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By Lorinda Van Newkirk
I’ve talked about it before on this blog…the big 4-0. I’m too busy to get hung up for long on stuff like age. I don’t feel 40, I’m not sure I always act 40…tee hee! But, because of the business I’m in—fashion—I have actually given a lot of thought to whether we should, or how much we should, change our clothing styles as we get older.
So, after a few glasses of wine and a lot of bouncing this around in my head, here’s what I think: wear what you love.
Are there limits to this? Yes. I think skirts can be too short and shirts—like the ones that show belly buttons—can be too skimpy for “women of a certain age.” But, really, I don’t think that’s what we’re talking about—if you’re past 20, maybe pack up the crop tops/half-shirts, ya know? But where general fashion is concerned, I think the days are gone where you could easily identify a “mom” outfit from a “daughter” outfit. I know so many moms and daughters who share clothes! And if you love, love, love a particular piece of clothing or outfit, what’s wrong with wearing it?
I’m known to push the limits where fashion is concerned, so I’m more likely to dress more wildly than some women my age. But, then again, I see women 10 or 15 years older than I am who dress a lot like me—they’ll wear skinny jeans with a few rips, crazy high-heel shoes, freaky bright shirts and big, loud jewelry. And you know what? I’m in awe and amazed at how fantastic they look. The lines of fashion have definitely blurred when it comes to age.
I think it’s because they have this kind of “no limits” attitude. They wear what they love, what makes them happy. Their confidence shows, and they pull it off. You know that old saying: Your smile is the most important thing you can wear? It’s true!
I read something the other day that said women past 40 shouldn’t wear flip-flops. Seriously? What the hell does being 40 have to do with flip-flops? There are some bad-ass flip-flops out there, aren’t there? Another article said “no pants or shorts with elastic waists (no yoga pants?),” “no embellished jeans with rhinestones,” “no dark lipstick,” “no glittery eye shadow,” “no fun.” OK, I added that last part about no fun…
But, I was thinking, “Thanks, ladies, but I’ll decide what works for me. I got this.”
As I’ve aged I’ve gotten wiser, bolder and more adventurous! I think in a lot of ways, my fashion reflects that.
We all have distinct styles, some are wild, some are tame and our tastes can change often. But don’t put a number on your wardrobe, don’t limit yourself and be confident in your choices—leave the numbers to someone else!
Have y’all missed me? I’ve missed y’all! I’ve been traveling and working and vacationing—and I’ve been so busy it has been a while since I’ve posted. But all my travels, especially my trip to Key West back in May, have gotten me fired up for summer. And since you know I’m all about fashion and trends, I wanted to share some of my faves for Summer 2015. So, here goes:
My Top Summer Trends I’m digging on!
1. RED: Red lips, red hats, red boots, red everything. I’ve always been a “Pink is my Signature Color” (hotter, brighter pink, that is!) kinda girl like Shelby in “Steel Magnolias.” But (shhhh! Don’t tell!) I am cheating on my tried and true this season and embracing the red! Especially on my lips. I’m loving the neutral eyes, black eyeliner, very little makeup period and BAMMMM red lips! And, trust me, I have big enough lips without red to see them coming. LOL!
Another lipstick trend that I find fascinating is matching lips to outfits and accessories—regardless of whether it’s red! I tend toward bold lips, but so many of my friends, whom shall remain nameless, still can’t seem to embrace the out there lips.
My advice: Be Brave ~ BE BOLD with the lips. Make ’em stare—it’s summer, Sisters! My current go-to red is Mac Red—Mac has some super awesome lip and eye colors. Being dark-headed, I lean toward red/blue rather than orange/reds. Try them out before you buy them—red’s tricky—make sure you find the best match for your skin tone and your hair! This is why it’s worth spending a few extra bucks, because if you buy cosmetics from a department store and the color isn’t right, you can return them.
2. What might be my current obsession other than lips, you ask? SUNGLASSES. I don’t know if the obsession comes from wearing glasses so much when I was younger and sunglasses weren’t an option; or is it because they are considered an accessory, and I’m a self-proclaimed accessory whore; or is it because you can look so many different ways in sunglasses (sexy, moody, tomboy, sweet, hippie); is it because the stars looks so damn glamorous in them?
I. DON’T. KNOW.
I just know I heart them.
All kidding aside, sunglasses have become as important a part of making an outfit complete these days—it’s just as important as the shoes and the purses.
Lorinda had to refrain me from going nuts while we were in L.A. recently—every store I went in tempted me with such lovely, creative eyewear. The world of sunglasses has come along way! The lenses are great, the colors are rad and you can get just about any shape you want! Loving the top two styles this season: Aviators (still after a year loving my Maui Jims) and Cat Eyes. The Cat Eyes are soooo glamorous, and did I mention they look amazing with over-the-top lips? I just happened to pick up my new faves in Venice Beach just a couple of weeks ago. Lulu (mom) keeps trying to steal them but I think I will keep these babies for a while. Sorry, Lulu!
3. COACHELLA BABY! I know you’re so over seeing Kylie and Kendall Jenner hanging out in their high-waisted cut-offs, John Lennon sunglasses, floppy hats and itty-bitty tops. Don’t be haters folks—I remember the day of the itty-bitty crop tops—what I wouldn’t give to be able to pull that off just one more time! But I digress…my top Coachella trend is the kimono/shawl/jacket silky thing (No, I don’t know the best word for it, but I’m thinking kimono is the best bet!). That kimono looks out of this world when you pair it with your favorite tee, denim shorts and turquoise jewels. I’m a hippie at heart and I feel this is a new version of hippie. The silky, fringy kimonos make even a casual graphic sassy tee somehow dressy and feminine. Footwear is up to you. You can’t go wrong with boots (my pick), sandals or a killer wedge. I call them killer wedge because they kill me and I tend to trip in them and can only wear them for a few hours at a time! But, the thing you have to have with this kimono is FRINGE—don’t leave home without it! It finishes the look. Currently I only have one (and those who know me know I freak out when I’m on a trend and one is never enough) that has a cream-colored background color with a beautiful watercolor floral print. Now I’m on a mission to find the perfect leopard one and the perfect black one with the bright floral accents. In my humble opinion leopard or floral are definitely the way to go!
4. WEDGES, WEDGES, WEDGES! Although I don’t walk so well in them and my feet complain, I’m still drooling over the wedges I’m seeing out and about this summer. I’ve bought a few, even though I only can wear them a few hours at a time :), because they are so damn cute! The peep toe bootie with the wedge heel seems to be the going rage at this point in the season. It’s a cross between a sandal, boot and a wedge—what? How perfect is that? It seems as if we’re putting a summer twist on the fall trend of the short boots—or is it a fall twist on the summer trend of sandals? Whatever…the wedges I’m drawn to are more of what I would call a gladiator, strappy feel with a little bit of a hippie, earthy look.
5. LEOPARD AND FLORAL! I know, you saw what I did there…I brought one of my earlier loves into this love. Anyway, leopard has been around for quite some time now and is not leaving anytime soon. This print has been translated and reinvented so many times the last couple of years—which I personally think is fabulous! This year we’re seeing it in kimonos, bathing suits, silky tops and comfy tees. The one thing about leopard is that so many different walks of life and ages can wear it in sooooo many ways! Leopard is easy to dress up or down and I feel kinda sexy and sassy when I wear it! Now, floral is a little bit harder to pull off and seems to be trending a little young right now. When we were in L.A. recently it was on everything from baseball caps to overalls. Being a child of the ’80s and ’90s, I remember the big cabbage roses from way back when and still can’t quite wrap my brain around wearing that floral version again. However, I am loving the watercolor florals popping up in the silk shirts and, again, my favorite clothing trend: kimonos (Shocker I know!).
So, for all that stuff I’m in a fashion fizz over, here’s one trend I won’t be trying for 2015:
No explanation needed (I hope).
P.S. I feel a plaid-filled fall coming on! I’m thinking tartans are making a comeback and maybe a little hounds tooth! And I would be holding out on you if I didn’t let you know I’m about to be on the hunt for a bomber jacket. “I feel the need, the need for speed!”
~ Maverick, Top Gun.
(If you’re too young and don’t get the reference, for the love of Pete, download and watch “Top Gun” A.S.A.P. and quit making me feel old!)
I saw an awesome quote the other day: “Don’t look back, you’re not going that way.” Wow! How profound. I don’t know why, but human nature has cursed all of us a bit—we too often dwell on the past when there’s not a thing we can do to change it.
It can be something small, or something earth-shattering, but regardless of the size of our regrets, y’all, there is no going back.And I know that’s a bitter pill to swallow sometimes. I think people who are heavy sleepers are crazy-lucky because it’s incredibly miserable to awaken at 3 a.m., only to be visited by your unwelcome past—all those mistakes and missteps love to bang around inside our heads in the middle of the night.
I’m a firm believer that everything seems worse when you’re tired, and chewing on old bad news when you’re lying awake in bed is akin to being forced to eat a cauliflower steak: it’s distasteful and downright wrong! (Have y’all seen those on Pinterest? A big ol’ slice of cauliflower grilled like a steak? Nasty! But, I’m digressing…)
I once had a sweet little old lady (who lived to be 99 years old, by the way) tell me: “Once you’ve made a tough decision, it’s done. Never look back, regardless of the outcome.” I believe that little gem of wisdom, and I do my best to follow it.
Because, here’s the deal: when we go back and second-guess our decisions and revisit our regrets, we somehow think things would’ve been perfect if we’d just chosen a different path. That’s just not so. Why, you ask? Because, there are no guarantees. In our pretty little heads, we’ll design a past created out of “I should’ve” and “I could’ve” and “if I had only,” and, well, maybe that past would’ve created a perfect future, but maybe not!
I could look back on my life, my career, and second-guess a few decisions (yeah, y’all know I’ve probably done that…who hasn’t?). But, all of my decisions, good and bad, have led me to where I am today. Should I have gone straight to a school that specialized in design? Maybe. But, I didn’t. I went to Texas Tech, and every step I made from the time I graduated from high school and departed that big, sweet, secure ranch I called home has been a journey.
They were my choices, my mistakes, my triumphs and, on occasion, my sorrows. But, stacked atop one another, they’ve made me who I am. In the light of day, I’m unapologetic about who I am.
So, gals, let’s make a pact. Flee the past, keep your eyes on the horizon, and whatever you do, don’t look back, you’re not going that way!
So, last night I was at a dance event for Jaylee. As I sat there listening to the chatter of excited moms around me, I was overcome with a feeling of being disconnected. Not from Jaylee. Not from her at that dance activity. But, I felt this weird sort of, I don’t know, question mark rise up inside me. Does that make any sense? Here, let me explain more…
There’s always excitement at these events, just like there’s excitement at all kid-related stuff. The parents are all worked up, worried, excited, happy, whatever. I sat and listened to the frenzied conversations about the girls’ clothing, about their hair and make-up. I saw cameras flashing and girls smiling nervously, posing for their parents. I had this sort of epiphany, like, is this the right thing to be doing as a parent?
I mean, Mother’s Day is just behind us, and I enjoyed being pampered for a day. But, really, for me, it’s also a day to celebrate having children. What an amazing blessing that is, and what an unbelievable gift from God—kids! But, along with all the joy and amazement we experience as moms (especially new moms, when you have that first baby…it’s emotionally and physically overwhelming), I have a wish for all moms. What’s that wish? Well, it’s that we put the lives of our kids in perspective.
We all want to raise kids who are happy, healthy, respectful and successful! But I think we’re all guilty, at least once or twice, of getting swept away in this tsunami of “wants.” Whether it’s put on us by society (keeping up with the Joneses) or by our kids (But, I want this! I have to have this!), we get busy, we get scattered, and sometimes we allow ourselves to be washed away in this tide of unimportant stuff. We spend an inordinate amount of time and money on things that, in the end, may not matter. There’s no purpose in all the activity, we do it because, well, we’re supposed to, right?
Now, I’m not saying all this to say that nothing our kids do matters. Not at all. But, when I look at God’s greatest gift, I want my girls to succeed and be happy, but I want a lot more. I want them to be respectful, happy, caring and I want them to be able to care for themselves. I want them to know how to clean a house, make a bed, wash their clothes and cook a meal. Those are things that will count.
I also want them to remember the times we spent together, as a family, doing things that really didn’t cost any money: watching a movie on TV, taking walks, shooting baskets, taking a slow, easy horseback ride, just for fun (OK, yes, there’ s money involved there, but, the actual ride itself is free!). Those are the times I, as a mom, cherish. I hope my girls will, too.
Don’t get me wrong, seeing a cute little girl in a dance outfit all dolled up, I love it! And, I think it’s great for kids to get out in front of people and be gently pushed a little bit beyond their comfort zones—that builds character and confidence.
But, I marvel at some parents who have their kids in an event every single evening, and sometimes Saturdays and Sundays. Wow! That must be exhausting, and does it leave down time for anybody? Time to just lie in the grass and watch clouds blow by. Time to sit on the porch, watch a sunset, then wait for the lightning bugs to begin their tiny, slow fireworks display. Time to crawl in bed and read a book just because. Time to paint toenails, soak in a tub, try out a new, silly hairdo?
Being involved is an important part of growing up, but there is such a thing as over-scheduling. Learning how to take care of yourself and others is also part of growing up. I’m working hard to raise two independent girls! As a mom, I’d feel that I somehow failed them if they couldn’t look after themselves. So, yes, my girls wash their own clothes, they make their own lunches and feed their own animals. They participate in some activities here and there, as well. But I never want that to overtake our lives, where there’s never a minute of freedom.
Because freedom also teaches kids how to manage their time. So, in addition to chores and activities this summer, I will also make sure my girlies chase fireflies, swim in a river or lake or pond, stay up past their bedtime, watch at least four or five movies with me, whether it’s at home or the theatre. We’ll collect freckles and natural highlights in our tangled hair, we’ll have as many fires in our outdoor fire pit as we can.
Because I want to remember, and I want them to remember, the good, old-fashioned family time we spent together when they were girls. Because, at the end of this crazy, busy, hectic time in my life, that’s what will really matter.