Apologies for not writing a post for nearly two weeks. Life just got in the way! I’ve been very busy and did a lot of stuff last week and this, with appointments to go here, there and everywhere, and hey, I had my hair cut! Here I am before the cut. Note the skirt, which is my last online purchase for some time to come. From now onwards, I will not be buying new items of clothing what with the beauticians, the hairdresser, the opticians and chiropodist open once more.
I think you might agree that the hair was getting far too long.
And here I am afterwards.
It’s still long but it’s not that lank look.
Btw, the waves have come from tongs, which the hairdresser applied with great skill. I don’t have tongs myself as I’m super aware of hair quality so I won’t be able to recreate that look, apart from I shall dry it naturally and scrunch and twist my hair a bit to get the waves going. Actually on reflection it could have been cut a bit more, so I will go back in 3 months time for another cut that’s 2″ higher than it is now.
It’s so nice to do something normal!
Anyway, that title on style? That’s more for me than anything else, because I’m sure most of you know your own style. But I wonder whether this past year has impacted on the way you wear your clothes? It certainly impacted my style as, what with one thing and another, I’ve been wearing stretchy, comfortable jeans for far too long.
Interestingly Catherine of Atypical60 has just written a post on Style v Wearing and is there a difference? I know I often quote her but she really is a brilliant blogger and so real, but she’s got something there about style as opposed to just wearing anything you can find. And I kind of envied her grounded sense of her very own style. Me, I ricochet from one style to another. I long to be edgy and a little bit biker chic and goth, but often end up looking quite preppy.
The thing is before the ‘unpleasantness’ of the past year I’d relegated jeans to doing the housework, but over these past months they became a staple of my wardrobe. But that’ll change and quite rapidly once we can go out more and also are allowed to sit inside rather than being in a garden. Remember I live in the UK where a north to north-east wind makes for a very cool garden visit and you have to wrap up well and no-one really knows what you’re wearing underneath the coat!
Actually, I don’t think it matters one jot if one day you wear jeans for the garden, or housework, on another day wear a nice frock to visit a friend, and then go to town, literally, in the most stylish outfit you can find. I understand that people don’t dress up so much nowadays for the theatre, me, I used to dress up to the nines for an exhibition.
Nothing in the above photo is from a charity shop but all were bought with care and with an aim of frugality. The skirt is a designer but reduced, the hat came from Toulouse and the jacket from Primark.
Btw, style is very much on my mind as I spoke about style and how to achieve it through experimenting in charity shops with Tricia Cusden of Look Fabulous Forever on Tuesday live on Zoom, and (coughs apologetically) and, this Zoom thing is on YouTube. Honestly I was a tad nervy about the whole thing, but I think it went well. I can’t bear to look at it, but Mr F says I did OK! Do have a look.
Anyway, what I said about style during the session is, of course, do not listen to younger journalists giving advice on how the older women dress, you follow your heart. Yes, look in the mirror and be honest about your body shape, but say to your self, what do I really want to look like? How do I want to feel as I go out and about, and then go experiment, frugally, through shopping in a charity shop.
The thing is with advice given, either through journalism, blogs or books, or even from the likes of me, is most advice does not take into account the differences there are between us as we age. I was rather taken by one of Tricia Cusden’s interviewees Ashton Applewhite of This Chair Rocks fame, she’s a great advocate against ageism, and in her session with Tricia she brought up the notion of intersectionality and ageism, which I think, I just about understand as the fact that there is no one way of ageing because into ageing you must bring class, nationhood, culture, education, race, ethnicity, body shape, health, illness, poverty, wealth and so on and so on, which means in effect that as we age the differences grow and increase rather than diminish. So to bundle us up into age groups of 65+ is so very wrong and, without a doubt, any advice for a 60yr-old or a 70-yr-old to wear x is nonsense – nothing is set in stone for us as we age, and that definitely includes what we wear! So, follow your heart!
Of course, I also have said, and don’t think I said this to Tricia that you should take just a little notice of what is going on around you in the fashion world. I do read Vogue occasionally (only when it’s reduced) and shout at it as well – what ridiculous prices, but even so I like to see what’s at the cutting edge of fashion and I do read other bloggers and I do like Alyson Walsh a fashion journalist with her blog, Thats Not My Age. I particularly like the way she set out some ideas about different style tribes in her book Style Forever and I get that because there are style tribes all around us. Her tribes include: The Casual Glamour Puss. Oh I wish. The Older and Bolder brigade – they would be the Ageing Fashionistas but that you have to be careful with as one doesn’t want to look too bizarre! The Gentlewoman – now Alyson Walsh is a perfect example of that slightly nonchalant elegance, she carries that off well but she’s tall, so she can. And then there is The Ageless Rocker – sigh, that’s exactly how I want to look, that’s my heart’s desire, but whether I achieve that is another thing! Personally, I’d add the Sporty Type tribe, and then there is the Countrywoman tribe, which I see in some towns in East Sussex.
But note there are no ‘wear the usual jeans, put on a top and grab that jacket and /or coat’ in Walsh’s style tribes, which you think you would never… and yet there have been times these past few months… But that won’t be happening from now on.
Yes, the times they are achanging and we will all one day be vaccinated, and by all I don’t mean just one or two countries but the whole world (and to be real I think that will be next year or 2023 for the whole world to be covered). But we must look ahead with hope, and realise that the time will come when this is all over for everyone and we can just be carefree and go where we want.
In the meantime for those of you in countries where numbers are still high, we can still think about new ventures and plan some trips (how good is that) and think of meeting up and wearing our clothes out and about with style and pzazz!
But tell me do you struggle with your style? Just because I do, doesn’t mean you do, but it’s always interesting to hear of how other women endeavour to look good.
That’s all for now. With love, Penny, the Frugalfashionshopper