Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Will Wonders Never Cease?

If you live long enough, you'll see it all.

Lots of you know I love me some glossy fashion magazines. They've been a part of my life since I was a little girl (with a decade or so of feminist fervor diluting my devotion just a little and some student and non-student years when I couldn't afford them.) And I have a process for reading them. In the same way some people ritually twist apart the halves of an Oreo cookie, then eat the filling first and chomp the cookie last, I have a similar technique that allows me to really savor magazine contents. I do what is technically called a flip through wherein I rarely stop to read, but just let the visual feast tease the palate. I'll put the magazine aside, and when I next pick it up, the actual reading begins. In that process, I'll sometimes make a note or two on what I've seen for my personal use or inspiration for blog commentary.

I was in a happy flip-through of the July issue of Lucky, when I thought I saw the words "Embrace high waisted: It makes curvy/petite proportions work." ( Imagine the sound of screeching automotive breaks here for effect.)

Surely I misread.

I stopped and flipped back. There it was. In the "Dear Lucky" style advice column by Jean Godfrey-June, she featured an interview with the insightful and delicately beautiful young blogger, Wendy Nguyen ( http://www.wendyslookbook.com/.) Ms. Nguyen addressed the advantageous wearing of flared or pencil skirts and offered the above advice, word for word. I wasn't hallucinating.

Well, I'll be.

All of my life, one of my worst figure flaws challenges has been my short waist. So many years with so many suggestions and artifices to hide my short waist and make my torso look longer! But now, I'm advised as a petite with a surplus of curves to "embrace high waisted!" I can do that!

I do understand that "high waisted" now means what we've all understood as at our natural waist, perhaps at the top of that range, but I'm suddenly IN THE BALL PARK. I'm almost NORMAL!
After a lifetime of fretting about my high waist, I'm actually OKAY. What do ya' know about that?! (Yes, it's important to be proud of one's personal idiosyncrasies, but sometimes, it's just neat to fit in. )

Same afternoon, at JC Pennys: I found a Nicole Miller crop top and pencil skirt that I've longed for but dismissed as unworkable, and they were deeply discounted, on clearance, and sort-of in my size. Both pieces look easily alterable, and I remember another piece of advice from Ms. Nguyen about crop tops and the petite woman; "Where it's cropped is the important thing: It can't be right below your bust, but it also can't end too low. The tops should start a few inches above the smallest part of your waist."

I took home a skirt one size too large, and with two quick seams, nipped in the width and the waist so it fit very high. The pretty design at the hem would have been ruined if I had taken it up from the bottom. The top was my size, but longer than was flattering. So, with one seam, I raised the hem to a more flattering spot as well. Ta-Da!



I think it works well, and with a black cami under, there is no possibility of exposed midriff, keeping it at least closer to age appropriate.

Thank you, Wendy Nguyen.

Soon, we might well be seeing magazine cover headlines advising us to "How to Rock Your Droopy Boobs!" and maybe "Pancake Backside is The Shape for Fall ! "

You laugh, but it could happen. I now know anything is possible.



76 comments:

  1. I love magazines, too. I usually think they are full of s#%t but I love'em just the same. That is an amazing outfit. You look quite sleek and the shoes are very elegant. I can't wait for the droopy boob trend to catch on!

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  2. Squealing brakes, and ME squealing! Jan, you look fabulous!! Excellent, excellent alterations my friend. Now that I am sewing more, I find I am becoming more observant of proportion and balance. It surprises me how just a centimeter shorter or longer on a hem can make a world of difference.


    I love magazines too, and often have a similar reading pattern. There are times when I don't even do the quick, blinkity fast flip through. I'll just savor each page and article, trying to make the enjoyment of the mag last for several days. I cheat now...I often get them from the library; not so much due to the cost, more because I'm trying to scale back on material things...oh, not including actual material of course, LOL.


    You have a wonderful week Jan! xo

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  3. You look fantastic! The shape is gorgeous on you and your shape is gorgeous in it! It reads like a dress really, a fitted dress nipped in at the waist. The colours are gorgeous too. There is so much to love here! Since I am taller than average, and thus everything about me is slightly longer than average, cropped tops are usually too short but I have discovered that if I buy a petite top it is like a cropped top on me. LOL LIke you, I have no intention of showing any flesh so a cami underneath is required.

    You are right about the current lingo. High waist usually means on the natural waist, and when they say it is on the natural waist it isn't really, it's lower. I'm just glad we have more options now than the super low rise that would generally require me to get a bikini wax.
    xoxo

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  4. Those of us who consider themselves professional magazines readers seem to all participate in the first time once over and then return for the serious reading. It's much more fun that way. I have to get past the lovely images before my mind will relax and delve into the reading.

    The outfit looks wonderful on you. Good choice!

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  5. HappinessatmidlifeJune 25, 2014 at 12:10 AM

    I follow Wendy's blog - she's got a great sense of style and everything posts looks right out of a magazine. Love that you made the crop top worked for you. I have not stepped into the crop top territory yet.


    Alice
    www.happinessatmidlife.com

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  6. You're a great writer!! I was cracking up at the end! But seriously, You look great in the new outfit and don't you love knowing how to make sewing alterations?

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  7. I'm all over the pancake trend already!
    I'm short-waisted and I love short tops and boleros with high-waisted trousers that are a bit too long, almost cover the foot, and high heels. It really, REALLY elongates your legs. You get that effect here too with the short top and high waist. I love this outfit on you. The colours are fantastic. I'm glad you tried this.

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  8. Hihihihihihi...oh my, you cracked me up on this one! You look FABULOUS, love the top and skirt. You know this look reminds me of a dress I have. I think we just have to love our bodies differences it's what makes us all unique. I like to think that there all all types, sizes, shapes, and colors in the garden of life and it'd be pretty damn boring if there were only one kind of flower.

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  9. You go lady! You look absolutely fabulous! I'd have never considered wearing a crop top having finally written them off for the 20s and under and here you are rocking one. Good tip about wearing a cami underneath. I love what you did here with the hemlines to make this work for you (and nab a bargain too) - genius! The colours of the floral print here are wonderful on you.

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  10. Jan you are killing it woman. You look great. Can't wait for those magazine headlines. Lol.

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  11. Love that look! I've had the same problem with my short waist, but I've learned to embrace it. At least we have curves! :)

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  12. And you did a good job!! Really great outfit on you...the top and skirt have the perfect proportions and the floral pattern is very nice!
    p.s.
    Fashion magazines can provide smart ideas!!

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  13. It looks great on you and love the colors on you as well! The proportions are perfect and effect is lengthening and slimming - not that you need either!!!


    And people like Martha say bloggers don't know what they're talking about?! Looky there - Wendy saves the day (or outfit as it is) - and opens up a whole new shopping realm for you! Have fun!!
    xo ~kim

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  14. This is all kinds of yes! I'd been wondering how to rock the cropped top look and you totally nailed it here. I'd stopped following Wendy because all her outfits made my heart and my pocketbook hurt, but I'm glad she's found much success beyond her blog. She's a fabulous stylist and seems like a fun person to hang with. Featured in Lucky? Kudos to her.

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  15. Northern mum down SouthJune 25, 2014 at 11:50 AM

    This post made me laugh Jan, thank you for that. Great outfit and you look fantastic in it. I am impressed at your alterations but Sue has already said excellent (twice) and she has the trained eye, so they must be good.
    I must admit to never having heard of this Wendy Nguyen but I am off to google her and see if she has an article on my challenging areas.

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  16. You just never know where you're going to find inspiration. That dress is gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous on you!!!! I tried to alter a couple of things this morning and now they're in the garbage can out behind the house!!

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  17. You look marvelous, and yes, almost normal. :)))


    I need that advise about droopy boobs! Can't wait to read that one. :)

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  18. Oh man...I want that issue of how to rock not-so-perky-boobs! LOL


    I knew this trick. I'm a huge fan of the high waisted pencil skirt.


    You are looking HOT... and leggy. It is magic!


    bisous
    Suzanne

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  19. love both pieces, this looks great on you

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  20. I love the moment when you changed perspective and embraced a new silhouette. And you have the sewing skills to make it happen. Blogging has encouraged me to try new looks, and for that I am grateful. Very celebratory post!

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  21. Okay, first of all...I'm so jealous of your sewing skills. You make it sound so easy :) Secondly...gorgeous! Love everything about it - the proportions are perfect on you, and I love the print. You look amazing as usual.

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  22. Hee hee ... you always make me laugh! LOVE this look! You look hot, Jan! Such a cool chic look! Aren't fashions funny? I remember always hating my big butt, then it seemed like overnight there was J Lo, Kim K ... and big butts were in! Hey, mine looks nothing like theirs, but it is ... ample! ;)

    OXOX

    Dawn Lucy

    http://fashionshouldbefun.blogspot.com

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  23. You are so right, Connie, but sometimes s#%t is so pretty! I know it's déclassé to like them, but there we are. Glad you like it ... I fuss over dressing too youthfully, but that is, I know, largely in my head as long as I'm rationally modest, and I don't scare the horses.

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  24. Thanks, Sue. You always get me! And I was just lucky that the pieces lent themselves to easy alterations! These boxy shapes and sport fabrics are often easy to revise. So happy you like the result.
    The Kindle versions of my mags make it so handy ... the subscriptions often include the digital, and some even have exclusively digital available. The images are even better on my tablet than in print, even though they're not as large. I'm hooked.

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  25. Thank you, Shawna. So nice of you. I really loved this set when I first saw it a couple of months ago. I worried that it was too Junior-ish, too young. But since I'm not showing too much skin at all, and the length is not flashy, and the neckline more than decent, it's only the idea that could be considered too young. Not sure that counts for much these days.
    I'm happy to be able to make it work to my satisfaction ... must be meant to be as I NEVER find what I want in my size left in clearance sales.

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  26. Thank you, Glenda. Glad you like it ... it feels good to wear it, as well. Very easy fabric and a comfortable cut. Professional magazine readers ... yes, we're THAT avid! Extreme hobbyists. Personal style as avocation!

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  27. Hello, lovely Alice. Thank you. My boxy tops are all getting altered just a bit ... I'm too boxy to wear extreme boxy, I guess! Hope all is well at your end, and that your time off is pleasant!

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  28. Thank you, Julie! I was worried that people would take it too seriously. Fine lines here! So glad you got the humor, long and shaggy-dog as my stuff tends to be. Decades at 5-foot-nothing have made me jump right into alterations. I'm not great at it, but I did pick up a few tricks in my youth from my grandmother. She was a tailor and a good one. Wish I had learned more about garment construction from her, but I can put up a decent hem pretty fast!

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  29. Hey Mel. There never were women with such different figure types than you and I, but short-waisted-ness we do have in common. Thank you so much ... this will be a favorite outfit for quite a while. So happy you think it works. That's a real compliment.

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  30. SO happy you got a laugh. I often sound awful when I'm trying to be funny. I'm thrilled that it reminds you of something in your closet! That can be nothing but good!
    I'm not so sure I need to love how my elderly bod looks, but I can hope to continue aging as well as I can, and dress it respectfully ... part of that is not pushing myself graveward any sooner than necessary. I hope my generation of sixty-somethings can continue to dress in ways that shake up the conventions, at least a little!
    I wanted to tell you ... I showed my husband the photo of you in your overalls. He forbade our women employees from wearing them at one point. He had to admit that you look great in them. He's such an old poot sometimes, but he can appreciate a good looking outfit and the lady in it!

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  31. Oh, thanks, V! I'd be shocked if you wrote off a crop ... I'm so glad I'm seeing them in layers and without too much midriff . Glad you like my adventure. Nice to have a look I genuinely like work for me. I'm on an alterations jag right now, and not getting time to accomplish enough commenting to my friends who should hear from me ... I'm working on that.

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  32. Thank you, Elsie. From you, that's high praise. I love all the colors in summer, and am enjoying the dark neutrals with them this year.

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  33. Well, you wear a skirt at your natural waist as well as anyone I know ... short or not! Embracing it works for you! I wish I had fewer curves right now, or at least smaller ones, but I start looking like a boney old mare if I get down to a tiny size and weight. It's a trade off.

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  34. Thank you, Dan! If you like it, then I did something right.

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  35. Thank you, Kim ... I don't mind admitting I rejoice at slimming looks, or that you understand why I'd look for them. I never worry about looking taller. Not happening, but I can hope for proportionate! Glad you like the result!
    Martha who?

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  36. I am an hourglasss shape, with a long torso, and I always avoid anything that has a seam at the waist as it sits just above my natural waist.... But anything that accentuates the waist and skims the hips works perfectly. You look lovely in that outfit, so it was good advice..

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  37. That top is the perfect length for you!

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  38. Thank you so much, I'm glad your hubby thought it didn't look too farmer-ish! Your complement made me feel good.

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  39. Fantastic. What a wonderful skirt and top. And how amazing they look on you. Very clever to buy the skirt one size bigger and take it in at the waist. You are getting quite a seemstress aren't you?
    I know Wendy although I do not follow her. Very good advice of her. And so instructive and easy to follow. Which you did.
    I am looking forward to the pancake backside being en vogue hahaha. You do make me laugh with every post.
    Greetje

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  40. I was actually down to a size 6 for awhile, but it was too hard to maintain. I'm pretty happy with my size now, my daughter says girls with "junk in their trunk" are popular now! So I'm learning to love my padded rear! :)

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  41. It's rare to find my size in the sale racks too. Usually what is left are the extra smalls and the extra larges. I don't think there is anything junior-ish about your outfit. It looks great!

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  42. You have the young Hottie look here and I can't wait to rock my droopy boobs!

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  43. I honestly thought that it's a dress :) The top and skirt look great on you. Very flattering silhouette! I like your idea about wearing a black cami underneath. My sister tried on some cropped tops during her visit (she is nuts about fashion), but I decided to stay away from them... :)

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  44. The advice is always changing! You look stunning in this outfit! It looks like a dress too!x

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  45. Tickeled you like it, Maricel! Yup ... it is almost hard to look at her blog it's so beautiful. She has neat taste in her wardrobe, and what she has is wonderful. About the only thing we have in common is our height. I am bemused at the way tastes have swung so far up towards the armpits. I imagine there's this urge, when trying to design with an innovative flair, to simply adopt the opposite of current thought ... swing right away from low-rise to a very high waist. Trends like this don't often flatter me, but this one seems to work.

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  46. Glad you got a laugh. I worry that sometimes that the tongue-in-cheek isn't obvious enough.
    This was an easy alteration, and it's less professionally done than might be, but it seems to work, so I'm satisfied. Thank you so much.
    I'm guessing that the "Dear Lucky" style advice column by Jean Godfrey-June might be a better source of general information!

    So happy you dropped by!

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  47. Oh, Joni! That must have been frustating! Sorry that this foray in to the sometimes thankless task of altering our world to suit our figures didn't work out. Know you'll stick to the effort, though. You wouldn't be so accomplished if you didn't. As a seriously short person, I'm just used to altering everything!
    Thank you so much, Joni. Hope your next effort is easier on you!

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  48. Pao, if I didn't buy ill-fitting garments and alter them, I'd have no wardrobe. Sadly for my short-waisted condition, long legs don't come with it. My grandmother ( you may remember I mentioned that she was a tailor by profession) used to frown at me, and tisk-tisk about my proportions ... always seemed like such a terrible flaw, judging by her reaction.
    I'm not sure I always like to hang loose, but I don't like very tight. The skirt on this outfit is meant to hug the figure, but the larger size just skims over my lumpy hips after I took in the waist. Not a solution I can use all the time, but I was tickled I could force the problem into submission!
    Thanks so much for all!

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  49. Thank you, Suzanne! It is nice to finally take advantage of what I've always seen as a figure flaw.
    So happy you stopped by to say you like my efforts!
    Hope you have a happy, summery, pain-free and fun week.
    Have you tried the bra with the silly name yet?

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  50. Thing is, I remember wearing high-waisted things in high school and that's been over twenty years ago and way before I was into fashion. I just knew that my five-inch torso (yes, I actually measured the other day!) looked longer and slimmer when I wore my pants almost right under my boobs. Lol. Guess I was ahead of the trend?

    P.S. Pop on over to my blog today when you get the chance. I nominated you as one of the bloggers who inspire me. 🎉😁👍

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  51. I suppose it all goes to support the saying "never say never"! That is a really clever bit of alteration, and the short top and skirt work so smoothly together that they seem to be a dress. Gorgeous print, and those black panels down the sides make the whole look extra sleek and streamlined. Beautiful, Jan! xxxx

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  52. Your posts are so fun to read Jan! Who needs a fashion magazine when I can get great advice and awesome photos right here!?! You do the research, I'll stop by and enjoy the highlights! You look fab!! A gorgeous outfit! I wear camis too with tops that are short: not only age appropriate, but lady-like. :-)


    ♥ carmen


    http://fashionableover50.wordpress.com/

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  53. To me you are perfect just the way you are.
    I adore you in that fantastic dress.
    I am richer to have you in my life for sure
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

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  54. Sara (hello the mushroom)June 29, 2014 at 4:53 AM

    Your wit just makes me laugh Jan. The ensemble looks great on you, great find"

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  55. wow, you look awesome in this high waisted skirt and crop top! It suits you so well. Definitely great to do some little adjustments here and there sometimes to make clothes fit our body shape. You look amazing, so young, fresh and right on trend. I actually wouldn't have noticed the crop top, it looks so much like a pretty dress or normal top! Very smart changes done here!

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  56. Thank you, Judith! I'm sure my alterations wouldn't pass muster with a tailor of even basic skills, but I'm pleased with the results. I may be pushing my envelope with this one, but it's very comfortable in the heat and looks polished to a degree ... two important elements for me this time of year. It's in the 90's now, and so humid. I'm not quite ready to stop whining about it, but will try to contain myself!
    Love to hear from you, Judith ... thank you for your advice about the cuff, too! Very good stuff, and will try it both ways!

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  57. Thank you, Lana! The construction of these two pieces really made as easy as it could have been. the neoprene is easy to fashion, and there were seams on the front panel that made it very easy to take in ... just copy the curve. And the top was a simple pin up, sew and cut. It's not bad for a beginner fabric at all. I'm enjoying the results ... I need easy to wear summer clothes, 'cause it's in the high humidity 90s now. Yikes.

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  58. Love it that you had a laugh ... not sure it was as amusing as I meant it to be! Yes ... what a cultural turn-around for big-bottomed girls! And that sure is relative for all of us ... we all think our backsides are ample. Another reason I wear heels ... I'm not nearly so concerned with size as I am that it's gone awfully flat. Heels help a lot. Yikes. Did I just say that?
    Thanks, kid, for stopping by and having some fun with it all.

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  59. Thank you Tiina! I'm really liking this outfit and will wear it a lot this summer. So happy you stopped by!

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  60. Thanks, Wendy, so much.
    And I just can't let an opportunity pass to tell you once more how well I think you're rocking your hair cut!

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  61. Thank you, darling Greetje! Glad you liked it ... that always means a lot to me. I don't know if my skills are getting any better, but I'm less lazy about alterations. Blogging has taught me that I really can't get away with sloppy fit like I thought I could.
    I don't really know Wendy's blog well, but I sure appreciate the specific advice. I was reminded that while all petites are not alike, we have some issues and solutions in common, no matter our age. Beyond that, she's such a tiny thing, and young, and with an amazing wardrobe. Not much in common there, but I'll take the inspiration from whence it comes and be happy to get it!
    Can't tell you how good it is to hear that you get a laugh. So important for me these days!

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  62. Wow! Thank you, Neti! At some point we all rock our older boobage in the best way we can, and you are doing a grand job!

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  63. Glad you like it Oksana ... in real life, it looks more like separates, but works like a dress. I like it quite a lot in this very hot weather, and will wear it to work often. I'm seeing them everywhere, and they vary a lot in how successful they are for me ... but the ones I have I like! So happy you got to spend some time with your sister, and it looks like you had a fabulous time.

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  64. Thanks, Kezzie! I'm pretty pleased with my efforts ... more successful than usual, I think! It's lovely in this heat, even with the cami. So happy you like it and stopped by to say so!

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  65. Hey, Curtise! Thank you ... it's a successful alteration, and I'm glad I could make it work as well as it does. My sewing skill-set is geared toward remaking pieces to work for me. One of the things I want to do this year is get better a creation from scratch. Like you and Sue and Vix do. You guys are always inspirational. Glad you had a minute to stop by ... hope you are still celebrating!

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  66. Haha this is such a fun read! Isn't Wendy also the one who made a youtube video about 100 ways to wear a scarf? She has some great tips!


    I'm short waisted too and I know that pants/dress/shorts or any bottomwear would look better on me if it's high waist or at least medium rise. I try hard to rock some low waist anything and I end up looking like a pole with a skirt or shorts. Since I don't have hips and short waisted, I know the a-line and high waist are my saviour. Yet like the prodigal daughter that I am, I constantly deviate and challenge the rules. I never win though.


    You inspire me to check out or try cropped tops. I haven't worn that type since high school but it might work with one of my high waisted skirts! You look great Jan and the alterations you made, fit you so much better.

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  67. That's a fab and really clever makeover, you look great!
    My Mum always complained of being "short waisted" and to this day I still haven't got a clue what she was talking about. I know that I hate dresses that fit to my waist and flare out, I feel matronly, short and dumpy. i much prefer a skirt three sizes too big with a tight fitting cropped top or an Empire line - not sure whether it does anything for my figure but I feel a million times happier! xxx

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  68. Hey, Carmen! Thrilled that you get a chuckle. That's my goal. My problem is that I love a good shaggy dog story, and can go on and on to make less than a cogent point!
    The other thing about the right cami underneath is that the right one can skim over bulgy bits, giving a tad better look. Not that you have any bulgy bits, but I do!

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  69. Darling girl! Thank you, Sacramento. You are the most glorious creature, and I'm glad that you're in my life as well. So happy you dropped by!

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  70. That's just what I want, Sara. Thank you so much. So glad to see you expanding your creative life ... you go!

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  71. Anja! Thank you! I've decided to keep this camera and my photographer-huz ... between them, a sharp photo that really shows my age is not possible. I just hope it stays that way! Glad you like my outfit and my little story.

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  72. I didn't know about Wendy before reading this article ... apparently she's very well known. Pretty talented lady!
    Glad you had fun with this silly post. I entirely missed the crop top trend of recent decades ... I just like the current layers that are shown ... pretty look, sometimes. I can't imagine that you have trouble wearing them!
    So happy you stopped by, Karen! Thank you for all.

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  73. I get why fit and flare doesn't please you. When I was a very young woman in the 60s and early 70s, we all thought they were dowdy and mumsey, like shirtwaist dresses ... and you look so sleek and long in your preferences, no need to drift into fit and flare territory. I find them a nice change and enjoy the fifties feel with a heel ... I look short and squared off no matter what I wear, and there's some freedom in that! They look sort of contrarian here, as any dressy-dress does, and that appeals to me, too!
    So glad you got to Glastonbury. I know your presence classed up the event considerably!

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  74. PinkCheetahVintageJuly 5, 2014 at 10:06 AM

    Want to know something funny? I'm super long waisted and high-waisted bottoms are VERY flattering for me, along with shorter tops!! Maybe it's one of those universally flattering shapes. Your skirt and top looks great!!! Btw I finished the book and loved it so much! I just need to find out who is next on the list to send it to :)

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  75. You look amazing in this outfit!

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