Fashion

Evolving In Our 60s: More Than Just New Boots

While in California in the fall of 2013 I saw and fell in love with a one of a kind shoe store. The store was small, with unique handmade boots (and shoes) with bold designs and a personal touch.

photo

I got a pair of pumps and Cathy, though not with me, heard all about Artemis Boots and gained the pair of kick-ass boots you see above. Funny how what we just thought was fun – not ridiculously expensive but needed a bit of fashion updating – turned into a metaphor for our mid-60s.

When Cathy and I started FabulousOver60, we wanted to share what was different about “suddenly” being in our 60s. As typical overachieving forever-young boomers, how could this assault to our dignity have happened? We were a bit distraught over “aging” and also pretty exhausted from the long climb to what at the time seemed like the top of our professional mountains.

But sometime between 61 and now, the sting of turning 60 lessened and we stopped thinking every other minute about how we are aging and how we would soon look atrocious and frail and well… really, really OLD. We earnestly began our efforts at treating ourselves more kindly and softly, learning new skills – be it meditation, social media for industry pros or golf. All the while learning to breathe more often (all the time anyone?) and have a more balanced life. We also kept our businesses moving, albeit with a much softer hand and more outside help.

Our internal struggles – of wondering “where to next” and how to stop feeling guilty about whatever work we were, or were not doing – turned into our new and different lives. We started and stopped some new things, and over time honed a deeper understanding of where our hearts (and minds) are (versus ‘were’). We began to sense that our lives would be lived at a different pace — alternating leaps, bounds, and longer rest periods (unlike our previous style of going full speed ahead until we dropped, then partied, and then started the cycle all over again).

One thing we didn’t think when we turned 60 was that we would willingly get back on any kind of work treadmill — back in the saddle so to speak. We had traveled so frequently on business trips that hearing the words “fasten your seat belts” made us queasy. We didn’t think climbing mattered anymore. And it doesn’t. But working on what lights up our hearts/minds is not climbing — it is new focus on narrower objectives that are deeply personal, chosen with care, and meant to accomplish just what we want and need and no more.

Jimmy Choo

Jimmy Choo

We may find that our new boots are getting us more exhausted than we planned. But unlike the last time when we were pooped in our late 50s, we aren’t going to say “never again”. Rather, we are going to say “how can I create a new approach to getting what I want, and what the world needs — right now in the present, and for as long as it is meant to last, and not a minute longer?

Burberry

Burberry

And of course, we’ll never stop looking for the next great boot!

Chanel

Chanel

Alexander McQueen

Alexander McQueen

Chanel

Chanel

 

Some Simple Advice: How Not to Look Old

Although being “fabulous over 60” is about a lot of things – “looking good” is definitely near the top of the list. Most of us, I think, want to spend at least some amount of time on our appearance and would probably rather not look over 60.

So, when Patty joined me at the pool on one of our spa vacations several years ago and was carrying a book called How Not To Look Old, my first inclination was to chuckle. My second was to grab it out of her hands!

charla-krupp

It was published in 2008 by Charla Krupp, a former beauty director at Glamour and at People: Style Watch, and a frequent guest on the Today Show, Good Morning America, Oprah and more. The book starts this way…

“All right, I’m just going to come out and say it. Aging sucks…… The question is, what are we going to do about it? We’re going to fight aging – and we’re going to look great doing it!”

She wrote the book for women in their forties, fifties and sixties (you’re old in your forties? Yikes!) to help us “climb out of our beauty and fashion ruts” and develop a “new mindset”. She goes on to say that “Our looks and our self-esteem are inextricably wired … you need to invest time, money and interest in you, because if you don’t look good, you don’t feel good about yourself.”

I agree. But looking good, of course, means different things to different people. So, in Chapter 1 she offers a quiz to help readers assess whether they are a high, medium or low maintenance woman. Here are two sample questions:

  1. You never leave the house without a
    1. Full face of makeup
    2. Some lipstick and mascara
    3. A clean face
  2. When you’re traveling, you wear
    1. Business attire
    2. Pants and a nice sweater
    3. Whatever is comfiest

(It’s pretty obvious what the High, Medium and Low maintenance answers are, right?)

I found out (surprise, surprise) that I am a Medium to High. In the book, Ms. Krupp points out that there are ways for any woman – High, Medium or Low Maintenance – to look better and less “old lady”. So, after each chapter on things like hair, brows, makeup, teeth, nails, wardrobe and jewelry, she provides suggestions for each level.

draytonwoods.com

draytonwoods.com

Some of the things I thought were most interesting at the time (almost 6 years ago) and that still makes sense to me include:

About Hair:

  • Cut some bangs.
  • Change your hairstylist (if you’ve had one forever)
  • Keep it soft and moving
  • Lighten it up the older you get!

About Eyebrows:

  • Get rid of the grey hairs
  • Shape them up

About Makeup and Nails:

  • Don’t wear dark lipstick – light is younger looking
  • Don’t use heavy foundations and powders
  • Keep nails short and natural and light-colored (dark toenails are OK)

About Clothes:

  • Un-match your wardrobe (no “outfits”)
  • Ditch the mommy clothes (baggy pants, elastic waists, holiday sweaters)
  • Get a great-fitting pair of jeans
  • Don’t try to dress “young” (it won’t work!)
  • Wear your shirts mid-knee and not too tight
  • Don’t show too much cleavage
  • Wear sexy heels (even if it hurts!)
  • Wear the right size bra

pumps-154636_150

About Jewelry and Scents:

  • Don’t wear thin necklaces or tiny earrings
  • Don’t over-bling
  • Don’t over fragrance

There is much more advice in the book, as well as product recommendations called Brilliant Buys.  I loved the book in my late 50’s and it influenced a lot of changes I made as I was barreling toward 60.  It also introduced me to some products I hadn’t known about.

I wish I could tell you that there is an updated version of the book. Unfortunately, Carla Krupp died a few years ago of breast cancer at the age of 58.  I hadn’t heard about her death until Patty mentioned it in one of her blogs last year. How sad.

But if you want to consider some changes … the tag line of the book  is “Fast and Effortless Ways to Look 10 Years Younger, 10 Pounds Lighter and 10 Times Better. Regardless of whether you are a high, medium or low-maintenance woman, check out her book.

Cathy Green

P.S. She has a companion book … How to Never Look Fat Again. I’ll write another piece about it soon.

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