Friday, September 11, 2009

My Search and Blog Begin

Recently, I was standing at a crosswalk on 7th Avenue (yes—Fashion Avenue), waiting for the light to change. It was a typical summer day in New York City—hot, muggy, greasy, smelly—the sort of day you don’t want to be delayed (even for a 58-second traffic light) from your air-conditioned destination. While I waited, I looked for a distraction. I noticed a fifty-something woman waiting to cross the avenue from the opposite side. She was wearing a butter-colored knit dress with short sleeves and matching sandals. When the light finally turned and the woman passed me, I noticed how the dress moved with her body. The cut and length of the dress flattered her height and weight. She was no more than 5’5.’’ But the monotone fabric and the absence of interrupting elements—big flashy jewelry or a dark, thick belt—made her appear her full height, if not taller. She was not skin-‘n-bones; there were a few midlife bulges here and there. However, the body mass: fabric ratio seemed perfect for her. The dress clung to her torso without squeezing it and flowed below the hips without ballooning.

I was with a best friend at the time, spending the day in Manhattan (we’d been to the Chelsea Market, the new High Line and Pastis for lunch). "Did you see the woman in the butter-colored dress?" I asked as we walked east to catch a movie playing on Broadway. My friend had not. "She was our age and she looked great. Flattering fashions for us do exist. But what are they and where can we get them?" A moment later, overwhelmed with enthusiasm, I exuded, "Maybe I’ll start a blog, a notebook of flattering fashions for the after 50 woman."

"Fashion is personal," snapped my friend, clearly not feeling my enthusiasm.

Yes, yes, it’s personal. I wouldn’t dare tell someone what his/her style should be. The world would be much more interesting, more amusing if everyone had a style of his or her own. But finding a flattering style after 50 is a challenge. And so, my search and this blog begin.