Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Wednesday Words









 ...."As I often get my inspiration from RTW I do find it difficult to find styles I like. It seems that when a certain age is reached you must wear voluminous linen tops with irregular hemlines......Anthea"  commenting on Diary of a Sewing Fanatic. Carolyn, of that blog, had a very interesting post on sewing into retirement and after, which you can read  here..............Are you fashion conscious but finding it hard to find fashions/patterns/styles that are age appropriate?  Does being age appropriate even matter? How do you translate the current trends to wearable garments that fit your lifestyle and and what even is "age appropriate"?  Inquiring minds want to know!....Bunny





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Wednesday's Words are quotes, pictures and links gleaned from the internet that at times can be provocative, opinionated or even funny. They are not necessarily my personal views but do pertain to being creative, sewing, fashion and more.,,Bunny  





34 comments:

  1. I turned 60 last year. Age appropriate ? I don't think it means potato sacks!!!! I cannot believe what the pattern companies have been turning out in the potato sack category. The indies aren't any better. I looked for a blazer pattern last month- NONE!!!! What nonsense. Give me a pair of jeans, a comfy tee or silk blouse and a nice jacket or blazer any day...
    I've been sewing patterns from the 70s. Nice Blazers from Christian Dior, Anne Klein, something with a little class.

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  2. On the north side of 60, the only way I can hope to "dress fresh" is to focus on style, rather than fashion. For me, fashion is the tweek I put on my style and it freshens up my basic style, season to season.

    I have accepted that certain colors and shapes look best on me, period. For me, it's is all about accentuating the positive and it creates my style lane. I play with those elements in vogue to make things a bit more lively. If wide pants are in, I try to adjust the volume, fabric and color/pattern to make it work for me. If super skinny pants are in, I try to make certain that there's coverage on top, but balance in the overall silhouette. It's difficult and it's fun to change.

    I find I cover up more now. My arms will never look like a 20 year old's arms or a 40 year old's arms, but I can still find ways of adding a bit of sheer here and there to make it work for me without looking like an old shoe. It's challenging, but it's also fun and keeps the entire enterprise endlessly interesting.

    I've also discovered that the older I get, I must focus on fitting (as perfectly as I can), my changing body, the drape and volume of the fabric, and proportion of the elements I wear. That requires a ton of cogitating and noodling!

    I dress to please myself, but I don't want to go overboard with the art-to-wear although I adore sewing these garments. I found that I don't always reach for the art-to-wear pieces, so I've faced reality and admitted that I need wardrobe stalwarts, rather than all show stoppers. I don't want to morph into Edie Beale, so I must restrain myself.

    There is more than a lifetime of variables to consider, study and play. I do love it.

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    1. As a mature but fashion needy 68 year old I appreciate and agree with everything you have said above. It's all about knowing what style looks good on the changing body and tweeking them to look fashionable and interesting. I also focus on colors that flatter. Karen

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  3. You've made some really good points, Urbanite. Just to reiterate, fit is doubly important at this point for me too. Three quarter length sleeves are my best friends and colors that are flattering are definitely evolving. Thank heavens we sew!

    I like a bit of "art to wear" but it is not my signature look. I'm still comfortable with a bit more tailoring and fit. The art to wear can be fun but also an easy way out from a sewing/fit standpoint and I get that too.

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  4. The French say some fashions are to show off the figure, while others are to show off the garment. Thus, it's perfectly acceptable to wear an artsy item that doesn't flatter the wearer, and still be considered chic. With that said, I'm of a certain age, and I prefer beautiful colors that look good on me and make me feel good, and fitted garments (ok, not ridiculously fitted but definitely not gunny sacks) that show off my best features. If once in a while, I'm drawn to something for art's sake, I just go with it, but I know it's the exception rather than the rule in my style. Surely one of the perks of living longer is learning what really works for us, and adapting current fashions to our own guidelines/preferences.

    As for those potato sack patterns and "so easy anyone can sew it" fashions, there are some ladies who love and look great in them -- more power to them. But please, pattern-creators, give the rest of us some challenges and some reasons to sew flattering fitted gear!

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    1. I prefer clothes that show off the person. The idea that the only two choices are displaying my body or acting as an ambulatory clothes hanger for "artistic" pieces is repellent to me.

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  5. Plus-size 64 year old here. I have a fantasy about being an unstructured-linen-big-jewelry-wearing person but when it comes down to it that just isn't me. I'm more of an pressed-oxford-shirt and jeans dog-walking person. Shopping for clothes on a moderate budget is a nightmare: thin fabric decorated with teddy bears and flowers or stuff that might work for a stick-thin 20-something. I went down the quilting rabbit hole but am now thinking about getting back into garment sewing. It's frustrating because I live in a small town and fabric for garments is very limited to say the least. Interesting thread, thanks for bringing this topic up.

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    1. We have similar tastes. Nothing I love more than a crisp white shirt and jeans or slim black pants, what I call my "waitress" outfit.

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  6. I do think there are several layers to "age appropriateness". It just FEELS restrictive though to phrase it that way, especially with society's unyielding views on what women "should" be.

    I'm fast approaching 40 (don't worry - I'm SUPER excited about this!) and I feel like there are things that 37 year olds "can" totally wear but as a mom to older teens, I don't/wouldn't.

    And then my personal aesthetic comes in from there. I like fitted but not tight. From the front view I am a rectangle and so I hate boxy clothes. I try not to judge by I don't understand how someone in their 30s+ wears actual clothes outside with pineapples or cats or giant bows or whatever.

    Or some designers who design things that make you look like an oversized 2 year old. THAT, I do not get. And I think it becomes age inappropriate.

    As for trends...meh. I think most of us are far better focusing on the colors and silhouettes that suit us. If those things are part of a trend - great! But if not, just step away.

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  7. I'm moving towards well fitting basics with details borrowed from RTW.

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  8. Age appropriate for me is wearing something that is comfortable, fits properly and accentuates the things "I" like about my body. I am very fit and can wear a lot of things I could in my younger years, but that doesn't mean I should. But I also don't like the styles in RTW or some patterns for mature women. Just because I'm 52 doesn't mean I have to dress like it. There is a happy medium and I think that is totally individual. Feel good in what you wear!

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  9. Loving this thread! I'll be 70 in less than 6 months. Keeping in the best shape I can be has helped me feel comfortable in my clothes. Arms not a 20 year olds neither is the rear bumper, but good fit is my friend as I'm sure it is for all commenting here. I too am a jeans and tee shirt girl, but love the beautiful fabrics available online and interesting patterns.....and blogs like this one.....maturity is a wonderful thing!

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    1. I echo that! Beautiful fabric, classic design--- gives me a grin.

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  10. Most of the stuff I see for women isn't suitable for those of us over 21, not to mention the shoddy workmanship and awful fabric. Enormous armholes on sleeveless tops, ugly prints, the aforementioned voluminous shapes - it's as though the designers all take a course in "Frumpwear for the Masses".

    As for age appropriate, fit is probably the most important element, but if a trend is only predominant among teens, then a bit of common sense is in order. For example, it is not a good look when the cheeks are hanging out of the short shorts.

    I am so grateful I can sew!

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  11. I really think "Frumpwear for the masses", upon closer inspection, will show us design decisions made to increase profit margin. Designs are being dumbed down to small, medium and large, big armholes, hems that aren't straight, minimal finishing and even less detail. I can tell you, having worked in a garment factory, this all shows me ways to increase profits and cut labor costs. That's why I can't buy into that look.

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    1. Your observations on spot on, Bunny!

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  12. I am nodding in agreement with so much that has been said here thus far. For me, I focus on fit and color. I stay away from voluminous or too tight garments. Semi-fitted is what I like.

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  13. I really hate this 'look'. I am not thin but I don't want to hide in an over sized burka for the western woman. Skimming the body with beautiful fabrics is what I try for. That and sleeves! A friend who doesn't sew complained to me that she could not find a dress that had sleeves. At 70 she does not want to show her arms.
    I think that you are right about profits. If they don't have to fit lots of body types they win.

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  14. Lets face it, Lagenlook garments are made with minimal effort. No fit, no pressing, no darts, no collars, no details at all, more profits. I'll admit, once in a while you've seen me make a garment or two like this. But just the other day I was looking back through blogposts for something and it struck me that garments that "skimmed" my figure, sometimes even hugged it, really were much more flattering than those that hid my assets. At this age, as long as we are talking age here, I feel I know my bod pretty well and what to emphasized and what to hide but it sure isn't all of it. I wish there were more acceptance of well fitting clothes on the mature figure. It has earned its beauty and lumps and deserves to be seen in glorious fabric and designs.

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  15. 69 next month, petite and slim-ish. I'm pretty lucky, the regional style is casual: jeans, a tee, and a blazer will take you just about anywhere. My aging/fashion issue is mostly caused by needing to use supplemental O2. I carry it either in a backpack rig or on a cross-body strap and bag. It makes dressing my top half difficult. Not a lot of tailored jacket shoulders can stand up to that treatment. Lagenlook is out, no boho either. They overwhelm my figure and the weight of the O2 makes loose clothing bunch up in some pretty odd places. So, I go for the best fabric I can afford, good tailoring and fitting, and more tone on tone than contrasts and fussy prints. I'm trying for an uncluttered, elegant, and somewhat restrained look. I also am in the 3/4 sleeve camp. I like a simple faced waistband, darted slack, slim legs, ad maybe a notched hem. Sadly no skirts, my 'bingo wings' arm flab makes my legs look good! Ah well, I earned every wrinkle and sag and bag. At least the lines on my face came from laughing.

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  16. Love the dresses you show. Do you have any links for them?
    Vancouver Barbara

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    1. Bunny may have more specific links, but if you want to read about one woman's adventures in sewing the Lagenlook/Tina Givens style, I'd recommend http://spottydogsocialclub.blogspot.fr/2015/03/out-of-alberta-my-tina-givens-style.html

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    2. Thanks so much, ParisGrrl. Both images were garments that sold on ebay. The Lagenlook style can easily be seen by searching out that word on Pinterest or google images. I think Pinterest gives a better overview and photos.

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  17. I feel so sad for women who think you have to cross over into "bag lady" stage once you see 50. They think they are being "artistic" if nothing touches the body and it looks like you have been on a starvation diet and wearing bed sheets and tattered duvet covers. Modern patterns have weird hemlines, oversized pockets and not one shred of fitting darts or seams or decent sleeves. I am so glad I can sew for clients who still want to look like ladies and not hobos. At 66 I am not ready to roll over and resort to wearing rags and saggy costumes instead of real well fitting garments with 3/4 sleeves. The other sad thing is when women wear these saggy clothes, they stop wearing bras thus giving themselves a real weird looking bust area that has migrated/fallen to their waistline as they proclaim to the world that they are comfortable...I call it lazy and wearing a huge breastplate necklace won't cut it. Thankfully we have Bunny to keep us fashionable!

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    1. Oh, I don't think I deserve that credit! Mrs. Mole we can always count on you to call it as you see it. Here are my thoughts on lagenlook, other than the profit motive I've already mentioned. When I go to the beach, a summer resort, that look is perfect for me. I want loose, breezy, casual, I don't give a crap look because I am on vakay and just getting into it. But like many things that happen on vakay, it doesn't always translate quite the same at home, at least for me in this plaid shirt and jean environment I live in. The look can be fun, like the vakay, but in my lifestyle and location it isn't always appropriate. I do have an outfit planned that is "laggy" that will be for our vakay in Maine this summer but for now focus is on traditional skirts and tops for work, my real world, and they work for me or at least I tell myself that, hah!

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  18. Fabulous post and really enjoyed the replies to you Bunny.
    As I am approaching 60, besides my body shape shifting since my hysterectomy, I still find that I do honestly prefer the look I have always gone for; tailored well fitting clothes. I have to come to terms that my pattern size has changed and that I need to accept that I am more curvy than I was. So, I wholeheartedly agree, fit is king in looking good in whatever you choose to wear.

    The look you are talking about always seem to look great on others and dreadful on me, poncho's too make me look dreadful, but I see ladies who look absolutely stunning in them. So I guess the key is learning what suits your frame, your style and your personality and then go for it.

    I seem to be somewhat of a rebel at the moment too, sticking with my own hair colour as I near 60 and loving my blonde hair turning silver. Huge debate here in the U.K. on the tv last week. The opinion seemed to be that we ladies of a certain age have to dye our hair to hide our age. I found it sad that the ladies debating it were all over 50 and saying that they feel they have to do it for their jobs etc. With you on the sleeve issue, but all the dress I see in stores with sleeves, in the main are styles that make me look like an old lady!! Thank goodness for home sewing.

    Are you fully recovered yet Bunny?
    Thanks again for your fabulous blog.

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    1. Thanks for your input, Marysia. I am probably about 85%. I am back at work but playing it safe with what I do, no carrying bags of books up the stairs! And I have to be careful nothing "presses" on my side as that seems to set of pain that lasts an hour or so. But I have my energy back and am getting done most of what I need to do. Thanks for asking. At this point I think I just need some warm weather and sunshine, both of which have been quite scarce around here.

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  19. I love the look of both of these garments, and usually wear full and comfortable dresses and tops. But ---- most of my friends, even if larger than I (I am an Australian size 14 to 16) wear more fitted clothes. I also make and wear fullish style pinafores under which I can wear t shirts - short and mid and long sleeved under. I love to wear leggings or black 50 denier stockings, which few of my friends wear either. When I was 17 I was the first in my country town to wear coloured tights and a lined dresses, Twiggy style. I am not an extrovert but love to keep up with fashion even if I am 67. Now I find I am the only one around Perth of my age who is wearing white sneakers. What is it with my age? Why don't more people dress for comfort as well as fashion? My age group is so STAID!

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    1. I love the white sneaker look! I can't wait for our "mud season" to dry up so I can start wearing mine. Love that look and just bought two pair, one of which is white lace!

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  20. I have always enjoyed using my clothing as an expressive means, and being employed in the arts (university music teacher) it is easy to get away with dressing with flair. I follow the Advanced Style blog though and feel that many of these older women look clownish, although I applaud their determination to express themselves this way. As I age--I'm 62 now--I hope to be able to maintain a look that feeds my creative side but still looks chic and fashionable.

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    1. I follow that blog too and there are times that really make me shake my head and want to tell my kids if I ever look like that, float me away on an iceberg. Now that is not a blanket statement. Many of the women are very stylish and sophisticated and I really admire their willingness to get up in the morning and put their best self forward. But once in a while you see one or two who is just trying to hard to be the next Iris Apfel. And we all know there is only one Iris Apfel!

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    2. I am of "a certain age"; my go to outfits are khaki pants, black tee and some type of jacket (weather pending). Wore this to work at local fabric store, to moderate functions and always felt well dressed. The old bod has drooped in certain areas, but the style carries on. Three-quarter sleeves are a must. Attended a function Tuesday eve., wore off-white slacks and turquoise three quarter sleeved top - great combo. Will probably be my go-to outfit for a bit. Follow your mothers edict: Stand straight, wear pressed clothes and you are good to go......Lydia

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  21. Although I couldn't wear the top look because it would overwhelm me I like it. "Age Appropriate" is impossible to pin down because women age differently and have different lifestyles. Some 60-year-old women are working or need to look professional. I do think that as people age it's much harder to pull off quirky or severe looks that require a great body and the freshness of youth. A 60-year-old in jeans and a shirt of either gender doesn't look as good as an attractive 20 or 30-year-old. That's life. Put on a jacket.

    Although the anti-body shamers argue that anything is acceptable, I'm not interested in seeing too much of bodies that are showing the imperfections of age, including my own. Even with young people, I've never believed that just because you can fit into something means you should wear it. You need to be able to carry it off.

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