I recently read an interview with Iris Apfel in Bazaar where she gives some lovely and wise advice about fashion, the art of style and getting older. If you don’t know who she is she is a well-known fashion icon from New York who made career in interior design, partaking in such high-profile design restoration project as that of the White House for 9 different presidents including the Kennedys.
Dress your age.“Seventy year olds don’t have eighteen year old bodies and eighteen year olds don’t have seventy year old bucks.” I’m going on Forty and admittedly don’t always “dress my age”, usually when I wear a mini skirt or shorts. But, my feeling is that I’ll only be able to pull them off a few more years before I cash the minis in for good. So… I’m rocking them while I can. That being said, I try to keep it classy. I love good button downs and blazers to dress things up and make an outfit more sophisticated. Smythe jackets, like the one below, are so well-tailored and worth every penny. I love the puffy sleeves and sleek look of this one. It a nice change from your average black blazer.
Dress things up with costume jewelry. “I think jewelry is the most transformative of accessories.” I love Forever 21 for inexpensive accessories that are on trend. I’ve done a lot of shopping there to grab jewels for photo shoots. I want something that’s current but don’t want to spend a ton knowing the item won’t be relevant in a few seasons. Like these tassel earrings. I love the tassle trend but this won’t last, these are great option to rock it and not break the bank.
Embrace getting older. She says “Wrinkles are a badge of courage.” and quotes Chanel: “Nothing makes a woman look older than trying so desperately to look young.” I couldn’t agree more! But she also advises to take care of yourself so you look your best at any age. Here’s a great product from Keihls that I’ve been using recently to rejuvenate my skin at night. I tend to break out from heavy creams so a serum works well for me.
Dress up sometimes!! Give yourself a reason to dress up, whether it’s a date night or an event; make it a priority to have a reason to look your best. This jumpsuit from Boston Proper is a great reason to plan a night out…
Be Yourself. “Learn to be yourself, to develop a sense of curiosity, and to not live vicariously through these characters you follow on social media that have absolutely no personality.” This is my favorite. Being a person who uses social media as a platform to promote my fashion and lifestyle business, it’s interesting to see those that are so popular on different social networks and why. The first that comes to mind is the everlasting Kardashians who have almost a billion followers combined. I’m not a big fan of them but I try to understand what makes them so likable and infectious to the masses. When I see their show I have to say that I kind of get it. You see their personalities come through in a very genuine way and that gets people interested. The point is, they are popular for being themselves so you need to develop your own personality, sense of style and beauty that is true to who you are. If you are copying someone else, and we see so many who try to look exactly like Kim or Kylie etc… it’s so obvious, disingenuous and why do we need a replica of Kim K. in this world!? What makes you different is your strength, so use it!!
I’ve had an interesting week dealing with multiple circumstances involving bullying. When you’re a parent it tends to come up a lot. Whether your child is bing bullied or they are the culprit, it’s a tough subject. Especially because it’s something all of us deal with throughout our lives so it’s so important to arm your child and yourself with the skills to deal with such nonsense.
What does this have to do with fashion? Fashion is one area that people get bullied about a lot. Most of us have heard or maybe even delivered the line “did you see what she’s wearing?!” in that snobby, condescending and borderline frightened tone. And I suppose if you want to quietly judge someone behind their back that’s you’re prerogative but it’s not kind or productive to blatantly or passive aggressively hurt someone’s feelings based on something superficial and relative to one’s own taste.
So what happened to spawn my writing on this subject? My son wore a hat to school, not the common baseball hat, but a fedora that to me is adorable and even more adorable that he wanted to wear it. I had my suspicions that he may get made fun of because of it and he did. On the bus they grabbed it, through it back and forth making fun of him for wearing it. This broke my heart. As it does when something of this nature happens to your child. I want him to feel free to be himself and not care what others think of him but know this is an impossibility. I know he will forever be affected by what others think. Others opinions are good to the extent that you can learn from them when they are asked for, constructive and not delivered in a way to tear the person down.
I know that my son will never wear this hat to school again and that to me is a loss. But I will keep telling him to be himself and do what makes him happy as long as it’s not hurting anyone else. And most importantly I tell him and my other sons to “keep doing the things that make you different because that’s what makes you wonderful and will ultimately be appreciated by the people you truly want in your life.” It’s also how you will stand out among the crowd and be successful at whatever it is you want to accomplish.
Fashion is a great way to make a statement and get noticed. There are so many examples of entertainers standing out with their fashion choices. They are ultimately the ones people idolize and want to replicate. Here are some examples of fashion risk takers who influenced the world:
LOS ANGELES, CA – FEBRUARY 15: Singer Lady Gaga attends The 58th GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on February 15, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)