Finding Other Bloggers—Meet Jess

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Today on Jess’ blog Elegantly Dressed & Stylish, I’m honored to be part of her “Spotlight On” Series. Her series, which comes out the last Friday of the month, features fashion bloggers who are over 40.  In Spotlight On Jess asks the featured blogger some questions in order to get readers to know them better. So click over to her site to find out a little more about me and my crew & family.

I have to tell you my thoughts on this. When someone asks me questions, my first response is to ask them questions in return. I love knowing more about the friends I’ve met, and to me it’s a conversation!! Consequently, I’m presenting questions to Jess to better know her. Her answers to my questions will be a great introduction to another wonderful fashion blogger for those of you who haven’t read her blog!

Jess is slightly younger than the three of us, but she blogs to prove that even with chronic pain, you can dress up to make yourself feel good! You’ll notice she doesn’t (can’t )wear high heels, has a feminine style and “breaks the rules” about what a red head should wear!

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I hope you enjoy a glimpse into another fashion blogger’s life! So please welcome Jess from Elegantly Dressed & Stylish:

1.  I read in your bio how you named your blog, but go ahead and tell us again! I was trying to think of a blog name with meaning to my life. I needed the blog to be a place where I could meet other women who love fashion, but primarily,  it was initially named as the acronym from my rare connective tissue disease: EDS- Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. I was walking and immediately came up with Elegantly Dressed and Stylish, as I thought it epitomized my style. 
 
2. I’m sure your chronic pain has changed your life significantly. What’s the worst and best that has come out of it? The worst has been the inability to live my life as I was: very athletic, teaching music, not having pain every day and having to deal with it. I miss being able to ride a bike, hike strenuously, and do some of the things I used to.  I don’t know if there is a “best”, but we got the puppies to help with anxiety and coping, so you know how much they mean to me! I suppose you also have an appreciation for life and don’t take for granted what you CAN do.
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3. Was there ever a time that you gave up on fashion and trying to look good? If so, what brought you back? Yes, certainly. 10 years ago, when I was diagnosed, I had such pain sensitivity, I could not wear socks, let alone jeans and other fabrics. My main concern was finding out what was causing this pain and my clothing also reflected my mood. Fashion was the least of my concerns! I wore all black and could not wear any other shoe besides a supportive gym sneaker.  Many years later, when my illness was more manageable, I started looking more into fashion. 
 
4. I love that you shop online. Give us some secrets that makes it easy & fun!! Yes, I don’t shop in the stores anymore, 98% shopping on-line. I tend to shop at stores with free shipping and free returns. You can order multiple sizes and return what doesn’t fit, also the selection seems to be greater on-line, I can shop in my robe, in bed, and don’t have to stand in lines. Plus it’s like Christmas at my house when the orders get delivered!! I also shop on Poshmark, a resale, Ebay type store, where sellers sell gently used or new items. I have gotten great bargains!  
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5. Anyone who spends time at the computer everyday knows that there are physical issues that can come with it. How do you make sure your body feels good as it can everyday? I do have to spread out the commenting on link ups, it takes me about 4 days to type my comments to everyone. I try and take breaks. I use a trackball mouse. As far as keeping my body feeling good, I take several epsom salt baths a day for muscle pain, swim ( the easiest on my joints) and do some easy weight lifting for strength. I also get a procedure called, Dry Needling  every other week (not acupuncture) which uses needles to release muscular knots.
 
6. Has your idea of fashionable changed throughout the years? Well, funny thing is I think I have become more interested in fashion as the years go on, and perhaps more fashionable. I have always loved clothes, but I remember high school and I wouldn’t have considered myself fashionable. As far as my idea of “fashion” I have gotten so many tips and ideas of what is fashionable from blogging. 
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7. Are you an introvert or extrovert? Hmm. What do you think? :-) I am an extrovert. I wouldn’t say I am always “on” and engaged, as there are times where I just want to be quiet, but for the most part, I have my mom’s gift of being able to talk to people (strangers) easily, and no fear of meeting new people.  My hubby is more of an introvert, so it seems to work well. 
 
8. Tell us more about your two puppies? Have you always had two and do they get along with each other? We had Truffles for 2 years before I ( begged) asked to get a “friend” for Truffles. I went on the breeder’s site, where we found her, and saw this red-haired little ball of fur! I knew he was my  little boy. Truffles, we like to call her Princess Truffy, is very fun, independent, steals my heating pad in the winter,  a loving little girl ( she is 7). She could live outside on the deck looking at squirrels She is a “daddy’s girl”. Gibson, is a mama’s boy, my shadow, as he follows me from morning until night. He is so fun, loving, and very schedule regimented. He sleeps with me, but in the morning, stands up and gives me the “stare down” as it’s breakfast time! I adore them! Yes, they are buddies and get along great, except when Gibby chews on her ear!
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9. If you’d ask me to describe your style, I’d say feminine with florals & lace! Have it always been this way?  Well, I wouldn’t say that, as there is more to my style then those two components.I would say feminine, and I do like those aspects of my style, but I would say I LOVE color and also have variety in my looks. I love faux leather. My closet is very colorful and I look to find pieces that are flattering to my skin tone. I would say  I love to find trends I can add to my look as well. In addition to my feminine style, I also love to find unique and either one of a kind pieces of jewelry or vintage accessories. I collect vintage brooches.
 
10. Do you have a favorite celebrity or woman in the media that you love for their style?
Hmm. Have to think about that. I love Cate Blanchete’s style, and Helen Mirren always looks great.

 
So even if you have seen Jess’s blog before, did you learn anything new? And if you don’t already follow Jess’s blog, I hope you will now! She’s has a unique styling sense and a wonderful heart! Here’s her links to Bloglovin‘ or Instagram. You can always register to get the email service to have her blog delivered right to your inbox. You can signup on her home page here!

Frumpy Florals 2: (Layered)

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How to make your floral shirt less frumpy.

Frumpy Florals for the 50’s, 60’s, & 70’s: With Layering

Quote of the day: “Whoever brings you the most peace should get the most time.” Rev. Run

This experiment all started from a request from a reader who loves her floral shirts. Yet her concern was to not appear mumsy (her word—don’t you love it?). So I really thought about how one could wear a floral shirt to make it appear more stylish!

Along these lines, my first reaction is to add a jacket or some kind of layer to a shirt. Maybe it’s because of all the years I wore a blazer to work to set the tone for professionalism? So I thought I’d try this same trick for the floral shirts. I consciously varied our layers with a vest (or in this case, a sleeveless blazer), a cardigan and a jacket to try to give some ideas of how it could look. And again, I left off the multitude of accessories we usually wear in order to put the focus on the florals!

As I explained in the first post (here-where we kept it simple with pants & shoes),  how not to look  mumsy is an interesting speculation! I also talked about the theory behind what I picked for our mumsy looks in the first post if you’re interested. Can you take a piece of clothing that could look very old fashioned, and bring it into the 21st century? I’d love to hear your opinions on this topic—tell me below in the comments!

Jodie’s (50’s) Outfit: These longer vests are really taking center stage recently. I’ve seen them on many younger bloggers (which means they are really in fashion, right?) and I’m sure any of us older women can wear them! Just think, if you have a longer blazer that you never wear anymore, you could take off the sleeves, and wear it as a vest!

How to make your floral shirt less frumpy. How to make your floral shirt less frumpy.

Another detail on this outfit of mine, is the brooch on the vest. I know I promised to keep the accessories at a minimum, but I just love this pink sparkle on the solid colored piece!

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How to make your floral shirt less frumpy.

Pants: Banana Republic (similar here)~~Vest: Forever 21-thrifted (similar here in a lighter blue)~~Top: Liva Girl (similar here with a choker neckline–that’ll make it look fun!)~~Shoes: Calvin Klein (similar here)~~Earrings: (similar here)~~Brooch: (similar here)

Nancy’s (60’s) Outfit: I really think this is my favorite of the three of our outfits for this post. Maybe because it’s only been recently that I’ve embraced mixing my prints in my outfits–so it’s still new and exciting.

How to make your floral shirt less frumpy.

Thus I thought I’d pull out all the stops and throw a leopard cardigan over Nancy’s floral shirt. We actually used this same floral shirt in our print mixing post (you can see it here), but paired it with striped pants!

How to make your floral shirt less frumpy.

Another aspect that I think looks more modern here is the white pants. I’m sure we’ve all heard that the rule about no white after Labor Day has changed–so let’s enjoy it!

How to make your floral shirt less frumpy.

How to make your floral shirt less frumpy.

Pants: J. Jill (similar here)~~Cardigan: H&M (similar here on sale)~~Top: Croft & Barrow (similar here in long sleeves)~~Shoes: Merona (similar here almost exact)~~Earrings: (similar here)

Charlotte’s (70’s) Outfit: Not that you want to cover your floral shirt entirely, but adding a great jacket is an easy step!

How to make your floral shirt less frumpy.

Faux leather is everywhere lately, and mom really loved the two toned details on this one. We picked it up at Macy’s last year when it was on sale. Of course, she had to shorten the sleeves, but it looks so hip, don’t you think?

How to make your floral shirt less frumpy.

How to make your floral shirt less frumpy.

If you’re anything like my mom, you will question the choice of sandals in this outfit. If it’s cold enough for a jacket, why would the feet be exposed? But there’s so many times, it’s only chilly in the mornings, and then the temperatures really climb. Besides, I love the look of wedge sandals with jeans—I feel it’s quite trendy!

How to make your floral shirt less frumpy.

Jeans: Bill Blass (similar here)~~Jacket: INC (similar here in a suede, but no white in it)~~Top: Laura Scott (similar here)~~Shoes: Old Navy-thrifted (similar here–good for you looking for comfort)~~Earrings: (similar here)~~Pin: (similar here)

Do you love floral shirts? Or do you feel mumsy wearing them? I love hearing your logic!

There are affiliate links in this post. What this means is that when you click on a linked item, I receive a couple of cents. Those couple of cents can certainly add up! So I appreciate it if you keep clicking to help support Jodie’s Touch of Style!

If you like my blog, please share it with others—it’d make my day!

Here’s some other fun layers to add to your floral shirts:


Frumpy Florals 1 (With Modern Jeans)

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How to make your floral shirt less frumpy.

Frumpy Florals for the 50’s, 60’s, & 70’s: With Modern Jeans

Quote of the day: “Everyone looks so much better when they smile.” Jimmy Fallon

I had another request from a reader (and gosh I’m sorry that I don’t remember who asked), but the message was this. She loves buying floral shirts but doesn’t want to appear mumsy (did I get that right, whoever asked me?) And I think we can all agree that I don’t have all the answers (ha ha), but I really tried to figure out some ways to make the same shirt look bad and then good. I even went to the trouble of using our own shirt styled 3 different ways (and included what I considered a frumpy comparison).

Now you may not agree with what I’ve put together, or even that the frumpy pictures look frumpy. But my hypothesis was, does one piece make or break the look? Is it a combination of colors that make you like an outfit or the fit? Or is it something else entirely? I’m not a hundred percent about the answers , but I’m happy to share our photos and my rationales behind the outfits!

I started with the thinking that in order to make a floral top that you might consider mumsy look great, you might start with some great pants & shoes! I noticed that I had all three of us do the front tuck with our shirts. It’s certainly an interesting way to configure your shirt if you’re looking to add interest. I even consciously left off necklaces & bracelets so there wouldn’t be a shift of focus from the floral tops! Go ahead, tell me what you think about my experiment!

Jodie’s (50’s) Outfit: Let me start with my frumpy comparison. I have to tell you I felt embarrassed to go outside in this get up! These pants are definitely big on me, so after this picture I gave them away.

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For the fabulous outfit, I started with my grey jeans, I know they look like bluejeans in this picture, but they really are grey. I realize that many older women are not delighted about distressed jeans (and I’m sure we’ll look back on them in 20 years and laugh), but they are certainly modern!

How to make your floral shirt less frumpy.

And then I added in my studded, bright pink flats!

How to make your floral shirt less frumpy.

So the recipe is the same: shirt + same floral top + flats, yet the look is quite different, I think!

How to make your floral shirt less frumpy.

Jeans: Banana Republic (similar here)~~Top: Liva Girl (similar here with a choker neckline–that’ll make it look fun!)~~Shoes: Yi Xin (similar here)~~Earrings: (similar here)

Nancy’s (60’s) Outfit: Let me again start with the frumpy look. Now I’m certainly not against capris, but I find that the shorter length of pant can look disproportionate with a shirt hanging untucked in some cases. And these shoes, while comfortable, are not the most stylish in Nancy’s closet (I could be wrong?).

How to make your floral shirt less frumpy.

To counteract the frump, I had Nancy put on her coated jeans. They aren’t leather, but because of the sheen, they do look like leather!

How to make your floral shirt less frumpy.

Then we styled her brown ankles boots that have a small heel and I think she looks more polished.

How to make your floral shirt less frumpy.

How to make your floral shirt less frumpy.

Jeans: Liverpool (similar here–they are great for repelling pet hair)~~Top: Croft & Barrow (similar here in long sleeves)~~Boots: Franco Sarto (similar here with a cool accent print)~~Earrings: (similar here)

Charlotte’s (70’s) Outfit: Starting with the frumpy outfit again, I had to laugh because mom put this entire outfit on after one of our photo shoots! It was before I had really processed what I was going to do with this theme. And I looked at it and said, “that’ll be perfect for the frumpy look.” Now I realize she was just hanging around the house, but if you have great clothes, why not wear them? I think part of the reason I don’t love this “frumpy” look of mom’s, is her capris are too big (see how they bulge in the front) and she’s too matchy (even the earrings!).

How to make your floral shirt less frumpy.

Thus to change the outfit around to be functional yet (hopefully) stylish, I added in her olive green capris. For those of you who love to match, I figure they still go with the colors in the shirt; just not the main color thus not as matchy! These green capris are definitely tighter than mom’s yellow ones, and many of us steer away from tight pants. I totally get that. But if the pants are too loose they can look just as bad as being too tight!

How to make your floral shirt less frumpy.

How to make your floral shirt less frumpy.

And then since we were walking around the Parade of Homes for the evening, we added in her much loved Keds! These white tennies may not be the most stylish of sneakers, but I think they are better than the athletic sneakers! And mom was able to wear her othotics in them which is a prerequisite for walking!

How to make your floral shirt less frumpy.

Jeans: Faded Glory (similar here–here’s the time to get them, as they’re a great deal)~~Top: Laura Scott (similar here)~~Shoes: Keds (here)~~Earrings: (similar here)~~Watch: (similar here)

Do you love floral shirts? Or do you feel frumpy wearing them? I love hearing your logic!

There are affiliate links in this post. What this means is that when you click on a linked item, I receive a couple of cents. Those couple of cents can certainly add up! So I appreciate it if you keep clicking to help support Jodie’s Touch of Style!

If you like my blog, please share it with others—it’d make my day!

Since I bet everyone has a floral top in their closest, I thought I’d show you some other examples of jeans that are contemporary!


3 Different Purses with Zaful

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Purses for Women over 50 with Zaful.

3 Different Purses with Zaful

I’ve never been someone who wanted the expensive name brand purses. Sometimes, I do wonder why I don’t want them, since many women love them so much. But if you’re like me in this matter, then you’ll love the fact that you can shop at some of the online stores, and take home a great purse very inexpensively!

Thanks to Zaful, we were gifted these purses for us to review. Their website, however, is not just about purses. They have everything from women’s clothing to beach towels! I happened to pick out these bags only because we haven’t showcased this item in awhile. They are truly a great deal as they are all under $22. When ordering this kind of item online, I think it’s important to check the measurements given. I always take a piece of paper and compare what size the purse would be to that paper! And even thought their prices are quite low, the company has extended a 15% off code to my readers. Use the code  ZFCJ15 to enjoy this savings until the end of the year 2016!

I admit that I don’t normally show purses with our outfits. It really depends if you are one who “wears” your purse or just “carries” it, I guess. Not that I really know what the difference is, but Jo-Lynne gave me an idea. She said that if the purse will be with you while you’re out and about, then you’re wearing it, and should think about how it goes with your outfit. The example here would be if you were going shopping. You would have your purse with you the entire time. Thus it’d be great if it looks like part of your ensemble.

But if you’re only taking your purse from point A to point B, so it’s not part of your look, then it may not matter how it looks. The example here would be if you have your purse with you in order to get to work. But once you’re at work, it sits under your desk, then it’s not part of your overall look!

Of course, since I’m not an expert at this purse thing, you could tell me anything different and I wouldn’t disagree with you. The three of us did style handbags about a year ago (here, here & here). I tried to show 3 different outfits with the same purse in those past posts.

Outfits: So for our Zaful bags, I showed 2 different ways I thought to “wear” your purse. One way is so that the purse would be a contrasting item. The other way is to pair it with items in your outfit of the same color so it would basically match.

Jodie’s (50’s) Contrasting Outfit: I chose this light blue purse because I think the shape is quite fun. It is the smallest of all three of our purses. I certainly wouldn’t take it for an all day shopping trip, but it’d be perfect for date night! 

Purses for Women over 50 with Zaful.

This purse has a longer strap that can be removed. You’ll see the long strap in the next outfit photos!

Purses for Women over 50 with Zaful.

I tried to showcase how the purse would look against a darker outfit! I even went with lighter earrings & shoes to keep the accessories somewhat the same!

Purses for Women over 50 with Zaful.

Purse: Zaful (here)~~Dress: Elana Kattan (similar here)~~Shoes: Stuart Weitzman-thrifted (similar here)~~Earrings: (similar here)

Jodie’s (50’s) Matching Outfit: When I was working, I always carried a larger bag, that had my purse inside it! Thus I needed a smaller purse! So this size would have been perfect for that scenario.

Purses for Women over 50 with Zaful.

It hangs right at my hip, once I adjusted the strap to it’s shortest position.

Purses for Women over 50 with Zaful.

I could fit my entire wallet and my small makeup bag in it just fine!

Purses for Women over 50 with Zaful.

And here’s how it opens & closes!

Purses for Women over 50 with Zaful

Purse: Zaful (here)~~Pants: Ann Taylor-thrifted (similar here)~~Jacket: H&M-thrifted (similar here)~~Shoes: Christian Siriano for Payless (similar here)~~Earrings: (similar here)

Nancy’s (60’s) Contrasting Outfit: Nancy chose the olive green straw purse. I have been seeing a lot of olive green lately in the stores and on other bloggers! This purse does come in other colors as well. And even though I usually think of straw as a summer material, I think this color lends itself to the cooler months.

Purses for Women over 50 with Zaful.

This purse has two brown straps. The longer one can be removed, and the short two straps are attached.

Purses for Women over 50 with Zaful.

I picked the red dress as her outfit so the purse would contrast against it. Since it’s now becoming cooler outside, I added a red t-shirt under the dress.

Purses for Women over 50 with Zaful.

Purse: Zaful (here and also in brown, beige, grey & purple)~~Dress: Peter Nygard (similar here)~~Shoes: Aldo (similar here)

Nancy’s (60’s) Matching Outfit: Here’s the inside of the purse, if that’s important to your selection. There are two pockets on this side, and another larger one on the other side.

Purses for Women over 50 with Zaful.

The purse does have a zipper to close it along the top. Considering how inexpensive it is, the zipper seems pretty hardy!

Purses for Women over 50 with Zaful.

I matched Nancy’s purse to an olive green jacket that she’s had for ages! It’s a good sized purse, but I don’t think it overwhelms Nancy.

Purses for Women over 50 with Zaful.

Purse: Zaful (hereand also in brown, beige, grey & purple  )~~Jeans: J.Jill (similar here)~~Jacket: JM Collection (similar here)~~Shoes: Charles by Charles David (here)

Charlotte’s (70’s) Contrasting Outfit: Mom chose the multicolored purse. It does come in a couple of solid colors also if you like the shape but not the brightness of the patchwork.

Purses for Women over 50 with Zaful.

This purse has a gold chain as a strap. The wonderful thing is they can be pulled together to shorten it which is how mom is holding it here.

Purses for Women over 50 with Zaful.

I always love white clothing items in any season, and then adding this purse along with the neck scarf can add the pop of color you need!

Purses for Women over 50 with Zaful.

Purse: Zaful(here and it also comes in blue, grey, red & purple)~~Jeans: XOXO (similar here)~~Top: (similar here)~~Shoes: Shouldout through GroupDealz (similar here)~~Scarf: (similar here)

Charlotte’s (70’s) Matching Outfit: There’s so many colors in this bag, that I wanted to “match” it to many of them. Thus I picked a multi colored striped shirt from mom’s closet. Since it was short sleeve, we layered another shirt underneath it!

Purses for Women over 50 with Zaful.

Here’s the strap when it’s pulled longer. You can see the other part of the chain laying on the top flap portion of the purse. It hangs to a nice length this way.

Purses for Women over 50 with Zaful.

I would almost consider this a clutch purse except for the fact that it’s pretty roomy inside. My mom was able to fit her large wallet in there with her phone on the side of it.

Purses for Women over 50 with Zaful.

Purse: Zaful (here and it also comes in blue, grey, red & purple)~~Jeans: Gloria Vanderbilt (similar here)~~Top: Pendleton (similar here in longer sleeves)~~Shoes: Dana Buchman (here)~~Earrings: (similar here)

There are affiliate links in this post. What this means is that when you click on a linked item, I receive a couple of cents. Those couple of cents can certainly add up! So I appreciate it if you keep clicking to help support Jodie’s Touch of Style!

Want to know more? You can check out Zaful’s reviews here! And if you do buy something, add your photo to win money here! Also don’t forget to use the 15% off ( ZFCJ15) code if you’re going to buy something—it always feels good to save money!!  There are other deals in my Discount & Deals tab too!!