How to look great in neutrals and dress effortlessly chic: Style lessons from Jeannie

by Sylvia

How to look great in neutrals

It’s been a while since I featured anyone in my style lesson series. So I’m delighted that I can present another of my favorite bloggers Jeannie to you today. She  is an absolute pro at dressing very elegantly and chic using mainly neutrals. She also knows how to rock ripped jeans and make them look effortlessly chic! Time to find out what her secrets are…

jeannie10

Hi Jeannie. Thanks for taking the time out to answer a few questions for 40PlusStyle.com. Can you tell us a little bit more about yourself?

I’m a wife, married to a wonderful man for almost 29 years…my one and only. I’m also the mother of two wonderful, grown children. I love traveling, reading, fashion, fishing, college football and dogs! Oh, I also love to be around water….ocean, lake, river, stream, pool….even a shower.

As a point of reference which age group do you belong to or perhaps you are willing to share your age?

I recently turned 53.

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Can you tell us a bit more about your blog Gracefully 50?

I started this blog while trying to find ways to cope with being an empty nester. It was an impulsive act on my part, because I had no clue as to how to start a blog or really what to blog about. That was August of 2011. It was an eye opening experience as I was blown away by the enormity of the blogging world! So many topics and such talented people!

As it turned out, my love for fashion emerged as the main theme although I do envy food blogs…if only I could cook!

How would you describe your style?

Classic with a modern twist?! I’m a big fan of a classic and feminine look, but, I also love to integrate some of the current trends.

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You have a great love of neutrals which is reflected in many of your outfits? What attracts you so much to neutrals?

Mostly because of their versatility and safety. You really can’t go wrong with black, white and other neutral colors including the earthy neutrals which are also evident in my house decor……safe and soothing.

How do you make your outfits look interesting wearing only neutrals?

I use accessories to create interest and to incorporate colors into the outfit. I’m totally obsessed with bags and shoes….an illness if I’m being honest, so it’s a fun way to use my “compulsions” to complete an outfit. I love wearing a scarf for an added oomph!

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I often advocate wearing more colour after 40 on my site since we loose some of the colour in our face and colour can really lift an outfit. What is your opinion on this?

I agree with you, Sylvia. Although, we should be aware of the colors that are flattering to our skin tones, some of us are blessed with the ability to wear any and all colors, but I’m not one of them. My rule for colors is one bright piece per outfit. If I have a bright shirt, it’s usually paired with neutral pants or skirts and vice versa. It’s just my personal preference.

You also have a real talent for wearing casual clothes (like ripped jeans) and making them look chic. Can you tell us a little more about how you do this?

Thank you for those kind words! My love for jeans and casual weekend wear is very prominent on my blog. As for my boyfriend and holy jeans, I love them! They’re so comfortable and perfect for a casual dinner date. I like to pair them with something classic….a silk blouse, a cashmere sweater or a well fitted blazer. Adding a pair or heels or booties can also elevate this look. Of course, it’s not for everyone, but it’s a fun way to dress up a pair of jeans.

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What inspires your outfit choices the most?

My mood! I’m moody as hell, and my outfits usually reflect that. Watch out when I’m dressed in all black!

Do you take things like colour profiling or body type into account when you dress?

No, not really. At my age, I kinda know what I like, and I hope for the best!

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Would you say you have a signature style? And if yes, what are the main elements?

“Classic” from Monday thru Thursday. “Casual Chic” on the weekends, and always striving to be elegant.
I love black & white. The classic well fitting white shirts, black trousers/jeans, sexy black pumps, and a timeless black bag.

Has your style changed at all after turning 40?

Absolutely! In my 30’s, I was busy raising two young ones and mommy fashion consisted of anything that was comfortable and easy. When the kids didn’t require all of my time, it gave me a chance to focus more on my needs and of course, fashion was one of them. My style has always been on the classic side, but I began to experiment more with colors and trends. With age comes bravery?!

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Do you believe in dressing ‘age appropriately’ and what does it mean to you?

Yes and no. I used to worry when I first started my blog….always wondering if the outfit was appropriate, but I’ve come to realize that I would never be able to please everyone all of the time.

“Age appropriate” is an individual compass. There’s not a set of rules that applies to all women. For me, if I’m happy when I look in the mirror, then it’s my age appropriate.

Would you say that at this stage of your life you are now more, or less interested in fashion, style and the way you look?

I’d say I’m more interested. I can’t just throw on a pair of jeans and t-shirt (like I used to do in my younger years) and look decent. It takes a little more thought and effort these days to look my best. It’s important to put my best foot forward….don’t want to become a frumpy old lady!

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Why is the way you look important to you?

Because it represents who I am. Different occasions call for different looks, but it’s always my goal to look and be at my best. It shows that I care about myself as well as my work and family.

Which outfit from your site is your favorite outfit and why?

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There’s actually two. One represents the free and fun side of me. The other is more of what I strive to be….classic and elegant.

Do you follow trends? And if yes, which trends excite you at the moment?

I do. But, I pick and chose the trends that work for me. For this spring, black & white excites me, because it’s always been my favorite go to look. I won’t even have to shop for this trend!

Do you have any fashion and style tips for women over 40?

The best advice I can give to women is to know the style that flatters your body type. We’re all individuals having strengths and weaknesses in different parts of our bodies, right? Learning to accentuate our best features and hiding our weaknesses is an art worth experimenting with.

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Do you plan to continue with blogging and how do you see your blog develop over the coming years?

You know, I’m not really sure how long I’ll be blogging. I’m not able to dedicate as much time to it as I would like to so who knows, but, I am and will be forever grateful for the friends I’ve made because of blogging.

Anything further you would like to add?

I’d like to Thank You for representing the women over 40! Your blog is a tremendous encouragement for those of us struggling to find a place to share and express ourselves in this youth centered fashion world.

Thanks for allowing me to share a little of myself with your readers.

Note from Sylvia: Thank you so much Jeannie for your wise words! Be sure to check her out on her blog Gracefully 50 and get even more timeless style ideas.

How do you wear your neutrals?

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Related posts:

Spashionista (Alicia)

I love Jeannie’s style and enjoy following her blog. I also appreciate her comments on my own blog. She makes being chic look effortless!

Spashionista (Alicia)

Jeannie@gracefully50

Thank you so much for the feature, Sylvia!
You’re the best!!

une femme

I really enjoy Jeannie’s blog and the beautiful ensembles (and amazing accessories!) she puts together. So delighted to see her featured here!

Alice

Love Jeannie’s blog and she is so sweet too! I am always lusting after her outfits – they are always so effortless chic!

Alice
http://www.happinessatmidlife.com

Greetje

Wow, I had seen her comments on some blogs and looked at her blog once. Now I am really going to follow her blog. Everything she said, I could have said. The looks she is after are the same I am after. Thanks for featuring her. Very pleased finding her again.

Nanne

She’s got great style, I’m going to start following her blog now thanks to this feature:)

aileen

Thanks for the feature Sylvia, I really like Jeannie’s style and will enjoy a good look at her blog too.

Buckle Button Zip

Jeannie has one of the best style blogs of any age group. She’s just naturally stylish, effortless and chic. And she has a great sense of humor and humility. Her outfits inspire me all the time. SO happy you profiled her Sylvia. Well done!
x Laura

Marie S

Great interview! I do follow Jeannie’s blog already and love her style. Thanks for this.

Annette

I love Jeannie and her blog and it is wonderful, Sylvia, that you introduced Jeannie to other readers!

Annette
Lady of Style

Suzanne

Jeannie – you are a beautiful woman inside and out. You have such a positive attitude about dressing for the post-young-mother years. I love your advice to wear the colors, styles, and trends that most flatter each individual and not just what the media says is in – or “appropriate” after a certain birthday. All of your outfits are gorgeous and could have come from a photo shoot or look book. You are such an inspiration! I am going to post this in my closet: “—if I’m happy when I look in the mirror, then it’s my age appropriate.” 🙂
Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us – and your little dog too. So sweet!

Heather Fonseca

Jeannie is such a lovely woman. Her sweet personality really comes through her blog. She also has great style and she’s beautiful. I love that she’s able to wear ripped jeans and other items that many would consider too trendy for a woman of a certain age. She puts them on and looks great! I think he has developed her fashion compass and now knows just what suits her, then she wears it with confidence.

Thanks for featuring one of my favorite bloggers!

Kim

Definitely going to check her out! Love her style and great interview of her!
kim @ popcosmo.com

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