Monday, April 29, 2013

Surf's Up! What to Pack for a Beach Vacation?

Pack for a Beach Vacation?

Recently, a Flattering50 reader emailed and asked: "I'm looking for some ideas on what to wear for a beach vacation. Any chance you might do a post on that?" Gladly! Other than college, I've lived in homes on the water or no more than a few blocks away. I adore the seashore! Diane Vreeland called water (for drinking or sitting by) "God's tranquilizer." I couldn't agree more. How do I pack for a beach vacation? The short answer: Simply and comfortably.

A beach vacation is the ultimate rest and relaxation experience. Formality is just plain silly when you're surrounded by sand, surf and salt air. That said, the absence of formality doesn't mean I'm going to throw in the proverbial beach towel on style and just wear anything. I still want to look my best. So...for a beach vacation, I'm going to pack a handful of separates that are easy to mixed and matched, and perfect for day or night. To see what's in my beach bag, click...

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Walk This Way: A Stylish Cane Needs Our Support

Okay, I admit it: I’ve got a soft spot for entrepreneurs with limited resources, trying to get a creative idea off the ground. I also like to blog about well-designed products. So…for this post, I’m giving a little free press to the young lads at Top and Derby. They’ve designed a stylish walking cane for the young and not-so-young who need a little extra support. I love the cane’s simple, upbeat design with the necessary functionality. Yes, form and function together!

Now that they’ve created this chic cane, the entrepreneurs are trying to raise money to take it to market. They’ve got an Indiegogo campaign (a crowd-funding campaign like Kickstarter), where people like us can show support their dream. The site includes this great video, which explains the cane’s virtues…

There are only 13 days left on the fund-raising campaign, so time, as they say, is of the essence. If like me, you have an elderly parent who’s slowly losing the ability to walk unassisted, you know what a bitter pill having to use a cane can be to swallow. Or, perhaps, you or someone you know has had to use a cane after an accident or surgery. I know if it were me, I’d want to find a stylish cane like the Top and Derby walking cane. I wish the designers lots of success! If you'd like to help the stylish walking cane dream along, click HERE.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Dove Beauty Video Goes Viral

Just in case you aren't in the YouTube loop, there's a video on women and beauty that has gone viral--over 22 million people have watched it to date. The video, entitled Real Beauty Sketches, was produced by the Dove soap people. According to Dove, only 4% of women around the world consider themselves beautiful. That's a pretty sobering statistic, albeit not entirely surprising. The question remains, however: How can women think this way? Women know better. Specifically...
  • We all know how harmful those Madison Avenue bullies are, making women feel rotten about their appearance. 
  • We all know that the advertisers will say anything to sell beauty products. 
  • We all know that if someone discovered a product that made noses look like elephant trunks, Madison Ave. would declare: "Nose that look like elephant trunks are beautiful!" 
And yet, some of us--96% of us, if you believe the statistic--continue to accept Madison Avenue's totally fabricated definition of beauty. The sad reality is, the women in the video are all attractive women. Here, see for yourself...

Dove invites you to join the conversation either at YouTube, at their website or on Twitter at #wearebeautiful. If you view the video here, be sure to take a peek at the Dove website. The site has a longer version of the video, plus a gallery of all the sketches of the women. I'd love to know what you think of the project.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Design Your Own Colorblock Pumps

Earlier in the month, I wrote a post about this spring’s show-stopping sandals, focusing on color-blocked and embellished styles. While I was researching my sponsors for product shots I could use to illustrate the trends, I noticed that Nina shoes features Design your own shoe on Endless style, color and sole combinations! Recently, I’ve been looking for the perfect combination of hues in a colorblock style sandal and haven't had any luck. I’ve also noticed that a lot of the colorblock sandals and shoes have crazy 4” or higher heels, which are too high for me. So...when I saw the Design Your Own (D.Y.O.) feature at Nina's, I thought: wow--maybe I could D.Y.O. a pair of colorblock pumps for a summer wedding I'm attending. The D.Y.O. feature is really easy to use and shows you instantly what your design looks like. My first design was the Paladin style above. Once I got started, however, I couldn't stop. To see more of my colorblock designs, click…

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Thanks, Lilly!

The Lilly Life

I was saddened to learn Lilly Pulitzer, the creator of simple, cotton shifts in eye-popping prints and colors, had died on April 7th. I never knew the woman, of course. And though I grew up in a community that embraced those shifts in a big way, I never wore one. At the height of the Lilly’s popularity, I was having my hippie moment, favoring faded T-shirts, halter tops, long peasant skirts and torn jeans. Still, I’m indebted to Lilly Pulitzer. Her well-publicized, off-beat path to fashion icon has guided me for the past 20 years. In fact, now that I'm in my 50s, Lilly's story means more to me than ever. To continue, click...

Thursday, April 11, 2013

New Day/New Outfit: The In-Between Sweater

April in New York is a weather roller coaster--one day (like today) in the 80s; the next day down in the 50s. Saturday night, I was in the city to see "Old Hats," the latest creative masterpiece by Bill Irwin and David Shiner. I wore a black lace blouse and camisole, a flare skirt, flats and a red trench, and I froze the minute the sun went down! A girlfriend in our little party wore a gold puffy jacket--smart woman. But here's the  thing: Even if I'd known the temp was going to fall to the 40s, I probably wouldn't have reached for a puffy jacket, a wool coat or even a chunky sweater. It's April, for goodness sake. This over 50 gal is tired of dressing for the cold.  My solution: a lightweight, short-sleeve sweater.

A short-sleeve sweater offers...
  • Shoulder warmth. I'm always amazed at how much warmer I feel when my shoulders are covered.
  • Minimal wooliness. I don't feel bundled up for winter in a lightweight knit with an open neck and short sleeves.
  • Versatility. I'm surprised at how well this sweater functions in a range of spring temperatures.

I picked up my shawl-neck, short-sleeve sweater at Coldwater Creek a month or so ago. I didn't wear it at all during the really cold, snowy weather in March. Lately, however, I've been living in it. I'm finding the neutral color goes with lots of things. So far, I like it best worn over a white man-tailored shirt. And since it's a bit boxy, I always wear it with a belt for structure.

If a short-sleeve sweater appeals to you, you'll find a wide selection of styles on the web. When I searched short-sleeve knits, I found pullover, cardigans, ponchos and shawl-like vests.  Here's two examples. Forgive the product shots with young babes. 

LOFT Petite Open Front Elbow Sleeve Cardigan

LOFT Petite Open Front Elbow Sleeve Cardigan ($44.99, plus 40% off at checkout) in Regular Sizes and black as well.

I love this soft, draped poncho look...



Sunday, April 7, 2013

Style Over 50: Show-Stopping Sandals

Nine West Flo Sandal - Size 7

I'm on the hunt for a new pair of sandals. I still intend to wear last year's pair, which I love. But three other, older pairs of sandals got the heave-ho at the end of last summer. So lately, I've been perusing the web at home and fashion mags at the beauty parlor, checking out my sandal options for this spring. And what I'm seeing are sandals with big personalities--multi-colored sandals and ones covered with jewels, metals or beads. The Nine West Flo Sandal - Size 7 ($79 in Sizes 5-11 and 5 color schemes) at the top of this post is a perfect example. Many, many shoe designers and brands have included bejeweled and colorful footwear in their spring collections, so you shouldn't have any trouble finding them. For this post, I've included a sample of my favorite sandal styles from my, Nine West and give you some ideas. To take a peek, click...