Flattering and Appropriate Wardrobe Choices

Susan Shares Her Flattering and Appropriate Wardrobe

I am pleased as punch to present this week’s Fashion Friday Feature. It is Susan with the blog, Fifty, not Frumpy.  I’m sharing several of her summer looks to get us through the month of August. Fall is just a few weeks away, ladies!

“Susan began Fifty, not Frumpy as a Facebook page on July 16, 2011. It was a fun way to share her passion for style along with outfits appropriate for those of us who are enjoying our second fifty years of life. When she started her blog she had recently lost more than forty pounds and was in the process of buying a new wardrobe. She discovered it wasn’t as easy or as much fun as you might think.”

Flattering and Appropriate

Susan shared, “We may run and workout or diet endlessly but the fact is… our bodies are now shaped differently. Our more rounded curves and softer coloring require that we put a little more thought into our wardrobe choices. We may still dress like our daughters, but we need to make some adjustments so that our choices flatter us and remain appropriate.”

We are fortunate to have her share her tips with us here today. She shares in hopes that it will help us find a style that serves us well.

Monochromatic Looks

Jacket by IC Collection

Monochromatic under the blue jacket makes a bold statement.

Blue Notes

Blue and silver compliment her hair beautifully!

How to Wear Hats

Wide Leg Pants

Susan’s Tips for wearing hats: “I always need to choose a style of hat which has a high crown and a wider brim. Hats that fit close to the head such as ball caps and cloche style hats do not flatter my roundish face. A woman who has a long thin face and neck would look great in a cloche style.

The brim of your hat should not exceed the width of your shoulders.

The hat should rest comfortably on your forehead with no bangs showing, not on the back of your head. I comb my bangs back with my fingers, put on the hat and then brush the lower part of my hair toward the front with my hands.”

The Cold Shoulder

The Cold Shoulder

Here, Susan shows us how the over 50 crowd can look fabulous in the current trends. The cold shoulder top in royal blue helps us look young and modern. Skinny jeans are the perfect pairing.

The Cold Shoulder

And who doesn’t look stunning in basic black and white?

Low Rise Belts

I believe that Chico’s helped us discover the elongated torso with low rise belts. Susan pulls this look off perfectly.

Sexy Cut-out Sleeves

Another monochromatic look is taken to a whole new sexy level with these cut-out sleeves.

Flattering and Appropriate Wardrobe Choices

We all need a little black dress. So many of us try to cover our shoulders or arms thinking they are no longer attractive, but Susan shows us how to wear sleeveless. She is bold and beautiful!

I Wanted to Blog…

I wanted to blog – I sat down to do it –
But life interrupted, and I had to get to it.
Squabbles to mediate, children to feed,
Dishes and laundry and phone calls and need.
This was part of a poem from Fighting Off Frumpy
A few simple lines to avoid being grumpy.
She wanted to blog. She sat down to do it.
Here was her chance, so she had to get to it.
A precious few minutes ticked by on the clock …
The kids were all quiet, she awaited the shock.
The house was once full and laughter was plenty
But then they turned nineteen and then twenty
I wanted to blog, I sat down to do it.
No one interrupted, I could finally get to it.
The nest is now empty.
I can now enjoy blogs like Fifty, Not Frumpy.

A Hand-Me-Down Sweater

As the temperatures begin to dip below 50 degrees, it’s finally time to bring out the sweaters. As I was trying one on recently, it brought back a memory that I’d not thought of in years. When Mr. Cozi and I married, we were still in college. It was his senior year at AU and I was a sophomore transferring from a junior college. I had lived at home until then and also worked in a doctor’s office where we wore scrubs every day. Needless to say, my family and I had spent most of our $$$ on the wedding, so my trousseau was a bit bare. My 60-year-old neighbor taught me to sew and I made 2 skirts with matching vests and she gave me some of her clothes. One of those items was a green, striped sweater with a large collar. I wish I had pictures.

I wore that sweater to class at least once per week that fall of 1980; sitting in class with lots of preppy girls who wore wool-plaid shorts, polo shirts and coordinating sweaters wrapped around their shoulders. I’d never felt more loved and shunned at the same time. Mary (my neighbor) had given me her sweater out of love and generosity and I was so very grateful. It was warm on those cool mornings, but it was, after all, a sweater worn by a lady 40 years older than me.

A Hand Me Down Sweater

Similar sweater found on Ebay, described as an 80’s Military Sweater

I loved that hand-me-down sweater, but also wished on most mornings that I had something more stylish to wear. Funny now, as I look back at the sweater styles worn by most of the country in the 80’s, I likely looked better than most. Fame was a hit movie back then, so a lot of girls were beginning to come to class with oversized tops, wearing slouch socks with their Ked’s tennis shoes. Every where I looked there were styles that I didn’t own.

To add insult to injury, I had a part time job at a popular clothing store at the local mall. Do you remember Brooks? Every day I unwrapped, tagged, steamed and hung the new styles of the day for others to purchase, while wearing my hand-me-down sweater or handmade skirts. I left that job to work for the university, which was a much better job. But, one of the reasons was because the manager insisted that I wear Brooks clothing. Not an unreasonable request, but it just wasn’t in the budget that year.

When I think of that year now, it was one of the most romantic years of our marriage, we had some of the best times just walking to get ice cream and I learned how to sacrifice for the bigger picture. We had a bright future ahead of us and I can now wear the trends as they happen. I no longer own that hand-me-down sweater, but I wish I did. I would squeeze myself into it and wear it proudly as a vintage piece. Who knew that what we considered hand-me-downs back then, would today have the distinction of a lovely title like … vintage clothing.

On this Fashion Friday, I am sending you warm wishes that all of your hand-me-downs will bring you confidence, a bright future and sweet memories. I know mine did.

Day 30: Starting Over with a New Wardrobe


31 Days of Starting Over


Two of my favorite quotes about fashion are:

  1. “A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous,” and
  2. “Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance.”

Both are by Coco Chanel and both describe what my ultimate goal is for my wardrobe. However, for the last several years I’ve felt more frumpy than fabulous. I’m short, overweight and suffering from a complexity syndrome. I think I make things more difficult than they really are.

I’ve read Style Yourself Over 40, 50 and Beyond, French Chic, How To Never Look Fat Again, and Looking Great, by Linda Dano. Linda Dano was one of the very first women that caught my fashion eye. I read her book in 1998 and began attempting to imitate her style.

Looking Great by Linda Dano
Looking Great by Linda Dano

I watched “What Not to Wear”, followed Jackie O while she was living to get an idea of classy style; read articles about Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, and Princess Diana. Yet, with all my education, I am rarely confident in my clothing choices. I’ve always wanted a makeover and dreamed of going to New York to consult with Stacy, Clinton and Carmindy.

Well, I will be having the next best thing and I am so excited. My friend, Linda (not Dano) is one of those ladies that always looks like she stepped out of a magazine. She has loved and rocked fashion in such a dynamic way, that one of her daughters is studying fashion design and dreams of having her own line someday.

Every time we get together, we talk about fashion because we both love it so much. Years ago, when our kids were little, we would shop together and I always felt like a million bucks in the outfits she helped pick out.

Well, I’m hoping to have her as a regular “fashion contributor” here on Cozinest. And as we get that going, she is going to be helping me get my own wardrobe in tip top shape. We have dedicated an afternoon to going through my closet and we plan to put several outfits together, and purchase a few things to round out my needs. Tops, pants, scarves, heels, boots and jewelry… oh my!

My friend, Linda, with her two daughters.
My friend, Linda, with her two daughters. (Photo borrowed from her Facebook page.)

Be on the lookout in the future for Fashion Fridays. We are hoping to showcase outfits for our age group that are simple, classy, fabulous and sometimes elegant, but always age appropriate.

If you have wardrobe questions, dilemmas or funny malfunctions, let us know and hopefully we can have some fun with this.