HANG UP THE CROP TOP ... IN SOMEONE ELSE’S CLOSET, PLEASE.

Hello and welcome to my blog! There is so much to talk about and I’m here to go deep with all of you as we navigate our way into (and through) these “middle years.” I will share insightful content that will definitely make you think and might even make you laugh, while also offering helpful tips on how to remain stylish and hip. This blog celebrates two parts of my identity: my extreme love for fashion and the often difficult (but doesn’t have to be!) balancing act of aging with style and grace. My next birthday is a biggie! I’m thrilled to turn fifty in February, and I welcome the challenge of keeping my shit together when it comes to style. They say that at fifty, your body turns on itself. But I think that’s a load of crap, although Beyoncé’s “I-woke-up-like-this: flawless” mornings are indeed a thing of the distant past.

Now, I (we) need to style with intention—why am I wearing the things I wear (we’ll talk a lot about the why)? It’s important to take a minute and look your best. I do believe it starts with a feeling, however some days, let’s be honest, it’s a chicken and egg thing. But don’t forget, ladies, while the Injustices of Womanhood demand that we trade in baby smooth skin for some wrinkles, the laws of aging are not absolutes and we can laugh in the face of these arcane principles. Hah hah! I’ve learned that anyone can bend the rules to make style work to their advantage; where I used to flaunt, I now flout these “rules” of aging.

I have always adored clothes, jewelry, shoes, fashion—you know, style. For a long time, I believed that this made me shallow; that this passion placed me at the center of America’s obsession with consumerism and impossible beauty standards. But I’ve come to realize quite the opposite. Style is an art and an expression of who you are. And with age and wisdom (I hope!), come acceptance, and even a celebration, of the parts of myself I once did not embrace. Goodbye Crop Top is a metaphor. Although personally I believe at fifty, the crop tops should go, this is way deeper than what goes on. It’s what goes in. We’ll talk a lot about what to hold onto and what to toss. Not only in your closet, but in your mind, body, and soul; in your skin regime, in your workouts. How do we do this thing (aging) with grace, strength, and positivity? 

Every morning, I am proud to say that I feel beyond grateful for a new opportunity to indulge my love of fashion. In addition to the buzz of my morning coffee, I wake up with ideas buzzing: throwing on loose, ripped jeans with “The Perfect T,” adding turquoise accents, a flea market cuff, an insane boot or sneaker. Nailed it.

For today, I leave you with two pointers.

Tip 1: Be Bold. Dress for the double take. You know the woman who, at forty, fifty, sixty, and beyond, makes you follow her with your eyes as she struts the sidewalk in something she “threw together?” Her style doesn’t just speak to her youthful spirit, but also her Wisdom of the Ages. She hasn’t fallen to jeans that come with an elastic waistband or “sensible shoes.” She’s beyond the rules because she makes them up. Throw on a vintage hat, wear color, a bold red shoe or coat . . . you get the picture.

Tip 2: Embrace Thy Age. A personal fashion favorite is a good crop top. Emily Ratajkowski and Gigi Hadid are examples of sexy women who rock the retro look when they pair it with the new high-waisted jean—the regeneration of the “mom jean.” My mid-section—even after carrying three children—is not my worst asset. I could technically get away with the crop look . . . until I picture myself hanging out of my car in the school pick-up line screaming, "Come on, girls, we're late!” in a shirt that is riding up towards my chest. I guess that's my litmus test: if I am worried that someone might mistake my shirt for one of my daughter’s, the look is a no-go. I subscribe to the old saying, “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.” Another fashion favorite is a graphic tee. I love seeing a woman in her middle years in a Johnny Cash t-shirt with the perfect jean and a great jacket (blazer, denim, leather), but honestly, the Van Halen body suits have to go now.

Thanks so much for reading and joining us on this journey, and tune in next week as I delve into why I started this blog that’s so close to my heart. Until then, remember—it’s time to hang up the crop top (and the Van Halen body suit) . . . in someone else’s closet.

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Danielle Bellert12 Comments