Monday, September 23, 2013

Slouchy Pants Redux and Cud Chewing

I'm a ruminator. One of the behaviors that identifies a ruminator is that they habitually latch onto a thought or concern and worry it into a much larger issue than it ought to be. And just when you think you should be done with it, you find yourself chewing on it again. And again. Just like a real ruminant, a cow chewing her cud.

One of my favorite special tidbits that I like to chew on until I'm furious is an edict a piece of advice ordered by offered from a 20 or 30-something fashion editor to us matured women: don't wear a style if you wore it when it was around the first time.

I fell into the old rumination cycle while I was pressing a new hem into the printed pants you see below. As I eased the slightly tricky hem of these soft pants that narrow at the ankle, I was reminded that I had done this often before, in another decade, when we were all wearing pegged pants.
That thought led to the above mentioned stupid advice. And that thought led me to remember just how many decades I have been looking at clothes and how they're worn and all the decisions I've made about them.

I've been around the block a time or two, and seen a lot of style come and go, and come back around yet again.

The 50's ...
I was born in 1950, so although I was a child during this decade, I saw a lot of fashion on my mother and especially my grandmother-the-tailor (you can read about her HERE.)  I remember desperately wanting a poodle skirt ( a circle skirt with an appliqued French poodle on the front ) so I was paying attention. I remember these fashion ideas as popular ones; fit and flare, circle skirts, shirtwaist dress, motorcycle jackets, pointy-toe pumps, cute flats, leopard print, denim, wide belts, peplums, bobby socks and oxfords.

The 60's ...
As a teenager, my style world was rocked by the Beatles and the British Invasion, Twiggy, Courrèges and the mini skirt, anything Mod or Rocker, as well as these ideas; color blocking, preppie looks, Madras plaids, anything "flower-child" or bohemian, denim, knee high boots.

The 70's ...
For me, this time marked the worst of the Vietnam Era (continuing from the mid-60s and the end of the war in 1975). Lots of politics in ideas about clothing. Style ideas included; minis (still), midis, maxis, a-line and pleated skirts, wide leg pants and flares, pantsuits, jumpsuits, more denim, especially high-waisted jeans and bell-bottoms. Wedges, platforms, knee high boots (still), over-sized sunglasses, camo, psychedelia and graphic prints.

The 80s ...
This was my Art School Era and I was thinking about leggings, high-waisted jeans (still), tulle skirts, more motorcycle jackets, neon, layers, underwear as outerwear, 18th century military jackets (New Romantic anything), slouchy and harem pants, pegged jeans, punk anything.

The 90s ...
Out in the world in Seattle I saw grunge anything, flannel, plaid, baseball caps (forward and backward), ripped jeans, leggings (still), Doc Martins, flatforms, platforms (again), overalls, animal prints (again), denim (still), moto jackets (again), menswear blazers.

The 00s ...
The Aughties were marked by lots of change (straight leg jeans and skinnies) but also lots retro looks; leggings (still), knee high and thigh-high boots (again and still), platforms(still), wedges (still), flatforms (again and ew!), blazers (still), minis (again and still), camo (again).  Here in Arkansas, lots of stuff just leftover from the 90's.

The Present 10s ...
All 00s, most of the 90s, and quite a lot from the other eras above in one form or another.

Here's the big point, if any of you youngsters still believe the stupid advice we still have shoved at us from time to time. Women my age have seen it ALL before. Given all the stuff I tried, or could have tired and rejected the first time around, my question for those edict-issuing young editors is this: just what do you think I should be wearing? Bustles? A toga?

Any cud worth chewing is generally swallowed by the ruminant. Human ruminators like me always have the option of swallowing whatever it is that's fretting them, or spitting it out. So finally, in the spirit of finally exorcising this particular source of reoccurring annoyance I reply:

Ptooey ! " (Splat.)

So here I am in slouchy pants redux. They are happening in lots of lengths, but I'm grateful that I'm seeing them in a longer length. So much nicer on my squatness petite frame. I would have worn these the first time around with big, swoopy hair, a pair of platforms, a blouse with some serious shoulder and perhaps a wide belt. 

Here's that peplum I promised to show from last week's strange experience at Target and 3.1 Phillip Lim! I like it with these soft, drapey pants.


Popping over to join the Still Summery Patti at Visible Monday  Come over and see what's up, why don't 'cha !


  1. The funny thing to me is that as you were describing all those trends over the decades, they are mostly all in now. From fit-n-flare, to motorcycle jackets, to neon, to leggings, to wide leg pants. I think the days of "trends" are mostly over. While we do get a few "new, hip" things each season to latch on to....anything goes these days. Especially when you can describe all of these looks as "vintage" - we love that word! And the shoes? I had on some rainbow wedges with a big cork platform and my grandmother asked if I found those in her closet from the 70s? Nope! Payless last season! Everything old is new again! I say embrace it!

  2. Well said! Your current take on your printed slouch is, well...current. You look gorgeous! I did have a giggle over the first time 'round...hello Dynasty. And that peplum blouse is really stunning.

  3. Preach it, Sister! I don't take fashion advice from infants ;-P
    I'm a "ruminator" too, but ultimately I trust my own judgement more and more, especially when it comes to fashion. I saw the Phillip Lim vest at Target and immediately thought of you. It looks wonderful on you, and you carry off the slouchy pants perfectly! They looked like crap on me in the 80's so I'm staying away from them now ;-)


  4. Now I hope you can forgo any further rumination on this topic, Jan! While thoughtful consideration is fine, my mental health background leads me to a rather more negative definition of rumination, as a compulsive focusing on something distressing. And good grief, fashion just isn't worth that, is it?!
    It's true - it's all been round before. There may be tweaks here and there, but basically, not much is new. So yeah, what do we do, we women who have seen most of it before? If we don't fancy togas and bustles, crinolines or ruffs, that is...
    We wear what we fancy, regardless, that's what. Maybe with some changes of emphasis or accessory from first time around, as you say. But look how fabulous you are in those slouchy trousers, Jan - it would be a crime for you not to wear them!
    And your little peplum top is beautiful on you too.
    You wear heels with more elegance and panache than anyone I know. True fact.
    PS. Do you have photos from your fashionista past? I'd love a look at your previous style incarnations! xxxxx

  5. hahaha! Love it! I spit in solidarity with you. I can't agree with you more on rejecting that stupid advice. As you've shown with this pretty entertaining and educational fashion timeline, the fashion churn of ideas on repeat is pretty fast and also accelerating. It is barely two years sometimes when something comes back! Live long and follow this advice and shortly you'll have nothing to wear.

    Two smashing looks! Love your slouchy trousers and SUPER LOVE the leather/ette tee! Very happy to see the Phillip Lim peplum top too - seriously chic with the black trousers.

  6. Patti_NotDeadYetStyleSeptember 23, 2013 at 5:01 PM

    How I enjoyed your History in Fashion! We are contemporaries, so I say amen to all these styles that have never really gone away. Pegged pants, hell yes, bring em on! You look fantastic in them. Love the peplum too. Thanks for sharing with Visible Monday! xox

  7. Anything goes now - short, long, in-between. Just never, NEVER, shoulder pad like the 80's, it may have worked once after WWII but NEVER again....Ever! You look great - keep working it!

  8. Fun description of all the items we all wore. I'm with you, I don't like any of rules touted about what to wear because you can always find someone who breaks them with true grace and style. It is irritating to me also. I can across a mature woman's blog yesterday and it was all rules. Trust me I'm not following this one.

    But hey, you are looking fine and dandy to my eyes. The patterned pants are fabulous! i like how they feel like both a long skirt with the comfort of a pant. The patterned top is lovely on you also. You are wearing those cute shoes I just love. I'm on the lookout for a similar design.

    blue hue wonderland

  9. Now, that my friend, is worthy of a fashion column. Can we please send this into every fashion magazine out there? I could almost feel your fingers pounding away as you 'spat' out those incredible words and descriptions. I agree with the others, it was quite delightful to have a fashion flashback of memories as I was reading. Yep, the only thing I don't think I would try again is the big hair days and probably my blue eye shadow, those young ones can have those.
    I finally took a trip to the local Target in Omaha before I came back home and spotted that peplum top, it looks amazing on you. You sure know how to make the 3.1 Philp Lim look stunning.

  10. You look fab!!!

  11. Once again I enjoyed your writing, Jan! And your suggestion of wearing "bustles or a toga" made me laugh. You look wonderful in both of these outfits, I especially like the one with your new peplum top.

  12. Jan - I love reading your posts every week and this week is no different. Those pants are so fun and great pairing with the sleek black top. And your new peplum top fits you like a glove! I just received the same top in the mail today and it felt like Christmas - I was so excited and will be wearing tomorrow. Should be broadcast on my blog maybe next week :)

    Have a great week!


  13. Wonderful piece. How I laughed and spat with you! I'm still chewing it over. And great graphic.
    So if we're not supposed to wear something from the first time around again that leaves us wearing, what, something that's brand new? It doesn't exist. Not only that, then fashion editors would tell us to dress our age. But I do - it just happens to be slightly juvenile.
    Slam dunk here. You look smashing in those slouchy pants and your peplum.

  14. I've come to the conclusion that all those rules are more a result of harried writers trying to put together a certain number of words by a certain deadline than of actual consideration for what is stylish.

    That Philip Lim top looks like it was made for you.

  15. Mrs_Jack_of_all_tradesSeptember 24, 2013 at 7:43 AM

    First, both outfit are lovely but if I have to choose 1, I'd go with the peplum.. it looks wonderful with the pants and shoes combo. Second and more importantly, you were born in the 50's?? No way!! Now, whatever you are on, I want some of it! Go on.. share ;)


    MRS JACK OF ALL TRADES (a fashion and life-style blog)

  16. VersatilestylebytraceySeptember 24, 2013 at 7:50 AM

    The rulemakers just do it to justify there jobs, we don't have to and shouldn't listen to most of it... This si our story and we write it! Your list made a great point and none of us should be wearing moto jackets, apparently... Love both these outfits .

  17. I think you look wonderful. Don't pay attention to the nay sayers. Sure, there are lots of styles we probably shouldn't wear. But "women of a certain age" usually have enough sense by now to know what looks good and what doesn't. And we all have friends to bounce things off, right!

  18. I have empathy for rumination, as I can very easily find myself in the same cycle. And I have a similar response as you in terms of edicts which proclaim what we should and should not wear as we age!

    Very thorough style analysis through the decades, which brought back many memories. No wonder why my leopard print hat collection is representative of many eras!

    Love your peplum and your slouchy pants, Jan. And of course your ever exquisite writing.

  19. Hi Jan! Fabulous post and I really enjoy taking different looks from different decades and just mixing it all together for a stylish look now! Your Phillip Lim/Target blouse is divine and the trousers in the first post look amazing! xxx

  20. Love both looks. You wear peplum shirts really well. Great styling of the peplum shirt with the black pants.

  21. You look fantastic in both outfits! I'm glad you're far too sassy and fabulous NOT to listen to such nonsense. That peplum blouse is particularly gorgeous.
    I hated Eighties fashion as a young woman, I was a gawky, scrawny blonde. I've tried it again and although it's still not my style I'm quite pleased with how it looks! x

  22. Tamera Ferguson WolfeSeptember 24, 2013 at 11:06 AM

    Amen Sister!! There are some things I wore in the day i wish were still around. and some stuff i NEVER want to revisit!!
    I love your tapered pants-I happen to love that style!!
    and the peplum outfit is adorable!!

  23. I thorougly enjoyed your post. You write so well. What a memory you have (or done a lot of research). I cannot remember all these styles, while I was there as well. And you are SO right.
    Both your outfits are splendid, with a slight (only a slight) preference for the second outfit. But that is probably because I like light colours, even though I am wearing a lot of black myself.
    I had no idea you are from 1950. I am from 1954 and I thought you were at least 10 years younger than me. LOL

  24. Yup. Just the point I was going for! Glad you stopped by, Britt. It's lonely here in the sad old middle of the River Valley. If you follow Rogers Avenue east about 45 minutes, we're really out in the country. Hope you have a wonderful week, adorable girl.

  25. Thanks, Sue! I'm getting the long sleeve blouse altered before I wear it ... the sleeves are way to long and look sloppy. I'll show it later.
    Gotta say, I'm happy to have evolved past big hair and shoulders. I still am so happy to see these pants around again. They feel so good and look pretty when you walk!
    I have a special jacket to wear with the peplum and these pants ... when it cools off just a bit more!

  26. No, fashion isn't distressing, but being told to limit myself to ...what? a big negative, and since I never got to tell that probably squint-eyed and certainly skinny little twerp-editor what's what , it keeps coming back to bug me. So I wrote it out while thinking of retro-dressing in modern ways.

    Nah ... you're quite right, and I was just using rumination as a vehicle for the article. I do tend to do this in the negative way, though, and it's taken me a lot of years to learn to stay in the present. Or at least gently let the troubling, worrisome stuff go. Mindfulness. Thinking about clothes and the arts it takes to make them is not a negative. It's another way of exploring the arts I know about and more about arts I don't.

    Thanks, Curtise, for saying all those extra nice things. You've very kind. I do love some swishy trousers, and skinny heels.

    We do wear what we fancy. I really like the challenge of making it feel fresh. Its kind of a habit, taking an old vehicle for a new idea... like my painting style. I use some Renaissance techniques, and often archetypal subject matter, but try to keep the context modern and relevant to me.

    You know, I don't have much at all in terms of photos ... I'm probably one of the least well documented people I know. I avoided it for a long time, and was usually the photographer ... one of the reasons I started doing it at this late date via my blog. A chance to be documented before I go find another incarnation! (One can hope!) There are a few ... not sure how to get them into digital ... can't be hard.

    Sad but funny tidbit re photos and lack thereof: Dan and I arranged a big, 14th century handfasting-wedding ceremony, costume epic ... only 150 of our best friends and family ... and hired a local photographer. A week after the wedding he had a "nervous breakdown" and set his studio on fire, along with our pictures. I kid you not.
    Some people had snaps ... not many of us, of course... but the period piece didn't really make people think about bringing the Kodak along.
    All that's left is the funny-in-retrospect story!

    Have a great week! Love it when you drop by ... always.

  27. Thank your for the sisterly-spit, Comrade! I hope people got the long, shaggy-dog format humor ... you are all very patient to read though it. It's why I put the pictures at the end, usually!
    Yup ... the faster recycle of ideas can finally work to my advantage here. It generally takes at least 3 seasons for stuff to get here with any consistency. Sometimes its been and gone and come back about the time I see it the first time here!
    And that is why I'm a little (lot) sensitive to timeliness ... it's not that I need to look au courant at all times, 'cause that 'ain't happening. But I like to look here like I'm paying attention here ... it's so at odds with most women here that I see in our little villages. Makes me a real iconoclast, ironically.

    So happy you like my baggy trousers and peplum ... I've promised that I won't be looking for more peplums. I'm getting a thing about pleather-leather-leatherette tees and shells and skirts and pants ... gotta watch too much of a good thing. Or what I see as a good thing! It's hard to look too pokey in leather-look garments!

    So happy to hear from you ... every time! Have a great week!

  28. Thank you Patti, always, and for anything you feel like saying here! It was fun going back in the dusty old memory banks ... there were boys and men and teachers and pets and music and even books that went with every piece of that fashion. "What I Wore" is an important concept to a lot of us. There's a blog topic, but been done, I think.
    So glad you liked my slouchy pants ... you'll be seeing more of them on me!
    You're always so kind ... and thanks again for hosting!

  29. Please, Karen ... you shouldn't hold back about how you feel about padded shoulders! Let it out, girl!
    Ha! I always liked the style reference to pre-and-post WWII ... I remember a great dress on Ginger Rogers that she wore in one of the musicals with Fred Astaire ... but some extremes need to remain on the silver screen, I agree. Although Bianca Jagger's famous white suit wouldn't have been the same without them ...
    You're so kind, Karen, to like my baggy pants. I promise not to take them into MC Hammer territory!
    So glad you stopped by.

  30. Yay! I really enjoyed your post on your private 3.1 Phillip Lim for Target show. That pattern is so gorgeous. I'm glad it's in your wardrobe. :D

    Those magazine and advice type things authors make money from word count and being prolific. Too bad it's rewarding the wrong behaviors, because you can get insipid stuff out of there, and there doesn't seem to be much quality control. o.o

    There's a Vanity Fair piece I read about how we might have stopped radically changing styles from decade to decade and now we are in a sort of cultural middle age. You may find it interesting, too!

  31. Than you for the historical review!
    If I look back the fashion of passed decades in this part of the world, it should look like this: 50's - loden, smooth, masculin tailored suits,barett, nylon tights from so called 'parcels' - arrived from the 'West' as an aid. White socks with skirt. 60's - jeans, impregnated jackets from Ausrtia, circle-taylored skirts. 70's - Still jeans - first Hungarian made appeared on the market. Knitted top-cardigan sets from those ones who were lucky enoug to get passport to Italy. Folkloristic pieces. 80's - clothes made by Burda pattern of poor quality fabrics, sold in tiny privated shops. 90's - fall of communism, fee markets, at the end of the decade, first international chain brands were launched. And from 00's it is the same.
    I love both sets you wear on pictures - they are elegant and vivous at the same time. Carefully harmonized details are just perfect.
    I would not think, too that you were born in 1950! Your look is so youngish!

  32. Great. I really love your "Pajamas" pant and all the infos about your style-development. Have a good time.

  33. Oh, yes! "Ptooey"!Thankfully, because I wouldn't even have the option of wearing a toga. Been there, done that. Hubby was a frat boy after all.

    Great outfits Jan, you timeless woman you!

  34. This is so funny because I tried them on, BCBG Generation, a couple of weeks ago at TJ Max where my Dad lives! I've purchased many pairs of shoes lately for such great deals--$20to $25 so I didn't get them. Thanks for sharing your info with me!

  35. It is so funny you mention that phrase because I've also heard and and was pissed off with the whole idea because it also played in my head often.

    I've decided now that all "rules" are off now. It needs to be based on the person, and what looks good on them.

    In reality you can see everyone wearing everything if you look online or in magazines enough. I can't keep up. It's a huge mish mash. Before as you outlined certain decades had their styles. Not anymore. But I like the fact that I can mix vintage with 80's and make it work. Lots of creative freedom.

    Also I am shocked that you are my parents age. You don't show it lady. I wish my Mom would take some style suggestions from you. : )

    Loving the peplum and black pants...very sexy.


  36. You are always such a doll. Thank you for all the kind thoughts and comments, Trina. I'm glad I took the time to write about it ... what I don't get is why these young 'uns in publishing feel free to tell us to limit ourselves, assume that the only decent taste is theirs, and forget entirely that in short order they'll be in our place.
    No, please, no big hair but I can see doing blue eye-shadow ... but a deep gray-blue smokey eye, muted and modern. That's what we do: reinterpret, redefine, refine.
    I make us sound pretty cool, here, yes? Well, we are.
    So happy you stopped by, as always. Such a treat for me.

  37. Hello, Olga! I'm happy you liked my baggy pants and tops. the peplum is a favorite with me as well. I write to entertain, so I'm happy you liked it.

  38. Looking forward to seeing it on you! It's a great piece, and I'm happy that , once again, we have similar tastes and habits. Glad you had fun with this silly piece and I hope you were entertained. Let me guess ... will you be wearing it with your new leather skirt, or another pencil skirt?
    No matter, I'm pleased for you.
    Have a fun, dressy week!

  39. Thanks, lovely Mel! We do dress our age ... we're the age we are, then we dress according to what our tastes dictate. I really don't know what dressing my age means. I've gotten so old that they don't make clothes for the truly ancient, so I wear other stuff! Harumph.
    Glad we all had a bonding spit.
    So happy you participated and dropped by to say so!

  40. Really, it's a great fit, and I'm surprised. The dress of the same fabric was all weirdly constructed.
    Glad to hear from you again, Isabella! I'm sure your conclusion is at least in part right. Thank you for your nice words, and I'm always glad when I see you. I had your old blog, and need to go prowl around your new one to catch up!

  41. So glad you like the peplum ... I'm pleased with it as well. Means a lot coming from you!
    Yup ... January, 1950 ... I have to claim the whole year. That was really a nice thing to say about my age and appearance. I don't have a lot of wrinkles for my age, but sadly I've learned that I look better with just a little added weight on. Being short adds to the illusion. I've never been a sun worshipper, got on the sunblock and retinol bandwagon early. Hardly any sugar in my diet, but the thing that changes fastest for the worse if I stop it is quite a lot of amino acids ... safe, and just precursors for collegen production and repair.
    Nice of you to ask! But I really do have concerns dressing my age ... I sometimes don't know when I overstep.
    Also ... Dan's not a great photographer!

  42. That's it ... there's nothing left if we don't adapt, restyle, rethink. It's what designers do every season. I personally am looking for a new moto this season!
    Happy you stopped by ... thank your for the nice words.

  43. Thanks so much, Sandy! As far as styles we shouldn't wear, there's vast diversity in our population as we age ... we have only as many limitations as we choose, but we certainly have no more than younger women who shouldn't be wearing everything either. Taste is everything ... and so many ways to express it. I'm hard pressed to think of anything we, as a group, could not adapt to make it look good at our ages!
    Thank you so much for dropping by ... so happy you did!

  44. You sure did a great job with these two outfits, but that 2nd one is just WOW!

  45. Mrs_Jack_of_all_tradesSeptember 25, 2013 at 1:35 AM

    My mom used to tell me when I was moaning about wanting to loose weight that too much weigt loss is not good, as it will age a person especially on the face.. now I can say mom knows best. You really don't look your age! Dan's a lucky guy! Hmmm, Collegen is the word..

  46. Nice read Jan. I like both outfits and think that the second one, with the lighter shades closer to your face, compliment you more. Sara

  47. Great outfits Jan, that peplum of the second tunic is gorgeous. You look great in these lovely drapey pants.

  48. Dawn @ AlterEgoFashionistaSeptember 26, 2013 at 10:04 AM

    I'm a ruminator, as well - UGH! - and I agree with you 100% when you call this gal's advice dumb! Right...what exactly would we wear? I love how you went through the decades in fashion-speak, reminding us of the styles that were happening then and now. Mature women today are NOT acting/dressing/aging like their grandmothers and basically we can express ourselves however we want, no?
    I loved reading about your grandmother's grandma also gave me the love of fashion, although she wasn't nearly as gifted in the creation area!
    I'm off to Target today myself...not for a private cool! was that? - but because I hear that their fall inventory has finally arrived and they have great basics!

  49. Being of the same era as you, that was a fast blast through the past. But I did miss the present day critique about what I should be wearing or not wearing since I don't read fashion mags/ blogs. And what do I care? I'm on Vix' train with wear what you like, etc. You do look too cool in your baggy pants and awesome print top.

  50. I've been learning to cope with tendencies toward rumination for a couple of decades now. Anxiety is always an issue for me, but acceptance has to be part of that as we own a restaurant in a very change-resistant area of the country and a low income area as well. I have a lot of reason to be anxious ... but its all how you look at it isn't it? So far, so good has to be my mantra.
    Glad you liked and concur with my Brief History of Trends since Mid-20th Century! You are one of the ones that have been around for it ... of course we get creative about past ideas. It's all from the past and we are in a great position to pick and choose with some authority. Harrrumph.
    So happy you liked my silly baggy pants ... I'm trying to stop myself from wearing nothing but soft pants... a nice change from skinnies!
    And as always, the best compliment from you is an appreciation of my story-telling. I appreciate that so much, our Judith. Thank you for all!
    (I'm hat shopping ... I also suffer from FOMO!)

  51. Hello, Sharon! Thank you so much for your lovely comments. So happy you take the time to read. Mixing it up is what it's all about now, isn't it. It's a great time for creative dressing, as we see on Visible Mondays ... lots of personal style is available for us to see and think about. I always look forward to what you do ... you're an understated powerhouse, you!

  52. Thanks, Zalina, so much. You're one of those women whom I would like to look much more like ... but I'll always be short and stocky, so I can only look and admire.
    I love my peplums ... we had to wait a long time down here for them to arrive, and I have a tendency to go overboard. I thank all of my readers for their patience!
    Have a great weekend.

  53. Thank you so much Vix! So nice of you to say kind things ... means a lot to me when you like something I've put together. The 80s weren't kind to me either ... I was strawberry blonde and just as squat as I am now ... wide shoulders were not good, and wide belts looked like a narrow shelf on which I stored my then considerable rack. We learned and evolved. IMHO, there's not much you can't wear well. So cool that you stay clear on what you like and what you don't!
    Have a wonderful weekend coming up!

  54. Thanks, Sister, for the witness! And literally, witness you did for some of those decades. You're still a baby, though, by my calendar. I'm glad you liked my soft trousers and my peplum. May wear it to work this weekend!
    Have a great weekend coming up.

  55. Thank your Greetja! My memory is still functioning pretty well (most days, anyway.) Sometimes I wish it was a little less acute for the bad things ... I tend to remember my mistakes more clearly than my successes.
    I did some memory-prompting with Google Images for the eras ...
    WOW. Nightmares, sometimes! Interesting trip through the decades for me, too.
    Glad you liked my outfits, and the peplum is, indeed a little more flattering. I've felt pushed, the last few years, to wear a lot of color because of what's been available here, but am happy to refocus on it. My hair color lends enough warmth to my face and neck, so it usually doesn't work too badly.
    Wow ... high compliment from another woman from my decade! We're both holding up okay for *extreme* citizens, yes?!

  56. Thanks, Aya! I was back there yesterday and they had actually received more dresses and tops! No handbags it seems (yet, perhaps.)

    Glad you liked my story.

    Speaking of stories ... thanks so much for sending that link. I need to send it on to Dan so he can read it at work .. he's always also interested in these things (my own private sociologist and economic determinist!)

    I'd read this back in the spring (I remembered the illustration!) and it was good to return and re-read it in context of my silly post.

    Andersen (another child of the 50s ) had it right about emerging from all the intense change of the 60's ... and the cultural and intellectual return to past. I grew up watching abstract expressionism in it's full flower, but my urge to paint figurative and narrative themes was part of that. It felt odd to become an iconoclast in the late 80's by painting the figure again!

    I personally think that a couple of decades of war and a powerful dip in economic growth along with growing income and social inequality has a lot to do with our running for the cover of the past. I still read Jane Austen when I feel particularly crappy! And I have an unashamed love of anything Steam!

    But mostly I blame what I see as a particularly virulent anti-intellectualism if there is a lack of creativity these days, particularly evidenced in slashed arts education in public schools. I could go on for a LONG time about that, but won't.

    Lots to say about that article, but was struck this time with his statement "more people than ever before are devoting more of their time and energy to considering and managing matters of personal style." That's sure true ... here we are, just as he said!

    Thanks again .. so fun to get a response like yours. You're more than welcome anytime.

  57. Wow ... Thanks GeeGee ... I read your post to my husband last night. He and I were both really interested in your comparison to my list. I'd really love to see a detailing of it on your own blog ... great stuff!
    Kind of you to say nice things about my advanced age! I really appreciate it ... but it's always a mental issue for me. Good to look youthful without wearing looks that are just much to young!
    Have a great weekend ... and again, thanks!

  58. Thank you Sunny! They are pajama bottoms aren't they, nowadays. I'm always glad when you drop by! You have a great weekend, too.

  59. Thanks so much, Alyssa ... so kind, as usual. I really appreciate those of you who read what I write, and get that I mean laughter and a serious thought or two. I aim to entertain. And it's extra nice when you like my outfit choices.
    Miss you at VisMon, but so good to know you're around!

  60. Thank you ... I was happy it fit better than the dress! The fabric is canvas-like. Works much better in the peplum.
    So kind, your remarks about my age. I'm an old lady, but shortness and roundness are finally paying off! I've always hated my stature, but it helps now in ways I never anticipated!
    I'm glad to see retro looks working well for modern young women. Especially glad to see them working for us *extreme citizens*!
    Have a great, cool Seattle weekend, kiddo.

  61. Thank you for returning the compliment haha. Yes I agree, we are not doing too bad.

  62. Gorgeous peplum top! Lovely to see your smiley pics too. I really enjoyed the story of your Philip Lim/Target shopping haul. Very nice to see the top now.

    Rules are borning. I have a healthy disregard for silly ones. Despite being a bureaucrat! If you remember them first, second or third time around, you will just style them all the better xxx

  63. Timeless! Wow ... best compliment I ever had, I'm sure. I can go with that, and think I will. Woooohoooo!

    Frat Rats. You're the first woman I know who is still married to hers! Marks one of the differences in generation. The fraternities all but died in California during the 60's ... the Counter Culture got in the way. Sort of spread from west and east toward the center. Know they've rebounded in a better incarntion. Has to be true since yours is a keeper!

    Love hearing from you, Laurie! Thanks for the sweet remarks.

  64. Thanks, Suzanne for your kind words and for reading. I'm a big fan of using the mags for inspiration, and they're always a source of fun for me. I'll never, literally, measure up to the tall slinky models, so I never feel obliged to try. That's liberating, and I can enjoy the artistry in even the ads. Ideas abound, some of which I can use! But you are right, and the creative freedom is absolutely there. No reason to try to keep up ... they should be keeping up with women like you.
    Yes, I'm very old ... that's one of the reasons I write about and consider age appropriateness sometimes. With the freedom to do what I want, I feel a certain responsibility to avoid embarrassing the other women in my generation! We all represent, and I just want to hold up my part!
    Always nice to hear from you!

  65. Thanks Debbie ... will probably wear that outfit tonight or tomorrow for the evening at the restaurant ... it's still hot enough here!

  66. Thank you Sara! Good to hear from you. Not that you had to make a choice, but glad for your comments on the one ... insight is always welcome! Thank you for reading ... I aim to amuse.

  67. Thanks, Emalina. Nice of you to drop by. I'm loving my soft pants ... have to watch wearing them too often. They're figure friendly, so need to keep from gaining the "winter five" that usually happens with richer food in the cooler season. I'm such a fool for a tasty tidbit ... would that I could limit myself just to the tidbit part!

  68. Paper dresses! I've been reminded of them lately by a couple of women, but haven't thought about them in decades! I never saw one IRL, but lots of pictures. Love your list of specific items you remember ... aren't they wonderful? I remember a peach colored mini with a scalloped hem in the 60s, very early 70s brought a maxi-faux-Mouton double breasted coat with black, square heeled go-go boots. In the early 80s, a burgundy wool maxi dress that I adored ... my mother-in-law threw it in the wash and ruined it. I loved that dress. Never sure why she did that, but may she rest in peace anyway, and was eventually my ex-mother-in-law. Non related events, of course. They just make me feel better.
    Thank your for your sweet remarks, reading, remembering and sharing with me! I appreciate all of it.

  69. So glad you stopped by! You are welcome any time. Patti provides a wonderful venue for all of us. I hope you'll join in often. You may not have Target, but you have lots of wonderful places and ideas there in France that we don't! We're such a young country. I envy the influences your history lends the fabled French style of the always admired French woman!
    Glad you like my peplum ... may well wear it again tonight! Thanks so much.

  70. Part of my point is that I am indirectly yearning for a little more respect from the fashion world as a whole for women who are past their youth. The couldn't do what they do if there wasn't a market, and those of us who have been around for a long time are more capable of attaching meaning and value to their products. It takes our voices to make it happen. I'm just a little voice here, but I'm not the only one, and certainly not the most articulate. Lets hope the topic stays active. You are right ... we are not our grandmothers in so many ways.
    I was at Target a day or two ago, and know what you're talking about. Much of it looks like crap on the rack, but a steam iron at home will make all the difference. There are some values there! I'm going shopping for shoes there on Sunday!
    Thanks, Dawn, for you kind remarks, and for reading. I am to amuse (and provoke sometimes.)

  71. I had fun writing it, Pao, and glad you had fun reading it. Wearing what you like is always the best advice, and you, and Vix and so many others do it so well. You guys are always the most interesting and gorgeous women in the room, and I am always in admiration.

    I can't bring myself to eschew the magazines completely because they're so rich in beauty and ideas for me. I love the whole package, but it's often like looking at a lot of art ... there's a place where one stops looking at other folks' work and starts making their own. We live in such a media rich world, and there are so many ways to see design ideas in action, that we are influenced ... many of us whether we know it or not. At least that's what I hope for!

    There are all kinds of trends and influencing ideas at work, including whole movements that inspire us to dress in unique and often controversial ways. I wish more women here where I live would care just a little more, in SOME way. Dress up, dress down, dress any way one wants, just THINK about it ... because that's part of learning to see oneself as part of a larger world, and gain a little self-respect (and in turn, offering that respect to others) ... which is what I think a lot of women my part of the world really need to do. Part of my approach to dressing is in reaction to that. I overdress politically. It's always lot about personal context, I think.

    Always glad when I know you've read a post of mine... thank you for reading and stopping by. Hope all is well with your family at the moment, and that you get some time to do your Pat-thing!

  72. So glad you had fun with my Target trip ... really a telling experience for me. Kind words from one of my favorite cool girls always means a lot!

    Rules. Yes. The bad ones are boring. I like the ones that say no killing anyone else, no driving like a deranged primate, no poisoning the world. I'm kind of a fan of gravity and looking for that general theory of everything ... those kind of rules keep me grounded, pun intended.

    But ideas about generally benign things like dressing I like to have presented to me as fodder for my consideration. It's pronouncements from some chit (barely out of some academically questionable school) about what limitations ought to be applied to her elders I find so potentially damaging. I just need to say something in response. So many older women are fragile after a life-time of self-critique (to say nothing of the beating some women take from their own culture) I hate to hear more of it without speaking up. I'm happy younger women have finally learned to ignore the voices, but here they are, still speaking to us oldsters. And less than thoughtfully, in some cases/

    You're a lovely kind of bureaucrat. We need good ones. Bless you! And yes ... of course we'll do it better. You are a young woman wise beyond your years! With captivating personal style and a heart big enough for adopted pets. I know they don't pay you nearly what you're worth.
    So happy you read, laughed a little and wrote to me. Thanks for all!

  73. Ah, a style blogger after mine own heart. :D I certainly think it's no coincidence that the superhero film franchises and vintage nostalgia toys are hugely popular with Gen Y and millennials. When your abysmal career prospects mean you can't afford children or a house...

  74. First of all, 1950...puhlease!!! I think you're making that up! I couldn't agree with you more about fashion "rules". I sometimes have a hard time with rules in general...if it doesn't make sense then why do we have to follow it? Maybe my problem with rules comes from being raised by bikers...I was born to be a rebel! Don't get me wrong, I'm all for rules that keep the world orderly and safe. If a rule make sense, I'll follow it meticulously. I'm talking about the illogical and silly rules that show up everywhere, fashion included. Who cares if you wore it the first time around? That just means you know what you're doing this time. If you think you look good and it makes you happy, then I say what the hell, go for it. Because at the end of the day, what really matters is that you feel good about yourself. Fashion should be fun and a statement of individual expression, not something dictated by editors and so-called fashion professionals.
    Debbie :)

  75. I love your hair so great....

    I saw this collection at Target and didnt even look at it closely now I will.I think that fashion is so subjective and influenced by location of the wearer. I noticed that in some places my normal dress style is so 'overdressed' but in another location I am dull and boring. I like the idea of being a fashionable person despite my location and age. I am just having fun with wearing my 'art'. Just love your hair had to mention it again. Great post.

  76. Highland FashionistaSeptember 29, 2013 at 5:30 AM

    Don't participate in a trend if you remember it from the first time around!? I wonder if the person offering that little gem of advice is allowed to park her time machine (that she uses to transport herself and her fashion missives from the year 1953) in the company parking lot, or if she has to make her own arrangements…..

  77. Highland FashionistaSeptember 29, 2013 at 5:30 AM

    Oh…love the pants by the way. I forgot to add that :)

  78. I enjoyed every paragraph of your nostalgic journey! The peplum is awesome, something I would imagine could become a staple in the capsule wardrobe, to be worn and styled in different ways for many years!
    FF Nice Post!!!

  79. I'm clearly having fun with these old-new ideas. I know you'll make the most of the season to come. It's always fun and interesting to see what you've chosen to wear ... you're an international style star in my opinion!
    Thank you, Sabine, for your kind comments. See you next week!

  80. All so true, Debbie. The more I think about my objection to this impossible to follow edict, the more I'm aware that what I'm really pissed about it is the dismissal that the rule implies. "Go away" it says. "Don't bother to think about style ... your day is done. Move over and let us do what we want with what all your generations have done." The only regret I have about all this is that I won't be around in 40 or so years when this little upstart, whoever she might be, is the age I am now.
    Just realized, I'm being sexist. The nitwit who dreamed that up might be a ("he" instead of a "she".)

    No ... I was born in 1950. Thanks for your adorable disbelief! So kind of you.
    You know how to make an old lady's day.

  81. You're so nice to say so, Adrienne. Especially twice!
    Context! It's all where you are in your head and geographically. I'm always overdressed here, but where I come from I 'd have to step it up a bit.
    One "rule" that I do believe is probably a good idea is to "try things on!" That applies to just looking twice at ideas that you might reject ... look twice!
    On the other hand, no amount of trying on short-shorts is ever going to make them a good idea for me!
    Have a great week, and know you're welcome any time!

  82. Let us hope there is someone with the grace to take the keys to the time machine away from her. Or him.
    I was dismayed to hear Tim Gunn make a similar statement ... but even he modified it to be less ageist. Reminder to keep it current, and of course, " make it work."
    Well, yeah.

  83. Sweet of you ... kind of you to come back to say so. Always happy when you drop by. Thanks so much!

  84. I particularly like a fitted peplum ... hard to find with my short waist. Thank you Nicolene. Your very nice remarks mean a lot. I'm always happy when you stop by!

  85. What a great girl you are, our Alison. So nice of you to stop in for a minute. I'm always glad to see you, 'cause you say such nice things. That always works for me! Thank you so much, kiddo.

  86. I really love the look of the Phillip Lim top, particularly with these pants. I really wanted it, but when I tried it on, it just didn't wow me, so I left it at the store and got a couple of dresses instead.

    Found you via Monday Bloom. Find me at

  87. Hello, Jennae! Frankly, I was surprised that it fit me as well as it did ... I have a very short waist. One of the big things I've put back into habit is trying things on before I leave the store ... so glad I did.
    Thanks for dropping by. It was nice to meet you!

  88. Oh wow the top is unbelievable! So pretty! I really love it. And I loved your litte go trough all your decades in fashion :) I really think those pants are great on you as well. Love the tux details and the print!! works so well with those black pieces!

  89. I really really like the top on your second look, such a lovely pattern! :)

    Thank you for visiting my blog and for your lovely comment :)

    Stay in touch! X



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