I have been into fashion as far back as I can remember. A story my mom tells to this day is a time when I was about 3 or 4. She bought me a plain pair of rubber boots. I guess they were nothing special, but to me they were fantastic! I was so fond of them that I stood them up very carefully on the end of my bed and crawled in, determined not to move so as not to upset the uprightness of the shiny new boots. My mom came in to say goodnight and abruptly grabbed the boots and said something like, “You are not sleeping with these boots.”
Apparently, I went into a monotone mantra of ,” I want my boots, I want my boots, I want my boots.” Although my mom was slightly confused and disturbed by the repeated phrase, she returned them to the foot of my bed where they remained perfectly upright all night long.
I recall having a collection of handbags by the age of 6. A “happy face plastic purse, a heart shaped coin purse, and a sparkly clutch type thing. I treasured them and circulated their use depending on whether we were going to church, to the big city of Winnipeg, or out to friends for dinner.
As soon as I was allowed, I got my first job babysitting and from that day on I bought all of my own clothes. My mom was very practical, buying jeans that would last through my forays into the government ditch and falling off my bike and still being able to pass them down to my little sister. They were called “tough skins.” And they really lived up to their name – they were as stiff as cardboard.
My little sister and I had a massive collection of Barbie dolls and somehow we accumulated a very substantial wardrobe for them. I loved dressing and undressing the Barbies. It was thrilling to put together so many outfits. When I went into grade seven there were several subliminal messages telling me I was too old for Barbies. I forced myself to give them up putting them in the very back of our tiny closet.
From then on I started collecting my own outfits. I have always loved playing dress up and still do to this day.
My friends know that I have a lot of clothes. I am the lender for their parties, beach holidays and special dates. I really like sharing my clothes. My little sister and I do a “temporary lending program.” She lives about 12 hours away so when we meet, we decide what will make a good “trade” for the next few months. There is much discussion and bartering back and forth. I currently have one of her long sweater coats that I am enjoying immensely. My daughter borrows a lot of my clothes which I take as a huge compliment as she is a spritely 22 year old.
I feel that I have a good sense of style, and have been told so my whole life (so it must bear some truth!) I do not feel bound by society’s rules of age but by how I FEEL. When I talk to women of my age and older, I find that they are not sure where they fit into the fashion thing. They have many queries like: should I go grey or keep coloring? Is it ok to wear distressed jeans at 50? Nylons, tights or bare legs to a semi-formal event?
These are not earth shattering questions BUT they do have an affect on how women FEEL about themselves, how they feel in their body, and how they feel about aging. All very important things when it comes to self-esteem and taking care of themselves.
I would go as far as to suggest that if we are conscious about how we dress, we are CARING for our well- being. It doesn’t matter if you wear sweats and a ratty old t-shirt – but WHY are you wearing it? Because you feel fantastic about yourself? Or because you can’t stand your body and are trying to HIDE it?
I want women to empower themselves from the inside out. And to let the OUTSIDE reflect what they are feeling inside. And I want them feel like they are ROCKIN’ it.
My sister says: “Keep this real and make it juicy and meaningful for women.” I want to address all these topics with the intention of helping women of my age and older to open to the possibility of loving what is RIGHT NOW, not waiting until they are fitter, thinner, retired, or happier.
So that’s why I’m changing the direction of my blog for a bit. I really like supporting women in their journey towards loving themselves more. I love fashion – the textures, the colors, the comfort and coziness, and the sexiness. And I love writing.
I intend to post photos, give interviews and ask my version of the PROUST questionnaire – my list of questions I ask a woman which will reveal her tastes and aspirations and maybe help to inspire other women. Here is my version of the questionnaire. Feel free to take it for yourself.
The HART questionnaire
Based on the Proust questionnaire, this series of questions is designed as an interview strategy to reveal the tastes and aspirations of the taker.
You have about 3 minutes to answer the questions. The time limit encourages you to go with the first (intuitive) answer that comes up.
How would you describe your personal style?
What chronological age are you? How old do you feel most days?
When did you become interested in fashion?
On a scale of 1 -10, 1 being not at all and 10 being always, how important is dressing up?
What or who are your influences?
What’s your favorite thing in your closet? And why?
How have you adapted your style to your age?
What is your most “out there” look?
What fashion advice would you give to women of your age?
How do you think your personal style reflects your personality?
GREY or colored? Why? And if colored – when?
What makes your style unique?
Who are your favorite heroines– real, made up , living or not?
What is your favorite color that you like to wear? Why?
What is your greatest extravagance with regards to your look?
What do you like about your appearance?
What is your biggest insecurity about your appearance?
If not this era of fashion, which era would you have liked to live in?
What is your most treasured fashion item?
If you had to pick an outfit that describes your personal style, what would it look like?
What message would you like to give other women to support them in being their best selves?
Keeping it chic,
(fuzzy coat credit – Raven McAllister – Paris vintage shop)