Which is nonsense.

    I agree with you on the natural beauty and inclusivity of beaches on the continent. Going there on holiday is such a tonic. And you would fit right in wearing your bikini – you look fab, comfortable, and (not least) happy.
    Keep on being you – we readers love it x

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Rachel, Not to mention the ridiculousness of the pricing of those clothes Vogue is peddling. Style is something that comes from within and no magazine can or should pontificate what a woman SHOULD wear. Suggest–fine, but not demand. And that is what is wrong. Women are almost bullied by publications. What ever happened to a gentle suggestion?

      I love being on the beaches in France. It’s such a comfort to be in the company of women who genuinely love their bodies. It’s great to be on a beach where there is no body-shaming. Everyone is the same and I live for that!!! Thank you so much!! XOXOXOXO!!!

  9. I am nominate you for a Sunshine Blogger Award. keep up the good work. https://diversfilms.wordpress.com/2017/03/13/my-first-sunshine-blogger-award-2017/

  10. calensariel says:

    I do so love when you go on a rant. I think you need your own column in those stupid magazines! 😀

  11. patricia blaettler says:

    It boggles my mind that almost every “powerful women” story poses the group pants-less. If we’re so powerful, can’t we put our pants on please?

  12. mareymercy says:

    OMG that Vogue cover. They all look twelve years old. Hee! And it is insane that any magazine thinks the point of the BEACH is too LOOK GOOD while you are there. The point is to get WET and DIRTY. Next we’ll be expected to look good while we exercise or work in the garden too…oh wait, we are already. Never mind.

  13. Corinne Devery says:

    Thank you, Catherine, for this marvelous and cathartic rant! I agree with everything you have written and applaud your choice of models. You look great in your bikini, très classe as the French say.

    • Catherine says:

      Bonjour, Corinne! Thank you!! I can’t wait to get to L’Estagnol this summer and frolic in the sea with the rest of the French ladies!!! XOXOXOXO!!!

  14. Love this post. I wear what I want with no regrets and I love my 60+ life. Enjoy it all. . .

  15. Pingback: Fabulous Friday: Feminist Readings - Not Dead Yet Style

  16. Anna says:

    That “Vintage dress” is honestly an absolute travesty. But I agree… Where’s the legitimate diversity- especially with older women? We need more of them in media, but by the Gods does it make me happy that I do my best not to consume it now a days -_-

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