How is it possible to go from Frumpy ……………….
………………………………. to FABULOUS!
Yes, go right ahead and take a second look because, believe it or not, this is the same woman in both these photos!
Meet Susan Street a 58-year-old fashionista from Tennessee and the blogger behind the popular website, Fifty, Not Frumpy.
Three years ago Susan lost more than forty pounds after switching to a vegetarian diet. After trying to buy a new wardrobe and leaving the store frustrated, she started studying current styles to help her create a timeless wardrobe that would fit well with her busy lifestyle.
At Fifty, Not Frumpy Susan shares the lessons she has learned about dressing after 40, and making the switch to a more plant- based diet. I knew you’d love to know more about Susan, and her amazing journey so here is an interview with this Fabulous After 40 Styleblazer.
Deb: Susan, how did losing weight change the way you felt about yourself and your fashion choices?
Susan: Losing weight allowed me to be much more healthy, active and comfortable in my body. I had convinced myself that tailored slacks or khakis were more appropriate for my age and size while I was heavier. However, those items do not reflect my personality at all.
Deb: How would you describe your style now vs. then?
Susan: When I was heavier, I dressed to conceal my body as much as possible. I dreaded every event because getting dressed to go out was so very depressing. I remember having to do my makeup over a couple of times because I actually started crying from frustration. Now I look forward to getting dressed every day. I have built a wardrobe including pieces I actually enjoy wearing and that truly reflect my personality.
Deb: What are your new favorite things to wear that you didn’t wear before?
Susan: My confidence to dress in my lifelong favorites of jeans and a jacket returned when the weight came off. I didn’t even own one pair of jeans the year before I started losing weight. I also now wear the heels I have always enjoyed but had to give up while I was heavier because of the pain. It is amazing what a difference even five pounds makes in the way my body feels.
Deb: What key pieces have helped de-frump your look?
Susan: Being able to wear straight leg jeans and cool heels have definitely upped my style game!
Deb: You wear many different colors from neutrals, to pastels, to darks, to prints. What color is your favorite and suits you best?
Susan: Black is and always has been my favorite color. I feel confident and powerful in black. I also enjoy wearing cobalt blue, bright red or white depending upon the weather and my mood.
Deb: Can you shared some things you’ve discovered about dressing since you started the blog.
Susan: When I wear my favorite head to toe black look, I vary the textures. The colors of individual pieces rarely match exactly nor do you want them to look like a suit, but if you wear different textures of the same color, it gives your look a certain richness. Imagine an elegantly tailored gabardine blazer with a silk blouse and a pair of jeans all in the same color.
Deb: You have beautiful gray hair. Did you always know that you would go gray naturally or did you struggle with that decision?
Susan: My hair started turning gray while I was still a teenager, so I colored it for many years. When I turned fifty, I decided I to let my hair be the color it is. It is much healthier now, and I don’t have to waste all that time and money in the salon every three weeks. The natural color is so much more flattering to my skin tone than any applied color I ever had.
Deb: It’s obvious that you’ve taken very good care of your skin over the years. What advice would you give to women about the importance of having a daily skincare routine?
Susan: I am not often in the sun, and I wear sunscreen daily. Removing my makeup, every evening is something I look forward to. I don’t smoke nor do I drink more than a couple of glasses of wine occasionally. I try to sleep for six or seven hours each night. My skin is dramatically better now that I am eating mostly fruits and vegetables and drinking a lot of water everyday. Eliminating fat, sugar and salt as much as possible from my diet has given me clear skin for the first time in my life.
Deb: You are a jewelry, expert. How do you like to wear your jewelry? Any favorites?
Susan: Too many accessories make me feel cluttered and uncomfortable. I do enjoy a bold long silver necklace to give me that all important V which helps my round face and larger bust seem less so. I say, let one or two areas make the impact. For example, if I wear several interesting bracelets on one arm I may wear a larger pair of earrings and no necklace. If I wear a dramatic necklace, the earrings will be small if I wear them at all. Tiny delicate jewelry does nothing for my style, my stature or my age. I leave those small bits for the teenagers and look for bold, dramatic statement pieces.
Deb: You seem to be in a very happy place. What are you loving the most about being in your 50s?
Susan: I love the confidence that comes from being comfortable in my skin and happy with the person I have become. I have a wonderfully supportive and encouraging partner in life who makes every weekend an adventure to look forward to. Mr. Mickey is my photographer and the inspiration I needed to start enjoying the fruits of my lifelong labors. I am certain if I had not started dating him nine years ago I would still be working alone in my studio for endless hours.
Deb: Thanks Susan for sharing your inspiring story and great style advice with us.
To see more of Susan’s fab style visit her blog Fifty, not Frumpy blog