how to be a hot-flash hottie
get dressed, less stress
‘Fit: Solving the closet conundrum
In my last love letter to you, I suggested some vocabulary for a new archetype - including demi-elder, map-maker and full fruition. And that’s a pretty good start. But as any marketer worth her flaky Maldon salt knows, words are only one part of the equation. Imagery helps seal the deal.
And personally, as I racked up some years I needed mirrors and visual reference points to orient myself. I started collecting imagery of women that I felt reflected this new demi-elder psychographic. No easy task. Where are these sexy, cool, chic women? Who are they? Reveal yourselves!
I asked around for input and the prevailing answer tended to be Diane Keaton. Now, I love me some DK. Much respect. Granted this is totally subjective but sensual is not a word I’d use to describe her. Quirky smart outlier, heck yes. But I’m not ready to put on a turtleneck and gloves and call it a day.
Speaking of sartorial inspiration, these days getting dressed in anything that isn’t athleisure is an act of rebellion. And at my age that’s not an easy feat. I’m no soccer mom, but at what point do you put away the denim shorts, crop tops, bikinis and minis? And what do you replace all that with, especially when you live primarily at the beach? I needed to find a fresh perspective so I could feel like me as I am - not a version of myself I used to be.
And if you’re rolling your eyes because putting on clothes sounds incidental, I get it. This is not the deep end of the pool. But it nonetheless serves as another example of finding myself in new terrain with few models as reference. Map-making, one gotta-get-dressed at a time.
Initially, I overcorrected. Lesson learned: if I clean it up too much I end up giving some Mother-of-the-bride vibes. Or worse: Brentwood Mom. I’ve made a lot of adjustments and it’s an ongoing dialogue with my closet.
And this challenge isn’t just relegated to the women. I get hit up by my straight male friends who understand it’s time to move past the Rainbow Sandals-and-boardshorts phase of life but aren’t sure what to put on their bodies. They ask me to help prune their closets / refresh their wardrobe and I’m happy to help. I feel like I’m doing a service for whoever they’ll be dating next. You’re welcome.
For myself, I like a little edge. If I veer too “lady” it feels wrong. Too undone and it’s slob-city. Boho is a no-no. It wasn’t about going shopping. I don’t need more stuff. It’s all in the remix. If I’m wearing a voluminous black dress it’ll be with Nike dunks. Beach-hang means a low-low-back one piece under torn jeans with a cashmere sweater stashed in my bag for when the sun dips (I love a sweater at the beach). Dinner with friends? I pair slouchy army pants with sky-high Manolos and a snug vintage YSL blazer I’ve had for 15 years. Add some undone hair, I look in the mirror and there I am. Me. Now.
Along the way I’ve been hunting for inspiration, and I’ve compiled some of those hot-flash hotties in an iPhoto album I named “The ‘Pause.” I dip into it when I need a shot of visual inspiration. These women have plenty of feminine swagger. This random collection of photos depict women who have reached a point in their lives when they appear to be completely comfortable being themselves. And that’s what I want to feel like + look like - from the inside out and the outside in.
Some of the women include (in no order whatsoever):
Tracee Ellis Ross
A bunch of misc.
And more Jenna Lyons
Have more ladies to add to my list? Please send them my way! Moreover, if you know someone that embodies this vibe please pass along this note to them as a nod to their swag. Together let’s keep growing representation through words and images of a new feminine archetype.
And if you enjoyed this love letter, please “like” it below and / or drop me a comment so I know. Want me to focus on a particular topic? Input is welcome! Your feedback helps more than you could imagine.
Thanks for reading. Until next time…
Love this - and talk about an inspiring list of stylish women! I also appreciate Denise Boomkens of @and.bloom. Also love Garance Dore!