Redecorating....Me!

May 11, 2015


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It happens every few years. Suddenly nothing in my closet is right. It all feels dated, looks awkward and makes me want to scream.

This time the catalyst was spring. The trees were blooming, color was beginning to make its way back into my world and the weather was warming up.

Of course, the first day I needed to put on something light, I seriously had nothing to wear. Nothing I liked anyway. Well, let me rephrase that...nothing my kids liked. You see, I have teenage girls. They love their momma, but they are quick to point out when my outfits are not up to par. Which is ironic since I began my college career pursuing fashion design.


But I'll give it to them.

Lately, my choices seem to be driven more by comfort than fads. Most days, I go for easy to wear, not best dressed. I don't see many people on a regular weekday, driving and dropping off at school and I think I would look a little silly in a short skirt, midriff baring tank and heels walking through Target to get my laundry detergent.

Well, that and the fact that I am 47.

Jeans and t-shirts are my uniform now. On a dressy day, I'll add pearls and a pair of boots, but you get the basic picture. Unfortunately, jean weather is slowly being phased out as the temperatures rise, so the girls and I hit the mall in pursuit of some fun new outfits. I was thrilled when I entered the dressing room. Less thrilled with the we all came out to the center of the room to show off our picks.

It was eye opening, to say the least.

Now, before I get into the nitty gritty, I want to preface this story with the fact that I am underweight and always have been. Fast metabolism, nervous energy, genetics, whatever you want to call it, I'm thin. Most of the time it's fine, but sometimes, it downright sucks. Over the years, I have been pricked for more thyroid tests than you can imagine. I have had to drink that awful contrast dye and pasty protein shakes on too many occasions and I get lectured every single time I go to a doctor. Yeah, yeah, we get it, I'm thin and because of it, I am not what you'd call hearty stock, but the upside is, that I usually look pretty good in clothes.

Usually.

You see, even at 5'8" with a small waist, no one at 47 looks good next to a tanned, toned, teenager. Nobody. I don't care how great you look for your age. Your not 17 anymore.

And neither am I.

I stood there in my age appropriate clothes, staring into the mirror, thinking, oh boy,  it's time for a change... again.

You see, every few years, I fall into a style that I think suits me and my decade well. Then a birthday hits and suddenly, I don't feel right in my clothes anymore.

They fit, they just don't...fit.

I start looking through catalogs, my Pinterest boards fill up with new hairstyles and evening gowns (you know, in case a gala comes up. On my way home from Target). Gowns that look a lot less hot Hollywood starlet and a lot more mother of the bride.

You see, every few years, just like my house, I need to redecorate myself.

I'm not talking major renovations here, just a few tweaks to freshen things (me) up. It's like recovering the pillows or changing out the drapes, adding just enough new to give the place a lift, bring it up to date, make it look contemporary, while maintaining its classic style. Whether we're talking home decor or mommy makeover, I'm not an big overhaul kind of girl.

I swap out just enough to find the pretty again and truth be told, I've already been renovated, a number of times actually.

I have had braces.

Twice.

Apparently, my teeth like their original position best and while I am not pleased, I don't have the energy or motivation to fight them a third time. I was born a blond and I intend to stay that way.

I did go red once and, while my husband thought it was awesome, I had no idea who that woman in the mirror was...which after a decade of marriage is probably precisely the reason my husband liked it so much.

I'm not particularly fond of my droopy skin and like Nora Ephron once said, I don't like my neck. More renovations I am not going to tackle. I don't like knives, needles or even Novocain, so as much as I hate those lines and sags, I'm afraid they're here to stay.

I don't like to advertise it, but there are a few structural issues here too. My hip gets stiff if I sit too long and my back is not what it once was. Those three inch heels in the closet should be donated, because I will never, ever wear them again. Sad, because in my opinion, there is truly nothing sexier than a pair of long legs parked in a fabulous set of spikes, but I am in no way willing to undergo spinal surgery for the sake my of haughty heels.

Yes, these really are my shoes. 
No. I'll readjust my couture sensibilities instead. I'll find kitten heels, wear scarves and get bangs. I'll shop for a brighter lipstick and whitening toothpaste. Change out the lighting and update the paint.

You get the picture.

With a little rearranging and a few new accessories, I'll find my new style and fall in love with me again.

Me at 47.

Shopping alone.

Damn teenagers.

Do you redecorate you?



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78 comments:

  1. Oh, at 63, I'm well past that. LOL Comfort rules. I still do wear make-up, though. And jewelry. Otherwise, I dress for comfort. I haven't owned a pair of heels in over 10 years.

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    1. I'm headed your heel-less way Gwen! Much as I love them, I like to feel well more! :)

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    2. I'm with you, Gwen! Maybe an occasional helper to pull in the mid-section, otherwise that's it. And absolutely no heels . . . and, I'm over 60 so elastic is one of my best friends!

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    3. Elastic is everyone’s friend, Cheryl! We are very well aquatinted!! ;)

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  2. Love this and yes, I redecorate my myself anytime I need it!! LOL From clothes, shoes, hairstyle and accessories, I am a girly girl. LOL
    Have fun shopping!!
    Hugs, CM

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    1. I'm a girlie girl too, CelestinaMarie! I find the older I get, the more I love jewelry. Who could pass up a little sparkle?

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  3. Great post. I am short! Just 5 feet. So you can imagine the struggle I have finding clothes. :-)) I am thankful for the Petite sections.
    I love comfortable clothing. :-)

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    1. Thanks Carla. I totally understand your dilemma, at 5'8" I can never find pants long enough. There has got to be a happy medium somewhere!

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  4. Me? I'm thinking 'complete renovation'!

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    1. Somedays I am right there with you. Then I am exhausted by the thought of it all and put my jeans back on! ;)

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  5. What a great read! I LOVED it and cracked up over the gala coming up on the way home from Target!

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    1. You just made my day!! :) Thanks!

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  6. Great post. I love that Nora Ephron book. I need to redecorate as well!! Especially my hair. Where in the instruction manual for aging does it say when you turn 50, your hair will get curly? Yes curly. Long corkscrew ringlets falling from the roots of my hair. Really? What happened?
    Love those heels. :)

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    1. That’s funny, Kathy, I have the opposite! I had very curly hair when I was younger and now it is pin straight. It barely holds a curl. Ugh!! :)

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  7. I love this post, Kim. I always find this time of year difficult. My winter "uniform" is jeans and a black turtleneck. Once the weather turns warmer, it's "uh-oh", now what? I did some shopping but keep it simple.
    And Heels? That ship has definitely sailed!

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    1. Ha! Black turtlenecks are my go to! My kids call it my uniform, too. It's a classic look and I say if it ain't broke! ;)

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  8. I have done a little redecorating on myself; lost 32 lbs. Slowly I am replenishing the wardrobe but am not liking some of the styles of today for, lets just say, a maturing woman. The skirts seem to be too long (maxi) or too short. The heels keep climbing in height. I like heels so I now have to look around for the heel height of a few years back. Oh well, change is good, "they" say. Its time for a new hair-do but no nip and tuck.
    Surgery of any kind is SCARY."

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    1. Shirley, that is great...32 pounds is a big deal! I hope you have fun shopping. I'm not fond of a lot of today's styles either. Frankly, I don't like them even for the young girls and certainly not for me. I'll stick with the classics, but you're right, you've got to hunt for them!

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  9. Chick, you need to start hanging with me. I'm always invited to galas on my way home from Target....and Walmart!! LOL I hate buying clothes and I hate trying to redress myself every few years. And Mark Twain has no idea what he's talking about. I have wrinkles in places a mouth has never been!! I usually muddle through summer and hope that fall and winter come early! Jeans, long sleeves, lots of layers work best for me! I do wear heels occasionally...I just feel that giving them up is giving in to aging and I refuse to go down without a fight, regardless of how many times I fall when I have them on! :-)

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    1. Benita, you make me laugh and I just love that! Call me the next time you have a Box Store gala to attend. I'll be there in a jiffy and we can trip down the red carpet together! ;)

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  10. Oh Kim, every spring I love shopping for a few new outfits and accessories. Whatever I bring in I clean out and give to good will. We all need to do this to feel good. You are lucky to be thin. Have fun shopping for new clothes. Have a nice week.
    Julie xo

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    1. Thanks Julie! I am excited to go without the hardbodies in tow! ;)

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  11. Oh my goodness Kimmie, everything single thing you said...yes...we could possibly be twinsies because, 1. you write exactly what I think, 2. I am underweight, have to drink protein shakes, etc. 3. I have been trying to redecorate myself as well. I rarely see anyone either, so sometimes I feel like what's the point. I picked up a few items recently so I don't look homeless, but, I barely wear them because...I'd rather be comfy...especially after a long dirty day in the garden. :) Thank you always for your lovely words! oxoxoxoxox Jen

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    1. Jen, your comments always completely make my day. Thank you so much for taking a time-out from gardening to weigh in. Even if you don’t tip the scales! ;)

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  12. I have never been much of a clothes person. When I worked outside the home I wore scrubs and now that I work from home it is jeans and casual tops. I rarely go anywhere where something dressy is required. Who am I kidding, I rarely go anywhere period. No make-up, same haircut for years. No redecorating here. Great post though. I have always admired people who fuss about their appearance and wished I could be more like them. Good luck with your 'project'. Hope to hear how it is going.

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    1. Lorri, my mom was a singer, a Broadway baby. She performed at Radio City Music Hall and was a real glamour girl in the days when glamour reigned....the 1950's. I grew up mesmerized as I watched her apply her make up and dress up in those pointed pumps and gorgeous gowns. I could "tomboy" with the best of them, but I'm a girlie girl at heart, wearing skirts and heels on a daily basis. At some point though, your signature look just doesn't translate anymore and it's time to redecorate!! For me it was standing next to those stinking kids! ;)

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    2. Kim, that is so cool to have a mom in the entertainment industry. Was she still performing when you were growing up? How fascinating that would be.

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    3. She was not performing when I was little, she was busy raising four kids, but the stories were all there and she shared them all!!

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  13. I love this post, Kim! You had me laughing and nodding my head. My two daughters are my best and worst critics so I guess I usually look presentable when I dress as they want me to. When I go shopping with them they steer me here and there and I'm usually surprised that I like what they pick out for me. I have some pounds to lose (a never ending battle over the past 10 years), so I have to dress in a way to conceal a few things but not look like I threw on my best Mu-Mu. Comfy clothing for me is leggings and longer tops, in the summer I like capri's and T's. And always jeans.

    I think we need to redecorate ourselves every now and then, just as we switch around a room...maybe a big splurge every now and then, and sometimes you just need the right accessories! :)

    Jane x

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    1. Jane, you made me laugh! I have the same shopping experience with my girls. They used to be my dollies to dress up and now the tide has turned and they are dressing me! How did that happen...and you're right, sometimes they pick out items I would never choose and they look great! I think it's because I have modeled great taste! ;) Ha!!

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  14. We must have been looking in our closets at the same time . . .
    I hit the wall and said, "self . . . it is time to redesign yourself!"
    I have work to do . . . believe me, trying to be stylish, age appropriate
    and not looking like a fuddy duddy 76 year old takes a bunch of " redesign!"
    I will let you know when I get something together . . .

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    1. Keep me posted Lynne! It is harder as we get older, isn’t it? My mom used to tell me that all the time, but I didn’t believe her, because I was young and it was easy to throw something on and look super. Your mom is always right! ;) I am sure you look fabulous all the time!

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  15. Yes ma'am!! If you go to the blog Get Your Pretty On she does a style challenge for each different season and I usually participate. You might really like it. The summer challenge is starting soon. :)

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    1. I have heard you mention her before Stacey! I just may play along this time...I need some help and advice from someone who is at least old enough to drive! ;) Thanks for the tip!

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  16. Too funny. I changed over my closet yesterday (yes on Mother's Day) and my 14 year old excitedly came in to check out what I had done. Quite disappointed she said, "Mom you need a make-over. Where did you get all these clothes, and why are you keeping them?" I explained many of them were older than her! Think it's time for a change....but where and how to begin. Tracy S

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    1. Yes, where to begin, that is the question! I am afraid that my new stuff isn't really going to be much better than the old! My kids are going to be so disappointed.

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  17. I am trying to redecorate myself now for Spring and Summer but the choices are dismal. Most everything out there is cute and short...too young for a 40 something. I can't remember the last time I bought something and was really excited to wear it...maybe 2009? Ugh. Hope you have better luck.

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    1. The choices are dismal, Kristi! In my mind, I think, oh that is so cute, but then I remember that I am not 25 or even 35 and I grab the kahki Bermuda shorts and white top…again. SO boring! ;)

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  18. I laughed and sort of cried as I read this. I just turned 62 Friday. I've never had much of a style sense, but I'm trying not to look 72! My daughter keeps urging me to dress younger, which I think is funny. The best thing for me was getting a new hair style two weeks. I even had a random gentleman at McDonalds tell me I have beautiful hair. I love your attitude of redecorating myself.

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    1. "Laughed and sort of cried”…that’s exactly how I feel!! ;) A new hair style is always uplifting though and you know it’s good when random people comment! I bet you look great! Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. You made me laugh today!

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  19. Oh I so need a makeover too. Just way too stuck in a rut. I need a new hairstyle bad. Loved this post, way too funny, and yes I think we all need to "spiff" up a little once in a while.

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    1. Marty, I have seen your wardrobe when you post your vacation outfits sometimes. Your style is elegant and classic, that’s what I’m going for. Maybe I should take you shopping instead of those teenagers! ;)

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  20. I don't want to go under the knife either, but I do know a bit about skin care. Tretinoin and hydroquinone work miracles. Tretinoin builds collagen and really softens deep wrinkles and gets rid of the smaller ones. Because it rebuilds collagen, skin firms up too. Hydroquinone will erase any brown spots. Both of these treatments are prescription grade. They take time to work ~ you won't see much of a result until at least six months but they work and are referred to as the gold standard. Glycolic acid of 10% will increase cell turnover too but not quite as well as tretinoin. Nothing will totally turn back the clock, but these products will take off a good ten years and boost your morale. I have always been a bit obsessed about skin care and this is the best suggestions I can make. And don't forget your sunscreen, hat and dark glasses. Keeping the sun off your face and hands will keep aging at bay. I enjoyed your post.

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    1. Susan, I have never heard of any of these prescriptions. Everyone just talks about Retin A and I have rosacea (another fun by-product of my age!) so I haven't even used that. I will ask my dermatologist about them. Trust me, anything that takes 10 years off my face is worth asking about! I'm so glad you commented, I'm always looking to learn! :)

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  21. Oh gosh I gave up heels some years back ... how did I manage to wear and walk on them I do sometimes wonder!

    I have to say that I am at an age where I'm decidedly classic in my choice of clothes. I like to feel comfortable. I like to look smart when the occasion dictates. Most of all I like to smile!

    Enjoyed this post - it did make me laugh, and I think we can all acknowledge parts in it that are definitely me.

    Have a great week ... and many thanks for coming over to the low carb blog - always enjoy reading your thoughts and comment.

    Take Care

    All the best Jan

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    1. Jan, I used to run in heels...run for trains and through city streets. I was more comfortable in heels than flats. Not anymore! I do agree with you that smiling is the best accessory, no matter what your age! ;)

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  22. What a refreshing and hilarious post Kim... while I don't have the problem you do with not having enough weight, sadly, I struggle with having a bit too much, and I am short to boot, making it hard to find clothes that feel right. I am with you on the spring/summer season... fall/winter are my favorite seasons. Have fun with your "me redo" :)

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    1. I’m glad you found the post entertaining. I figure if we can’t laugh at life’s little tribulations, we’re taking it all too seriously! I am still thinking about those chicks…super sweet!! :)

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  23. It's all about comfort for me!

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  24. I really get this topic. I just wish I enjoyed shopping. I am so short and petite that I have try everything on. SO obviously I have not shopped in years other than for undergarments. However when I went to do that I recently bought a shirt. I told my daughter it was boho, and she replied,"it's ripped". I don't really like the styles; the clothes are either too old or too young, and I just like to be comfortable. Best wishes with your project! xoxo Su

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    1. Oh Su, I don't really enjoy shopping anymore either. The thrill is gone and yes, the clothes today are not my style. I need classic and comfortable, but not dowdy! It's not an easy thing to find. Good luck on your quest, too!! We'll have to compare notes! ;)

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  25. Kim, you sound a lot like my friend, Joyce. She can not gain weight if she tried. She actually lost weight with each child she had. We have been friends since 6th grade and she is thinner now at age 62 than ever in high school. Wish I could say the same for me. lol! I love where I am in life, but yes there are things I would like to change, but this granny will just grow old as gracefully as possible. I don't really enjoy shopping at malls. Most of my clothes are bought at T.J. Maxx or another damaged goods store I visit often. I love capris and flip flops are my go to summer attire. I bet you are darling!
    hugs,
    Jann

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    1. I am a huge Marshall’s and TJ Maxx fan myself, Jann. I loathe the mall and yet, it’s funny how often I find myself there…teenagers! ;) Hope it’s a great week and thanks for the sweet comment!

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  26. Haha! What a funny post. I must have decided the same thing. I sorted through everything in the tote labelled summer. Found 2 skirts that would look great together so sewed parts of them together. I liked the result so repeated the process with another 2. Found a black dress that needed restyling so took it apart redesigned it and sewed it back together. Decided I needed a new top to match one of the skirts so am knitting one. My clothes are out of date but they suit me and I am comfortable in them and since I'm 40 I just don't care anymore what people think. Now I have a very small shopping list including a swimsuit and I can tell you this is not a priority at all.

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    1. You make your own clothes, too? I stand by my original statement...is there anything you can't do? I can alter clothes and I have been known to temporarily refashion items for shows (costuming), but you wouldn't want to look too close or wear them any place other than a dimly lit stage! ;)

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  27. This hits home, but I am 66, not 47.

    I was flying to San Francisco on Saturday to shop with my daughter for my Mother of the Groom dress. Just choosing what to wear to walk around the streets of SF with my fashionable daughter was a challenge. I live in shorts and tees and then there are the days I have to look decent and I don't know what to wear.

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    1. It’s those fashionable daughters that get us every time, Carol! I am sure that your dress will be lovely. :)

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  28. This reminded me of a friend that lived by me all through school. Skinny as a rail and could eat whatever she wanted . So if I was YOU, after being depressed by shopping I'd eat an entire quart of Ben & Jerry's ice cream :) :)

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    1. I am a sucker for Dunkin Donuts Boston creams...Ben and Jerry's is a close second! ;)

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  29. I hear yeah girlfriend! Luckily (or unluckily) for me, I don't have any teen daughters to scrutinize me and my outfits! LOL! I do see myself as fashionable, in some ways, I like nice clothes that are classic, so I never feel them to be out of style or if they're not in, they still come back into trend. We're the same height, and my classic 'uniform' is straight cut jeans and a crisp nice white shirt - and I accessorize with my necklace, from pearls, to big bib necklace, I love to spruce it up that way. I also love big skirts, like poofy, vintage kinds. I'm 5'8" too and they make me look a tad shorter ;-) and definitely maxi dresses. Good luck with your re-do, you should share some of your pics in IG or here!!! In the end, comfort definitely trumps fashion anytime. But remember, you can always feel comfortable and be fashionable at the same time!

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    1. That's what I am looking for Vel, comfortable and chic, fashionable fashion! Ugh. If I find it, I'll let you know! And...don't get me wrong, I love shopping with my girls as I know you will, with Sophia. Except they were always the cute ones in the pink and frills and I was the stylish grown up. Then one day it flipped and they were the hip ones! How did that happen so fast?

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  30. Great post! I did re-decorate myself few years ago...being a mom and gaining midsection forced me to say good bye to heels, and say hello to loose fitting clothes! But I put on a dress sometimes, and my little girly-girl gets excited to see her mama dressed up. She is too young to criticize me now, but I guess i few years she will be telling me what fits me right. You have great blog and writing style!

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    1. Thanks so much, Annie. It was sweet of you to pop by and leave such a kind comment. Yes, it quickly goes from, “Mommy, you’re so beautiful” to “Mom. You cannot wear that.” They do keep me on my toes though and in fashion! ;)

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  31. I can totally relate! After the third baby I found myself slipping into "frumpy mommy." Sure, its ok to drop your kid off at school while bra-less and in pjs, but not so much for grocery shopping. lol Right now I am finding the middle road between comfort and fashion. It starts with brushing my hair and applying foundation. I found that if I look awake (regardless of how many midnight interruptions) I feel more inspired to put on actual clothes, which in turn inspires me to actually leave the house and be somewhat productive.

    Probably the biggest success in finding this middle road is just accepting my body size for what it is right now. In highschool I would have been mortified to be the weight I am today, but now, post three pregnancies, I am ok with how I look. I no longer look at the tag size and just buy what actually fits. Bonus points if its something the mannequin is wearing...that is the point wear comfort and fashion meet, at least in my world!

    I love how you bared your soul in this post. Its encouraging to read the comments of like-minded women! Thanks for getting the ball rolling!

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    1. Audra, been there! Those delicious kiddies are worth the transformation, but it can take some time to find your new style. This is not my first "redecorating"...I did it after babies, when I hit 40 and now it's time again, fully entrenched in middle age, but you're right, getting up and putting on something pretty and little bit of lip gloss can really make you look and feel better....even on those sleepless night mornings! I'm so glad you enjoyed the piece. Thanks joining in the conversation!

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  32. Love that Mark Twain quote!
    Amalia
    xo

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    1. I do too, Amalia. I’m a word addict and sometimes, quotes just speak to me…like this one! Good and bad I suppose!! ;)

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  33. Since I left the corporate world and started working at home, I've gravitated toward more comfortable, casual clothes. Suits just don't "suit" me anymore. I imagine I'll get rid of them all.

    Good luck with your new look!

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    1. Thanks so much and good luck with your suit purge! ;)

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  34. First, you look younger than me and I'm 45.

    Second, you're gorgeous.

    But, I know what you mean. I always tell my daughter that she stole my body and I want it back. At least I kept my boobs. Poor thing didn't get any LOL

    Right now, I'm in an awkward stage. I feel young, but I know I'm not. I love wearing vintage 1940s and 50s, but I feel that if I keep up the game I'll look like a cartoon, so I've strayed from it a bit. I rarely wear my hair vintage anymore, unless I'm dressing up. I've always told myself that people back then didn't have a choice, because it was the style, but it's not the style now, if you know what I mean, so I struggle. Also, I'm no Dita Von Teese.

    I always thought I would settle for a classic style with slacks and sweaters, but it's just not me. Besides, I HATE slacks on myself lol Jeans and a t-shirt are okay still, but I know one day it'll look like I'm trying too hard to be young. The last thing I want is to be one of those women that are trying to wear the same styles as their daughter. I want to dress my age, but what is that these days? It's all blended.

    The hair is another thing.... is it too long? Should I go shorter? Should I wear bangs? Ugh.

    I need to go through my closet, but I'm avoiding it, because I still haven't figured out what I want to do. Let me know when you figure it out ;)

    xo,
    rue

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    1. Yeah, it’s not easy, is it? I went shopping with my daughter last night and I really had a hard time trying to find something to “fit” me. My insides gravitate to the fun and funky. I may feel young, but my outsides are decidedly not funky anymore. Well, not in the good sense of the word anyway. ;) I can imagine that your penchant for vintage only makes it harder…although I have a hard time picturing you looking anything but fabulous.

      And while I am not really good at accepting compliments, this time I will say thank you and throw them right back at your gorgeous self!

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  35. This is such an honest, real post. I love it! This spring I did the same thing. I looked through my clothes and saw who I was 5 - 7 years ago instead of who I am now. I've done a big donation recently, and bought a few key pieces that work for my body type and feel more like who I am now. I try to look at it like this: reinventing yourself again and again is a feature of being a fabulous lady! Even when it feels a little like a drawback. ;)

    (Also you're very brave for shopping with teenagers! Not for the faint of heart.)

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    1. Thank you Kyla and thank you for sharing your own experience. I guess it doesn't matter how old you are, there is always some kind of metamorphosis going on when you're a woman. I am glad you found your style...for now! I am still looking, but yes, this time, I am leaving those kids (and their teenage figures) at home! ;)

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  36. I could have written this post! I love it! I am exactly there every few years in January when the birthday hits another year. I change my glasses, hairstyle a little and update the clothes. Just went clothes shopping this week and everything was hideous...everything! I think I have style but I can't walk around in what is in the stores right now! Lots of physical ailments too to keep me from certain shoes so I bought two pairs of Skechers and some Orthaheel sandals and I am good to go! I have 30 ish daughters and that is harder to take I think! I used to look like that!

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    1. AnnMarie, you make me laugh, yup, 30 is harder! I think I would probably identify with them more then. Oh boy! As far as the shoes go, I am all Aerosoles, all the time! Comfort trumps all! :) Thanks so much for taking the time to comment!

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  37. Just turned 50 this week and I want to redecorate!

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    1. Happy birthday, Laura! I hope it was a wonderful day. Here’s to a fabulous decade and redecorating! :)

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