Saturday, August 25, 2012

Who Needs Scott Schuman When You've Got AARP Magazine?

So, i'm housesitting for the patriarchal side of the family the other day. While in the, ahem, 'library' i'm riffling through the offerings for any new reading matter when suddenly i spy - My Girl Annie in the perfect look pour moi!  My heart grew warm as i reflected that my love of and success in translating her look was assured, as i'd already worn two takeoffs on it before spotting her version on the cover of AARP Magazine.

Photo by Rufen Afanador in AARP Magazine April/May 2012
 Back in July i'd fallen in love with the way my tiered skirt worked as a 'suit not a suit' with my animale duster. Creating these kind of  SNAS fits right in with my aspiration to repeat winning combinations, as i can stay with the 'suit' and change out tops, shoes, hats, and other accessories. I get the ease and sure fire flattery of repeating with the fun of remixing all at once. This inspired me to go searching in my closet for other undiscovered SNAS's. Turns out i had just completed one.
Photo by Rufen Afanador in AARP Magazine April/May 2012
During another house sitting soujourn i'd purchased lightweight linen on the spur of the moment to make another of these Elisita-inspired skirts. My first one is threadbare but i kept reaching for it in the heat, when my leg ached, when i wanted a dramatic silhouette. You've seen the copy already (in a tree), but it didn't take me long to see how wonderfully it pairs with this Peruvian Connection jacket from a few years ago. Bob was actually my great uncle, but style is no time to get mired in technicalities.

I've had an affinity for The Annie Hall Style since high school, and can't count how many times people have told me i put them in mind of that look. I always appreciated the compliments, however in the heyday of that style i never felt comfortable with copying the look wholesale. And not just because i'm not the type of person who copies looks wholesale. My style has never had that much of an emphasis on men's wear, i prefer a more structured and waist defining silhouette, and i liked to combine vintage with modern pieces as well as antique references (like panniers).

With the passage of time, it seems Ms. Keaton has come around. We've always both loved hats, and covering up. In the April/May 2012 AARP article David Hochman comments about Ms. Keaton's trademark black turtlenecks. He especially admires the way the one she's wearing has very long sleeves with little thumb loops so they cover part of the hands. "At my age," Ms. Keaton smiles, "I try to hide anything I can."  Ha! No one is noticing how covered up she is, they're noticing how cool those sleeves are and wondering where they can get their own and if they could carry them off!

Other elements of Ms. Keaton's looks that i love? The neutral palettes, the shorter, structured, old-fashioned jacket over a voluminous skirt, the scarf/hat/glasses trio and the rugged touches of belt and boots. How i adore any outfit which is dressed up, feminine, old fashioned yet looks like you could hike several miles in it with little trouble. Be still my heart.

Newscom photo
 This on the street shot shows a wonderful look and a canny strategy for getting dressed. You only notice the gorgeous coat, amazing belt, flats, hat and scarf - the leggings and whatever else is under there makes no difference. (In the picture she looks like she is walking her children to or from school.) For all we know she slept in those leggings and a tank, threw on the rest and she's out the door looking pulled together and chic. Smart smart smart for busy mornings.

 And smart is what i love about Ms. Keaton most. Her very unique mind. Now is where i would, in a perfect world, link you to a podcast of the talk Ms. Keaton gave to City Arts and Lectures in SF about her documentary on her mother. Ms. Keaton's mother died after a long time with Alzheimer's disease, and Ms. Keaton's talk about her in -progress film on this topic was warm, thoughtful, insightful, inspiring, and very moving. You don't hear celebrities being this open about their pedicures, much less intimate family relationships. Sadly City Arts and Lectures doesn't have the rights or resources to produce tapes, transcripts, or podcasts. And i didn't even make a bootleg!!!!

Photo by Rufen Afanador in AARP Magazine April/May 2012

Here's a  Google search on Diane Keaton interviews. The two-parter with Oprah is charming and has some great comments on plastic surgery (she sounds just like Mr. E in both her mixed feelings and how funny she is about it). But nothing like her talking about the non-celeb stuff with an intelligent, prepared interviewer for an hour. Sigh. At the same time, it's wonderful and very refreshing to see a 'Celebrity Movie Actress' with a wattly neck and jowly jaws who doesn't obsess about it and looks beautiful and out of this world stylish.

On a personal note:
Whew! I've had nought to say the last few weeks, no ideas whatsoever. Thus no posts. My husband recently began a new job. Prior to this job, at his previous employers, he spent about two and a half years waiting to be laid off. You prepare as best you can for whatever contingencies you can think of. And then you wait.

T.'s finding a new position and getting settled in has been a huge relief. I hadn't realized the strain of always being ready to be in the proper frame of mind and emotion when the axe fell. There is also the feeling of suspended animation, which leads to hesitation to fully live, even in areas of life where that makes no sense.

Fortunately i feel both of us got over the 'suspended animation' habit. There's no need to not live your life because of major uncertainties -after all, any life can fall apart in a matter of minutes at any time.  But moving on from living always under threat brought about a deeper relaxation than i'd allowed myself in years, and for a few weeks impressions and ideas have flowed in, not out.

I also realize, once again, how fortunate i am to have a husband who i can respect so deeply for his hard work, intelligence, and willingness to do very well whatever needs to be done, no matter how it goes against his innate personality.  Selling yourself on the open market is difficult for anyone. For the shy, deeply thoughtful, absolutely honest and perfectionist person it is excruciating. None of this stopped him, which is incredibly admirable. His good lucks, Irish charm, Sicilian style, and utter hilarity are merely the icing on the cake.


  1. OK. I'm not sure if my previous comment "took" or not. Just delete this one if it did....

    I like the "look".
    Congratulations to your husband.
    And your observation that "There's no need to not live your life because of major uncertainties" was worth the "price" of this post! Thank you.

  2. Hi Rebecca! "...was worth the "price" of this post! Thank you." Thank YOU. It's definitely easier said than done. whew!

    & I'll pass your good wishes along to my DH! Happy weekend! steph

  3. I can only imagine that there must be some relief after such a long time of certainty. I am living under a similar axe, though I know it will end of pass some time next May. I always like your structured jackets with your walking skirts. May have to track down this issue of AARP; I've let our subscription lapse.

  4. I too admire Keaton's style and spunk. What fun to copy her outfit so well. I am glad you are settling in and what a wonderful tribute to your husband. He sounds like a keeper.

  5. I adore Diane Keaton's style and wit, as well as yours, Steph! And congrats to you and your husband for transition to a less-stressful chapter in your life adventure.

  6. Enjoyed your post every which way. Love that about knowing yourself - your signature look - and going ahead full steam despite what you know about yourself - hubby's marketing himself. Every blessing to you both, to be heaped on the ones you already have.

  7. Well knowing the axe is going to fall is not any pleasant way to live. Glad for you and hubby that is over.
    Love Diane Keaton's hats and that she has known that she needs a curvy styled hat to match the facial curves she possesses.
    She has made her look a brand so to speak. I like your looks as well. You have an innate ability to know what will flattery your body type. Always enjoy your thoughtful entries.

  8. What a great skirt and a great silhouette you've created, just like the lovely Diane's. I think her beautiful smile and obvious zest for living have so much to do with her, at least to me, only ever-increasing beauty.

    I'm so happy for you and your husband. Living in fear is draining, as I know firsthand from living with a chronically ill child. Understanding that and trying to take more of a grab life with both hands while it's in front of you approach aren't quite one and the same, but it sure helps to be reminded and read others' success stories.

  9. You look gorgeous - and so does Keaton. You'd be a swell pair on the street. I can imagine the conversation - animated, intelligent and absolutely charming.

    The full skirt looks great on you, and I've realized that it plays up your long and pretty legs by emphasizing your feminine curves. Ironic, isn't it, that a longer skirt - something that covers you up a lot - has such an effect.

    I'm working on a skirt concept at the moment myself - trying to figure out how straight and long I can go (working in a windy town isn't good for full or flippy skirts, unless I am wearing pretty knickers ;)).

    Man oh man - ain't it true enough that once a stress is relieved one becomes ever so keenly aware of its long-time impact on one's life? I am getting out of the anxiety fray myself (or at any rate, that's my intention) and definitely look forward to that exhalation.

  10. Stef--Just wanted to let you know that I nominated you for a Liebster award at Rags today.

  11. Hi Terri! i hope the 'axe' turns out the way you want it to - and that either way it's not too disruptive for you and your brood! we were looking at moving if T. didn't land a new job fairly soon, so that's a lot of the 'whew'. & thank you! i've shown all the pictures in the print article here, the text is online complete:

    in case you can't scare it up.

    Welcome Gracie! Thank you, heehee it's fun to be compared to the Big K! and he is.

    Thank you Patti! Diane Keaton came up more on my radar when i saw her featured on your blog. i love the over-whatever ladies you feature, so many are ladies i've admired but hadn't been thinking about. That pink skirt is just luscious on you!!!!

    oh Vildy, so sweet you are. BIG HUG, and blessings to you and your guy as well. Thoughtful, smart, big-hearted readers who leave wonderful comments and link me up to amazing resources and thinkers are a blessing i count daily.

    This Means You !!!! :)

    Hello Adrienne! a great observation from a pro on the hat scene! i agree that a look can be a brand, and this has definitely been the case with Ms. Keaton. and how fun to see a celeb who's personal style shines above all the 'styling'. I was happy to see her with the same belt on the cover and on the street shot.

    ummm.....i've always had 'an eye' for clothes. I've also sewed clothing for decades (4 myself and others), had art theory and practice training at college level, read widely in fashion, style, wardrobe planning, individual aesthetics, history of fashion, etc. i've consciously worked on cultivating my own personal, most flattering style since elementary school.

    All of which is to say Any One Can Learn This! There may well be naturals out there, but all the people i've known who had great style put a lot of thought, time, and effort into it! Keep on truckin', as they said. ;)

    Thank you Lynne :) i so agree, her animation just shines thru all the looks and bring it all alive.

    oh, having a chronically ill kid isn't fun and affects the whole family very deeply. i was that kid, now i'm the chronically ill adult - it is not ideal, but can help keep you focused on enjoying as much as you can when you can, as the idea of future uncertainty is so much more present. Best wishes to you and your child :)

    Hi P! thank you! heehee, we'd pry be laughing incoherently, ha! but more fun with you :)

    hmm, that skirt idea sounds quite intriguing, and midi skirts are in style now too. we should meet and discuss - omg i just thot!!!! vogue patterns on sale for $4 labor day wknd, i was eyeing this one for pants (to die for) as well as snazzy skirt:

    "no set in sleeves.............."

    less anxiety sounds very very good. i need more info - let's talk!!!

    Thank You Terri! i left you a comment - i'm all squeeee!

    Happy Monday All! Steph

  12. Dang, I can't find the picture now but looking at that Vogue pattern reminded me: some blogger had a pair of older/"vintage" pants that I remember as canvas looking because the lower leg had two lace up panels as though they were steampunk boot tops. They just caught the slight fullness in and the panels looked to have some rigidity (whether they were or not). I don't know how something like that would feel to you with your sometimes leg problems but they would really suit your look.


  13. They weren't as rough looking as these, but these have interesting lacing in the back view. The ones I saw had neater lacing up the front calf.
    Scroll down for large pic of the back lacing.

  14. So glad to hear your man got a new job.With all this economic uncertainty in greece many Greek families I know face the threat of unemployment or are already without a job. It's stressful and can bring your life apart.Half of young people are unemployed at the moment and one out of 3 for older ages.I don't count the people who work but don't get paid or the people who wait to be fired.We talk about war situation.
    On to your style now. It's so adorable and so special.Deanne Keaton is somebody I always thought high of.