I have received numerous requests from all over the world to use my
painting, GRIEF, for seminars, lectures, grief counseling sessions,
cover for Women's Review of Books, cover for a Dutch psychology book, religious retreats, etc.
Sometimes, I discover the image being used without my permission for
blogs and Facebook pages. Most are not aware that it is illegal to use
copyrighted works without permission.
It has been uplifting to
know that my painting has touched so many hearts over the years. It is
more than an artist could hope for.
Some women give up on themselves just because they are
“old”.Age is a state of mind.I am reminded of a friend in her early 90’s who
lived on a limited budget.She never
failed to stretch and exercise every morning.She walked almost everywhere.And,
when she did, she was always immaculately dressed – not expensively, just
elegantly.She kept her gray hair short and
complemented her clothes with lovely silver jewelry.
I can never forget the time she showed me a lovely Kenzo
scarf she bought on sale at Filene’s Basement (remember it?).She was so excited about how drastically
reduced the price was.She was 92 at the time.Through all the years that I had known her,
she had always carried herself with grace in both dress and manners.She had always been the epitome of a lady to
The woman below illustrates a style that is simple,
classy, and timeless.Even
carrying a cane did not detract from the elegance she exuded.
This is the most important rule to remember.Understated elegance is simplicity at its
finest.Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, and
Katherine Hepburn had it.Lauren Bacall
has it.A lot of us work hard to achieve
Spend what you can on clothes of good quality because
they will last you a long time.The
simpler the lines or style, the more versatile it is.
About 15 – 20 years ago, I saw a lovely sleeveless
woolen dress in chocolate brown, with a matching jacket in a shop in England.I fell in love with it, but the price was
more than I was willing to spend.It was
a Valentino design.I could still kick
myself for letting that go.The
tailoring was just beautiful.If I grew
too big for the dress, I could have had it altered.The swing jacket would have lasted me for years.
Most women wear black because it is easy to work with.Choose a few basic colors that you like and look
good on you.If you are dark-skinned,
the world is your oyster.If you’re on
the pale side, perhaps, camel brown, tan, and pastels will suit you
better.You can get wild in your choices,
but make sure your colors and patterns don’t clash.Solid colors are a safe bet but you can
mix-match them with more adventurous designs.
Here is a woman dressed in well-coordinated
attire.She could have gotten away with
a chunky silver bracelet in addition to her dangling earrings, but she opted to
keep it simple.Casual? Yes!Elegant?Yes!Achievable?Easily!
The few times that I have traveled to Italy and France,
I always marveled at how well mature women there dressed despite their
age.They don’t apply lots of makeup on
their faces or wear clothes meant for younger women. They simply wear clothes
that fit right – not too tight nor too loose.And, they carry them well in spite of the extra weight on their
bodies.So, where do we find these clothes?
No. 6:Watch out for sales!
You don’t have to travel far to buy good quality
clothing.Several times a year, shops
sell their merchandise at reduced prices.Scour the clearance racks!I
would avoid shopping online or by catalog unless you are familiar with the
company’s sizing and the quality of its merchandise.The following is a list of shops where you
can find affordable, but stylish clothing.These stores may not be your cup of tea but do shop around and find your
style that agrees with your budget.
CHICO’S (https://www.chicos.com/) – Visit
Chico’s sales racks when you have a chance.They carry nice separates and accessories in various colors and sizes.
H&M (www.hm.com/us/) –
Believe it or not, you can find inexpensive, but stylish sweaters, tops,
skirts, and accessories from this store.They may cater to youngish clientele, but one can find lots of separates
which can be suitable for all ages.
– Again, I would advise against shopping online just because you want to be
sure of the fit of the clothes.If there
is a Marshalls store near you, then you are in business.They offer lots of choices at reasonable
JJILL (www.jjill.com/) –
Their clothing and accessories are pricey, but if you check out their sales,
you may be able to find some classy outfits within your budget.
DRESS BARN (http://www.dressbarn.com)
– Here is another store where one can find affordable clothing and accessories.
They carry women’s clothing in both
regular and plus sizes.
– Zara is pricier than H&M, but you’ll find stylish clothes of good quality
and lovely accessories at reasonable prices here.
Go through the sales racks at Lord and Taylor, Macy’s,
Nordstrom, and their outlets.Shopping
requires a lot of patience so it is never a good idea to shop only when you
need something.It puts a lot of
pressure on you to find it quickly and even pay a hefty price for it.Shop leisurely and you will probably find a
“keeper” and a bargain at that!
In our younger years, we used to run around in high
heels without any problem.As our feet
get older, we are faced with the usual dilemma of either wearing stylish high-heeled
shoes in pain or ugly flats in comfort.Years
ago, older women were given a measly choice of sneakers, chunky flat shoes, and
podiatrist-prescribed comfort shoes.Nowadays, shoe manufacturers like Easy
Spirit, Clarks, Naturalizer, Aerosoles, Merrell, etc.
have incorporated style with comfort in their collections. Most are expensive, but you can invest in a
good pair that can last for years, or wait for sales, or order them
online.I suggest you first go around the
shops and try the ones you like.Once you
have identified the brand, style, and size that suit you, look for it online.
Be sensible in your choice of footwear.If you must wear heels for a special occasion,
choose a pair you can walk in comfortably. You don’t want to party with pain written all
over your face.You want to be able to
walk easily and gracefully.Besides, you
cannot afford accidents that can wreak havoc on your bodies.
For casual occasions, flats or low wedged styles are advisable.For walking or exercising, sneakers are your
My accessories have saved me from spending lots of
money on clothes.I have a big
collection of belts, beads, bracelets, earrings, rings, brooches, and scarves
of various colors and designs that help expand my limited wardrobe.
There are so many ways to dress up your attire without
looking like a Christmas tree.A sparkly
brooch or a colorful scarf can perk up a dark solid top or dress. Add jewelry that will not overwhelm the rest
of your outfit.Dangling earrings can
look lovely with an open necked top.If
you must wear a necklace with it, choose a matching chain or something low-key.
In the image below, the timeless Catherine Deneuve wears
a beaded black short jacket with black satin top and trousers.She chose simple hoop earrings, a bracelet
and red nail polish on her nails and toes.The emerald green clutch bag she carried made her whole ensemble a
Combining accessories with your outfit is a skill that
can be learned.Practice in front of the
mirror days or hours before you go out.It will give you an idea of how your whole attire looks.Do not pile up the beads if you have a short
neck.You’d look better in chains or
long necklaces.If you’re petite, avoid
chunky jewelry that can be overwhelming.This doesn’t mean confining yourself to pearls or dainty designs.Medium-sized beads will work for you.
A bright-colored scarf can bring a plain dress to
life.You can tie it around your neck or
hang it loosely around your shoulders.Use a plain brooch to fasten it on your dress if it doesn’t stay in
place.Remember when women used to tie a
small scarf around their necks?It
looked good with an open-necked top or a white shirt with a standing
collar.Practice and experiment on ways
to wear one!Be creative!
Whatever accessories you choose to accompany your
clothes, remember that less is more,
which leads us to the next rule.