Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A Kick in the Fancy Pants

I preached it and until this past year actually lived it.  What led to my fashion downfall, you may ask (or not).  Life, that's what happened.  2014 was way too real for my bones, and when you combine that with reaching 'a certain age' and the joys that come with it (sleeplessness, weight gain, unexpected 'warmth'), I figured 'why bother?'  It's not as if my little corner of suburban heaven is exactly a fashion capital.  No offense to my yoga-panted neighbors.

But then I watched a wonderful documentary called Advanced Style.  Based on the fabulous blog by Ari Seth Cohen, it featured fabulous older women (yes, much older than me) who do not let age, illness, or anything for that matter keep them from allowing  their inner fashion goddesses to shine...each and every day...rain or sickness and in health...til death do them part.

  If those gals in their seventies, eighties, and nineties could still get their style game on, thought I, then there's no reason why Beth Newman at almost mid-forty-ish, couldn't do the same.  (You know I'm serious when I refer to myself in the third person).

I realized upon viewing it that I had a closet full of old friends I hadn't visited in a long while, and spent the remainder of the evening playing dress-up, mixing, matching, ripping, stitching, and such.  I felt truly good, truly creative, and couldn't wait to get my style back on track. 

The next day
I put a button-down shirt underneath an old cocktail dress.  Paired it with leggings, cowboy boots, and a scarf.  The purse is an old thrift-store find that I love but had never really put to good use.  I wore this to the grocery store, got several compliments from the husbands of my yoga-panted neighbors, and a gorgeous young employee of the store insisted on carrying my two small bags of groceries to my car.  If that isn't success, Sweeties, I don't know what is.

Then later on....
I dyed my reddish-brown hair to reddish-red hair, thanks in part to past experiences with the hue and a recent Mad Men marathon.  Joan rules.  Enough said.

What I'm buying...
 Canned music and corporate outfits that resemble one another simply won't cut it for me, nor will the exorbitant prices ($120 for a plain white button-down shirt?  Thanks but no thanks.)   Give me thrift stores, consignment stores, and the fantastic Diva Exchange clothing swap parties hosted by my friend, Marian Bell (  Or just give me your old clothing...

But then again, my style may not be yours.  I encourage you to figure out your fashion preferences and go boldly with them.  Fashion should be fun, and it's certainly a great way to express yourself. Do your homework, but most importantly get inspired.

You can't have style without inspiration.
-Isaac Mizrahi

Very true, Mr. Mizrahi, and thank you for the reminder.

Please please please check out Mr. Cohen's blog

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