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Love Style Life

Sunday, December 06, 2015


I haven't read this new book by Garance Dore of course -- it's just out. But I have read several reviews of it in the media over the past several days.

And it intrigues me. Dore is not talking about fashion as consumerist consumption but rather personal style as an expression of inner values. The idea of the outside communicating the inside . . . something like what Susan Peirce Thompson talks about in her Bright Line Eating videos, about wanting to wear a body that is congruent with who she is as a human being.

I know that I burble on about "outfits" here from time to time and have a little bit of an undeserved reputation for being "fashionable". (Which actually has the effect of making me more reticent about this aspect of my life than I might otherwise be . . . )

Truly, being fashionable is not it for me. I love to think about what I'm wearing as an expression of who I am, and one means (of many) to keep me motivated to maintain my body, so that can continue to wear the clothes which express who I am on any given day or occasion.

Don't spent a lot on clothing. It's cast-offs from girlfriends who've by and large outgrown items they once loved -- or sales rack items -- or ebay "new with tags" -- or etsy vintage jewellery: all of that. But almost never do I go out and buy an outfit , new, at anything remotely close to full price.

Love to put together items I have (some of them for over 30 years) in different ways. Love to find the courage to be slightly outrageous and possibly even faintly ridiculous: never taking myself very seriously.

If at age 64 you're prepared to wear a black velvet strapless with above-the-elbow black satin gloves, a giant sapphire and white topaz cocktail ring OVER the gloves, and sequin-toed evening slippers, and a black velvet fur trimmed wrap, and -- yup, I bailed on the fascinator!!-- then it's so important the "outfit" doesn't wear YOU. Right? Because if you're self-conscious, it doesn't matter a bit what you're wearing: it's never going to feel right. Or look right. Right being: this is who I am right now.

You put it on, you forget it, you focus on other people (who may themselves be feeling self-conscious), you have fun: and we did. DH looked fantastic in his black tie and pleated shirt and pearl studs and cummerbund and patent tuxedo shoes and red bow tie: with just a glimpse of the red satin lining of his jacket flashing . . . . I've gotta work hard to deserve this handsome guy!

We couldn't dance much: I'm still in too much pain (I know, I know: my own darn fault, I do get that. Live and learn, right?)

Pictures? They don't capture the spirit of the thing and it's the spirit of the thing that counted. If it's useful at all for me to burble on about this topic, it's in so far as one other person might also think about what to wear to express who he or she is, today: right here, right now.

And who I am is just as likely to be corduroy skinnies with ankle boots and a cashmere sweater -- and a padded denim jean jacket with Mongolian lamb collar and cuffs! That sounds good for today, actually: gotta get some groceries!

But it was certainly a nice moment for me last evening when a complete stranger approached me in the buffet line and said (respectfully, kindly), "You look absolutely beautiful."

Yup. Helps keep me motivated, no question about it! Helps me feel congruent and integrated, inside and out . . . body, mind and spirit.

Style helps me love my life.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • NANCY-
    What I love about you is: you are who you are. You have a sense of YOUR style. That comes through both in what you wear and in what you write. It is your essence that comes across. You do not imitate, you are an original... being true to you.
    Via la WATERMELLEN! She is who she is!!!!
    1634 days ago
    Good blog. Made me think of what I have and what I'm working for. Had to put all my skinny clothes away....again. Just until I can get into them again.
    But you're right. Dress well, or what you feel is well, and don't think about others. emoticon
    1634 days ago
    Glad you have a good time in spite of your pain. I hope you get relief soon.
    1634 days ago
    I love reading about your style!
    1635 days ago
  • no profile photo CD15520036
    Yes, I never felt you are a fashion plate, just enjoying life and expressing yourself. I'm sure you give other people the courage to do the same thing.

    Never stop doing that, 'kay!? emoticon
    1635 days ago
    Glad your wardrobe gives you such joy!
    1635 days ago
    Wearing your own style of clothing is an expression of yourself..Enjoying color, texture, and style is a way to love life! I am now wearing brighter colors in the dark winter mornings.

    1635 days ago
    Funny, every outfit you describe in your blogs is exactly something I might choose for myself!! And, style does not have to mean hundreds or even thousands spent.... I think you said it best about wearing whatever you want, confidently, to be stylish. If you wear a burlap sack with confidence, you will look smashing!! The 2 of you had to be the best looking couple in that place!! Wow!! Smashing!!
    1635 days ago
    1635 days ago
  • _LINDA
    I had a friend who once asked if I thought she was vain. Vain? Nothing close to the thought entered my mind. She spent hours primping, but it was tastefully done, in fact was subtle and made her look incredible. She too, never paid full price for any of her clothing. Second hand stores, Value Village, deep discounted designer clothes, she would never get it unless it was a great bargain. She loved leather and looked fabulous in it. But to me, this was, as you said her expression of herself. Its entirely true how you dress is the image you would like presented of yourself. Your statement. And yours is rocking it! Keep those descriptions coming!
    1635 days ago
  • GABY1948
    I have NEVER doubted this about you...not EVER....and you ENJOY it...from what I read in your blogs that describe your outfit for a day. I am always JEALOUS that you CAN DO THAT...but you always do it to a T! I would so love to be just like you in that respect...but alas, some how it missed me emoticon

    You are definitely to be ADMIRED, Ms Fashionista! emoticon
    1635 days ago
    YES!!!!!! This is EXACTLY what fashion is about - not only comfort and function, but expressing outwardly one's personality! One's viewpoint about life, and how they choose to portray themselves!!!!! (Okay, abstract pronouns don't always coincide.)

    So that yes, you have the glamorous Audrey Hepburn with a sense of humor side. You have the serious suit with unexpected red boots side. The cords and sweater and denim jacket side.

    We all have different aspects to our personalities, different ways of expressing ourselves, showing the world who or how we feel each and every day!

    And there's absolutely NO reason to hide that wonderful person that each of us are under a burlap sack!!!!!!!
    1635 days ago
    Sure you "style" whatever you wear.

    I'm not a fashionista but I do like to look nice.
    1635 days ago
    i *love* your descriptions of your outfits - work, home and dress-up! i *love* how you express who *you* are, and that you have found a way to do so, and to reward yourself, in a non-food way. me, my work clothes are my nightgown and a fleece cabin robe by night, fleece tights and tunic or dress by day. not nearly as exciting as when i read about you, but they are *me*, comfy and they work. gotta find that style!

    love that description of your DH - my own DH cleans up real good, too, and until a few years ago i got to appreciate him in full tux gear when he played oboe with the symphony (which required a 5 hour drive each way in winter, which is why he stopped) - dang, he was (is) handsome for a 60 (pushing 70!) something.

    please keep on sharing your word images - they help to make my day!
    1635 days ago
    Agree with you entirely and this was so much fun to read. Stye as an expression of your true self, I totally resonate with that. My stylist has helped me get out of my comfort zone and use my imagination more. Lounging in rose covered pyjamas. :-)
    1635 days ago
    You are beautiful inside and out. You are my favorite fashionista emoticon
    and a true appreciator of the pencil skirt (with all the hopes and dreams of wearing one).
    1635 days ago
    Thanks for the 'glam night' update! I'm so glad you enjoyed yourselves! I agree with you about looking the way you feel expresses your self. I know I could look 'better' in different clothes styles... but I don't care to do that. It's not me. Years ago, I had a job where I had to 'dress up' for work, and every time she saw me my mother said "Oh don't you look nice!" Which was a lovely compliment... except it only happened when I was wearing what felt like someone else's clothes. The message I heard (not the one she intended) was You'd look so much better if you weren't you... Now I only dress the way that feels like me. Don't care if it looks the best on me or not. I love reading of your enjoyment in your self-presentation - such a simple everyday pleasure.
    1635 days ago
    Great blog! Sounds like you have some styling outfits! Thanks for sharing! Happy Sunday! Wishing you a Nice and Relaxing Day!
    Hugs and love, xoxo
    1635 days ago
    What a lovely compliment. You will always remember that moment.
    1635 days ago
    You must have been smashing! Did you even consider skipping the ring and going for the fascinator?

    I'm with FIFI on the injury. That was not your fault. You were new to the practice. It is a known risk for Bikram/hot yoga. The instructor should have been on top of it. You didn't go out planning to injure yourself in this way. It just IS.

    I like to put well put together, but like Barb, I am not a patient shopper. I know what silhouettes like good on me and I have the same "look." I learned a number of years ago to buy clothes that fit and flatter. Squeezing into something that doesn't fit looks terrible and feels terrible. For that matter, wearing clothes that are too big is the same.

    Your man must have looked like James Bond and you were one of the Bond babes.
    1635 days ago
    How heartwarming, that compliment. I have a friend who takes the kind of care you do with her dressing and I think of her when you describe your outfits.

    Now. Watermellen. You had an exercise accident. You didn't harm yourself on purpose. You didn't know that you were over stretching or that you had over stretched.
    It wasn't your fault. Be kind to your precious self, K?
    1635 days ago
    I have always taken your posts as being exactly that... YOU being comfortable in your own skin, and expressing that in your choices of apparel. My choices may be quite different, and less striking, but I have that same inner feeling that I am expressing ME in my choices.

    The fact that I CHOOSE to wear athletic shoes to the office? An expression of me. It is telling that the first "cute" outfits I chose were running gear. My wetsuit? Oh, yeah... the superhero in me coming out.

    The few pieces I "clean up" into... have been selected for me, mostly. I take ALICIA363 with me (it's been how many years since I did) because she has the sense of fashion adventure. I've taken my daughter in law, as well at times. But I've never been a garage sale shopper or thrift shop shopper... takes entirely too much time on something that will probably NEVER be enjoyable to the impatient "get it DONE!" in me.

    Keep on being YOU... you are amazing... and so worth it! And bubble all you want... it helps me accept that somewhere, buried deep within, there's a piece of even me that resonates. emoticon

    1635 days ago
    I love picturing the descriptions from your blogs and do not mind there are no actual photos. I find the blogs get me started thinking about my own closet and things I have put into the wardrobe bags in the spare closet that are currently too small. But I love them and will not part with them no matter what advice comes down from the "experts". They do not know me. Having these things does not bring me down but gives me hope to visit them again soon. So you keep rocking your style and telling us all about it.
    1635 days ago
    I am sure even without the visual ......Your presentation brought pictures to mind .......... and just know you were both stunning and ELEGANT! ........... I agree; style does help ... and makes each day or occasion separate from others. Keeps life fun and interesting! Good blog!
    1635 days ago
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