This weekend, I realized you really can get cooler with age. We were at a roast in Estes Park for an outgoing CEO. He's French, and because this was a big deal, his older brother and his wife came all the way from France to celebrate.
This couple was in their late seventies and looked fabulous. The brother wore red pants - red pants! And a super Frenchy thick black turtleneck. He looked like a funky Jacques Cousteau - appropriate as they had sailed alone across the Atlantic four times. His wife was a small woman who had on an oversized, drapey black scarf with her hair wound into a topknot on her head and fastened with a chopstick that stuck almost straight up. They were lovely and gracious guests at the dinner - even though they hardly spoke any English. They joined the after-party crowd at a bar and continued the celebration well into the night. Then, while Geoff and I were back in our room sleeping (having managed to even floss our teeth after several celebratory cocktails), they were in their suite singing French songs and drinking wine (she in her pajamas, no less) until 3:00 am. They arrived at breakfast roughly the same time we did looking no worse for wear.
Even my parents have experienced a surge in coolness. Nail polish and make-up were frowned upon until my freshman year in high school, so you can imagine my surprise when I received this call from Eliza as Geoff and I were driving to Estes Park. She and my mom were shopping and she called to ask if she could get her cartilage pierced. We had discussed this before, and Geoff and I were firmly against it - she already had double piercings in each ear and we feared a cartilage hole was just one step closer to a reality show on TLC. Since she knew where we stood, she put my mom on the phone (well played, Eliza). Using her great grades and an upcoming surgery, my own mother worked to convince me that she thought it was a cute look for Eliza and that even my Dad said it would look good on her. I collapsed from the pressure (or was it shock?) and now Eliza is the proud owner of a third hole in her left ear. Sheesh.
The thing is, I too want to be cooler when I get older. I want to keep an open mind about issues and to dress creatively. To remain current, but with wisdom and style. I think it's a healthy thing to do. Lately, I've been following this blog, advancedstyle.blogspot.com. It highlights older women and what they wear. Regardless of their shape and size they look incredible. They radiate aliveness. They haven't surrendered to age - they are still experimenting. Strangely, even the mid-forties (where I find myself) is considered "advanced" to a point. As weird as it is to wrap my head around that concept - I don't want to turn away from it. I want to try to be open and creative now, so when I get even older people won't raise an eyebrow if throw on a pair of high-tops or over-the-knee boots. I want to try not to fear age, but to embrace all the freedom it brings. Something to consider.
I wore this to the event:
When I first bought these coated pants, I wasn't sure how they would work - could I really handle shiny legs? Now I love them and clearly need another pair because I wear them constantly. I was considering some of those great faux leather pants to take this look to the next level and after this weekend, I might give it a try. Hey, I'm a forty-five year old married mother of two, why ever not? I'm also wearing the Stella & Dot Kimberly necklace which numerous women at the event tried on and loved (I like to drink wine and share my jewelry). It works with everything - patterns or solid colors and can look dressed up or funky casual. I consider it a must-have.
And finally, it's Meatless Monday (a concept I'm still trying to get the kids to appreciate). Today we'll be dining on Mushroom Bourguignon from the Smitten Kitchen cookbook. It is fabulous. With the recommended addition of sour cream the taste almost goes to a stroganoff and adds a lot of ooomph to a meatless dish. It calls for cremini mushrooms, but I've used a mix of cremini and boring white mushrooms and it works just fine. Try it!
gratitude: reading in bed, the Colorado cherry and cream cheese tart I ate for breakfast yesterday, salt scrubs, socks
thanks and love.