Privilege Blog

When You Turn 65 Suddenly It’s Time For Eileen, Or, Saturday Morning at 8:44am

I wore jeans for (wait, I’m counting,) starting in 1968 (wait, math,) 53 years.

But even before the pandemic I’d begun to winnow the horde. These were too tight across the hips, these too short and tight in the rise, these too baggy and tattered. Then, after 18 months home in sweatpants, finding myself somewhat unhappy at the prospect of an hour’s drive in denim and excessively unhappy at the thought of three hours on an airplane followed by three days of three-hour writing classes, I complained to one of my sisters.

Sisters are great.

Being great, she listened for a minute but also, being great, almost immediately she said, “Just do Eileen Fisher.” Reader, I listened.

This lantern silhouette is so much like these UNIQLO barrel jeans that I love although my flesh does not. In cotton, color: Barley.

The tank is the perfect color of pink for me, and now I must hunt frantically for other tops in the same shade.

I also got some dress pants. Well, the suburban date night version. I am still waiting for the day we get back up to San Francisco and eat indoors at some place that’s just opened, and everyone’s exclaiming over the deliciousness. White top here is some ol’ H&M somethin’ or other. I think I’d wear a black denim jacket avec.

Two kinds of accessories move Eileen toward my little-fuss, slight edge, Polished Tomboy aesthetic, also known as Sturdy Gal Wears Mom’s Jewelry. First, yeah, mom’s jewelry. I have on a 1930s seed pearl and tiny diamond bracelet in the first outfit, and this enamel locket in the second. Love you, Mom. Forgiveness is the greatest privilege.

Second, chunky shoes. The only place I could think to add a slight edge to Eileen was the soles. I bought these Paul Green loafers to wear with the Barley pants. So far, recommend.  With the black pants I am wearing a pair of 1990 Doc Martins. If you want Docs, buy vintage because in my opinion new ones are foot torture plain and simple.

Oh, hey wait.

I also got my hair cut and, get this, colored! One section, front and center when I parted my hair in the best place, had turned wholly white. I got tired of it. Long gray/white hair felt edgy to me when I was in my 50s. At 65, in my opinion, I looked older than I feel. So I asked the colorist to make the white bit look the same as the rest and she did. So far, recommend.

All the little tweaks. For some of us, style supports identity and mine does not appear to sustain discomfort.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone, and I wish you comfortable pants.


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44 Responses

    1. Aw thanks, style guru friend <3. I will wear them, I'm pretty sure, but only when I don't have to sit down for a prolonged period.

  1. You look smashing! Eileen Fisher pants are so comfortable. Sometimes, I find it hard to wear jeans.

  2. Love your hair, cut and color. Love the pants. I’m still a jeans’ person, though I have alt fuller linen and corduroy pants, but I’ve developed a longing for midi dresses in denim, linen, and cotton. I’m trying to add a couple into my mix. Forgiveness is everything; not quite there yet with my own mom, but working on it. The Zen lesson that says we can refuse to hold others’ anger speaks to me. I want to see the extraordinary good, let go of the rest; live in my own delights and joys. Happy Saturday, beautiful Lisa. And, a slightly belated Happy Birthday!

    1. Thank you, Katherine. I will say, midi dresses were my gateway drug, along with sweatpants, to these EF pieces. I love the idea that we can refuse to hold other people’s anger, and their unmet needs and falsehoods for that matter. I hope you meet with all kinds of delights and joys today.

    1. Oh my gosh I feel like the Queen herself just weighed in. Thank you, S., and I hope you are feeling well. xox

  3. Your cut and color look great! I love the Eileen Fisher look on you! You really pulled it off with your edgier shoes. My my mom 83 keeps telling me to get some Eileen Fisher, but I (at 60) fill really funny in them. I love them on other people, but I feel frumpy..

    Maybe because you are not styling with a big baggy top or jacket?

    1. Thank you:). I bought my first piece of Eileen Fisher last summer, I think? I do wear the bottoms with close-fitting or cropped or sleeveless top, because I like to see my arms and a hint of waist. If I need to put a jacket on, I would go for something kind of tough, like denim or leather.

  4. Happy birthday! Love love love the hair, and I hear you re: E.F. Once or twice a year I shlep down to the outlet (whoops, “Company Store”) in San Leandro, and damn if I don’t inevitably leave with something pretty great.

    1. Thank you! And there’s an outlet store in San Leandro? Hmm, maybe my sister and I can meet up:)

  5. I love EF linen, the delave linen in particular. And such great colors: coriander, cinnamon! I have lantern and slim straight in linen and also have the ponte pants in slim straight shape in many colors. Once you find a color you like, you can go all in!

    1. I hope they do some more pieces in Magnolia. Sadly, I think it’s over and I’ll have to wait. Good to know about the linen.

  6. I meant stretch crepe EF pants in many colors, not ponte, in case anyone is listening, ha ha.

  7. Oh my, the new haircut is fabulous! As for comfort, the older I get, the more it has become a priority… in shoes as well as clothes.

  8. Happy Belated Birthday! You look absolutely smashing, a lot younger than the candles on the cake may indicate. With age comes wisdom, both for relationships and clothes. The French say “elle est bien dans sa peau” – feeling comfortable to be oneself. You show us how to be our best self!

  9. GREAT hair – looks fab. Happy Birthday! Loved the jeans comment about how long you have worn them – I on the other hand have not worn jeans for 47 years. I had a shop for women once that I opened as a result of my love for a brand called Flax. Unfortunately, it was sold to an employee long ago and it has changed significantly. I really never go to a store for clothing as I live in 3-4 brands, all of which I buy online. Keep looking glam!

  10. Great haircut length, it suits you very nicely. Hope you like it enough to keep it like that!

  11. Your hair looks great and I love the length. I’m seriously considering chopping mine as it feels like a weight in every sense.

  12. I love these looks on you, and the way you have styled the EF to fit you. Especially love the chunky loafers and that whole loose/fitted look. Thanks for the reminder about Docs. I had a pair bought over 20 years ago, probably 30 that finally fell apart and when I tried tor replace them, I felt like my feet were going to revolt and refuse to go out with me.

    I am in the middle of the process of reassessing, and slowly replacing/altering/reconfiguring my whole wardrobe. I just bough a pair of very soft lantern shaped jeans that are also intentionally tattered, a look I find myself loving more in my 60s than I did when I was younger. I figure when I get tired of the rips I will opt for some of that sashiko mending on them, a look I also find appealing. it seems that as I grow older I am more wary of too much polish — unless I am in the city and feeling the need for sleek. But I realize that I could also be going through some inner rebellion geared toward the too neatly staid Suburban Southern Lady look that surrounds me.

    1. You made me laugh about your feet and their refusal, even though I know it didn’t feel funny;). I love the idea of sashiko mending, the way Frances did for one of her tops, right? And I raise my fist in solidarity for the Subversive Suburbanites.

  13. Lisa! This is exactly how my hair colorist does my hair-making all of it blend with the huge natural white chunks. I’m going for a haircut on Wednesday and your new cut is inspirational.

    I do wear some Eileen Fisher. My favorite pieces send to be in the EF “System”. I have enjoyed the black silk pants and tops when traveling. You look great in these pants.

    Happy Birthday by the way! I enjoyed age 65. I’ll report back about age 70 when I have my next birthday.

  14. First, all about me. You’ve coincidentally hit upon my main, all-consuming considerations over the past few days: my hair and Docs. As it turned from blonde to white my hair had morphed into a beautiful color close to platinum blonde. Seriously, the best color ever as documented by my own eyes and multiple compliments from friends and strangers alike. In the past year it’s turned…gray?…dingy white?…exact color unknown? Is it because I no longer live in perennially sunny Southern California? Or is it that I just got older. Probably the latter. One of my best features has disappeared and I’m not sure what to do about it, if anything. Then there’s the Docs. I bought a pair of fabulous wide leg deep plum kind of dressy pants and I want to pair them with dark tapestry Doc boots. Turns out that style is vintage and hard to find but the search has yielded some remarkable hand-made and not-too-expensive embroidered boots on Etsy. As of now I’m holding out for the Docs. And you look fabulous. I still love great hair, Eileen Fisher, black pants and sturdy shoes. Thanks for the always entertaining, and timely, reminders!

  15. Happy birthday greetings….your hair and outfits are very stylish. I love Eileen Fisher clothing. I have two slimmer versions of her black pants and various tops. I find the petite line an excellent choice. Wearing our mom’s jewellery can keep those precious memories alive…enjoy your getaway.

  16. I love Eileen Fisher. The washable crepe slim pant is my everyday go-to. I think I own your t-shirt. It looks great on you. The only jeans I can comfortably wear now are by Universal Standard. They’re really stretchy but somehow they keep their shape and don’t get baggy. I wash them in the machine and put them in the dryer, too.

    Your sister gives good fashion advice.

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