The look.  OK, my very good friend Catherine of AtypicaI60 is so honest.  On her blog she often shows her face and hair how it is.  We see her spots, wrinkles and blotches and hear about the travails and trials of her thinning hair.  So, I’m going to attempt to be as honest as her.  And let’s start with the photos on this blog.

Over the years I’ve learnt to take a very flattering pic of myself.  For instance, that pic of me in my magic red hat?  Here it is again.

Reader, I do not look like this all the time!  This is not reality! And the evidence is here.

And, Oh. My. Word.  Here.

Yes, this pic is taken in harsh, everyday light in an opticians where I was choosing some new glasses.  Hmm. Some people look great in glasses (look at Catherine of Atypical60) but I don’t think I’ll ever like myself in specs.  And not only do I have a 70-year-old neck (which is to be expected) I also have a rather tired, grey, pasty look (not all of the time but some of the time) that is so typical of the over-70s.  Which is something I feel I can say with authority as a person in their 70s, and which is all to do with lack of pigment as you age.  Also note the hair.  It’s a bit bedraggled and the colour is all over the place.  Memo to self.  Will have to pop back to my hairdresser and have a chat!

What to do?   Well, wear makeup for a start.  And please don’t say, ‘I’ve never worn makeup and won’t start now’, or ‘I can’t wear makeup because I’m too old’.  Oh no. Absolutely, no!  When you reach or are approaching 70 it’s even more important to wear makeup to compensate for the loss of pigment and to give definition and colour to your face.  And if you feel you don’t know where to start, why not go on Tricia Cusden’s Look Fabulous Forever website and look at her YouTube videos – she has an outstanding, uplifting and empowering attitude to makeup and older women, and she always uses older women in her YouTube tutorials.  When you’ve got time, when you’re having a coffee, why not pull up a chair and have a look – click here.

And never say never about anything – including makeup!

And then there’s your ‘look’.  Now, what some people think is great to wear, is not going to be good on others.  So, treat everything I say from now on with some detachment and objectivity. Nevertheless, there are clothes and clothes, and ways to wear clothes.  Take that long grey wool skirt and pink jacket combo I showed you a few weeks back.

Actually, worn together I think they are a real no-no. The combination seems to me to be shapeless and rather dull.   I’m not convinced by that pink jacket at all.  Contrast that look with the jeans and striped top.

That’s a look that’s not dull.

However, as someone pointed out to me, the jacket worn with skinny jeans or leggings could look much better.

Really not sure.

You know what, a loose jacket suits a lot of people, but not me. I don’t like this look. I think it’s shapeless and boring. So, out it goes into my charity shop bag.

And the jeans worn with a more tailored jacket with a nipped in waist?  How much better is that?


Here is the jacket again (which is newly bought from a charity shop for £5) with the wool skirt which I will keep.

Btw, did you notice that this jacket needs another button – I’ve used a safety pin to keep it together!

The point I’m making is that, to me, shapeless clothes are boring clothes.  Look at a recent post in That’s Not My Age – everyone is raving  about this designer but all I see are oversized coats that would like a large dressing gown on me.

However, you might not feel the same way.  You might love that loose coat and blazer shape and that’s fine.  I think style is all about your attitude to your body and clothes.  And whatever shape you are, you have to love and feel comfortable with the items you wear.  Above all, what I want to get across is that no matter how old we are, or what shape we are, in our minds, in our approach, in our attitude, we do not do boring or dull.

And don’t forget, you can do this (dress yourself up) for next-to-nothing as 90% of all the clothes featured here are from charity shops.

With love

Penny, the Frugalfashionshopper

P.S. Sharing with Catherine Summers of Not Dressed as Lamb and the usual weekly #iwillwearwhatilike session.  Also the lovely Patti of Not Dead Yet Style and her Visible Monday session.

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28 thoughts on “The look I like and the look I don’t like!

  • 21st March 2017 at 9:39 am

    Oh way too harsh on yourself. We are all ageing and like good wine and books we improve with age. I see a beautiful, kind and happy face…yes there are signs of age…embrace them. All the years of your life are etched there, all the wonderful and sad and happy and difficult times. When I turned 60 I made a decision to be who I am and no longer be dictated to about what I could wear and how I should behave. Age is just a number not a definition. I love reading your blogs.

    • 22nd March 2017 at 8:08 am

      Oh, Lucid I so agree about embracing our age. I do, truly I do. Most of the time I really love my age. But it’s not a bad thing to look at the reality of a not quite flattering photo and say to oneself (as I did with the one in the opticians) now what was I doing? And there are several things I’ve decided. For example, the green parka coat is now not to be worn in town, instead it’s for country walks, and scarves are to be put on better. Also I am definitely going to my hairdresser! And thank you so much for reading the blog x

  • 21st March 2017 at 10:16 am

    If I may be honest, I think the problem with the pink blazer is more to do with the colour than the shape. That particular pink – I think my mother used to call it “dusty pink” or even “dirty pink” – is very hard to wear. I cannot wear it as it washes me out totally – I dare to suggest it’s the same for you…
    The actual loose shape is okay and much better with skinny jeans – but I think a brighter scarf around the neck would help as it would keep the shade away from your skin.

    • 22nd March 2017 at 8:12 am

      Yes, there was a problem with that pink jacket and it’s fine to decide not to wear it.
      That’s the joy of charity shop shopping – it was an experiment with a good result. It’s going back to a charity shop and someone else will love it.

  • 21st March 2017 at 12:16 pm

    I loved this post so much. I love the pics at the opticians, as they show your strong beauty at age 70. And I also think make-up is wonderful (thanks for the link) whenever we feel like wearing it. You’re inspiring me today (at 61 I rather fear approaching 70, but you’ve helped!) and thanks for linking up, xox


    • 22nd March 2017 at 8:24 am

      Well that’s really kind of you to say that the photo in the opticians shows me as a strong beauty!!!! And even kinder to share the post on your Facebook page. Thank you so much, Patti, it’s so generous of you.

      And interesting that you’re wondering about being 70. For me, being 60 wasn’t much different to being 40 or 50, but I would admit that 70 is different. The body and face show signs of ageing, and mostly I accept this. I say mostly!!! But the attitude you have and your approach to life, that can strengthen. I have more confidence in my 70s (71 in June) than I ever had in my middle years. Is it something to do with being a post-war baby-boomer? It might do. Anyway, blogging is part of this exciting new phase in my life which I embrace fully. And thank you again, Patti. You have been such a welcoming host to your Visible Monday sharing xxx

  • 21st March 2017 at 5:13 pm

    Absolutely agree, Penny!

    Getting ready each day should be fun.

    I loved the skirt on you with the fitted jacket and the fitted jacket with the jeans. Both are very stylish looks and ones I wear quite often. Adding bold and/or colourful accessories also helps jazz up outfits, I find.

    Hope you have a great week and that your decluttering is going well….

    • 22nd March 2017 at 8:26 am

      Thank you Veronica – yes the fitted jacket is my (and your) kind of look. And I’m pleased to say that stuff continues to flow OUT of our house rather than coming in. I love this paring down of our existence – it has to be done!

  • 21st March 2017 at 6:19 pm

    I like the pink jacket and I think, as someone has already mentioned, what it needs is the colourful scarf which you are wearing with the jeans photo. then it would look great with the knitted grey skirt.
    I too am a fan of lookfabulousforever.
    Thanks for this blog.

    • 22nd March 2017 at 8:32 am

      I agree, the pink jacket could look better with a scarf but as I am decluttering and weeding out my wardrobe, I decided that as I didn’t totally love the jacket it had to go. And that’s all good, as someone else will buy it and love it, because it is a lovely jacket!

      And yes, LookFabulousForever is a a very good website for both the videos and the makeup. Thanks so much for your comment.

  • 21st March 2017 at 9:11 pm

    I love them all. You have such a way with style. Really admire your style.

    • 22nd March 2017 at 8:34 am

      Oh, Jill, thanks so much! Actually, all the style I have now came about after I retired!!!

  • 21st March 2017 at 11:11 pm

    Love the post and the insights! As a near 70 year old myself, I found all the washed out, pastimes I felt with my aging blond hair disappeared when I went gray. It’s a beautiful silver and light charcoal color now and my skin looks fabulous!

    • 22nd March 2017 at 9:02 am

      Yes, I’m going grey (UK spelling!) but haven’t quite got there yet as I’m still growing out the blond. Mine will be like yours, silver and charcoal and I’m looking forward to having the complete look. Great to hear your skin colour goes well with your hair colour. Thanks so much for your comment.

  • 22nd March 2017 at 12:37 am

    Hi Penny! Thank you so much for mentioning me. I’m so glad that you went “honest”. It’s so funny because I was thinking about photos today. It is all about lighting and the angle. But I have to say, you are looking mighty fine!!! In flattering light and any light!
    And I’m glad that you mentioned the makeup. We need a bit of it at our age! There’s nothing vain about it. It enhances our looks!
    Girlfriend, I’m giving you a high-five from across the pond. I love you!!

    • 22nd March 2017 at 8:46 am

      Well, it was one of your blog posts that got me thinking I must be more honest as in unflattering daylight I don’t always look like the pics I post. I’m so pleased you’re pleased with the mention. The thing is I got a terrific boost with this post from Patti of Not Dead Yet Style as she put the whole post on her Facebook page and I got a huge input from her, and then consequently the clicks off the post also went up – so everyone’s a winner. I was really grateful as it was very generous of her.

      And love you too, babe xxxxxxx

  • 22nd March 2017 at 1:08 am

    You’re kidding … that first picture of you that you didn’t like ? )with the dark greenish sweater) It’s GORGEOUS – super natural and beautiful !!! But yes tailored trumps baggy every time !!

    • 22nd March 2017 at 8:56 am

      Totally agree with your view about tailored. I’m very careful about giving advice as I’m not a fashion journalist or a trained anything regarding image, but the lesson I learnt from observing someone at work was that this woman was big – tall and a large size. But she always wore tailored clothes and her skirts and dresses were almost minimalist in design and nearly always pencil in shape. She never wore trousers. There wasn’t an ounce of extra material anywhere. She didn’t hide behind or under her clothes. And she looked amazing. What a role model for every woman, and not just the larger sized woman.

  • 22nd March 2017 at 11:12 am

    I adored your post: honest, conversational, informative, and tinged with humor. I think you look amazing, but it’s your attitude that will keep you forever youthful; we can’t grow younger, but the spirit can retain what the outer self cannot, right? I will make one teeny suggestion; with the money you save on buying the clothes for less, check out a talented but not too pricey tailor. I think that pink jacket would look smashing if it were nipped in at the waist a bit; rather like a riding jacket. Keep up the good work, you are a joy.

    • 23rd March 2017 at 8:17 am

      Thank you so much, Liz and yes, one’s attitude to life is so key. Now funny you should say look for a tailor. Actually I’ve found one – she is known as a seamstress, a term I rather warm to! She’s working on a dress I have that has the most amazing material but the cut I’m afraid was never right, and I say that in sorrow because the dress was made by a designer! (So I do spend money every now and then.) My seamstress is going to change the dress to a wacky skirt which I thoroughly approve of. Meanwhile the pink jacket will stay as it is, go back to a charity shop and be loved by someone else, which is all good. Thanks again for your comment x

  • 22nd March 2017 at 8:00 pm

    I agree with Lesley, I like the blazer but that shade of pink isn’t flattering. Well done you for posting your “don’t like” look. You have a lovely smile in your second photo. I agree with you about the coats, the materials may be gorgeous but the cuts, oh my word they look absolutely dreadful. I think there is a lot of “The Emperor’s New Clothes” going on with these kinds of collections.

    • 23rd March 2017 at 8:20 am

      Honestly , what is it about designers – see comment reply above! Pink jacket is now in my charity shop bag and will be recycled once more – all good x

  • 23rd March 2017 at 8:30 am

    This is a great post which really resonated with me — last week my husband and I were out walking and took some spontaneous photos of me fooling around. Later, looking at them, I was dismayed and said “But I look 102!” My husband, as honest as always, said “well the camera never lies.” But of course it does, when you get to know the right angles and lighting and so on. So none of those photos made the light of day. I probably still look much older to most people than I actually think I am, but the small disceptions with the camera keep me happy!

    • 25th March 2017 at 8:42 am

      I know, I know! My other half is always talking simply awful photos of me when we’re out and about. I mean talk about ‘street style – I don’t have it!!! But the pics I take myself in my bedroom are fine – the lighting is just right, which as you say is so important!

  • 24th March 2017 at 2:38 pm

    Loved you talking about this because at 66 almost 67 (July 3rd) I am more determined to look better and be in better shape than I was in my 50’s. I never really wore makeup until I retired at 62- just too busy to mess with it but Love playing with it now. My hair is also streaked but I sort of like it (I like yours too). I got some purple shampoo from my hairdresser and use that once in a while to try and brighten things up a bit. Again, great post about those things us classically aged ladies think about.

    • 25th March 2017 at 8:47 am

      Well, yes, just like you, in my late 40s & 50s I was very wrapped up with work, teenage children and caring for aged parents. No time for myself! Really it’s since my retirement that I’ve looked at myself closely. And I think that’s no bad thing as we age. A lot of people like to not think about ageing, but I do, and that’s partly my nursing/social policy background, but also I think it’s healthy to be aware of your body and image, and then do something about it – and that includes putting on the lippy and eye-makeup!!!

  • 24th March 2017 at 2:48 pm

    Great post about what most of us classically aged ladies think about. Soon to be 67, I understand. You know, I really didn’t wear make while I was teaching, just didn’t have the time to worry about it. It was after I retired that I fell in love with it. I wrote a longer reply a few minutes ago but somehow it disappeared. I have streaky hair tones too, but I figured I used to pray to have my hair streaked and now Mother Nature does it for me.Take care, Terri

    • 25th March 2017 at 8:52 am

      No, I got your first reply. I wonder if it’s a WordPress thing as I have problems with WordPress sending some people to my old blog (18 months ago I changed from WordPress-com to a self-hosted WordPress blog) can’t work out how to change that!

      Like you, I love my greying hair but it took me a long time to accept the grey and that was partly due to articles in the fashion & beauty press showing lovely women in their 50s with grey hair and a young glowing complexion – so not the reality for late 60s and 70s onwards. But I’ll be glad when it’s completely grown out. You take care too x

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