Tuesday, July 8, 2014

How Not To Look Old

In an earlier post, "Retirement Fashion Chic: or I Know You Are Old But Do You Have To Look Like Crap?" I tackled the issue of how to dress to still look good in retirement. 

What we wear has a lot to do with how good we look, and we have control over that.

What we don't have control over is aging.  We, Baby Boomers, have gotten old. 

But that doesn't mean we give in to it, does it? 

We don't want someone saying as we walk past, "Oh, there goes a 66 year old."  And god forbid, I should walk by and someone says, "There goes a 75 year old."  No, we don't want that.

Of course, we women of a certain age are mostly invisible to the general public, but despite that, why look old?

There are certain things I think we can do to stop the march of time, and I am going to share those with you so you can enjoy whatever age you are. 

When you look good, you feel good.

  • The first giveaway that you are old is grey or white hair.

It's a funny thing about that.  On men, it makes them look distinguished.  On us ladies, it just makes us look like grandma.  I had a nice little white-haired grandma, but I don't want to be her. 



I am a grandmother, but I am not Granny, I am "Glammy." 

Now I know for some of you, letting your hair go "natural" is a political statement about feminism and being real and it shows your life experience.  That's fine.  Good for you. But if you don't want to look old, you need to get rid of the old lady hair. 

Another concern people sometimes have is the chemicals in hair dye.  I guess, but we all have to die sometime.  I'd rather go looking fabulous.

Many of you might cite this woman as a symbol of looking fabulous with grey hair as another excuse not to color your hair.

Carmen Dell'Orefice.


Yes, but she's a model - and you're not.

If you let your hair go natural, you are more likely to look like Barbara Bush.



Next on the list is my 75-year-old sister's favorite. 

  • Shoes with Velcro fasteners.

Nothing shouts old lady more than sensible shoes with easy on and off fasteners.  Now I am not expecting that you will be wearing Louboutin spiked heels.  I can't even walk in shoes like that anymore let alone afford Louboutins.  But do you really need shoes that scream you are so old you can't even tie your own shoes anymore?  No Velcro!

  • Ditch the reading glasses on a chain. 
In fact, why aren't you wearing contact lenses? 

My lenses help me see both near and far (one eye near, one eye far), so I don't need reading glasses. Just because we are old, why is it assumed we must wear glasses?  I recently had to go to the emergency room because I thought one of my contact lenses was still in my eye (long and embarrassing story that we don't need to get into here).  All was well, but I went for a follow-up the next day with the female eye doctor who was consulted that night by the emergency room staff.  When she was examining my eyes, she said she didn't realize I was so old since I was wearing contacts.  Whaaaa?  And she was no spring chicken herself.  But if you don't have a medical reason to not wear contacts, why wear glasses?  Glasses hide your pretty face.

  • Spray tans
I think a little glow makes us look younger. 

The only problem with this is I don't like taking my clothes off in front of a teeny-tiny blonde teenager who is no doubt judging my not so teeny-tiny body and wondering what the hell I am doing there.  And the self-service tanning booth scares me. It reminds me of the "Orgasmatron" in Woody Allen's movie "Sleeper."

  • Then there is that little issue of weight gain. 

I apologized to Hubby recently for gaining ________ pounds since he met me.  He mumbled something about having gained more than that, but here is some comfort to those of us with big butts. 

Catherine Deneuve supposedly said, "A 30-year-old woman must choose between her bottom and her face."  If this relates to a 30-year-old, what does that say about us 50 and 60 year olds?  Basically, though, it says you want to be really skinny?  Your face will pay the price.  Add a few pounds and it plumps up the face. What did I choose? Let's just say, I don't have many wrinkles.

  • Speaking of the "w" word
This post is not going to get into botox or plastic surgery.  If stuff like that didn't hurt and cost so much, I would definitely be all over it, but I am a chicken and don't have any money, so I don't see a face lift in my future.  I will have to opt for looking at myself in the mirror and pulling my skin up and over with my hands and yelling at Hubby to come look:  "See, this is what I would look like if I had a face lift."  Hubby's reply is not worth repeating.

So for wrinkles, moisturize, moisturize, moisturize and hope for the best.

Since this is such an important topic, naturally someone has written a book on it, so I thought I would share some of her points and see what we think.


Charla covers everything here from never cutting your own bangs to make-up do's and dont's to whitening your teeth and not wearing Mom Jeans.  All of her tips include High, Medium and Low maintenance ways to adhere to her admonishments, high maintenance usually involving your hiring a personal stylist or spending big bucks to low maintenance which is pretty much you're on your own.

So my own ideas, aside, let's see how I measure up with some of her tips:

  • She lists the top 25 clothes that gotta go:  On the list are holiday sweaters, jewelry with your grandchildren on it, photo handbags and muumuus.

OK I get that but she also says no thin-gold-chain necklaces.
Does that mean I have to stop wearing my little gold chain with a poodle on it that my daughter gave me?  Why does that make me look old? Is that because thin gold chains call attention to my fat wrinkly neck?

  • No grannie undies. 

Who's going to see those?

  • No backpacks. 

I don't get that one at all.

I mean, how cute is this? 

Maybe she meant fanny packs (and for you Brits out there, I know fanny is a bad word, so do you call then butt packs? That sounds just as bad).

  • And on her list of FORBIDDEN items for any woman over 30: 

Tattoos, anything with tie-dye on it and newsboy caps. 

She lost me there. 

First of all, 30?  Is that when old age begins? And doesn't she realize tattoos are permanent (if you have one, it ain't going away and how likely is an old lady to get one?), tie-dye is back in (yes, people, you can find tie-dyed clothes at J. Jill and Chico's, two stores that famously cater to the more mature woman - not that I shop there) and what would I do without my newsboy cap?  Just kidding about the cap.

She goes on to say that nothing ages you like:

Overbling, over-sized earrings, cleavage and bearlike fur coats.

Oops.

 




But those were her don'ts.

Here are her Do's for instantly taking off 10 years:

  • Pink lipstick
  • The right bra
  • Bike short shapewear
  • Wear heels
  • Use cream blush, not powder
  • Color your toes with a pedicure
  • Arch your eybrows and cover any grey brow hairs with pencil


As I write this my toes are painted, my brows are arched, my blush is creamy, and I am wearing pink lipstick, a push-up bra and Spanx.

If only it was that easy.

 
What do you do to not look old?
 
Do you care?


See you Friday for

"Where Were You in the 1990's?"

 
 
 
Thanks for reading!

 
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Check your local library for the book mentioned.
 
 
 











4 comments :

  1. I'm rocking the Velcro right now. But I refer to them as Swedish walking sandals. My feet love me for it.

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    1. Then rock those Swedish Walking Sandals, Dawn! :)

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  2. I dress youthfully, but appropriately (no hooker wear) and cover my flaws to look young. I also dye my hair and wear it naturally - where most women in my age group do not. I also exercise regularly and maintain my flexibility. I find it shocking how many women 50 and over are not flexible or in shape and grunt when they need to sit down. I don't do that. You have to have a youthful mind set and behave young. Keep up to date, use technology, don't talk about your age and in "your day" nobody gives a f***. I watch women younger than me (under 50) and adopt some of the age appropriate things I can from them, and I watch women my age and older and avoid doing what they do that looks bad. Mom jeans, those hideous wide cropped pants, wearing jogging shoes with jeans, stuff like that. I do not shop in the junior's section. I buy all my clothes from places for women in my age group, but I style my clothes in a youthful way. I have to disagree with no big earrings. I love big earrings, I'm a bit of a bohemian so I don't see myself giving those up unless they go completely out of style.

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    1. Thanks for your thoughtful comment. I totally agree about the earrings. I am a huge fan of BIG earrings! Rosy

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