None of Your Business

What’s the matter with your life? Why you gotta mess with mine? Don’t keep sweating what I do
Cuz I’m gonna be just fine.
~ Salt-n-Pepa, “None of Your Business

A dear friend of mine teaches fitness classes out on the West Coast. She e-mailed me recently to say that someone stopped her at the gym to ask if she’d put on weight. And as I lay on the floor gasping in horror at such an invasive, rude, and insulting question, I realized something: THAT question is socially inappropriate, as we all know. But so is it’s mirror image, “Have you lost weight?” Your weight is nobody’s business but your own. Fluctuations in your weight are nobody’s business but your own. Ever. Why on earth do people feel so free to inquire about weight, or express concern and dismay over someone’s weight loss or gain, or pass judgment so openly about weight-related matters? Changes in weight can be caused by a vast array of circumstances, and a perceived change tells the observer virtually nothing about those circumstances. read more

Originally posted 2010-03-22 06:50:00.

Reader Request: Age-appropriate Dressing

Loose guidelines for age-appropriate dressing

Many of you have requested some guidelines for dressing to suit your chronological age and although I’ve touched on some loose guidelines for women over 40, I wanted to address this topic from a more general standpoint.

But first, the caveats:

There are about a billion guides to age-appropriate dressing out there, and I know that many of them have proven invaluable to many women. I’m not a huge fan of such guides because they leave so little room for individuality and variation. Like all sets of rules, they are rigid and inflexible and assume a lot about bodies, goals, and needs. I don’t believe that fat women should never wear formfitting clothes, I don’t believe that short women should never wear long skirts, and I don’t believe that women of ANY age should be automatically excluded from any garments or styles. We are informed adults who know our figures. We can make those calls on an individual basis. read more

Originally posted 2010-10-19 05:02:00.

Shoe Basics

Shoe styles that (almost!) every woman should consider adding to her wardrobe

When I worked as a stylist, I was always puzzled when I visited a client with a wardrobe full of lovely, current, perfectly-fitting clothing and a tiny mound of outdated, weather-beaten, unloved shoes that in no way align with their owner’s style. To me, appropriate, interesting shoes are an integral part of an overall look and I believe that knowing your preferred shoe types is absolutely essential to building personal style.

But not everyone feels that way. Despite the stereotypes about women and shoes, I think that many of us struggle to track down styles that suit our tastes AND lifestyles. Shoes get worn harder than clothing in most cases, and that makes buying them far trickier. A dress has to work with body shape … but shoes have to be comfortable, affordable, stylish, AND work perfectly with a multitude of outfits under a multitude of circumstances. So cultivating a lasting, useful, beautiful collection of shoes can be quite a project, and some women would rather focus on objects of style that require less versatility and research. read more

Originally posted 2010-10-15 05:15:00.