During my last trip to the USA I had the privilege to meet another of my favorite bloggers: Lisa from Amid Privilege. I caught up with her at a very busy and exciting time in her life, just a few weeks before she got married!
Lisa’s blog talks about fashion in the context of culture and every now and then she showcases her own relaxed casual chic style. I was curious to find out more about her and her style, so let’s move on to the interview!
As a point of reference which age group do you belong to or perhaps you are willing to share your age?
I’m 56 years old, will turn 57 at the end of this month.
Can you tell us a bit more about your blog amid privilege and why you created it?
I started the blog initially because I retired. I had always wanted to write – about issues other than software features that is. I began by addressing my demographic from a narrow perspective – personal historical background – and wound up writing more inclusively about women’s style over 50.
Can you tell me about your own style, which you describe as Quiet Dressing with Impact, of Classic with an Edge. Can you elaborate?
Fashion is currently dominated by pops of color, pattern-mixing, and outrageous accessories. I just don’t have the temperament for that look. I work with classic and mostly structured silhouettes, layering in textures and subtle color play. My jewelry is all precious metals and stones, but subtle. Impact without overkill, if you will. Oh, and I don’t wear visible logos, if I can help it.
Can you tell me where you live and how that influences your style choices?
California absolutely influences me. We don’t do fussy in Norcal, as the kids call it. And given our temperate weather and cool nights, we layer natural fabrics in all seasons. Living here also allows me to dress “young,” or youngish at least, without raising anyone’s eyebrows.
How does your work style differ from your home style?
At home it’s all about comfort. Shoes are flat, pants are loose, shirts stretchy. At work it’s still about comfort, but to a point. So I wear walkable heels, pants that fit, some button front tops, and lightweight jackets. I wear no makeup at home – I pay attention to it for work. I wear little jewelry at home, it’s my key accessory for the office.
Sturdy Gals don’t like fuss, but we insist on dressing appropriately for our environments:).
What inspires your outfit choices the most?
It’s definitely an internal thing – with little points of input from the fashion media. I look for balance above and beyond everything else: of texture, hue, silhouette, and sheer degree of flair. Not too much, not too little. I look to the media – blogs among them – for ways to stretch and grow. Sometimes bloggers like you give me new ideas, sometimes Vogue and Style.com show something from a designer that makes me think, “Hmmm, that just might do.”
Do you take things like color profiling or body type into account when you dress?
Not consciously, but in terms of a visual scan for balance and harmony, yes, absolutely. I’ve always known I looked terrible in yellow, just didn’t know that meant I was a Cool Color person. I’ve always known I had broad shoulders and narrow hips, just didn’t know that meant I was an X or V shape. Doing the research in the blogging community has helped put a name, and additional expertise, behind what my eyes had always told me.
If eyes can talk, that is;).
Would you say you have a signature style? And if yes, what are the main elements?
Yes, but it’s funny how other people are much better at describing it than I am. I’m going to ask you what you think!
Has your style changed at all after turning 40?
It got better.
Do you believe in dressing ‘age appropriately’ and what does it mean to you?
I think “age-appropriate” simply means to dress with for respect yourself and your community. There are a million ways to interpret that statement, but there are a million cultures and sub-cultures, and blanket statements just can’t apply everywhere.
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?
More interested, less afraid.
Why is the way you look important to you?
Because it’s the primary way that other people experience me. Because I’m a visual person myself, and always carry around a sense of what I saw in the mirror this morning. Because it’s the easiest way to amuse myself, from day to day.
Which of the outfits on your blog is a personal favorite and why?
My wedding dress, of course;). But in regular life? I love this Dries van Noten dress. I’m also fond of this Commes des Garcons PLAY t-shirt, the UNIQLO jacket, and these Levis, and I was goofily excited to pair an aubergine tweed jacket with a blue and brown striped buttonfront, here.
Do you follow trends? And if yes, which trends excite you at the moment?
I just don’t know if fashion HAS trends any more, instead I notice “IT” objects. Right now it’s the “winged” bag, started by Celine and buyable even at Target. Oh, and studded shoes, like the Valentino Rockports and Chloe studded boots. I think maybe we have Alexander Wang and his original studded handbags to thank for all the prickly accessories. But trends, um, the dominant silhouette is still Show Your Legs. Beyond that, anything goes. Even Hiding Your Legs.
Do you have any fashion and style tips for women over 40?
Look in the mirror and embrace what you see. Use your vast experience to research, learn from the experts, and enjoy yourself. There’s no one answer, only a host of good resources out there free and available to everyone.
What are your plans for your blog and how do you see it develop over the coming years?
I have just launched an initiative where for the first time I use commission links, and I am donating all proceeds to Dress For Success, a global charitable organization that provides appropriate clothing for women entering the workforce. Otherwise, I just hope to keep getting better as a writer, and more useful.
Anything further you would like to add?
A huge thank you to my readers. Their commentary is insightful, civil, and entertaining. And to you Sylvia, the opportunity to speak up here is much appreciated.
Note from Sylvia: Thanks Lisa. It was great reading your answers and meeting you in San Francisco! I especially like your answer to the question on why style is important to you: “because it’s the easiest way to amuse myself from day-to-day”. I think that is also why I like clothes so much and it feels like a great justification for buying some nice clothes that make me happy! Be sure to visit Lisa’s fabulous blog Amid Privilege.