Women of a certain age have always fascinated me. Mainly, those a couple of generations ahead of me. They come from a time of refinement and class that just doesn’t exist in America right now. These women overflowed with chicness without even trying. Perhaps, that is the greatest definition of chic: effortless class in all circumstances.
I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Cecilia, a dynamic woman of this lost generation, to find out what she thinks about the twists and turns fashion has taken in the past 65 years. I found myself inspired by what could be, saddened by what isn’t, and amused by that special candor you acquire after 88 years on earth….
Andrea: What do you think about the way women dress these days?
Cecilia: Wellll, I don’t know. Do they dress for other women? Or, do we dress for men? If for men, you can see why the “V” (referring to plunging necklines) is all the way down to your waist.
Andrea: Which did you do, Cecilia? Dress for men or for women?
Cecila: (I dressed) more for comfort. I always tried to make sure once I was dressed, I didn’t worry what I looked like. (That way) you can relax and be comfortable. And when people say you look great, you can say, “Oh, thank you.”
Andrea: What was your favorite decade in fashion?
Cecilia: I most enjoyed wearing pants. I don’t know if I looked better in them than a dress. (I liked) a nice dressy pair of pants and a nice dressy top.
Andrea: So it was a turning point for you when it became acceptable for women to wear pants?
Cecilia: (Yes.) When I was 10 years old, there was no going outside in pants or shorts.
Andrea: What do you miss most about the way women use to dress?
Cecilia: I think high fashion. Those clothes are very beautiful. (Nowadays), anything goes. No high fashion to go into a fancy restaurant.
Andrea: So you miss women actually getting “dressed.”
Cecilia: Yes, I do. I think they are missing something. They really are. You don’t have to spend a lot of money. (Just) have an eye for color and what you look good in.
When reflecting on her own considerations for getting dressed, Cecilia referenced being aware of things being “tight here” or “lose somewhere else.” Then she remarked, “You have to be careful, dressing is an art.”
Perfectly articulated, Cecilia. Dressing is an art. It’s time we all become artists. Here’s a tip how: tie a brightly colored scarf around your neck and slip on a pair of well-fitting trousers. Like Cecilia said, it doesn’t have to take a lot of money. Follow these links to achieve effortless chicness. scarf: bit.ly/1GXBDtn trousers: bit.ly/1cwpdfx
Items featured in photo: H&M Sleeveless Blouse, Banana Republic Lace Top, Gold-tone Necklace from Saks OFF Fifth, J.Crew Factory Trousers, Hermes Scarf