It’s Visible Monday again, which means the over-40 style bloggers are celebrating looks that make us feel just as fabulous, stylish, and visible as the younger folks. Thanks to Patti at Not Dead Yet Style, for continuing to sponsor this great series!
I think one of the keys to retaining vibrancy in fashion is to occasionally step outside that comfort zone and try something that we might not usually wear. This advice can seem counter-intuitive, though. At our age, many of us feel that we finally know our authentic selves. We are free — at last! — to not try every crazy trend that comes sashaying down the pike. We often have the admirable goal of building practical, cohesive wardrobes in which all items work seamlessly together and serve us in our busy lives.
But still. The urge to play does present itself.
Some women do this by mixing inexpensive, trendy items in with their sturdy basics. Others use thrift stores as a way to try new things with little risk.
Me? I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.
Well, OK, not strangers. Family members, usually. When somebody gives me clothing as a gift, I see this as an opportunity. It’s often not something I would have picked for myself. But if the person knows me well, it’s still “me.” Maybe just a version of me who I haven’t met yet.
And if the gift-giver knows me very well, the item actually fits!
So here is this summer’s “gift” outfit.
- Top: Calvin Klein Jeans (gifted, from mother-in-law)
- Denim Skirt: Gap (not gifted; already mine)
- Bracelet: Gifted (from sister-in-law. Generosity and good taste run in the family)
- Belt: Steve Madden, from TJ Maxx (mine)
- Shoes: Indigo by Clark’s (mine)
- Bag: Fossil (gifted, mother-in-law, again. She rocks, doesn’t she?)
I wasn’t one hundred percent sure about this shirt when I first took it out of the box. I don’t usually wear fitted T-shirts (or any T-shirts, really), and the pattern is probably one I would have walked past in the store. But I smiled as soon as I put it on. And once I paired it with classic denim and a belt, I really smiled. It’s got that casual, sunny, hippie-chick vibe that I kind of love. I especially love it in summer, when I don’t usually have to look work-appropriate. (Which is also why I didn’t really bother with hair or makeup. In case you were wondering).
My only hesitation is that, when I wear this outfit, I occasionally wonder, “Am I trying to look too young?” But then I say: Ah, hell. It’s summer. Have fun!
I can’t say that all of my clothing gifts have been a success. Clothes and accessories are very personal things — as is fit — so I’ve returned a fair number of items over the years. But this, I like. These gifts will keep on giving!
Do you ever have luck with gifted clothes or accessories? Tell your story here. And don’t forget to visit Not Dead Yet Style, to see what the other VISIBLE bloggers are wearing this week!