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S/o Middle-Age & Invisibility - War Against Frump!


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As I wrote on my other thread on this topic, I've recently lost 40 pounds. I've never thought of myself as being that frumpy but I think I'd fallen into some bad habits after I began gaining weight about 5 years ago. 

Maybe I'm having my version of a mid-life crisis? 🙂 

So what have you guys done to fight against that inevitable mom frumpiness? 

Several months ago, I began paying more attention to how I looked. I realized that I'd been in a makeup rut for years and that my foundation was no longer working for me. I went to Youtube to find recommendations for "mature" foundations and discovered the Youtube makeup world. The last time I'd been into makeup was about 13 years ago and everything has changed. I then visited Sephora for the first time in years. It's a lot different than it used to be. Now they carry department store brands like Laura Mercier and Bobbi Brown. 

Watching some of the "mature" beauty Youtubers made me realize that I wasn't using enough sunscreen on my face. I had no idea that you are supposed to use 1/4 of a teaspoon on your face to get the SPF level on the bottle. Looking for videos about effective sunscreen led to watching videos about anti-aging skincare routines. Those videos taught me about The Ordinary, a company that produces face serums that you can buy at Ulta for less than $10 a bottle. I'd always thought that anti-aging skincare was all Estee Lauder and LaMer and basically a scam. I truly hate the department store beauty counters! 

I'd known about dry shampoo for about a year. Lately, I've been watching Youtube videos on refreshing 2nd and 3rd day hair. Back in my teenaged years during the 1980's, we washed our hair everyday. Now I'm all about pushing that out as long as possible. I bought my first curling iron in 20 years and found my old flat iron at the bottle of a drawer. I actually bought mousse! 

Clothes were next on the list. I spent some time learning about capsule wardrobes. I realized that I'd essentially had a capsule wardrobe anyway. I'd buy clothes and wonder why I never wore them. Now I know that it's because they didn't fit into my capsule wardrobe. I cleaned out my closet and got rid of everything that I don't wear. I got rid of my 'fat' clothes and the skinny clothes from my 30's that I know that I'll never fit into again. Now I'm thinking about how I can be comfortable but not frumpy. I love leggings and there is no going back from jeggings and yoga pants to uncomfortable clothes. 

I know that proper fit is important which is always a struggle for me. I'm short and busty. I'm also not going to spend a lot of money on clothes, do not sew, and do not want to go to a tailor. Some of the clothing recently purged from my closet were the 'investment pieces' I'd been advised to buy in my 30's to have a better fit. So while I hate fast fashion because of what it does to the planet, I no longer believe in buying expensive clothes with the assumption that I'll wear them for years. 

Sorry rambling here...I know it's a shallow topic but it's what is on my mind this Sunday afternoon the day before we begin school again tomorrow. I should admit to having some insomnia which causes me to watch Youtube videos about random topics in the middle of the night. 

So anyone here on a similar kick? What did you do? What inspired you? 

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I just go with the frump, with a touch of nutty old lady! I lost most of my hair a year ago, due to diabetes, and it's growing back all wild and wispy. Oh well. I'm down to a medium in Scout pants, and could go with a small in trousers, but after buying over $700 worth of uniforms in one year, I'm over it. As for the rest of my wardrobe, it consists of long dresses. I guess I specialize in the "eccentric" look. I highly recommend it. 

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Congratulations on the progress you’ve made. Several years back, we had a long thread called something like “well-trained beauties, help me out”. There was a lot of info in that thread. It’s also where I first heard of the book How to Not Look Old. Although I have mixed feelings about that book due to some of her suggestions, there was also quite a bit of usable info in there. A lot of info about clothing cuts that flatter most people and remain timeless. (Pencil skirt was one I remember.) 

I am 48. I make a specific effort to keep current. A big piece of this is just being open to new things instead of closed. I see this disparity really growing among my peers. Some try new things, others stick with the same looks from twenty or more years ago. I don’t want to be in that latter category. 

Admittedly, having a fashion-foward 22yo dd does help. She has helped me figure out a different makeup routine, for example. And she helps me adapt to new styles that I at first think, “no way!” (Ex. I once thought I would now-way never, ever wear jeggings! But now I have a pair of Spanx Camo Jeggings.) Not to say that I dress like a twenty-something; that would be silly. I see that sometimes and it doesn’t always pull off successfully. But just that certain style changes are duly noted and I won’t cling to some cut of pants or whatever once the newer style has become completely mainstream. 

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I keep it very simple. I have some good jeans and some dress pants. Then I have various sweaters and jackets that mix-and-match. And I bought some black shirts and a few other colors that are fine to dress up or dress down. I have some nice costume jewelry and scarves. And that's pretty much it. I always wear foundation, mascara, and lipstick. I wore a black turtleneck with jewelry, jeans, and a cute sweater to the dog park and errands one day last week and received several compliments from strangers. To church I almost always wear a black skirt and one of my other pieces with jewelry or a scarf. 

We moved in 2018, so it was easy to be brutal on my closet because I went from a walk-in to a standard small closet with a single bar. I threw out a lot of really old stuff in the process. 

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Women now have the luxury of doing what they want and wearing what they want. No make up, no hair color, no tailed clothing? Fine. 

I prefer to fight it. I found that once I hit my 40s, it took more effort to maintain the way I wanted to look. Clothing needed to be more fitted, make up adjusted, hair color touched up and touched up more often. Exercise and diet become more critical as metabolism changed. 

For anyone wanted to fight middle aged frump (and, again, it’s fine if you don’t!), I suggest:

-trip to Sephora. Ask one of the staff to help update makeup to current style and changing skin

-ask a hair  stylist you trust to update hair cut. If you haven’t changed your hair style in the past 10 years, an update will do wonders. Consider whether or not to color. 

-donate clothes that don’t fit well. Choose clothes that fit well and cover problem areas. White House Black Market is a great place to start. They have great sales and great fit and styles for middle age. Their staff is trained to help choose clothes so help is available if you don’t know where to start.  You could choose all sale items and look great. Same goes for Soma.

-find an exercise you don’t hate. You don’t have to love it. For someone who didn’t work out when younger, regular exercise in your 40s will make you feel better than you did in your 20s and 30s. Once your hit your 50s, you’ll be glad you started. 

-I wish I had good nutrition advice. All I know is that it’s important and we all have  different needs in this area!

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Well, I'm probably way more casual and laid back than you have already achieved, but when I finished homeschooling and went back to work, I made several changes that make me look a lot better! Like no more jeans with holes in the knees (authentic holes from old jeans, not the trendy jeans with pre-made holes). I cut my long, dragging hair shorter to a more face-flattering length. And I started wearing makeup everyday--not foundation, just eyeliner and mascara, but that little bit makes a big difference. I bought just a few wardrobe pieces when I started substitute teaching, but now I have enough (still casual) pieces to put together a couple of weeks of outfits. I still get to wear jeans and tennis shoes working in a high school, but they're more updated than my old stuff!

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About the time I was 30ish was when I decided I would never, ever wear the jean dress and tennis shoes that was very common among hsing moms.  I also never put my hair up in the pony-tail.   When I was pregnant with my last at 37 I was already gray and I didn't want to look like the grandma.  So I started coloring my hair.  It's kind of grown from there to make up and then skin-care. I definitely have my frumpy days but those are days I know I'm staying home.

Now that I'm in my mid-50s I am learning to take better care of my skin and use make-up appropriate for my age (not that I was much of a make-up person).  Make up makes a huge difference, IMHO.  It doesn't have to be much but I find that some color around my eyes helps me look less washed out and tired.

I hate shopping and I'm not so good with clothing and styles and such.  Like Quill, I also have 20 something girls and they do help.  I have found some styles that are flattering for my body-type and I stick with that cut (like A-line skirts and dresses).   As much as I really, really want the tunic and leggings to work for me, they just make me look like a balloon with stick legs. I do wear it sometimes, but it isn't as flattering on me. 

 

 

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I have decided that I am not going to waste any effort on makeup, skin products, fashion or "keeping current". I got my hair cut short so it requires no maintenance. It's going grey naturally; I refuse to become slave to a coloring routine. Ikonmaried my closet and got rid of everything that didn't fit, that I didn't like, that I didn't wear. I now only have clothes I like. I refuse to wear things that are uncomfortable and got rid of all shoes with heels ( I have a foot condition and only Clarks and hiking shoes are tolerable.) I hike and climb and keep in good physical shape. 

I don't give a fig if someone considers me frumpy. I have found that fitness, posture, confidence and positive energy go a much longer way towards appearance than stylish clothes. And anyway, at my age I care much more about what I DO than what strangers think. 

My word of the year is "free", and one of my goals is to become more comfortable defying gendered beauty norms. 

Eta: one huge benefit of being older is that I no longer need to dress up to convince my students that I am the professor and not the grad TA. Confidence and experience mean that I easily get their attention and respect even in jeans and plaid shirt. It's quite wonderful. My male colleagues have been at that point for years.

2nd eta: what I find is making the biggest difference for my appearance is being well rested. 8 to 9 hours of sleep every night.

Edited by regentrude
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I don't think this is shallow.  Looks do matter.  Maybe not in judging a soul, but everything else, yeah.

Since I lost weight almost all my waredrobe is workout stuff.  Leggings, tanks tops, sweatshirts, sneakers.  And even that I don't have much of.  3 pairs leggings, 4 sweatshirts, 2 sets of thermals to wear under it all, 6 tank tops, 3 sport bras, 4 regular bras (that I need to replace, I think my boobs completely deflated with the weight loss), a dozen ankle socks, a dozen crew socks, a down undies.  2 black formal cocktail dresses, 2 sundresses, one pair of white sandals, a pair of black flats (I lost an entire shoe size with the weight loss).  Basically capsule waredrobe too.  Everything is black, grey, blue, purple, or brown. Well almost everything.  There's a couple pieces that are pink or green.

That's literally my entire wearable waredrobe.

I've updated my makeup.  I used to hardly ever wear makeup.  Mostly because I was super tired and broke and the makeup didn't hold up very well.  Now, I've found quality really does matter.  I don't know that it makes me look younger, but it does make me look less haggard and more energetic.  And putting makeup on make me feel more confident.  Like warpaint.  Lol And It brand actually seems to reduce breakouts.  And may I just say that wrinkles, dry patches, AND pimples are just not fair? I thought we were supposed to out grow half that crap and just need to religiously use moisturizer by 40?

I have mildly curly hair.  I can't wash it every day unless I want it to fall out for itchy dryness.  But I have found if I blow dry it straight(ish) then it looks better longer.  I can get by with 2 washes a week.  Dry shampoos have not agreed with me so far.  Severe itchy factor and still doesn't look maintained.

And yeah.  I'm a minimalist.  Partly because I think the most important part of being a good steward of the environment is not taking what we don't really need.  Partly because finances only go so far and I'd rather share memorable experiences than stuff.

A few think this is because I nearly divorced a couple years ago. Or many others think it's a midlife crisis thing.

It's not.  I am not doing anything but all the things I always wanted to do and thought I would do "someday."  Well screw it.  From now on today is someday.

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I have been working hard to look classy.  I signed up for stitch fix a couple of years ago and get a box 3 or 4x per year.  Their style cards and clothing selections have made a huge difference in how I put outfits together.  My favorite youtube blogger is the Daily Connoisseur. She is an author and homeschool mom of four.  Her videos, Ted Talk, and books all discuss a 10 item wardrobe.  I've learned a lot watching her videos.  I may be over 40 and have about 40# to loose, but I'm not giving in to the frump yet!

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In case anyone is interested, this is a Youtube channel that gives good advice about mature skincare and makeup. I loved her tutorials on eyeliner. 

This is another good one. I like how she recommends a lot of drugstore skin products. 

This channel has good advice about "mature" makeup. 

This youtuber gives great tutorials about hair. I learned from her to go 3 days without washing my hair and keep it from looking limp. 

 

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I've lost some weight. (Did it to lower cholesterol & get rid of pre-diabetes.) Partly by eating better, partly by joining a gym w/ personal trainers. As someone who never exercised (for the most part), this was huge. I am surprised how much I enjoy it (the challenge & the results). Clothes also look better, generally. I consider it an investment in my health, but it's also an investment in my appearance & attitude.

Eons ago (when I earned well & had disposable income), I always invested in good hair, good glasses, & good shoes. Those, for me, were things that I wore often/had "on" every day. When I can, I still like to spend more $ there & be more frugal in other areas.

Re: hair. I recently changed hair stylists, partly for a change of pace. (Old stylist seemed stuck in a rut w/ me.) Decided to cover a bit of gray by going w/ a few highlights. Didn't think I'd care either way, but I'm really happy w/ it. I've done it twice now, not sure I want to have to maintain it, but I will admit that it makes me feel/look younger. I actually met someone yesterday (probably in her 30s) w/ gorgeous pink/blue hair. (I got the name of her colorist.) I've been considering having the tips of my hair done in a darker color (darker purple, burgundy, or blue) since my hair is dark-ish, plus maintenance wouldn't be as strict because it's not as obvious w/ roots. Am I too old for this? I want to try it but haven't made the leap yet. It seems fun, though, so why not? (My hair is wavy, chin-length. If I hate the color, I can always cut my hair short.) I have a haircut appointment in a few weeks & I'll discuss w/ my stylist then.... As far as cut itself, my stylists through the years have always known that I want something that looks good on me, is stylish, & is easy (wash, comb, & go). 

Recently had eye surgery & needed new glasses. My old frames were being held together w/ duct tape & were scratched (but no reason to update them until my eye had healed & was ready for a new rx). Updated to some modern, pretty frames. (I've always tried to stay w/ modern frames, but the ones I had were a few years old.)

Still have my same old shoes as I buy them to last & get them repaired as needed. (Except for sneakers which I replace as needed. I buy for fit & Brooks is the brand that fits me.) Generally my shoes are classic, modern, & very flat. (I like flat w/ no heel.)

Clothes. I tend to have a "look" I like which is generally a skinnier bottom w/ an oversized top (except for a few pairs of wide-leg culottes for working). I don't tend to buy many clothes, but my sister gives me plenty & I keep the pieces that fit my "look". So, I mix very old pieces w/ some new ones, change up accessories (how I mix & match them), & just learned sashiko mending so that I can add some individual flair (as well as patch a few ripped, well-loved items) to a few pieces. I've gotten too into the habit of oversized sweatshirts but am trying to switch back to more of my sweaters & nicer-looking tops.

I tend to prefer smaller purses rather than the pack-horse mom purse (which I don't need anyway as my kids are grown & I was never a fan of those even when I had young kids).

At this point, I don't really wear makeup. I prefer a bit of lipstick but not much more unless I feel like I have to.

My goal has always been to be stylish but low-maintenance. I also am not a fan of being a consumer more than I need to be. I try to keep all those things in balance.

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My main things are

1) getting my hair colored regularly because I like dimension and bc I have colored it for over 25 years now! 

2) attempting to wear make-up (it’s light and natural) when I’m going out. 

3) trying to wear (sort of) cute clothes that fit well. 

4) eat well, exercise, sleep, and get sunshine 😊

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I watched  lot of "What not to wear" back in the day and learned some basics that I stick to and have updated.  I invested in good quality pair of skinny jeans, straight leg jeans, black pants and cropped pants.  I find most of my tops from Marshalls. Name brand, more tailored looks is what I search for.   I don't like wearing leggings out, although I lost 35 lbs but I do like skinny jeans.  Iv e been told I always look put together.  But it's not hard when you have a few basics ready to go.

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31 minutes ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

In case anyone is interested, this is a Youtube channel that gives good advice about mature skincare and makeup. I loved her tutorials on eyeliner. 

This is another good one. I like how she recommends a lot of drugstore skin products. 

This channel has good advice about "mature" makeup. 

This youtuber gives great tutorials about hair. I learned from her to go 3 days without washing my hair and keep it from looking limp. 

 

 

Excellent suggestions!  Thank you for sharing.

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Shoes that aren’t ratty. You can wear Converse that are dirty with some holes when you’re in your twenties and thirties, but it starts to look like you’re just too cheap to pay for new shoes if you wear ratty shoes older than that. 

If your shoes are nice, the outfit has a good chance of looking pulled together overall, but shoes that are worn down can make a nice outfit look bad.

I’m not saying you have to spend a bunch of money on designer shoes—just make sure the heels aren’t all worn down, or they don’t have holes, or that they aren’t just sad looking overall.  

Edited by Garga
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26 minutes ago, Garga said:

Shoes that aren’t ratty. You can wear Converse that are dirty with some holes when you’re in your twenties and thirties, but it starts to look like you’re just too cheap to pay for new shoes if you wear ratty shoes older than that. 

If your shoes are nice, the outfit has a good chance of looking pulled together overall, but shoes that are worn down can make a nice outfit look bad.

I’m not saying you have to spend a bunch of money on designer shoes—just make sure the heels aren’t all worn down, or they don’t have holes, or that they aren’t just sad looking overall.  

This is something that I'm always nagging my husband about. He lets his shoes get in terrible shape. 

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I can’t remember where I heard it from but I think it was good advice.  

Judge how much you should spend by how close it comes to your body and or how often you use it.

Thus, the sheets on your bed should cost more or be of better quality than your curtains. Or your shoes and purse that you wear 80% of the time should be better quality and thus cost more, than your jeans. I have found that quality does often cost more but it also wears better and longer, especially if you seek a classic style.

And I’ll add a fun weight loss discovery for me, smaller sizes are a lot easier to find at fashion resale stores that advertise to younger demographics but have never refused my money. Don’t be worried about age. Try on those $10 ambercomie jeans at the trendy young people’s consignment store! They might look good on you.

 

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I need to follow this thread. I am turning 40 this year and I can tell my standards are slipping. A lot of it is due to being at my heaviest non-pregnancy weight ever. I carry most of my extra weight in my stomach and nothing looks flattering on me. So even though I need new clothes to fit this chubby body, I keep telling myself I will buy clothes when I finally lose weight. But yeah.... 

I need to figure out how to stop the emotional eating.

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33 minutes ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

This is something that I'm always nagging my husband about. He lets his shoes get in terrible shape. 

Something about this post juxtaposed with your Username tickles my funny bone! 

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I don’t bother to fight it EVERY day and I leave the house without makeup more often than not, but today was different. Today I put on a sparkly costume and full make-up and performed with ten really good friends at a holiday bellydance show. We raised money for a good cause and we had a big troupe dinner afterwards. My big Frump Fighter is continuing to dance. I plan to keep taking and teaching classes and performing for the foreseeable future. My students range in ages from eight to sixty. They keep me motivated. 

My newest love is gardening. I think it can keep me happy and active, but I figure it’s not great for combatting general frumpiness. It does REALLY help with seasonal depression when I can make garden plans and start my winter sown seed jugs one by one over the next few weeks. 

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I feel frumpy when I'm overweight.  I only buy 1-2 pairs of jeans and a few shirts because I don't want to admit that I'll stay that size, and also nothing fits like I want.  (each time that has happened it has in fact lasted years and years...)

Last year I finally lost the weight (also about 40 lbs), and now I have tons more clothes to wear - I never threw out my skinny clothes (at least not the ones I really liked), so actually I have more that fits now, just with closet 'shopping'.  I'm wearing skirts with waists again.  Most of my clothes weren't trendy but more timeless, so still look good - the exception was jeans - those looked horribly outdated - bought new sizes as soon as I could fit.   Also new bras the right size as I shrank.  Nothing like saggy b00ks to make things frumpy.  And as part of the whole losing weight I did a lot of targeted working out to help tone and posture.  Along with gaining weight, I had started to slump - that can also give a frumpier look, even if you're not overweight.  Working the right muscles fixed the posture - I don't want to be a bent over old lady someday...

Edited by Matryoshka
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I don’t think frumpiness is entirely our fault  when over weight. Most clothing styles and designs are not flattering imnsho. It’s super difficult and expensive to get plus size clothing that’s flattering and well designed. My personal peeve is horizontal lines. They make everyone look wider. So why for the love of Versace is it on so many plus sized clothing?! If they must use stripes, why wouldn’t they use vertical stripes?

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I have mildly curly hair.  I can't wash it every day unless I want it to fall out for itchy dryness.  But I have found if I blow dry it straight(ish) then it looks better longer.  I can get by with 2 washes a week.  Dry shampoos have not agreed with me so far.  Severe itchy factor and still doesn't look maintained.

Have you ever tried plopping your hair? My sister is curly, and also gets itchy with many products, and she says it changed her whole hair routine. You can see tutorials etc if you google, but it's not hard to do.

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48 minutes ago, Murphy101 said:

I don’t think frumpiness is entirely our fault  when over weight. Most clothing styles and designs are not flattering imnsho. It’s super difficult and expensive to get plus size clothing that’s flattering and well designed. My personal peeve is horizontal lines. They make everyone look wider. So why for the love of Versace is it on so many plus sized clothing?! If they must use stripes, why wouldn’t they use vertical stripes?

I think this is so true.  Clothes used to be tailored, esp. before mass production, but even for a generation or two afterwards things were more tailored, and most women knew how to sew.  The thing is, each woman gains weight in different places, but clothes just come in 'bigger' sizes, which are bigger all over and inevitably fit every woman badly.  They just end up looking - frumpy.  They even act like you get taller when you get bigger - the back waist size, sleeves, and legs get longer.  Hey, I grew a bigger butt, but my arms didn't grow!  Why would my arms grow??? And the waist would always sit in the wrong place. 

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Things that have helped me tremendously:

*Intentionally wearing layers, as someone recommended here a couple years ago. For whatever reason, a simple top and cardigan always looks more put together than a top by itself. 

*Adding a simple piece of jewelry to most outfits. I like interesting pendants on a long chain.

*Wearing skinny jeans. I was an everyday skirt wearer for modesty for a long time. I am still not comfortable not covering my backside, but longer cardis and tops accomplish that. 

*BLUSH. Oh my goodness, blush. I have never stopped wearing eyeliner and mascara. Can't be without it. But for many years I stopped wearing foundation and blush. When I tried blush again a year or two ago, my mom was like, "It's not fair; you get prettier as you get older." And other people would say I'd look good, and had I lost weight? Nope, mom and random people, just trying harder!!! Blush made a huge difference. Perks up your whole face. I also added powder at the same time and it really evens out my complexion. I can't bring myself to go back to foundation. It feels and smells icky to me, it messes with my complexion, and DH doesn't like it.

*Having my hair colored. It makes me look 5-10 years younger for sure. Totally worth it. Should have done it years before I did.

*Using Vitamin C serum at night. Tights my pores and improves my saggy eyelids a bit. I love, love, love LilyAna naturals on Amazon.

I need to lose weight and that would help even more. 🙂

Love this thread.

Edited by MercyA
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1 hour ago, Murphy101 said:

I can’t remember where I heard it from but I think it was good advice.  

Judge how much you should spend by how close it comes to your body and or how often you use it.

Thus, the sheets on your bed should cost more or be of better quality than your curtains. Or your shoes and purse that you wear 80% of the time should be better quality and thus cost more, than your jeans. I have found that quality does often cost more but it also wears better and longer, especially if you seek a classic style.

And I’ll add a fun weight loss discovery for me, smaller sizes are a lot easier to find at fashion resale stores that advertise to younger demographics but have never refused my money. Don’t be worried about age. Try on those $10 ambercomie jeans at the trendy young people’s consignment store! They might look good on you.

 

Also, my body type fits better in a 9 juniors than either an 8 or 10, so that’s the sizing I use for jeans. Makes a huge difference! 

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23 minutes ago, MercyA said:

Things that have helped me tremendously:

*Intentionally wearing layers, as someone recommended here a couple years ago. For whatever reason, a simple top and cardigan always looks more put together than a top by itself. 

*Adding a simple piece of jewelry to most outfits. I like interesting pendants on a long chain.

*Wearing skinny jeans. I was an everyday skirt wearer for modesty for a long time. I am still not comfortable not covering my backside, but longer cardis and tops accomplish that. 

*BLUSH. Oh my goodness, blush. I have never stopped wearing eyeliner and mascara. Can't be without it. But for many years I stopped wearing foundation and blush. When I tried blush again a year or two ago, my mom was like, "It's not fair; you get prettier as you get older." And other people would say I'd look good, and had I lost weight? Nope, mom and random people, just trying harder!!! Blush made a huge difference. Perks up your whole face. I also added powder at the same time and it really evens out my complexion. I can't bring myself to go back to foundation. It feels and smells icky to me, it messes with my complexion, and DH doesn't like it.

*Having my hair colored. It makes me look 5-10 years younger for sure. Totally worth it. Should have done it years before I did.

*Using Vitamin C serum at night. Tights my pores and improves my saggy eyelids a bit. I love, love, love LilyAna naturals on Amazon.

I need to lose weight and that would help even more. 🙂

Love this thread.

 

Bolded emphasis mine.  Have you tried BB Cream?  It's much lighter and doesn't have the foundation smell.  My favorite is Maybelline Dream Fresh.

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56 minutes ago, Bluegoat said:

Have you ever tried plopping your hair? My sister is curly, and also gets itchy with many products, and she says it changed her whole hair routine. You can see tutorials etc if you google, but it's not hard to do.


no I haven’t.  Never heard of it until your post.  I will try to give it a go next time I wash my hair. So I watched a couple youtube vids. I’m confused. Do they plop it for 15-20 minutes and then blow dry it? Or just plop it and then do nothing else? I have never ever been able to blow dry/diffuse without frizz. When I blow dry I just blow dry it as straight as I can with a styling brush and the dryer and use oils to get it as smooth as I can - usually not much the first day but the day after it’s pretty okay.

I had just thought I figured my hair out in my 30s and it was great.  No muss. No fuss. Easy peasy. I was disgruntled it took me 30 something years but grateful for later than never. Then 40s hit and stupid bleeping hormones and nope back to trying to figure my hair out again. 

They oughta just call perimenopause second puberty.  😒

 

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5 minutes ago, Excelsior! Academy said:

 

Bolded emphasis mine.  Have you tried BB Cream?  It's much lighter and doesn't have the foundation smell.  My favorite is Maybelline Dream Fresh.

Yes, but I have super large pores on my nose, and it seems to accentuate rather than minimize them. It's weird. However, I am open to recommendations, I like Maybelline, and the price is right! I may just give it a try, thanks! 

ETA: I'm going to CVS tomorrow and have multiple Maybelline coupons. I'll go for it if they have it. 🙂 

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17 hours ago, Garga said:

I’m not saying you have to spend a bunch of money on designer shoes—just make sure the heels aren’t all worn down, or they don’t have holes, or that they aren’t just sad looking overall.  

 

Due to my husband being a shopaholic, I now have 45 pairs of new shoes. April/May is when Nordstrom Rack discounts winter boots the most. Running shoes, I have to watch out year round but managed to get nice comfortable ones for $20 sales price range (Nike, Reebok, Asics, Saucony) in Youth 4/ Women 6/ Men 7.

I am not counting my outerwear collection but it is definitely more than 7 for fall/winter wear.

My teens are more conscious of appearances now so they will nag me if I look frumpy to them. 

When we went from financially very tight to having some fun money, I went for better fitting outerwear and jeans as those on sale tend to be too loose for me. It was easier to find fitting shoes and tops in kids department and they cost less. I definitely look better when my outerwear is more snug and it’s a lot more comfortable too.

I don’t put on makeup but I do put on moisturizers if the weather is drying.

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So on hair...

how do you people go several days without washing if you workout? I do hard 45 minute workouts 3 times a week and my hair is dripping afterward.  I can’t imagine not washing that out of my hair. Since I turned like 38 I sweat on my head a ton. Even my short workouts every other day make my hair decently sweaty. 

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14 minutes ago, MercyA said:

Yes, but I have super large pores on my nose, and it seems to accentuate rather than minimize them. It's weird. However, I am open to recommendations, I like Maybelline, and the price is right! I may just give it a try, thanks! 

ETA: I'm going to CVS tomorrow and have multiple Maybelline coupons. I'll go for it if they have it. 🙂 

Another one you might want to check out is the It Foundation. They have a tinted CC cream. It's very popular. I've tried it and I love how it feels on my skin but I could never find a good shade. They don't have a wide range of shades but I think they've got something that works for most women. I have olive skin so I'm harder to match. 

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14 minutes ago, fairfarmhand said:

So on hair...

how do you people go several days without washing if you workout? I do hard 45 minute workouts 3 times a week and my hair is dripping afterward.  I can’t imagine not washing that out of my hair. Since I turned like 38 I sweat on my head a ton. Even my short workouts every other day make my hair decently sweaty. 


I pull my hair into a super loose bob or ponytail at the nape of my neck, and wear a headband to absorb most of the sweat. If it’s tight or high, then the scalp sweat cause a weird misshapen helmet head situation. If it’s really bad, I take a dry micro towel and scrunch the scalp hair with it to absorb most of the sweat. 

2 minutes ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

Another one you might want to check out is the It Foundation. They have a tinted CC cream. It's very popular. I've tried it and I love how it feels on my skin but I could never find a good shade. They don't have a wide range of shades but I think they've got something that works for most women. I have olive skin so I'm harder to match. 


I agree this stuff is A+  Love it.  It’s what I wear even when I don’t wear makeup. SPF moisturizer, reduce acne and rudiness, I can forget I have it on. Even when sweaty. 

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20 minutes ago, fairfarmhand said:

So on hair...

how do you people go several days without washing if you workout? I do hard 45 minute workouts 3 times a week and my hair is dripping afterward.  I can’t imagine not washing that out of my hair. Since I turned like 38 I sweat on my head a ton. Even my short workouts every other day make my hair decently sweaty. 


But I guess maybe I don’t sweat as bad as some? Idk. I know I sweat bad enough that if I didn’t take some kind of precautions my hair would look like I just got out of a shower. I always wonder about the work out vids were they are just sweating but their hair is down and looks fine. I do not understand what blessing their fairy godmothers gave them. I can’t maintain that look just cooking in the kitchen. I keep a huge hair clip on a cabinet handle just so I can put my hair up every time I go in there to make anything. 

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Looking around at the women in my choir inspired me. I looked at women ten years older and picked out the aspects that I wanted to copy:

Fitness, separate from weight

An air of engagement

Good haircuts

For clothes, I make sure that if my top is loose, my bottom half is fitted, and vice versa.

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36 minutes ago, Laura Corin said:

Looking around at the women in my choir inspired me. I looked at women ten years older and picked out the aspects that I wanted to copy:

Fitness, separate from weight

An air of engagement

Good haircuts

For clothes, I make sure that if my top is loose, my bottom half is fitted, and vice versa.

So good haircuts? I'm gonna be forever frumpy then. My hair has just always been long. Straight and long. And I am lucky if I take the time to get a haircut more than twice a year. I would like to do something different but I am afraid to commit to a style that requires more than a once-a-year trim. 

I did search up apps where you could "try on" different hairstyles by uploading a picture.  Still looking for recommendations for that if someone has one.

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24 minutes ago, DesertBlossom said:

So good haircuts? I'm gonna be forever frumpy then. My hair has just always been long. Straight and long. And I am lucky if I take the time to get a haircut more than twice a year. I would like to do something different but I am afraid to commit to a style that requires more than a once-a-year trim. 

I did search up apps where you could "try on" different hairstyles by uploading a picture.  Still looking for recommendations for that if someone has one.

There are people with long hair who make it look great. I wasn't one of those people - mine always looked a mess, rather than artfully messy. I spend very little on my appearance: £19 every six weeks for the cut is the main one. The hairdresser is on the coast, so I pick up fresh wild-caught fish while I'm in the area, and also walk the dog along the coastal path.

I forgot to mention: good glasses frames if one needs them. I always have 'statement frames' - they distract from a multitude of sins.

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Who cares if it's shallow, it's the world we live in.  🙂  But first -- I admire people who don't give a rip.  I think that's great!

I'm in my 50's.  I color my hair -- it doesn't really look like it, it just retains the original natural color.  🙂  I don't need to do it often -- maybe 4X/ year?  I just do it myself at home.  I have a pretty simple hair style.  It's kind of long bob length.  I could pull it into a tiny pony tail if necessary.  In the summer, it gets curly and wild and I mostly let it go, although I might add a little gel so that I can tuck it behind my ears and tame it just a bit.  In the winter, it's much straighter, but I use a large curling iron to get the waves moving the same direction (instead of oddly sticking out all over).

I wear black skinny jeans.  Black always looks a step classier, I think.  Like Mercy, I'm not comfortable with my backside showing.  But I love fashionable loose sweaters to wear over my jeans.  I have one pair of black ankle boots that are super comfortable and look nice that I wear every day in the fall and winter.  (Timberlane.)  I do have a little bit of a coat obsession.  I don't think I have too many (one light, one medium, and one super heavy -- we do get really, really cold weather here), but I like ones with style.  Not necessarily what the general trend is, but my own personal style.  I like nice knit scarves to go with them.

I use face and neck moisturizers, and my makeup routine is pretty simple:  a light powder (Origins) but not all over -- I seem to have key places where I need it.  A medium gray eye shadow that I use lightly on my lower lids only, smudged right under my eyelashes, and a little brown/black mascara which I apply and then rub most of it off so it looks pretty natural.  The small amount of eye makeup adds a depth to my eyes or something, and maybe takes the focus off my wrinkles!  haha  

I love a light, fresh perfume, one that's barely detectable but smells nice.

I don't like most middle-aged fashion that I see around here -- gaudy, flowy, bright colors and patterns.  I'm kind of a hippie at heart and prefer a much simpler but sightly classy look.

I will add that I didn't care at all about fashion or looks until I was about 50.  About then, it suddenly felt more fun.  I don't know why.

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I'm in the overweight so nothing looks flattering stage.  I'm really really hoping to lose some weight but in the meantime, I'm very bottom heavy so things just don't fit well.  

I have very thick, wavy hair so longer is better.   Shorter hair would mean having to blow dry and straighten every day.  I just have to look a ds's hair to see what it would look like, he looks like he has a bush on his head.  Teenage boy gets away with that a lot easier than 50 year old mom.  Plus, I hate going to the beauty parlor so would never do the maintenance needed for a short haircut.  As it is, I cut it myself (bangs, long layers) or go once or twice a year.   I do tend to wear it pulled back but that's a requirement with what I do all day.  

I've never been one to wear makeup so I'm definitely not going to start now.  It's not something I even think of when getting ready.

I'm on my feet 5 hours a day and have plantar fasciitis so I don't have many options for shoes.  No heels at all (old bad break makes that a bad idea too) so I have Brooks sneakers and winter boots, and that's about it.  I can get away with a pretty flat for an hour or so but no longer.

Clothes seems to be make the biggest difference for me but until I lose weight, not much is going to help that.

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7 hours ago, Murphy101 said:


no I haven’t.  Never heard of it until your post.  I will try to give it a go next time I wash my hair. So I watched a couple youtube vids. I’m confused. Do they plop it for 15-20 minutes and then blow dry it? Or just plop it and then do nothing else? I have never ever been able to blow dry/diffuse without frizz. When I blow dry I just blow dry it as straight as I can with a styling brush and the dryer and use oils to get it as smooth as I can - usually not much the first day but the day after it’s pretty okay.

I had just thought I figured my hair out in my 30s and it was great.  No muss. No fuss. Easy peasy. I was disgruntled it took me 30 something years but grateful for later than never. Then 40s hit and stupid bleeping hormones and nope back to trying to figure my hair out again. 

They oughta just call perimenopause second puberty.  😒

 

 

No, you just plop it, don't try and dry it. You won't have straight hair, it only works if you are ok with curly.  Not everyone likes it but for many they say it totally avoids frizz.

I am with you on perimenopause hair. Mine has thinned a little and while it's not bad like I'm balding, I am just not happy with it. I am thinking of getting a shortish haircut, but I don't really want that older woman short haircut.  Maybe that is just another vanity though.

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Someone I think always looks great but has a simple look is my aunt. She gets a good haircut, but essentially as far as her wardrobe, it's all black. Black slacks, even good leggings, so generally a fitted shape, and a top, maybe a t'shirt or tunic or longer sweater.  And god quality black shoes. But she always has some statement earrings or a nice scarf next to her face, and that really makes the difference between boring and put together.

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I’m 5’4” so petites don’t fit right but annoyingly most regular length jeans are just a bit too long. For years I wore them with whatever flat shoes I wanted (converse, flip flops, sandals) and let them drag and get frayed at the bottom. One day I looked at myself and thought “I’m 45 years old. I am not pulling off the frayed jeans and Chucks look anymore). 
 

I bought new jeans (nothing fancy, just Kohl’s) and then several pairs of booties with a high enough heel to make my jeans the right length. It has made a big difference, I think, even when the rest of the outfit is casual. 
 

I do tend to gravitate towards younger styles that totally don’t work on me. I am becoming more conscious of that instead of buying things I think are cute and then wondering why I look weird. 
 

My dc range from almost 22 to 11. I was a young mom with the oldest child and now I am the old mom in all my dd’s circles. It is jarring, honestly. I never thought I was vain but I am having a really hard time with it.

So I am working on it. Right now that is jeans with a shoe with a heel (both to make the jeans the right length and dress up a little), with a long top and/or a cardigan, makeup and jewelry. I still feel like I have a long way to go. But the days of tattered jeans or yoga pants/ a tee/ flip flops/ and a messy bun are gone. I do miss being able to pull that off. 

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Pretty much a frump queen here. The main contributor is my weight. It is so much harder to find pleasing clothes that I feel good in at this weight. And I have a big belly apple-shaped body that makes it hard to fit right. The secondary contributor is finances. We are on a tight budget (it should be better by next year, unless we have more unexpected issues crop up--unexpected issues like those that caused us to be in the present situation, so who knows?). So even though I know I need to up my wardrobe a couple of notches, it's hard to spend the money that needs to go toward other things. The third contributor is that I love love love comfort clothes. I don't have to work today, and I am wearing a very comfy sweatshirt tunic (newly gifted to me) with jeans and my new Nikes. So at least part of it is new, lol. But I feel soooo good, because this sweatshirt is the epitome of soft.

Non-frump positives: Hair. For my age, I have very little gray; just enough to sparkle a little. My hair was getting a bit dull looking though, and I was getting cheap haircuts. I keep my hair short, because it just makes my face look better. So a few months ago, I bit the bullet and upped to a nice salon. I don't like the cost, but I love the stylist and the good cuts. I also splurged on a product she uses on my hair that brings back the shine and works with the body (I have a little bit of wave), because it also smells good and doesn't make my sensitive scalp itch. I nearly always wear at least basic makeup when I go out. I've been using Mary Kay foundation, but I may try something else. My skin looks pretty good for my age, but I frequently have allergy puffiness under my eyes, which adds frump. I recently developed an allergy to some necklaces I wore all the time, so now I am concentrating on adding to my earring collection. I can wear silver with no problem, so I'm having fun being more daring with bigger/more dangly earrings.

I want to concentrate this year on getting healthier. I want to go back to more whole foods, less meat and more veggies, and start getting some exercise. I've read a lot about different diet approaches lately, and have decided that many of the current popular ones are not for me. I won't stick with it if I eliminate (or almost eliminate) a whole food group, so I'm working on going back to the basics of less processed. It's a good year to do it!

ETA: My last pair of glasses, I bought some more stylish frames with a bit of color. I guess I don't feel too frumpy from the neck up, other than my double chin, ha. Neck down though? Ugh.

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10 hours ago, DesertBlossom said:

So good haircuts? I'm gonna be forever frumpy then. My hair has just always been long. Straight and long. And I am lucky if I take the time to get a haircut more than twice a year. I would like to do something different but I am afraid to commit to a style that requires more than a once-a-year trim. 

I did search up apps where you could "try on" different hairstyles by uploading a picture.  Still looking for recommendations for that if someone has one.

 

I have straight hair.  Straaaaaight thin/fine hair.  People with thick, curly hair have their own issues and they DO NOT understand what it’s like to have thin straaaaight hair.  It hangs there hideously.  

Last year I got this curling iron for Christmas.  https://www.amazon.com/Bed-Head-Curling-Tousled-Texture/dp/B0092MCQZ4/ref=asc_df_B0092MCQZ4/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=241970631835&hvpos=1o3&hvnetw=g&hvrand=7201735902908191934&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9006733&hvtargid=aud-801381245258:pla-440078896729&psc=1

I have to put my hair into various pony tails and work through my hair section by section, but by the time I’m done, I have glorious curly hair.   The first few times I used it were insane and I was frustrated, but I stuck with it and it’s so worth it now.  It takes time, but I’m just sick and tired of having ugly hair and it made a tremendous difference for me.

I spray it with this afterwards to keep it from losing the curl (this isn’t a regular hairspray—regular hairspray got weird.) https://www.amazon.com/LOréal-Paris-Advanced-Hairstyle-Creation/dp/B00ID1E432/ref=sr_1_4?crid=8P24RTPPQ56U&keywords=loreal+boost+it+high+lift+creation+spray&qid=1578330546&s=beauty&sprefix=L’oreal+boost+it%2Cbeauty%2C181&sr=1-4

At night BEFORE going to bed, I spray my hair with dry shampoo.  If I wait until the next day, it’s a greasy mess.  People with thin, straight hair cannot go multiple days between washings or it’s just horrendous, unless they use the dry shampoo at night.  I use the Walmart brand dry shampoo.  

Also—I never use conditioner anymore. It makes my hair flop around like a soggy potato chip that no one wants to eat.  I also will put the tiniest bit of hair glue in the roots of my hair before it dries. The glue is sticky and glue-like and is probably supposed to be for people to spike up their dry hair, but I’ve found that putting some on my wet roots and combing it through, give my hair enough texture to hold the curl long enough to get that Boost It sprayed in.    https://www.amazon.com/Got2b-Styling-Spiking-Ounce-Count/dp/B07DRRBD87/ref=sr_1_4?keywords=Hair+glue&qid=1578330617&s=beauty&sr=1-4

It’s a lot and I feel trapped sometimes in my hair routine, but I lived for 46 years with ugly hair and right now, it’s worth the time spent on the hair to feel good about it.  

4 hours ago, teachermom2834 said:

My dc range from almost 22 to 11. I was a young mom with the oldest child and now I am the old mom in all my dd’s circles. It is jarring, honestly. I never thought I was vain but I am having a really hard time with it.

 

I was 29 when I had my first child and life got super insulated. Over the years, I’ve gone from being the youngest in my friend group to being the oldest.  I feel like the last 17 years went by in a blink and I was young and fresh and now I’m wrinkly and have aching knees. It’s very jarring. 

I recently started taking hapkido lessons and work with two 28 year old women. (I’m 47). When I get dressed in the morning, I find myself thinking, “If I bumped into my hapkido partners wearing my regular clothes (not our uniforms), would I want them to see me dressed like this?” I don’t want to look like “frumpy mom” when I see them.  It’s really helped me to reject some of my frumpier outfits that I had been wearing.

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Just fyi Marshall is having a clearance sale.  Now the racks can be cluttered but I found 11 tops to consider flipping tthrough the rack and bought 3 for under $40.  

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32 minutes ago, Garga said:

I have straight hair.  Straaaaaight thin/fine hair.  People with thick, curly hair have their own issues and they DO NOT understand what it’s like to have thin straaaaight hair.  It hangs there hideously.  

Two of my kids have the straight fine hair that my mom had.  It does hang and they have to spend $$ to get good cuts.   I, however, have medium curly, wavy hair that seems to have a mind of its own.  ARGH!  I'm so tired of the short look (that all 50+ woman are supposed to wear) that this winter I'm letting it grow, so right now, I have the not-short-enough-to-be-cute-but-not-long-enough-to-do-anything-with-it cut.  Double ARGH!

 If any of you curly girls have a good suggestion for a medium length curly hair cut on a petite older woman, I'm begging you, please send them my way!

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12 hours ago, Excelsior! Academy said:

Have you tried BB Cream?  It's much lighter and doesn't have the foundation smell.  My favorite is Maybelline Dream Fresh.

Oh my goodness. I bought some today (only paid about $3!), put it on, and asked my daughter what she thought. She's always very blunt and honest. She examined my face and said, "I thought you looked prettier. You actually look pretty now. Like a pretty lady." I was scared to ask what I looked like before. ☺️She followed it up by, "You should wear that every day for the rest of your life." LOL.

Definitely no yucky scent, good coverage, good color match. It covers imperfections well. Thank you so much for the recommendation!

I found it dragged a bit going on, though, and I had to use more than I anticipated. Do I need moisturizer underneath? Do you apply with your fingers or should I be using some sort of applicator? It's been a long time since I used a full face product.

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