Back in the 80s, my daughter lived in a beaten up military jacket from the Salvation Army all through high school. I hated it and I have held a grudge against the military jacket every since. That is until a recent trip to Barney’s where I saw a few stylish versions in the window and my disdain began to thaw. The military jacket has come a long way since the Army Navy store days. It’s re-invented itself as a sophisticated wardrobe staple that can be casually thrown over a summer dress or paired with a great pair of leather trousers. I found this cropped version at H&M and decided it was an ideal piece to take traveling with me this summer. It works well with so many things and is also very on trend at the moment…so I decided to forgive and forget. I mean let’s face it, there were an awful lot of fashion crimes committed in the 80s. It’s probably time to move on.
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Summer is the perfect time to indulge in bright pops of color. After a long winter wrapped up in neutrals, it’s fun to cut loose and experiment with color. Although mixing and matching contrasting colors is very trendy at the moment, I usually tend to stick to one color palette because it elongates the body and gives the illusion of height, which at a mere 5’2, I need, especially when wearing flats. There are days when running around in heels is just not going to cut it, so if I know I’m going to be doing a lot of walking, I throw on a cute pair of flats by Tory Burch. I’ve never been a sneaker wearing kind of gal, so trendy flats are my solution to the comfort issue. We all have days we need to dress down, especially when we’re on the run…so a pair of flats and a cross body bag are two items that I keep on hand for those busy days when comfort and practicality are key.
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The jumpsuit is everywhere….and it’s popular for good reason. It’s comfy, easy to wear, stylish, and suits almost every body type. Having said that….I’m also a bit lazy, and the jumpsuit is a lazy girl’s best friend. Put it on, throw on a jacket….and poof…you have instant street cred. Every fashion “it girl” seems to be running around town looking casually chic in one, so really, what’s not to love? Decisions, that’s what. There are so many styles to choose from, how do we decide which style is best suited for mature fashionistas? What works for the “it girl” may not look so great on us.
Although there are seemingly endless variations of the jumpsuit out there at the moment, I prefer a slightly more structured style for fashionable women over 50. The shapeless cotton numbers look extremely cute and comfortable on twenty-somethings, but I think when you get to a certain age it’s best to steer clear of pieces that resemble our pajamas when venturing out into the world. Instead I prefer jumpsuits that have some shape to them, or some interesting detailing that adds an extra bit of flair. This is definitely the type of look that I can run around in all day and then throw on some dressier shoes and carry on into evening. Like I said, I’m lazy. Why waste time changing outfits when you could be having cocktails?
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The warmer months always pose a style challenge for me because I live in Las Vegas where the temperatures reach double digits in the height of summer, and while I want to remain cool, I don’t like to expose my arms. So I’m always on the look out for tops that are generously cut, made from light weight fabrics and also have sleeves of some description. You wouldn’t think that this would be an unusually tall order, but it is! Finding labels that work for women over 50 is a never ending challenge. Thankfully BCBG is one label that offers a wide variety of styles that also work for the mature fashionista. This particular peasant top caught my eye because of the dramatic sleeve. I also liked the fact that it worked so well with denim. Although I initially discounted the peasant top as something only backpackers and hippies wore, I have come around to have a new appreciation for this style. This season there are a number of sophisticated versions being shown, and it’s the type of piece that is absolutely perfect for traveling. I’ll be taking mine to Europe this summer and will be blending right in with all of those backpackers. Now the only question is will I also be taking along a new tattoo? Stay tuned…
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MENOPAUSE & SENIOR SEXUALITY
Menopause is an unfortunate fact of life. It often shows up completely unannounced and wreaks havoc on a woman’s looks, sanity and general sense of well being. It’s just no fun…it’s that plain and simple. However “the change” is not the beginning of the end and we really need to stop treating it like the apocalypse. Yes, quite frankly it can turn the world upside down, but it can be weathered like any storm. It does not have to completely derail our lives, leaving us mere shadows of our former selves. I think the onset of menopause can do a real number on us physically and emotionally, making it extremely difficult to stay motivated and focused on our well being. This also often coincides with our kids leaving home or our professional lives winding down, and before we know it, things have started to slide. We pay a little less attention to the way we look, the extra weight begins to creep on, and perhaps we lose the motivation to exercise as much as we once did. Suddenly we find ourselves feeling a little bit less attractive and we aren’t sure how we got to this place, or how to get out of it.
The myriad of physical and emotional challenges women face during menopause usually do quite a number on how we look and feel about ourselves, and as a result our sex lives can take a beating. Yes, there are many valid reasons why women lose interest in sex, but they do not have to become insurmountable obstacles to maintaining a healthy and enjoyable sex life.
Physically, many women experience new discomforts during menopause. Vaginal dryness is a common complaint because it makes intercourse difficult and less enjoyable. However a good lubricant can easily solve that problem. Back in the day, K-Y Jelly was one of our only options. It was messy and smelly and decidedly unsexy to use, but modern lubricants are vastly superior. They actually enhance sexual intercourse as well as making it more comfortable. So have a shop around online and see what new products are on the market.
Another factor that also affects our sexual health as we age are our declining estrogen levels. They can cause a thinning of the vaginal walls, which makes sex painful. However, this condition does not have to be endured in silence. Have a chat with your doctor. It’s essential to discuss the myriad of products that are currently being used to successfully treat hormonal imbalances. If Estrogen creams seem too risky, there are plenty of other holistic approaches to choose from. It’s important to try different treatments until you find one that works. Sometimes that simply means trial and error.
Since we know that blood flow to the vagina lessens after menopause, having intercourse is a great way to stimulate the blood flow again, which is important, because it acts to keep our internal tissues healthy. Think of it as a case of “use it or lose it.” The good news is that you don’t have to be in a relationship to keep the blood flowing and your sexual health in tip top shape. There are many vibrators (yes, as in sex toys) on the market specifically designed for pre and postmenopausal women. So self-gratification is not simply about personal pleasure, it also has some very important health benefits that should also be considered.
Menopause not only throws our bodies out of whack, but the hormonal changes can also throw our emotions into a tailspin as well. It can change the way we think about our bodies and sexuality. A poor body image is the number one reason women lose interest in sex. So it’s important for older women to take the time to sit down and do a very honest self-analysis if things aren’t as great as they should be. Has your self-esteem taken a hit? If so, why, and what can you do to change the way you feel about yourself? Ultimately our sex drive requires the right mindset. Studies show that women’s sexual satisfaction actually tends to increase with age. So, if your current sex life is not rocking your world, it’s time to do something about it. We all deserve an enjoyable sex life, so no more suffering in silence. Faking orgasms will guarantee that your sex life will never improve. After all, your partner thinks you are satisfied. You are deserving of sexual pleasure, so let your partner know what you desire. Sex is no longer something nice ladies don’t talk about.
You can start by talking to your partner about your physical changes. Share your concerns about your changing appearance, physical challenges, and see if you can enter into a dialogue about how to switch things up a bit to make things more enjoyable for both of you. Perhaps that means trying some new positions, or experimenting with sex aids. Sexual arousal is not a static thing. It changes, and in order to remain sexually satisfied, we need to change with it. Give your sex life the same consideration that you would your wardrobe. Keep the oldies but goodies, and try to update the rest on a regular basis. Nothing spices life up like trying something new every once in a while.
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IN THE NAVY
This navy ensemble is one of my favorite “go to” looks because it’s easy to wear and transitions quite easily from day to evening. Usually once I leave the house, I’m out for good, so it’s useful to have outfits in the arsenal that are comfortable, stylish and can also be worn out to a nice dinner after running around town all day.
At a mere 5’2, I’m a bit vertically challenged, so I try to look for styles that will work for a shorter frame. I get a lot of comments on Facebook from women who are short in stature as well, who find shopping for flattering styles incredibly challenging. So here’s a tip: dressing head to toe in one color palette is one way to give the illusion of height. Obviously pairing your look with four inch heels, like this pair from Pedro Garcia, is yet another way to appear taller and slimmer. However, not everyone wants to totter around like an escapee stilt walker from Cirque du Soleil, so a midi heel or flat in the same color is going to work to elongate the body just as well. We can’t all be born tall and willowy, but if you know a few tricks of the trade, you can definitely fake it.
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Shoes: Pedro Garcia
Sunglasses: Isaac Mizrahi