Alyson Walsh over at That’s Not My Age has a new feature on her blog. A series of posts called What Women Wear. She says her intention is to talk “to a range of women about their personal style and what they wear.”
This kind of thing is such a breath of fresh air in the blogosphere. I love to read about what other women wear, and why, and how they come to decide what to wear. And knowing Alyson (not personally, mind, but through reading her blog), the women she will be talking to will be chic, and quirky, and an inspiration to those of us who no longer fit the Forever 21, fast fashion, mold… if we ever did.
So I’m looking forward to this new series because, as far as I can see, real women like me need help deciding what to wear.
When I’m trying to decide what I want to wear, I look to a wide variety of sources for inspiration: fashion shoots in magazines, images in blogs and on Pinterest, my own memories, or glimpses of other women in real life, or in films or television. Sometimes I simply see an item hanging on the rack in a store, and it suggests ways to change up my wardrobe. Often, an image in my head inspired by something I’ve seen, coalesces with what’s actually hanging in my closet, and a eureka moment produces an outfit idea. Sometimes I already own everything I need for the outfit, other times I shop long and hard to find the final perfect piece to fulfill the image I have in my head. And sometimes achieving this image requires a change in mind-set, and the expert skills of a seamstress.
|Max and me together again.|
Let me explain. This is my navy Max Mara suit. I’ve written about it before on the blog. It’s over fifteen years old and in perfect shape. I’ve been wearing the jacket again with my jeans for a while now. But inspired by a photo in the Fabiana Filippi Spring 2018 look book that my buddy Liz gave me, and reinforced by one of Alyson’s posts on trouser suits, I really, really wanted to wear the whole suit again. I had an idea that I would pair it with my new sleeveless Vince tee shirt, and my Stan Smith sneakers.
But, sadly, I couldn’t do the pants up anymore. When I unearthed the suit from my closet in 2016, the pants were uncomfortably tight around the waist. And this year… well… there wasn’t a hope that the button on those pants and the corresponding button hole would ever meet again. Not without a major weight loss program or turning back the clock five or six years. Neither of which was going to happen. I also knew in my heart of hearts that simply setting the button over was not going to make enough of a difference.
|I like the now loose-fitting pants with the tee loosely tucked in.|
Then, sometime around my 62nd birthday, I faced facts, and took the pants to a seamstress, who let them out. Well, actually, she had to put a whole new piece in the waistband at the back. Now they fit again. Phew. That was tough, you know, admitting that those pants needed a good two inches more fabric around the waist. But I just practiced deep breathing, and kept telling myself that I’m a bigger person… in more ways than one. Ha. The drama of getting older, wiser, and wider, folks.
|Since the pants don’t have pockets, I like that the jacket does.|
Now I love my old suit again. And with this kind of slubby, casual sleeveless tee from Vince, with my white sneakers, minimal jewellry, and the sleeves of the jacket rolled up… I think it looks casual, comfortable, and current. So thanks to Liz and Alyson for the inspiration. And to the seamstress at Prestige Tailors in Barrhaven for making my vision a reality.
And here’s my point about this new series on Alyson’s blog. I know how I decide what I want to wear, and how I go about achieving my vision. But, I want to read about other women like me, who aren’t twenty anymore, who don’t have an ideal body and maybe struggle to find clothes that fit and which look good on them, who don’t have unlimited funds or the sponsorship of brands, and who still have a personal style that I can admire and possibly even emulate. What do they want to wear? How do they decide what they want to wear? And most importantly, how do they then achieve their vision? I want to read what other real women say when they are “thinking out loud about clothes,” to use Linda Grant’s phrase.
In the first post in her new series Alyson features London houseware designer Snowden Flood. And Snowden says, “Clothes make me feel like myself, like I’m saying who I am that day.” I love that line.
I’m the same. Each morning I dress to convey who I am on that particular day. And considering the shot below, with the white tee, shades, and that mop of hair, I think that yesterday I was definitely channeling George Michael, circa 1984.
|Wake me up before you go go.|
I don’t always include shopping links to the pieces I’m wearing (or to similar items) in my fashion posts. Partly because, while I might have an affinity for a particular brand, I don’t have any formal brand affiliations. I did try to see if I could find some current Max Mara suits on line, but I couldn’t find any shopping links. I found a couple of really cool suits on the Jigsaw website which you can find here and here. And here’s the link to the page of trouser suits at Matchesfashion.com. Plus, Alyson has all kinds of great links on her trouser suit post.
And now, as George says, “before you go go,” have a look at this little video below, featuring some of the looks from Fabiana Filippi Spring/Summer 2018. The blue pinstriped suit that I found so inspiring is in there. I know the models are really young, but the clothes are timeless. Not that I can afford Fabiana Filippi suits, but a girl can dream.
Time to hear from you now, my fashionable friends. What inspires you? How do you decide what you want to wear? And how do you set about turning that vision into reality?