Welcome to the first week of spring.
This normally means a thought or two about what your new spring/summer wardrobe might look like, but inspiration is hard to come by these days.
Most women my age would turn to fashion magazines for clues, but the media baton has been passed to another generation and they don’t care what a woman over 50 might want to wear, not to mention the examples she realistically could.
So when there are only Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry and Louis Vuitton clothes in what remains of fashion titles, where do we find our style cues?
I find I get mine from other women now, sometimes stylish strangers I spy on. It happened to me in Paris yesterday. I was stopped in my tracks by a blonde woman in her 40s or maybe 50s, wearing the perfect jeans, a crisp white shirt, sandals and a tote.
While it might not look groundbreaking, it was, due to small details that sent the whole look into a whole different fashion stratosphere. A crisis….
A white shirt. The shirt was crisp white and perfectly crisp, snug but not tight or baggy. She had her sleeves slightly rolled up and she was deeply tanned, which I have to say was gorgeous. You don’t have to ruin your skin to get this look by the way – I’ve become obsessed with Sisley self-tanning moisturizing body skincare that comes with a velvet glove to apply and is absolutely foolproof, doesn’t does not streak or stain.
Jeans. Again, I have a caveat because she was very neat, but her jeans were fabulous and probably suited many body types. They were slightly high waisted, fitted like a glove, and flared in 1970s style above the knee, which is a more flattering silhouette than wide leg jeans, especially if you wear a heel.
Cork platform sandals. I did a double take. I love this 1970s St Tropez look, probably because my mom wore cork platforms and it reminds me of pool parties and Paddle Pops and Piz Buin sunscreen. My current French inspiration also had brown feet and a very nice pedicure.
A large metal men’s watch. At a glance, I’d say it was an Audemars Piguet metallic steel watch, but the look can be had at any price, from Rolex to Seiko.
An oversized tote bag. It was large, tan leather with a cutout pattern, I couldn’t determine the tag. It seems expensive. She looked expensive. That’s the idea. All the pieces she wore were pretty basic, but very chic. You don’t really see Parisian women wearing very “Madame” or overly decorative handbags.
Tortoiseshell Sunglasses. All those things I’ve worn before. I will wear them again, just a fabulous new version.
There’s a decidedly 1970s vibe to Paris, and while all the beautiful, flowing kids wear wide legs and cropped tank tops and shaggy hair with center parts, I think I found my look more suited to the age for an Australian spring.