Evolving Style – Becoming More Visible With Age
Magic Vintage Hostess Dress
This dress is groovy. It made me feel happy like an old time movie.
In case you are too young to recall those are lyrics from this catchy song, Do You Believe In Magic? by the Lovin’ Spoonful released the year before I was born.
This is the one piece of vintage clothing I bought when we did the Toronto Vintage Clothing Show just over a month ago. I spotted it hanging in someone else’s booth and thought there was no way it would fit me. I guess the stress of the show made me shrink a bit as I managed to squeeze myself in.
When you shop on the fly like I did you don’t always notice little things, like the fact that the dress is a bit short for me.
(That never happens!)
This is a handmade piece so the gal that owned it previously must have been even more vertically challenged than I am.
This length shortens me visually but it screams “I refuse to be ignored!” which is kind of what I go for some days.
This extra large bold floral print does what all large prints do, they make you look larger.
On a smaller frame oversized prints are hard to carry off. I’m doing my best here. What I lack in height I make up for in enthusiasm.
The dress is so wildly happy. As a vintage reseller I certainly would be hard to miss which is kind of the point.
I get to wear items that most people wouldn’t and possibly couldn’t ever consider due to their work situations. I don’t know how often you’d see someone running around an office looking like this. That is the bonus about being a vintage reseller, not only do I get to share my passion for vintage with the world, I get to dress as outlandishly I want.
I discovered a long time ago when I had my other business designing and selling wholesale scrapbooking supplies that it was important to create a memorable image for people to associate with you.
It is part of creating a brand. I was the artist and the brand. My company at the time was called Bisous (bee-zoo) which means little kisses in French.
The photo below was taken at the Craft And Hobby Association trade show in 2009.
My outfit looked similar to this…
I wore comfy motorcycle boots that helped me get through the ten hour days on my feet selling or teaching classes.
I always wore a hat because few people do. It is an image defining accessory.
In the photo above I added a massive stone necklace. Yes, that is my real hair colour, blond. I went red a few years afterwards.
As you can tell this was also before I paid attention to makeup. I still don’t wear makeup daily but I do like it when I go out or take photos. Otherwise it is difficult to decipher if I have eyes or not in photos. I didn’t even learn how to properly apply eye make up until a few years ago.
I used to take photos of all of the outfits I would wear during the trade show. It was part of my show preparation. While at the show I need to be focused on sales knowing that the other details were already looked after. I also did this for trips. I will share some of these outfit photos in another post. I think it is very telling to see how my personal style statement has evolved over the years becoming brighter and bolder as I age.
When we did the Toronto Vintage Clothing show a month ago I dressed like this…
This was the car packed before the show…
Not an inch to spare!
This was my wonderful helper that flew in all the way from Hong Kong…
And this is what I wore on the second day of the show…
My style evolution is becoming louder, more eclectic (some would say eccentric) and more visible as I age.
How has your personal style evolved over the past ten years? Are you becoming more or less visible? Why?
I had to take a break from my gingham dress challenge today as I had “gingham fatigue” but I still have another post or two coming soon.
Linking up and remaining Visible with the lovely ladies over at Visible Monday
You OWN that floral dress, and I wouldn’t have noticed the length at all – I think it’s perfection. Your style evolution is exhilarating! I can’t wait to see what you wear next, and you have inspired so many. You are meant to be a redhead (although a hot blonde as well)! xox
Rachel G says
“wildly happy” is a great descriptor for that dress! I love it! And I love that you get to dress “on theme” for your job. It’s perfect–even your “helper” is dressed quite perfectly for his role!
Marilee Gramith says
That dress has some major flower power and is perfect for beckoning Soring. You’ve evolved beautifully Suzanne and of course all of these versions of you are what make for the intriguing woman that you are.
Vertically challenged or not, I would have fought you for that groovy frock! My own style has certainly evolved over the past ten years, but isn’t evolving part of life? I think there’s something seriously wrong if we don’t. Anyway, I’ve become more visible the older I got and this is in fact the most visible I’ve been since, let’s say, the mid 80s. I admire your tenacity for being on your feet for eight hours straight, but your booth looks very enticing! xxx
jodie filogomo says
It’s funny because to me the dress doesn’t look too short. Then again, there are many times I will shorten my maxis a little shorter so I don’t fall over them all the time.
As for getting more visible—I truly think I am. Especially since I used to have to be so conservative when I was working!!
It’s good that we evolve—-life would be so boring otherwise…
Wow! I see a Style story for my blog here! Please check my Styled by page if you like!
great to see how you dressed years ago – it was a unique style too.
the outfits you wore on the last fair are fab! best advertising for your business!
i consider myself as very visible today – but i was even louder back then. it started in my teen years with punk & new romantic/wave looks, in my twenties (the 90´s) it was all about belgium designers, then 70´s revival and later hard rock…….. after 2000 the midcentury vintage style won my heart……….
Jessica A Jannenga says
Thank you for taking me down your memory lane.. neat to see those pictures of you and your business, your booth and hubbby helping. I love the green print and bold flowers on you, so fun and green is a fab color on you. Love it with the purple bag!
I really love the flowy dress and colors along with the hat. I dont look great in hats, but you pull it off well! I love color, so I continue to love to wear different color combinations as I get older.
I’d love the bold floral on you. It seems to define your personality also. I also love your look in 2009, that’s a cool sort of tomboyish look, and you also look quite well as a blonde.
Fabulous floral dress with the sweet ruffles, perfect with the gold metallic, and many well done mixes here to feast on.
I think I am becoming a bit more visible as well. When I was younger I was very thin and liked to wear over size clothing in various shades of beige and gray.
Great to be back reading blogs !
I hear you. When I am under stress I tend to lose a little bit of weight.
Sherry - Petite Over 40 says
If I saw that green dress outside of this post I would immediately think “Suzanne.” It is SO YOU. And you do sparkle in it, as you do in the other fabulous outfits you put together for the Toronto Vintage Clothing Show.
I go back and forth on how visible I want to be when I’m out and about. I love how you and Mel carry off your bold styles. They are so perfectly you. The introvert in me doesn’t always want the attention I get when I’m dressed more boldly, but then I get mad when I am overlooked in a shop because I’m invisible. So…I am seeking a middle ground. 🙂
Finally, that last green dress–the one you wore on the 2nd day of the show–reminded me of our time in Vancouver last year. I seem to recall you wore it then. I loved it then and love it now! You’re awesome.
Señora Allnut says
woww, that’s a groovy dress and it fits you like a dream, please, don’t let those little details (like lenght) distract you from the fabulousness!!. I’m usually obsessed with skirts or pants being too short on me, and hate when that happens, even if I know that most of the people don’t even notice it.
And it’s really interesting to see your style in evolution, as it looks ecclectic, elegant and genuine all the time. I like how you wore your motorcycle boots with a waistcoat, a necklace and lots of attitude!
I’m becoming more visible with age, and more comfident too. Embracing a more creative, bolder and louder style!
No Fear of Fashion says
I think I have become more modern, bolder and “younger” in my choices in the past 5 years. I am not one for eccentric although I very much appreciate it. Much much more than grey mousy.
It is so nice that you get to wear what makes your heart content and it is even totally logical looking at the business you are in now. I read your feature in Sylvia’s entrepreneur site. Very good.
The dress you are wearing reminds me so much of the seventies. And I wore them at the time too. Do you believe in magic was released in 1965 and I was 11. So it probably reached my little country when I was 14.
That dress is all kinds of fabulous, I can totally see why you bought it. I’m learning to embrace that not-quite-floor-length maxi of late especially with our continuous rain. It’s also a less dangerous length when you’re negotiating stairs!!
You both look wonderful manning your stall. My Topshop gold boots are like slippers and comfy feet are essential when you’re on your feet from 8am till 6pm!
Your previous look was cool and funky.
I don’t know whether my style has changed as I’ve got older but I probably give even less of a f*ck about other people’s opinions on how I dress than I did already! xxx
LOVE the print on that dress, and it doesn’t read as too short to me at all. I was pretty “visible” for most of my adult life given my preference for very short hair, often coloured, and punk-inspired and vintage clothing. However, my look was the subject of rude comments back in my 20’s and now that I’m in my 50’s, I feel like I’m just as visible, maybe more so, but thank God, no more rude comments, just positive feedback.
The dress doesn’t look too short to me, though it’s perhaps meant to drag on the floor. I tend to trip on long skirts/dresses so maybe the original owner had the problem too and preferred them shorter. Your previous style looks very much like something I would wear while your current style would not work for me at all so I enjoy it on others such as you! LOL-can relate though to having disappearing eyes in photos. All of my facial features seen to disappear.
The red and all the bright colours suit you so well.
Unlike many style bloggers I am not evolving into something bold. The more comfortable I am in my own skin the more I don’t give a damn whether I am visible or not and the less I feel the need to define or express myself with clothing. Been there, done that. Now I just enjoy watching others play with clothing. <3
I LOVE this dress- and it totally looks fine at that length- at least in the pictures. And-your day 1 outfit for the show is gorgeous! And totally memorable too 🙂
OMG! Late to the party, I was reading this post and saw the old picture of you with blond hair and no makeup — I thought it was a photo of your friend Sherry! Didn’t recognize you at all. (The cap and face-angle played roles in this confusion.)
I didn’t know you are relatively new to makeup but that makes sense. Women who start wearing makeup when they’re adults usually put in effort to learn how to do it right, whereas many girls who started earlier didn’t and just keep repeating poor technique into middle-age. I respect your makeup-talent immensely: you set a high bar I keep reaching for. Thanks, friend!
suzanne carillo says
Ha ha! That is so funny you thought that photo was Sherry.
I also think that when we are younger we don’t “need” makeup as much so I just didn’t bother with it. As you know I still don’t really bother with it unless I’m going out or taking photos for the blog. My eyes all but disappear in photos without makeup.
With all of the tutorials online we can all learn how to apply makeup like a professional although I must admit, 99% of all the online videos I’ve seen require far too much time and too much makeup for my tastes. It must take them over an hour to apply!