You know how you’ll see something and it leads you to thinking about something else in connection with what you saw—and then you’ll see something else and you’ll think of that first something you saw?
I know, I know—but this is leading somewhere. Stay with me.
Last night Bonaparte and I were watching “House Hunters International”. The episode focused on a couple—I would say they were in their fifties, and their move from Massachusetts to Sarlat, France. First of all, I was bitterly jealous AF that this couple was able to move to France and I wasn’t.
Sarlat, France. I can’t watch House Hunters International without either being A. Insanely jealous or B. Going crazy that Americans expect to get a Chateau for $800USD a month–with an American Kitchen no less!
And while it was great that this couple was able to make the move—I hand it to anyone leaving the States to live overseas; it either takes a stellar job transfer, career move, or just plain balls! I could not get past the way the woman was dressed. Hey. I make no apologies for being deeply shallow, but it went further than that.
I couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that this woman, who was an artist, and who loved French charm and history and who had a good “eye”, was dressed so dowdily and matronly. She had no style.
It was hard to come to terms for me. I studied her. She wore pants that were ill-fitting and about three sizes too large for her. She wore oversized polo shirts—but also ill-fitting. On her feet were unattractive sneakers. And her hair—it looked like she cut it herself and just didn’t even bother to put a comb through it.
Not that there’s anything wrong with Khaki pants for women–but it would help if the pants were a more flattering fit…
…..and a slightly fitted polo shirt would be better than an ill-fitting one!
Now—I realize that I sound harsh. And I don’t mean to be—that’s not my motive. But all I could think of was this: She obviously loved khaki pants—if she had a pair of skinny khaki pants, it would show off the shape of her legs. If she wore a fitted polo shirt, she would enhance her curves and look younger. If she wore lowtop Chuck Taylor’s, she would take on a hip vibe. And if she pulled her hair back and applied just a bit of makeup, she would have looked beautiful.
And I fell asleep counting the ways this woman could have looked ravishing had she just purchased more fitted clothing. And she didn’t have to spend a fortune either.
I created this look for the House Hunters International Sarlat Lady this morning. I went to my Polyvore account–after over a year from being away. THAT’S how disturbed I was by the episode last night! She would rock this look and it’s based on the clothing she was wearing!
Now—this morning I woke up, and Bonaparte brought me my coffee in bed so that I could enjoy it like the lazy princess that I am. While I enjoy my morning pick-me-up, I go through my emails, delusionally thinking that someone very important would email me to write for them and pay me. Instead I get bombarded with mostly advertisements and online publications such as InStyle and WhoWhatWhere.
InStyle lauds this as one of the “must have” velvet coats. No. I must not have this!
Being too lazy to unsubscribe from these obnoxious online rags, I still manage to open them up and shake my head as I read their garbage. Garbage telling me what I need, should, and must wear!
And then it hit me! My thoughts immediately went back to the lady on House Hunters International. Being of the “mature woman” demographic, perhaps she was too overwhelmed with publications and articles written by much younger women telling her what she needs, should, and must wear.
And if I see another damned article on how to dress like a French woman, I’ll go insane! And for the record–I’ve never seen any woman in Paris wear a hat on their head like this one is wearing! I’ve never seen anyone stand like that on a balcony either.
And I’ll bet that House Hunters lady wasn’t the only one who becomes overwhelmed! Those publications are about one thing and one thing only. Sales! They want you to buy the mostly overpriced designer goods that they write about. The celebrities have it and so should you.
They showcase street style. Ummm as far as I’m concerned, “street style” is just another word for “This-is-how-people-dress-when-they-are-out-and-about.” Only these publications scout out women wearing Hermes and Dior. That ain’t the street style I am familiar with.
“Street Style” from Stockholm fashion week. That plaid style on the left is overkill and you don’t see many women walking the streets with Hermes bags. At least not on the streets by where I live!
It’s difficult to find a style that you like when you’re over a certain age. But there’s a solution.
Think about what you like. Think about a time when you were thrilled with how you looked and the way you dressed. And work around it.
What is the foundation for my style? My school uniform! Not kidding!
Say “buh bye” to the husband and whoever else is living in your house. Take a morning or afternoon to be by yourself. Get into the car and go to the mall or to boutiques in your town. Study the clothing. Try stuff on. Look at yourself. You’ll be able to see what looks great on you and what doesn’t.
YOU ARE YOUR OWN FASHION ICON. I’ve said this a million times!
I Want You To Be Your Own Beauty Icon--my interview with Vivant Skin Care. It applies to style too!
Trust me. My style isn’t far out. It isn’t “street” nor is it artsy. It is a bit tailored, a bit casual, a bit uniform, a bit preppy, a bit masculine, a bit feminine, a bit fun and a bit classic. It’s my style and nobody else’s.
Another Polyvore outfit I created a while back. This pretty-much personifies my style. Uniform and clean. If I could only get my paws on that military jacket……
And you can turn any article of clothing into your style. Case in point. I stole a coat from my husband. That’s right, I stole it right from him. It belonged to his uncle Yves Robert, his aunt Danièle Delorme gave it to him after Yves passed away. I’ve written about this coat in the past—it’s beautiful in a very crumpled up, effortless way. It’s oversized on me; the color is not one I would have picked for me. But the second I saw it, I wanted it and I made no bones about it. Now—it’s mine and I have been wearing it regularly for over ten years.
This coat–it’s perfectly imperfect in it’s vintage way. It’s roomy and comfortable and I love it…
And yes–I’m blonde today. Very blonde. I’m having a Bardot moment. But this coat!!
I love the color…
…the way it drapes…
The rolled up sleeves, the huge pockets, the little stains..
I love the little metal clasps at the collar..
..to protect my turkey neck!
And I love the way the buttons disappear when the coat is closed!
….it gives a nice clean line!
The coat was made by Arnys, Paris–and the shop on rue de Sevre, I’m not even sure if it is still there..
And it’s things like this that I love…I had no idea that microfiber was around decades ago!
Another article of clothing that I’ve turned around to work with my style is a bolero or cropped jacket. Danièle gave it to me as part of a dress/jacket ensemble. It’s from the designer André Courrèges. She knew he was my favorite designer and she no longer wore the outfit.
Me in the red Courrèges cropped jacket. I love it paired with torn jeans and a white tee. I’m also liking the red against my dark fake hair. I took these pictures before the FedEx man rang my bell with my blonde tresses!
The dress still needs to be tailored but the jacket is adorable and I love wearing it with a white shirt and jeans. I can wear heels to dress it up or flats to wear it in a more casual way. But it doesn’t matter. I’ve made it mine. Just like Danièle made it hers with her little gold bow earrings, her kitten heels and her hair pulled back with a headband.
I’m also wearing my red Vince Camuto heels showcasing fabulous toe cleavage!
My new “thing” is wearing a scarf as bracelet. This one, from J. Crew is a nice match for this jacket!
Overall, I really love this look! And I believe the reason for the long life of these two hand-me-downs are the fact the clothing was made in France. By professionals.
We all have our own style and we need to find that style and own it.
If you are having style issues or are in a style rut, look to your inner self. Take a look at different store’s online shops, take a screenshot of what you like., print the clothes out and put them in a scrap book or your purse and take them with you when you go shopping!
Go on to Polyvore—it’s a great website where you can “create” outfits—and it’s a great way to hone in on your personal style! Have fun with it.
This is another outfit I created from Polyvore’s site. I wish I had this outfit!
And here’s another.
I mean it. Polyvore is such a fun way to really discover your inner style–and it’s fun as all get out!!!! Try it–you’ll love it!!!
But please—whatever you do, don’t ever let anyone dictate to you what you should wear. Not now. Not ever. Never!
I’m going now–I’m going to go back and play on Polyvore! Go. Go find your style. Maybe I’ll see you there!!! XOXOXOXO!!!!