“Cyber Monday” may have come and gone, but sales-alert season is just getting started. So how can you keep your credit cards from lapsing into a coma by New Year’s Day? Prioritize, girlfriend!
I may be over 50 on the outside, but in my mind I’m still a fun, wild, youthful babe. A lot of us must feel the same way, too; why else would we get tiny tattoos or wear navy polish and black bras (instead of nice-girl nude ones)?
Most hoarders don't get their very own fashion retrospective at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, yet Iris Apfel did in 2005. This super-inspiring former textile designer is known for her colorful approach to clothes and more is more attitude towards style. Apfel did help restore the White House for nine Presidents including Reagan and Clinton, but what really knocks me out, is the ability to recycle her own closet (she never tosses anything out!) as she ramps up to birthday 92 this August. In 2011, Apfel designed a limited edition makeup line for MAC (she's a major fan of bold lipstick). Her eponymous shoe and jewelry line for HSN shows no sign of slowing down and she just launched a collection for Eye Bobs based on her signature giant frames. Let's be realistic, Iris is not like us. She is a fashion eccentric who doesn't play safe or play by the rules. In real life women 50+ usually own a lot of black and neutral clothes and a few statement necklaces or bracelets and call it a day. Iris has been collecting forever. I asked this feisty and fabulous fashionista the secret to living life with style and turbo-charged attitude. Here are her three top tips:
When I interviewed Diane von Furstenberg for my book, The Best of Everything After 50, one of the best pieces of advice she gave me was this: don't waste time and money by shopping for clothes on your own. Get help! Make a terrific 'personal shopper' your new best friend.
I learned something new recently: we're born with a certain shape. Sure, we can go up and down in size, but the basic silhouette seems to stick. Somewhere along the line, some clever soul decided that those of us with a little more in the middle could be compared with an "apple" or those with a bottom that's, shall we say, overly endowed, a "pear." For sure we want to try to maintain a healthy weight, especially as we get older, but one of the greatest gifts we could give ourselves is to embrace and celebrate our bodies for what they are, instead of trying to look like some media's idea of the "ideal body." The other thing I learned was this: instead of trying to fix my body, why not just make a few simple style choices that will enhance my post-50 curves?
When Helen Mirren, 67, turned up with punky-pink hair at the BAFTA awards in London, we cheered. When Maggie Smith, 78, admitted to being "spiky" and using the f-word a lot during her 60 Minutes interview, we laughed. We adore Helena Bonham Carter, 46, for her off-beat ensembles like wacky Madame Thenardier's in Les Miserables. Trudie Styler, 59, wears leather and clingy dresses to save the Rain Forest and keeps Sting going after thirty years! Even the Queen is cool and quirky. Think it's easy to color coordinate head to toe every single day in look-at-me hues? Maybe British girls are onto something when it comes to celebrating age. They don't seem to care what anyone else thinks is "age appropriate," they simply keep calm and carry on. Here's how:
How do you balance looking hot but sophisticated? Ageless and yet age appropriate? Edgy but not easy? We do like to blur the boundaries but we also like a dose of taste and tact too. This is why animal prints are our idea of a sexy, youthful wardrobe "neutral." They're our generation's plaid. Back in the 60's, Ann Bancroft seduced a preppy Dustin Hoffman in leopard in "The Graduate," Bond-girl Ursula Andress wore a leopard coat and boots, and Dylan sang about a leopard hat on his Blonde on Blonde album. We never got over it. Neither did celebs like Kris Jenner, Lisa Rinna, Madonna, Wendy Williams and Jane Fonda who make style look like an adventure. Here's how to make a wild fabrics work for you:
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