Thursday, June 22, 2017



What does it mean to be a "woman of a certain age," especially because we're living into our eighties now? Well, this book focuses on age 40 plus and the realities of aging on the human body. Fat redistributes giving you a tummy. Your breasts may get fuller or sag. You may or may not have money to spend on designer clothing and accessories, cosmetic surgery, or other alternatives to being mysterious about your age.

This book does have some assumptions. For instance Lois Joy Johnson, the author, and many of the models and opinion-givers photographed here are rather thin women. Or their weight gain isn't substantial looking. So I didn't see a model in the book who appeared to be "plus sized" or fat.

And while the book says it's a good thing to "cross-shop" and buy some things cheap but upgrade the entire look with more expensive accessories, overall, the author is speaking to the woman who has a closet full of clothes, some that were expensive, who needs to do some self evaluation about how she currently looks in the clothes she already has.
There are  some things I disagree with Lois Joy Johnson on, so let me get those out of the way.
The nude or flesh colored shoe, particularily a heel, elongating the look of a leg because it matches the flesh; I think this is a fashion look that's now dated. I don't think you can really fool anyone that you've grown a few inches wearing a "nude" shoe color - and I dislike shoes that seem not to match the color(s) of any of the clothing you're wearing.  You won't find any "nude" shoes or purses in my closet.
While wearing monotone clothing, or wearing V necks may elongate the look for photography, when I'm out and about and I see a woman wearing monotone or V necks, I'm not fooled that she's taller.  I may think though that she has conscientiously put together her look.

Secondly, I dislike the reliance on form shaping underwear. There is an old fashioned word for form shaping underwear - "foundations."  Maybe today's are better because they are made with miracle fibers but they are still "girdles" to hold in the tummy - slightly.  I recall as a child coming in contact with a horrible rubber one that a relative of mine had in her drawer for emergencies and that "ewe what is that!?" feeling as I pulled it out and stretched it. I agree with her that a good bra that actually fits is a necessity and that you need to be refitted frequently but most women I know try to avoid wearing them because they can be painful. Many women prefer camis and only wear a bra when they must!   I do believe such underwear can sort of smooth your shape, but it's also usually extrememly hot, even clammy, to wear. Better some exercise or diet and 100% cotton against your private parts!

Now, if I didn't think this was a very good book and worth your reading time, I wouldn't even post it here at MISTRESS MANIFESTO BLOGSPOT! I think the advice in this book is for anyone who wants to have a decent basic wardrobe, regardless of age, if you want the basis of that wardrobe to be classics, fine tailoring to fit (or refit) your clothing (a tailor is essential to add life to those items that you paid a lot of money for back when the shoulder pads were in), and learning how to appear modern not matronly.

Here are some of this fashion-insider/author's best advisements:  
Update your eye glasses every year - they are jewelry for your face.
Buy white t-shirts and underwear cheap because no matter what you do, they will loose that fresh white look from laundering. 
Buying dresses is usually overall a better idea than skirts and matching tops, because dresses can hide your body better, especially if you pay attention to the pattern, which should be swirly or floral. 
Your posture is extremely important, as is your energy and your smile.
Check out the many web sites that Johnson refers you to, and you'll be more educated about fashion and what's right for you, and might even influence today's designers who are also looking at these sites, trying to adapt to what women really think and want to buy!

To me 40 is too young to give up on some of the clothing that is suggested you be done with.  Instead, I ask "What is your physical shape and good attributes and where are you going?"  If you have great legs, I see no reason you have to have your skirts and dresses near the knee, not on you day off, or when you're going to a seaside resort, not even if you're 60.  You may want to think of animal prints in natural colors staid, when you have Zebra rainbow colors to wear with your jeans unless that's too matchy-matchy with your daughter!  And maybe your complexion is such that you really can still wear girly-girl pink and not look like one of those little old ladies with round marks of blush.
You too should read any fashion or beauty book with a strong sense of who you are and what you do or don't agree with! 

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