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The Grandma’s Guide to Gorgeous

It has recently come to my attention that my fashion image is in serious need of a makeover.  My entire wardrobe, which I believed to be tasteful and age-appropriate, is, in fact, quite boring.  And boring is not the look for which I was striving.

This dismaying, and no doubt, costly, epiphany dawned via a newspaper article featuring women ranging in age from 60 to 94, who, based on eyewear that occupied three-quarters of their faces, appeared to be kindred spirits of Iris Apfel.  Their unique sense of style have made them internet stars, thereby anointing them as the new fashion influence for the Medicare set.  So move over, Brooks Brothers, and make way for the babes with the grandma faces!

All of the women in said article, when not rummaging in consignment shops for gently used Comme des Garcons, or Goodwill racks for someone’s granddaughter’s frayed jeans, are also bloggers.  Well, I blog too, don’t I? So what’s holding me back from becoming a geriatric sensation?

Tempted, but also timid, I launched an in-depth study of what it was that made these women so notable.  I needed some fashion confidence if I was to join the ranks of the senior “slayers” and become an Instagram icon.

After reading the blogs and scrutinizing the photos, I think I’ve finally figured it out.  Below, I offer the fruits of my labor — a list of helpful hints for becoming an audacious, subversive, riveting, cool, and attention-grabbing granny!

  • Abandon most of your basic blacks, whites and grays and replace them with wild, colorful prints and things that don’t match.
  • Forego modesty and don’t be afraid to display body parts that may not have seen the light of day for decades.
  • Gray hair is acceptable but cut it really short. Cropped bangs and shaved sides are uber cool. Wear it long and let it go completely wild or pile it like a bird’s nest on top of your head.    A purple streak gets you bonus points.
  • Stash your demure button earring and studs in the back of the jewelry drawer, and rush out to purchase hoops — the bigger the better. If you can find a pair that looks like it could double as a perch for a parakeet, you’re solid. And for a change of pace, switch off to a long, dangling style.  More bonus points if you have a pair that gives the impression of being plucked from Carmen Miranda’s hat.
  • Wear plenty of wide bracelets. On both wrists.  Ones made from recycled African boabab trees are best.  What’s so special about boabab trees? Who knows, but If the bracelets weigh enough, they’re also useful for bicep curls.
  • If you sport a necklace, consider multiples and make sure they’re really chunky. They also serve to ward off unwanted hugs.
  • Start to acquire a hat collection. The sillier the better.  Turbans and baseball caps are acceptable, as are knitted pussy hats.
  • Even if your vision is perfect, one or two pairs of eyeglasses the size of headlights from a Mack truck are a must. Black frames are best, but bright red with matching lipstick is also guaranteed to turn some heads.
  • Accessorize your plain street clothes, i. e., tee shirt and sweats, with a touch of color. A pair of elbow length gloves in fuschia just might do the trick.
  • Naked fingers are definitely a no-no. Flaunt multiple rings with large stones.  They’re also a handy self-defense weapon in case of a mugging.  Blood red nail polish puts the otherwise ordinary hand over the top!
  • Sport torn denim and tee shirts with messages, the raunchier the better. A white tee with “Be A Slut” written in chartreuse cursive script is a guaranteed eye-catcher.
  • Top off your mismatched outfit with an oversized cape. Add a mask and it doubles as a Zorro disguise for your next costume ball.
  • Wear an evening gown with high top sneakers.

I’m well aware that the transformation from ordinary to extraordinary will not be easy, but some things are simply worth the effort.  And I hope this guide will be helpful.  So please join me at the thrift shop.  Why go gentle into that good night when all it takes is the perfect vintage hand bag?   Preferably, in shocking orange.

By | 2018-07-16T15:02:05+00:00 July 16th, 2018|Categories: Fashion, Hair|9 Comments

About the Author:

Born and raised in New York City, Susan currently splits her time between Florida and Connecticut. She lives with her husband, and the world’s cutest dog, Sam, a rough-coat Russell Terrier. Susan gives her audiences a sideways view of life on a range of relatable topics. Whether skewering marriage, growing older, fashion, the media, politics, or money matters, her light touch keeps people laughing – and thinking.

9 Comments

  1. Bruder July 16, 2018 at 2:54 pm - Reply

    You’re practically describing they way MJ’s mother would dress. She was way ahead of her time in that regard.

    • Susan Goldfein July 18, 2018 at 4:34 pm - Reply

      I always knew I liked that woman!

  2. Ronni July 16, 2018 at 4:53 pm - Reply

    This is such a riot! Adored: If you can find a pair that looks like it could double as a perch for a parakeet, you’re solid.

    AT the royal wedding, under her full length gown, Serena Williams wore color coordinated sneakers. You are on trend

    • Susan Goldfein July 18, 2018 at 4:33 pm - Reply

      How about that!

  3. Marcia Selden July 16, 2018 at 4:58 pm - Reply

    Susan, this post is a favorite! The vision of you in this garb really makes me laugh!
    Let’s do dinner…I’ll show you my new earrings…

    • Susan Goldfein July 18, 2018 at 4:32 pm - Reply

      If you show me yours, I’ll show you mine! Would love to do another dinner.

  4. gail July 17, 2018 at 3:58 am - Reply

    love this column! All I can say is no, NO, NOOOO!…..

    • Susan Goldfein July 18, 2018 at 4:30 pm - Reply

      Aw, come on!

  5. Rosalie Roth July 22, 2018 at 9:10 pm - Reply

    Please accompany me to the Carlisle Senior Living Facility at Happy Hour, it’s a hoot!!!
    The necklaces and bracelets are worth the price of admission which is $0

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