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
SENIOR SEX: WHEN TO SAY YES
Ever since we were in high school, one of life’s big questions has been, when is the right time to get sexually intimate with someone you’re dating? For centuries women have been concerned about being perceived as “easy” or “slutty” so we agonize over the timing of sexual intimacy, and wonder when “respectable women” can say yes without ruining our reputations.
Well times have changed, and waiting for a specified period of time to elapse before having sex is passé. The sexual revolution happened more than a few decades ago, and we aren’t getting any younger, so we may as well do as we damn well please. The truth is, there really is no right time. It could easily be just a few incredible dates or it could be never. There is no right or wrong answer. It’s a personal decision and one that can only be made based on the particulars of a specific situation. What’s right in one scenario, may not feel right in another. People are incredibly different and when we come together at different times, under different circumstances, there are bound to be different outcomes. Unfortunately there are no steadfast guidelines for making that decision. You just need to know yourself and trust your instincts.
I think if there’s a mutual physical attraction, and you want to have sex with the person you’re dating, you need to take a moment to do a personal self-analysis and ask yourself a few serious questions. Firstly, are you in an emotionally healthy place where you are able to separate sex from love? Can you keep your emotions in check and refrain from romanticizing the relationship at this early stage just because you are being intimate? If you can’t do that, then you aren’t ready to jump into bed with someone until you’re in a more committed relationship. If your real goal is to find a husband or a soul mate, then casual dating with intimacy is probably not for you, and you may want to consider a longer courtship period. Time is really the only way to get to know someone. Hopping into bed isn’t a short cut to emotional intimacy, it’s a short cut to pleasure, and it’s essential not to confuse the two or your feeling are going to be left in emotinal tatters. Trust me.
Having said that, not everyone is looking for a committed relationship at this point in their lives. So if you are seeking something more casual, like a friend with benefits, then I think that three or four dates can sometimes give you a decent comfort level to proceed with a sexual dalliance. However, it is essential that you make sure you have gotten to know this person reasonably well first, and that means asking some important questions, such as: Where does he live and work? Even if this is going to be casual sex, you want to feel safe, and that means going home and doing a background check on this person. It’s amazing what you can find out by a simple Google search. A friend or family member should also always know who you are with and have that person’s name, address and contact information. Have you met any of his friends or family? You need to spend a little time doing a background check and a character analysis so that you feel comfortable that this person is who he says he is and can be trusted.
As I have mentioned in previous blogs about sex, at this juncture you should both agree to get tested at the sexual health clinic and produce a clean bill of health. I also suggest using condoms just to be safe. STDs are an epidemic amongst seniors so it’s essential to take your sexual health seriously.
As a result, being spontaneous is not a good idea for a first intimate night. It’s essential to wait at least a few dates, that way you have time to protect your health and make a safe, educated decision. It’s easy to get carried in away in the moment. But don’t. Planning for a weekend getaway or a stay over after a romantic dinner in a nice hotel is preferable to spontaneously inviting him in to your home (or his) after a date. At our age a bit of preparation including lubricants, beautiful lingerie and condoms will give you a much better experience.
Now that you have a few guidelines, remember to relax and have fun.
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