A TIP FOR BUILDING AN OVER 50 WARDROBE - 1010 Park Place
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A TIP FOR BUILDING AN OVER 50 WARDROBE

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A great way to build a wardrobe is when you’re buying new clothes, think about how you can mix and match with the clothes you already have. Imagine most of the pieces I’m showing you today with the same black top or pullover sweater, a great necklace and sandals, or boots, when the weather gets cooler.

I’m stepping outside of my neutral color palette. Would you believe I bought a taxicab yellow, leopard print skirt and a pair of coral pants?

Both of these pieces I was drawn to in a New York minute. If truth be told I bought a pair of taxicab, yellow, Isabel Marant pants three years ago, but I knew I’d feel conspicuous whenever I wore them, so I sent them back. I no longer feel that way because as I’ve been tweaking my style, I’ve gotten more comfortable being out of step with what those around me are wearing. And that’s okay! 

We all have different taste and styles, and one isn’t better or worse than another. Just different!

My Seek top, Jan Barboglio necklace, Julie Vos bracelet and Stuart Weitzman sandals are all old.

I love Anine (pronounced A-nina) Bing’s pieces because she designs timeless styles that have a little rock ’n’ roll. Like this Bar Silk Skirt in a shade she calls Golden Leo in a leopard print.

She also makes this skirt in a fabulous Rust Zebra and a Dusty Blue. The silk has a fabric backing that makes it heavier than most silks so it drapes beautifully when you walk and sit down. It feels like something Lana Turner would have worn in a 1940’s film noire. It has a slight flair at the bottom and an elastic waist. If you’re worried about showing off your backside and thighs, pair either skirt with a long black sweater and wear it with ankle boots. A very cool look for grownup women. FYI my skirt is a Large, which Anine Bing translate into an 8-10.

I paired these Layfaette 148, “Mercer,” Dusty Peach pants (with five-point jeans back pockets and an Italian stretch cotton/nylon/spandex machine washable fabric) with a Mexican top I’ve had for over 30 years. When I lived in blue jeans I would wear this top, but now I like it better with the Mercer pants, because the cut is much more flattering on me than blue jeans!! The Mercer is a true mid-rise and it hits at the ankle and is cut for a woman’s body. Again I’m going to use the word “drape.” The Mercer style pants drape over my body better than blue jeans. The “more flattering” revelation reminds me of a conversation I had with Sandy Linter.

“I still wear jeans, but they don’t look the way they did 20 years ago. I don’t look well with casual unless I really think about the outfit,” Sandy said. “I’d rather look a little more pulled together.”

The Mercer pants are more expensive than blue jeans, but I think they’ll look better on most women than jeans, plus you’ll have them for years, so the cost per wear makes them reasonable. Lafayette 148 is out of the Dusty Peach color, but they have a Spice and a Sycamore Green… like a dark olive… which I’m ordering in a size 12. For a size reference, I’m 5’7” tall and about 148 pounds.

Are you tweaking your style and having fun with fashion as you get older?


24 Comments

  • Taste of France July 12, 2019 at 4:35 am

    Your new additions are wonderful!
    I was thinking about wardrobes and about my inability to commit to a color palette. The result is that I wear all black almost all the time. That’s OK as far as everything going together (blacks are easier to match than blues or reds) and for doing laundry. But in trying to figure out how to jazz things up a little, I hit on the idea of getting some colorful tops and dresses. That way the tops will go with any black or khaki or white or jeans bottoms and jackets and I will still have everything that works with everything, since you can only wear one top at a time. Tops tend to be less expensive than pants, skirts or jackets, so that also allows for having more of them. Dresses are single units, maybe involving a jacket, but no bottoms needed.
    But then I see your fantastic skirt and those wonderful coral pants and think I’d like that kind of fun, too.
    Your fashion posts are very thought-provoking!!!

    • Brenda Coffee July 14, 2019 at 6:15 pm

      TOF, I’m happy I’ve given you something to think about. For the last 20 plus years my wardrobe has been grey, taupe and black which is easy to dress up or dress down. Now that I’m adding some color, I feel like these pieces aren’t as versatile. The yellow skirt is blah with a white shirt and I wouldn’t add any other color than black. The coral pants, however, do look great with a crisp white blouse and some nice jewelry so I don’t feel like a casual slob. It’s easy to buy separates, but building a wardrobe that goes together is the hard part, isn’t it? xoxox, Brenda

  • Leslie July 12, 2019 at 6:32 am

    I just LOVE you in the black top and animal print skirt. I must comment on how much you resemble Diane Keaton in that fabulous picture. You ooze sexy mature confidence, which just goes to show that old adtage “If you look good you feel good” rings true.

  • Leslie July 12, 2019 at 6:39 am

    *adage…. Should have gone with spell check before sending… Your blog is fantastic and I look forward to your posts!

    • Brenda Coffee July 14, 2019 at 6:19 pm

      Leslie… Thank you!!! That makes me happy because that’s my goal. To do blog posts you like and that interest you! xoxox, Brenda

  • Karen July 12, 2019 at 7:16 am

    Brenda, love the articles …and btw you look fabulous! I bought and am keeping the skirt you wore to the Diana Ross concert in Vegas..I love it! Thanks.

    • Brenda Coffee July 14, 2019 at 6:21 pm

      Hi Karen, Brava!! I love knowing that! What will you wear it with? BTW, I found a black tulle skirt I’d like but it’s $800. Since I won’t wear it that often, I’m going to pass, but I really like it. I’ll keep looking for a lesser priced one. And thank you so much for the compliment. xoxox, Brenda

  • Donna O'Klock July 12, 2019 at 9:32 am

    Oh. My. Goodness!! You look gorgeous. Love that yellow/golden leopard print skirt!! That’s one sassy outfit – and I can see it’s potential for being both very casual and très chic. Great find!
    XO

    • Brenda Coffee July 14, 2019 at 6:22 pm

      Hi Donna, Yes, the yellow skirt is a great find. I’m new to this brand but will be looking there more often because her pieces aren’t tailored and designed just for younger women. She also has a store in London I’m going to visit when I’m there this fall. xoxox, Brenda

  • Evie July 12, 2019 at 9:40 am

    Great and timely article …Yes,I’m tweaking my style and my life, I was going through my closet this morning and felt it’s missing something!
    I’m going to hit the sales this weekend and hope to find some treasures!

    • Brenda Coffee July 14, 2019 at 6:34 pm

      Best of luck, Evie! I haven’t found anything on sale that I like, and the few pieces I’ve bought over the years I don’t wear, and the things I love aren’t around when it comes sale time. So I just suck it up and buy what I want first time around. Since I’m not much of a shopper I think it’s the best way for me to go. xoxox, Brenda

  • LA CONTESSA July 12, 2019 at 10:31 am

    ONCE AGAIN YOU LOOK STUNNING and have NAILED COLOR!
    DOesn’t it make YOU HAPPY?
    DO people wear MORE COLOR in TEXAS?I would think YES as you are so close to MEXICO!PLus, its HOT!
    I love your MASTER BATHROOM BY THE WAY!Don’t think I have ever told you that!
    NO TWEAKING HERE!DOing what I have always done…………..!!!
    But I’m DIFFERENT from THE PACK as YOU KNOW!
    PS. TWO bread recipes on my BLOG you may want to try!
    NO GRAIN!NO DIARY!
    XX

    • Brenda Coffee July 14, 2019 at 6:38 pm

      Elizabeth, The older I get the more I’m attracted to color and that goes for my house as well. I saw an IG photo of Serena Crawford sitting on a red and white stripped antique sofa and now I want to cover my sofa in “peppermint” but then it will be the domino effect, and everything will have to change. I’m thinking I’ll just buy some red pillows. Saw some on a London designer’s IG page and am going to pop in and say hello!! Happy you like my bathroom. It’s not the best angle to show it off, but the only one where I can do selfies. xoxox, Brenda

  • Colleen Fuller July 12, 2019 at 11:56 am

    I’m definitely having more fun with fashion as I get older. Styling outfits has become an obsession for me. Love the style of the skirt and top with the necklace and the sandals. Your bathroom looks so classy. The figurine reminds me of a Maxfield Parrish painting.

    • Brenda Coffee July 14, 2019 at 6:43 pm

      Me, too, Colleen! I just need a budget that would allow me to have this fun!! “The figurine” in my bathroom is an Art Deco Bronze on an alabaster base which has a light inside. She’s called “Egyptian Dancer” by CRJ Colinet. I’ve had her since my 20’s I think. The piece on the wall is also Art Deco. “Sarah Bernhardt” by Alphonse Mucha. I’ve had her for a long time as well. xoxox, Brenda

  • Anon July 12, 2019 at 12:19 pm

    Remember that yellow skirt from H&M? There it was, when I went in the store. It wasn’t meant for me, but a week later in another store, a similar skirt in blue beckoned. I thought I was past my boho days, but wait: it looks good with a black jacket and booties. I think I’m tired of dressing my age, and want to dress my personality. Is there any reason why I can ‘t do both? This skirt won’t make me into a Coachella girl, but it’s just enough of a hint of my 20s.

    • Brenda Coffee July 14, 2019 at 6:49 pm

      Anon, There are no rules for dressing our age!!! As long as we feel good in it, go for it! That’s my motto. That said… There’s an over 50 woman on Instagram who wears micro mini skirts, revealing tops and sky high heeled, thigh high boots and caged booties! I think she wants to show that she’s kept her figure, which I’m all for, but… She doesn’t look age appropriate. I kind of feel sorry for her. You reminded me of the yellow H&M skirt, so I wore it today with a light blue chambray shirt with the cuffs/sleeves pushed up to my elbows and the gold sandals in the photos in this blog post. Very summery and fun. A little boho chic and very much my personality. Your idea of a black jacket and booties for either color skirt sounds wonderful. Do it!! xoxox, Brenda

  • Sheila-Merle Johnson July 12, 2019 at 12:54 pm

    Love you in these colors. I have reserved the skirt in rust zebra to a sale notification list in case the price drops. I don’t usually wear skirts, but this one is worth it!. Like LA CONTESSA, I love your bathroom. Tres elegant! As to your color post, I had mine done twice many years ago when it was the rage. The second one made more sense to me because it gave me percentages of the different seasons and gave qualifier adjectives to each season – for example, Fall was rich, and either Spring on Summer was animated. You can tell my memory is going. I was 70% spring, 15% summer and 15% fall. That gave a nuanced set of colors. I’m sure that has changed now that at 74, I have auburn hair, not sandy-blond. I even look good in certain blacks. Basically, though, I’m just having fun with fashion.

    • Brenda Coffee July 14, 2019 at 6:57 pm

      Sheila, I’m with you about having fun with fashion! I just wish I had someplace to wear it! Annie doesn’t notice whether I’m in gym clothes or church clothes, and she never says, “You look nice,” although I tell her everyday how pretty she is… hoping she’ll get the idea! That rust skirt is so fabulous! I’ve had to slap my hands, twice, to keep from buying it. Again, I have no place to wear it, plus I don’t need to spend the money. I’ve never had my colors done, but like you, my hair is a different color and I’m sure my complexion is as well. I never wore black until about six years ago. Don’t know whether it looks good on me, but I like it. xoxox, Brenda

  • Judy Freedman July 12, 2019 at 4:37 pm

    Ooh, I like that leopard skirt. I noticed in the Nordstrom Anniversary catalog that leopard is in style again. I feel like it’s always in style! I find that now I only wear high waisted jeans. I actually gave away my old jeans because they didn’t fit me well anymore.

    • Brenda Coffee July 14, 2019 at 6:53 pm

      Hi there Judy!!! Does leopard every go out of style? LOL! I see old photos of 1940’s, 50’s film stars and they’re wearing leopard. I love my jeans, but only if they hit at my waist. I don’t look good with a muffin top and am constantly tugging, trying to pull them up higher. That doesn’t say confidence, and we should be confident with our age, how we look and what we wear. xoxox, Brenda

  • Sandra Sallin - Apart from My art July 12, 2019 at 8:18 pm

    I thought your bathroom was the entryway. Shows you what I know. You look fabulous. Love the new additions. Yes, I’m much gutsier as I’ve gotten older. I just wear what I want. I’ve also gained weight. You know that stuff around the middle. But I’m definitly gutsier and more fun with my dressing. Halleluja!

    • Brenda Coffee July 14, 2019 at 7:01 pm

      Halleluja is right, Sandy!! My middle has expanded as well but still “under control,” plus I’m not willing to exercise more and cut out more foods in hope of loosing weight there because that doesn’t work. My face and neck are the only places that lose weight, and that makes me look older. I’m just grateful I’m still here!! You may not have been following me when I did a blog post about redoing my bathroom. If you’re interested, here’s a link. https://www.1010parkplace.com/my-beautiful-bathrooms/ xoxox, Brenda

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