Does age matter where fashion is concerned? Join us in discussion with Dorrie Jacobson, fashion expert and ex-Playboy model, who knows what style is all about. Enjoy the show!

 

Margaret Manning:

My guest today is the 83-year-old ex-Playboy bunny Dorrie Jacobson. Nowadays, Dorrie is a model, a makeup artist and an expert on aging stylishly. She runs a fantastic website called Senior Style Bible where she wants to inspire women of a certain age to embrace an ageless attitude toward fashion and life. Welcome.

I really love your attitude toward aging, Dorrie. So, I would like to ask you, what are the key elements of ageless, timeless fashion?

Dorrie:

The very first thing you need to do is eliminate the age-appropriate attitude. I don’t shop in stores that cater to the mature woman because their clothes are not trendy, do not flatter the body and are not at all unusual. You don’t get runway fashion there.

You can actually shop where your teenage daughters or granddaughters do, as long as you can modify – and you can – the clothes that are out there for you. You just have to spend a little more time looking and trying on and risking.

Margaret:

I love that idea. I go to Zara and H&M all the time. If the things there don’t fit me, I will copy their ideas and then make my own variation on the theme. That’s a great first tip: don’t think about age when you’re walking into the store. Just go into the places that sparkle for you.

Dorrie:

Pick out clothes that make you feel pretty and that you love. Really, there’s no age factor or expiration date on being that stylish, alluring – even sexy – woman.

Margaret:

You mentioned trends, would you say that you are a trend follower?

Dorrie:

Certain trends, yes. And certain other trends, absolutely not. I noticed on the runways this year that they’re putting sneakers with dressy clothes. That’s a big no for me. Save the look for the teenagers.

Margaret:

You know yourself though, and I guess that’s part of being an ex-playboy bunny. You know your style, your good features and those you don’t really want to mention.

Dorrie:

I think we all do. We know what we want to camouflage and what we want to show others. Shoulders? Yes. Bare legs? Absolutely not. I don’t wear sleeveless clothes, except in the summertime, when it reaches 120 in Las Vegas and I can’t wear long sleeves.

My secret here is sheer jackets. I have a closet full of them, and they’re not expensive. I got one from Zara that cost me $20.

Margaret:

That’s a great idea.

Dorrie:

Simply add it to your look – it’s very modern, it’s very fashionable and it camouflages those parts I don’t want to put out there.

Margaret:

Okay, let’s summarize your points thus far. First, when you go shopping, you should stop thinking about your age and age-appropriate clothing. Just go into any shop that you love and try the outfits that speak to you.

Your second advice has to do with looking at yourself as an ageless being. Consider styles that you love and feel comfortable in. If you don’t want to show your arms, get a lovely sheer jacket that covers up those areas. What else makes up ageless fashion?

Dorrie:

I, personally, love dramatic clothes. I love all those things that you’re supposed to be wearing only if you’re tall and willowy. I wear them anyway because I think they look wonderful, and I just ain’t tall. It has to do with attitude and self-confidence.

When you’re wearing clothes that you love, you feel different about yourself and you project that out into the world. That’s what you should be doing. Age has nothing to do with being the fashionable woman.

Margaret:

So, what goes through your mind each morning as you go to your closet? You probably aren’t conscious of it, but what are the kind of decisions you make when you pick out your outfit for the day?

How do you match your emotions and state of mind to a piece of clothing? If you’re feeling hesitant, for example, how would you balance that with your clothes?

Dorrie:

Your clothes are an expression of who you are and how you feel. Also, it depends on what your plans are for the day – whether you’re going to be casual or dressed up or whatever.

At any rate, your closet should be full of things you love, and the things that don’t flatter you and don’t make you feel good have no place in your closet. This way when you dress, it’s always a pleasure and always feel great.

Margaret:

That leaves you no choice, really. Any item would work.

Dorrie:

Exactly. You feel great in every item. So, when you walk out there, people are starting to look at you because you project that feeling outside of yourself.

Margaret:

Yeah, and you project confidence. You’re not shouting it though, you’re being subtle about it. That’s the kind of sense of style and sensuality that comes from being an ex-Playboy bunny.

Dorrie:

Exactly, and I think we all need to feel a little sexy. I don’t know what you do with it, it’s your choice, but it definitely adds to feeling youthful.

Margaret:

So how would you describe your fashion style?

Dorrie:

I would say, edgy, dramatic, differently not granny.

Margaret:

That’s really working for you, Dorrie. You don’t project a granny style at all.

Dorrie:

The fashion magazines today all have a section where they show you what you should be wearing at 20, 30, 40, 50 and 60. They don’t have anything for 70 and beyond because they think, at that age, we should be in a rocking chair and wearing slippers.

But the clothes that they show for women of 50 and 60, I would never wear. I’m sure they are picked up by somebody who’s 20-years-old who has no idea of what we really need.

Margaret:

So, it really seems that fashion after 50 is an art, isn’t it? It’s an art because an art is something that you study and practice until you don’t have to think about what you put on because everything in that closet is you.

Dorrie:

Right, exactly.

Margaret:

I think that’s fantastic. What’s your favorite crazy outfit that you’ve ever worn? What sort of things have gotten a wow response from people?

Dorrie:

My crazy shoes often get a wow response. I have several pairs that are very dramatic, and when I want to really be noticed I put on one of those pairs.

Margaret:

What qualities do you think a woman needs to have to be able to master the art of ageless fashion?

Dorrie:

I think you have to be willing to take risks; to go out there and try the new trends and new looks. It may work with you or not, but don’t fall into that thinking that you have to keep your style as it was 20 years ago. The same goes for your makeup and everything else. It’s very important to change with the times if you want to be a modern woman.

Margaret:

So, be bold. Be brave. Be courageous. I think, though, that there are some women who look more for comfort than style. Doesn’t comfort have more to do with how you feel in the clothes rather than how the clothes feel?

Dorrie:

Very true. One of the things I always tell women is that if you want to be a stylish woman, your tailor is your best friend. Perfect fit of your clothes is very important.

Very few people have a perfect size, so you do need a little bit of alteration sometimes. Also, you can take a very inexpensive outfit that fits well and looks like a million dollars. And you can take a designer outfit that doesn’t fit, and you just don’t have that great look.

Margaret:

Yeah. I guess that has to do with knowing your style and your body.

Dorrie:

You have to be critical and decide if this is the right thing for you. If it isn’t, try something else.

Margaret:

This is really good advice, and I agree with you that the way that we dress is one way that we’re talking.  With our clothes we communicate our personality, our values and priorities. Everything, basically.

Dorrie:

When you walk into a room full of strangers, they don’t know how interesting or how funny you are. All they can see is what you’re wearing.

Margaret:

This is all great advice. I want to thank you for your time here. You are the epitome of ageless fashion to me. You are ignoring all the rules and you look fantastic because you believe in yourself.

I think you are an inspiration to older women who want to dress with style. Some people don’t, and that’s totally fine, but for us who would want to have a little go at something new and different, you are a huge inspiration. Thank you so much for that, Dorrie.

What do you think about the concept of ageless fashion? Is your style ageless? What do you do to look modern and trendy? Please share your tips below!

Let's Have a Conversation!