Category Archives: Fashion

Neighborhood Outdoor Free Swaps During Covid

Rope between street trees hangs free clothing, box holds other free items

Many of us are downsizing and de-cluttering. Some because we have the time on our hands and it’s enjoyable, some preparing to move to a smaller place, some because kids/families are growing and we don’t need/fit the items anymore.

At this same time, many of the places we usually drop off our de-cluttering donations are not accepting donations at this time, and indoor Free Swapping activities are mostly on hold. Where can we put all our de-cluttered stuff?

How about a Neighborhood Outdoor Free Swap? For an example, we live in a walkable neighborhood where there is lots of foot traffic. I’ve strung a line between our street trees and have been hanging up clothes I no longer need/use love, with a ‘free’ sign. I also have a large cardboard box in the parking strip with a ‘free’ sign. It’s fun to watch neighbors walk by and look through the goodies, and see the joy on their faces as they take things they can use/repurpose. If you are in a more rural area, having a ‘free neighborhood swap’ might do the same thing by having families bring items they have decluttered to a central location.

My husband and I go on evening walks through our neighborhood. I’ve noticed that more neighbors have started putting out ‘free’ boxes in their parking strips now. Some have hung clothes from the branches of their trees. Others have laid items out on their front lawns with free sign and arrow. It makes walks through the neighborhood feel like a scavenger hunt! It also keeps usable items out of the landfill, and occasionally allows some social distancing neighborhood visits.

Right now it’s beautiful, sunny, warm weather. However, when it gets rainy, cardboard free boxes and clothes hanging in trees won’t work. But this fun activity can last longer if we bring in the items if rain is in the forecast, and put them back out when it’s sunny. As long as neighbors are walking their dogs, walking in the neighborhood, then this will work. When we are in our homes keeping dry and warm will be the time to pack in the idea. Maybe by then there will be a Covid vaccine and we can begin inside free swaps again?

Many of us have appreciated the added free frugal entertainment of Neighborhood Outdoor Free Swaps during this strange time, having something simple we can do together that combines community building, de-cluttering, and treasure hunting fun.

For more details on Free Swapping, check out the Swap Positive blog.

Barb Hughes

Call 911, text for help, with the touch of a button

I just discovered this safety jewelry that sets off a loud alarm, texts friends/family/contacts of your location, and dials 911 all at the touch of a button.  It’s called Roar Jewelry. Part of the purchase price goes to educating children in empathy, so that the rape and violence culture cycle ends.

Start a Free Store for the Homeless

Wanna start a free pop-up store for the homeless?  Check out this video, which gives how-to information including downloadable posters!

Introducing The Street Store. The world’s first rent-free, premises-free, free ‘pop-up clothing store’ for the homeless, found entirely on the street and curated by you.

Download open-source files and host your own Street Store on www.thestreetstore.org

Follow on Twitter @TheStreetStore and on Facebook.com/thestreetstoreorg 

Fight Crime with a Fashionable Hair Clip

first_sign_clip-3The First Sign Hair Clip was designed by Rachel Emanuele as a tool to protect women from violent crime.  The clip can attach to hair or even a purse strap, and then detects through algorithm  if you are being attacked (it knows the difference between a violent attack, a bump on the head, or jogging for instance).  It also has a panic button you can push in case of danger as well.  The included app collects data as evidence such as where you are, records your conversation, notifies authorities that a crime is being committed, and sends out a verbal message saying you have been located and help is on the way (thus possibly scaring away the attacker so no more harm is done, but also gathering information about him for prosecution).

Here’s the background story

You can reserve a clip for yourself or a loved one, and bring this hair clip to market through your contributions to this  Indigogo account.

Thanks to Gizmag for this article on Impact Sensing Hair Clip Helps Fight Violent Crime.

Vertical striped blazer and skinny leg pajama jeans

DSC_0005I usually don’t go for blazers, but I thought this navy and pink striped blazer actually did me justice.  It’s a Ralph Lauren 100% wool blazer with plenty of shaping darts.  I like the vertical striped pattern in front and in back which gives the illusion of added height, the large white buttons down the front as well as on the back cuff/sleeves, the working slit front pockets and breast pocket, and the soft pink lining not only inside the jacket but also in the pockets.  The stripes are actually light pink, not white.

The blouse is Banana Republic 98% cotton 2% lycra/spandex.  It’s got big pearlized pink buttons down the front and on the 3/4 length sleeves.  Well darted/fitted as well, the collar is a littler bigger/wider than I would usually get, but it seems to go well with this jacket.

Mixing dressy tops with with casual bottoms, the pants are – get this – black skinny leg Pajama Jeans!  So comfortable and warm, and they have side stitching that matches the stitching look of the jacket stripes.  They also tuck in quite well to the black leather boots.  All of the Pajama Jeans seem to be hemmed for those under 5’4″, but the skinny leg Pajama Jeans you could probably get away with wearing if you’re a little taller if you don’t mind them being capris.  See other practical fashion ideas at Over 40 Fashions.

Cute and practical skort

for Barb Hughes 8 2013 019See Lynn’s cute and practical skort and learn what she likes about it here.

If you’re at least 40 years old and want to share cute and practical clothes from your closet, you can be a role model/visual model/opinion model, too. Find out more at the Over 40 Fashions Be A Model page and share your fashion and clothing ideas.  It will help women of all ages see how the clothes you like fit on women of all shapes and sizes.  Check out the home page while you’re at it:)

Over 40 Fashions | women 40+ wearing/sharing clothes we like

Barb Hughes 2013

I finally did it!  Finally was able to change over the old Over 40 Fashions iweb site to a modern site with a lot more functionality and ease of use!  You can now search for styles by category  (tops, bottoms, accessories etc.) and also by tag (body shape and possibly other tags in the future).  Thank you for being so encouraging of my little volunteer experiment since 2009, allowing women of all sizes to show off fashions they like from their own closets.  Women 40+ get to play dress-up, share what works for them, educate women of all ages on what stands the test of time, as well as encourage each other.  Instead of trying to fit into styles/shapes/sizes/trends that aren’t flattering anymore (and were they even flattering back then anyway?), we are showing what DOES look flattering now, what we enjoy, and telling why we enjoy it. If you have arthritic feet and can’t wear high heels anymore..what cute shoes CAN you wear?  Show them off!

On Over 40 Fashions, we share what we like and give our opinions so we can get great new ideas on where to shop to find styles, colors, sizes, and fashions that work for us.  I’m also hoping the fashion industry and advertisers catch on and start using real women 40+ of all shapes and sizes as their models (if you model on this site, you’ll be getting exposure to that very industry…so if you’ve ever wanted to be a model, here’s your audition:) This is why I say “If you don’t see someone who looks like you as a model, then we need YOU to contribute!”  Plus, tell your friends you’re an international (internet) fashion model – how fun is THAT?

I’m looking for clothing advertisers who want to reach the 40+ female to sponsor/advertise.  I’ve been hosting and honing Over 40 Fashions since 2009 as a hobby and feel it’s to the place where it can make a larger impact.  On another note, I’ve had people asking where they could donate, so I’ve included a donation entry on the paypal button under the sponsor link.  If you feel you’ve learned something new from this site, or want to say ‘thank you’ for the opportunity for women of all shapes and sizes to be seen and heard, feel free to donate a few bucks if you feel so inclined.

I’m so happy for those excited to share this journey.  Please subscribe using the subscribe button on the Over 40 Fashions website so you can get all posts immediately and you don’t miss anything.  Tell your friends.  And please, be a model!

Sincerely,

Barb Hughes, founder and instigator of Over 40 Fashions

via Over 40 Fashions | women 40+ wearing/sharing clothes we like.

P.S.  this may mean some of the fashion ideas that I previously blogged about will only be seen on the Over 40 Fashions site in the future.

 

 

breathable tank style dress

Lynne starfish dress 8 2013 027From Fresh Produce, this periwinkle and white dress (in that popular starfish pattern) has pockets. It’s 100% cotton. I wash it on cold and hang dry. The tee shirt, from Fresh Produce, is 100% cotton also. Both really breath. The dress, like the tee, is soft with a bit of stretch in it but also enough body to hold its shape. Comfy!

Lynne

Tunic top and skinny elastic waist jeans

tunic & boots 1DSC_0005

Boy did I have fun this past week.  Went to The Difference where they were hosting a free seminar on fall fashion for the classic type.  Classic types tend to stay in our fashion rut – hey, if it was popular 2 decades ago, it still should look fine, right?  What I love about The Difference is they always prod me to crawl out of my fashion rut and try something new that flatters.

I am actually 3 types:  classic (I like simple, classic lines), delicate (it’s because I’m petite and about 100 pounds, not that I like the term ‘delicate’ at all), and casual (I prefer comfort over anything, so my casual side is always fighting my classic…and they both are unnerved to be considered delicate).

I think the ladies at The Difference did a fine job of helping me to find an outfit that perfectly fits ALL my criteria, while challenging my pre-conceived notions.

tunic & boots 2IMG_1853I usually shy away from tunic tops because they make me look squat – but look what looks fabulous when it’s the right cut/color/style for a petite?  This Tunic Top is Tribal brand, 94% polyester, 6% spandex.  It has a gentle cowl neck drape and long sleeves (which I prefer.  If I want 3/4 sleeves I can push them up).  I like this color combination for fall, and the pattern speaks of anything but delicate:)

The pants are by a company called Miracle Body.  The ladies at The Difference assured us that these make ANY women’s body look great.  I ended buying the pull on jeans so I could wear them under tunics without the zipper-pooch.  I don’t know if it’s because I’m of that age where I prefer elastic waist pants…or that I’m petite so any extra pooch or puff shows up more on me, but I’m finding that I’m little by little replacing all my jeans/pants with no-zipper ones.  These Miracle Body elastic waist pants are 88% cotton, 9% polyester, and 3% spandex, and have some sort of a pooch eliminator belly band inside that I didn’t even feel at all, it’s that comfortable.  The color is a gray/green, so depending on what you wear on top, they seem to change their hue.  The pants look great tucked into boots, and lay flat at the ankles.

The belt was the big investment, but it really does make this outfit, and here’s why.  I have a short waist.  O.K. a non-existent waist.  My rib cage sits on my hipbones, so there is no place for a belt to go.  However, I have long legs, so since this belt sits on my hips, it extends my short waist, AND gives my body the illusion of being taller because it dips lower in the front.  The silver buckle matches the silver in my hair, and the black leather goes with EVERYTHING, including these black leather boots and pretty much everything else I own.

The boots I got a few years ago at Nordstrom.  They are Spire Peak Merrill boots in black leather.  They’ve got thinsulate insulation and are waterproof, so they keep me warm and comfortable. They have tennis shoe like walking comfort, and have easy access inner side zips.  Check out The Difference on facebook.

25 ways to tie a scarf!

Learn easy new ways to show off your scarves!

Plushy snuggly bathrobe, fun slippers and pj’s

Margaret bathrobeWith colder weather around the corner, here’s a snuggly warm submission from contributor Margaret Kumma. Plus, she’s got creative uses for some of these items that go beyond sleeping.

The bathrobe is a plush robe in pink.  The fabric is 100% cotton.   The brand is Hotel Spa Collections.  I purchased it from Amazon a few years ago in the winter.  What I like about it is that it’s very warm for those cold winter nights.  I also like the mid-thigh length.  I love how soft and comfortable Continue reading

Flowing, breathable, beachy-type tunic

beige and white top backHere’s contributor Lynne Spreen, talking about her new favorite place to shop for breathable fiber casual clothes.

Hi Barb, here is the first outfit, 2 pics, one of back and one of front.

I just discovered a wonderful store called Fresh Produce. They sell a lot of flowy stuff but it’s all cotton or similar fibers, very breathable. Like Chico’s only not so plastic. The store makes me think beach first and desert second. It’s casual but stylish. Prices are Continue reading

Supple fabric feels great, looks great on curves

Lindapurpletop_2Linda found a line of tailored soft tops that fit her curves:

I am modeling an open-collar casual top with cuffed sleeves made of micro-modal fabric.  The top is part of a classic line designed by Covered Perfectly for women over 40. What I love most about this garment is the feel of the fabric. It feels luxurious, supple.   I also love that it was offered in the color purple, which I often wear with turquoise and orange.  The style is nice for body types with more “butter” around the middle as it falls loosely, without looking baggy.  Originally, my shape was Apple/Apple Core; however, as time evolved, so did my shape.  I still have to accommodate comfortably and elegantly a big bust and hips.  Covered Perfectly’s line is ample and is something to note.   I normally wear an XL in tops and found that with their line, XL is too big.  I size-changed to L (worn in photo) and that works well.  With their garments, I would venture to wear more tailored tops and feel good about it.

Thanks to Linda for sharing!

You can share items from your closet, too!  When we share, we see how items really look on shapes/ages like ours.  If you don’t see a shape like yours represented, please be a model/contributor!   Here’s how.

P.S. If you like Linda’s look, use the discount code OVER40 and get 20% off your first order at Covered Perfectly, a women-owned American business making a positive difference in women’s fashion.

Tops designed to flatter women 40+!

pauline covered perfectlyPRACTICAL is the operative word for this new clothing company, and ATTRACTIVE is the operative word for these new tops!  Covered Perfectly is a clothing company started by Pauline Durban, because she couldn’t find clothing that flattered her body.  She wanted tops that covered her arms and that were long enough to go over her belly.  She wanted comfortable soft fabric, and styles that made her feel good about herself.  So she designed a line of tops that ‘covered perfectly’ and made them easily available.

Covered Perfectly launched on May 5th 2013, so this is a brand new company with lovely clothes at reasonable prices made of fabulous fabric (the main fabric is a natural fiber, MicroModal, with a touch of spandex, which is super soft and luxurious and drapes wonderfully).  Pauline listens to the opinions of her customers – by popular demand she’s in the process of adding plus sizes to her collection, which should be in by the end of September.

Check out the Covered Perfectly website and see these gorgeous clothes for yourself.  For our readers at Better Ideas Now and Over 40 Fashions, use the discount code OVER40 and get a discount of 20% off your first order!  You’ll support a women-owned American business making a positive difference in women’s fashion, AND you’ll get fabulous fitting tops at a great price!

Purple/blue crinkle top flatters curvy figures

Margaret purple floral top and skirtMargaret Kumma talks about clothes she loves from her own closet that flatter her curvy shape:

What I love about this blouse are the colors, the crinkle fabric, the shape, and the pleated front and 28″ length.  I also love that it’s very roomy! I’m fairly sure my shape is Apple because I seem to be pretty much round!  The Crinkle Georgette Blouse color is listed as Blue Multi-Floral, but really it’s a sort of rose background with multi-colored flowers, which are mostly blue, and there are purple and white as well. The fabric is 100% polyester, the brand is Only Necessities, purchased from Continue reading

Elegant black evening gown

Marilyn black dressMarilyn shares this elegant gem from her own closet:

One of my occupations is going to non-profit auctions, and bid spotting for the auctioneer. I need to look great and have comfortable clothes to move in. This classic black dress always fits the bill.

The beautiful dress I am wearing is an elegant black velvet evening gown. I love how it stretches, flows, and rarely wrinkles. The waistline follows my contour curves nicely. The shoulder straps have cute little roses embellished on them.  I picked it up at a garage sale. The dress is made by “Dress Barn”. Black is my favorite color to wear. It flatters any size woman.

Thanks to Marilyn Burns for sharing!

You can share items from your closet, too!  When we share, we see how items really look on shapes/ages like ours.  If you don’t see a shape like yours represented, please be a model/contributor!   Here’s how.

Book: classic style featuring women 60+

Advanced Style

Young photographer Ari Seth Cohen has captured the fashion sense and confidence of the classic older set in his book Advanced Style.  As a boy, his grandma’s fashion sense, watching classic movies, and taking trips to the library to see pictures of the past enamored Ari.  He was struck by the images of elegant and glamorous times where men and women wore hats, gloves, and dressed up because it was the thing to do.  Advanced Style shows Ari Seth Cohen’s photos of real women, most in the age range of 60-100, many giving advice on how they chose styles that work best for them.

These are great ideas no matter what your age, but are especially wonderful for Continue reading

Soft drape top

denisetopHere’s a favorite dressy top from Denise:

Just thought I’d like to participate in your ‘Share Your Style – Be A Model’. I think it’s a wonderful idea to showcase ordinary women, no matter what shape or size, because, after all, we are the REAL women of the world.
 
I am 50 years’ old. I am grey and proud. I am a UK Size 12 (occasionally I’ll get away with a 10) and am most probably a ‘pear’ shape. I am 5′ 6″ tall.
 
The item of clothing I’d like to share with you is the top I am wearing. I bought Continue reading

Comfort takes center stage for casual activities

Here’s a favorite spring/summer look from my friend Lita:

I ALWAYS dress for comfort.  This outfit takes me where ever I need to go:  volunteer work, shopping, gardening or chaperoning for school or church groups.  It is practical, comfortable AND affordable!

100% Cotton, Faded Glory V-neck t-shirt in sage green from Continue reading

Floral hoodie gives springtime warmth

Floral hoodieWith spring in the air, I wanted to liven up my (mostly) solid colored wardrobe with something floral.  I found this cute hoodie at Title 9 Sports.  It’s 60% cotton 40% polyester fabric is known as Mobetta, and it is soft and comfy and warm for those days when spring air still has a chill to it.  I like the way the decorative purple seams are placed in a thinning fashion in front and back.  There’s an outer zip pocket on the left sleeve, and a hidden inner patch pocket as well.

floral hoodie backThe long sleeves have thumbholes and can work as mittens, or you can cuff the ends.  The purple hood lining matches the seam trim, and the over-all look is fresh but not too overwhelming.  If you need a splash of ‘cute’ in your wardrobe, this just might be for you.

I’d love to see what YOU are wearing!  If you’re over 40 and would like to share ideas that work for you, please click here.