I’ll be 75 next birthday (in June) and I often think along the lines of How.Did.That.Happen, this ageing thing? Because it creeps up on you and then boom, it’s there!

I’ve said this before, that when I was 40 I thought no different to a 30-yr-old, same when I was 50, thought the same, and looked pretty much the same. And 60?  I never, actually, all through my 60s worried two hoots about how I looked, in fact I looked better in my 60s than when I was in my 50s with a stressful full-time job and sandwiched between teenagers (you know how they are) and parents that were, to be honest, dying and needed looking after. I remember saying, when is this post-menopausal zest going to come in as I was soooo exhausted by those days. So I absolutely loved the first few years of my retirement, which was when I began to change from corporate office look to casual (jeans all the time) and then to something more edgy.

And then came the blog, which I started in June 2013 at the age of 67, which yes, ostensibly is about fashion and how you can wear what you want, and don’t listen to any young fashion journos telling us what we can and can’t wear – you wear what you damn well like!  But the blog was also about the whole bundle of what constitutes ageing and society’s attitude to it. I was also interested in my own ageing. I wanted to document it, and look closely at the changes that I was going through, so that is why, people, I take loads of photos, it’s not just about the fashion, although, on the other hand, it is because I want you to see what amazing bargains one can get, which I usually managed in what was known as the ‘normal times’ or the ‘time-before-the-awfullness-of-last-year-and-this‘!

Anyway, I know that my looks changed in retirement and, for a long time, for the better, because there was no stressful work, my dear parents had departed this world and the teenagers had grown (although you always worry, don’t you). And the better looks were there I’d say up to about two years ago when I was at the peak of looking good.  So for any of you bloggers out there who decry reaching 50 or 60 that was when I was 72 – see below.

And always reaching for the holy grail of looking edgy!

That’s edgy casual. This below is edgy London art gallery/party look and totally over the top!  When I was 72!

Honestly, I read some of these blogs written by women in their 50s saying they’re OK about ageing, and I have to restrain myself. Because, really, THEY.HAVE.NO.IDEA. Read one recently but I bottled out of actually writing, ‘and I wonder what you’ll be saying in 20 years time’, which is where I am!

For instance, I had a lovely Easter and visited my kids in their respective gardens. We took loads of photos of new grandson Oscar and some videos. It was just great, and then I watched one of the videos and was utterly shocked. Who was that grey-haired old hag? Gosh, it was me! Hmmm! The thing is I take a good photo inside the flat, and outside, in the right position, in the right light, but in that one photo of me and those videos, in the direct sunlight, I looked awful and I am not exaggerating.

Is this how I look when I’m not posing in the right light and the right position? What if this is how I look, in real life, to others? Hmmm again.

What to do? Well, I am not accepting this, as in, I looked ghastly, and sort of haggard, but there are certain steps I shall think about and act upon. So here’s what I’m aiming to do:

Hair

So, I think, no I can see (!) I do not suit ‘hair up’ or tied up away from my face, and the plaits from certain angles do not look as good as the face-on photos I’ve had taken. It’s best down, so, people, I made an appointment at the hairdressers. Now I know many of you would think that’s of no consequence because you went during the reduction of lockdown in 2020 but it’s a huge step for me. I haven’t been to the hairdressers since October 2019, so it will be a big deal!  And, and, it is time to cut a little of it off, around 4 inches I think, because it has just begun to look a bit straggly at the ends. So there we are – step no. 1.

Clothes

I’ve been wearing ‘comfortable clothes’ for far too long.  Over the weekend I had the summer clothes taken down from the top of the wardrobe, and despite the weather resorting back to being freezing (0C/32F yesterday morning with the wind chill factor making it, according to my app, -6C), I was pleased to get out some Spring pencil skirts. Every single appointment I go to from now on this type of skirt will be worn. Every single meeting of friends and family and/or outdoor event in gardens and elsewhere will see me in a skirt and/or dress rather than a pair of jeans. That’s step no.2

Bring on the summer when I can start wearing dresses more often, although I might try a couple of dresses with a winter woollie and thick tights – that’s a thought for next week’s post. Meanwhile, I shall also wear more of my bigger-brimmed hats, just not this week as ears need to be covered!

Makeup

I now wear glasses permanently (until I get the cataracts done, maybe next year and certainly the following) but I still wear the makeup with special attention going to the eyebrows and the eyes  Doing the eye makeup without contacts is tricky but I manage with a super-strong magnifying glass. The day I stop wearing eye makeup is the day I’m pushing up the daisies! So step no 3 is to continue the eye makeup.

Here are my new glasses.

Exercise

I know we’ve all put on weight in this pandemic, but there’s no need to worry or beat yourself up about it, as if you’re not happy with the weight gain, it’ll go as soon as we can get out and about more. I’ve put on 6 lbs all around my middle.

Actually, I concede I might have been a little thin and the extra pounds have made a bit difference to my face. But most of my clothes are UK size 12 and I’ve gone up a size, I could just about do the zip up of this skirt.

But it’s still wearable.

And of course, as well as a good brisk walk what helps the body is doing a regular class of whatever you like to do. For me it’s Pilates and I can tell you it really, really helps the waist-line.  But I should be doing much longer walks in different places – that’s step no 4.

A good sleep and no hot mask!

If there’s one thing that might improve my looks it is a good night’s sleep, which I get most of the time, but not all of the time. And then there’s the hot mask I have to put over my eyes for blepharitis. Both of these have wreaked havoc to the lines under my eyes. I don’t really have bags but the skin under my eyes is very crepy now. So…

Beautician 

I am now looking for a new beautician as the one I’ve been to for years has closed down permanently.  I will have some facials asap – when permitted etc. As for the electrolysis (very necessary now) the search for a good practitioner is on. Step no 5 is to get this sorted.

Attitude

And finally there is my attitude to my ageing.  Honestly the photo plus the video and seeing myself not looking as I picture myself, was a bit of a wake-up call. There’s nothing one can do about the years that keep piling on, but you can take steps to mitigate (that’s definitely a word of the 2020s). And furthermore I hear you can grow into the face you have, says Charlotte Rampling on the Cut website (courtesy of Is This My Age – do have a look at her post on age diversity

“You’ve got to wait. You’ve got not to panic, not to be frightened, and not to change your face. You need your face to grow with you … because then people don’t know what age you are. You look a certain age but there is a problem with that if women can’t live with their faces as they’re growing into them. There’s always a frightening point when your face starts to change, and that’s when you want to change it. But if you go through that change — and it lasts quite a long time, maybe 10 years — then you find actually that you’ve grown into an older face.” — The Independent April 2012

I like that – that’s me a little bit panicky, a little bit worried about the changes I can see. But hey did you see Rampling modelling some clothes for The Guardian?  What a role model for a 70+ woman. I have decided to see what the next 10 years brings alongside doing my Pilates, hefting some weights (now up to 3kg), wearing slightly edgy clothes, slapping on the makeup and having some treatments done – three cheers for that last point! And then don’t forget the trying out new skills. It was knitting last year, so what shall I tackle this year? And what will energise and delight me? Family and friends of course, but oh, the yearning I have for the Tate and the V&A – can’t wait for those to open, and always, always another writing project. There’s so much to look forward to including ageing into my late 70s with attitude – huzzah!

Because after all, it is privilege to be here, to be ALIVE at nearly 75, and for that I am truly grateful.

That’s all for now

With love, Penny, the Frugalfashionshopper

P.S. All skirts and the sequinned jacket charity shopped.

P.P.S Catherine of Atypical60 recently wrote a very funny post on ageing – it inspired me to write this post. Thanks Catherine 🙂

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41 thoughts on “How did this happen?

  • 8th April 2021 at 8:53 am
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    Hi Penny, I think it’s your attitude that keeps you young, and you’ve got dollops of that! I reckon you’re around 25 – 35 attitude-wise 😉 The Charlotte Rampling quote is interesting- I think I’m starting my next big change. I am a bit panicked, but I’ll ride out the storm and do the best I can with it. The clothes as always are fabulous. You suit a pencil skirt! I wish I did but, as a thick legged shortie, I need something more covering. Weirdly leggings would work for me if I had the nerve to wear them out – but I don’t – so it’s straight leg trousers, long skirts and recently long column-like dresses, which give me back some height, especially now I can’t wear heels ( never could much really – funny feet!) . We work with what we’ve got, it’s what keeps us interesting. All the best and hopefully some warm weather soon in the UK so we can enjoy those outdoor visits.

    • 9th April 2021 at 8:06 am
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      Yes, you’re right I think there is a change that comes when you move into older age, as in the mid to late 70s, and that’s not being ageist it’s a fact of the actual years. But thanks for saying I have attitude – I do, it’s the putting it all into practice that takes effort! But worth it! I also concur with, we work with what we’ve got. I shall endeavour to continue wearing more feminine and edgy clothes and good for you in recognising your style too. Thanks so much 🙂

  • 8th April 2021 at 8:59 am
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    Thanks for this interesting post Penny. My How. Did. That. Happen. was our 50th Wedding Anniversary last year. We were still teenagers when we married but even so – fifty years!!
    You are much more ‘edgy’ than I am with clothes but I do like the third pic with the broken check skirt and the sequin jacket. I used to wear skirts a lot but now I feel uncomfortable with a rigid waistband so I think they will be going to the charity shop soon.
    Oh the face, the face! I feel mine has aged years in the last one. For me it’s the jowls, and the deep shadows & lines around the eyes. I’m not sure there is anything to be done about this, short of surgery and I don’t fancy that. It’s awful when you see a photo – or catch sight of yourself in a shop mirror when that was possible – and realise that you don’t look like you think you do. At my granddaughters christening 7 years ago I realised that unless I keep my chin up I look like a gnome! When I’m 70 next year I know I should be pleased to still be alive when many of my contemporaries are not not worrying about old age. As you say, it’s not a privilege that everyone gets to enjoy. Vanity, all is vanity………………. and I admit I am vain about my appearance. As you know I’ve kept it up throughout as anything else is just not me. I have a hair appointment on the 27th which I dread and look forward to in equal measure. That quip about marriage, that is ‘the triumph of hope over experience’ ( Dr Johnson? – looked it up and yes) certainly applies to hairdressers. I am nearly always disappointed because of course I expect far more than it is possible for anyone, no matter how experienced, to achieve or me to maintain. I used to keep it short which I felt lifted my face up but now my ears have got so big – they will keep growing like the nose! I do exercise 3 x a week & walk about twice which I will increase with better weather. Next week I’m getting a sight test & going back to the shops by bus – what an adventure that will be. I’ve started knitting again & made my daughter a jumper from a 1948 pattern in 4ply wool. Took ages but she is very pleased with it. Will be starting another one soon, I like fine knitting best. What I really want is to start singing and going on holiday again!

    • 9th April 2021 at 8:19 am
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      Yes, same here Lynda, three friends died last year (from cancers not Covid) so we are privileged to be alive. And I think the pandemic has had its impact on all of us, the world over, but the stress and the uncertainty has also impacted our ageing I think, for instance the change in my face in my view has been more sudden, and while my attitude and style can hide it, there it was in the photo and video, I didn’t look good. And I think looking good is what we all want to achieve, I don’t want to look young(er) I want to look lively and presentable, with a bit of style, and that’s what I shall aim to do 🙂

      Honestly, hairdressers! For years I stuck with one that didn’t listen to what I wanted, and then I found another who did, and was very happy with him. But I know how you feel as the new hairdresser has gone up in price (a lot) and really I cannot afford it, so I am going to another who has been recommended as being good with long hair – but even so it’s a leap of faith. Have you thought of asking around or just trying another hairdresser?? My appointment is the 28th!

      What about the cruising? I think, not sure, that this season cruising might be just round the UK??? I’m satisfied with the two cottage holidays I’ve got booked, but, when cruising ever returns to what it was is debatable, possibly next year? We must hope.

  • 8th April 2021 at 10:09 am
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    Really interesting and honest post! You look fab in those skirts with your hair down, the glasses, make up and hats look super! Go you 🤩

    • 9th April 2021 at 8:21 am
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      Thank you so much Leigh – your kind words are so heartwarming – thanks 🙂

      • 11th April 2021 at 2:45 pm
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        Your post is really insightful Penny, I too have felt the recent photos of myself have showed a weary and tired face. The lack of eye makeup certainly doesn’t help! I find mostly not wearing any helps with the bletheritis. However I will wear some on future trips out!,
        I have been growing out the highlights in my hair and the grey is well established as the last hair appointment was over a year ago. I think the highlights gave a certain warmth to my face but the thought of sitting there for up to 3 hours fills me with horror!! Plus my scalp was very dry and that has improved (since stopping) considerably. I think I now need to wear some makeup and earrings along with my pretty and many scarves.
        I love your sense of style it really spurs me on, thank you for taking the time to show what’s possible and most certainly attractive
        All the best xx

  • 8th April 2021 at 10:45 am
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    Blepharitis is the bane of my life. Particularly bad flare up at the moment.
    Which mask do you find is best? I’m using The Eye Doctor, heated in the microwave. Cleaning my eyes with baby shampoo, as instructed at the eye clinic, was sheer hell and really damaged the skin under my eyes, no water how weak I made the solution.

    • 9th April 2021 at 8:32 am
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      Totally agree! The mask I use has a label Optase HydroBead Technology and here’s a link https://www.visionexpress.com/sunglasses/optase-moist-heat-mask/5392000104228

      I don’t use a baby shampoo as despite it being for babies I just didn’t like the idea but I do wash my eyelids (and face) using Simple Soap, which is not strong and I find doesn’t make the surrounding skin flare up. However, the combination of the mask plus the washing and then also using Blephasol on the lids with cotton buds, has wreaked havoc on that sensitive eye area so I am very much more lined than I was with the lids now stretched – oh yikes, yes, I agree, it is just one of those things that happens as you get older……!!!!!!

  • 8th April 2021 at 10:53 am
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    Hello Penny! I so love your writing and your joie de vivre! My family visit has finished. We had a wonderful time with the 17 month old toddler AND we don’t mind admitting that, by the end of ten days, we were exhausted! I turned 72 while they visited and our two sons and their families cooked fabulous dinners and just made me feel loved. The visiting son is quite the cook so anything from Vietnamese to a traditional rack of lamb was on our table.
    Now…to your post! Here! Here! Here! “I am with you!”, I say as I pound the table! I was stunned by photos of my son’s 2017 wedding and my very stooped shoulders! Caught while wearing a “trendy” halter neck, flowing jumpsuit. I had worked on my arms but did not even realize the importance of declining posture! I am exercising (except the last ten days) and trying to build/maintain some core strength to keep a good posture.
    In Southern California, in certain circles, appearance is EVERYTHING. Plastic surgery and Botox procedures abound. I am not a member of any of those circles. I am trying to focus on good health and being the best I can be at my age. Not trying to “reverse” my age but to maintain it.
    To that end, this year, I have revitalized my skincare routine. I have added a serum, an oil and a prescription for tretinoin. I have found an improvement in the texture of my complexion. I was just too, too dry even with good quality day/night creams and lotions. And, of course, the California tanning of my youth (and genetics) added a few dark spots on my face. While still teaching, I worked with a dermatologist to lighten them. My sister had hers lasered off but I did not have the $$$ to do that back then.
    I prefer a light hand with makeup. I can slap it on for a special occasion but prefer a tinted moisturizer, mascara, and blush for daily outings. Just enough to look like I care about my appearance. My face shows the impact of my life and, hopefully, it is full of smile and laugh lines. I want to bring out the best-of-me-today not yesterday or yesteryear. I recently had this similar discussion with a 62 year old East Coast friend. She was adamant that she wanted to remain young. Not youthful, which I believe is a wonderful internal quality, but young. She has already had facial surgery, works out religiously, and is very physically fit.
    In the meantime, YOU LOOK GREAT. Your slim figure, coloring, hair, and fashion sense are so attractive! BUT…add your total zest for life, your passionate heart, your cultural interests, etc. and you, Penny, are the FULL PACKAGE. Your life is interesting!!! May it continue to be!!! Again, I join you in seeking our best selves for this season in our lives!
    Stay well, Penny…

    • 9th April 2021 at 10:05 am
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      It’s so good to hear about your family reunion, I’m so glad it all went well and that you had lots of time with your new grandchild and lots of lovely food.

      Where I live I know no-one who’s had botox and/or surgery and there isn’t much of an impetus or ethos to have this type of treatment, people who are very rich perhaps, or the celebs and sadly some young women who are constantly on Instagram and think that’s how they should look, but ordinary women, on the whole don’t. But we do have the option of lots of non-surgical facial treatments and I was going down that line when the pandemic got in the way. I will have a talk with one of the beauticians who used to work where I went for years, I now know where she’s based and will see her in a couple of weeks time.

      I like a light coverage when I put on my foundation and in the summer will wear a tinted moisturiser. Thank you so much for your lovely and interesting comment 🙂

  • 8th April 2021 at 10:58 am
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    OMG Penny, I so know where you are coming from! I used to be a nice shape, have lovely blonde hair, and attractive hands and nails. But during the last couple of years the weight has gone on, the skin has gone saggy, the hair is now grey. I don’t mind the hair, but the rest I am not happy with. And comfy warm winter lock down clothes have done nothing for the body confidence. I am working on the diet and exercise, but not much I can do about the wrinkly skin. The thing I hate most is seeing my hands – they look just like my mothers! As you say, we are lucky to be here and I am grateful for that. I shall look forward to the summer, and being able to go places and meet up with friends again.

    • 9th April 2021 at 10:12 am
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      Yes, my hands are now like my mother’s! And I’m with you! Diet and exercise will help and some fresh air and sun on our faces will liven our looks up a bit. I have to stop wearing the elasticated waist jeans though and am resolved to do that.

      Meeting up with friends and family will be great – thanks for the comment 🙂

  • 8th April 2021 at 11:47 am
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    Haha, oh my word Penny! I am so glad you will not be wearing jeans anymore, you are not a jeans woman! About your hair, perhaps you can ask the hairdresser for ways to other wear it? And indeed, no eye makeup? No go, love the expression, pushing daisy’s!

    • 9th April 2021 at 10:15 am
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      Hi Nancy, yes, really it’s always been skirts for me and I intend to wear them more often from now on. The expression – pushing up the daisies is fun isn’t it! We also use, ‘kicking the bucket’ for when someone has passed!

      Have a lovely weekend x

  • 8th April 2021 at 11:48 am
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    Lovely post,I too am going to have a chop on my hair,it’s got too long and drags my face down. I always did wear only skirts and dresses then got into the habit of throwing a pair of jeans on but I’m going to take on your strategy makeup every day haircut and get back into wearing skirts and dresses I can wear opaque tights not sure what I would wear in summer with a dress or skirt? Just started Pilates via YouTube. You have some wonderful places to walk along the broad walk, sun is shining hope you have a wonderful day.

    • 9th April 2021 at 10:19 am
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      Thank you Margaret. Yes, the hair, mine has suddenly gone a bit ratty at the ends so a cut is very necessary, not all of it, but 4inches will do I think.

      Pilates is great, enjoy but my Personal Trainer always says take care to not overdo it with the ones that are not live, I know you will take care though.

      I shall do some longer walks from now on. Thanks again 🙂

  • 8th April 2021 at 1:58 pm
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    Hi Penny, What a lovely interesting post today,Thankyou! I think having a positive attitude is the greatest thing to keep you young. And you have that in spades. Also enjoying small treats and planning bigger ones, especially at present. I,m planning a picnic next week for our 38 th wedding anniversary, my second marriage, so happy!
    I will be 82 in June but adore clothes( second hand mostly), hairstyles ( cut by husband) and hair colour, dyed auburn ( also by my husband) and particularly cosmetics. Have you tried a hint of blusher , I think it lights up older faces . My main treat during lockdown has been buying lipsticks, not always totally successfully, as you can’t even try them on your hand! Fortunately I have young grandaughters always dying for Nannies make-up or jewellery!
    Please don’t have too much cut off your hair,it’s gorgeous and the colour is just right, Keep that lovely optimism . Best wishes Judy S

    • 9th April 2021 at 10:28 am
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      Hi Judy and thank and so interesting hear more about you. 82 wow! But you are a perfect example of someone who has the right attitude. I have bought far too many clothes online through lockdown – that will stop once the charity shops are open which is Monday – yay, lets jump for joy and shout out three cheers!

      The hair has suddenly gone a bit bitty and ratty at the ends and that’s quite good really as it’s been a long time since the last appointment, so it’s done well, but it is time to have a good trim of about 4 inches so I wear it down more often. I don’t really suit hair up, but the hairdressers I’m going to is apparently good with long hair so I shall have a chat about it first.

      Best wishes to you too Judy 🙂

  • 8th April 2021 at 4:30 pm
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    Oh Penny, what a wonderful post. Everything you say chimes with me!
    Whatever you think, you always look fabulous in your photo’s & your joie de vivre is inspirational. You also write so wonderfully – I also love your ‘other’ post, so thought provoking & informative.
    Thank you.
    Enjoy your birthday & celebrate in style,
    Susan.

    • 9th April 2021 at 10:31 am
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      Thank you so much for those kind words Susan, especially about my writing which is what I love doing most. I have a post spinning around my head for the Other Blog but can’t get down to it! So it’s coming but not even next week, but it will be done at some point.

      So glad this post said something to you – thanks again 🙂

  • 8th April 2021 at 6:34 pm
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    I think you’re ageing beautifully, Penny. I love the slightly longer hair and all your outfits were lovely. I do like a pencil skirt and they always look smart/dressy. I know it’s awful to see yourself looking haggard/ill/dreadful in photos and videos; but you have such a positive and sensible attitude as to what you can do about it. A lot of people would just moan and fret but do nothing!

    I can see the changes in my face and hair since I retired 7 years ago; so far I’m not too horrified and have always thought that I would welcome ageing and all the changes it brings. So far so good although I might think differently in a few years time…
    xxx

    • 9th April 2021 at 10:39 am
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      I think the quote from Charlotte Rampling has got it – there is a change that happens when you are a bit older Veronica, when you hit mid-70s onwards. It’s the years that cannot be denied. However, yes, there are so many things and stances to take that are positive and life-enhancing. I always said, to myself and in the blog that we need to look ageing right in the face, but didn’t think it would be quite as literal as that!!!!!!

      But I’m on the case! Have a lovely weekend xxx

  • 8th April 2021 at 8:29 pm
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    Hello, Thanks Penny for your sharing. Honest discussion about aging is so interesting to me. Targeting women of a certain age, fashion marketers seem to push large baggy tent clothing on us. Mid length to short pencil skirts with tights or leggings is “just the thing”. Wearing form fitting clothing, no matter what size we are will take years off. As far as hairdressers, I find giving them a photo to immulate really helps keep us all on course. A good haircut is so essential. During the last year at 72, I put on 5 pounds on top of a few too many that was already there, but I am happy to say, just by eating less, I am easily loosing them again. With the goal of feeling healthy and enjoying life, I just might find agelessness. YEAH.

    • 9th April 2021 at 10:48 am
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      Oh my word I hate the baggy dress look, maybe in the very height of the summer to keep cool but I like to wear a skirt with a waistline, which is what you do albeit embellished in your amazing inventive way 🙂 And mid-length to short skirts are the best.

      As long as I don’t put on any more weight I shall beOK, but good for you, feeling healthy and enjoying life is the key to life in our 70s. Have a lovely weekend 🙂

  • 8th April 2021 at 8:42 pm
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    What a timely and thought provoking post. I agree with you on every point. For me it’s important to keep striving, keep feeling relevant and keep being interested in looking my best. I particularly like your intention to wear skirts and dresses. As fashion designer Diane Von Furstenberg says “If you want to feel like a woman, wear a dress”. I understand that this statement would not sit well with some women and that is also fine. It rings true with me though and it’s something I’ve committed to since retiring last year.

    • 9th April 2021 at 8:18 am
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      I’m a dress person too. I used to wear separates – a lot of suits when I was working – but for me dresses are so easy and suit my short height as they don’t ‘cut me in half’. *I have many of them mostly bought used & for next to nothing on E-bay. I have a range of cardis to pick up the colours as I like bright prints.

    • 9th April 2021 at 10:51 am
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      Thank you so much Helen, and a big yes, to dresses and feeling and looking like a woman. Attitude, as well, is key, I’m with you on this – thanks again 🙂

  • 8th April 2021 at 8:56 pm
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    Hi Penny today’s post was excellent and great food for thought I am 62 tomorrow and feeling good but looking at your post I see ways that I can do much more to keep myself looking fresh and healthy, not young, you look great and I love your ethos of buying lightly used clothing in charity shops and sales and will be following your ideas on aging. We are still in lockdown here in Dublin, no charity shops or any shops open, cafes, restaurants not open but vaccine roll out is up and running, or should I say slow walking but it’s speeding up tg all the very best Penny
    Marie in Dublin Ireland.

    • 10th April 2021 at 8:10 am
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      Thank you so much Marie, yes, you’re right, I think the emphasis is on looking and feeling good rather than ‘young’.

      We’ve been in this 3rd lockdown since Christmas and it has felt a bit grim. Our cases are going down as are those ghastly death rates, so the vaccine programme is working – phew and thank goodness for that. Hey ho for Monday as without a doubt I shall rush out to the charity shops but fingers crossed the vaccines will hold that blasted virus at bay.

      Good luck to all of you in Dublin I hope you get free of this soon 🙂

  • 8th April 2021 at 11:02 pm
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    This post touched on so much that I have been thinking about. Next month I will be 80. wondering how this could have happened, when just yesterday I was hardly middle aged. like you inside I feel like the same person I was 30 or so years ago. I am lucky, I can live on my own, drive, go up and down the stairs of my multi-level townhouse without a thought. Many in my age group are not so blessed. I care about how I look, try to dress attractively, wear make up, exercise, take care of my skin. So often though I feel invisible. I wish I was braver in my fashion choices, I would love to wear something like your London edgy look, but with my small stature fear I would look silly. occasionally I will try something like a snake print ankle boot or my vintage cowboy boots and get noticed. so that is good.
    On a deeper level I wonder how I will negotiate these last years of my life. I am trying to come to terms with the fact that some of my most cherished long term goals probably will never be achieved, and how will I cope with this. This pandemic has exacerbated these feelings.
    and speaking of cateract surgery, I am having one eye done this coming week and the other in a month’s time. also having a procedure for my glaucoma at the same time. I am very nervous about the whole thing, have cancelled in once and postponed it for over a year now but my sight will not get better if I do not have it done.
    I have to say Penny that you look wonderful and have a sense of what looks good on you.
    I hope I haven’t been too negative. I always enjoy your posts!
    Darby

    • 10th April 2021 at 1:09 pm
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      I don’t think you’re being negative at all, Darby, and think it’s quite rational and indeed sensible to face those years head on. In fact I wondered if I was being negative but decided I had to be real and tell people of my experience and how I reacted.

      I too can do most things and yet wonder about my writing projects which are really slow and almost stationary at the moment. Will that memoir ever get written?! RE: the cataracts, Catherine of Atypical60 recently had both eyes done and is so happy about the two operations. It went well for her and she can see much better. I’m sure it’ll go that way for you.

      Thank you so much Darby for those kind words at the end and do continue, btw, to wear the occasional edgy pair of boots which sound great! Have a lovely weekend 🙂

  • 9th April 2021 at 12:46 am
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    It is impossible to know what one will actually think in the future, but I love the idea of embracing our aging as much as we can. Sure, we may change out thoughts and “fight” along the way, but I still believe it’s a privilege that not everyone gets.
    And our attitude is EVERYTHING!! We were at the art museum and looking at some paintings of the native Indians. They were revering the older generation because of their wisdom. So what that they also had wrinkles and saggy skin? That’s what I wish for us some day. Let’s have age be something that we look forward to and make sure the younger generation isn’t scared of it.
    You are always so inspirational Penny!!
    XOOX
    Jodie
    http://www.jtouchofstyle.com

    • 10th April 2021 at 1:11 pm
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      I think your mother is a great role model and an inspiration for us all, Jodie, as we approach 80. You’ve been a good daughter to her. It’s always good to read about you two 🙂

  • 9th April 2021 at 2:26 am
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    Hi Penny from Nwe Zealand.I am in my 80th year and for the most part happy in my skin,though the face that looks out at me from the mirror is not how l see myself in my head.l am blessed with good genes and smooth skin and people think l am in my 70. Having five daughters and a love of fashion and clothes they would tell me if they thought l was going too far.My granddaughter’s tell me l am not old and one of them wants my red boots when l don’t need them anymore! I am grateful for every new day having reached my three score years and ten.Having a strong faith and a positive attitude has helped my whether many a storm.My family call me the Queen of op shopping and l also volunteer in one each week.I think you call them charity shops.Ejoy reading your blog and hearing about the situation in England.We have been so fortunate in NZ with few cases however we did go into very strict lock down at the begining so now are enjoying relative freedom.

    • 10th April 2021 at 1:16 pm
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      Oooh red boots, bet they look good on you 🙂 It’s lovely to read about your daughters and granddaughter. And oh yes, we should be so grateful to have reached the age we have – it’s a privilege to grow really old.

      Love that you are the Queen of op shopping. And I do envy you in New Zealand – you had the right leader at the right time while we had the exact opposite!

      Thanks so much 🙂

  • 9th April 2021 at 7:14 am
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    A very uplifting post Penny. You are such a great role model. I love how you prioritise health and fitness and how you like to look edgy. We don’t have to dress the same when we get older, we can dress the same as when we were in our 30s!
    I have also noticed the phenomenon of how I look OK in my own photos (taken in good lighting, in poses I know are flattering!). I don’t use photo editing software very much, except to brighten up photos. But on my daily walks, where I don’t wear makeup, I often take a selfie and am completely appalled because that’s obviously how I really look! It’s disconcerting. I seem to have aged a lot in the last year and wonder if it’s related to the pandemic.
    I agree with you about wearing comfortable clothes for too long. After seeing your three new skirts (charity shopped) on IG, you’ve inspired me to dig out mine and absolutely start wearing them again.

    • 10th April 2021 at 1:22 pm
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      Yes, still in a skirt today and thank you so much Gail for your kind words. As for those photos taken in good flattering light and the ones that are not, and the ones we shudder at, actually, I thought that when we met (IRL) I thought how stunningly lovely you looked. So I think sometimes it’s the photos and the selfies that are the culprits and it’s definitely not us. Even so I’m having my hair cut (a bit) in 3 weeks time, I’m getting a facial in 2 weeks time and some electrolysis in 3 days time – how good is that!

  • 9th April 2021 at 7:44 am
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    Hello Penny , I so enjoyed this post . Those years do pass so quickly but I agree attitude is everything. I also find I am playing with an edgier style as the years pass . Your gallery/party outfit is stunning , I would wear that in a heart beat. You wear those pencil skirts beautifully with your trim figure . I did like your hair a little shorter too .
    So pleased you were able to spend time with your family in person .
    P.S. Couldn’t agree more – power to older women.

    • 10th April 2021 at 1:25 pm
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      I actually got rid of the red skirt when I moved – sigh – I got rid of far too much! But I do have a slightly similar frothy skirt that will be worn this summer. Still quite chilly here in the northern hemisphere.

      Going to see baby Oscar and parents tomorrow – this is sooo good. Have a lovely weekend 🙂

  • 24th April 2021 at 7:42 am
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    Great post and lovely to read a truthful take on ageing. I have been using a mask for blepharitis too and was told to massage the eyelids as well which I worry about . I have stopped the mask now and use blephasol or water to remove my mascara ( No7 Stay perfect as it comes off very easily). I have been using blephagel on my eyelids at night but my eyes have certainly aged . I am stuck in the jeans rut but wear dresses in the summer . I usually avoid photographs because I hate how I look-often I feel I look good in the mirror at home and then catch my reflection when I am out or see a photograph and don’t recognise myself. Good to know I am not alone. Just discovered your blog and love it!

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