Pamela Lutrell models creative style

Few of us dress like Iris Apfel, the queen of creative fashion styling over 50. I believe she is someone who looks in the mirror before she leaves the house and adds another accessory, rather than to remove one as Coco Chanel suggested.    Yet, when I saw our reader, Susan B’s, style adjectives I thought of Iris.  Susan wants to communicate that she is confident, comfortable, creative, chic and fun. 

Pamela Lutrell emulates Iris Apfel

But, yesterday, it was a lot easier to walk into my closet and find Audrey Hepburn than it was to find Iris, for purposes of illustration. I tried to take things and put them together in such a way as Iris might to show you that sometimes creative, fun styling can work together well…or at least I think it does.  There are different patterns here, but everything is in the same color family.  I would love to have a red necklace of big beads that Iris is famous for wearing.  I am not entirely pleased with the necklace here and before I wore this out, I would probably play with the accessories longer.  I also could have piled on the bracelets as Iris does.

Pamela Lutrell in Natori top

I wanted you to see all of the different colors in this top.  Because of the brown and black in it, I can wear this brown jacket and black pants and it all seems to work.  But you see red, purple, a little orange…I know there is a lot going on.  But, one of the reasons I wanted to show this, is because louder, artistic, creative prints will be on trend this year and there is much more to come in the stores.  For me, I like to wear prints…especially artistic ones.

Pamela Lutrell's Iris Apfel inspired styling


In Iris’s Own Words

I love to read Iris Apfel’s interviews or watch her being interviewed.  I always learn so much.  In an interview with the New York Times Magazine, Iris said: 

“Do you think our attitude about age has changed? Not fast enough. Designers have completely ignored the over-65-year-old market. We have plenty of time and expendable income, and we can’t find anything to buy, because everything is designed for 15-year-olds. I mean, the youth market has to be served, but not with $5,000 dresses.

You’re celebrated by designers for your eccentric style, but many of those same people tend to dress in low-profile ways. Why do you think that is? I mean, lots of people pay lip service to it, but they won’t wear it. They’re afraid. You gotta know yourself very well, and you have to be honest with what you can pull off. If you’re not comfortable with it, no matter how marvelous the outfit is, you’re gonna look like a jerk, because you’re gonna be so uncomfortable. I think, given a choice, it’s better to be unstylish but happy.”

Then on, she offered this advice:

  1. First and foremost, know thyself.
    “If you know who you are, and what you can carry off, and what you’re going to be comfortable with, you do it. Go for it. Don’t be afraid. The fashion police won’t haul you off if you’re doing something that doesn’t turn out so well.But if you’re happy with it and it’s not totally freaky, just do it.”
  2. Go with your gut, and be open to new and different things.
    “Everything with me is very, how shall I say, visceral. I look at things, even if I don’t know much about them, and if I like them, I learn about them later. I like things that speak to me.I don’t have to know everything about it before I [wear] it—I think that makes things a little bit uptight. I’m always open to something new.”
  3. Pick pieces that excite you.
    “People have told me how much happier they feel having pieces to express themselves. Clothing and how you dress can be a creative form of self-expression. I’m not a person who lives by plan. It takes time and it takes effort and experimentation; it doesn’t come all at once. You really have to do it yourself, because everybody’s style is individual. That’s what makes it style. You have to live with yourself and go to bed with yourself every night.And you have to do things that you feel comfortable with. If you want to please everybody, you’ll end up pleasing nobody.”

Over 50 Feeling 40 in artistic prints

This outfit definitely needs some “tweaking” but it is worth it to me to keep working with it.  I am going to be experimenting with some artistic prints, just because I really like the looks.  I will let you know how it turns out. (I think I just realized it needs some bling, something shiny!  Oh, yeah!)

For more inspiration, watch last week’s episode of Project Runway Here...they were to design a look with artistic prints (maybe a couple were a little in appropriate!) but that is what tipped me off about the trend, so I did some research…and we will see more.  So, what do you think about wearing loud artistic prints…are you in or out?

Now, let’s look for ways to inspire Susan

As I said, Susan wants to communicate that she is confident, comfortable, creative, chic and fun.   Pretty much what I like as well.  So, here is a slideshow for Susan and women like her!  Thanks for participating.


By Pamela Lutrell

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