During the last several years as I have worked, studied and socialized with many of you, I began to think about the concerns and challenges women face around aging – from greying hair to body changes to a shift in how we, as mature women, want to express ourselves in the world. This includes, of course, how we dress; yet our concerns are much deeper than that. Our culture has had a profound effect on the way we perceive older women and how society, in turn, perceives us.
My intention for creating this program is to help women give voice to their fears around aging, to establish a bonded and thoughtful relationship with their aging body and to cultivate a new, different and creative approach to aging – as an opportunity to be explored, rather than a problem to be solved. This is the essential inner shift that supports you in claiming and expressing your authentic beauty as the glorious woman you are, no matter what the rest of our world says about how older women are “supposed to” look. This is the crucial foundation upon which you can throw off the cloak of invisibility modern culture puts on older women, unabashedly stand strong in your feminine power, and share the wisdom you’ve earned from life.
My big vision is to help and support as many maturing women as I can through this new program. Think about all the women you know that are aging but are confused and frustrated because they’re no longer part of the matrix of society in the way they were as younger women. Have you been shopping lately? Seen anything that is striking and made specifically for the mature woman in color, cut and style? Have you seen women in the media that you can relate to, that you feel aligned with – a woman that would understand how you feel? Most marketing is tailored to the younger woman. An interesting juxtaposition because the older woman has more purchasing power than most younger women, yet we are no longer being considered at the table where products are being developed.
“At 63 years young, I am choosing to be seen on my terms and to spend money in ways
that support my well-being. I am taking my place in society as a woman of beauty,
wisdom and power. I wish this for every aging woman. I want it for you!” – Denise Lampron
Often it is the changing color of our hair that signals to us our aging process. When, actually, we are always aging from the moment we are born. Yet, it is on the first sign of grey, white, silver or platinum hair emerging from our temples, when we seriously begin to think of aging. Aging! And those strands of silver, grey, or white arrive with powerful, cultural messages: “Grey hair is a sign of old age.”
We then begin the personal conversation, “What does this mean?” “How will I be perceived at work, among friends, my lover, husband, partner?” “Am I still attractive?” “Will I be cast aside for my younger counterpart, both professionally and personally?”
Not one woman I have spoken with about this topic has avoided using the word “fear.” As if changing hair color is a clear warning sign that danger lies ahead. We are turning a corner we don’t yet know how to navigate in our bigger world, or our inner world. We know in our bones and in our hearts that something is changing and we are powerless to stop it. Yes, we can dye our hair, get Botox injections or tummy tucks, but it does not change the underlying process our precious bodies are undergoing; and on some level we know this. If not done with awareness, each attempt to thwart the aging process can potentially rob us of an opportunity to gain the wisdom, power and beauty of this time in a woman’s life.
Aging, like living, is a verb. It is action-oriented and implies movement.
Aging does not happen overnight. It is a process.
The “greying” is to honor the time involved in the aging process. When stepping (either willingly, hesitantly or with resistance) into a timely process – like aging — it can allow for curiosity and personal growth. And this is where your Greying Goddess experience can begin. Where you can experience the physical, emotional, psychological, intellectual and energetic shifts of aging. Where you can be present and participate in all the processes, progressions, setbacks (yes, that can happen too) and developments offered by your greying goddess. Where you can meet this powerful new force of woman that desires to take up residence in your life. Where you can open to liberation and different choices for the next chapter in your life. It takes patience and understanding. And sometimes it involves a scary ride, a dark moment, and a new way of being, all leading to a transformation. You can bypass the impossible standards of our culture. You can create a new identity. You can feed your deepest desires.
Why Goddess? I had a Native American great grandmother. She spoke of “elders” with reverence. I remember her using the term “white hairs” with respect. I desire to bring great honor and dignity among aging women in our culture. And what better way to suggest the divine feminine than to use the word Goddess. I believe every aging woman (and it’s hard to place an age to “aging,” you will know when you have arrived) has earned this distinction. My intention is that every woman finds the courage to embrace her Greying Goddess.
Greying Goddess is a space, a forum and place where mature women can visit who are ready to liberate themselves from the clutches of an age-averse culture and the confines of how modern culture says older woman should look and live.
I encourage you to say YES to your Greying Goddess and wholeheartedly embrace her!
What If …
The intention of this program is to help YOU, the aging woman, gather your gifts, embrace your evolving wisdom, discover the most exquisite expression of your aging imperfect beauty (wabi sabi style), harness your power, and savor this truly extraordinary time of life. Claim and live your fully glorious self as you age! Learn more about this program and why I created it.
Hark! There is a new lady in town and her name is Marsala. She is the 2015 Color of the Year. Marsala is spicy and enchanting. I know you are going to fall for this sultry, wine-inspired color.
Along with Marsala’s arrival, this week brings us the Fall Equinox, and the official end of Summer — Wednesday, September 23rd to be exact. It is one of the two days during the year in which day and night are of equal length, reminding us of the potency and power of balance.
This seasonal shift also offers cooler days the Earth feels and appears more abundant and there is a richness of color, as contrasted by the Summer warmth and her muted colors. There is a bit of excitement in the air with a hint of anticipation of something to come. Marsala is the ideal hostess of color to transition us to Autumn.
I encourage you to consider this sumptuous shade. She is dramatic, yet earthy, elegant and refined. It is pleasing to many skin tones and with a hint of brown, it works for you lovely ladies of warmer palettes. And since she is the child of Red, those of you who lean toward passion will benefit from her lusciousness too. If not a gorgeous tulle skirt or sexy silk gown, then try Lady Marsala on as a lipstick, or nail lacquer. Invite her in, your experience will be enriched by her.
Walk in Beauty,
|Dried Herb and Desert Sage|
|Which of these colors “pop” for you? You can choose as many as you like. Leave a comment below. We’d love to receive your feedback!
** New colors added daily. Come back and visit often!
Can you remember when you noticed someone in colors or clothing that seemed to “identify” them and completely captured their spirit or personality? To you, their outfit may have appeared kooky, inappropriate, and loud or lacking class, yet their walk, demeanor and attitude conveyed a comfort and confidence that had you smiling at their moxie and almost appreciating their style? I sure can (but, hey, I live in LA).
Last year I discovered New York’s Advanced Style “movement” via Ari Seth Cohen (courtesy of his grandmother). These women are pure inspiration! Neither age, nor “appropriateness” have thwarted a keen sense of themselves and how creatively they showcase their outfits. They have mastered their personal style.
I created a color palette for a lovely woman who fell into the Autumn category (warm coloring, gorgeous red hair, smart and capable, with a small frame and large personality). I also created a Pinterest Board for her loaded with Ralph Lauren velvet jackets, rich brown boots, textured vests, and all manner of the Autumn woman. It was an enjoyable project, and I thought I had depicted her style. She recently showed up sporting a Kelly green (admittedly, an Autumn color) denim jacket. I was slightly surprised at the brightness of the hue and style (she had swapped clothing with a “Spring” friend), but I liked it on her. She spoke of having grabbed wild attention in her harem pants at a recent event, and tales of another admirer on her polka dot skirt — huh? I was momentarily baffled. Then I realized this woman is brilliantly expressing her essence! I had overlooked this important aspect of her style.
Afterwards, when we talked about her clothing choices, FUN was at the top of her list (she has recently announced that she will be going to “Clown School’), and her clothing choices must make her feel happy. She also wants to look chic for her TV script meetings, as well as her frequent trips to France. She is an Autumn woman with a Fierce Fun Factor! And this combo of Fire and Fun must be present in her clothing.
It may need teasing out, or full on permission to take up space in your style profile. Or perhaps you simply stumble upon it with fascination, and want more. However it shows up in your life and arrives at your wardrobe door, this is the key to your individuality and unique style.
Have you ever tried on a hat and knew immediately this was your look?” How about a dress that landed solidly around your curves with a pattern that pin-pointed your personality? Or little black booties with skinny leg jeans that let the world know you’re an edgy kind of woman? A flowing skirt with ruffled blouse that softly suggests your romantic nature? An elegant, perfectly-tailored suit announcing your classic, capable, confident self? You are following the Whisperings of your Soul and discovering your personal style.
So, what is this quality that can turn mere clothing into a form of pure creativity? A pair of shoes whose pointed toes and metallic patina turn your walk into a self-expressing skip? It is our Essence. Essence lives in our core. When we express our Essence, we show our Soul.
My client’s Soul wants kelly green, polka dots, harem pants, along with a dose of chic. And now, I clearly understand that “playful” is part of her style. She gave me a great gift — as a colorist and stylist — look way beyond the obvious to find that spark that wants to come forward and show itself in a client’s wardrobe. The Soul will now have its rightful place in my client’s colors and style, because Essence surpasses everything.
Some of us intuitively know how to stand apart and distinguish ourselves, as illustrated in the photos to the right. For others, such as myself, it takes time to discover the tone of your Soul, the creative call of your core. A great place to begin is with “Essence” words, such as: ALIVE, ANIMATED, BRIGHT, REFINED, DELICATE, FLOWING, FUN, EARTHY, BOLD, RICH, DRAMATIC, STRIKING, SERENE.
If you intuitively respond to an essence word, then you know this is a key to your Essence and Style. Once you have a list of words that you and your Soul relate to, begin to match them with clothing. Look for confirmation of your choice — a “ping” experience, your eyes sparkle, you feel great wearing this garment or there is a deep satisfying “YES” that emerges when you see yourself. Scarves are one key to my Essence. They provide the lightweight, drape and abstract pattern I demand. Give it a try. Discover your Essence.
Contact me for a list of Essence words.
To your Essence,
Ever since I hit a forklift while learning to ride a motorbike – when my intuition clearly and loudly warned me “You will crash” – I have been paying much more attention to that small voice that comes with a wallop when ignored (I have the lump on my leg to prove it)!
It’s about one month into my “listening experiment” and I’m running late for an appointment, yet it was imperative that I choose the right shade of red lipstick for my new mesh t-shirt.
I’m on my way. Then, “Stop at Whole Foods for a breakfast beverage.” The voice was speaking. “But I’m running behind schedule.” Denise wasn’t listening. Once again, the voice suggests, “Stop for a breakfast beverage.” I stopped.
The moment I walked in the door, I saw a young man eyeing me. “Good morning …” he announced.” I smiled at him and was about to return the greeting when I heard his last word – “… gorgeous.” Gulp. This red lipstick works! “Hey, there! Good morning and thank you.”
Next, I jostled with a clerk for aisle space. And he said, “Wow, next time, let’s dance.”
By now, I was feeling really good. Isn’t that the whole point? To feel good? Suddenly, I realized the wild and wonderful possibilities that lie at the intersection of intuition and red. Well, intuition and any street, really. It took hitting the wall (quite literally) to drive home the message how vital listening to my intuition can be. And it took years for me to embrace the bright red crimson shade in my color palette. On one rainy Los Angeles morning, red packed it’s powerful punch into my awareness. It can happen anywhere, anytime. And wearing red helps.
We all know the power of red and the demanding presence it creates. Red will not be ignored! It’s the most physical color and activates our body and senses. Studies show that men find women more desirable when she wears red; and we’re told it’s not a good idea to wear red to an interview (too overpowering). With many hues, red can be romantic, soft, subtle (light pink), theatrical and playful (bright pink), exciting, provocative sexy (bright red) and rich, elegant, luxurious and robust (deep red).
Many months ago I uploaded an image to Pinterest, illustrating the dynamic, hot, passionate, and energizing quality of red. This image has been the highest-ranking pin on my Pinterest account with 100s of re-pins and over 4,000 views. People are attracted to Red!
Red weaves itself throughout the year in various celebratory forms: pinks for Easter (a tinted version of red), the soft dusky rose colors of the hot summer holidays (a greyed red), the spicy oranges of Thanksgiving (a toned or browned version of red), and the call to pure red with Winter’s arrival and the holiday season.
So, how best to express your Red? In color analysis, red is often referred to as “romantic red” and is worn when one wants to be emotionally persuasive or just romantic! Everyone can claim a shade of red. The clue lies in your skin tone. Take a look at the palms of your hands and squeeze your fingertip. Voila! You are looking at your hemoglobin skin tone or romantic red.
Pinch your finger or call for a professional color analysis.
Walk in Beauty,
According to Fashion Stylist Rachel Zoe “Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak.” This means Style is completely within your reach, on your terms. Dictionary.com defines comfort as “to make physically comfortable.” So, Comfort in your clothing is possible. That’s exciting, isn’t it?
Can you achieve your personal Style while still maintaining your Comfort needs? I think you can. You will need to do some homework (including determining your comfort factor), but it will be worth the effort. I promise.
Although this blog is addressing the 50+ age group, Style and Comfort goes beyond age and is ultimately a concern for women of all ages.
I recently ran across a picture of myself around age 6 all dolled up in a lace frock. I immediately remembered the scratch of the stiff fabric against my skin and I swear I could see a wince on my face in the photo. My quest for comfort was born! To this day I don’t wear taut or scratchy fabric.
When I think of clothing comfort, #1 on my list is my feet. They must be comfortable. This means the fit, the height of the heel, the material of the heel (no wooden heels, please), the quality of the fabric (will it stretch out too much), the placement of the straps, buckles or bows, the look of the shoe within my overall Style profile (no Uggs for me) and, of course, the color. That’s a lot for a single shoe to live up to, but I have it down to a science now – with one swift look it’s either a joyous YES or a definite NO. With each yes, I expand my wardrobe on my terms. With each no, I reinforce my core requirements of comfort over fashion (not to be confused with style).
The #1 Comfort Factor for some is temperature – their clothes must provide them with warmth or keep them feeling fresh and cool. Natural fabric will help solve this problem. For others, it’s all about keeping it simple. Rely on a great fitting garment and simple accessories to accomplish a simple, elegant look. Still others feel their best in pants. Find the perfect fit and focus on wide leg or straight leg, depending on your body shape. Experiment with tops, vests and jackets.
The key is to know thyself! What type of clothing allows you to move freely and feel at ease? What fabric feels good? What type of shoe best supports you? Are you more comfortable in long sleeves? Skirts vs. dresses? Casual over Sophisticated? Light and bright colors rather than deep or dark?
Since Rachel has given us permission to create our own Style, I say let’s go with it! Do you know the types of shoes that best support your style profile – flats, boots, pumps, Mary Janes, platform wedges? Are your shoe choices comfortable? Be honest or you will never accomplish the Casual Chic Look, which is built on Style and Comfort. A recent client and I successfully crafted a 3-week traveling wardrobe built exclusively on style and comfort – it CAN be done!
Spend some time contemplating what makes you happy (style) and what feels good (comfort) in your clothing. Put your style, next to your comfort and see what happens. Maybe you need a tweak here and there, but you are on your way to Style and Comfort, no matter your age!
Go ahead, speak YOUR style every time you get dressed.
Stand in front of your closet. Take a deep breath and slowly observe everything in front of you. Dresses. Skirts. Pants. Shoes. Scarves. Everything. Now pull out ONE article of clothing. Do you love it? No, I mean really love it. Do you look and feel terrific when you wear it? Your confidence and personal power is palpable when you show up in this garment. If this describes how you feel about your choice, then Congratulations! you are on the right track with your wardrobe. Repeat this process with every item in your closet.
For each piece that earns the “wow” or “I love this” response, put it to one side of your closet. Continue until you have gone through your entire wardrobe. Tip, the best way to determine how a garment looks on you is to see it in a photo. Have a friend take photos of you in all the clothing you love. It will amaze you how much a photo can reveal.
Next, take a second, more scrutinizing collective look at the clothes hanging on the “yes” side of your closet.
- Review the colors that still work for you, even though you’ve changed your hair color.
- Is the fit still flattering?
- How is the condition of each garment? Does it need cleaning, repairs or is it just way past its shelf life?
- What about the style or theme? Does it still express who are are?
- What about the energy of the garment? Are you holding on for sentimental reasons and it’s just taking up space in your closet? Did your former boyfriend buy it for you and if he’s no longer around, do you really want to wear this garment? Yes, sometimes love deserves a second chance, but that’s people, not clothing.
To love every item in your closet, you must put aside the emotions, the financial value and sentiment. True love is a tall order. The color, fit, style, fabric, line and design must all be working together to create this fantastic garment that does not upstage you, but highlights you. That’s love!
What would it be like to feel this way about every article of clothing in your closet? Imagine waking up each day to a wardrobe that makes you feel Attractive, Confident and Powerful. A closet where Love Only lives.
Should It Stay or Go? The chart below was featured in the August 2013 edition of InStyle magazine. It will help you with the process of finding only love in your closet.
I thoroughly enjoy guiding women of all ages through this process of finding true love in their wardrobe.