Kate says: Anyone who has been following the blog for a while has seen my hair gradually get shorter and shorter. In fact, it’s hard to believe how long it was at the start (see on the far left above?).
But ever since high school I’ve gone through the same cycle: grow it out (down to my lower back in high school!), then start chopping it off when I get bored. And repeat. I’ve also played around some with my color, although certainly not to such drastic measures. My natural color is a very dark blond, but I’ve been getting highlights for almost a year now.
The great thing about my hair is that it is super thick and, although it’s naturally wavy/curly, it also holds heat styling really well. So longer and shorter style both work quite well. But these days I’m definitely more inclined towards the short… hence my most recent cut:
This is the shortest my hair has been since college, and I love it! It curls so much better when it’s shorter — the length doesn’t weigh it down as much — and the angled bob feels super chic.
I think the next move will be to darken things a bit for winter (see below for my inspiration). But no matter what, I’ll keep playing around!
Here are some of my inspiration photos.
The one I took to my hair stylist (Karen!) this time:
Jeanne says: I love the contrast of lace/crochet with distressed boyfriend jeans — it’s the delicacy of the lace versus beat up, faded denim. I am really into the distressed jean look — I just bought my second pair! I know it is a passing trend but at least it is one that women my age can actually style so I’ll stay with it for another season.
Kate is working the contrast of lace with skinny jeans and she has put together a great ensemble. She has worked this top and these skinnies many different ways but I think this is my favorite of them all. I find wearing skinnies in hot summer weather pretty uncomfortable but with a sleeveless airy top it wouldn’t be so bad.
Kate says: I love the simplicity of this outfit. A great lace top makes it easy to pull together an outfit with just a few simple pieces. This lace top was a great find from H&M — I love its high neck and unusual pattern. With moto pants and a statement necklace, it makes a perfect laid-back weekend outfit.
Mom’s lace top is also great — I love the unexpected orange layer underneath. She makes it very chic by pairing it with baggy, ripped up boyfriend jeans and those orange wedges that I want to steal. This is a perfect example of trends made age appropriate — she looks perfect for a casual weekend day.
Jeanne says: There aren’t many opportunities to wear a sweatshirt in the summer, but when I saw how this top went with this skirt, I HAD to wear it. I used the belt to create a waist because most sweatshirts are pretty shapeless. As I think you already know, I love yellow and especially neon yellow. And who doesn’t love maxi skirts?
Kate is showing her fashionable bias towards color blocking. Her bright necklace, shirt and sweater are grounded by this simple black maxi skirt and it is a good look. Actually maxi skirts are a cool solution in the summer — cooler than any skinny pants or a pencil skirt, right? Kate looks pretty cool to me.
Kate says: I DO love to color block. It’s one of the easiest ways to put together a stylish outfit without putting much thought into matching or patterns. I love this combo of yellow, pink, and blue — it just feels so summery! And check out that long dark hair; even though this is an old photo, I would wear this outfit tomorrow.
Mom’s outfit certainly is bright, but she is a genius for seeing that her floral sweatshirt and striped maxi go together! I love how she grounded her bright prints with cognac brown belt and sandals — similar to how I used my black maxi skirt to ground my bright color blocking. I probably would have skipped the necklace — it gets lost in the print — but we know she loves her statement necklaces!
Hey, this is Jeanne and, by the time you see this, Kate will probably have vetoed the title of this post “Bad Hair Daze”. We are each writing posts over the next week about our hair and bad hair daze perfectly describes how I’m feeling at the moment. Let me tell you how I got into this mood.
So, as you know, I have a very short pixie haircut. It wasn’t always this way: if you look at our earliest posts, my hair was shoulder length and then chin length. But I cut it because I absolutely hate taking care of my wavy, graying hair. As much as I like fashion, I hate hair stuff. Anyway, a month ago, I decided to go platinum — the lightest, whitest color possible — because why not? My hair will grow out quickly AND I want more drama in my life and my look.
I went to my hairdresser the first time and got this color: reddish blonde - ok but not what I wanted.
So I went back and got: yellow blonde. Still not where I want to be.
So this Friday I am going to a new person to get the color I truly want: white blonde.
What lessons have I learned from this (unfinished) process?
Be stubborn. Don’t stop until you get what you want. Don’t settle for “meh”.
Don’t be afraid to try some new and daring — remember you only live once!
If you go the same route as me, try some of these afterwards:
Jeanne says: First of all, these are the very same pants Olivia Palermo wore in a recent Paris Fashion Week photo — be still, my heart! Seriously, these are great black and white print pants — one take on the black and white theme. These pants go with everything and always look crisp and chic. I’m wearing them with my lace/crochet top which has also proven to be incredibly serviceable this summer — covered up enough for business but cool in warm weather. This top can also work in winter under a jacket or sweater.
Kate is doing her “dress as skirt” thing again. This is a fashion change-up that is so versatile, but I always forget to think about it as an ensemble option. Thanks, Kate, for reminding me. Kate’s rendition of black and white is timeless — button-up shirt with tiny black polka dots and a great eyelet strapless dress underneath. If she takes off the shirt, she is ready to go out for a drink or dinner, right?
Kate says: I felt very “sexy librarian” in this outfit, but I just couldn’t resist the combination of the eyelet dress and polka dot shirt — in person this came through much more! I keep wishing this dress were an eyelet skirt, so I just continue to wear it as one, layering shirts over the strapless top. Teal heels and red earrings added the pop of color we all know I crave.
Mom is using the same formula of prints and texture as I am, but flip flopped — that great animal print on bottom, textured lace on top. I love this lace top, which she has layered over a t-shirt here, but could also be thrown on over a dress or collared shirt. Her favorite Dolce Vita sandals add a great pop of color, as well as her necklace!
Kate says: This dress was a sale purchase from J.Crew many years ago, and it was a great steal. I love the simple navy fabric combined with the unusual cut. When you’re relying on one dress to carry most of your outfit, it helps to have some added interest either through color and pattern or cut.
Mom’s dress is a little unusual for her — we don’t often see her in fit and flare cotton dresses like this. But I love the uneven stripe pattern, and the cut is so universally flattering! She shows how beautifully red goes with a black and white pattern. I think this looks particularly fresh for summer.
Jeanne says: This little black and white dress is perfect. Cool to wear, never wrinkles, just wash and hang dry and it cost practically nothing at Target (ditto the shoes)! All this combined with its unbeatable graphic black and white print makes it ideal for summer months. Did I also mention that it is a wearable length for women of a certain age? I can also dress it up lots of ways — with or without a belt, even with a tee shirt underneath. Ideal!
Kate’s little dress meets the same criteria for her — solid navy goes with every color and every accessory. I love the slightly cut in shoulders and the raised waist — very feminine and flattering, but cool and easy to wear. I find that on hot days even a necklace can be so heavy and hot, but her necklace is woven material and cool to wear. What can I say? She looks darling!
You may have noticed: Jeanne wears glasses. (Kate does too, but only when she isn’t wearing her contacts.) In fact, Jeanne has ALWAYS needed glasses (from the age of 3). Scarred by her “four eyes” history (eyewear was really BAD in the old days), she has become an eyeglass fashionista and is hopefully coaxing Kate down the same path.
Jeanne says: Eyewear represents a huge style investment for me, both because I always own many different pairs and because I have VERY bad eyes so my lenses are complex. At this point in my life, I’m not sure I could get by with only one pair.
I have different colors, shapes, and styles and I deploy them according to the outfit I am wearing. I find it difficult to use any of the available online services mostly because their selection seems to be limited, but I will keep my eye (ha ha) on that market to see how it develops. If you haven’t tried them, check a few out: Warby Parker, Zenni Optical, and Frames Direct.
I use a few tricks to find groovy frames for less money:
I peruse cheaper reading glasses and sunglasses everywhere I go and online. Then I order the eyeglasses, pop out the lenses and have my own put in.
Don’t forget to look at men’s and children’s frames — sometimes they are cheaper and, depending on the width of your head, they could be perfect!
I fully utilize my eyeglass benefit on my healthcare plan and, if all else fails, I utilize my healthcare flex savings plan for my frames so at least I am spending pre-tax dollars on my style collection.
Here are some glasses frames we think are fabulous:
Jeanne says: OK, you all know my weakness for camo pants so here we are again! And they just happen to go perfectly with my Burberry sneakers — a real splurge! I was dressed for a work retreat so a casual look was in order; ripped boyfriend jeans would have been a step too far. I also love this slightly see-through sweater which goes with virtually everything I own.
But Kate wins this hands down. First, she is so on trend with her kicks worn with a light cotton knit dress. It IS a young look — one I don’t think I could pull off with any credibility. I’m also loving her long rhinestone necklace. She looks fabulous. It will be interesting to see what happens with the sneakers with everything trend once we are back to winter rain and snow, right?
Kate says: First of all, a huge thanks to Karen Price for these professional photos! A huge step up from my usual tripods shots, huh? I love this slightly sporty, slightly girly look I’ve got going here. This t-shirt dress is one of my favorites — perfect for a weekend coffee date — so it was a no brainer to pair with these crisp white slip-on Converse. My pendant necklace (another favorite!) makes the outfit just a bit more put together.
Mom was eyeing some sassy sneakers, and I like these Burberry ones she went with. They seem very her — she wouldn’t be satisfied with a sneaker without some serious personality. They work really well here with a casual camo pant and summer sweater — I would have liked a pop of color somewhere, maybe some red to pull out the red from the shoes?
Kate says: This outfit is so ME. Two colorful pieces in fairly simple cuts, added personality points for polka dots and the lace trim on this skirt (which you can’t see here). I love the cut of this skirt — perfectly A-line and not too short. A flattering option for any body. And this color combo works so perfectly, as you can see in our very different takes!
I DO love seeing Mom in these slightly retro looks every now and then. She keeps it from going overboard with interesting pieces and her sassy haircut. I’m not sure her dress and cardigan could be more perfectly matched — in addition to color, they are both embroidered! She looks bright and happy here. On Kate: GAP Outlet tee (similar), J.Crew skirt (similar – on sale!), J.Crew Factory necklace, Anthropologie flats (similar)
Jeanne says: I always get lots of compliments when I wear this dress and sweater combo. It’s just a little vintage for what I see as my style, but then it’s always good to mix things up, right? I bought the dress solely because of its color and easy-to-wear design, but it has been harder than I thought to wear the dress with different combinations — because it has such a singular identity? In any case, it’s another fashion lesson — know your style and stick with it!
Kate and I were together when she bought this darling yellow skirt — and it is just over the top with that wonderful polka dot top. Her yellow skirt proves my point above. Yes, the skirt is bright yellow, but its design is simple and it will go with almost any top or any other color as opposed to my detailed and slightly fussy dress. Anyway, she looks darling and summery and I like her outfit much better than mine! On Jeanne: Anthropologie dress (similar, similar), Anthropologie sweater (similar), Banana Republic belt (similar), Dolce Vita shoes (similar)
We are big proponents of belt-wearing as you can see if you flip through our past 18 months of blogging. Kate goes more for the bright-colored skinny belt while Jeanne relies more on wide belts in shades of black and brown. Both of us agree that belts can be important elements of stylish dressing.
Jeanne says: Since I’ve been in the fashionista game for many years, I have an amazing collection of belts — wide, narrow, leather, fabric, metallic. I’ve found that investing in great belts is a wise fashion decision because, sooner or later, belt styles circle back and I can wear my older belts all over again!
I’d have to say that my very favorites are my widest belts and cumberbunds because they define the area between the waist and chest in the most flattering way. And I’ve always been a fan of wide hip belts over sweaters (a 70′s thing) and chain belts (probably an 80′s thing). Skinny belts don’t suit me the way they suit Kate — different body types. Oh yeah and I’ve found GREAT belts on Etsy!
Kate says: I also love belts, and have a wide-ranging collection. Belts can completely change the look of a top or dress, or make something shapeless instantly flattering.
I do prefer skinny belts, even though I own a few wider ones. I find them more flattering on my shape — the wider belts can sometimes make my hips seem wider as well! I love to use belts as another accessory kind of like jewelry — I look to my belts to provide a pop of color or texture.