Thursday, March 08, 2018

Video: Appearance for Older Women


19th century painting by Alberto Pisa: "Reading"


Today I'm giving a talk about appearance for older women. Some of the things not included in the video are:

~You may find some very useful information from  the book called "Color Me Beautiful" by Carole Jackson, which was published in the 1980's,  This book has a color chart which helps you determine what colors make look and feel your best.

~As we grow older we encounter loss and sadness, disappointment, etc.  In a way, Christ addressed this issue when he taught about fasting. He said not to go around looking gloomy, showing others that you are fasting. Instead, he said, wash your face and and let only God know you are fasting.  (Matthew 6:16-18)

Sometimes it is difficult for the young to warm to older women whose appearance is not cheerful. Yes, we are living in a material world while here on earth, and so we will will have to take care of our appearance if we are to have the influence we desire.

`Older women should not be overly concerned about being "relevant" to the young by being trendy in style,  but being able to show the "old paths, where is the good walk." Youth needs to learn about beauty and refinement, and things that are good and lovely, good decorum and demeanor, etc. 

~In a sense, this principle applies to our hardships. It is tempting to let our appearance go when there has been a tragedy or a set back in our lives. As we grow older, our losses increase and and our sorrow can be all consuming.  In such times I think we do more good for others and ourselves by paying careful attention to appearance.  Sometimes just the act of dressing up can change the way we think, and  inspires a feeling of kindness. 

In this video I did not recommend any particular style of clothing, or any way to wear your hair, or skin care. There are plenty of places to find what suits you best, and every woman is different. 

I will say here, however, that I think it is important not to be too drastic when trying to improve your appearance.  (Tattoos, piercings, and edgy hair styles are not a good idea). If you need a new look, buy a new hat. Then, if you don't like it, you can sell it on Craigslist.  ;-) Other changes may not be so easy to get rid of if you find you don't like them.

~ Clothes and hair are the easiest things to control, and it is possible to feel happier and more hopeful when you feel good about your appearance. I always put old paintings on these posts, to inspire the principle of dressing in a feminine and classic way. I had a post once called "Painting Inspired Sewing" in which I attempted to make dresses with modern lines similar to those in 19th century paintings. The idea was to get creative inspiration from these paintings for color, grace, and mood.

It is good to consider why you should take care of your appearance: because it glorifies your Maker, it does not spoil the view for others, and it gives you self dignity, without which  it is hard to function in the best way. I would never make anyone's "best dressed" list but I'm not trying to impress, just wear what inspires me. Everyone has their likes and dislikes.



As usual, please leave me a comment. I am motivated by what you say.

34 comments:

Outdoors said...

This was really wonderful video!

Color analysis is really practical for younger women, too. I am 38 and did it by myself from books couple of years ago. And finally realized why some clothes and styles made me look half-dead.

In those books they also gave good advice how to define your personality type and wear clothes that are in sync with that. For example since I am quite sporty on outdoorsy, I look ridicilous in all pretty floral dresses, no matter how pretty they are. Luckily nowadays all sorts of sports- and hiking skirts are available.


Reading books like that will save you ladies TONS of money, I guarantee.

Rain San Martin said...

Your wisdom blows my mind! No one covers the topic of homemaking like you do.

Laura Jeanne said...

Thank you for the tips, Lydia! I used to be rather a tomboy when I was younger, then when I reached about 30 I realized it was no longer cute, but I just looked shabby and unkempt. As I went through my 30s I've been trying gradually to work more on my appearance, acquire some more feminine clothes, get better at applying makeup, etc. I am starting to feel better about my appearance, although it's taken some time, as this isn't a skill which comes naturally to me. So I always appreciate advice in this area!

Mrs. Bill said...

Dear Lady Lydia,
I have read your articles for many years starting back at LAF. I particularly appreciate your writing about older women You opened my eyes to the pitfalls of appearance that happen to older women today - jogging suits, unisex clothing, and sloppiness. I have tried to take your advice, but even so, I have fallen into a rut myself. You hit on it today talking about looking cheerful in pretty colors. Something happened yesterday that made me realize that although I try to dress lady-like and in style, I must look pretty drab.

Yesterday, March 8, was declared 'Lady's Day' by some lovely ladies to oppose the feminist 'Women's Day'. One of my daughters said that we should get beautiful pink hats. (The idea was to reclaim pink hats from the feminists). Well, anyway I bought a nice wool felt one with satin ribbon from Amazon. It ended up being a bright pink and right away I was going to send it back, but my husband said he liked it. So, with trepidation, I wore it. Well, the family said that I should wear more bright colors like this instead of so much black and even my husband said that this was a good change because I REALLY like black! Huh! I didn't know that I did! This was another eye opener! I still don't feel comfortable with a bright pink hat, but I've decided to get a floral scarf to match and keep on wearing it.

Thank you Lydia for all the time and effort you put into your writing and your videos. I really enjoy your blog no matter what the subject - appearance, resting, dealing with difficult people, loveliness at home, and teatime (to mention a few). I especially appreciate your encouragement to older women like myself. I don't know of anybody else who does this!

carol said...

Your video today reminded me of several women friends I have. I am always so uplifted and happy when I see them. I think the reason is, in part, due to the fact that they always look nice. They are always dressed nicely, their hair is groomed and they even wear perfume! It's doesn't matter where or when I see them, either. Truly an inspiration to do better.

Lydia said...

Outdoors: there is a large variety of books available that show the different styles of sporty, romantic, dramatic, classic, peasant, etc, that are so interesting. I want to be all of them but some women can find their best style and stick to it. Type in color analysis and fashion and you'll see so many of them,

Lydia said...

Rain San Martin, I had your homemaking blog on my blog roll some time ago but now I notice you don't have posts and I haven't seen your videos in awhile. . It's nice to see you again.

Lydia said...

Laura Jeanne, when young, a burlap bag can or "sack cloth" looks grea, but as we mature, our skin changes and some things make us look third and like we have dry skin. A more dressy form of what we like might be the best alternative. I loved the faded cotton prints but they do t work for me now.

Lydia said...

Mrs, Bill,

This is true--colors that were too powerful for you or even too uninteresting in youth can make you look and feel better as you mature, fabrics also ned to be considered. Tweeds and certain rough weaves, can be aging and can dull the complexion.

Lydia said...

Carol, I think many older women have given up on this, and are overwhelmed at the changes they have to make. I can't coach anyone in hair, skin care or clothing but I can encourage them to find the resources.

Heartshome said...

I am 58 and boy do I hear you. I know that I don't look good anymore. I used to. It's difficult to accept and so I mostly tell myself not to be vain. I dress in jeans and sweaters mostly. I do a lot of gardening and I guess that's my excuse. I'm very tall and it's always been so difficult to find clothes and shoes that fit me. So if I find simething, I buy several and that's what I wear. Also, due to health issues, I can't wear eye makeup any more and I just feel like a colorless person. I'll look forward to hearing more on this topic. Perhaps I'll be able to come up with a better look!

Adelaide Simmons said...

O Lady Lydia, I love your blogs and videos! This winter I have not been as cheerfully dressed as I would have liked, probably because of the cold - this video makes so many great points. Thank you for inspiring me to be lovely. I am challenging myself (in a good way) to be more cheerfully dressed next winter. And it is interesting, the colors I can wear now compared to when I was younger. My mother had a really lovely bridesmaids dress from her younger days in a deep teal color that never looked right - now it is one of my best colors. I also gave up wearing black (except for funerals) because of a post I believe I read - I think it was on your blog...Thank you so very much!

Jennifer Williams said...

Lydia,
You inspired me to comment and say thank you for this video addressing older women. I used to always dress nicely and take care with my hair and make-up. But as I have gotten older, and after many children and now grandchildren, I just feel so tired all the time. I also have experienced sadness and loss in my life and that dampens my enthusiasm. I don't have the energy to take the same care with my appearance. But down deep, I really do want to look nice and pleasing to other people, but especially to my husband and family. I know they would appreciate it. I have gotten in such a bad habit of jeans and T-shirts. I live in a warm climate, so it is just more comfortable and convenient. I want to break the habit, but it is hard. I also have gotten used to not wearing make-up, because all the make-up products I have tried in the past have irritated my eyes so horribly and made me feel miserable. I do know the importance of looking nice and taking care with my appearance, and I will pray for the desire and energy to make a change. Thanks again. You are such a good example for me. :-)

Lydia said...

Heartshome, in other countries, even the less developed, women of all ages love to dress in beautiful clothing and they look so nice even when they are walking on the dirt paths in their villages. We have much nicer places and yet our women look like they are sad, tired and have no self worth. Perhaps they lack love and admiration and appreciation in general, but it is more likely that there's been a very negative campaign to make them feel vain and self centered if they look after their appearance. Maybe they are afraid to look too prosperous.

Lydia said...

Adelaide, I agree with you. Colors that look awful when we are younger can look better when our coloring changes. It is a pity black has become the uniform of American women, esoecially young women. We should save it for somber occasions but I suppose these days everything seems unhappy and serious. We are also told it is wrong to spend time contemplating what to where, when, and thinking about our clothes, perhaps from a misunderstanding of Christs command concerning worrying about what to wear. Others intimidate us by saying clothing is not intellectual enough and not important. But I think there are a lot of references to clothing in the Bible and that while we are here for such a short time, we ought to enjoy wearing pretty clothing, not just for ourselves but in being courteous about what others have to look at.

Lydia said...

Jennifer, it seems it would be easier to wear loose dresses in a warm climate, and there are now some pretty ones in catalogs like Chadwicks, The Paragon, and others. I mentioned how losses and disappointments can dampen our enthusiasm and in a sense can age us in the countenance, Well clothing is the easiest thing to change. But concerning cosmetics, Pinterest has a lot of recipes for homemade makeup, using wonderful things from your kitchen, in my videos I am wearing a face powder made from Hershey's cocoa powder (unsweetened) and powdered tapioca. I love the scent and the feeling is so soft. I suffer from terrible Rosacea which is worse than teen acne, and the hime made products seem to be alleviating the burning and itching and breakouts, I just mix it in a little sandwich ziplock bag and use a big fluffy soft powder brush fri the dollar store.

Janet Westrup said...

As always your blogs are so timely and this one especially hits home. The older I get, the more time I need to spend infront of the mirror.
During my teen years very little makeup was needed. Now in my late sixties a little color shadow, highlights and cover stick work miracles.

I find that complementary colors in solids look better on me now then busy prints. Soft waves in a shorter hair style around my face
seem to soften the hard appearance of lines and wrinkles. Also softer smudged and less eye makeup looks better then the hard heavy makeup I once wore.

Learned long ago not to use powder or foundation on wrinkled skin. It makes the wrinkles look like a road map. Instead use lots of moisture cream and tint the apples of your cheeks with a bit of sheer lipstick or rouge. It gives a bit of blush without the dry appearance.
Most of all I find that people tend to feel more relaxed around someone who wears a pleasant genuine smile.

You Give so much good advice on your blog Lydia and thank you for sharing your resources. Always look forward to your posts.
Janet Westrup.

Lydia said...

Very useful tips, Janet! The one thing we all find to be a real bore is time spent with the mirror.

Dianne Plourde said...

Dear Lady Lydia, I just love your blog. This particular one was a reminder to me again that it is not a sin to try to be pretty - at any age. This who are well groomed (and it doesn't need to be elaborate) truly are uplifting to behold and be around and I think it might partly be because our God is a God of order and beauty and being unkempt demonstrates a more chaotic state of being. Also, as woman was made to complement man, she often has an innate desire to try to appeal to her man and look nice. Sometimes life crushes this in many ways and your video was a gentle reminder to resist this temptation, esoecespecwe who are older. Thank you for all he wisdom you share and, by the way, inthinI you look extremely lovely, yet in a very unpretentious and non-intimidating way. God bless you and your family!

Lydia said...

It is a challenge to keep interested in our appearance but if you can think of it as a service to others....

Dianne Plourde said...

I apologise for all the typos! I should have proof read....my phone has a mind of its own!! I hope you all can decipher! :)

Lisa said...

Dear Lydia,

I value and enjoy your videos and blog posts so much. I find it brings me a lot of peace to learn from you and it helps me manage different stressful areas of my life. I especially like hearing about the value of a woman being home to look after the family. My youngest child starts school next year and I feel so much pressure to go back to work. Even with all my children at school I know there is so much for me to do at home and even being there to take them to school and pick them up. My husband is looking at houses with big mortgages and I will feel the pressure even more to return to work. I know you have spoken about this a lot before. Any thing you say is so encouraging!! Thank you

Rebecca said...

Dear Lydia,
I broke my media fast to read some of your recent blog posts. I have to tell you how inspiring your videos are to try and be the best we can be. You are so lovely, timeless and yes...very influential! Your sound voice of wisdom is like a cup of cold water. You are an incredible blessing to others!

living from glory to glory said...

Hello, so glad to see a post on how important it is to look lovely and cheery and fashionable as we age. I for one take this seriously, everyday doing my hair and makeup and wearing something that is pretty. I enjoy lounging clothes for being at home, comfy, pretty pants and top that match, even a necklace most days. Even when I am not well or recovering I always try to not look like an old hag, or someone that just climbed out of bed! (smiles)
Roxy

Lydia said...

Lisa, Roxy, Rebecca, very good thoughts about this. Appearance has to be kept in a spiritual perspective , with your closest loved ones and then others, in mind.

Lisa said...

If anyone is interested, there are some sellers on Etsy who make cosmetics with pure ingredients at reasonable prices. I recently found an Etsy shop called PureLips that makes a foundation you could probably eat - and at the end of the day after washing it off, it feels like you've had a skin treatment. I'm so grateful to have found it after deciding a year ago to buy organic makeup, and spending way too much on the expensive brands but not finding anything I liked on my 62 year old face.

Lydia said...

I have been using Mary Kay CC Cream that a friend supplied me with and have liked it. I can make other types of skin care and cosmetics with yummy kitchen foods and spices and oils, but have never been able to make a foundation cream, so I use the Mary Kay CC cream because it adheres better to the skin

Lydia said...

Lisa, thank you for the info about this.

Jenny said...

I always love hearing what you have to say, Lady Lydia. My life has not been easy over the past year due to my husband having had 2 surgeries, severe illness in my extended family, and my still having to run a household and care for children with no help. Last year was truly one of the most difficult of my life, and it took a lot out of me (physically, emotionally, and spiritually), and I'm only 41 -- so not too old, but definitely not as spry as I once was. I will admit to "letting myself go" from time to time over the past year. What I learned from those times is that although the situation never really changed, the way I looked really had an impact on the way I felt and the way I cared for my family and home. It seems as if the carelessness I showed to myself was reflected onto my home and others, but on the days when I did even the simplest of self-care (clean, neat, pretty clothing; hair styled (even minimally); and earrings), I felt like a capable housewife and managed quite well, despite the circumstances.

Melissa Emmert said...

Thank you so much for taking the time to write your posts and make your videos. It's helpful to so many ladies that are at home and those who want to be.
I also think appearance is very important. And as we age I've noticed some women who try to emulate the styles young women wear and it looks silly, or somehow hard. So I love this type of article and would love more. Particularly about looking your age gracefully. You're a great example of that.

Lydia said...

A comment came in and with this tiny device I am using while traveling, I deleted it, so here it is:

joanie has left a new comment on your post "Video: Appearance for Older Women":

I have struggled with this whole issue for many years. As a child, teen, and young woman my looks were emphasized and I felt like if I didn't look good I would be rejected - people would be disappointed in me. I was struck with a terrible skin disease as a teen, which I hid very well most of the time, but this heightened my need to look good for others. I had some painful situations where I was rejected and treated badly because of this disease that I tried very hard to control, but couldn't. My second husband ( married 36 yrs) loved me no matter how well it was controlled, but I still feel like I have to make up for this defect. A longer story I won't go into here is our journey into a conviction to live a plain lifestyle. As you might imagine it was extremely hard for me to give up my signature things and flairs I had collected in life to make me feel more secure and it was very much also just a part of who I was. I felt I must give that up and I did about 16 yr ago ( lapses here and there into modest long dresses and still covered). I was careful about my appearance as I could be, but I cannot describe the battle within - at times. Our youngest son became very ill and life has been for all of these years increasingly depressing, demanding, and it is hard just to find time to write something like this. I began to question my conviction because I could see the negative impact being so plain had on me. I needed color as hope, playfulness as encouragement for myself and family, but I did not want to rebel against my husband who felt strongly about the plainish path. He has encouraged me to find where I am happiest in recent years, but I have held back, unsure that is what he really wants. He said I was like this dog we once had who was a joyful character who loved visiting various neighbors. Worried he would get hit, we put him on a chain a few hrs a day ( I would not do this today and it was only for short spells because he was in the house much of the time) by our front porch. He retreated to his dog house and lay there like a dejected blob and he would not move when we tried to cheer and pet him while on that chain. We even laid a steak in front of him and he would not touch it. He came to see me as feeling like that dog. I can't deny it though I tried again and again to adjust my attitude. I couldn't change the dour, sour attitude & it seemed impossible to discern my feelings & convictions for ANYTHING while our lives were made so miserable by this illness. We have not been able to leave our house for longer than an hour and a half or so just for necessities for 4 yrs and we rarely got to sleep through a night for many more years than that. I am working on it and am trying to figure out what to do with myself now with very little personal time. My blonde hair went silver with blonde still mixed in and I like it, but like others have said, I don't look good in my old favorite colors!!

One funny thing to share. You were talking about children and how they can be affected by older women. My childhood friend was being raised by grandparents and I was very disturbed by the grandmother's appearance. I thought, even as a 6 or 7 yr old, she could make herself look better and why didn't she? She was neat enough, but very drab and oh so efficient and no nonsense the total effect was unattractive to me I never thought that of other older women I spent time around who were not raving beauties by any means, but wore things that complimented them in some way. My grandma would wear her new dress and I never thought, " well, Grandma, your waistline is gone, so what difference does it make what you wear?" I thought she was lovely. She felt girly and pretty I am sure and so she came across to me that way.



Posted by joanie to Home Living at 6:34 PM

Lydia said...

Style and color are so individual it us impossible to say what looks good on all older women, but in general, if it is feminine, modest and fresh looking and it makes you feel well and gives you dignity, it will probably look good on you.

Christine Beauchamp said...

Many years ago the boy I dated in high school, adored and hoped to marry one day - - stood before me and told me "I was the ugliest girl in the whole world". He then broke up with me after 5 years of dating. I was no natural beauty by any means, but had done everything I could with clothing and makeup, hair (what I could afford at that time which wasn't much) to make myself attractive as a young girl of 15 to 19 years of age. I was horrified by what he said; it left an indelible mark on me. . . BUT, I always made sure to care for my appearance as a result of that.

Its now 40+ years later and I still try to be neat and trim and polished, with good posture and gentle manner. Quite by accident I ran into that old bf last summer - - after 40 something years. . and thought look at that pathetic man, wearing dirty and slovenly clothes that make him look like a clown. When he got close to me I realized who it was that was walking toward me. The once handsome boy was not now so handsome anymore, balding terribly, heavy and thick and with very poor manners. We talked briefly. He spoke like a 'thug' and had not grown much mentally since those old HS days. In that moment I was glad we had never married. It would have ended disastrously. However standing before him I felt beautiful. I had cared for myself over all those years and it showed and glowed. My hair and clothing were neat and clean, a more dignified older chick replaced the once upon a time 19 year old whose heart was left broken and shattered. He told me I was beautiful to which I reminded him what he had told me in the past. He had forgotten and denied ever saying it. I said 'fare thee well' . . and left for my original destination.

It took me a long time to get ready each day when I was young. . . and now that I'm older it still takes me a long time and I have to buy 'better' quality products. But the results speak for themselves, and I do the best I can each and every day. This column spoke to me as most of your columns do. A friend recently asked me if I was vain b/c 'She' never wears makeup. I told her she can think what she wants to - - I'm wearing makeup b/c I feel better when I do - - end of discussion. She has Parkinson's. No amount of makeup can help that.

Simple steps thru life can avoid a host of unwanted issues as we age; even including regrets about old heart-throbs.

Blessings Lydia to you and yours . . . .

Lydia said...

Very interesting account, Christine! Many who felt ugly as youngsters grew into vey kind people with beautiful souls, gentle forebearance and yes, lovely countenance. It's a matter of learning to look after the inner and outer parts and rembering ypu were created for a purpose

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