I’m starting with a bit of a look at what the blog is for and an apology of sorts (for starters this is a long one!) as I think I have to admit I’m struggling at the moment. As you know I’ve always said this is not just a fashion blog, and in no way am I any kind of ‘influencer’ as I know next to nothing about fashion and beauty, apart from reading up stuff and using my own experiences, and as you know I often get things wrong. But actually when I started out (was it over 10 years ago) it was always going to be about examining what it meant to age. Yes, really, that’s what I always intended.
But contemplating ageing when you’re in your 60s and you feel no different to how you felt in your 40s is an academic issue, and, of course, you know ageing will happen, but at the moment it hasn’t. So you say let’s see. Let’s record this ageing thing and think deeply about it when it happens. But actually that was all about my academic past, ageing was something to examine, probe, and record. You looked at ageing as a thing that could be unpicked and even solved. Why wouldn’t you, this was your younger self speaking about something that hadn’t happened – yet.
Well, ageing has crept up and you know what I don’t like it one bit, let me be real, let me say it. Nor at the moment do I like how I look. There I’ve said it. I really don’t. And I think it shows in the pics that have been taken over the past few weeks.
Now I am absolutely not asking for anyone to send compliments. Don’t. Especially if you’re not in your 70s. Because this is an honest examination of what it is for me to age and remember I’m in my late 70s.
Physically, there is nothing major wrong with me. I am grateful for that. But things change and you weaken. I work hard (apart from this week when it was so hot) on my Pilates, and weights and strength exercises. I do a very good plank btw, and have good muscle definition in my upper arms, but still I ache, I have arthritis, I can’t bend as I used to for gardening, I have to be careful, and my balance and walking is nothing like it was 10 years ago. So I work on that especially. But it is all hard work.
There’re other things going on, of course, and readers, I’ve begun that awful bone med, the one you take for osteoporosis once a week, the one I resisted for 15 years. Actually it has had no digestive consequences. which I was dreading, but I truly hope not to take it for more than a couple of years. But the state of my bones cannot be ignored. I also take a beta blocker for my heart but think that my B/P might need lowering with another med. And so it goes.
But there’s nothing awful, so I should be grateful. Instead I’m annoyed, angry even. I am not quite raging, but nearly! That these things are happening – to me!! You see I was so fit and slim and healthy for so long. Yes, be grateful for that – I tell myself!!
I think the problem is that the way you see yourself as you age is critically important and that is why I am going through this little crisis, this fork in the road, that I’ve come to. Poor Mr F, who hears my occasional rant at how I look (especially the hair) says that at the moment I’ve got a slight case of body dysmorphia. Bless him, he can’t see anything wrong with me!!
So what do I want. Yes, I want to accept myself as I am, but I do seriously think I need to work on how I look. Because it will help. In fact I need a thorough shakeup with regard to the clothes I wear.
Do you know I think it is easier to do a restyle in the winter. When it’s hot here we need those loose dresses that flap around the legs to cool ourselves as we walk around town. I’m going to show you two examples of dresses that I wore last week: one that did not work and one that did, sort of, up to a point.
The weather we’re having at the moment isn’t typical as we’ve had the same hot weather now for days. Last week on one of the hottest days we went once again to One Garden (which is half way between Brighton and Lewes) this time with friends. The garden is very reminiscent of Monet’s garden.
But as we were there in the first week of September it was nearly over, apart from some of the wonderful yellow flowers of Rubekia and another plant I don’t know.
I wore kind of a matching dress.
Now this is a very good example of a dress I possess that is all wrong, as this is absolutely not what I want to look like. I won’t wear it any more.
I bought the dress during one of those dreary days during lockdown. Remember those days when you scrolled through various websites just for something to do – I admit I did this a lot. Anyway, this dress seemed to say to me – you will get out to wander around a lovely garden. Yes, at that moment in time I needed a dress like that to feed my imagination. It’s from Mango, and was bought at its full price. But IRL it is not the way I want to look. I hadn’t worn it once this summer as I thought that it was too much of a milkmaid dress, too fussy and not the cut. The photographs have proved that – it’s not the image or look I want to project. I shall sell it. But hey, it was cool to wear! See the greyish clouds, there was a haze to the sky, but it was the hottest day at well over 30C and it was like walking around in a sauna.
Bye, bye, that dress! Now this one below is better, it is in a one-block colour in black, which I like. I’m more me. But is there a hint of ‘old-lady’? Mr F at this point would laugh and say, but you are an old lady. But people, that is not the image I want to project!!!!!
And here I am in a cool (but not cold) coffee shop.
I think it is good and healthy to reassess and say, this is what I like and this is what I don’t like and doesn’t suit, and always, always think of ways to go forward – which is what I’m doing here after seeing these photos.
Turning aside from me-me-me. Sorry, but this is how I feel today. Let me ask you what style do you think you are or aim for? Are you in the Older and Bolder Brigade, a Gentlewoman (that’s a long jacket, a white t-shirt and cashmere sweater and very well cut jeans) or a Glamour puss? Alyson Walsh who writes the That’s Not My Age blog wrote two very useful books on style and style tribes, I particularly liked Style Forever. She is, I think, the epitome of a Gentlewoman. And do you remember last year, the Coastal Grandmother trend? To the latter, I say nooooo!
I’ve said this before, but in my head I am forever aiming to be a bit more rocker/goth/biker chic. In reality I am far from that style especially so, as you could see, in the summer. Roll on the cooler weather and Autumn and Winter when I can wear winter clothes – they are so much easier. And I’ve decided, I want to wear more tailored shapes, jackets and jeans. Yes, YES, how I love black skinny jeans with a jacket, can’t wait to wear those jeans with my faux leather jacket! See you’re never too old to aspire, you’re never too old to rock an outfit. Now that’s more like it. This is the me I want to be, with attitude and with skin tight jeans and biker boots, I say – yay and three cheers to all the ageless rockers! I’m joining you!
That’s all for now, thank you so much if you’ve read to the end. I love you for that. Penny, the Frugalfashionshopper
P.S. Btw, I’m packing again! For Dungeness, of course, for a whole week from the 16th! This time it’ll be for typical British weather, which is rain and sunshine and clouds and blue skies, probably all on one day so I shall be wearing very utilitarian clothes that week. Thanks again for reading this post 🙂