Thursday, August 30, 2012

What I Wore: More Hippie Treasures

As I wrote earlier this week, I've been cleaning out dresser drawers, getting ready for moving house. I came upon not just one but three vintage 1970's wrap skirts as I worked. Yay! I've always liked a wrap skirt, for the silhouette and probably for the nostalgia, truth be told. I wore them like crazy back in college days.

This one is going to be donated, because the wrap doesn't quite cover all the interesting bits without pinning and fussing. I did want to share it though, because of the striking print and colors. I paired the skirt with a simple black tee, leaf pendant, and various bangles. Had to wear comfortable White Mountain sandals with this look -- no ex-hippie would don fancy heels with her funky wrap skirt  : >


Groovy print, eh?


The hair has got something to say today too!


Did you wear this style in the way-back, or younger readers: would you wear it now? Or is it too crunchy for modern dressing?

Have a terrific Thursday, with harmony and understanding.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Idea of One




I am embracing a more simple wardrobe these days. One reason is we're moving house within the next couple of months, and want to make the move as easy as possible. Another is (probably) a push-back to the accumulation I've done over the last couple of years, mostly in thrift and consignment stores.

Even after all the buying, I didn't have an enormous wardrobe - it's not possible in a 1925 cottage, with teeny closets! But I did start to feel that "more" was not more. I felt my discretion starting to slip. So I've been culling and donating a lot, and really concentrating on keeping clothes that I love, that make me feel great and Visible.

To that end, being a compulsive person at core, I've been reading and re-reading style books and blogs that offer advice on the "perfectly small wardrobe". Among my readings, I found this, at Becoming Minimalist:

Embrace the idea of one. When one can be enough, embrace it – one black dress, one swimsuit, one winter coat, one black belt, one pair of black shoes, one pair of sneakers, one handbag.

And a similar idea at Midway Simplicity:

Don't own more than you need to wear. This creates space for things that really give you pleasure.

These are novel ideas for me to contemplate. (It's not a prescription for anyone else. I don't have any judgment about having a large or HUGE wardrobe, if that's what pleases you.) It's influencing me to single out the most beloved pieces and the ones that truly reflect my taste. The Idea of One keeps me from duplicating the same items, and forces me to be more creative.

As an example, I was tempted to purchase this cute striped skirt from ASOS:


So cute! But I've got two similar already. ASOS skirt


It is a darling skirt. And I happen to have a striped knit skirt and a striped knee length skirt in similar colors, hanging in my closet. Lesson: I love striped skirts. Lesson #2: Maybe two striped skirts, accessorized and well-cared-for, are enough. That $35 could be better spent on some fabulous tights, a cool pendant or -- wait for it -- a fun evening at a cafe with my husband.

It makes sense to own duplicates of many wardrobe items, of course. One bra would be a laundry disaster. Ditto camis, undies, basic white tees, and hard-working jeans.  Sally of Already Pretty wrote a great post about "Multiples That Make Sense", and it's well worth a read.

I am doing very well with one white button down shirt, one watch, one denim jacket and one denim skirt. Boots? Not going to happen.

Over to you: what do you think you'd be content owning just one of, wardrobe wise? Or is this whole concept just plain nutz?

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Visible Monday #61: Revert to Hippie

Welcome to Visible Monday #61! If you want to participate, it's so easy: just go to the bottom of this post for the simple how-to.

As part of preparations for moving house, I've been clearing out dressers. Lucky work! I found this vintage 1970's wrap skirt that I'd purchased about ten years ago, and then tucked away. It's a good sturdy cotton fabric and I really enjoy the design. I had similar skirts in the actual 70's, when I was a college student, because they were cheap and cool. I wore them with graphic tee shirts and flip-flops.

I like the wrap skirt again, this time a little more polished with a scoop-neck tee and bangle bracelets. Oh, and a very pretty cat who is inclined to pose just like me. Paw in front, slightly turned.


How poised is Stinky? Oh, and the flash is making my top look sheer around
my bra - but in real-life it's opaque.


I had fun wearing this old skirt; it brought back memories while making
me feel Visible today.



Now, let's see what you're wearing, Visible Women!!

The guidelines to participate in the Visible Monday Link-Up are so simple!
  1. 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, August 25, 2012

Shoes Making News

Every year I look forward to the donning of the boots. Like most women, I enjoy all the variety, style and cool a good-looking boot adds to any outfit. Cowboy, equestrian, shorties and talls, I love 'em.

I am expanding my horizon this season, to add a pair of non-boots. That's right, good old shoes, to put some variety into my Fall/Winter wardrobe.

Here in Florida keeping my legs/feet warm is not a serious problem, save for about ten days a year, so I have lots of options. My basics are pretty well covered (two pairs of flats, a pair of pumps and cough-cough, several boots).

So I'm looking for some personality shoes. Second-glance shoes that will enliven my ever-smaller wardrobe.

I was inspired by Une Femme to flip through JCrew's online LookBook and found these beauties. I love the print! It surprised me how much I liked them, because they are not "practical", but I began thinking about all the outfits these shoes would flatter.

We could be very happy together. JCrew Everly cap-toe pump.


Here's another option, more  affordable but still fabulous, from Poetic License. I'd wear these with any of my full skirts and feel updated:

Everyday pumps with an attitude. Girl About Town by Poetic License.


And this color will probably surprise me by "going" with a lot of my neutrals:

Not too much animal print, not too much pink, just right: All Dressed Up by Seychelles.



Have a joyful Saturday, and don't forget, Monday, August 27th is Visible Monday! Everyone is welcome to participate!


Join us! Click the Spotlight

Thursday, August 23, 2012

What I Wore: I Try To Scarf

As you probably know (because I repeat myself a lot), I am trying to work with fewer pieces in my closet, and change them up with accessories. It's been a fun turn-around from a year or so of thrift accumulations. And I do enjoy looking at a smaller wardrobe every morning. It's true! A smaller closet makes dressing easier.

So here I am, enjoying some old favorites and trying to raise the style level with accessories. The Laundry pencil skirt's been around for years, ditto the black tee. I added a couple of bangles and a colorful silk scarf.

Scarves still intimidate me. I know! I'm 57 and I've conquered a lot of fears. But these slippery rectangles get me all anxious. So I reviewed some of my how-to videos (like this, this, and of course, several from Une Femme), and decided on a simple necklace design. I like it. Not high fashion, not even very French, but a good change for me.


I don't call my hair "bad" any more but this is an "interesting"
hair day  : >  Curly sisters, you feel me.


I've found colorful toes and fingernails help me feel more chic as well.


How do you use those scary silky things to pump up a simple outfit?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

This Tugged My Heart: "Of Age and Love"




This Letter to the Editor in yesterday's New York Times really touched me, especially as a woman looking at 60.

I want to re-print it in its entirety, because, well, what would I want to leave out?

. . . . . . .

"It took me until my 60s to realize that there is no such thing as a formerly beautiful woman.

Having started out as a shy guy in the ’60s — I met my wife in high school in 1966 — and having just celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary, I can say without question that she is more beautiful to me than ever. (And she was stunning in high school.) [Chery: please stop reading.] So are most other women.

Women who are stunning when young are still stunning when they’re old, and women who are plain when they’re young are beautiful when they’re old. They don’t have to work at it, though most of them do.

Of course my wife, the aforementioned Chery, is the most beautiful of all of them. Always will be. Lucky me."

Bill Kasdorf
Ann Arbor, Michigan

. . . . . . . .

Thank you, Mr. Kasdorf, you are a plain-spoken man who is probably also a very happy one. Though I still enjoy gilding the lily, I try to look at my aging self with loving eyes, like Bill here. Wishing the same for all of you.

Huge thanks to Sally of Already Pretty, an inspiring woman and blogger, for featuring Not Dead Yet Style in her post yesterday. Sally is a star in the blogging cosmos!



A wonderful book of photos celebrating women over 60.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Visible Monday #60: Menswear, Softened Up

Welcome to Visible Monday #60! If you want to participate, it's so easy: just go to the bottom of this post for the simple how-to.

I usually choose feminine pieces that have a drape, ruffle, or soft print on top. Today I'm going a little Tomboy with a plain white cotton tee and menswear vest.

So I had to girl-it-up with a couple of necklaces, a bold bangle and a soft knit skirt. If I'd chosen menswear-style trousers, it would've felt "off" for my style. The shoes are newly thrifted. I love a Mary Jane even if they skew a bit youthful. I shall call them "new classics" instead  : >


Aren't we shiny today? It's a happy glow. You can see my cool
WendyB "G' ring.


A friend made the longer necklace for me.



Now, let's see what you're wearing, Visible Women!!

The guidelines to participate in the Visible Monday Link-Up are so simple!
  1. 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, August 18, 2012

Featured Blogger Du Jour: Melanie

Bella of The Citizen Rosebud has put out a loving call to action: let's talk about and talk-up our favorite blogs, hosted by fabulous, fascinating women. We're moving on from the Independent Fashion Blogger dust-up (read all about it here), and showing off our diverse beauty.

There are so, so many blogs I admire, follow, imitate and put on a pedestal. Some can be found on my sidebar and many more in my Reader.

Today I'm tipping my hat (heh) to Melanie of Bag and A Beret. Melanie is an artist, I should say Artist - she exhibits her work and teaches it too. And you have to see her delightful cartoons and caricatures. She approaches fashion with a wonderfully open mind and artist's eye. Her posts are filled with not only marvelous photos of her creations but some of the gosh-darn funniest writing in fashion-land.

If you haven't yet, please check out Bag and A Beret, and raise your happiness quotient.


This is Melanie - she's a joy!


Have a super-groovy Saturday, and don't forget, Monday, August 20th is Visible Monday! Everyone is welcome to participate!


Join us! Click the Spotlight

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Seeing Ourselves Without The Mirror

An article at ABC news caught my attention: "Meet The Mirror-Free Bride".

Kjerstin Gruys, a 29 year-old Ph.D. student, gave up looking at herself in the mirror - any mirror -  for a year. Sounds like an extraordinary step for any young woman.  More incredibly, the mirror-free period included her wedding day!

Kjerstin in her wedding gown. Image source here.


Kjerstin says the decision to go mirror-free was a response to her “critical body image and self-described weight obsession.” She suffered from eating disorders as a teen. She had grown weary of the negative self-talk that arose when she saw her reflection.

"I just kind of kept coming back to this pattern of perfectionism, and obsessing about my appearance, and I thought, If I can't think myself out of it, then maybe I need to change something about my environment to force me to change," Gruys explained. "The project was to get rid of mirrors with the intention of focusing on everything else in my life."

Her study of Renaissance nuns was also an impetus for her experiment. The nuns had no mirrors and were forbidden to gaze upon themselves. "This idea of living your life experiencing the world for itself instead of constantly reflecting, you know, pun intended, on how you looked.... It was a life where you could get away from yourself," she said.

As part of her experience without mirrors, Kjerstin volunteered for About Face, an organization that helps women and girls overcome body-image problems. Their motto: "Don't fall for the media circus!"

Aubrey Toole, a fellow volunteer with About Face, said this about Kjerstin’s experiment: "So many things are important about her message. I think so much of being a female in our society today is seeing yourself from the outside. And her message is really to see yourself from within."  (emphasis mine).

Kjerstin's blog, Mirror Mirror Off the Wall chronicles her journey. It’s a good read, and good food for thought.

While I cannot imagine excluding mirrors from my life (my lipstick would become my mustache!) I do cheer Kjerstin’s underlying philosophy. We are so much more than a number, size, age, shape or hairstyle. Perfection is not possible; the mirror does not tell our whole story. I'm trying to focus more from within than without.


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Shopping for Basic Tees - Share Your Secrets?

Because I have been shopping less and wearing what's in my closet more, I find I actually need to replace a few things because they . . . are wearing out!

Besides shopping less, I am trying to shop better, i.e., choose items that I really love and look forward to wearing. I am carrying that philosophy right down to basics like camis and black and white tee shirts.

After years of hit-or-miss, I know that my favorite camisoles are the Old Navy's with a built-in shelf bra. I can then choose to wear a "real" bra underneath, or go bra-free, with just enough support. They sell for about $10 and come in a zillion colors. I only buy black, white and navy because those suit my wardrobe best and make dressing simple. If I put them in the dryer for only 10 minutes and air-dry the rest of the way, they look fresh for an amazingly long time.


These are my go-to cami's. Cheap and amazingly durable.


The basic tee shirt search has been more complicated. I like a very soft hand, a slouchy fit, and a vee or scoop-neck (no manly crew-necks).  I also like for them to not pill or fade quickly. Surprisingly, price point hasn't always been the determining factor. I've had a few Target Merona tees outlast the occasional Vince and Splendid brand.

I find I prefer a blend to 100% cotton most of the time. Lands End and L.L. Bean tees are usually too cotton-y for my taste. I've read great reviews of American Apparel tees, but I just can't give my $$$ to their CEO, with whom I have major issues (your mileage may vary).

So, here are some of my current contenders, and I would love to hear about yours in the comments:


Pure Body V-Neck Tee by Gap. I've had several of these
and they feel great, wear well.


Ditto the long sleeve version


The JCrew Vintage Tee is all cotton, but it's super-soft . . .


. . . as is their Tissue Tee.

Over to you: where do you get your basic tees?


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Visible Monday #59: Easy Pieces

Welcome to Visible Monday #59! If you want to participate, it's so easy: just go to the bottom of this post for the simple how-to.

You know I like easy dressing. The Florida climate and my casual workplace encourage it too. So today I chose two easy pieces and a couple of basic accessories, for a simple yet Visible result.

The blouse is by GAP, and has a feminine ruffle at the neckline - hard to see in these pictures. The Old Navy skirt is several years old, thrifted and well-loved. The overlay of netting and sequins is dressier and swishier than my denim pencil skirt.

A couple of bangles, a blue suede belt, and drop earrings finish the look. Comfortable-but-not-dull sandals from White Mountain are perfect for all-day wear.


The fingernails are blue too - a coincidence, I promise!  : >


Cost-per-wear for this skirt has to be about fifty cents.


Now, let's see what you're wearing, Visible Women!!

The guidelines to participate in the Visible Monday Link-Up are so simple!
  1. 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, August 11, 2012

Aging Beautifully: Annette Bening

I have always loved her look - not too glam, overdone, or Hollywood. Yes, she is gorgeous, but in an authentic, approachable way, as if her beauty is not the top thing on her mind today.

I think I first noticed her in Valmont, an overheated costume drama. Then she sizzled as the seductive con artist Myra in The Grifters. She's starred in twenty-plus more movies, married an old-time movie star and raised a family, looking fabulous and real all the way through. You go, Annette, still smokin' at age 54.


With Colin Firth (oh, my) in Valmont, 1989

As a con woman in The Grifters

Loved her in The Kids Are Alright, 2010

Great smile! And the signature tousled short hair.



Have a fabulous Saturday, and don't forget, Monday, August 13th is Visible Monday! Everyone is welcome to participate!


Join us! Click the Spotlight

Thursday, August 9, 2012

On The List for Fall: The Cashmere Cardigan

I'm slowly weeding out and upgrading my wardrobe. It's truly fun, and leads to many a late night on Polyvore, Pinterest, and deep in Blog-land.

I've got several key pieces to add for Fall/Winter, as the budget allows. First among them is a soft cashmere cardigan in gray, ivory or navy (I've got a nice non-cashmere black cardi by Calvin Klein that passes muster).

If you've owned a wonderful cardigan, I'd love to hear from you in the comments. I'm looking for really good construction, a luxurious hand, and non-trendy styling. Here are some I've found online that are in my Maybe file:


Classic style from JCrew

Slightly more fitted and shorter, Nordstroms


Softer styling; I'd leave off the belt. Banana Republic.


Or is it too freaking hot to even contemplate such things? : >  Thanks for any feedback you can offer. And have a glorious Friday.



Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A Fun Getaway and a Sobering Interlude

We had a fun-filled two day adventure in St. Petersburg, just a three hour drive away. We took in a Tampa Bay Rays game (they lost, but we still had a great all-American time, including a fabulous $9 Coke!)

Our hotel was luxurious and welcoming, right on the bay and with magnificent views to wake and fall asleep to. The area around the Pier is very sleek and chi-chi now, including this little shop with fashionable sculptures out front:

Isn't Gator-Woman fabulous?

The shoes! The pedicure!

A visit to the Florida Holocaust Museum was a solemn interlude. It's a site I recommend to all, for a piece of history that we might rather forget -- but must not. We had a very well-schooled docent. He showed us an actual rail car, shipped to Florida from Poland. Jews and other prisoners were transported in this car to extermination camps, where, near the end of the war, most survived for less than an hour. Chilling to see and contemplate.

We were also privileged to view a wall of tiles, created by children to represent their views of the Holocaust. Here are some heartbreaking, and heart-lifting ones I will remember:


Do you see the fragile "Hope"?


Here's a bolder one!


The Talmud says, "Whoever saves a life, it is considered
as if he saved a world entire."

I couldn't leave St. Pete without some thrifting. I found the Revolve Clothing Exchange, and wow! it was a great find:

Packed full of goodies.

I picked up four nifty tops that fit right in with my aesthetic: simple knits and sheer florals. And a pair of shades. Total spent: $41!

Happy Tuesday to you all, and I hope you enjoy every moment.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Visible Monday #58: Lace Encore

Welcome to Visible Monday #58! If you want to participate, it's so easy: just go to the bottom of this post for the simple how-to.

I had so much fun with my lace blouse last week, I decided to go lacy again. This time, I chose a sheer lace topper that I picked up in a NYC consignment shop. I wore it over an easy knit dress by Lauren Ralph Lauren, with nude platform sandals by Anne Klein.

Unlike Thursday's mildly self-conscious outfit, I felt very confident and authentic in this look.


Picasso's lion has similar hair to my own!


A couple of silver-and -goldtone bracelets were the only accessories.


Now, let's see what you're wearing, Visible Women!!

The guidelines to participate in the Visible Monday Link-Up are so simple!
  1. 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, August 4, 2012

A Stroll Down Memory Lane, For the Ladies

As Geoff Chaucer said, Time and tide wait for no man. But these men were heart-stoppingly hunky in their prime. I think they've aged well, yes, but here they are when they made me swoon. (That's how old I am, OK??)  : >


What are you thinking about, Clint? Moi? All images via izfunny.com


He made me wonder what it is all about.


I don't think Gary Oldman smiles enough. So adorable.

Bonus: Can you even guess which famous actor this is?


Have a joyous Saturday, and don't forget, Monday, August 6th is Visible Monday! Everyone is welcome to participate!


Join us! Click the Spotlight