Once again, black and white is a hot combination for Spring 2014. Crisp and clean, it always feels fresh if you spice it up with a bag or shoe in the color of the moment. Since I
have to like to look at fashion through the eyes of a woman who needs reading glasses, I present you with eight of my favorite midlife appropriate looks straight from the NYFW runway.
First up a graphic print with a great cut, from the talented team at Cushnie and Ochs:
I usually don’t wear prints, but this is fun and funky, with a youthful feel and grown-up sensibility. It’s proper, but slightly schizo with a sense of whimsy. Excuse me while I go set up a Pinterest board for that category…And, I’m back.
Carly Cushnie and Michelle Ochs like to infuse their apparel with a bit of edge. I have kids their age, so I really like that these 20-something Parsons grads design clothing that works for several demographics. Maybe I should adopt them. Maybe they should adopt me.
As we age, the collarbone is the last to wrinkle – I hope! – and this strapless column shows off one of the best parts of the body, the shoulder area:
The forgiving silhouette and functional pockets appeal to my strong desire for comfort. If needed, you could close the boob gap a little or throw on some anti nip-slip tape. As for me, I would need to stitch up the slit on the legs a couple of inches. Ok. Four or more.
I have two grandsons, so no matter what size or shape my underwear are, they’re technically – let’s be honest – always granny panties. I value your vision too much to subject you to seeing them. *shudder* You’re welcome.
I would wear this look from Nicole Miller straight off the runway, right now:
It would be perfect for early fall too. The mix says hopeless romantic who doesn’t put up with any shit. It also says workout a lot, if you ever want to wear leather leggings anywhere outside your imagination.
I do; want to.
For someone who just professed to avoiding prints, I’m handing you three in a row. The first is from the environmentally conscious team at Edun. The pants? Eh, I don’t know. Yes, I do. The answer is NO. The layered top? Absolutely:
It would be great, paired with slim black pants, for stylish weekend brunch and errand jaunts. There are lots of fun separates in this collection, but I wouldn’t wear them all together. It’s a lot of look. Let’s hope Mr. and Mrs. Bono can keep the company going long enough to turn a profit so we get to see more of Edun’s creative Qi.
I really like the cut of this jacket from Oscar de la Renta. It’s a great year round piece to mix in with your staple black and whites.
I adore Oscar, because he adores women, but I’m not feeling the proportions of the skirt. It feels a bit, dare I say…dowdy. Imagine it shortened and more tapered at the knee and the vibe totally changes. It’s so easy to look frumpy at this age, but how about we don’t?
I think it would look great with a pair of skinny pants or jeans and those shoes.
Picture that skirt done this way:
It changes everything. Fun top, too. It’s got Mad Men style and the neckline makes a great frame for the face, unless it’s hanging lower than the collar. No need to draw extra attention there, if that’s the case.
If you haven’t read the Nora Ephron classic, I Feel Bad About My Neck, you should. It’s funny and true. Dammit! (See more ODLR goodness here.)
Finally, this two piece Badgley Mischka number is perfect for a day at the Derby – Dawn At The Downs with that hat! – or an afternoon wedding:
I love a good polka dot. The outfit is feminine and flirty, without being overtly sexy; youthful without being young, and again, the sense of ease pleases my midlife sensibilities. It’s also about as dressed up as I get these days.
A very stylish friend once told me that, although she always looks “done”, her fashion philosophy is rooted in this truth: It is just as easy to put on a skirt as it is a pair of jeans. She’s right but, sometimes, I feel uncomfortable when too dressed up (there’s nothing quite like broken in jeans paired with a super soft tee and comfy shoes), so finding clothes that inspire me to kick the everyday up a notch is always a treat.
One of the benefits of growing older is having a better sense of who you are, and knowing the difference between what you admire and what you’re comfortable in. It’s how I know for sure I will never wear anything resembling ^those Edun pants,^ but would love the top.
True story: I once wore a vintage inspired blue and green plaid skirted suit with a veiled cobalt blue pillbox hat to take my daughter…to the dentist. I kid you not. I look back on naive things like that and have to laugh at myself because I had no idea who I was, so I tried on a million other personas. It was nuts. I’m sure the crew at the dentist’s office had a good laugh too.
I am soooooo glad those days are behind me. Aren’t you?
Here’s to being comfortable in pretty clothes and your own skin,
All photos (c) The Collection