Many of you may know Patti already. Originator of the popular Visible Monday where (especially 40+) women celebrate their style every 2nd week, she has been an important voice for the visibility of 40+ women. She also has a very unique style herself to which she stays very faithful. Patti knows what she likes and what looks good on her. Time to get to know some of her style secrets!
Can you tell us a little bit more about yourself?
I’m a midlife woman, happily married, child-free, and a crazy cat lady. My career has been in mental health for the last 20 years, and I love it.
As a point of reference which age group do you belong to or perhaps you are willing to share your age?
I am 58. Too many people know it for me to deny it!
Can you tell us a bit more about your blog Not Dead Yet and why you created it?
My friend Joni used the expression in a conversation, and it resonated with me. I borrowed “Not Dead Yet” with her permission, to express how I feel about being middle-aged. Not young, but not dead yet, and I still have plenty to say! I started the blog from my love of fashion/style as well as my strong feelings about how mid-life women are often treated in those fields.
Your blog has become the ‘meeting point’ for a visibility party on every second Monday? Can you share the story behind it and how you see this party develop over the future?
I first wrote about The Invisible Woman back in June 2011. I think I was grieving the loss of youthful beauty in an especially poignant way. I needed to turn my thinking around, and appreciate what midlife beauty has to offer.
I wanted to share my ideas with other women, and hear from them about feeling Visible. We started with just three or four participants at Visible Monday, and now we have over 120! It’s so gratifying and so much fun to read all the Visible posts.
How would you describe your own style?
I think I have a Classic-Casual-Modern-Feminine style, if that’s not too many adjectives! It’s easier to describe what I’m not: avant-garde, boho, conservative, or overly romantic. If I find an outfit veering too far into “feminine”, for instance, I add a man-tailored shirt or moto boots. If it’s looking too classic for my tastes, I have to wear a funky necklace or bracelet.
Can you tell me where you live and how that influences your style choices?
I live on the East Coast of Florida in a charming beach town. It definitely influences the casual-ness of my dress (no suits, no pantyhose, no heels) but I don’t fall into the surfer look either. I leave that for my husband.
You are very consistent in your style with for example the A-line skirt a very regular part of it. Was your style always consistent or is this something you developed later in life?
Most definitely developed later, as I discovered:
- fashion sites/blogs on the internet, and
- thrifts/consignment stores.
The internet exposed me to so much more eclectic fashion to choose from, and the second-hand stores allowed me to experiment with it!
What inspires your outfit choices the most?
I am interested in the outlines of clothes, the juxtapositions of loose and fitted, modern and retro, high and low-end. I don’t play with color a lot, and I won’t claim to have an artist’s eye. I’m more analytical.
I do spend a lot of time on Pinterest! I really enjoy examining the outfits other women put together, and taking inspiration from real life.
Do you take things like color profiling or body type into account when you dress?
I do! I know I look best in mostly “cool” colors and I avoid pastels and crayon-brights. In fact, I am a big fan of just black, gray, ivory, navy, and olive green for 90% of my wardrobe. Add in denim and the occasional burgundy, and we’re probably at 99%.
I have a slim shape so I avoid over-large prints and voluminous tops (I do love a big skirt).
Has your style changed at all after turning 40?
I am more experimental now, by far. I take chances, I study more, I spend more time thinking about fashion. I am definitely having more fun in my 50’s, as my 20’s and 30’s were mostly spent in the “Dress For Success” uniforms of the day – boring!
Do you believe in dressing ‘age appropriately’ and what does it mean to you?
Only for myself; I don’t pass judgment on others and how they choose to express themselves. For me, the three guidelines are: nothing too tight, too short or too low-cut. And no Hello Kitty either.
Why is the way you look important to you?
It’s human nature (I say this as a student of human nature) to care about how we look. When we don’t, it can even be a sign of depression. I am no longer interested in attracting a mate, but I care that I make a positive impression – that I look alive and interested in life. I like to feel approachable.
Which of the outfits on your blog are personal favorites and why?
Well, I must admit, it’s the ones in which I am having a “good hair day”! Other than that, I like the outfits that show I took a style chance, and changed up an old favorite. Like wearing a denim shirt with a tulle skirt, or cowboy boots with a dress.
- Denim and lace make a fun, surprising combination.
- A feminine dress with tough booties
- A man’s shirt with a tulle skirt and funky boots.
Do you follow trends? And if yes, which trends excite you at the moment?
I think I don’t follow trends – but of course I do! I am always late to the party though. Just now I am liking colored jeans, for example. I like wide-legged trousers, midi skirts with booties, but you won’t see me soon in leather sweat pants.
Do you have any fashion and style tips for women over 40?
If you are interested in fashion/style, but are not a natural artist, devote some time to reading blogs, classic sites like style.com, and join Pinterest. By exposing ourselves to lots of looks, we can refine our own. Copy and modify, and look for a few truly personal pieces that make any outfit special to *you*.
What are your plans for your blog and how do you see it develop over the coming years?
I am a part-time blogger, but I still look at it as an important slice of my life. I will probably continue to write as I do now, about style and life issues for mid-life women. I may stray into the political from time to time; I hope my readers will stick with me!
Anything further you would like to add?
I’d like to thank you, Sylvia. I adore your blog and the tremendous outreach you do. You speak in a genuine voice and it’s a pleasure working with you!
Thanks Patti for a great interview! Be sure to check out Patti’s blog: Not Dead Yet Style!
Which is your favorite of Patti’s outfits displayed above?