When it comes to closet space, it always seems to not be enough. Do you have things that don’t belong there anymore? Join us in conversation with model and style expert Dorrie Jacobson who has some closet secrets to share. Enjoy the show!

Margaret Manning:

My guest today is Dorrie Jacobson. Dorrie is a model, makeup artist and an expert on aging stylishly. She is an 83-year-old ex-Playboy bunny, and it’s my pleasure to have you here today, Dorrie. Welcome.

Dorrie Jacobson:

Thank you. It’s wonderful to be here.

Margaret:

I wouldn’t normally mention your age because it’s not important. But I know it’s something you like to identify with. You’re 83, and you’re looking great. You have an Instagram page that is full of amazing photographs, and you share all the great things you accomplish in your 80s on your website, Senior Style Bible.

Dorrie:

I try to invite women to realize that they don’t have to be afraid of aging.

Margaret:

I do love that your emphasis is on getting women to embrace this kind of ageless attitude and to just have a youthful perspective on life. I’m really happy that you’re here to show us what life can be. It’s very inspiring for all of us.

Dorrie:

Thank you.

Margaret:

On your website you have a really fun piece on things to throw out of your closet when you’re 60. When I read it, I couldn’t stop laughing because I had some of them. I don’t think I have too many of them left now.

So, could you share with us how you organize your closet and how to decide which items need not clutter our closets any longer?

Dorrie:

We often have a closet full of clothes that we don’t wear. We look in it and say, “I’ve got nothing to wear,” but it’s full of clothes.

This is where you start. You have to let go of some of it. For stylish women, some of the things you need to discard include sweaters that have snowflakes, reindeer or both. Another one are T-shirts that show your trip to Cancun or Las Vegas.

Margaret:

No souvenir t-shirts then. I was there for this concert.

Dorrie:

No. Absolutely not. Sweat suits, granny pants with the elastic waist and also, that wonderful dress that you’re going to wear when you lose 10 pounds.

Margaret:

Oh yeah.

Dorrie:

Put it away. That doesn’t belong in there. Clothes with shoulder pads may come back in style, so you can pack them away, but don’t leave them in your closet. Your closet should be full of the clothes that you actually wear that make you feel pretty.

Margaret:

I’ve got the list of things you mentioned on your website, and one of them were clothes that don’t fit. I too have got dresses in my closet that don’t fit me, which I’m going to remove after this conversation.

Dorrie:

I know, you find them very difficult to let go. You could throw them out or give them away. Just get them out of the closet because you want your closet to hold things that are actually wearable.

You should work on making a capsule wardrobe that you can embellish with your accessories and new trendy pieces, so that when you go to your closet, everything in there is something that you love and want to wear. The Clara shoe that looks good on you makes you feel good, and you want it in your closet.

Margaret:

So, basically, it comes down to knowing your body and which part of it you want to accent. For instance, you have fabulous shoulders, so you can wear off-the-shoulder shirts and they look absolutely brilliant on you.

Somebody else might find that their legs are their strongest point, so they’d accentuate them with nice shoes and tights. It really comes down to knowing your body and knowing yourself.

Dorrie:

Yes, very much so. There you have it, those are the things we throw out of the closet. Anything that is out of style, though it may come back someday, shouldn’t be there. Keep it somewhere else, but not in your closet.

Margaret:

I have a friend who collects clothes, especially leather jackets. She’s got tons of them. They’re good quality, but they’re just not that stylish. She won’t throw them away, so I know some people are like that.

Dorrie:

I have a red leather jacket. It’s a classic, and it won’t go out of style. You put it on with a pair of black jeans and a sweater, and you’re dressed up.

Margaret:

And you’ve got red heel boots to wear with it. I really love that about you, Dorrie, that you’re so thoughtful about how you put things together. And you have no problem wearing those heels, do you?

Dorrie:

None whatsoever. They’re very comfortable.

Margaret:

As an ex-Playboy bunny, that is in your past. You learned how to walk on heels, and even though you’re now 83, you don’t think about it twice. They are always comfortable.

Dorrie:

They are. I’ve always worn them. Now, if you’re a woman who is just going back into heels again, you might have to think about it. Perhaps try wearing lower heels first, to get a little bit more stability.

However, elevating yourself wearing a shoe like that is definitely more flattering than wearing a flat shoe. So, if you can do it, do it. If you can’t, it’s alright.

Margaret:

There are really cute flat shoes now, too. You can find really nice interesting styles, leopard prints and other funky flat shoes. You don’t have to be limited by heels if you don’t feel comfortable wearing them.

So, we covered some of the things to take out of our closet. What about the things to put in the closet? I think you said something like “only the things that reflect you.”

Dorrie:

Yes. When you have only the things that reflect you, you have a wardrobe that you can mix and match. And everything in your closet is something that you will wear.

Margaret:

So, Dorrie, what are some of the things every woman should have in her closet?

Dorrie:

I am a fan of the capsule wardrobe. Now, I wear a lot of black, all black, black and white, and a few colors. If you’re not a person who wears black, you can wear beige or navy blue. That’s your basic color. That should be the color of your winter dress or summer dress – what we usually call ‘the little black dress’ that you can dress up or down.

Skinny pants, too, are great. I like skinny jeans. You may not feel comfortable in them, so straight-leg or wide-leg pants will do for dress up. A long skirt, too.

I wear a lot of jackets because they totally change the look of that same sweater and slacks. You should have a good pair of boots, a nice pair of pumps, an everyday bag, an evening bag. Then you add the things like the colorful sweaters, and jackets, and you build around that wardrobe.

You have a long skirt, a short skirt and two or three pairs of pants. That’s your basic wardrobe. Then we add accessories which change the look of everything. That makes up your style.

Margaret:

Scarves, too. I know you wear fancy necklaces, like the metallic band you’re wearing now. I think necklaces can completely change any outfit. I really love them.

Dorrie:

I have a necklace with three squares hanging off of each other. I like things that are a little different, and I wear a lot of belts.

Margaret:

You’re not afraid to wear really chunky jewelry, though I think you said you’re not that tall.

Dorrie:

No, I just ain’t tall.

Margaret:

That’s our Dorrie. You don’t have any respect for rules when it comes to fashion. You shop anywhere you like that makes you feel good.

Dorrie:

I have these black Jimmy Choo stilettos, which I got maybe seven-eight years ago. I love them.

Margaret:

Actually, they are probably quite comfortable and safe to wear because they’ve got great ankle support.

Dorrie:

They do. I don’t wear the real strappy stiletto heels that wobble. You don’t want that because they’re unstable. Again, it comes down to wearing clothes that you love then bring a modern look to them.

For instance, today they’re wearing sequined jackets with jeans. That may not be something I would do, but I would certainly wear a shiny jacket that I can put on with a pair of jeans. It becomes a very modern look. And it’s still me. I still feel my comfort zone there.

Margaret:

Do you wear a lot of scarves?

Dorrie:

Yes, I do. I have colorful scarves and they add tremendously to your outfit. They are a statement piece.

Margaret:

I really think that scarves and necklaces can turn a simple black off-the-shoulder into a magical piece that looks wonderful.

Dorrie:

Yes. You can put on basic clothes and a piece of cool jewelry and you get a totally different outfit.

Margaret:

So, we talked about things to throw out and things that every woman should have in her closet. I guess, it always comes to having an ageless attitude to fashion. You’re just going to wear what you love and what makes you come to life.

Dorrie:

When you put on clothes that you love, and you have that self-confidence, it’s more than half of being stylish.

Margaret:

You have got all kinds of interesting information on your website, outside of things we covered in this conversation. You talk about your online dating experience. You’ve got lifestyle articles. It’s more than just fashion. Would that be correct?

Dorrie:

Very much so. I just went back into online dating at the age of 80, so I consider myself an expert.

Margaret:

And it worked, didn’t it? I don’t want to get too personal, but it worked.

Dorrie:

Yes, it did. I have a wonderful man in my life. He’s 11 years younger than I am, and he treats me like I’m a Playboy bunny.

Margaret:

And you are. You shine from the inside out, and I’m just so happy to have you here. What would you like to tell the women who’re now in their 60s, who’ve stopped working and may be thinking, “What on earth do I do with my fashion now?” “How do I reinvent myself?”

Dorrie:

I’d tell them, take a risk. Get out there and try new trends. And when you put that outfit on that makes you feel pretty and self-comforting, that’s your style. You know it. Age is really just a number.

Margaret:

Well, I certainly agree with you on that. I think that women in our Sixty and Me community do believe that age is just a number and that fashion really is ageless and we should not let anything hold us back. You’re a perfect example. Have you always been like this, Dorrie? Were you like this in your 60s?

Dorrie:

Yes. That Playboy bunny experience did it for me.

Margaret:

You certainly got the confidence. I would encourage people to check out your Instagram page because you feature very beautiful, dramatic clothing there. What made you get started with that? I’m sure you’re one of the few 83-year-old Instagrammers.

Dorrie:

I lost my husband, and I needed to start a new chapter; reinvent myself. I think so many women are feeling invisible and losing their self-confidence when they reach 50 or 60. I thought maybe I could help make them visible again.

Maybe I could help them develop an attitude of self-confidence by being out there in my stiletto heels and my skinny jeans, having fun. Hopefully, women will feel inspired and will realize that age is just a number that can’t take a toll on your self-confidence. Breaking the rules really works.

Margaret:

It certainly works for you. I guess some other things to throw out of your closet are fear, doubt and lack of confidence. Just throw those out of your life and start building a closet full of you, full of the things that truly reflect who you are.

Well, I’ve learned a lot from you, and I really appreciate your time and advice and the wisdom you shared with us. Thank you so much, Dorrie. We’ll see you again soon.

Dorrie:

Okay, bye.

Margaret:

Bye for now.

What things clutter your closet, but you know you will never wear them again? Have you thrown some things that have gone out of style? Are you afraid to express your true self with your clothes and accessories? Please share your thoughts and comments in the box below.

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