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Thursday 25 February 2016

You faltered

Was it my gold sequins? Electric pink lipstick? Maybe my high-heel biker boots. Whatever it was, it caught your eye - and your imagination - and you faltered. I saw it. You were thinking - and you may have even told me - that you wish you could wear what I'm wearing but you couldn't possibly "pull it off."

Dear, oh dear.

"Get away with it" and "pull it off" - that's what bank robbers and hard-core criminals say when they've pulled a job and eluded the coppers. But now it usually refers to the daring of wearing a splodge of aubergine with - gasp! - orange. Have our standards of risk-taking sunk to such lows?

How did we get from bank-robbing to clashing colours as criminal behaviour? What does this say about our standards? What's next? Your partner brings home some laundry detergent and you offer a night of wild sexual favours in return? (Okay ---, I know this is de rigeur for you, but for everyone else, you know what I'm saying?)

One day I bumped into a friend while I was shopping and we ended up talking about style, as usual. He dresses for New York; I dress for wherever I happened to land that day, so we have a lot in common. I was whining about the lack of magazines for deviant women over 50, especially in Canada, and how our preeminent magazine for that demographic, targeted to "boomers with zip," was definitely NOT FOR ME.

To give you an example, it has a SPIRIT section which features: happiness, faith, obituaries, nostalgia/humour. There is excessive coverage of British royals and Hollywood from news feeds and an emphasis on getting Canadian seniors to sign up for CARP, the Canadian Association of Retired Persons. So now we're simply known as fish, bottom-feeders at that. That's something to carp about (bwahaha, couldn't help myself). [Edit: The mag has been slightly revamped and the obits are gone. Genius move!]

Wearing "Dressed to Piss You Off" T-shirt made for me by Suzanne Carillo, maxi denim coat she scouted for me at Talize thrift store, psychedelic tights, low heel ankle boots, and jewels, JEWELS! 

He suggested that I write up a pitch for the kind of magazine I'd like to see, and although I knew our banter was more sport than business, I decided to do the exercise anyway. Here's what I came up with:
Anna Wintour on crack in paint-splattered vintage bell bottoms and a frayed sequin halter top, shrieking, "Stop telling me what to do!" An anti-style-bullying magazine for boomer/Gen X women gone wild, and a sexy, fun flirtation with the wild side for armchair fashionistas. Ba-bye retirement planning, hello hellcats.
I'm going to hook this up with:
Patti at Not Dead Yet Style, Visible Monday
Cathering at Not Dressed as Lamb, #iwillwearwhatilike

I haven't been making the rounds as I hoped - too much work!! But I glance through. You guys are schtellar. You're all schtars, I tell you! It's the colour on the inside that counts!


  1. YESSSS to your magazine pitch. I'd be an avid reader - especially for the Anna Wintour on crack outbursts.

  2. I love both these outfits - that faux fur with denim, and the faux shag (actually, it's real shag, isn't it) with all those other things! You are not a carp, you are a rainbow fish or a fancy guppy, and you deserve your own magazine. Oh, you already have one - VOGOFF. Maybe it's time to take it to the masses!

  3. Oh god, yes, please, I want to read something about other crazy women like me! I'm in that Gen X fuzzy border of not quite young and not quite old (most days I feel a bit of both). Feck what I'm supposed to wear, be or look like!

    I must plan something ca-razy to wear for March when we see you. Something fabulous. With jewels.

    1. Oh .. You are going to meet up again??? Wish I could be with you.

    2. Yes, hurrah! They're coming to town.
      I wish you could come too, Greetje!

  4. Yes, when is Vogoff coming back????
    That mag sounds classy- I'd read it!!! You are hilarious as ever and as stylish! xxx

  5. Yes, I am thinking it is time for VOGOFF and I must put more effort into it this time.

    Who reads printed magazines anymore anyway? Unless we are stuck waiting for an appointment at a place we don't want to be.

    If only I could go out in public with the outfits you sport, me just wearing tailored skirt suits throw my supervisors into a panic. "omg, does she want my job, why is she dressed like that, just wear your jeans every day and be happy about it."

  6. I was going to chime in re VOGOFF as well. And "CARP" is a REALLY BAD acronym.
    Thanks for adding your contribution to 52 Pick-me-up!

  7. I LOVE that thumbs up photo! Ha ha! And your FACE!!! OMG. Friggin' AWESOME!

    How did you know about our laundry detergent ritual?

    Did you know that CARP is the same as CRAP if you are dyslexic?

    I'm always yelling "Stop telling me what to do!" I feel Anna and I have bonded somehow now.

    Your posts always stir my imagination.


  8. I was also immediately thinking of VOGOFF. Time to launch it more widely. When women say "they cannot pull this off" they really mean : I am a different kind of person. That's all. And you wouldn't want your outfits, your creations, to become mainstream now would you? You would not be able to stand out. I really like your second outfit. Your first outfit strongly reminds me of the seventies.

    1. I agree, Greetje. It does mean they are a different person.

      Sadly, though, I see some women with true yearning in their eyes, wishing they could be different, not necessarily like me, but able to take a risk, and my clothes represent risk to them. Maybe they feel constrained by their friends/community/work and wish they weren't, wish they could pull it off.

      There are others who really DO want to dress like me. It's an opening statement in search of encouragement. Positive feedback is sometimes all it takes to help get them going. They'll ask for store names, etc.

      And of course for other women it's a criticism, whoa, I would NEVER wear that, are you kidding? But rarely, rarely do I get this. They wouldn't make the effort to say it to my face.

      The interpretation of their comments comes from their eyes I think. Usually, I get a very positive vibe from this kind of pull-if-off comment.

      If my style became mainstream I'd probably wear yoga pants. Hahaha.

  9. I am constantly told "but you can get away with it", as recently as last night with my new haircut. Apparently I have a "nice shaped head". I didn't know there was any other kind!
    I struggle to understand this statement and think it's mostly an excuse from someone who feels judged somehow by our wildness. Or it's a subtle way of saying "I hate it"! :-D
    Keep on being the breath of fresh air you are.
    Xo Jazzy Jack

  10. can i have a subscription of you mag! :-)

  11. YOU lady are the BEST!! I say wear what the hell you want to and break as many bloody rules as you can if thats what you want to do. Dressing as an over 50 has no appeal and my mother would be and probably is horrified!! Get that magazine to FLY!

  12. The lack of magazines is the same here, either expensive fashion or aimed at retirees doing what the mainstream things is appropriate.
    Like your pitch, it could be a winner.

  13. So you know about laundry detergent . . .
    Fabulous looks as always. And we need that magazine! We have Vogoff of course, but we need one where you don't have to do all the work. Like Mad Magazine for 50+. No obituaries, thanks anyway.


    1. See, I've stumbled on the laundry detergent club by mere idiocy. Hahaha! I did laundry yesterday and we're almost out. Should I do a few more loads today? Hm.

      Yes, VOGOFF is a lot of work. I love it. But I'd love to see what pro magazine people would come up with. I'd happily edit though. Hee hee. Barking orders is my favourite thing. Well, hopefully it would be more of a meow.

  14. I know what you mean. I've stopped buying fashion magazines. They make me either crazy or depressed. I'll get my fashion fix from you and all the women at Visible Monday, altho I'm dropping off the radar. It's jeans and hiking boots and a backpack for me these days.

  15. You look amazing in both outfits and those tights are gorgeous!

    Yes, the magazines aimed at us are very staid and conventional so I'm up for something more in keeping for the people we are.Have to say, though, I'm partial to an obit! It's the first section I turn to in the Saturday Guardian and in our local free paper. Perhaps I'm just weird...

    Have a fab weekend!



    1. In fact, not weird. I know a lot of people like reading obits. But my pitched magazine would have everyone rolling in their graves. Yikes! What a commotion that would be. Best to spare them.

  16. Boomers with zip? That sounds like a dodgy euphemism for laundry detergent deviation.
    Vogoff with added CARP sounds delightful - and never mind Anna - Hamish will do most excellently

    You look brave.

    Yours in the search for magazines for deviant women over 50

    Elaine Monkeypaints xx

  17. So, Bottom-Feeding Boomer is it?
    What's ever needed is YOU Melanie, strotting out Boudica-style to scatter the Booming FashionZipsters. We no it. You know it. Greetja has very concisely stated it. You in "Yoga pants"? My arm! Not without a good, prior farking.
    Love marvellous you,
    Baci Sxx

  18. Actually if you want to get away with robbing a bank you have to dress pretty normcore so you won't get caught. Maybe these ladies in beige are actually all criminals trying not to get caught!! What is truly criminal is that there isn't a mag for those of us that are a little bit more - um - creative. You are so right. I browse the Japanese magazine section at the bookstore. Those are awesome but terribly expensive and then there's the part where I don't speak Japanese. But they are more inclusive I think. for laundry. The lady at the jean store told me that I'm not supposed to wash my jeans. I'm supposed to put them in the freezer. So my beat up old Levis are chillaxin' right next to the green beans. Hope it works.

  19. The sooner you launch your mag the sooner you'll turn into a rich bitch. But maybe you are already? Just an eccentric one. I wish there was a mag for us with features like "my best thrift find of the week" and tips such as "the older you get the further you need to stand back from the mirror" - this was a tip from my American girlfriend who's 10 years older than me. Let me know if you need a partner in crime for your venture. Did you like that tenuous link?
    Anna's Island Style

  20. Yes, I am also one of those women to whom other women say, "but you can get away with wearing that", like it is some sort of terrible risk I'm taking. As Jazzy mentioned in her comment, I'm never sure if it's a compliment, or a "whew, glad I"M not wearing that".

    I'd like to interview for a position with that magazine please. Writer, photographer, stylist, whatever you need, and I think the photo of you giving the "thumbs up" should be on the cover of the first issue. I refuse to join any organization named CARP, or any other fishy acronym.

  21. You would be the perfect person to create this amazing magazine. And I vote for Melanie on every cover! Isn't Oprah on every cover of her's?

  22. Love the way you take a juxtaposition of patterns and textures and make them work incredibly. It would be so great if you would feature in your blog of how you put an outfit together. (Maybe do a few outfits? ) I love wearing different things too but would really appreciate lessons in how you specifically do it.

  23. Dear Melanie, I stay here for the first time and I had a lot of fun!!! Oh, yes, I like your style. All the best for you, Edith from Germany


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