Thursday, December 31, 2009
Une femme wishes everyone the Happiest and Healthiest of New Years!
I'd like to take a moment to thank all of you who read and/or comment on posts at Une femme d'un certain age, and those who have linked from your own blogs or websites. What started off as a small experiment almost three years ago has become a wonderful way to connect with people all over the world and be a part of an amazing online community. I truly appreciate your comments, thoughts and support.
We're hosting a small impromptu soirée this evening for immediate family to celebrate the recent marriage (which took place on a coral reef in the middle of the South Pacific, no less!) of my brother-in-law. Hooray, an excuse to dress up a bit and pull out the table linens and silver!
Have a lovely New Year's celebration, whatever that looks like to you!
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Monday, December 28, 2009
Coco Chanel made it chic, and the look has endured despite those sometimes tricky horizontal stripes . But according to this article from the Guardian, one need not fear them (thanks, Rubiatonta!). Most of the traditional marinière tops have the narrow stripes that create the "ladder" effect which according to Imogen, will draw the eye up and down. Those of us with more curves than Mademoiselle above might want to wear these tops out rather than tucked in.
As with any iconic item, it's best to avoid a head-to-toe classic ensemble, which can look stodgy. Mix the classic pieces with some contemporary or whimsical touches to keep it fresh and easygoing.
Classic With A Twist - Marinière by deja pseu featuring J Crew
Whether you call it a marinière, fisherman's top or Breton stripe, the look is classic and options in many styles and price ranges are available. (Click on Shopstyle images below for more info.)
(Anti-seasickness patch not included.)
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Turn your speakers up to 11.
This is my favorite cut from one of my favorite bands of the late 70's, Brand X.
I was lucky enough to catch them in concert in '79 at either the Roxy or The Whiskey (went to many concerts back then, some smoking of illicit substances may have been involved). Though Robin Goodsall is an amazing guitarist, the member of the band I was most impressed with was Percy Jones, the bassist. He played as though he had ten fingers on each hand, just incredible. (See some of his subsequent work here with band "Tunnels.")
And the drummer? That's Phil Collins, before his musical career descended into the Seventh Circle of Pop Schlok in the 80's. Guess a guy's gotta eat (and have a country house or two), but most people aren't aware that he has some serious chops as a percussionist.
Here's a live version, unfortunately pretty crappy sound and video, but you get the idea.
Saturday, December 26, 2009
The hat-tipping snowman is a popular item, and I counted at least three in a four block radius.
Both of the snowmen below spin around:
Do your neighbors go all out to decorate for the holidays?
Thursday, December 24, 2009
This is probably one of the most fun Christmas songs ever written. Alas, it was released just a couple of years too early to have its own music video...the lights will have to do.
(Every time I hear this song it takes me back to walking through the snow to the WaWa in Princeton...)
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
This navy tuxedo jacket from J. Crew is on sale for $99! (I'm looking at you, Belle and La Belette Rouge!) Perfect to throw over that party dress for a chilly New Year's Eve!
Confession: I bought the same one in black a few weeks ago during another J. Crew sale, and while it's not a YSL Le Smoking, the fit is flattering and it's a well made piece.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Overplucking has become so entrenched a faux pas that a raft of eyebrow powders and repair kits now exist to help disguise mistakes till the hair grows back. Some high-end eyebrow shapers, who charge $25 to $120 a session, have become known for their ability to steer the skimpy-browed to a fuller look. To say nothing of the fact that an increasing number of hair transplant surgeries are done to resurrect brows tamed into oblivion.
Please, mes petites, learn from my mistake. Don't overpluck...they may not grow back.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
The pictures make the scarf look more bright orange than it really is. It's more of a rust color. You can see more accurate color here.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Last night, I pulled this sweater down off the shelf again and put it on, thinking it would be a comfortable and cozy choice for lounging at home. Immediately, I could feel the snugness around my hips. I looked in the mirror, and really took note of just how badly this sweater fit, how frumpy it made me look (and feel !!), and the tangible drag it had on my mood and self-image. I took it off, folded it up, and put it in my to-be-donated pile.
Do you have any of those deadweight items still lurking in your closet? What holds you back from getting rid of them?
Monday, December 14, 2009
If you're living in or plan to visit the LA area and are interested in attending one of Brian's workshops, you can e-mail him at brian (at) makeoverworkshop (d0t) com.
Friday, December 11, 2009
I hadn't seen this movie in ages, and watched it on TCM again the other night. The messages about the media and cults of personality are every bit as relevant today as when the movie was made in 1957.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Duchesse at Passage des Perles adds her own thought-provoking observations to the "letting oneself go" discussion.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Perhaps because I've been on the receiving end of this accusation during times when I was really struggling (to lose weight, or dress decently on a shoestring budget, or balance a demanding job and young child with special needs), I'm a bit sensitive when it comes to those words.
Perhaps it's because of the moralizing subtext indicating that sins of gluttony and sloth are made manifest. Perhaps it's because of the erroneous belief that all aspects of our appearance are ultimately within our control.
But truly, I have yet to meet the woman who has truly "let herself go," this mythical creature who just decides one day that she just doesn't give a fig anymore about her appearance, about the state of her home, about her work, and suddenly is perfectly content to sit on the sofa all day eating bonbons. If you scratch the surface of someone who used to dress to the nines but now is seen shlepping about in sweats and greasy hair, I'll bet you find someone whose life has taken a turn that has her feeling overwhelmed and out of control. Perhaps it's illness, job loss, depression, or sudden demands such as care taking for a sick family member. Perhaps we should ask how things are going for her, rather than assume she doesn't care anymore.
And I've also heard those "letting herself go" assessments levied against women whose only transgressions are showing some natural signs of ageing. Weight gain, wrinkles, softening jawlines, greying hair...the balance between a willingness to invest time and money to hold back the visible manifestations of passing years and a desire to just enjoy and experience whatever finite amount of time we've been granted is one we continuously negotiate. None of us will retain our youthful beauty forever; we each have to decide what level of effort put toward our appearance enhances or diminishes our lives.
Personally, I can't imagine the day that I won't want to dress well, but I can hope to achieve a level of acceptance where a few extra pounds no longer drive me to distraction, and a few more wrinkles don't make a dent in my self-esteem, and nothing stops me from living life to the fullest.
So can we retire this outdated expression?
Monday, December 7, 2009
On Saturday we braved the crowds and lines, and saw this:
Very. Good. Movie.
It was well written, with some great dialog and complex characters. Funny, sad and intelligent, it's a story with heart that never allows itself to descend into syrupy sentimentality, a mix that's too rare in movies these days.
Friday, December 4, 2009
Thursday, December 3, 2009
I drove home, my brain dancing with Sugar Plum fantasies about growing my hair out past shoulder length with a little boost from these Hirsute Helpers.
One week in, and I'm still on the fence. I'm not used to the feel of these. Forget about running one's fingers through one's hair...it's easy to catch on the attachments and it pulls uncomfortably like a bobby pin that's caught a stray hair in the wrong way. I have to use a special brush designed not to catch and pull on the extension attachment points. They're supposed to last 2-4 months; I'm not sure if I'll last that long.
According to Brian, actresses and performers these days rarely are photographed without some type of hair extensions, whether "permanent" like mine, or clip-ons. That includes models in hair product commercials! (Just as it's perfectly legal for models in mascara commercials to be wearing several sets of false eyelashes.) I had 6 on each side. Some get as many as 200!
Have you tried hair extensions? If so, how did you like the results? Did it take some time to get used to them?
SJP photo from Elle.com
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
(Thanks to Karen for pointing me to the article!)