By Suzy Gibson
This One Time… In My Closet….
I was standing there underwhelmed and overwhelmed, on the edge of excitement and panic. Today was the day (April 15, 2016 to be exact, Tax Day and the teen’s first wreck – another story, another day) that she was coming! The Magical Pixie Stylist was going to sprinkle my closet with her sparkle dust and turn me into the fashion diva I knew was in there, yearning for her day of reckoning! How did I happen upon her you ask… well, let’s go back….
As a middle-aged woman, you do what you can to stay youthful and keep up with the trends, which include age-defying make-up, moisturizer with super anti-wrinkle erasers, hair styles that are on trend (Fight those grays!), mani’s, pedi’s and yes, the regular maintenance of the secret garden. As I assumed the position, sipped on a glass of wine and listened to spa music, my esthetician filled me in about the stylist she had hired. My ears perked up “You hired a stylist?” RRRRRRIP (YOWZA!!). “She came and put outfits together using the clothes in my closet.” “Hold on a sec… this service exists?” RRRRRRIP (HOLY SHNIKIES!!). “Yes, yes it does. You fill out a style profile, and she spends about two hours in your closet, taking your personal style into account.” I marveled at what I just heard, is this truly within my grasp? RRRRRRIP (OH, FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY!!). As I wrapped up my session of suffering, I obtained a phone number, Facebook and Instagram. After all, a proper lady must stalk before making a life-altering decision.
She created a closet that was a joyous inviting space, and performed Lasik on my Eye for Fashion. Who knew my Tragically Hip graphic tee could be hip and not tragic? She gave me the powers to see something ordinary and truly style it. Long live my Magical Pixie Stylist. Hey, can I get some more of that sparkle dust?
Stylist’s Analysis: Suzy is Chic 100%, meaning fashionable and trendy, with a flair of Rocker and Glam thrown in. She loves to be on point with trends but makes it her own with hints of leather and studs (Rocker elements) and sequins (Glam elements). Her advice for Suzy: KEEP DOING THAT AND DON’T SHY AWAY FROM IT.
I absolutely adore this skirt. It is just the right length, and it fits well enough to give the two armadillos that wrestle on my backside room to exist peacefully. This was one of those purchases that I had to have, but had no idea what to put with it. I can’t put more sequins with it, I would be Disco Sally. If I go low-cut and let the girls out (Thank you, Mr. Plastic Surgeon), would it be too much with a form-fitting skirt? This skirt hung in my closet, lonely, pushed to the back. When I saw how simply styled this was, I had a light-bulb moment, I was overthinking everything! I was so worried about dressing for my age, I overlooked the elegance and style of simplicity. The peplum top was high-cut in the neck, but sleeveless, which allows you to expose the right amount of skin, and more importantly, in the right place when you are form fitting on the bottom. EVERY woman should own a peplum top… go now… go purchase! This style tames the bouncy bounce, and camouflages the area that I love to hate. So if you had one take away from this, what would it be? Camouflage? Simplicity? Or what’s the number to your plastic surgeon? No matter what you got out of this article, my hope is, that you will be inspired to revisit your closet, find that sequin skirt, and WORK it, girl!
I was in serious deliberations with this dress. The girls, you know the ones, 20-Something shop girls that give the thumbs up, no matter how ridiculous you look? Let’s call them the 20-S’s… In the dressing room at Lush, debating on whether I would step out to brave the mirror that shows all sides (what was I thinking), I hear a knock “So, like, how’s it going?” I responded “I’m not sure if this dress is me.” To which I am met with a rousing cheer of encouragement to expose myself in this dress that is so tight, no amount of sucking it in could save me. As I’m struck with the horror of the three-way mirror, my 20-S is calling the entire herd over, “OMG gurl… you are on fleek!” “Kaylee! Serene! Look how hot she is!” And the dreaded “I hope I look as good as you when I’m your age!” I believe these 20-S’s cast a hex that MADE me see my Inner Goddess, and she didn’t walk out of the door with me and the dress. Fast-forward to my Magical Pixie Stylist… who knew the body part I hated the most, was that same part that brought what I love the most into this world. It wasn’t that flat, bounce-a-quarter-off-of belly I possessed when I was 20-S… it was just bouncy. She helped me understand that camouflage is the key to making anything work for your body type. By putting a vest or kimono over a form fitting dress, it hides the bouncy belly. Style it up with cute shoes and jewelry and you are “So hot,” “On fleek” and pretty darn cute for a fabulous 50-year-old.
There is absolutely nothing I don’t love about this outfit. I love the comfortable style, the rocker-chick edge with the pleather pants, and who doesn’t love a good pair of kicks? When I bought this top, it was because it had a scoop neck which showed off the girls (YAY, plastic surgeon), but A-lined and longer to not only skim over the bouncy, but give the armadillos some coverage. I just had no clue what “Turn Down for Brunch” meant. This is one of those shirts that the 20-S’s wear, like “messy hair, don’t care,” “resting beach face,” “sleep all day, champagne all night” and “you had me at merlot,” confession, I own that one. But I am lucky enough to have a 20-S niece, who is brutally honest with my fashion choices. “So Audrey, what exactly does this shirt mean?” I asked. After an eye-roll, she informed me that I might be a tad too old for a “catchy-saying” shirt, but quickly redeemed herself with “But Aunt Suzy, it looks super cute on you. It means that you would not turn down an offer for brunch.” Hmmm, so simple, yet so complicated…. These 20-S’s perplex me on a daily basis. The moral of this story is get outside your box! If it feels good, and you feel like Miss Sassy-Pants when you wear it, then what’s stopping you? So turn down for brunch with your messy hair don’t care and champagne all night… well, until 9:30, when it is your bedtime.
EDITOR: Stay tuned for more professionally styled outfits in Parts 2, 3 and 4 of this story to come! Suzy’s Magical Pixie Stylist is Patty Rankin, and more of her work can be viewed at Patty Rankin Style Coach on Facebook and pattystylecoach on Instagram.
The Real-Real Behind the Scenes
To Be Continued…
A Little Background Music
EDITOR: I’ve already figured out that the soundtrack to Suzy’s entire life has got to be Miranda Lambert songs. And this post is so good, it deserves two accompanying videos. Ha!
And I leave you with…