Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Suede Trench Coat


A trench coat is one of those pieces that always feels stylish and elegant. Create one from supple faux suede in taupe and I am absolutely smitten!





I wore this fabulous trench by IC Collection from My Fair Lady to brunch on Sunday. Everyone, even my fashion-challenged Dad, complimented me on my coat.






I enjoy the mixing of textures in subtle colors. For example, I am wearing a long layered crepe tunic in black over faux leather front leggings and a crystal bead and gold chain necklace all from Chico's. The faux suede of the coat relates to the suede and animal print touches on the shoes which are old from Nordstrom. The woven front black leather clutch from Saks Off 5th shows well against the faux leather of the leggings and contrasts nicely with the suede of the coat.






The roll-tab sleeves are perfect for this time of year when the weather is just barely cool enough to need a coat. The hems are not finished, making the coat a bit more edgy, but this also gives it a smooth hemline.






The epaulets and a back overlay are other lovely details that make this coat special.





We had brunch at the Blackthorn Club which is always beautifully decorated with abundant flowers for each season.






There are so many fabulous pieces at My Fair Lady! I had a very difficult time choosing what to buy when I was there earlier this month. Thankfully, their website is easy to shop from. Jon and Julie, the owners, and their very professional staff are extremely patient and helpful.


Thank you for joining us on this journey through midlife and beyond. The second fifty years are truly the best!


Susan Street is the President of VintageJewelrySupplies.com.


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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Cleaning Q & A

I enjoy questions and comments from readers so much. Obviously you do too because those are always very popular posts. Here is a new suggestion for a topic from Peggy.

Good morning, Susan:

I read your blog daily and greatly admire all that you do.  A suggestion for a future topic would be caring for of all the wonderful clothing you wear so well.  For example, laundering washable pieces and undergarments ... how and how often.  Dry cleaning other pieces ... how and how often. 

Keep up the fabulous work, you are a beacon of positive vibrations! 
Thank you!
Peggy 




I can tell you from experience that washing rayon and some other man-made fabrics won't always turn out well. I liked the tunic above a lot until I washed it and accidentally put it in the dryer. Now it is a small shirt in the to go bag in the attic. Always read the care labels for appropriate cleaning tips. 

Use the proper setting on your machine for the load. For example, my machine has a hand wash feature that I use to wash delicate items such as bras and underwear. I always hang those items to dry in front of a small fan on a rolling rack overnight.


From the Container Store


My rolling rack is used for many different tasks such as sorting items and putting together looks when I am packing for a trip. I use it to keep up with the items I need to do a review on. It is my hanging bar as I take items out of the dryer and then transports the items from the laundry room to my walk in closet as well as holding items to air dry. I found mine at Home Depot, but you can also get them at The Container Store and lots more big box stores.







Fine knit fabrics such as MicroModal tops from Covered Perfectly and Ponte knits should always be washed inside out on the gentle cycle and then hung to dry. This prevents the items from pilling and or shrinking.




I love to wear white jackets and lightweight pale cardigans. I get them professionally dry cleaned about every third wear. I leave these items on that famous rolling rack for a couple of days to air out before I put them back into their place in the closet. I always check pieces in natural light for stains or needed repairs before I put them away.




I always use a lint brush on the shoulders of every garment before I wear it. Isn't it amazing how much dust can find it's way into a tiny room?






Items that have trim such as feathers, velvet, faux or real leather or fur, suede or reptile trim should be professionally cleaned as needed. 

Tip: Remove ornate buttons such as the one on the tuxedo jacket above before taking the item to the cleaner. Fancy buttons do not like to go to the cleaners! I sew them back on after I pick up the garment.






Jackets in dark colors can be worn a few times without dry cleaning, but at least once every season is a good idea. When an item is stained, I take it directly to the Dry Cleaner with an explanation of the origin of the stain so that they can appropriately clean and have the best chance of removing it.






Garments that rarely touch your skin such as coats and ruanas can be cleaned once a year. My personal rule: If it is worn against my skin such as pants, first layer tops, and underwear, it gets washed each time it is worn.


I turn jeans and other pants inside out and wash in cold water. Then turn right side out and tumble dry for just a few minutes, if at all. I then hang them up to finish drying.


I clean shoes, wallets and bags at least once every season with black or neutral shoe polish which cleans and protects the items.


Thank you for joining us on this journey through midlife and beyond. The second fifty years are truly the best!


Susan Street is the President of VintageJewelrySupplies.com.


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Monday, September 28, 2015

Scarf Season

Cooler weather brings the addition of scarves to my look. In the humid summer weather, I normally switch to necklaces.




My favorite scarves are oblong and made from silk. Handpainted scenes from nature make them even more desireable.





My tying methods are simple and sleek in keeping with my style as a whole. The more fussy and complicated the tying becomes, the less likely I will feel comfortable wearing it.






My favorite tie is to fold the scarf in the middle lengthwise. Wrap the length of folded scarf around your neck and pull the ends through the loop formed by the fold. These first three photos prove the versatility of this easy tying method.






Other simple ways to wear a scarf include wrapping the ends around your neck twice and letting the ends hang in front at uneven lengths. (Straight across lengths draws attention to the width of the area where they both end.) 




Drape the scarf around your shoulders and let one end hang down in front and one in the back. 



This fabulous silk shawl is from Tina Gleave at the Silk Squirrel. She is an incredibly talented artist who paints on silk. But, I have fallen in love with her affordable line of  gorgeous silk scarves, shawls, and ponchos, all printed with her colorful paintings. She now offers an affordable line of  quality silk reproductions done by a respected textile printing company. The resulting pieces have great depth of color and the silk used has a wonderfully fine, floating quality. 


Thank you for joining us on this journey through midlife and beyond. The second fifty years are truly the best!


Susan Street is the President of VintageJewelrySupplies.com.


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Sunday, September 27, 2015

My Exercise Routine

Many of you have asked about my exercise routine and how I keep my weight down, so I will tell you all about it today.




I have been a walk taker since I was five years old. I used to roam the hills of our farm in North Carolina every day. No matter where I have lived in my life I have always found a safe walking route away from traffic in a nice neighborhood. 

I may go for a short walk around the lakes two or three times a day. (My neighborhood is built around four small lakes that flow into each other.) Some days I walk briskly about three miles around my neighborhood or on the greenway trails near my home. If the weather is bad I might go for a walk in the mall or at the shopping center near my home which has a long sidewalk that is protected from the rain.





This isn't a routine that requires planning, special clothes, or equipment other than comfortable shoes, so this form of exercise fits my needs perfectly. I am wearing a fabulous Covered Perfectly top and Perfect Fit Leggings with flat Rockport shoes here. 

When I was younger I spent hours in the gym, in exercise classes, and in dance classes but at this busy time in my life, going for a walk fits into my routine much easier.




When my head gets cloudy from tons of administrative work, endless figures, and countless emails, I get up from my desk and go for a short walk. I visit with neighbors and their dogs for a few minutes and get my blood flowing with a quick walk around the lakes. When I return to my desk my head is clear again and my hair smells like fresh air.




When I go to the grocery I never look for the parking spot closest to the building. I park far away and walk briskly to the building and also while I am inside. 

I use a small blue and white tea cup so that I have to keep getting up and walking to the kitchen to get more tea or water. I go to the bathroom upstairs rather than the one right outside my office door. 

The point is that I do not sit still for hours working, watching TV or reading. I get up and move around often. I stretch many times during the day. Again this is no special routine, I just bend from the waist slowly touching my toes and reaching for the ceiling and then side to side. The movement is always very slow and comfortable.


I drink lots of water with lemon and or Braggs apple cider vinegar. I wait until I am actually hungry and I never eat until I am stuffed. My meals include mostly fresh plant based foods. I think of food as fuel, not entertainment. When I eat something that I enjoy very much but that I know is not good for my body (cheese comes to mind) I will occasionally have a small piece. The second half tastes the same as the first so a small bite savored is better for your mind and body than consuming a large piece without enjoying it fully.


On this beautiful day, I wore a very soft and comfortable piping top from Covered Perfectly. This is a growing but small woman-owned business. The owner and designer, Pauline, listens to our requests for styles that flatter our bodies and serve our needs. The fabric and the whole line is made here in the USA. All the models for this company are over forty (in my case, way over forty!)

Fifty, not Frumpy followers can get a 20% discount on up to two items! Use the discount code FNF20 when you check out at Covered Perfectly. Only one discount can be applied per order. There are several styles to choose from and the discount will apply on up to two items, after that, you can take advantage of the buy 2 get 1 FREE special!


Thank you for joining us on this journey through midlife and beyond. With this special post, the blog will pass three million views. I never dreamed this little hobby of mine would bring me so many new friends and so much joy. The second fifty years are truly the best!


Susan Street is the President of VintageJewelrySupplies.com.


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Saturday, September 26, 2015

Splendid September

September is such a beautiful month here in east Tennessee and our surrounding mountains.



Last evening we celebrated all of the September birthdays in my family by having dinner together at the fabulous Artisanal restaurant in Banner Elk, North Carolina.





The black tank, jacket and pants are part of Chico's Travelers Collection. I wore suede D'Orsay pumps from Sam Edelman with silver and crystal earrings and bracelets. The small clutch is the same silver gray as the jeweled button on my velvet trimmed tuxedo jacket.






This is the Knob Creek Brethren Church which was the first Brethren church in the state of Tennessee, being established in 1799. It is very close to my home and I have photographed it on several occasions over the years because it is surrounded by such beautiful trees which are now starting to take on their splendid fall colors.

Thank you for joining us on this journey through midlife and beyond. The second fifty years are truly the best!


Susan Street is the President of VintageJewelrySupplies.com.


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Friday, September 25, 2015

Statement Pieces

The shoes are the star of this show, so I kept all the other elements simple and solid.




Limiting myself to one statement piece per look keeps down on visual overload.




On this day, I was attending a business meeting so professional and sophisticated was the image I was going for. Dressing for the occasion first and for the weather second is always my order of importance. I hate being cold, so I normally dress for what will be the coolest part of the day.





The clothing and necklace are old from Chico's. The bag is from Saks Off 5th. The shoes are by Guess via T.J.Maxx last year.





I love all the brown animal prints, but they are usually too golden to be worn near my face. Instead of a scarf or blouse, I choose shoes, bags and belts. I limit myself to one animal print item per look.





Thank you for joining us on this journey through midlife and beyond. The second fifty years are truly the best!


Susan Street is the President of VintageJewelrySupplies.com.


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Thursday, September 24, 2015

Welcoming Fall!

Fall is such a gorgeous season here! I love the changes in leaves and the weather and the chance to wear a different wardrobe.



Today I am adding another layer to the look I showed you yesterday. This beautiful ruana is by Foxcroft.




Soon, our weather will be cool enough to need this extra layer during the day.






As the weather continues to get cooler, I will wear this ruana over a jacket for warmth as well as an added pop of color and texture.





Foxcroft offers timeless pieces of high quality that have served me well over the years.


The top is the long sleeve Simple Comfort from Covered Perfectly. The leggings are appropriately called Perfect Fit from BodyLanguagebyConnie.com. The bag is old from Finely House Couture in Blowing Rock, North Carolina. The boots are from Antelope Shoes. The necklaces are old from Chico's.



Thank you for joining us on this journey through midlife and beyond. The second fifty years are truly the best!


Susan Street is the President of VintageJewelrySupplies.com.


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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Great Beginnings!

I am so excited that it is getting cool enough to wear jackets and tunics and leggings and boots and... well you get the idea. I love fall!




Today I am sharing the best layering pieces I have found. I plan to wear these pieces often throughout fall and winter!





This top is the new long sleeve Simple Comfort from Covered Perfectly which comes in black and also in white. If you are like me you will need both colors! This really is the perfect top to wear alone or with jackets, vests, sweaters, scarves, necklaces, or ruanas. I'll show you how I topped off this look tomorrow. Don't forget to check back!





The leggings are appropriately called Perfect Fit. They have supportive panels which help with shaping at the sides. I am showing you the panels in the photo above. These are great leggings to wear with tunics and boots! The leggings were supplied by BodyLanguagebyConnie.com. The top was supplied by Covered Perfectly.







The bag is old from Finely House Couture in Blowing Rock, North Carolina. The boots were supplied by Antelope Shoes. The necklaces are old from Chico's.



Fifty, not Frumpy followers can get a 20% discount on up to two items! Use the discount code FNF20 when you check out at Covered PerfectlyOnly one discount can be applied per order. There are several styles to choose from and the discount will apply on up to two items, after that, you can take advantage of the buy 2 get 1 FREE special!


Thank you for joining us on this journey through midlife and beyond. The second fifty years are truly the best!


Susan Street is the President of VintageJewelrySupplies.com.


Visit me on Twitter.

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Visit me on Polyvore.


Unless otherwise noted in the post, the products I am using or wearing were purchased by me or were a gift from family or friends. When companies supply products, it is always disclosed within the body of the post.

All opinions are my own.

Occasional Q & A

Here's my question for the Q & A segment....

What to wear my red shoes with? Do I keep it neutral? Go black and white? Add a red accessory?
I am 65 years and fighting frumpy tooth and nail! My style is casual, think jeans, classic with a bit of funk.
I love these shoes, but, am not sure how to style them.

Thank you so much!!
Cher





Thank you for the question, Cher! 

You can treat your shoes as a neutral which means you could wear them with jeans or any other dark colors. You could, of course, wear them with white, but the focus is likely going to go to the shoes. Wearing the same tone from hip to toe elongates visually.


A couple of suggestions are shown below.



Sources here.


Sources here.


Thank you for joining us on this journey through midlife and beyond. The second fifty years are truly the best!


Susan Street is the President of VintageJewelrySupplies.com.

Visit me on Twitter.
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Visit me on Polyvore.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Saying Goodbye to a Friend

We attended the funeral of a dear friend today. He lived a great life and he was adored by many people. Rest in peace Pete.




I wore a black dress from Chico's last year. The dress has sheer mesh sleeves. I paired it with black suede heels from Saks off 5th and carried a small black reptile print box clutch from T.J.Maxx. 

The necklaces I wore include one that I made using an Ethiopian Coptic Cross combined with an old necklace from Chico's. I love to layer long necklaces for a unique look.




This is a signed original piece. 
The gemstone beads are black obsidian.




Thank you for joining us on this journey through midlife and beyond. The second fifty years are truly the best!


Susan Street is the President of VintageJewelrySupplies.com.

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Animal Print Simple Comfort

You already know that I love to wear the Covered Perfectly tops. 





They pack and travel very well and they are the perfect layering piece.




I am wearing a lightweight vest over the snow leopard simple comfort top. The three-quarter length sleeves are perfect to wear with a vest.





I modeled this top during the recent photo shoot in L.A. and immediately said, "Gotta have this one!" I ordered it as soon as I returned home. This top has now sold out. Hopefully, there will be more of them in the future.


The colors are gorgeous and the fabric is so soft I often forget I am wearing street clothes instead of pajamas when I have on one of these tops.

Fifty, not Frumpy followers can get a 20% discount on up to two items! Use the discount code FNF20 when you check out at Covered PerfectlyOnly one discount can be applied per order. There are several styles to choose from and the discount will apply on up to two items, after that, you can take advantage of the buy 2 get 1 FREE special!


Thank you for joining us on this journey through midlife and beyond. The second fifty years are truly the best!


Susan Street is the President of VintageJewelrySupplies.com.

Visit me on Twitter.
Visit me on Pinterest.
Visit me on Polyvore.