Style At A Certain Age

20 Jul

On Stitcher’s Guild, we have a thread called “Sewing for the Middle Ages”.  It’s fun to read everyone’s idea of what is appropriate and great looking for women of a certain age.

What I’ve noticed, now that I’m in my sixties, is that each decade I’ve had to reassess my style.  In my forties, I could still get away with most current styles and close or loose-fitting garments.  Actually, I could still wear a bikini.  It seems like such a long time ago!

In my fifties, I gained a bunch of weight, and spent the last half of that decade trying to lose it.  What I wore was dictated by what would fit.  Even so, I felt I could wear shorts and jeans, and even go sleeveless if I wanted to.

Now, I am in better physical shape than I’ve been in years, but find that some things just don’t look right on someone my age.  As I write this, I realize that I am being very subjective here, and many women my age will not agree with me. This is just something I’m coming to terms with, for myself.

For example, I went to the Nordstrom sale today to buy some jeans.  I’ve been wearing “Not Your Daughter’s Jeans” for several years now, so I found about four different styles to try on.  There’s nothing like a three-way mirror to shock the truth into you!  What I noticed was that none of the jeans were really my best look.  With an expanding waistline and a shrinking behind, it’s just not very appealing.  After all, jeans are all about the butt.  If you don’t have one, should you really be wearing jeans?  I have a friend my age who looks great in jeans, but she has a teeny tiny waist, so her behind doesn’t look flat.

I bought the jeans, but said to myself that they would probably be the last pair of jeans I would ever buy.  Next time I want denim pants, I’ll have to make my own out of a favorite pants pattern.   Why should I wear fitted jeans when there are so many other kinds of pants that look so much better on me?

Believe it or not, this whole discussion is leading up to the October travel wardrobe.  I just finished the Loes Hinse Oxford Pant in a lightweight black rayon hopsack, which is really a great fitting pant.  When I finished all except the hem, I decided I could update the look a little by adding darts to the bottom of the pant, ala Marcy Tilton.  It seems that pants are getting slimmer, but I will never wear pants that are tight around the thighs again, so making the pants slimmer at the bottom seemed like it might do the trick.  Here is the finished pant:

I made four darts on each leg, two in the front and two in the back.  The darts are two inches wide and ten inches long (from the pre-hemmed raw edge).  I’m very happy with the way these turned out, and proud of myself for trying something different.

I also finished a skirt in the same black fabric and a Cutting Line Design shell from the My Hearts A’Flutter pattern.  This pattern was a delight to sew.  Every part of the pattern went together without a hitch, and I love the results.  These two patterns will be future TNT garments.  Here is a picture of the shell:

I am currently working on the Loes Hinse Ascot Jacket in the same black rayon. More on that later.  Three down, eight to go:).

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6 Responses to “Style At A Certain Age”

  1. Kathleen August 15, 2010 at 4:10 PM #

    Janis, I love that you morphed the Marcy Tilton darts onto your Oxfords! Those Oxfords are my TNT, and I love Marcy’s details (but not her fit so much), so that is a great solution! I actually used the crotch curve from my Oxfords morphed onto her Vogue 8397, view A, and it worked out great. Now I’ll have to copy your idea to simulate view B. Thanks for the great instructions!

  2. Leslie B July 24, 2010 at 4:47 PM #

    Janis, Love your outfit. It’s very chic and perfect for women of a certain age!(I’m 66) My next trip is two weeks in Paris starting 9/17 and I haven’t gotten very far. Did cut out an Sewing Workshop Onde Jacket which I lengthened.

    • Janis July 24, 2010 at 10:08 PM #

      Leslie, a dear friend of mine is here this weekend and she is planning a trip to Paris in the fall. Today, we went to Powell’s Books and she got some great books on Paris travel. I know you’ve been to Paris before, so you probably already know where to go and what to see. I envy you. I love Paris ALMOST as much as Italy:). Thanks for commenting.

  3. Sharon July 21, 2010 at 11:57 PM #

    Your pants look very smart and your shell will be so versatile in your wardobe.

    • Janis July 22, 2010 at 7:20 AM #

      Thanks, Sharon. These pants are the most comfortable I’ve ever made. The rayon does wrinkle a bit, but not bad. If I had it to do over, I might consider using a microfiber knit. Microfiber is just so indestructible for travel. Are you going to make your travel wardrobe? Do you have any plans yet?

      • Sharon July 22, 2010 at 8:26 PM #

        Your welcome Janis. I am definately going to try and make my travel wardrobe, the fabric is piled up on the floor in my sewing room and I have plenty of ideas, nothing on paper though. I am at the beginning of a Chanel Jacket as we have a teacher coming to our ASG meeting for the last workshop session this Saturday, so I am madly trying to get it basted together to see if it needs any further changes 🙂

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