Archives for the month of: November, 2013
Jewel-neck blazer
Jewel-neck blazer by melaniemac featuring a purple blazer
It can be challenging to figure out what to wear under a jewel-neck blazer (a round neck that follows the typical line of a short necklace).  And in the case of this blazer, there’s also a jewel at the neckline to make it even more challenging!  Here are a few ideas:
  • A silky blouse with a higher neckline – such as a soft rolled neckline, or a twisted wrap neck like the sleeveless pink blouse.
  • A pussy-bow blouse (high bow tied at the neck).  You might need to be careful with the size of the bow, so that it doesn’t make the neckline of the blazer gape.  Or if you want to wear it 80’s style, wear the bow outside the blazer (boy, been there, did that!).
  • A turtleneck  sweater in a fine knit like cashmere.  Some turtlenecks are a bit more relaxed, which might also look good.
  • A print blouse with a matching neckline shape – when the jacket is closed it’s invisible, when the jacket is open, it’s complimentary.
  • A plain top with jewel neck, paired with a nice scarf.  A silk scarf will provide less bulk at the neckline.
  • A simple wrap blouse, invisible when the blazer is closed. Really provides coverage but doesn’t make much of a statement.
  • A jewel neck blouse with a nice piece of chunky jewelry that has the same neckline curve as the blazer.  Might not work that well if the blazer has its own bling, like this one does.
  • “Channel Chanel” with a jewel neck blouse with long jewelry, like a combination of long strands of pearls and chains.
Coco Chanel
Armani Boucle Jacket

Armani Boucle Jacket by melaniemac featuring a black purse

Armani Collezioni jacket
$590 –

Old navy jeans

Mulberry black purse

Movado watch

Seems like the older I get, the more obsessed I become with style. I think there are many drivers – I’m sure some of them are true for other baby boomers too.

  1. We live in a youth-obsessed society, and that’s certainly true in the fashion industry. Many clothes in stores these days feel too young for me, and are definitely styled for younger body shapes.
  2. Many Baby Boomers like me are planning to work for many years yet, which means we need to maintain a certain youthful attitude and look, in order to be taken seriously in the workplace. Clothing has a huge impact on how you project yourself to others, so as we age, we need to give careful consideration to how we dress.  And, going back to #1 above, it can be hard to find appropriate clothing.
  3. As you age, you also feel a bit freer to express who you are. We are no longer as strictly bound by norms that dictate we behave in a certain way – for instance to climb the corporate ladder. Many of us have achieved goals we’d set for ourselves, and are now ready to revel in “fitting our skin.” That creates a desire to express ourselves a bit more openly than in the past – and for many women, that also equates to adapting our clothing to suit that expression of ourselves.
  4. We’ve either already transitioned to retirement, or are getting closer to it, and may be starting to think about budget management.  Retirement doesn’t have to mean we give up on having great looking clothing. In fact, it can be a really enjoyable project to create a great capsule wardrobe with good quality clothing that allows us to reflect our personal style, and always look good – while carefully managing our clothing budget.

But wait! Now that I want to express myself through style, I don’t have a clue what that style is! I’ve been at 2 ends of the spectrum: wearing business suits, or working at home in my fuzzy slippers.  But trying to look chic in casual clothes – that are age-appropriate and fit – is proving to be a challenge. Hence the obsession.

Some of my favorite sources of style inspiration and learning are on the web:

Polyvore – a great place to play, and also find lots of inspiration.

Style blogs for mature women – here’s a listing from a blogger whose posts I really enjoy!

A Pinterest search for baby boomer style.

Image consultant Diana Pemberton Sikes – her products are amazing!  I have purchased quite a lot of her courses and workshops and find them very informative.  I recently purchased her Ageless Style workshop and have really enjoyed it.

As I continue my quest for knowledge, I’ll share what I find.  If you’ve got suggestions, please do leave a comment.  I’d love to hear from you!

Chanel plaid jacket early fall 2013When I saw this photo from the Chanel early fall 2013 collection, I was very excited as I have some fabric that’s the same colour and plaid pattern.  My fabric is a brushed wool with a beautiful drape and feel.  I can’t tell what the Chanel fabric is, but by the picture, it looks like it must have enough texture that the lining is quilted to the face fabric, creating the characteristic Chanel cardigan look and feel.  My fabric’s been in my stash for years, and I think I bought it for a skirt.  It’s going to take some fancy work to get a jacket out of it and there’s really not quite enough to duplicate the jacket exactly. I’ll be working on this jacket this weekend, as I’d love to get it made and wear it next weekend.

The jacket can’t be quilted like many Chanel jackets, as the weave won’t hide the quilting lines.  I also don’t have enough fabric for self-facing.  So I’ll either be bringing the lining almost to the finished edge, or facing with a different fabric.

Vogue 7975

Vogue 7975

Butterick 5927

Butterick 5927

Butterick 5927

Butterick 5927

When dealing with the issue of not enough fabric, you need to think outside the box a little.  Here are some of the things that could be considered:

  • Subdivide one or more of the pattern pieces into 2 pieces and create a decorative seam.  The yellow diagram of the Butterick pattern does that on the jacket front.  The lower front piece could be done on the bias, or I can try to match the plaid pattern.  I could also try to do something similar to the sleeve, as it’s the longest pattern piece. Or I could try shortening the sleeve to bracelet length, which might shave enough off.
  • Either do away with facings or do the facings in a different colour.  By going with a collarless jacket, it means that facings won’t show, so a coordinating facing will work just fine.
  • Incorporate a second fabric – for instance using a princess seam pattern and doing the small side front and side back pieces in a coordinating fabric.  With plaid, a faux suede or pleather might give a “moto” feel.  Or do the sleeves out of a different fabric. (Here’s an example of a jacket I pulled off Polyvore – plaid and leather mix.)   I thought about doing the sleeves in some leftover black boiled wool, but it would be a last resort.
Plaid moto jacket

Plaid moto jacket

Off to the drawing board!  I wish you all a great weekend!

The Camel Coat

The Camel Coat by melaniemac featuring a lapel coat

Etro top
$570 –

A P C cuff shirt

H M black turtleneck
$40 –

Marc by Marc Jacobs jacket
$225 –

Lapel coat

Diane Von Furstenberg black pants
$150 –

Alexander McQueen high heel pumps
$795 –

Etro scarve

Accessorize fox shawl


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