Privilege Blog

I Am Not Linda Rodin, But, Or, Saturday Morning at 9:44am

(J. Crew shirt worn at the end of this post on New York Fashion Week, Madewell jeans and Ecco sneakers worn here, gold hoop earrings shown here, Bare Minerals GenNude lipstick reviewed here)

I am not Linda Rodin.

Isn’t she cool?

And yet, when I read this interview with her on Cup of Jo, I felt a little spark of recognition. Linda says,

Q: Was there a time in your life when you felt really beautiful?
A: Right now. Truly, more than ever. Getting old gives you freedom. You can be cranky; people just say, oh, well, you’re a doddering old lady. You don’t have to make excuses.


I love clumpy eyelashes; that’s how we wore it in the 60s. We even used to draw Twiggy-style eyelashes underneath our eyes — it looked absurd, but whatever beauty looks I’ve tried, I always thought they were right at the time.” (bold added)

Yes, in my 60s. I don’t feel radiant with youth and beauty, I am not impeccable, but I do get a kick out of being able to get dressed and feel good in my skin.

Many might deem the outfit atop this post “too young.” Ironically, when I was 50, or even 40. I might have felt sheepish or tentative. Now, ha.

I had always known how to dress “up,” thanks to my mother. I had figured out how to dress for different work environments, thanks to the High WASP obsession with “appropriate” and social contexts. But in casual clothing I never wanted to show I was trying. Too embarrassing, to care.

It wasn’t a conscious attitude, so little about how I dressed was conscious before I started writing this blog. But now I’m all, “Hey, this is comfortable, I feel jaunty, my feet don’t hurt, I’ll make a gesture towards style with some visible earrings, let’s go.” I might even add an exclamation point, something else I used to avoid.

So thank you all for biding with me as I sorted out family baggage. Beloved family, finely tooled, but a burden when carried without a break.

Which brings me to other news. Tracey Cleantis, she of the erstwhile blog, La Belette Rouge, she of the best-selling The Next Happy, is writing a new book about the psychology of our wardrobes. She and Sue of Une Femme talked a little about the upcoming book, Sue discusses here.

I suspect Linda will approve.

Have an absolutely excellent weekend everyone.

30 Responses

  1. You look adorable and so does Ms Rodin. Twiggy lashes, ha! I was guilty of those too.

    As to dressing too young, our group of ladies can avoid having to dress like someone’s grandmother, even though many of us are. The times they are a-changing. Jeans and a tee shirt suit so many of us.

    Happy weekend. Look forward to your next Saturday post.

  2. Jaunty, a perfect description! It suits you perfectly. I love Linda Rodin’s style too. She manages to incorporate a little fun without looking like a caricature.

  3. I often read here, and rarely reply. But, this time I want to say thank you. At 46, I go back and forth between mourning lost youth and enjoying the freedoms of middle age (when it comes to clothing, hair, etc., that is — other arenas feel oddly less fraught in terma of aging). You give me hope that the scale may tip in the direction of freedom as I move into the next decades. Again, thank you!

    1. @Sarah, My pleasure. I think you are in that swing time, where at one moment you’re the icon, at another barely visible. Aging has helped me get more comfortable, even as I’ve lost the gaze of others unless I am a) loved b) making an effort;).

  4. “Yes, in my 60s. I don’t feel radiant with youth and beauty, I am not impeccable, but I do get a kick out of being able to get dressed and feel good in my skin.”

    This. Thank you

  5. I like the freedom that has come with aging…
    we can wear whatever we want!
    I love jeans and Tees and sneakers.

    You look totally at ease in your clothes…
    I’ve started following Linda on IG and she does look like she’s having fun!
    That’s got a lot of appeal….fun and a relaxed attitude…what could be better?

  6. Age and developmental stages absolutely impact how and why we dress. You and Susan do such an amazing job exploring the psychosocial stage of Generativity versus stagnation. Both you and Susan( and Linda) are so generously inspiring women all over the world to thoughtfully consider dress, style and self. I hope that, dear Lisa, I can trouble you for an interview and maybe a closet tour. You are a style inspiration and many garments in my closet came from you as a sort of internalized sartorial self-object( sorry to throw in psychoanalytic speak). All that to say, one need not be Linda Rodin to be an inspiration or generative. Thank you for the shout out for Susan’s wonderful and generous post and, finally, thank you for this, “I get a kick out of being able to get dressed and feel good in my skin”; Yes indeed!

    1. @Tracey Cleantis, I’d be honored to do either or both, interview or closet tour. As I am honored that you have found my blog useful. “All that to say, one need not be Linda Rodin to be an inspiration or generative.” In a well-put nutshell, and something to remind myself of from time to time.

  7. We were brought up the same way in that I’ve always known how to “dress up” and what’s right (and appropriate) for me. I just shopped for a new dress and shoes for a few upcoming weddings, and bought the first and only dress I tried on – just knew it was “right” when I saw it on the hanger. I’m very casual 99% of the time, and it’s been more difficult to find out what feels right, and it seems ever changing as well. Linda Rodin always wears her hair up, bright red lipstick and sunglasses – so I feel she doesn’t need much else to have her “look” down. I’m envious and wish I had more of a signature and easy way to feel pulled together immediately. You look adorable.

    1. @KSL, Thank you. I feel like I could pull together your signature look in a store, so maybe the look you do have just isn’t quite meeting the expectations of your considerable aesthetic! Which is a compliment, BTW, and not me trying to say I know more about you than you do yourself.

  8. In my opinion, appearance and age is different for each individual. I have met some 50-60 year old women that do not look their age and they know themselves pretty well as well as feel comfortable in their own skin. They often can pull off outfits that others can not. That said, the outfit needs to fit the appearance, regardless of age. When their is a mismatch in appearance, age, and outfit it just looks odd and not attractive. You and Linda are skilled in putting great outfits together. Thanks for sharing.

    1. @Susan, I agree – everybody approaches aging differently. I do not think I will ever dress in the Advanced Style mode – I don’t like flowing garments unless I’m fancy. It is about matching the self, and that just takes focus and a little what the heck;). You are welcome.

  9. A pinch of awareness,self-confidence,inner peace,a tea spoon of laissez faire (not in economics :-)) and experience……it is the right mixture
    You’ve got style
    Linda Rodin as well

  10. YOU made me THINK AGAIN!I NEVER wear jeans and a T-shirt?Why?I never found the RIGHT pair of JEANS!I Own only a pair of JEAN LEGGINGS………which I do not wear often have had them FOR YEARS!If I do DON them I have a CAFTAN over them as I would NEVER SHOW MY LEG ABOVE MY KNEE!!!!!!Not a Pretty sight at 57……….
    Linda LOOKS AWESOME and I”M sure YOU TOO could PULL this LOOK OFF with GRACE.I wear HER lipsticks!The packaging the size the colors are PERFECT!

    1. @LA CONTESSA, You have your very distinct style and it really works for you! I couldn’t wear your kaftans, I’d be too inclined to cuddle up and go to sleep. But they are perfect for La Contessa!

  11. I love the idea of feeling jaunty, of being comfortable with oneself and with feet that don’t hurt. Perhaps I even love the idea of a nod to style, but without the angst of youth. I always knew how to dress up and how to dress for work. Dressing for life threw me. Perhaps it is as much just accepting oneself and no longer needing to make an impact, unless, of course, one so chooses.

    1. @Mardel, I think all of the above I’d say yes. Clearly to feeling jaunty;), but, beyond that, dressing for life was a choice about impact and social context, for which in fact we had no training as the world of women changed so much for in our time.

      And it really is, unless, of course, one so chooses.

  12. You look great! Love your casual style. I think you have the Linda look, but you’re younger. She is cool. I just bought some booties like hers. Love those and her coat. Now for me it’s about finding cool pieces like your sneakers and making them give all the basics a little kick. Have a great week Lisa. xx

    1. @kim, Well isn’t that a great compliment! Thank you! Her booties are great – the coat is amazing. I hope you have had a couple of good weeks, and that you are enjoying our air back to normal.

  13. I’ve missed your writing — my fault (running from pillar to post here). That (leather?) coat you’re wearing is stellar.

    I’ve been musing of late about my own wandering style. Can’t seem to settle in on anything. The only theme of late has been tutus. Yes, with netting. Unfortunately, they don’t make everyone else comfortable. But over yoga pants they do make sense to me after class at the grocery store. Still ….

    Oh, well, this isn’t the world’s biggest challenge. ;)

    1. @Ann, You are very kind but the coat is on Ms. Rodin! I understand about the hurrying. I always, always love your comments, they are so graceful.

      I love me a good tutu!

  14. I like your photo. You mention something that resonates with me (newly 42) in the youthfulness of your style in it. I still feel somewhat trapped in wearing a certain soft-business look, with lots of black, cashmere, leather boots, dark and rich. It’s just not in my lifestyle or current burden of persona to wear other things I really would enjoy – such as stripey tees, jeans, and sneakers! I am looking forward so much to a greater sense of freedom with the changes a few more years may bring. I’ve felt sophisticated or beautiful, but it’s been a long time since I’ve felt as free or as joyful as I did wearing things like that in university.

    1. @E, “Burden of persona.” What a brilliant phrase. I too dressed in a “soft” business way, albeit leaning towards menswear. There was always a cashmere cardigan in the mix, and a necklace, and earrings – just enough to be a little luxe, a lot professional, and slightly feminine. It has been so freeing and fun to play with colors, silhouette, masculine/feminine, all the prints – all within my own particular parameters of comfort and, yes, burden of persona.

Comments are closed.