When Did ‘Comfortable’ Make the Top of my Fashion List?

27 Aug comfy


“Look for the woman in the dress. If there is no woman, there is no dress.”
Coco Chanel

I grew up loving fashion. The bolder, the flashier, the better. I used to have at least three dozen pairs of candy colored heels in every height and toe shape. You wouldn’t find me in anything but heels. The fussier, the more high fashion, the better. The only flat shoes I owned were running shoes and rubber boots and you’d only find me in those at the gym and during a rainstorm.

So why now, at the age of 40, do I only want to buy oversized sweaters, jersey everything and the flattest of flat shoes and sandals possible?

I blame my Mother. When we’d go shopping together while I was growing up, she would pick me out clothing in a size or two bigger than I wanted to buy. I wanted things to fit snug and striking. She warned me that I would be uncomfortable. I didn’t care. Stuff that fit a bit loosely looked sloppy to me. I wanted to look like I just stepped out of a Vogue editorial. She once told me, “Someday you’ll prioritize comfort. You are the only one that you should be pleasing with your fashion choices.”

And she was right.

It took a few decades, but slowly the uber fitted clothing stopped feeling natural to me. I enjoyed being able to move and lounge in my clothes. It no longer felt sloppy to wear something that was loosely fitted. It felt good. The clothes I bought that were high-style would hang in my closet while I wore the comfy outfits over and over again.

And the closet full of high heels I loved? Slowly they went to consignment and the Salvation Army and were replaced with Tom’s and loafers and the flattest of flat sandals I wear religiously. Sure, I still look longingly at those strappy, sexy stilettos, but as soon as I think of wearing them, my feet ache. I still have a few pair of dress heels, but they only come out occasionally and I always carry a backup pair of ballet flats.

I name my heeled shoes by their time-wearing tolerance. I have 2-hour and 4-hour heels. I bought a stunning pair of white platform heels a few months back. They were a work of art. Completely architectural and sexy. When I put them on in the store, I temporarily forgot my penchant for comfort. Plus, they were on sale. So I bought them and dressed up that evening to hit the town with a girlfriend.

These once-worn works of art just got tossed into the Salvation Army pile. I call them Shredders for what they did to my feet for that 2 hours I wore them that night.

As I type this, I’m happily donning a jersey striped knee-length shift dress. I could wear this dress every single day. It stretches with me and I never have to tug at it or adjust it or loosen it. And I certainly don’t feel the instant need to rip it off when I get home. Sure, it’s a bit ‘dowdy’ compared with my younger standards, but I don’t have to think about it. In fact, my favorite outfits are the ones that I don’t have to think about at all. I don’t feel zippers or scratchy fabrics or linings that have shifted or hems that are climbing. I just wear them and feel…comfortable.

I guess that’s part of the ‘getting wiser with age’ bit. What my Mom was trying to tell me was that wearing something uncomfortable doesn’t make me a more interesting person. I make me a more interesting person and as long as I’m wearing something I feel comfortable with, I can focus on the good stuff I offer. When I’m not thinking about what I’m wearing, I free up my mind to think about being the best me I can be.

Thanks Mom. And in the timeless words of my favorite fashionista:

“The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.”
Coco Chanel

48 Candles & 3 Anti-Aging Creams

24 Aug

Happy birthday to me and slap on the wrinkle cream, here are my “OMG! I’m 2 years away from 50 how did that happen what did I think I’d look like at this age shouldn’t I grow-up, remember to take my mascara off before I go to bed at night or early in the morning and I must remember to moisturize more again this year like I said last year and where is that eighth glass of water” celebratory purchases:

Oh, why these choices? A Good Housekeeping article. Let me repeat those two words: GOOD HOUSEKEEPING!

It’s official.

I am old.


Poison Ivy: La Partie 2

18 Aug

Forgot this “beauty” tidbit in the first post “In The Garden of Good & Evil“.  Really, the icing on the uncomfortable itching cake which is a poison ivy rash.

Hot Showers.

Yes, skin scalding hot showers to relieve the itch. The hotter the better. Shower at an aging temperature which would make every Beauty Editor/Cosmetologist scream and Oil of Olay, La Mer, Aveeno, L’Oreal or any other body lotion aficionado cringe in sheer horror.

You’ll feel better afterwards.

Your skin will (temporarily) thank you for it.


Year of the Snake – Part 1

18 Aug

I’m a snake.

I was born in the year of the wood snake. Check the calendar, last time that happened was 1965.

What’s the deal with the wood snake? We’re the most cooperative and creative of the Snake types. We have the special ability to see in a perspective beyond personal gain, which it pairs nicely with an innovative spirit.

We also like the finer things…

So in Year of the Snake – Part 1, the first of my Year of the Snake celebratory purchases: the statement snake ring (from The Real Real).


In The Garden Of Good & Evil

17 Aug


I must be on a 10 year cycle, that is, once every ten years I decide to do battle with poison ivy. It’s not like I’m looking for a fight, I just seem to wander into the damn oily nasty plant.

Let’s get the facts straight about poison ivy. It’s an oil in the plant that causes the reaction. The oil gets on your skin. You smear it around by wiping your brow or scratching your leg.  It doesn’t get “into your bloodstream” and cause a rash (with blisters!) to spread all over your body.  No, you did that all yourself, mindlessly pulling weeds then heading into the house and pulling off your gardening t-shirt which had poison ivy oil on it.

So what to do? Unfortunately the cures and remedies are about as pro-aging as it gets (other than staying out of the sun because you have a disgusting rash across your chest). Here’s what to do:

  • COLD shower immediately after coming into contact with poison ivy. As in ice cold, polar bear swim close all your pores cold. Ok. A cold shower is good for your skin, it’s just hell on your mental state and for most of us, entirely unpleasant.
  • Take the liquid dish soap from the kitchen into the shower with you. Yup, lather up with Palmolive, Joy or some other grease cutting sudsy soap. You want to be squeaky “there are no natural or poison ivy oils left in my body” clean. Strip your skin clear then proceed to dry it out some more….
  • Pull out the calamine lotion (chicken pox memories, anyone?). If tiny hard mosquito bite-like bumps start appearing, slap on the calamine and dry the little bastards out.  Rash, blisters, dried out skin here we come!

Then call the Dr. and ask for a prescription for steroids. Yes, steroids.  Reading the warning on the medication makes you wonder if you’d rather just suffer through the poison ivy rash. Acne is a potential side effect. Great, at my age I really want to worry about an acne breakout.  Trouble sleeping, increased sweating and heartburn are other potential side effects. Sounds like menopause which I’m already dreading.  Oh, a decrease in alcohol consumption is recommended while on the medication.  JUST when you need a drink (while you’re scratching and fretting about adult acne), you’re denied one.

Final remedy: Hire a gardner.


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