On June 30 I was invited to the very special birthday for Over Fifty, now Ninety, supermodel Daphne Selfe in London England. A few years back, a friend and Fashion Over Fifty model, Irene Smallwood-Bosma, and I decided to take a newly formed modeling class given by the world famous British model, Daphne. Irene was interested in the modeling aspect, and I was interested because I work with models. To receive our Certificates of Completion, Irene and I were invited to London for Tea with Daphne and her gorgeous daughter Claire. Since then, the modeling class has continued to grow and all models who finished the class were invited. Never to turn down an opportunity to celebrate a birthday of someone so special, I planned a vacation around this occasion.. The party was held in the Covent Garden area of London at the Century Club
The venue was very special and I was thrilled by the friendliness of Daphne’s friends and family. Knowing Daphne, this should be no surprise; nonetheless, I think I got to meet everyone, and I felt so welcome. It was such an honor. This is a photo of the women and the one young girl who have taken Daphne’s course. The tall woman in back, Jane, has been signed on to a modeling agency. I became close friends with the woman wearing the glasses, Martina for the several days we continued our stay in London. It could not have been a more perfect celebration.
This is a photo of Daphne’s daughter Claire. Claire runs the modeling program, and if you take the class, you will get to know Claire very well. I was also thrilled that the High End Catalog, https://www.halsbrook.com/ sponsored this chic and colorful dress by Max Mara. The three of us look marvelous with all of the colors.
What a fabulous cake which has Daphne’s photo from one of her modeling photoshoots. What a fabulous inspiration for all women to see how beautiful a woman can be without having any “work” or plastic surgery, which is a rare thing these days!!
Here you can see just how beautiful Daphne is, as she is getting ready to cut the cake!!
Daphne has three wonderful children who are just as beautiful inside and out!!
Not surprisingly, Daphne’s grandchildren are great young adults. I had a chance to speak with each of them and was delighted by their warmth and maturity.
The night after I arrived in Alicante was the Festival, Bonfires of St. John. It is celebrated in Spain and Portugal around the summer solstice, as it was believed that once the sun headed south, demons would appear. Bonfires were set to keep the evil spirits away. I was so fortunate to experience this wonderful festival and true Spanish culture.
Today, Bonfires of St. John is a happy celebration and the town is filled with elaborate decorations like you see below. People get dressed up in costume and there are parades everywhere.
Traditional Spanish food is called Paella. This is a seafood Paella which will feed the many people here to celebrate. It is made with rice and sometimes just with vegetables or other ingredients.
About 10 years ago I remember going to a party in Los Angeles and having my first Mojito. Well, Mojitos have been popular in Spain for a very long time. What took it so long to get to the United States? Here is a station just for Mojitos!!
Churros are also popular in Spain. Probably not one of the healthiest things to come to the U.S. from there!!
The women and children dress in costume.
I had to run ahead of this little girl so that I could get her photo!! I am so glad I did. She is beautiful
What a great first day in Alicante. Beverly didn’t come with me, so there are not photos of me. Next time.
One of the most wonderful things about blogging is the people I get to meet, like the wonderful Beverly Feldman; one of the most creative and inspiring women and shoe designers in the world. In the ’80’s, Beverly was a premier shoe designer who sold to every major Department store, on HSN, and even had her own stores throughout Spain. My mom and I LOVED her shoes, I wish I had kept some of them!! One day over the past couple of years, I was wondering to myself, what ever happened to Beverly, because I knew she must still be somewhere. When I connected with her via the internet, it was love at first “e-mail”. At 71, Beverly has not lost one ounce of her creativity, her zest for life, or the ability to reinvent herself. Beverly continues to design shoes and is now adding on jewelry and clothing!! Any of us would be hard pressed to keep up with this ball of fire, Beverly!!
We became such good friends over the internet; it was much better than internet dating, so I am told. It was my great fortune that Beverly invited me to stay at her home in Alicante Spain this past June. Already planning my summer vacation, this year in Europe, it was a no brainer to add Beverly to my summer vacation. I had no idea what to expect, and she far exceeded any of my wildest dreams. In fact, it is a dream for any woman to spend time with Beverly. She is a force to be reckoned with.
Beverly moved to Alicante Spain after attending design school where she studied shoe design. At the time, Alicante is where the finest leather shoes were made in the world. So, at 24, Beverly bravely moved there by herself with a dream that became an international reality. If you would really like the hilariously funny and detailed accounting of Beverly’s life, she has written a book, “Too Much Is Not Enough”. You can purchase it on Amazon on this link. https://www.amazon.com/Too-Much-Enough-Beverly-Feldman/
Walking in to Beverly’s ‘estate in a rural part of Alicante, you know you are with a creative genius. Every room is a Masterpiece. It took me a few days to find every room, and even then, I would get lost trying to find the kitchen!! This room is one of my favorites because I am a monochromatic favoring person.
However, because Spain is such a colorful country, and it is so close to Morocco, color is abundant everywhere! This is just one of the sitting areas in this home full of International treasures that Beverly has collected throughout her life.
As a blogger, I have become aware that animal prints have come and gone over the decades, but, in my opinion, they are here to stay. They have become a neutral in any styling, whether it be your clothes, shoes, or home. Beverly is the queen of animal prints. She should really get an award of some kind, as you will see when we look at her museum of shoes!!
It wasn’t long before I felt comfortable enough to call her Bev, and now I can safely say that I can call her one of my greatest role models, friends, and inspirations, fashion or otherwise. True to Beverly’s flamboyant and generous spirit, she arranged a couple of photo shoots for us while I was there. Watching Beverly style herself, is something to behold. There are few people, short of Iris Apfel, who can pull off such an eclectic collection of fashion pieces from all over the world and make them work. This is one of the outfits that Beverly put together, and the gorgeous purple tunic she is wearing is something that Beverly will begin selling to people like you and me. Don’t worry, there are still some of Beverly Feldman’s designs in which you can still partake.
Beverly has a gift from God. Few people can put these looks together. The shoes she is wearing below are a part of her new collection. I was lucky enough to get a pair, and they are so stylish AND comfortable. Now there is a switch!! Stay tuned for more of Beverly and I. The time of my life!!
If you follow my Facebook page, Fashion Over Fifty, you may have seen that summer denim is back, so here are a few ideas on how to carry it off. On the New York runways, “double denim” was huge. I find it a bit overkill but I take the challenge to see if I can pull it off. For some women Over Fifty, choosing an outfit of double denim might be daunting.
It’s getting warmer in the U.S., so no cowboy boots or long jeans . Instead I am choosing my boyfriend jeans by AG. They are lightweight and comfortable, perfect for summer.
By the way, I hope you have figured it out by now, but never give away your denim jackets. You know that if it goes out of style, it will come back. Here, I pair the jeans with a denim shirt, (which I have had for at least 20 years). (You see, I take my own advice!) Here you see it buttoned and unbuttoned. Either look is perfect for a day of shopping or hanging out with your friends.
Underneath the denim jacket (or shirt), any fun summer blouse or T-shirt will do. I chose this bright orange T-shirt with a matching little clutch and belt to add some zip. I do have orange sandals, but too matchy-matchy isn’t a great look either for women Over Fifty. The sandals I chose are by Aquazurra (my favorite brand of shoes) which I got at an unbelievable sample sale. They are a bit “Cowboy and Indian” style with the orange and brown feathers and fringed ankle straps. It adds to the “Western” feel of the double denim look!!
For another option, I chose an unexpected look. I put this off-white blazer over the double denim to dress it up!! A white blazer isn’t something you would expect over a denim shirt, but it looks good, I think!! Now I look much more put together. One could wear this to lunch with friends, an art exhibit, or other casual affair where just jeans won’t do it.
And so there you have it. A few more ideas on how to wear denim this summer.
What an honor for me representing Fashion Over Fifty to be interviewed by NBC’s Today.com staff writer Rheana Murray. It feels so great that finally the media is beginning to understand that Baby Boomer’s shouldn’t be left out. Nobody puts “Baby Boomers” in the corner!! The following is the article:
Here are Wendy Packer’s tips for embracing fashion after 50.
by Rheana Murray – May.30.2018
One California blogger is on a mission to prove to women over the age of 50 that fashion isn’t something that’s reserved for youngsters.
In fact, as Fashion Over Fifty founder Wendy Packer sees it, older women should embrace fashion. After all, women who have retired and whose children have moved out of the family home likely have more time to select the perfect outfit or scour thrift stores for the best finds from previous decades, for example.
Fashion isn’t just for young people, and neither are bright prints.
Packer, 65, started the blog on a whim, after getting inspiration from her son, who had created a music blog for a senior project. She’d always been interested in fashion, but this time around, she threw herself into it.
“I went to Barnes and Noble and got every single fashion magazine there was,” Packer told TODAY Style. “I must have spent about $300. And I sat down and tried to find one person over the age of 40 — and nothing. Maybe one or two. And over 50? No way.”
Packer said most women over the age of 50 want to feel sophisticated, not trendy.
Around the same time, Packer was trying to re-enter the workforce. A former nurse, and then a lawyer, she’d spent the previous several years at home taking care of her two sons, now 23 and 24.
Now the youngest was heading off to college, and suddenly, Packer had plenty of time to offer potential employers, but she couldn’t get a job that paid a reasonable wage.
“It really made me angry,” she recalled. “I had all these things to offer — my kids were grown, I didn’t have to go home and make dinner for everybody. But women are kind of devalued after a certain age.”
Packer also helps organize fashion shows and runway classes for women over 50. Her goal is to “help the self-esteem of women who feel that they have become invisible,” she said.
She also noticed that, in the years she spent going to soccer games and cooking meals, fashion had changed … a lot.
“Time had flown by,” Packer said. “It was no longer about wearing suits or suit skirts. Everything was just so casual. Or, so out-there, kind of outlandish, that it was too young. So it was a matter of trying to adjust how to style myself with the newer styles.”
One of Packer’s fashion tips? Shop for outfits, not separates.
Fashion Over Fifty founder Wendy PackerOne of Packer’s fashion tips? Shop for outfits, not separates.Courtesy of Wendy Packer
“I felt very out of place,” she said.
Packer turned to her blog, which was becoming a community space for women to talk about topics that interested them, from ageism to how to find clothes that were stylish but still comfortable.
“Women who are middle-aged still want to feel relevant,” Packer said.
About six years later, Fashion Over Fifty is less of a casual community and more of a trove of inspiration for women who are trying to figure out what their personal style looks like after the age of 50.
Here are some of Packer’s tips.
GO FOR SOPHISTICATION, NOT TRENDS.
Packer said that most of the women she works with want to look sophisticated, not trendy.
“Even if it’s jeans, they’ll want to wear an oxford shirt or a tailored blazer,” she said. “They don’t want to look sloppy.”
Packer believes it’s an instinct that suits them: “Trends go out of style. I don’t think sophistication ever does.”
BUY OUTFITS, NOT SEPARATES.
Here’s a solution for anyone who has a bunch of cute, new shirts in her closet, and no idea what to wear them with.
“Don’t buy separates, because trying to put outfits together later is really hard,” Packer said. “When you’re shopping, try to put together a whole outfit, because that makes it easy later. Try to get a look that you like, and buy that entire look. Don’t go home with another shirt that’s just going to sit in your closet.”
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF ACCESSORIES.
Find a dress you love but think it looks a little too young? It’s time to break out the shoes and accessories.
“I think you can take the same dress and put it on a 30-year-old and a 60-year-old — but with the right styling maneuvers, you can make the same dress look great,” Packer said.
She added that France’s first lady Brigitte Macron is an expert at this trick.
Macron pairs dark tights with a short hemline for a look that’s chic, but not revealing. Chesnot / Getty Images
“She just turned 65 and she’s a great example of someone who dresses youthfully, but is still very tasteful,” Packer said. “She’ll wear a short skirt, but opaque tights and boots. So it’s still stylish and cute, but not too youthful.”
At the end of the day, women should wear what they want — whether it’s sweats or a shift dress. But as Packer proves, there’s no reason to give up on fashion after a certain age.
Special thanks to NBC’s Today.com for the feature. I would love to know your thoughts?
This was a very fun project that 6 other bloggers and I are doing together all about hats. I decided to take a look back at some of my photos and do a review of those where I am wearing a hat, or where someone in my family is.
This is from about 5 years ago when my older son and I went to Peru. We are standing at the train station waiting for the train to take us to Machu Pichu!
This is from about 4 years ago. Just playing with a red hat I bought. I love this shot, it is so playful.
This is from a few years back. I am here at a fashion show with the gorgeous Over Fifty model Ellen Jamison. I look a bit like a monk.
This is fairly recent. It is for a shoot I did for a sunglass manufacturer. I like these sunglasses by MVMT.
This is just Mother’s Day about 2 weeks ago. My son is wearing the same hat that I am wearing above, but I had to get a photo of him in here because there is one of his brother above.
This last photo is of the other beautiful Over Fifty fashion bloggers. The links are also below so check them out as well. It’s really fun to collaborate with other bloggers. I am going to do this more often
This past year I went to several weddings, day and night, and here are the choices that I wore. Many people ask me what they should wear to a wedding. These are my choices, but keep in mind that I don’t mind showing my arms. My arms are not the problem, it the midsection, so you better believe that there is some serious shape wear under these gowns.
This first gown by Diane von Furstenburg was perfect for a Sunday afternoon wedding. Don’t you get sick of wearing dark colors in the winter? I hate it, and so when I find a dress with flowers, I cannot resist. This is such a beautiful mixture of colors and patterns, it just says “be happy” looking at it. I wore vintage drop earrings. These were in my mom’s jewelry box, and she has passed away, so I will never know their story. But now I am creating a new one. This dress is literally like wearing a nightgown because it could easily be. So, if you are going to a wedding in the day and it’s summer, don’t be afraid to go for the florals. You may even match the centerpieces! This dress is Ageless, even for the woman Over Fifty.
This gown I wore to my niece’s wedding. This was a very special day and so I wore a really really nice gown that I got at a Neiman Marcus consolidation sale. One of the salesladies who knows me, called me that I needed to be there on a Friday at 8:00 am because things would be going fast. If you have never heard of a consolidation sale, it is where one store picked by the company and every sale item from all of the other stores is sent to that store. And, the items are marked down substantially. This Kaufman Franco dress was originally over 4,000 dollars. In fact I saw Juliann Hough in a magazine wearing it on the red carpet, but in white!! This elegant dress was perfect for the occasion. If someone special to you is getting married don’t be afraid to get a formal gown. The invitation said “dressy”, so I went with it. You can too. Black tie weddings can be fun, day or night.
Of course there is going to be a black dress somewhere. This was for a winter wedding at night. I got this dress at a super good sale as well at Bergdorf Goodman’s in New York. It was just hanging in the sale section. I thought, am I dreaming? Why is this dress still here? It was under $200 reduced from over $600.00. What a find. Once or twice in your life to make a find like this is something you will never forget!! If you are ever in New York you must go to Macy’s in Herald Square. It is the shoe sale of your dreams. There are 2 rooms full of sale shoes. These sandals with the pearls, that match the collar, were $29.00. It was the end of the summer, so they were practically giving them away. How fortunate was I to also find a purse with just a few pearls? Normally, I am not so matchy-matchy, but I couldn’t resist!! This wedding was a black tie wedding and so this gown fit the bill perfectly. Wearing a floor length gown is really fun. You don’t have to worry about panty hose either!! (By the way, I didn’t know I was going to have a black tie wedding before I bought it!! Meaning, if you find a good deal, grab it and run.
I hope this gives you some ideas for wedding gowns, day or night. By the way, if the invitation says ‘Cocktail Attire” you can wear a long gown, but it shouldn’t look like a black tie gown. Do you know there is a new type of dress code? It is called Creative Black Tie. Your guess is as good as mine. For most of us, going black tie requires a lot of creativity since it isn’t everyday we go to weddings. Remember if the dress is plain, to add accessories. Brooches are back, so a beautiful rhinestone brooch on a plain black dress can make an ordinary dress look very special. By the way, my new logo is a rendering of me in this dress.
If you are invited to a Creative Black Tie Wedding, you can try something new. You might even have the separates in your closet. I put these two pieces together just by chance. I think it would work, what do you think?
I would love to see some of your wedding gowns. So many women are asking what to wear, the more we share, the better we can inform each other. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Archetypes represent all aspects of human nature and are typically used in literature as a character, an action, or a situation that represents universal patterns of human nature. Carl Jung believed that at the root of every archetype is the “collective unconscious” of mankind. This “unconsciousness” may vary from race or culture, but it is shared by the entire culture or race. Today, it is fair enough to say that there is a very prevalent “collective unconsciousness” about Age in most cultures.
What are the literary archetypes for Aging Women? According to Jung, the older woman was known as the “Wise Old Woman”, or the Crone. In the United States, these two terms negate any femininity or sexuality. The implication of these are in fact, primarily asexual, and unattractive women that are no longer beautiful.
In European cultures, the Queen would also serve as an archetype of strength and experience. However, the Queen, arguably, has many more connotations of femininity. First, one must assume that she would have once been a princess. She also has earned the right to wear her crown of jewels and robes of the finest fabrics. Not only does she have the right to wear her riches, but she is a powerful State Head to whom people must bow down and show respect.
There is obviously a stark contrast between the Archetype of the Crone and the Queen. This lack of having the Queen as an Archetype can be seen in so many aspects of American culture. Not only are older women not thought of as powerful or commanding respect, but little respect is shown for women who even do carry a title. Most American would probably agree that women, especially in today’s political climate, are not respected
Looking at Queen Elizabeth, we see a woman respected for her leadership of England throughout the world. Queen Elizabeth wears the diamond jewels and robes of the finest fabrics. She is the one who wears the full Crown of diamonds while the Princess wears only the tiara. People bow down to the Queen out of respect and reverence Even the princess must bow down to the Queen.
It is fair to say that really few women in the United States are looked upon the same as a Queen. No one would dare comment on the Queen’s clothing as we do here about the First Lady, no matter who she is. If there were ever an icon or archetype of style, it would have been Jackie Kennedy, who is still talked about today. However, she did not remain in the public eye long enough to become an Archetype, in my opinion. People have never forgotten her and the impact she made on style, but she moved to Greece and our chances to ingrain an Archetype were dashed.
Hence, we, as a newer democratic nation without a queen, are left without a female archetype of any real strength or beauty. At best we have the wise grandmother who bakes cookies and stays home dressed in a “house coat” Women past a certain age are discounted not just by men, but by other women. We have never developed respect for the wisdom, strength, and fortitude of an older woman Sadly, it is “youth” that has become the Archetype of almost everything good. We have seen women go to ridiculous lengths to try to stay younger looking, such as the Housewives of “Whatever ” City. The plastic looking woman is almost becoming an Archetype of the American Culture which is a very sad statement, because it means that some women will do whatever it takes to hold on to something that is impossible to hold.
With all eyes on England this weekend, perhaps Americans will take away something valuable. Megan Markle will undoubtedly be wearing an amazing dress designed by a top designer with the finest fabrics. However, it is the Queen, who will be sitting somewhere in the audience, who has the ultimate power and respect. So no matter how gorgeous and “youthful” Megan will look, which she will, we all know it is the Queen that is most revered. Perhaps an American or two will see the importance of this ancient tradition of respecting your elders!!
In late April, I (a mom Over Fifty) graciously offered to drive with my son from Los Angeles to Austin Texas where he was starting his first job. I grew up in Chicago, went to college in Northern California, and drove back and forth from San Francisco to LA in my brown Mustang on several occasions. I consider myself to be a seasoned driver of long distances. Of course we got a late start on Sunday April 14, so instead of making it to Flagstaff Arizona the first day, we landed in beautiful Kingman Arizona. Actually, not so pretty. However, it is along the famous Route 66, which takes you from California to Chicago, or vice versa. In fact, I did that route when I was in college. My son did not appreciate that most moms Over Fifty would not be doing what I was doing. Would you?
The next day we had a long haul. We wanted to get from Kingman to Santa Fe New Mexico. It was about an 8 hour drive so we got started around noon, after we looked around a bit and ate lunch. I just never thought that we would be driving through Native American country. If it had dawned on me, I would have headed out earlier, What woman Over Fifty doesn’t love turquoise jewelry? I also have always been sympathetic and philanthropic toward the Native American plight in this country since my son went to visit the Chumash Indians in Arizona and I saw their poor living conditions. We went through Hopi, Navajo, and Zuni country. Along the highway were great stores where the Native Americans sold their gorgeous hand crafted jewelry and artwork.
Here are some conch belts and some native weavings.
We really were in a hurry to get to Santa Fe before dark so I only stopped at one place. One day, I will head back there and take my time and buy some important pieces. We just didn’t have the time. However, I did buy a few little things, of course!
So, by about 8:30 pm, just after the sun had set, we rolled in to Albuquerque. We stopped for gas and a wee little break and drove another hour to Santa Fe, NM. I had never been there, so it was quite a treat. The town was built in the 1600’s. The State Capital is also there and it is the oldest State Capital in the US. The earliest Capitals were dismantled. The people of New Mexico have preserved it in its original state and it looks like many cities throughout Mexico, Central America, and South America. There is usually a plaza, or a zocalo, and that is the photo below. The town is muy autentico and very charming despite the numerous amounts of tourists!!
Of course I had to meander through the quaint streets to browse the shops. As you would expect, lots of hot sauces for sale.
The Native American crafts were in every shop, and I just hope a good amount of money goes back to them. Below you can see the various designs on blankets. I was NOT an Over Fifty Fashionista on this road trip by any means. I wore the same pair of torn up jeans, sweatshirt, and shoes every day. I did get to change underwear though.
From there, this tired Over Fifty mom and her drove about 6 hours from Santa Fe NM to Lubbock Tx. There is really nothing to say about Lubbock, I am so sorry.
The final day we drove about 9 hours, with some stops, to Austin. It should have taken no more than 7 hours, but my son insisted on not paying attention to WAZE, an App I like much better than Google, even though Google now owns it!! So after 22 hours of driving and only a few fights, my son and I arrived The next 2 days, we ran around getting things together for his apartment and he lives on the 3rd floor with no elevator!! When I returned home, this Over Fifty mom felt like I had just run a Marathon. But, my son is happily planted in his new home, and we both saw new things on the way. I hope one day he will look back and remember what an adventure we had together.