Personal Style

Did you ever have your colours done? Long ago, in the eighties, I had very dark hair, fair skin and blue-green-grey eyes. According to Carole Jackson's Colour Me Beautiful book, I was a winter. Certainly, I wore strong colour and black and white well.
Dark-haired with Grandma. This was a favourite dress circa 1986.

About five years ago,  when I attended some sessions with a personal stylist, I was draped and found to be an autumn. My formerly dark hair has been many different warm reddish hues and I have eyes that change colour. Like water, they seem to reflect the colours and light around them. My skin colour seems to be warmer than when I was younger.
Prague 2013. No doubt, I'm an autumn.
When I was younger, black and white were a dramatic part of my wardrobe. Today, I look like an extra from a Greek tragedy in black. A rich chocolate brown and creme are my go-to colours.  You will find cayenne, cinnamon, orange, khaki, aubergine and every shade of brown in my closet. Have you noticed that different colours suit you now that you are d'un certain âge?

In my later fifties and early sixties, my body proportions really changed. "Really?" you say.  Originally, I was a pear: narrow shoulders and back, small bust and waist with heavier legs. Like many younger women, I didn't much like my shape. When, occasionally I was slender, my narrow shoulders and small bust made me look tiny, almost shrunken. Shoulder pads were my friends. There can be no denying that those with bigger busts and/or longer legs always attracted the attention across the room.

In my later years, the stylist declared me a cello which is similar to an hourglass. She is slightly off because my bust is bigger than my hips and my shoulders are still not broad. My waist is about 10" smaller than my bust and I am definitely under 5'4". It's funny though, at 61years of age, I am more comfortable with my body that I was at 35. Ironically, the bust caught up just when everyone else was getting reduction. At this age, an ample bust just means that you need to buy Prima Donna or Empreinte bras. I have been a walker all of my life so although I am not tall, I notice that the length of my legs is just right and that they are firm with trim ankles. I am great at the leg press and legs in straps at the gym. The part of me, my legs, that I liked least when I was younger is now the my favourite part.

Isn't it tragic that women fail to accept their own attributes until they have reached "a certain age".  I would like to lose weight for health reasons (blood pressure and diabetes are serious threats at this age) but I am quite comfortable with myself. That means that I do my best with what I have and generally approve of the results. Sometimes, when I look in a mirror or at a photo, I wince but day to day, I'm generally satisfied. When I consider my brothers or my husband, I can not imagine them paying so much attention to personal style. Neither hair loss, weight gain or shorter stature detracts from the fact that they are all interesting, successful, fit men.  "We've come a long way, baby." But I fear, we have a long way to go.
A cello in Paris with piano.


  1. I just discovered your wonderful blog--many thanks. I am still going through the older posts. I am off to Europe soon. I will comment more when I return.

    Again, thanks for some inspiring reading.

  2. It's always interesting to share someone else's impressions. There are so many places to explore in Europe that I don't think that I will ever tire of visiting there.

  3. Thank you for sharing your thoughts about body satisfaction! It is good to hear that you might be more satisfied with your body later in life. I actually have done some research on body acceptance in later life, and what I found in my study goes well along with what you write.


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