She’s 80, a former Playboy bunny, and still rockin fashion! Meet Dorrie Jacobson the blogger behind Senior Style Bible.
A longtime Las Vegas resident, Dorrie has a bold, classy style that defies all senior dressing stereotypes and proves that age is a state of mind. Dorrie always looks vibrant and exciting in outfits that inspire a more modern approach to mature fashion.
I recently got a chance to talk to Dorrie about her blog and her forward-thinking take on style. Here’s my interview with this Fabulous After 40 Styleblazer.
Deb: This is not just a blog full of pretty style pictures. You started Senior Style Bible with a message to share. Tell us about your mission.
Dorrie: I wanted to use social media to address ageism. I started Senior Style Bible to help change the outdated notion that “women of a certain age” need to behave and dress in a way that society deems to be “age appropriate”. I hope to get the message across to designers that we are a force to be reckoned with, and although we may no longer be a size 2, we shouldn’t have to struggle to find high fashion.
I’d also like to help change the way that the fashion industry markets to mature women. At the moment, we can’t relate to ad campaigns or fashion magazines because they only use twenty-year-old models. There’s very little age diversity in the fashion and beauty industries, and that needs to change. It’s ridiculous that teenage models are being used to sell anti-aging products. It’s a youth obsessed mentality that no longer works for the mature consumer who is really tired of being ignored. So I suppose you could say my mission is to help start a senior revolution.
Deb: One of the goals of your blog is to help women adopt a “more youthful outlook on life”. How can we do this without looking like we are trying too hard?
Dorrie: The first thing to do is to throw away the “rule book.” Times have changed, and fashion is no longer dictated by a strict list of do’s and don’ts like it used to be. Which is good news, because it allows us more freedom to decide what works for us and what doesn’t. Of course that means recognizing that certain trends should remain in the domain of the young. Micro mini skirts, slogan t-shirt, ripped jeans, baseball hats, these are youth-oriented styles that don’t work well on the mature woman who should be looking to embrace fashion in a slightly more sophisticated way.
I think modern style for the mature woman should be about self-expression and determining what clothing is going to be the most flattering. It’s important for women to find designs that they love, but that also accentuate their best features and make them feel pretty. I believe that when you feel good about yourself, you project that to the world. So much of being stylish is ATTITUDE.
Deb: How would you describe your personal style? Have you always dressed this way or have you grown into a signature look? What do you think has shaped your look?
Dorrie: I have always loved dramatic clothes that turn heads. As I matured, I added something that I like to call the “WOW” factor. It’s a statement piece that I incorporate into every outfit that makes it something special. It can be a hat, unusual jewelry, a great shoe, or an unexpected splash of color that gives a basic look a bit of pizzazz.
Deb: Hats have become a signature accessory of yours. What is your favorite style of hat?
Dorrie: Yes, I love hats and have quite a collection of colors and styles. The “Fedora” style is the most flattering to me because I’m small and can’t wear hats that are too large, or they overwhelm my frame. Although, I do have some wonderful big floppy hats for sitting poolside in the summer.
Hats are a wonderful fashion accessory because you can wear them with anything from jeans to evening attire. You can find very inexpensive, stylish hats this season. I have purchased some at H&M, Forever 21, and Target for as little as $20.00, and they are great when you are having a “bad hair day.”
Deb: You’ve obviously taken great care of yourself. What are some of the steps you have taken through the years to maintain your youthful appearance?
Dorrie: OK, I’ll tell all. Maintaining your weight is a big factor. I eat whatever I want but in small portions. I weigh myself every morning, and if I have gained a pound or two, I adjust what I eat and it comes off immediately. That usually means switching to an all-protein diet and eliminating carbs until I can loose that pound or two. I am 5’3” and weigh 120 pounds and have stayed the same weight for the past twenty-five years. That’s about 10 pounds more than in my bikini modeling days, but I think as you grow older, being too thin is aging. Unfortunately, it becomes a choice between having a more youthful looking face or a perfect body. You really can’t have both. One is going to suffer a bit. So, it’s a choice.
I hate to exercise but force myself three mornings each week to go to a water aerobics class. I also work out with five-pound weights for a few minutes every day.
For skin care, I swear by Retin-A cream mixed with Obagi blender that I use every night. For cleansing, I use the Clarisonic brush and Clarisonic Radiance Illuminating Cleanser, which gives your skin a wonderful glow.
I always use sunscreen and am careful to avoid the sun that is the biggest cause of aging skin. However, the real secret to anti-aging is employing a good dermatologist. I have had laser treatments to eliminate sun damage cause by years of excessive tanning. Not only are lasers great for reversing sun damage, but they also can assist in removing any pre-cancerous sunspots, which are a health concern. I also use Botox and fillers that work wonders in eliminating lines and wrinkles. The secret is to use them conservatively and by a trained professional medically certified doctor.
Deb: I love your fresh, hip style. Are there any trends you are currently loving or trends you avoid?
Dorrie: I love the comeback of the wide legged pant. I think they’re feminine and flattering to most women. Culottes and cropped pants are also a favorite trend of mine this year, and of course it is a big year for hats.
Conversely, the trend I am avoiding is SNEAKERS! Just about every major designer out there has produced a pair of sneakers. Unless you’re in the gym, I don’t really like to see them as a fashion statement. I think that should be left to the kids.
Deb: Have you ever found yourself in a style rut? If so, what did you do to get out of it?
Dorrie: Not exactly a style rut, maybe more of a time warp. When “skinny jeans” came into style a few years ago, I was stuck in a more conservative “trouser” mode and I was quite hesitant to give the skinnies a try. It was my daughter that gave me the push to try them. She convinced me to start considering styles that suited my body type and personality rather than what magazines deemed to be “age appropriate.” It worked. I love skinny jeans…they suit my frame and have become a wardrobe staple.
Deb: What are the challenges of being “vertically challenged” and how do you dress to get around that?
Dorrie: I ignore the rules and think tall. It’s all in the “attitude.” I also think proportion is key. If you are going to wear a wide legged trouser, pair it with a more fitted top and a heel. Conversely, if you’re sporting an oversized top, pair it with a slim fitting pant, and again, a heel if you can wear them. I also always suggest that women of shorter stature dress in a more monochromatic way. Wearing the same color palette from head to toe definitely elongates the body and gives us the appearance of being taller.
Deb: You have 80 years of fashion experience. What are the top 3, practical style tips you can give to women who are trying to dress chic in their senior years, or at any time in their lives?
Dorrie: 1. First and foremost eliminate the term “age appropriate” from your vocabulary, your style and your lives.
2. Don’t become the invisible women. Take risks and experiment with styles and color. Fashion should be fun.
3. Whatever your style, be sure your clothes fit perfectly. Very few of us are a perfect size and most clothes need some alteration. A good tailor is a must for the stylish women.
Deb: You give great hair advice on your blog. What are some of the traps you see mature women falling into when it comes to their hair?
Dorrie: Most of us find it difficult to make that change and update our hairstyle, color, or change our hair stylist. The cut, color and style of your hair can be the most dramatic, anti-aging thing you can do for yourself. Find a good stylist and make the investment in yourself.
Yes, it is easier to let your hair go grey but don’t buy into the myth that it does not make you look older, because with very few exceptions, it does. It’s also very common for women to try to “camouflage the grey” with blond or “frosted” color. That look is very dated. My hair is naturally dark brown, but I lightened it when I first noticed a bit of grey. It wasn’t until my daughter said, “Mom, you are looking very beige” that I realized I was not meant to be a blond. It didn’t suit my coloring at all. Changing my hair color to a rich red brown immediately brightened my face and took away ten years overnight.
Deb: What are your favorite places to shop? Your most recent favorite find or the thing you love to shop for the most?
Dorrie: Obviously, I love to shop and my home town of Las Vegas is a shoppers paradise. The Fashion Show Mall which is located right on “the strip” runs the full gamut from budget priced stores such as Forever 21, Topshop and Zara to Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus, so I can find treasures in all price ranges. However, I actually prefer shopping in neighborhood boutiques. In Las Vegas my favorite is Vassari and when I’m in Los Angeles I always pop into Ruti.
What do I love to shop for the most? SHOES! I am a shoe junkie and have a special shoe closet in my home. I love unusual “statement shoes” and wear high heels or high wedge shoes just about every day.
Deb: Final words of wisdom for women struggling to find their style?
Dorrie: Experiment, get out of your comfort zone and have fun with fashion. Look through the fashion magazines and pick out the styles you like and try them. Find styles that accentuate your best features and camouflage the parts that are not your best……I never wear anything sleeveless. Go shopping with a friend that will tell you the truth. Invest in the pieces that are basics that you love and build your wardrobe around them. You will probably find as I have, that certain designers really suit you. Once you determine which labels work best for you, it will make being fashionable much easier. Most of the labels in my closet are either Vince, Helmut Lang, or Alice and Olivia. Remember to add that “WOW” piece and that attitude.
Deb: Anything else to add?
Dorrie: There is no need to “grow old gracefully.” Age is just a number. Stay active, stay involved, strive to look your best every day and smile.
Deb: Dorrie, this has been an absolute pleasure meeting you. Thanks so much for sharing your fashion expertise with us. Ladies, be sure to visit Dorrie at her fabulous blog, Senior Style Bible .