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Ageless Style-My Friend Mary

Welcome to the eighth installment of my Ageless Style Series with Elizabeth from the Vintage Contessa. If you are new here, once a month Elizabeth and I each interview someone over 50 who we think has great style. This month I thought I would change it up a bit and interview someone I have known most of my life.  Mary and I met on the school bus in Kindergarten and remained friends throughout school. We were college roommates our Freshman Year of College. Although I left the midwest in the mid-seventies, I am a midwesterner at heart.  Mary has great style, beautiful gray hair, and a Midwestern sensibility about fashion and life in general. I hope you enjoy this interview with “my friend Mary”.

Hello everyone. I follow Cindy’s blog and love all that she covers plus I’ve discovered so many other great blogs from her links. And, since I now embrace my natural hair color…her interviews with others with similar hair color and age are especially of interest. But when Cindy contacted me about participating in the Ageless Style interviews I thought her computer had been hacked. The gray hair was easy but she wanted pictures too! I’m the one who takes the pictures of everybody else and then I don’t have to be in them. So I stepped out of my comfort zone and here we go.

How Would You Describe Your Style?
Shopping for clothes is not my favorite thing to do and I’ve been known to buy three or four colors of the same item so I wouldn’t have to keep looking. I gravitate to more tailored and classic pieces. So when I was working it was easy to have my basic suits with several interchangeable tops or sweaters. I recently retired and I purged my professional wardrobe and started over. I find I’m still drawn to the tailored and classic pieces but on a more casual level.

What Inspires your signature style
I like my look to be simple…not fussy and timeless…not trendy.

What accessory Can You Not Do Without?
Coats and jackets for all kinds of temperatures and a trusty hooded raincoat. I spend a lot of time outdoors attending everything from concerts to my five grandchildren’s sporting events. Indiana spring weather can be 70 degrees and gorgeous one day and 30 degrees with snow the next so you need to be prepared.

Shoes or boots to fit the activity and they MUST be comfortable! Darn foot issues.

Favorite Color
Reds and Blues are my favorites and I like the versatility of blacks and grays. But you’ll see me in the colors of my grandchildren’s baseball, basketball, soccer or swim team even if they aren’t in my color wheel.

Do you have a signature piece that defines your style?
Bracelets and Scarves. And don’t laugh…White Shoulders cologne.

What are your style strengths?
Keeping it simple and recognizing what I should not wear. There are a plenty of great looks out there but not all of them work for me.

Do you have a style icon?
I think you might know one of them…Cindy Hattersley! I have known Cindy for almost forever and when we were college roommates I was the lucky one to enjoy Cindy’s early decorating talents. Our room was pretty awesome and the envy of our dorm neighbors. I know you aren’t surprised. Cindy has always had a sense of style and class and it’s no different today. She always looks fabulous!

Regardless of political opinions…FLOTUS always looks amazing. Her style reminds me of Jackie Kennedy’s.

What are your beauty essentials that you can’t do without
Sunscreen for my fair skin and of course moisturizer.
Can’t do without my liners: Lip liner to keep the color where it belongs and Eyeliner to define my eyes.
A fantastic hair stylist who helped my transition to my natural hair color and advised me on products to manage my gray hair.

Do you have repeat offenders in your closet if so what are they?
Black and Gray! It’s hopeless.

What advice do you have for women over 50, or over 40?
Embrace the stage of life you are in. There are blessings and memories to be made every day.
Make time to exercise and take care of your body (I didn’t and wish I had), eat healthy whole foods and remember beauty comes from the inside.

Do you have any style rules that you live by?
Keep it simple and classic. Use accessories to add a touch of trendy or a fun color.

What are your favorite online go to sources?
Online shopping is great. Nordstrom, Chicos, Macys and Cindy’s Blog! For coats & jackets to tame the weather I shop Lands End.
When I actually walk into a store I often find unique pieces in small boutiques.

Do you have a particular designer that you are drawn to?
Can’t say I have one in particular.

I hope you enjoyed this interview with my old pal.  Mary and I only see each other at reunions but I always admire her grace and style.  She was one of the prettiest girls in our class and obviously still is.  I want to thank Mary’s daughter Laura Keever Smith (whom I have never met) for coercing her to do this. You can probably tell Mary has no idea how pretty or stylish she is.  That is why Elizabeth and I love this series so much.  It is all about women embracing their age and not giving up on style.

Pop on over to Elizabeth’s blog, the Vintage Contessa to see who she is interviewing this month.  Who knows it might be the Queen!

Reader Interactions


  1. sherry hart says

    Another gray haired beauty… day I will figure out how to make the transition and stop spending a ton of money getting it colored:) Love these series Cindy!

  2. home before dark says

    A delightful interview with a lovely friend. I always admire women who are comfortable in their own skins. Maybe Mary would be willing to share some of the hair products she uses on her beautiful gray hair. I retired quite a while ago and I, too, purged my closet. I donated my wardrobe of suits to several young women about to enter the work force. I loved the idea of letting go and sending younger women out into the world.

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      I have missed your thoughtful comments! Glad you are back. I always look forward to your insight!

  3. Kathy Dedaker says

    I love this..Mary you look stunning and I’ve always admired how beautiful you are inside and out. Love your natural hair too! This is awesome that Cindy has you on her Blog the year of our 45th class reunion. You truly do not look your age!

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Kathy!
      Thanks so much for the kind comments about Mary and for being our class cheerleader! What would we do without you!

  4. Sandy Gill Kubly says

    Great blog and great interview! My husband sent a link while I was walking at the nature park;) Mary, you look fabulous! And Cindy, I’ll be looking forward to following your blog!

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Sandy
      Thanks so much for stopping by. I hope you continue to. Looking forward to seeing you at the reunion and thanks to Chuck for telling you!

  5. Erica Watson says

    I am SO glad that Laura talked Aunt Mary into doing this interview! She looks amazing – and always does/has. She is such a stylish mama, wife, grama, aunt, etc….. Love this lady and her grace.

  6. Karen B. says

    This was a wonderful interview and I can definitely relate to your friend, style/clothing/accessories wise.
    Thank you,

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Karen
      Thanks so much for commenting. I think we can all live by Mary’s fashion advice!!

  7. Mary keever says

    Cindy you are the epitome of Ageless Style! So humbled to be included in the Ageless Style series. I need to thank my dear hubby Mike and my daughter Laura for their encouragement to participate.
    Looking forward to seeing you this summer! From Bus#9 to Purdue to today and many years to come I am blessed to call you “My Friend Cindy”.

  8. Janet Evers says

    I have always loved White Shoulders because of my beautiful, stylish Anuny Mary!!!

  9. Janet Evers says

    I have always loved White Shoulders because of my beautiful, stylish Ant Mary!!!

  10. elizabeth@pineconesandacorns says

    How wonderful to have a friend from kindergarten! I do not have one friend from gradeschool, high school or college. We moved every 2 years and it was not the age of social media so after a few years of pen pals we lost touch.

    I digress. Your friend is stylish and beautiful! I love her advice to embrace where you are at and enjoy it.

    I hope that you have a great weekend! Thank you for your comment on the blog today! I could not agree more.

    • Mary keever says

      Yes Elizabeth long time friendships are a treasure. Thank goodness for electronic communication options. Thank you for your kind words.

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Elizabeth
      Thank you for stopping by and I LOVED your blog post. Something we all are dealing with these days. My how the blogging world has changed. I have been blogging for six years and the changes have been mind blogging!

  11. Jill Anthony says

    This was fabulous and I adore Mary’s style. She’s a girl after my own heart with her love of blazers and jackets. Simple, chic and tailored…and a Silver Sister to boot! Cindy, I’m so glad you introduced us to your friend Mary!

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Jill!
      I am so glad you enjoyed my friend Mary and better yet you are a fellow “silver sister”. Thanks so much for following along!

  12. Cheryl says

    Mary is a lovely person, as is her daughter (Laura). Perhaps you need to feature Laura in a blog that features that age group. Loved the blog about your long-time friendship. I bet it was a great roommate situation!

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Great idea Cheryl! Laurie looks like a lovely lady. I hope to meet her one day! Maybe at the reunion?

  13. Sandra says

    Love those Midwesterners. Always so down to earth. Mary has a style that simply works. She alwasy looks great and appropriate for what she does. I too have friends from grammer school that I see on a regular basis. Old friends are the best. Lovely post as always Cindy.

  14. debra@5th and state says

    Mary is indeed beautiful & stylish but I can sense from this interview a kind spirit & a fellow modest midwest gal!

    of course her style icon is you Cindy, as you are mine…….nothing like a treasured friend that knows us from way back

  15. Kathysue says

    So fun meeting your lifelong friend here on your blog. I can tell she is classic and knows how to dress her body. Her hair is gorgeous. I think she has classic style that will stand the test of time. Thanks for sharing another part of your life.

  16. LA CONTESSA says

    THE QUEEN!!!!!!
    MARY reminds me of YOU!I love that you met on the school bus!
    My Mother grew up in INDIANA So those HOOGERS……..SPELLING??? Have a special place in my HEART!!!Some of my favorite memories are from my GRANDFATHERS FARM there………the porch, the screen door and the secret door to the attic and the little spring water house!
    MARY and YOU need to hang out together MORE than class reunions!!!!
    MARY THANK YOU for coming out of YOUR COMFORT ZONE!!!!!!!!!
    YOU RADIATE in all your photos!THANK YOU DAUGHTER!!!!!!!

    • Mary keever says

      Thank you for your kind words. I enjoy your humor and experiences that you share in your blog.
      I too remember the bang of my Grandma’s screened door. It’s amazing that something so insignificant can evoke wonderful memories.

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