It’s time for Ageless Style. Once a month Elizabeth from the Vintage Contessa and I feature someone over 50 with great style. This month I have the pleasure of interviewing Susan Blakey from the much-loved blog Une Femme d’ un Certain Age. I have been following Susan for years but have recently gotten to know her better through some recent collaborations we have done together on the blog. Hopefully, we will be able to meet in person one day soon. Susan is charming, full of fun, and a consummate professional. She has recently had her colors done and I love her new look. Welcome to Ageless Style-Susan Blakey.
How would you describe your style?
Simple, casual, relaxed but neat, a little quirky, whimsical, and (as of recently) colorful.
Who Inspires You and Why ?
Gosh, it’s a long list! I’m inspired by so many style bloggers and Instagrammers, not necessarily because their style is similar to mine, but because they have a strong sense of their style and aren’t afraid to own it. Sometimes it’s about how someone mixes patterns or textures, or plays with proportion, or just seems to be having fun with what they’re wearing. Here are just a few @thatsnotmyage, @lindavwright, @brendakinsel, @kimair, @karywearsit, @bagandaberet, @stylecrone, @no_fear_of_fashion, @therealchiclife @iconaccidental @misjabeijers @glendakharrison @thecancerfashionista
I know you have recently had your colors done. How has that changed your style, and would you recommend it to others?
I’ve pretty much done an about-face with regard to color. Before, I rarely wore color, and now I rarely get dressed without it. It’s also helped me to “lighten up” about style, to experiment more, to have more fun, and not take it all so seriously. Working from a palette of colors has helped me to be a more discriminating shopper. And I’ve been pleasantly surprised to learn that even a colorful wardrobe can be cohesive if the colors and styles are chosen carefully. Everything goes together.
I would ABSOLUTELY recommend this to others, especially if they’re feeling stuck with their style, or would like to wear more color but aren’t sure which colors best suit them.
What is your favorite accessory?
At one time I was a total handbag junkie, but lately, I’ve been all about fun shoes and jewelry, especially rings. When the weather is cooler, I love wearing a beautiful scarf.
What are your favorite color combinations? I know that has recently changed. You look fabulous by the way!
Thank you!! I find aqua is one of those colors that just seems to look good with everything. I love aqua + green, aqua + yellow, and aqua + butterscotch or cinnamon brown.
Do you have a signature piece that defines your style?
Jeans, probably. And I still love a good jacket.
I know you are petite. What advice do you have for other petite women over 50?
It’s not just about height, but also proportions. Don’t let anyone tell you that you “can’t” wear something because you’re petite. You are not obligated to try to look taller. And never underestimate the power of alterations!
What are your favorite beauty products and why can’t you live without them?
#1 for sure is a mineral-based sunscreen! Skin cancer runs in my family, and I’ve worn sunscreen daily since my early 30’s. I like Elta MD and Versed. I like Colleen Rothschild skincare, but also try out and use a lot of different brands and products. I use prescription Retin-A most nights, and it’s really helped keep my skin from looking dull. I’m hooked on Makeover Workshop Re-Creation Lip Treatment; it’s one of my HG products. It keeps my lips from flaking, makes them smoother and fuller-looking. And Chanel Les Beiges Water Fresh Tint Foundation is AMAZING. Goes on sheer but just smooths and evens everything out.
Do you have any style rules that you live by, or do you choose to break the rules
I’m a believer in “tools, not rules.” I like having a style framework and often come up with formulas that simplify getting dressed. Though sometimes if a piece or combination outside that framework really speaks to me, I’ll go “off-piste.”
What are your favorite online and or boutique sources?
We really don’t have many independent boutiques nearby; almost everything is either a single brand store or department store. And almost no one carries Petites in the physical stores anymore, so I mostly shop online.
For basics, I look to J.Crew, Everlane, Chico’s, Eileen Fisher, Nordstrom. I’ve found some fun and quirky tops from Chinti & Parker (watch for sales!). The current fashion aesthetic (ruffles, florals, poofy & oversized pieces) doesn’t do much for me, so I’m hoping for a shift.
Do you have a particular diet and or exercise regime that you follow
Not that I’ve been able to stick to recently! 😉 I have a private Pilates session once a week that’s really improved my strength & posture, and I do some exercises on my own in between. I try to walk at least 30 minutes per day.
Do you have any anti-aging foods and or supplements that you recommend?
Last year I switched to a (mostly) plant-based diet and saw my cholesterol numbers and glucose levels improve dramatically. I try to avoid a lot of processed foods. (Wine doesn’t count, right? 😆) The only supplement I’m currently taking is for a hair regrowth clinical trial. I won’t know what it is until the trial concludes in September, but I do notice some improvement so will probably continue taking it afterward.
What advice do you have for women over 50? You have inspired so many of us with your blog.
Thanks so much! I think my advice (which I’d hope would apply to women of any age) would be to have fun with style, don’t be afraid to try something new, travel as much as you can, and don’t shortchange yourself. Buy fewer but better pieces as much as you are able. Keep learning, keep growing. We each have our own gifts to bring to the table; don’t be afraid to share yours.
GET SUSAN’S LOOK
Thank you so much Susan for a peek into your personal style. I love your mantra that you believe in “tools not rules”. Such sage advice for those of us over 50 and beyond. We were delighted to have you here on Ageless Style-Susan Blakey. Be sure to check out Susan’s wonderful blog Un Femme d’ Un Certain Age. You won’t be disappointed. Thank you for being an inspiration to all of us “at a certain age”.
You might also enjoy Ageless Style-Sherry Hart where I interviewed my pal Sherry.
Now pop over and visit the Contessa and her latest victim. I know she is really excited about today’s feature. Don’t forget to leave a comment! It means so much to those we are featuring.