Doreen, please contact me with an e-mail address that Debbie Rahman can use to send the gift link for your book. (My address is under my photo in the right sidebar.)
Everyone else: Thank you for entering, your intention to be fitter is terrific. I encourage you to splash out for the book!
We tried a hip new restaurant the other evening, with our neighbours Lou and Jean-Yves. The median age at our table was a solid sixty; a round corner banquette was all the better for conversation. (Another friend insists that restaurant tables have gotten bigger and that is why she can't hear someone across from her.)
Next to us a couple read the menu; he was a skinny man of about thirty, all elbows and horn-rimmed glasses, in a Harris tweed jacket. She wore a stretchy black and red dress with a deeply scooped back, the simplicity of the cut revealed her graceful spine. Everything rested on that sole detail.
I said to Lou, "Look at that girl, the cut of her dress is so beautiful." Lou replied, "Do you realize we are the oldest people in this place?"
Though I sound-check, (and have asked for another table if I'm about to be seated next to someone on a phone), I don't age-check. We all wear more or less the same things, anyway: trousers, shirts, dresses or skirts. But a visit to a hot new restaurant is an occasion to dress up a little, which takes some thought.
Below, two versions: the not-so-current and the happening. Often is is not the garment per se, but how it's worn.
1. Wide-legged trousers
Always a good idea for a restaurant, relaxed and easy to sit in—but at left, the fringed top clutters the line. Not one woman under fifty in that restaurant wore stiletto-heeled shoes or boots with her trousers.
At right, clean lines, no clutter, and thick-soled sneakers. At the bistro, I saw only that kind of sneaker, or brogues with trousers, and block-heeled pumps on my neighbour in that dress. Not one woman in stilettos.
When the streets are clear of snow, a supple coat looks fresher than a heavy fur, fake or real.
2. Printed scarves
Printed scarves from Hermès to Joe Fresh are much-loved here, and while at the bar for the first course, I noticed a woman who wore one conservatively, in the triangle fold anchored by a scarf ring.
Across the room a redhead in a simple shirt wore her patterned silk tucked inside the neckline. You did not see as much of the pattern but the effect was more modern.
3. Off the shoulder
Young people show what they please, because it all looks pretty good. Off the shoulder shows that alluring sweep from neck to clavicle, but if the last upper-body workout you did was to a Jane Fonda VHS, you might be chary.
The young ones wear them tight, often also cropped or just to the waist, like the BooHoo ruffled top on the left. But those of us prone to chill, or not quite so daring, might choose the Getsuz off-shoulder sweater, snuggly and not too clingy, and let only one upper shoulder peek out.
These images are courtesy of Asos, where I was delighted to see this trend offered in many plus-sized pieces.
4. Long cardigans
As the evening ended, the young woman in the scoop-back reached for her long charcoal-grey cardigan, nearly heavy as a coat—and it may well be her coat, once spring is here.
At left, a long waterfall cardigan (by Betty Barclay), a style that hit big a decade ago and still is around the shops. I no longer have one; I like scarves and felt like a flapping tent with all that moving fabric, so gave it to a friend.
At right, the coatigan I'm eyeing: the sublimely strict "Melanie" by ça va de soi. Shown in framboise, suprisingly harmonious with black, navy, grey, brown, olive.
Much is written about "dressing your age". I'd rather not approach choice from age, but from the fact that styles do change, so inevitably the time comes to alter or replace a certain item.
I'm just back from a trip to the donation box, three pieces out (two skirts, one pair of too-tight trousers) and perhaps that coatigan's coming in.
What might you "spring" for?