Dame, the torpedo

Robert Maxwell photo

Sometimes I beg my husband or friends to "Tell me! Tell me! if I start to look like
that." I am usually pointing (subtly I hope) at a 50-ish woman dressed as a walking Craft Show. She has Birkenstocks, a lampwork bead necklace, an appliqued coat, maybe a Guatamalan vest... you know the look.

My friend Missi says, "It's an attempted substitute for a good body, it's a way of distracting the eye from what's no longer so hot."
I am equally terrified of looking (as my mother would say) like I hit a sale at Eileen Fisher. I can't wear this austere look, the styles read like elegant drop sheets on me. Why don't I look like the ads? Is it 30 extra pounds or that I'm not at the seashore?

I didn't have a consistent real-life role model till Helen Mirren started getting accolades by the armload, and thank god she did, and thank god she's photographed frequently. Every woman I know looks at Helen Mirren with admiration, relief, pride, hope and a wish that you could order bone structure from Ikea.

My only complaint is that Dame Helen is not often photographed in what she might wear to a Saturday night movie or a walk around her neighborhood.
This photo from the online addition of Ranch and Coast magazine is the most casual I could find. I like how the ruffles soften her look, without going all girly.


Susan B said…
I share your admiration of La Mirren and disdain for Eileen Fisher. Potato sacks! Shapeless, unflattering potato sacks.
WendyB said…
As long as you don't start buying those Quacker Factory sweaters...then it's all over!
Anonymous said…
I know I'm walking on thin ice when I say this, but I'm not particularly attracted to La Mirren's dress sense. I think she shows too much decolletage in a rather flat English way and cannot remember even one dress of hers. I like and respect her as an artist very much but feel that she always plays rather safe with her frocks and cardigans. I would love to see her in some real avant gardery like Vivienne Westwood - she certainly has enough personality to pull it off.

Love the photo you found.
Duchesse said…
I'm Canadian and we don't even dare decolletage at her age, except sometimes in Quebec!

The worst of Canadian frump is a woman dressed as if for an Arctic expedition, with Birkenstocks.
Anonymous said…
Ah yes, but if her Arctic puffa jacket was by Miyake and her Birkenstocks were silver or gold, then we're talking! It's all a question of style.

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