How to Copy What the Younger Girls are Wearing and Make it Yours
Quote of the day: “This is who I am. I’m not perfect. I don’t want to try to be perfect.” Michael Strahan
Many of us worry that we would be trying to dress too young if we copy what the younger girls are wearing! But I want to show you how you can copy outfits, using what you already have in your closet!
We are joining with Madelyn from ADD…and-so-much-More! again to explore the idea that fashion can be good for your brain. We started off in the last post, here, by trying to convince you that restyling our clothing items makes our brain healthier.
Now, we want to try to suggest that you can recreate some of the looks that you see on the younger women without “looking like mutton.” Sometimes it just about taking an element or detail and running with it! All 3 of us used the same photo of Michelle! Michelle may be much younger than we are, but I love reading her blog and seeing her style. I picked this outfit of Michelle’s for the exact reason that I knew the 3 of us did NOT have items just like hers! So I’ll tell you our thought process as we go along! Again…Madelyn is giving her two cents in the brown font!!
Not just fun, Jodie – brain benefit!
Not only would we look quite out of date in exactly the same outfit that looks so trendy and attractive on someone as young as Michelle, our brains wouldn’t get much of a challenge from sheer duplication.
To keep our brains young and vital as we grow older, the goal is to build a choice of strong pathways to get it where it needs to go should a metaphorical detour become necessary.
What our brains crave is exercise, which means it needs to get out of its pattern recognition rut to send out some feelers to a few neurons that otherwise might not have been recruited to chime in.
Jodie’s (50’s) Outfit: My first thought when I saw Michelle’s outfit was all about the distressed jeans and strappy shirt.
I started with the jeans. I know many of you frown on distressed denim. And I’d be the first to admit that I’m not a huge fan either. But I did find and fall in love with these jeans, and since they didn’t have a non-distressed version, I decided to take the leap. Besides, if I’m standing up, then you hardly notice the torn knee, right?
Then to incorporate the strappy shirt (which is how I interpreted Michelle’s shirt), I found an open shoulder shirt in my closet. With these shirts, I feel like they tend to gape when I lean over, so I made sure to wear a camisole under it—that’s why you see 3 different straps in the photos.
I had a ball with this one, Jodie, from your straight hair, red lips and sunglasses all the way to your strappy sandals with the chunky heels (and my favorite leather jacket purse which you had introduced in an earlier post)! You kept the ruffles in the top as well – and covered your upper arms (an area a lot of us would just as soon not put on display at 50 or older).
I hope everyone noticed that you didn’t pay attention to duplicating the colors at all, even in the purse and shoes, concentrating more on the silhouette.
That’s what interpretation is all about! Any brain can replicate without breaking a sweat. Interpretation takes some creativity – especially when you are limited to what you already have in your closet.
Now I realize that Michelle’s outfit is 2 solid colored pieces. But I decided to go big and try for some real live print mixing. If you checked in last week on the blog, you saw how I tried make this concept more basic for those of you who think it’s too “out there.”
But let me be truthful. Actually I grabbed the two pieces because of their individual details. The distressed knee on the jeans. And then the spaghetti straps on the shirt. It’s not like I have a lot of these details in my possession. Then when I put the two pieces together, I questioned the fact that they were two prints. Should I wear it? Is it too much? But I decided to give it a go…what do you think?
After putting together these two pieces, I stopped trying to recreate Michelle’s look. I thought about trying my beige ankle boots. But the thought that I should work on making my outfit more cohesive won over. I thought the darkness on the sandals played off the darkness in the shirt. And then with the purse I added in more black!
Jeans:Articles of Society (similar here darker & capris or here without the ripped knee or here in a cropped version)~~Top: Fabrik (similar here or here or here)~~Shoes: Chinese Laundry (similar here)~~Purse: (similar here)
Nancy’s (60’s) Outfit: I let Nancy translate the photo, and this is what she came up with. Her first thought was the tighter jeans & flowy top, so she wore leggings and a tunic!
I thought this was a smart way to copy Michelle’s outfit. Sometimes it’s interesting to see the first item that you notice in a look and then compare it to what’s in your closet. I know from my article on Sixty + Me about leggings that many older women have embraced wearing leggings. So I felt like it was only natural that Nancy went this route!
The tunic that Nancy chose was more colorful than Michelle’s but it’s one of her favorite tunics. I think we need to remember when we are “copying” another person’s outfit, it doesn’t have to be exact! It can be an idea that floated through our heads when we first saw the other person’s outfit. You’re still getting inspiration from another person, you are then just making it your own!!
Good for Nancy! The “strappiness” of the inspiration top would probably not have suited her style much at all – and the double layer of ruffles might well have looked a bit too girly on her. Had she distressed a pair of jeans to look exactly like the pants in the photo, I think she might have looked like a garden party gone bad.
So she grabbed her fabulous tunic and tossed it on over a pair of leggings. Take a look at some of Nancy’s outfits from other weeks and I think you’ll agree that she came up with a super way to honor this challenge without betraying her own sense of style – right down to her chunky heeled pumps as well as her black booties
For Nancy’s shoes with this outfit, we went 2 different ways! First we pulled out her silver shoes, since Michelle had styled lighter colored footwear with her outfit. By doing this, I think Nancy shows a more spring time look. There’s a couple of you that may not realize how silver shoes go with everything! If that’s you, then these sandals might be perfect!
The other option we photographed is her black ankle boot. This is a choice that I think makes sense to most of us, since the leggings are black. Do you have a preference?
Nancy bought this butterfly tunic while she was in France a couple of years ago!! This style of tunic works so well for the warmer months since it’s lightweight and flowy! Just like a couple of tunics I found when looking for similar ones. Check out this one or this one if you don’t believe me! I think these are perfect for vacations because they can double as swimsuit cover ups!!
Leggings: Paradox (similar here)~~Tunic: (similar here with butterflies or here in a grey print)~~Boots: Crown Vintage (similar here)~~Shoes: Chinese Laundry (similar here with a kitten heel or here with a block heel)
Charlotte’s (70’s) Outfit: My mom tends to be more literal in copying an idea, so she opted for her pink/purple pants. For the top, I was surprised she didn’t pick a pink one, but she wanted to pull in the ruffle feature.
But I do think my mom looks fabulous in this color combination. It’s definitely a spring time look and that’s exactly where I found Michelle’s outfit in her categories!
Since my mom isn’t comfortable baring her arms like you might see on the younger women, this yellow top of hers covers her up but is light and airy for the warmer months!
I loved the way Charlotte reinterpreted the inspiration top’s ruffle in lace — and I’m not surprised at all that she choose to mix up her colors this week. After all, she primed her brain to more easily accept the “mismatched” look with last post’s challenge.
Notice the creative manner in which she picked up on the inspiration outfit’s purse and boots, shape and color both — in other words, she kept the same colorway for both pieces, but didn’t feel constrained about changing the color family. Also notice how the mix of bracelets reinterprets Charlotte’s own preference for matching — picking up the tones of her top, purse and boots and pulling them all together in a more subtle manner than her brown look last week – but still very “Charlotte.”
Notice too that her pants aren’t nearly as tight as the inspiration jeans (which would probably have made her look older not younger!), but they do narrow at the hem, which is absolutely fitting for the way Charlotte usually likes to dress, even though her “style” shows signs of having subtly evolved already.
Mom’s shirt is actually one of those shirts that can be made to be off the shoulder! Have you tried that trend? I think if you’re not sure about this style, then the kind that is adjustable like this one, is the place to start. Like this one, that I wore at our #LoveChico’s Event can be worn either way. Or even this one would be gorgeous!
My mom certainly has many years of accumulation in her closet from which we could pull from. Because of this, we styled her beige booties, light colored purse and bangle bracelets, just like our inspiration photo!
Layering many different bracelets of different widths, colors & materials is really so easy for any of us! Of course you may think it’s easier if you buy them already combined like here or here! But if you have some laying around in your jewelry box, I bet you could do this too!!
Jeans: Old Navy (similar here in a skinny version or here for plus or here)~~Top: Jacket Society (similar here as a cold shoulder version and here all covered!)~~Boots: Hillard & Hanson (similar here)~~Bracelet: (similar here)~~Purse: (similar here in floral cutouts)
Even though I think color is a strong aspect of an outfit, the results from this experiment show that it’s not always the primary thought. Taking a detail that you admire that is being worn on a younger woman, can then inspire many other outfits! That’s why I think it’s fun to read blogs of all ages and sizes, and I hope you do too!
DO Try This at Home
I hope everybody reading along is also playing along – and that you will take the time to pick apart the details of your own choices in a similar manner, deepening your new neural pathways as you do so by making them conscious. If you’ll keep a journal while you play this game, I’ll bet you’ll surprise yourself when you look back over some of the changes you’ve forced your brain to make.
Extra credit if you journal your week: what other changes have you been more comfortable as you played in your closets?
Thanks to you all! And make sure to check out Madelyn’s post for more brain facts that go with this post!
Charlotte’s photography by Kari Strand Photography
Even if you wouldn’t consider purchasing your clothing online, it can be helpful to look through my links to see what is available! It certainly doesn’t hurt my feelings, if you click on them but don’t like them. Just so you know, one of the ways I make money from this blog is through these linked items.
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!
Keeping in Touch
Are you registered for my email reminders to let you know when a post goes live? I’d certainly love it if you take the time to sign up and make sure all your friends sign up too!! There are other ways to follow my blog. Facebook readers can see my posts by liking my page. Or my Pinterest page has all of our outfits in a nutshell!
I decided to show you the color that seems to be everywhere lately!! It’s pink! And even if you don’t love the color for your complexion, I found it in other items too!