Okay, lets start with the fact that I ride and have horses and Lucy has no interest in or wish to “look equestrian”. Okay fine, but there is a new site that is changing the look of equestrian fashion even for those who do not ride but want to look like they do.
Let’s back up. What is the origin of this look? Ralph Lauren certainly added to the panache of the equestrian look as did Hermes. But I remember seeing a series of photographs of Jackie Kennedy astride her horse racing across the countryside in Middleburg Virginia and thinking that is who I want to be.
Then came Ralph and every woman wanted that look. And then boots were worn over tight jeans and Lauren even offered riding pants with leather knees for everyday NYC. And women wore them. I have to confess that I knew a woman in Vermont who wore riding clothes to get coffee in the morning and to go to the market, even though she rode very little.
The trend of wearing your tall boots outside of your pants is not a favorite look of Lucy’s. Lucy, who does not ride, tried to research the exact moment that this idea took hold. Was the wearer interested in tricking everyone who saw her into believing that she in fact had 12 polo horses in her backyard?
Lucy could not seem to pinpoint the exact moment in history when this occurred. She is thinking 7 years and 5 days ago but is unable to give credit to the first adopter of this look! And then it took off kind of like a wild stallion and everyone thought they needed to do it.
Frankly, the whole skinny jeans thing (minus the leather patches inside the leg) is very much equestrian-like so Lucy admits she secretly wants to be Claudia, who does ride and looks amazing in her riding pants even with manure stuck to them and a few pieces of hay stuck in her hair.But for actual riders, there is the void in the market that two women are trying to fill. Or if you actually still just want people to believe that you ride and you find Ralph Lauren (who has mastered the pseudo-equestrian look) a little too pricey, you can now dress like you ride without all of messy parts:
P.S And as to trends, Lucy has always loved scrunchies and is sorry they got a bad rap in the fashion universe. And she is glad they are back and they have nothing to do with riding because she is sure that they will not fit under that tight velvet hat you have to wear!
This holiday season, I decided to try something different. Instead of writing a list of all of things I am grateful for and, believe me, I am very grateful, I thought what if you walked a mile in someone else’s shoes and wrote down all of the things they should be grateful for. Just maybe, there would be a deeper sense of appreciation for what we all have.
So I chose Claudia – mostly because she is such an easy target!
Claudia has a new baby donkey named Brad Pitt and of course his mother is either Thelma or Louise. (Actually, I can never remember which one is the mother and which one is the friend along for the ride, so to speak.)
With Claudia all roads lead back to her various animals, which are all pets. I know because I have waited for more than an hour while she conferred with the vet before our weekly meetings, and this is not just an every once in a while sort of thing!
So, her son and his wife have moved back home (be grateful for that) and surprise, they brought a cat and a bunny. So that makes by my account thirty- three animals at Cutler Farm to be grateful for. Well, I might be exaggerating a little given that the chicken count is an ever-changing day-to-day inventory.
Number three son recently became an Ensign in the Navy while solving all sorts of engineering challenges in his other world. Lots to be grateful here.
The neighbor across the street who dislikes roosters – seems to have been silenced. (Or maybe it was the rooster who seldom crowed but when he did it sounded like he had the flu!)
Claudia can still eat those salty chips – even though her mouth is occasionally a painful spot and she winces with each little bite, but another year of Cape Cod delicacies. So let’s be grateful that the pleasure of a chip trumps the hurtie.
The New York Times still prints a paper edition. Claudia had to get a new phone – thanks to a mishap in the barn (I know back to the animal theme) but there are always mishaps out there but her favorite techie repaired her aging laptop. No need to replace. More money for hay and chicken feed.
She still has me – forever grateful.
And the field behind her house is one of the most beautiful sights on an early winter’s day when the fading sunlight filters through the last of the red leaves in such magical way. Appreciate where you live.
Claudia still looks good on a horse – especially in the wild West in July with her youngest son and her dear friend Sonia. Be grateful you can still fool them.
Mostly, she should be grateful that she does not have to write one about me because I beat her to it.
So in conclusion, yes I did make fun of my dearest friend, but who else to tell you that in spite of the angst we feel when life does us wrong, laughter and gratitude are the pillars of survival.
How much makeup to wear is a topic that fills the pages of beauty and fashion magazines. Lucy notes that most of these articles look at either young teenage girls or women over 60. The parallel track is that too much makeup can make young girls look old and too much makeup makes older women look even older. Interesting what?
There is an ongoing debate about how much makeup is too much, particularly for women over 60. How do we know what is the right amount for us?
Lucy favors lipstick and can pull off the color trend of deep red for this season and it looks good and works for her. Me not so much as dark red lips make me look much older. As a rule, color on lips lightens the face.
We both use mascara and I have tried a few eyelash enhancements. Lucy promises that she will give the new “fake better than ever lashes” a try and let us know the result. But again, the caution is not too heavy with mascara certainly for daytime. Mascara opens up the eye and brings attention to eyes. (I have to admit that I use mascara even when I go to the barn.) We both use blush because if used judiciously it gives the face a healthy glow. But too much blush and one turns into an aging beauty queen like a scene from a Joan Crawford film or worse.
A recent story in The Atlantic asked a similar question about whether women were wearing too much makeup:
“The researchers found that women tend to overestimate how much makeup they should wear for peak attractiveness. Men and women viewing the images were asked to pick the face or faces that they thought were most attractive—to themselves, to men, and to women. Viewers of both genders found women most attractive at around 65% of the makeup they’d applied, but they assumed that other viewers would like more makeup, especially when predicting what men would find attractive. Even that, though, topped out at about 85% of the actual makeup models had put on.
These findings build on a hopeful strain of research, which finds that the over-the-top messages about attractiveness that we get from the media and society at large aren’t true. We see very thin, very white, very made-up women—or very muscled men—and assume that that’s what people find attractive. It’s reassuring that this isn’t the case.”
Magazines routinely feature a celebrity with an image of her make up bag filled with a mother lode of products. Can you imagine even carrying that much stuff and how long it takes to apply?
We love this article that highlights go-to products. And they seem just about right for any age. We confess we have never considered “dewy skin mist ” but are willing to give it a try. Let us know what you think:
What is the difference between a Thrift Shop and a Vintage Store? A lot according to a recent Fashionista story. And it turns out that vintage stores are reinventing themselves to look and feel like high-end designer emporiums.
This is particularly true in fashion-oriented cities like New York and in London where you might find Victoria Beckham and Amal Clooney perusing the aisles for that unique retro outfit.
You have to read about Spark Pretty in the East Village that is described as “walking into a teenager’s bedroom from the ’80s — a neon-tinted haven covered in pink, with floor-to-ceiling décor made up of music and movie posters, comfy bean bags and troll dolls.”
This shop, like so many of the other vintage shops, began as an online destination before moving into bricks and mortar. And for us, it is an opportunity to wander through these stores, not because we want to look retro but, because the clothes remind us of our younger selves and evoke memories of where and when we wore them. Plus, that jacket you loved in the 60s, 70s, or 80s would look great today.
As well, the high-end vintage shops sell collectables such as Hermes bags and Chanel shoes. The owner of What Goes Around Comes Around, a luxury vintage store in NYC, describes vintage as the best of the best rather than not by age and she notes further that quality vintage stores are good at curating the goods. Who knew that this retro aesthetic would appeal to young millennials but it appears increasingly this is the case as industry forecasts huge growth in the second-hand market:
As the song says “Woman Hear Me Now”….. and that is where we are moving finally with respect to sexual harassment thanks to Harvey Weinstein. Now we lobby for a campaign against the Aging Woman Demon.The article in last week’s New York Times says it all. Hats off to Ashton Applewhite and to the outstandingly talented actress Frances McDormand. The campaign to finally say it is okay to be an older woman and not be ashamed of laugh lines and greying hair. Applewhite is an author and activist who has taken up the charge against ageism. Her campaign could not be more timely for us at LucyandClaudia.com. Enjoy and let us know what you think:
Working to Disarm Women’s Anti-Aging Demon
By ASHTON APPLEWHITE OCT. 10, 2017
“A couple of years ago I had a light bulb moment. So many women color their hair to cover the gray. Many resent the effort and expense, and it’s a major way in which we make ourselves invisible as older women. When a group is invisible, so are the issues that affect it. Suppose the world saw how many we are, and how beautiful, I mused. Suppose we morphed together, in solidarity: the Year of Letting Our Hair Go Gray! It would be transformative!
I posted the idea on my This Chair Rocks Facebook page. I got a ton of blowback. I deserved it. “You go first,” was one notable comment, so I did, bleaching my whole head. (I keep part of it white, partly as an age-solidarity dye job and partly because I figure no one believes the brown is real.) Mainly I learned an important lesson: Who was I to be telling women how they should look or what they should do? To each her own. We each have to age in our own way on whatever terms work for us.
One thing we can all agree on, though? Aging is harder for women. We bear the brunt of the equation of beauty with youth and youth with power — the double-whammy of ageism and sexism. How do we cope? We splurge on anti-aging products. We fudge or lie about our age. We diet, we exercise, we get plumped and lifted and tucked.
These can be very effective strategies, and I completely understand why so many of us engage in them. No judgment, I swear. But trying to pass for younger is like a gay person trying to pass for straight or a person of color for white. These behaviors are rooted in shame over something that shouldn’t be shameful. And they give a pass to the underlying discrimination that makes them necessary.
Appearance matters. Adornment pleases. But society’s obsession with the way women look is less about beauty than about obedience to a punishing external standard — and power. When women compete to “stay young,” we collude in our own disempowerment. When we rank other women by age, we reinforce ageism, sexism, lookism and patriarchy. What else we can we all agree on? This is one bad bargain. It sets us up to fail. It pits us against one another. It’s why the poorest of the poor, around the world, are old women of color.
What’s a girl to do? Join forces against ageism the way we mobilized against sexism in the 1960s and ‘70s. For movements to have power, their members have to embrace the thing that is stigmatized, whether it’s being black, loving someone of the same sex, or growing old. That means moving from denying aging to accepting it, and even to embracing it.
It’s a big ask. Open any women’s magazine and a hundred advertisements bellow, “How can you expect to be desired if you ‘let yourself go?’” None of that stigma is “natural,” none of it is fixed, and change is underway. In August, Allure magazine banned the term “anti-aging” from its pages, commending instead “the long-awaited, utterly necessary celebration of growing into your own skin — wrinkles and all.” If this mainstay of the beauty industry can do it, so can we: change how we look at ourselves and one another and value what we see.
Some places to start:
TAP INTO WHAT WE KNOW: GETTING OLDER ENRICHES US Who really thinks that she is a lesser version — less interesting, less fun in bed, less valuable — than the woman she used be? If so, where do those messages come from, and what purpose do they serve? Of course aging brings wrenching losses, but it also confers authenticity, confidence, perspective, self-awareness (and my mother said her legs got better). Priorities are clearer. It’s easier to manage emotions. We want less. We care less about what people think, which is really liberating. For many women, late life is the best time of all.
LEARN TO LOOK MORE GENEROUSLY AT ONE ANOTHER AND OURSELVES Instead of muttering “What the hell happened?” at the face in the mirror, how about taking a minute to recall some of the things that did happen, and how remarkable a lot of them were? That crease between nose and lip? The actress Frances McDormand grins as she credits her son, Pedro, for the one on the left side of her face, etched by 20 years of saying “Wow!” or “Oh my God.” Calling her face a map, she rejects the surgery that would erase her history. Dissatisfaction sustains the multibillion-dollar skin care and weight loss industries. Confidence is an aphrodisiac. Which of your friends are sexually active? Not the prettiest or the thinnest or the youngest, but the ones who know their lovers are lucky.
REJECT OLD-VERSUS-YOUNG-WAYS OF THINKING Prejudices pit us against one another, like moms who work outside the home arguing with stay-at-home moms about who’s a better parent, instead of joining forces to close the wage gap. One reason women compete so fiercely in the workplace is that it seems as if only a few positions are open to us. That’s not a too-many-women problem, it’s a too-few-slots-because-of-gender-and-racial-bias problem. Zero-sum thinking not only maintains power structures, it also makes it harder to be generous and open-minded.
COME TOGETHER AT ALL AGES AND TALK ABOUT THIS STUFF As is, each generation has to figure out on its own how futile and harmful it is to fear aging. How much of our youth do we squander worrying about not being young any more? Why do we buy into the notion that our so-called prime evaporates along with our reproductive usefulness — if not before — despite all the evidence to the contrary? Having friends of all ages makes it easier to step off the hamster wheel of age denial, share power, and think and act in pro-aging ways.
We have a choice: we can keep digging the hole deeper, or we can throw away the damn shovel. We can move, if we have the will and the desire and the vision, from competing to collaborating. We can turn it from a conversation about scarcity and loss to one about empowerment and equity. And we can take that change out into the world. The women’s movement taught us to claim our power; a pro-aging movement will teach us to hold onto it.”
Think about that last sentence, my fellow woman of a certain age – The women’s movement taught us to claim our power; a pro-aging movement will teach us to hold onto it. Lucy and Claudia