Sunday, October 30, 2011

Visible Monday #19: Being Seen In The City

Welcome to Visible Monday #19! If you want to participate, it's so easy: just go to the bottom of this post for the simple how-to.


Broadcasting from the heart of the West Village for this Visible Monday (I am such a place-name-dropper, I can't abide myself).

I really do feel more visible on this trip than I did on our last, in June, when I first wrote about the Invisible Woman. Writing these Monday posts, and reading those of my blogger friends has increased my confidence about being a Woman of a Certain Age. Thank you!

Proof: Yesterday I was walking around the East Village near NYU, and a whole cloud of students was filling the sidewalk. I overheard snatches of delightful student-ish conversations: "I think it's going to be multiple choice."; "I haven't even started yet!"; et al.

Right behind me were a young woman and man, play-arguing about an upcoming competition of some sort -- academic, athletic, artistic, I couldn't tell. They each were saying, "I am going to do so much better than you!" and laughing. As they passed, I looked at the girl and smiled and said, "You're going to do so much better." She squealed, and he laughed, and just for that moment, being an Older Woman was so sweet. And Visible.

Here's a look for today: nothing very dramatic, just some comfortable city garb for going out to brunch, then the Chelsea Flea Market, then a walk through Central Park (if I am not frozen by then -- high of 44 today). The sweater is from GAP. The skirt was thrifted here this week, a vintage 80's midi. The Limited belt also thrifted here, and good old Aldo boots I bought last winter. I had to give up my curls for today, because of hat-hair and cold, dry air!

That's my faux-fur scarf I bought in the East Village vintage store this week. Very cozy.

Here we enjoyed apple cinnamon pecan pancakes, and scrambled eggs with ricotta cheese.


Now, please show us what you're wearing today!


The guidelines to participate in the Visible Monday Link-Up are so simple!
  1. Any Monday, whoever wants to can join in! Just compose a post that includes any outfit, accessory, piece of jewelry, hairstyle, cosmetic or other adornment that makes you feel more confident, alive and visible that day.
  2. Include a link to Not Dead Yet Style somewhere in your post.
  3. Go to the bottom of this post and click on this cute little link:


In the "Next Step", you crop the pic (easy tool) you want to display, and you're done!



Saturday, October 29, 2011

An Abundance of Treasures

Yesterday was a serious shopping day. I scoured the East Village for vintage and thrift finds and had a marvelous time. (Many thanks to my incomparable hair stylist Joy for the shopping tips). Of course, the people watching is equally fabulous.

At this little shop, all the clothing is downstairs. It's a great mix of vintage and regular thrift. I chatted up a very nice salesperson, who was interested in what over-40 women blog about! He helped me find a divine maxi skirt - deep blue velvet wrap-around with an embroidered waistband. True to my new form, I wore it out of there and donated my black Banana Republic skirt.



Downstairs at The Cure


Not on my list, but I stumbled upon East Village Thrift. Score! Superb stock and real thrift prices. I had to restrain myself due to carrying limitations, but I'll be back. I bought a scarf and a beanie hat, and a gorgeous silk Anthropologie blouse ($8). You'll see that when I am back in warmer weather.

An unplanned stop, but well worth it!


Another treasure trove is No Relation Vintage. They had a huge stock of faux and real fur coats for $20 - $75. And with temps expected to hit 32 degrees tonight (and snow!), I was tempted. I bought a cozy faux fur scarf instead. But I am going back -- they have lots of high-end bags for $40 - $50. Kooba, Michael Kors, Coach and more.

Wish you all were here!

Later today (in addition to sleet and freezing rain): a vocal performance at NYU for $5. This is a great city.



Join us! Click the Spotlight


Visible Monday Link-Up Reminder:  Monday October 31st is Visible Monday, a group posting for anyone who'd like to participate. The simple guidelines are here. Basically, just post something that makes you feel wonderful/visible, and link to it via my Monday post. Easy and fun.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Feeling Thrifty in the City

Rain! I love to walk in the city but it was more challenging today. I did make it to the Daphne Guiness exhibit at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Their Museum is open and free to the public.

What a stunning collection of clothing! Her favorite designers appear to have been Alexander McQueen and Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel, with quite a bit of Alaia and Dolce and Gabbana besides. And she must be a tiny little woman, as the dresses look fit for about a 22" waist. The fabrics and designs are so rich and sumptuous: feathers, fur, sequins, rhinestones, lots of silk satin. I wanted to touch them all, but I could feel the eyes of the security guard on me like hot lasers.

Image via Styloko


I was dressed for comfort and walking, and in lots of black - my NYC uniform. The long black skirt is from Banana Republic, thrifted, and the sweater is from the 15 Dollar Store. Yes! Don't ask the price, it's $15.  The shoes are also thrifted. The inside says "Walking Co.", but I couldn't find anything about them. They are nice, heavy leather and great for urban hiking.




I visited the Chelsea Buffalo Exchange, a resale shop that leans toward younger tastes and newer clothing than a traditional thrift. The prices are a little higher too, but I found a nearly-new gray Eileen Fisher sheath dress, fits like perfection, for $30. So I was a happy shopper.

I thought about so many of you who would also enjoy this store!


Today is our tenth wedding anniversary! So we are going out to a romantic little Italian bistro for dinner. I married my dream guy - once I got that right, a lot of life got easier.

A Couple of New York Scenes

Our first day out and about was not a fashion-y day, as you can see by my attire. We ran errands, then headed downtown to the World Trade Center Memorial. It is a beautiful place, somber and evocative. I experienced a flood of sadness, rage, pride and thankfulness for the courage of the responders and so many others.




We walked over to Zuccotti Park where the Occupy Wall Street protesters are camped. Whatever your political beliefs, it is a reminder that we have the right to peacefully protest -- thanks Founding Fathers! And so many countries do not permit the same.

I loved this poster, juxtaposed with the brooms. It means so much to me, as a woman whose mother's generation was expected to be homemakers above all.



My humble walking outfit for the day. Just my most comfortable Nike's, skinny jeans, requisite black tee and scarf. That's the Fossil purse I later traded in at the thrift store!




It's raining today, so I am hoping to make it to the FIT Daphne Guinness exhibit, then hide out at the Barnes and Noble/Union Square, with a half-gallon of coffee and the Steve Jobs biography. Life is good. Have a happy Thursday.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Blogger On The Lam!

Scenes from the 'hood

I haven't posted since Sunday because we are away on our fabulous two-week New York City vacation! We arrived on Tuesday to our sub-let apartment in the West Village. It is so much fun having our own crash-pad, rather than a hotel. Now we can make tea, snuggle up to the computers, and feel at home.

The very bad blogging new is I forgot to bring my camera cable. So all the cool shots I took today are still smugly in the camera, refusing to jump over to the computer. We're going to buy a cable at Radio Shack tomorrow and remedy the situation.

As you probably know, there is fashion for everyone here! Here near NYU, I saw cool hipsters in leggings and sweatshirts, with tall Doc Martens. Downtown near Wall Street the change was gradual - to dark suits and sleek shoes/boots. Lots of great scarves, hair and makeup.

I even had time for a bit of thrifting today and picked up a very nice Morris Moskowitz vintage leather bag. I traded in my Fossil bag that I was carrying, plus a couple of dollars. I love dealing and trading with New Yorkers -- all things are possible.

Hope to have some pics up soon. Happy Wednesday!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Visible Monday #18: A Karina Dress Giveaway For You

Welcome to Visible Monday #18! If you want to participate, it's so easy: just go to the bottom of this post for the simple how-to.

As a relatively new (if not young) blogger, I was delighted to hear from Karina Dresses, asking me to review one of their designs. In an unusual turn of form, I actually spoke on the telephone with one of the owners -- for 45 minutes! -- and we talked at length about the company's history and philosophy.

Karina is a small business right now, but they have stores around the country and the world . They do all their design and manufacturing in Brooklyn ("Made With Love in Brooklyn" is one of their mottos). They provide jobs to local people, and make quality garments. This is not fast, disposable fashion. I felt, after talking to them, that they want to combine a business plan with an artistic and ethical foundation.

So I am tickled to be a Brand Ambassador (I've needed a diplomatic title) for Karina, and to show off the "Megan" dress they sent me to review, and to keep.

Those of you who have been reading my blog (thank you!) know I am starting to accumulate more dresses. I'm finding them a simple, visible, morning choice. This dress is easy as can be on a hectic morning. It slips over my head, no zippers or buttons, fits like a dream and swirls around me all day. Love that feeling! The length and coverage are perfection for a Woman of a Certain Age.


My new dress paired with my Calvin Klein sparkly cardigan.

Shoes are by Aerosoles - peep-toe platforms in a cool vintage 40's style.
Thrifted for under $8


The new dress made me feel like dancing . . . awkward but true.


Karina asked me to share some important facts about their designs:
  • The dresses are made from imported microfiber blend fabric with four-way stretch. They are machine washable and ideal for travel (love that).
  •  Every dress is made in a limited edition print, produced in their Brooklyn facility.
  • "Made in the USA" means sparing the environment the gas, oil and diesel that is burned to transport most of our clothes.
  • Some of their styles fit up to a traditional size 20, and are designed for all figure types and all ages (yippee!).


 Giveaway Giveaway Giveaway Giveaway
Great fun! Karina dresses is sponsoring a giveaway. One of my readers will win a Karina dress of her choice! And you have got to see all the beautiful designs they offer.
To enter, all you have to do is:
  • Go to Facebook and "Like" Karina Dresses, and
  • Leave a Comment below with your email address (I need a valid email addy so I can notify you if you are the winner.)
  • Visit the Karina Dresses website, look at the various styles,  and pick a favorite. (Karina Dresses are made of limited edition fabrics, so not all patterns/colors are available at any given moment. They'll do their best to match your preferences, but need you to be flexible about pattern/color limitations.)
  • If you leave a comment on the Karina Dresses Facebook page, you'll get an additional entry in the drawing.
  • The contest is open to all readers, but those who are outside the U.S. may be required to pay postage/shipping if you win. The winner will be selected by drawing and announced on or about November 14th.

And even if you don't win, here is a $30 discount code for any full price dress:
$30 Off Any Full Price Dress  - GIBP30

You can use this discount code at any store that carries the line:
http://karinadresses.com/stores

Or use your discount code online at:
http://karinadresses.myshopify.com/collections/all


Good luck! And if you decide to purchase a Karina dress, I think you will love it.

And now, please show us what you're wearing on Visible Monday!



The guidelines to participate in the Visible Monday Link-Up are so simple!
  1. Any Monday, whoever wants to can join in! Just compose a post that includes any outfit, accessory, piece of jewelry, hairstyle, cosmetic or other adornment that makes you feel more confident, alive and visible that day.
  2. Include a link to Not Dead Yet Style somewhere in your post.
  3. Go to the bottom of this post and click on this cute little link:


In the "Next Step", you crop the pic (easy tool) you want to display, and you're done!



Saturday, October 22, 2011

In Which Einstein Expounds on Style


I have had a persistent fantasy that Albert Einstein was my secret father. He died the month before I was born, and we have similar hair. OK, those may be the only clues, but I have always admired his unmatched scientific genius as well as his passionate love of peace. (He wasn't known to be a very good husband, but I don't think about him that way).

His insightful quotes about the meaning of life, the universe and everything, include a few that can be interpreted in the lexicon of fashion and style! For example:

  • Everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler. This speaks to my love of minimalism but not starkness in dress. I love simple lines, rich fabrics, and muted colors.
  • A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new. We have got to experiment with our style, take chances, or we will stagnate. I don't want to look like the 1980's version of me, in my navy suit and pantyhose. A few rare women can maintain the same style throughout life (Coco Chanel) but most of us need to risk making some "mistakes" and spreading our fashion wings.
  • I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. This made me think about Paula of Fashion Over 50. She's an artist who draws her art into her clothing choices. So wonderful to be able to "see" an outfit in our mind and then make it happen.
  • Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value. This one is not about fashion, but I snuck it in because I love it.





Join us! Click the Spotlight


Visible Monday Link-Up Reminder:  Monday October 24th is Visible Monday, a group posting for anyone who'd like to participate. The simple guidelines are here. Basically, just post something that makes you feel wonderful/visible, and link to it via my Monday post. Easy and fun.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

What I Wore: Business (Quite) Casual

I work in a professional but casual environment, a community mental health center. What we do is professional, but there are no strict dress codes. Some of us wear scrubs, some wear jeans, and a rare few of the men will wear a tie now and then. This is the sartorial culture of our field.

So I enjoy playing with my wardrobe within wide parameters. My strict rules for myself are: nothing too tight, too short, too low cut or too sparkly. Nothing, in other words, that would distract from the business at hand or call unwanted attention to myself. But after those rules, lots of options remain.

I can wear any sort of trouser, skirt or dress in any of my favorite colors or prints. Sweaters and knits, button-downs, even dressy tees are fine. A blazer, cardigan or poncho for a topper. Heels, flats, boots, oxfords – all are welcome. I am really, truly fortunate to have this stylistic freedom!



This is a fairly casual, but still appropriate outfit for my office.
Lucky me!


I love this old pin.


Today’s look is pretty far to the casual side for me. The shirt is an all cotton, western style snap-front. It’s in my favorite olive green color that matches my eyes (Pam wrote about this today). The Kasper skirt was just thrifted this week for under a dollar, new with tags, woo-hoo! I had to make a little cut at the waistband for it to fit comfortably, but who is going to know??

The pin is about ten years old; I think it’s from Banana Republic. Hey, pins don’t go out of style or shrink in the wash. I’ve got my new favorite peacock bracelet and my comfortable Gianni Bini caramel boots. I feel great, just dressed-up enough to go to work, and creative enough to express myself.

I’d love to hear about your work dress codes, if you have them, and how you work around/through them. If you’re retired or work at home, did you have a dress code at one time? Are you happy to be done with it?



Recycled Fashion

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Creating An Outfit From a Bit of Jewelry!

The awesome Sheila from Ephemera just mentioned that she crafted an outfit starting with just a brooch! Now that is creativity and style-smarts. So today I was wondering what I could do if I started designing from just a colorful necklace, for example:


Start with this lovely Anthropologie necklace



The colors and simple design of the necklace inspired me to reach into my (imaginary) closet for rich fall colors (like the ones Pam is writing about this week). I love red, purple and deep yellow together, and I think all these pieces play together nicely.


Inspired pieces



I could add any of these pieces to my Fall/Winter wardrobe because they all suit my style, if not my immediate budget. Shoes and bag, for sure -- get right over here into my closet.

The Vivienne Files did a fabulous, more extensive example of building an entire wardrobe from a single elegant scarf. Check here for the results, amazing!

This is so much fun. Have you ever started your daily outfit with a piece of jewelry or scarf? Share, please!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Visible Monday #17: Red Hot

Welcome to Visible Monday #17! If you want to participate, it's so easy: just go to the bottom of this post for the simple how-to.

I recently saw Audi of Fashion for Nerds in a long red pleated skirt, and (of course) she looked fabulous. I had already picked up this midi-length skirt, and Audi's post inspired me to try it out. It's by DKNY and very nicely made. It's a layer of poly chiffon over a layer of something silky, and it has a real leather sewn-in waistband (barely seen here).

I wore a simple boat-neck top with three-quarter sleeves, my very favorite sleeve length for any time of year. This top is by Panache (vintage) and it's 100% cotton in a very nubby, sheer weave. It's boxy but I like it. The new favorite Sofft booties are making yet another appearance! I did say I wear my favorite shoes to the nubs.


You can barely see the black leather waistband. It's so cool.


No, I don't sleep in these shoes. Almost, though.


Now, let's see what you're wearing today! The link-up is open through Wednesday morning.


The guidelines to participate in the Visible Monday Link-Up are so simple!
  1. Any Monday, whoever wants to can join in! Just compose a post that includes any outfit, accessory, piece of jewelry, hairstyle, cosmetic or other adornment that makes you feel more confident, alive and visible that day.
  2. Include a link to Not Dead Yet Style somewhere in your post.
  3. Go to the bottom of this post and click on this cute little link:


In the "Next Step", you crop the pic (easy tool) you want to display, and you're done!



Saturday, October 15, 2011

Recommended Reading on a Fashionable/Feminist Saturday



There are so many good links I come across every day. The kind that honor our womanhood and lift us up as equals in the world. And recognize that we can be powerful, opinionated, and still love all things fashion/beauty/style. And have a robust sense of humor.

Here are just a few recent reads that I wanted to share with you:

  • How much plastic surgery would an already-beautiful model need to look like Barbie? Here you go.
  • Have you been following Pam's no-cost secrets to looking younger and more beautiful? Sister has the keys, and she shares them.
  • Tish has been featuring real-life women over 40 (you will recognize a lot of them) in her series on Faces Through the Ages. I am loving every minute of this.
  • Terri posted an amazing, blood-pressure-raising, must-see movie trailer about how women are (mis)represented in the media. I have got to find that film.
  • Serene posted the inspirational speech that Steve Jobs gave at Stanford in 2005. She pulled this quote: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?"
  • An older post, but worth re-visiting: this ode to empowerment through self portrait by the Citizen Rosebud.  She writes, "I know who I am, and what I want to be."
  • And a picture of beautiful Judith, in menswear with special meaning:

Image via The Style Crone

Have a wonderful weekend!


Join us! Click the Spotlight


Visible Monday Link-Up Reminder:  Monday October 17th is Visible Monday, a group posting for anyone who'd like to participate. The simple guidelines are here. Basically, just post something that makes you feel wonderful/visible, and link to it via my Monday post. Easy and fun.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

I Took The One Less Traveled By . . .

Image via ChristineMccoy.blogspot.com


I think it’s wonderful, the way we mid-life women have learned to own and express our opinions. Even in the realm of fashion/style, we don’t want to be sheep and follow other people’s rules.

This Steve Jobs’ quote from a commencement speech in 2005 makes me so happy: “Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking.”

For many of us, this courage of conviction has come with age. I so admire the young bloggers who are confident and outspoken, and follow their own drummer. In my twenties I was a hard-working professional and no wallflower, but I was certainly a conformist. I was a “good girl” who followed The Rules and didn’t rock many boats, style or otherwise.

It was while reading the responses to my recent post about wardrobe essentials that this realization hit harder: we are not sheep, baby! So many of my over-40 readers commented that they liked the list just fine, but they don’t follow "lists" or "guidelines" strictly anymore. Hooray! Love that. Love you.

This confidence shows itself in many guises. Our internet service was recently blocked at work. I wrote the IT department and asked for access to be restored to my usual professional sites, but also to my blog, because it benefits me during my (unpaid) down time. I never would have asked such a thing 20 years ago – for fear of being “too unprofessional” or frivolous or just uncooperative. Now it felt right. And my blog access was restored.

What’s the worst that could happen if we express our opinions? We might get disagreed with, or even ridiculed or shunned. Disagreed with?  It's the spice of life! And those latter two outcomes are 1) unlikely, and 2) non-fatal. When applied to fashion, the risks are truly negligible. (When applied to politics, they have gotten me shushed from the in-laws’ dining table on more than one occasion. But no one died.)

Thank you, fellow bloggers and readers, for sharing your opinions, for being proud of them, and for stepping onto the road less traveled. As Robert Frost wrote " . . . and that has made all the difference."

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Wardrobe Can't-Live-Withouts After 40

Did I tell you I love lists? I am compulsive about lists. Any blog post or magazine article that starts out with "The Top X Things You Need . . . " or "X Ways to Change Your Whole Life in Thirty Minutes . . .", gets my immediate attention. Curse you, marketing people, for knowing what makes me tick!

Anyway, I have been thinking about the usual "top ten" wardrobe essentials that circulate around the blogosphere and fashion mags: you know, crisp white shirt, dark denim jeans, trench coat, little black dress, pencil skirt, etc. These are all good and useful, for lots of women. These lists often make me feel inadequate because my own wardrobe is so this-and-that, so individualistic, and my clothes all touch when they are hanging in my closet.

Staying true to the intent of my blog, I've been focusing my thoughts on the must-haves for the average working woman over 40. This list isn't meant to represent a complete wardrobe, by any means. Just the can't live-without-pieces, if you're going to be a self-respecting Woman of a Certain Age, and in my humble opinion only.

I hope you will add and subtract from this list in the Comments below, and/or let me know I am off my fashion rocker.

  • Comfortable -- yet stylish! -- shoes for work and play. I look back on some of the heels I used to wear in my 20's/30's and I am amazed at my stamina, or my high pain threshold. Now it's a 2.5" heel max, a nicely padded footbed, room for my toes, and flats if you got 'em. We just cannot have fun if our feet hurt. But it's way too soon for grandma shoes, so I love Clarks, Kenneth Cole, Calvin Klein, and Naturalizers.
  • A couple of silky or silky-knit, v-neck tops in your best colors. A few prints if that's your thing. These should be at a minimum hand-washable and go with most everything in your closet. These are not 100% cotton tees (that are great for play-time) but work-quality blouses.
  • A couple of knee-length -- or a little shorter or longer -- solid skirts in your favorite shapes. I love a full skirt, or a gored one. Pencils are okay, but they don't give me enough freedom of movement through the day.
  • Some stylish cardigans or, if you are more conservative/classic, structured blazers. I am more of a cardi woman. A couple in your favorite neutrals and one or two in zippy colors or patterns. This year I love a looser cardigan that hangs a little lower.
  • A few great dresses, at least one in a solid neutral and not-too-memorable shape. This one you can layer up, or wear as a skirt, or under a blazer like a suit. Another dress or two can be in your favorite colors/patterns. I tend to find a shape I love (fitted, slightly raised waist) and stay with it, although this year I an looking at the classic wrap dresses again.
  • Leather and fabric belts in solid neutrals, and in some bold accent colors. I am a belt person, so I tend to over-accumulate in this category! Some women are happy with just 3-4 nice neutral belts (they are??)
  • A great handbag that holds all your stuff, looks stylish and grown-up, and makes you feel good when you carry it. It can be leather or not (I like Big Buddha's vegan bags a lot). But don't deny yourself a good-looking purse over 40; I think it really does make a difference in how you feel about your whole look.
    This Polyvore is just a sampling of the above -- and again, in my own personal style, YMMV:

    Wardrobe Basics





    Naturally, I have more stuff than this -- vests, button-down shirts, jeans and tees, party dresses, coats and rain boots, undies and PJ's -- but I consider this list a good basis for a solid work wardrobe. What say you?

    Sunday, October 9, 2011

    Visible Monday #16: These Boots Are Made for . . . Raining

    Welcome to Visible Monday #16! If you want to participate, it's so easy: just go to the bottom of this post for the simple how-to.

    We are having something just short of tropical storms today. Really high winds, driving rain, and cats-under-the-bed. But it doesn't stop Visible Monday! Seriously, every time I wear these loud rubber boots, I get multiple compliments. They are at least 8 years old, faux-Wellies that I got from Lands' End for less than $30 (similar pair still available at only $50 on sale). They are so much fun to wear in the rain; they give me an "I don't care if it pours" feeling.

    The floral blouse is a thrift store find. It has no maker's name, but a tag says "100% silk." I love the print, and it's just the right amount of  sheer for me. The denim skirt is also thrifted. It's by GAP but I think the flower applique was sewn on by a previous owner. I like it and wear it a lot. It is super-casual with a button-down shirt and more special with this floral blouse.

    Please add your pictures below and share your visibility!

    Blouse: unknown; Skirt: GAP; Boots: Lands' End (old)
    Earrings: handmade by friend







    Inspiration is found in this Bird of Paradise that just bloomed for the first time
    after living in our yard for ten years!


    Meet Virginia Design




    The guidelines to participate in the Visible Monday Link-Up are so simple!
    1. Any Monday, whoever wants to can join in! Just compose a post that includes any outfit, accessory, piece of jewelry, hairstyle, cosmetic or other adornment that makes you feel more confident, alive and visible that day.
    2. Include a link to Not Dead Yet Style somewhere in your post.
    3. Go to the bottom of this post and click on this cute little link:


    In the "Next Step", you crop the pic (easy tool) you want to display, and you're done!




    Saturday, October 8, 2011

    I'll Tell You (The Truth) About Myself



    Dear blogger friend Debbi from She Accessorizes Well tagged me with the "Tell Me About Yourself" Award, and asked me to pass it on. I learned that Debbi and I are the *exact* same Personality Type, based on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (we're both INTJ's). So no wonder we bonded immediately.

    So, my turn to spill some blogger beans:

    1. I am a rabid sports fan. Can't tear myself away from baseball, football, basketball -- I love them all. Sports bar = paradise on a Saturday afternoon.
    2. I was a French major in college. Yes, French. I still do love the language and the literature, but never earned a penny from it. Eh bien, c'est ca.
    3. I have a bit of OCD with regard to housekeeping. OK, a lot of OCD. Cleaning is an anxiety-reducer for me.
    4. Team City or Team Country = City All The Way!! I've lived just outside Boston and Washington DC, and commuted to work in those great cities. Cities make me feel ageless.
    5. I'm married to my dream man, but if he should be sucked off the face of the earth by a comet, I would possibly marry Bruce Springsteen (with a dash of Bishop Desmond Tutu thrown in for grace).
    6. A couple of my favorite movies, TV shows and books: L.A. Story, The Princess Bride, Dexter, Six Feet Under, anything by James Lee Burke, the Spencer novels, The Daily Show, Isaac Asimov's and Robert Heinlein's novels (especially Stranger in a Strange Land, one of my all-time favorites).
    7. I still feel awkward talking about myself, and would rather ask questions. 


    One of my favorite books of all time.


      So many of my blogger friends have already been tagged! But I pass this honor along to:

      Allie, Wardrobe Oxygen
      Sheila, Ephemera
      Kari, The Chronicles of Lady K
      Sally, Already Pretty
      Steph, The Dashing Eccentric
      Kiki, Psyched for Style
      Lorena, Lorena's Everyday Wear
      Coastal Harp, Project Redesign
      Erica, Recycled Fashion
      Mongs, My Thrifty Closet

      . . . And all the fabulous personal style bloggers who are brave and smart, and put it all out there, day after day.

      (If you've already participated, please ignore, or pass it on again.)




      Join us! Click the Spotlight


      Visible Monday Link-Up Reminder:  Monday October 10th is Visible Monday, a group posting for anyone who'd like to participate. The simple guidelines are here. Basically, just post something that makes you feel wonderful/visible, and link to it via my Monday post. Easy and fun.

      Thursday, October 6, 2011

      What I Wore, and How Steve Jobs Changed My (Love) Life

      Today's look includes a black cowl neck, as a small nod to Steve Jobs’ uniform of black turtleneck and jeans. I am switching full-bore to Fall colors and patterns even though the temps are still in the mid-80’s. Just because it feels right!

      This cowl neck top is from Norma Kamali’s line at Wal-Mart. Have you seen it? There are actually quite a few good-looking pieces in the collection and the prices are insanely low. I think this top was about $10. It’s polyester, but with a very soft, drapey hand. It’s perfect for travel: I’ve washed it in the sink and worn it the next day.

      The new-to-me skirt is a thrifted Jones New York. I love an ikat print, and these colors are so warm and seasonal. Is it more animal than ikat? I couldn’t wait to wear my new Soft booties again, even though it’s too warm to add tights. These little boots make me smile all day.


      Top: Norma Kamali for Wal-Mart; Skirt: Jones New York, thrifted;
      Boots: Soft; Belt: Guess




      As for how Steve Jobs played a role in my love life: When I met my future husband in 1992, I had a clunky personal computer, the kind you had to remove floppy (really floppy) disks from, just to start it up and run the most basic programs. Sandy was/is a god of computing. He looked at my sorry technology and said, “That does not work for you, cool girl.” He gifted me a week later with a Macintosh SE – the “toaster”. It was pre-loaded with a couple of loving images, too, how sweet!


      The beginning of a beautiful love affair.


      Wow. I fell in love twice. With Sandy of course, for he was all the good things I’d been hoping to find in a man. And with that little computer – so smart, so fast, so much fun. Sandy (and Apple) and I have been together for 19-plus years now. I am still impressed as hell with both of them.

      So I am sad at the passing of Steve Jobs. A force, a creator of beautiful, powerful things that make life more enjoyable. I wonder who will fill his shoes?




      Recycled Fashion

      Tuesday, October 4, 2011

      I Want to Be A Minimalist - But I Have Too Much Stuff!

      Image via ArchitectLines.com

      I am such a dreamer. My ideal self is a minimalist, and I savor photos of homes, closets, and shelves that are nearly-bare. I am so drawn to websites like Zen Habits, and The 100 Thing Challenge. I love to explore Apartment Therapy and see how couples live comfortably in 400 square-foot homes, untethered to mounds of possessions. And don't get me started on the opposite: I can barely look at the television show Hoarders without leaping up to clear out a dresser.

      As far as home decor, I am fairly minimalistic. We don't own a lot of furniture, our home is small by modern American standards (two bedrooms, one bath), and we don't collect or accumulate much. We like to think of ourselves as on the lower end of consumerism (though I do love my iPad and my digital camera).  Living through the Year of the Hurricanes taught us that it isn't wise to become too attached to our stuff; it could all be gone in a strong gust or tidal surge.

      Wardrobe minimalism, however, has always intrigued and eluded me. I have followed with great interest the various wardrobe challenges across the blogoverse. I contemplated, but quickly rejected as impossible, the Six Pieces or Less concept. That's just too spartan for me (except as a travel capsule). I have tried some varieties of the 30-for-30, and it's fun to try to live on a limited wardrobe, but here's the truth -- I get bored! I like change.

      So I try to balance my love of simplicity with my drive for novelty. Here are some of the techniques I am using now:

      • I am pretty strict about one wardrobe item in, one out. Having small closets and small rooms is very helpful in keeping me honest in this regard. It also makes me a better shopper, as I must contemplate the exit of an existing piece . . . who's it going to be?
      • I shop at and donate to a couple of local charity thrift stores. I often see my wardrobe coming and going! This makes me feel good, as I get to experience novelty and trends, while keeping my total possessions at a manageable level.
      • I focus on good quality for certain categories of wardrobe items: shoes, bags, jackets, sweaters. I find I am quite content with three or four "good" purses in my inventory, and that keeps the closet looking neat. I have about 15 total pairs of shoes and boots, and I really, really love them and wear them to nubs.
      • I am less concerned with longevity for tees, casual skirts, jeans and accessories. I indulge in this category, and rotate through these more quickly. I don't need a big stash -- there are always more, lots more, out there to be had for a low price.
      • I have a staunch vow to not pay for extra storage space for clothing! Even if Sandy and I move onto a boat, I am determined to live with whatever clothing fits in my living space. My clothing is not going to have its own apartment.
      • I have also determined to love what I keep and keep only what I love. Life is too short for just-okay!
      Where are you on the minimal - maximum scale? I don't think there are "better" or "worse" ways to live (save for the Hoarders!), just lifestyle preferences and comfort zones, and budgetary constraints. Do you crave the simpler closet, or the more-is-more?

      Sunday, October 2, 2011

      Visible Monday #15: An Ode To The Dress

      Welcome to Visible Monday #15! If you want to participate, it's so easy: just go to the bottom of this post for the simple how-to.

      I'm a recent convert to dresses. I now own seven or eight, a huge increase for me. I love them all, especially on a busy morning when coordinating top + bottom + accessories is a lot of effort. And by studying my fellow bloggers, I have learned that a dress can actually be quite versatile. It can be a skirt, a skirt again (WhatIWore2Day), a tunic (Already Pretty), a blouse/tunic (Fashion for Nerds), a jumper (Thrifty Girl Vintage) a jumper again (Ephemera)  -- and probably a hat, but I couldn't find any pics!

      This wrap dress was a find at Goodwill, for $6. It's by Tommy Hilfiger, all cotton knit, in a print that I think can work year-round here in the hot zone. I could add a camisole in any number of colors for a bit more modesty.

      It's still too hot for boots! But I don't care, I am wearing them, and loving it. Today it's just little-bitty boots -- booties, I guess. I picked them up during the same Goodwill trip as the dress. They are by Sofft, and they are incredibly comfortable (similar). They are a half-size too big, and I think it shows with bare legs -- they look a tad clunky here. But with some tights, or worn with straight leg jeans, these babies will be perfect.

      The navy cotton jacket is my kind of cover-up -- a little structured, but not too corporate. It's by DKNY Jeans, and I bought it at my favorite consignment store, Cottage Rose. I really like it over this dress for the office. Just Visible enough! Now let's see what you're wearing, my beautiful fashionistas.








      Meet Virginia Design




      The guidelines to participate in the Visible Monday Link-Up are so simple!
      1. Any Monday, whoever wants to can join in! Just compose a post that includes any outfit, accessory, piece of jewelry, hairstyle, cosmetic or other adornment that makes you feel more confident, alive and visible that day.
      2. Include a link to Not Dead Yet Style somewhere in your post.
      3. Go to the bottom of this post and click on this cute little link:


      In the "Next Step", you crop the pic (easy tool) you want to display, and you're done!