Monday, April 12, 2010

The Age Limit

I sit in front of my laptop wearing a crystal tiara hoping it will act as a receptor for a little divine inspiration. I hear a voice in my head. It is not God or an angel – it is my mother in law. She is 6 foot tall with the build and voice of a Viking goddess. Those of you who know her can see her in a helmet with horns belting out opera. In fact she does belt out opera minus the headdress. My recollection is of her asking curtly “When are you going to start dressing your age?”

What is the age limit, am I driving it?

First of all I consider the source. My mother in law doesn’t have time for trends. Sh
e considers fashion silly – and sticks to basics. Then the questions start rolling. Will I be the granny in gold spandex pants and drippy skinned arms adorned with rhinestone cuffs? When is trendy tasteless?

Let me clarify I have never owned, or will ever own a pair of gold spandex pants. I’ll leave
that look to the lady I saw at the fresh market last week with bleached blonde hair, teased bangs, fake nails, leathered skin and 80’s clothes. It’s better to be sporting the trends of the season than the bad ones from the past.

Trendy or tasteless – who is the judge? Here lies the problem. What looks good is subjective and style is relative. Someone may find the trend of jeans at a semiformal event tacky – yet current trend dictates nice jeans paired with a flowing blouse, statement jewelry and high heels dressy.

Personal style does not have an age limit. Fashion allows people to express themselves - bohemian, preppy, retro, sporty, Jersey, city girl, cow girl, school marm... The possibilities are endless.

If you care to take the time and don’t take yourself too seriously….the real question is when are you going to stop being stylish?

Friday, March 19, 2010

Bloomin' Crazy

In the Midwest if you look around signs of spring are everywhere. The sun is shining, it’s almost 70 degrees, days are getting longer and the birds are chirping. Melted snow reveals mud, brown grass and residual dog do irresponsible citizens left behind. I dream of tulips, crocus and daffodils. I make a run to the fresh market’s floral department and grab a bouquet of hot pink tulips. I need to brighten my world and erase the mucky canvas from my mind.

Standing at the check out line I eye the latest issue of In Style magazine on the news stand. The word "color" pops out at me alongside Gwen Stefani’s fabulous royal blue garb – anything but drab. I grab a copy and throw it on the conveyer belt.

Later in the afternoon I find some time before my spring fevered children arrive home from school to sit on my front porch and enjoy the sun. With a ginger ale in one hand and my In Style magazine in the other I’m ready to peruse the newest trends. If only my college anthropology teacher could see my study habits now.

I open the magazine and after turning a few pages I am mentally clapping my hands. Spring 2010 is a good year to be a girly girl. Splashed throughout the fashion bible are clothes and accessories in brilliant colors and flirty prints adorned with ruffles, bows and rosettes. How fun!

I go into the house, and return outside with my laptop. Technology is wonderful! I hit the Internet full speed. I love the Coach Madison Floral Audrey bag, Kate Spade’s Cross My Heart Rosette Sweater Tank, H&M’s Garden Collection dress (eco friendly, made from recycled fabric), and the piece de resistance Steve Madden’s Ven Rosette Platform Wedge.

My 1990’s flower child devil is speaking to me on one shoulder whispering, "You need to shop, shop, shop!" My 2010 angel, with the face of Suze Orman, says clearly with nothing to hide – "You have spring fever. Wait." I grudgingly swipe 1990’s flower child devil from my shoulder and chalk up the strong urge to shop as temporary sun induced insanity. After all, being a Midwesterner, I should know better – the sun is teasing me today. Snow is in the forecast this weekend. I file away my spring wish list to the back of mind for another day…in May.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Beauty & the Beast

Fifty is the new thirty & it’s looking like it these days. People are taking better care of themselves. Centenarians are popping up in the news as often as inside traders. Diets are better, exercise is in.

This brings to mind self preservation & maintenance – or as a gorgeous relative of mine has named it rejuvenation therapy. She is fifty & fabulous, but always mistaken for a much younger age. Followers of rejuvenation therapy include Courtney Cox, Madonna, Lisa Rinna, & Meg Ryan. Who knows, maybe even the 1st Lady? Gasp!

Botox, Restylane, & Juvederm are popular chemical forms of rejuvenation therapy. Breast augmentation, breast lifts, breast reductions, & tummy tucks are popular forms of surgical rejuvenation therapy. These procedures are common & not exorbitantly priced. The question is if they are so common why are they still considered somewhat taboo?

Let me paint a scenario. A group of women are gathered in a restaurant for a night out – each woman has a glass of her favorite poison.

One woman begins: “Did you see Sara? She got a boob job.”

“No!” Intakes of breath are heard.

“I think she looks great. In fact I’m thinking of getting a tummy tuck,” Nancy bravely announces.

“You are so pretty. Your husband adores you. If he thinks you’re sexy you don’t need to get that done.” “God made you the way you are.” “Everyone has extra skin from having babies. It’s a badge of honor.” “We’re all getting older. It’s natural.” “Come with me to my Absolute Abs class. Hans is fantastic.” Her friends all chime in. She is silenced & the topic changes. Anne is salivating over a $500 mirror from Ethan Allen.

Whoa! What just happened? When did buying a pricey decoration over ride the support of a friend’s personal body choice?

Nancy’s husband may think she’s incredibly desirable, but she doesn’t feel that way. God did make Nancy the way she is. He also created talented surgeons. As for extra skin being a badge of honor – it’s not one many want to wear. We are all getting older, and why not better? Yes – going to Absolute Abs is great for abdominal muscles but it’s not going to tighten stretched skin. Nancy isn’t harming anyone, why aren’t her friends raising their glasses and toasting her decision?

As I get ready for bed each night & apply preventative eye wrinkle cream I wonder how much longer it will work. I notice faint lines on my forehead and a few lines trying to etch themselves around my eyes. I entertain the idea of Botox & then shudder a little envisioning some crazy allergic reaction I’ll have to it. My vanity may win, and I might find myself in a cold dermatologist’s office with sweaty hands for a consult someday. If the time comes I want to hear a few comforting words, or even have a friend to sit with in the waiting room. Maybe we can laugh about the idea of me coming out looking like Donatella Versace? If you disapprove please do so quietly, and I won’t say anything about your ugly mirror.