I love photographing woman for style stories. Margaret is defiantly a lover of clothes and has a closet full of unique and beautiful pieces. She worked and traveled to many stylish cities, working and shopping.
When I first got to Margaret’s house she was excited! She had 5 to 6 outfits laid across her bed. They were all very nice but to me a little safe (black, white, and beige). So when she said, take a look in my closet to see if there’s something else you want me to wear, I was excited. WOW, she had some amazing items with color everywhere.
I picked out shirts, jackets, and other pants that didn’t match the tops. Margaret knows what she looks good in and has great taste. She also told me about a boutique that she shops at in Worthington Ohio, called ModeAlise. Very cool store with unique style. I hear they might be starting an online store! I will let you know.
So here are some of the photos from the shoot and a slideshow at Margaret’s house. Make sure you read her style story.
Let me know what you think, have you ever done a style shoot? Are you a lover of clothes?
1) How would you describe your style?
– Classic/Classy/Age & Body Appropriate but with a little bit of Edge
2) I feel that you have a unique style that is truly you, but also very different. What do you seek to achieve when you dress?
– I look for things that “feel” uniquely mine; something that I can do that will not look like everyone else’s. I truly enjoy fashion and so my goal is to find the style, fabrics, colors that are best for me, my coloring, my size, my shape and help me to feel the way I want to feel.
I have a love for art and the creative in my heart but my career was “straight business” so my clothing gives me a bit of an “artistic or creative” outlet for expression.
3) How do you go about choosing your clothes and what inspires your outfits?
– First, I NEVER worry about what’s popular or currently on-trend. When I was younger that all mattered. Now, I’m buying pieces that should get me through the next decade or two. They are classic pieces that I should be able to wear.
That said, as much as I like classic, it just has to have more for me. I like pieces that have a classic feel, but I want them to be a stunning color or a wonderful fabric or have great lines or even an added feature – like lace (which was a big winter/spring feature and still is) or a cool pattern or an interesting hemline, etc.. I don’t like bland and I don’t want to fade away in my outfit. Each piece may only have one or two of those features, but that is quite enough. The goal isn’t to have so much going on that it’s all too busy or just too much. I believe we are supposed to wear the outfit, not the other way around.
4) Do you take things like color profiling or body type into account when you dress?
I absolutely take color and body type into account. In fact, both are my first considerations. I consider my build and height. I’ve got bust and hips and I am height-challenged (short) and also short-waisted. So I look for things that do not emphasize my bust. A good V-neck or something that pulls the eyes to my face or shoulders is much better for me. Also, I like pieces that give a longer elusion and do not specifically define my waist. I try not to cut myself off at the waist so I don’t tuck in tops. If they should not just hang loose and tucking in needs to happen, I tuck a little in the front and then let it drape out over the side and back hips.
Also, I tend to do heels whether they are stiletto, wedge or block heel. I need height, but I am careful to mix the right heel with the right apparel look so it doesn’t look like my main goal is to look taller. I like the shoe and apparel to blend so that they look like a “total” outfit, not an attempt to look taller.
Lastly, I am conscious of color. I do best with Fall, then Winter then Summer. I’m not a “Spring”, pale-shades person. I do really well with fuchsia but a pale pink is not good on me at all. I can do acid yellow or green, but the paler versions of these colors just “lay” on top of me looking and feeling very separate from me. I like to look like me, my outfit, my shoes, my jewelry…they just all look like they go together.
Overall, I try to focus on what looks good on me…not something that just looks good on the hanger or is on-trend. The clothes are not the story, they are that thing that should highlight or add to the story.
I think it’s a nice compliment when someone tells you that your outfit looks great. It’s even better when they tell you that YOU look great and that gets achieved when you’ve pulled it all together.
5) Would you say you have a signature style?
I’m not sure if I have a signature style. When I look at my closet, the pieces are not very similar. I guess the one thing they have in common is that they are unique pieces and not run-of-the-mill. I don’t want a wild wardrobe, but even less do I want a boring wardrobe.
6) Do you believe in dressing ‘age appropriately’?
I think taking one’s age into consideration is important. But more, I think it’s important to dress effortlessly and in consideration of one’s body. While that may sound different than “age appropriate”, it really isn’t.
Our bodies change as we age – even if we workout religiously, our bodies, our faces, our hair, our skin elasticity all change. In consideration of that, we should adjust how we dress and on what we focus on ourselves and our bodies.
7) Would you say that at this stage of your life you are now more, or less interested in fashion, style and the way you look?
I have always been interested in fashion, style and the way I look. That said, I would say that I am more conscious now for several reasons:
1. I am retired so I have more time to notice “me” and to focus on “me” and I love that. After 43 years of working, it’s about time!
2. I am older so admittedly, there are more challenges with my body. I have more of those “Where’d that come from?” and “When did that happen?” moments. I’m more honest with myself and thus, I’m willing to recognize what I want to de-emphasize and what I do want to emphasize.
3. That now “extra” time I have has given way to noticing things around me…the colors and patterns and flow of life and I’m more willing to embrace what that means for me.
8) Do you have any fashion and style tips for women over 50/60?
I think my biggest tip would be “Really get to know yourself and your body”. Some of us are quiet; some are reserved; some are lively, etc. To me, our mode of dressing should be an extension of who we are, not something separate.
In addition, I think without being negatively critical of ourselves, we should each honestly determine what we feel to be our best assets to highlight and what we’d prefer not to highlight. What colors, fabrics, and styles make us come alive and make you walk with a stride that is confident, comfortable and beautiful?
At this point in life, it’s not about making someone else happy with how we look or about feeling we “must” dress on what’s the biggest trend. It’s about each of us being uniquely ourselves. Recognize that at 50 or 60 or at 67 like me, it’s not about trying to hide our age, it’s about determining what brings out the best in us and going for it.
9) What did you learn from the style photo shoot?
So, this might get a little emotional for me. The last 15 years of my career required a great deal of me. A high-stress job with long hours and immense responsibility. I was easily a “go-to” person when big things needed doing and I was kind of a workhorse. A few months after my retirement, my husband had a debilitating stroke that left him partially paralyzed and requiring my care 24 hours a day for 3 years. Due to both of these, I stopped feeling like or thinking of myself as a “girl” or even “feminine”. I didn’t realize these changes had occurred because as always, I was simply doing what needed doing and doing so with gusto, purpose, and determination.
During the style photo shoot and seeing the photos afterward, I remembered that I am still “that girl” and that I am “feminine” and that it felt good to know that those attributes bundled with still being a strong woman who can make things happen – is a great package. That realization is a great gift to me especially at this juncture of my life.
10) What did you learn from looking at your photos of the style shoot?
I learned that I can wear the color “white” without looking or feeling like a beached whale. I think many of us shy away from that color, but I felt fresh and energetic in it and felt good when I saw it.
I learned that my style of dressing works for me. I’m never going to be that tall, lean model type, but I’m really happy with what I am (without naming it) and feel like either it’s gotten better with aging or I’ve just gotten happier and more confident with who/what I am over time.
Lastly, while I have lost 35 pounds, I determined I want to lose another 8-10 pounds. I know that this is not the anticipated “learning” from the shoot, but I realized that I am still a “meaty” girl (some of it in the right places) and I’d like to downsize that still a bit.
Bottomline…I just feel GREAT!
Margaret in a beautiful person inside and out! I am looking forward to our next shoot. Check back to see what we put together.
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