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Thursday, December 14, 2017

thanking my elders (yeah, you'll want to read this)

Most of my readers here are old enough to be my mother.
I'm 32 years old.
How did this come to be?

A few years ago I started following the "over 40 blogger" crowd because I was so bored with the hipster millennial moms who only talked about cloth diapering a coconut oil.  I'm not quite sure how I came across my first "over 40" blogger, but I remember is was Krista with Peetee's Palace(?). Surely you remember her? She's was an adorable little woman with hot pink hair who dressed mostly in fun pink clothes and awesome leggings. I don't think she's blogging anymore so I'm not sure what she's up to - but I'll willing to guess she still has the hot pink hair, or least I hope she still does! (She made my awesome pink and orange necklace by the way!)

When I saw Krista (in her early to mid 40s I think) I was absolutely CONFUSED.
"She has pink hair! She's in her 40s with PINK hair!"
I had never seen anything like it.
I wondered, "A grown woman with pink hair?! Is that even allowed?!?!"
Not only did she have pink hair but she was wearing a vintage dress.

At that time where I live, vintage clothing was a trend for the hippest of hip teens and cool cats in their 20s. Older people didn't wear vintage and they despised it! I thought there was some kind of law somewhere that stated, "Thou shalt not wear vintage over 30" because that just wasn't a thing.

Anyway, I was so intrigued that I looked for other older bloggers through the comments on Krista's blog and started seeing what they were about. My brain almost exploded!

"Look at all these women wearing vintage and hand-sewn stuff and red lipstick and bracelets up to their elbows!!"
I honestly didn't know you could do that past 25!

Another blogger I came across was Vix.
Vix's tribal jewelry fascinated me the most. "I have jewelry like that," I thought. "But I only wear it when I'm in costume. You mean I'm allowed to wear it any time I want?" Vix has long black hair and wears bold psychedelic vintage dresses and I can honestly say that there is NO ONE where I live like that. Not even a young person, so I was blown away.

Then came other eccentric bloggers: Helga VonTrollop, Desiree of Pull Your Socks Up (I don't think either one of them are blogging any more),  Mel with Bag and Beret and most recently Suzanne Carillo.  There are SO many others so if I left you out please don't be offended. If I'm following your blog or following you on Instagram, then you're one of them too!!!

All of that to say that every last one of you has inspired me SO much and that if I hadn't discovered your blogs, I never would have gained the courage to be myself again. I used to not care when I was younger and it wasn't that long ago! I was weird and didn't care to change but I wanted to be seen as an adult so badly. At 26 I was already preparing to settle into a nice pair of mom-jeans and a tee shirt because that's what I thought I was supposed to do in order to be a respectable adult. 

2006, me in my favorite outfit, a vintage Army medic's dress jacket and jeans.

2009, in vintage jacket and fallen pompadour.

I had been restricting myself so much that I began to have anxieties about wearing simple things like  over-sized sunglasses and big chunky necklaces. "OMG, people will stare!" 
I was so worried about what people would think of me but when I finally started wearing what I wanted to wear again, I was only met with praise and compliments. 
Now I get offended if people DON'T stare.

"Um, excuse me, sir. Are you really going to act like you don't notice my new handmade earrings? Psh. Rude." 

And people do stare. In this town, I'm as eccentric as they come (yeah, boring town), so it's gonna happen. Some stare a little too long and it makes me sliiiiightly uncomfortable but I understand that sometimes there's a lot to take in. All my fake hair and patterns and jewelry take a few seconds to process so I totally get it so it doesn't bother me much. 

Now I'm being approached by older women who say they wish they could dress like me or that they wish they had the confidence to dress like me. That actually makes me very sad. I try to tell them that it's never too late to dress the way they want and I tell them about all the bloggers I follow but they shake their heads and say, "It's too late for me".

I want you all to know that you've given me hope and you've helped me realize that aging is what you make it. There are no laws stating that you can't wear certain things after 30 or 40... just fashion magazines that like to tell you how to dress. 
Their words aren't law and neither are the opinions of others.

I'm not afraid to be myself anymore.
I feel as free and as carefree as the teenaged me who used to wear my grandmother's dresses with glitter painted sneakers and feather boas to school.
 But I also think that naturally, the older I get, the less I care about what other people think of me in general. They're not paying my bills, raising my kids or cooking my dinner so poopoo on what they think.

You ladies blog to help inspire other women your age, but never forget that this little girl has been looking up to you cool big kids for years now. I'm inspired and encouraged to embrace aging by staying true to myself. 

I say, thank you. 
Thank you all for saving me from someday reaching mid-life, looking back and saying,
 "It's too late for me".


Bonus pics of my kids!
In the photos above, I'm wearing a vest thingy I made myself from a shawl I wasn't too crazy about. I folded it in half, cut the front part open, sewed the sides closed and hemmed the edges. It wasn't my intentions to dress us all in neutrals with pops of color but that's what happened!


  1. This was such a lovely read and put a smile on my face : ) Thank you! ((((Hollie))))

    90% of the time I wonder why the heck I keep blogging when no one seems to go there anymore and then I read this and it warms my heart.

    Funny how I thought you were always doing your own thing. I never thought for a moment you had any self doubts. You come across as not only witty but strong willed, a woman with character far beyond your mere 32 years.

    I remember when I turned 30 I thought the world was going to end. Ha ha! What a loser I was! Perspective is everything. The reality is you don't know what its going to be like till you get there.

    I've never let my age define how I dress. Not when I was 15 nor now that I'm 51. We're only going around this merry-go-round make it count.

    It is much better to be stared at than forgotten if you ask me.

    I've always wanted to leave a memorable impression. Clothing helps us do that, no matter the age.

    I really love that last photo of you, the close-up. And of course the kiddos are so cute as usual. Those red cowboy boots are to die for!


  2. I love this so much!!!!! Krista is on IG!!!!!!

  3. Hollie, thank you for this post:) You rock! I'm totally gonna check out all these other bloggers. I go to Viv's blog when I see her comments on your post.:) And yeah...people seem to have this idea that as you get older, you have to follow this set of rules. I'm like, wut?!?! Says who??!? You continue being you, girl!
    PS Thanks for sharing those old pics of yours.:) I wasn't as cool at that age.

  4. What a huge compliment, Hollie! I see you've found Krista on IG now.
    My mum was always outrageous in her dress and altitude and I was dumbfounded when I joined a forum on the net and saw women worrying about whether they were too old to wear something - the thought never entered my head. Why should the date on your birth certificate define your sartorial choices? Absolute madness.
    People love it when others dress differently. The few that find it strange? Well, that's their problem, isn't it?
    I love your college photos. You've always been an individual, not some dull old clone. slavishly following fashion. Keep doing what you're doing - you've got a great look, a rock and roll attitude and couldn't be a better role model for your beautiful children. xxx

  5. All of those ladies you mentioned have inspired me, too - and so have you. You're so fun and such a cool mom. I have kids (!) say they wish they could dress like they want or wear vintage but can't...because they're so stuck in "everyone else" land. Thank goodness for the cool people we've met online.
    Cedar rocks those boots! River looks so sad, poor thing, but his sweater looks snuggly.
    You look so cool in your college pics. I hope you still have that Army jacket.
    Have a great weekend!

  6. Krista's on IG? Cause I miss reading her posts. She a human rainbow.

  7. Agree with everyone above but must say, YOUR KIDS ARE BEAUTIFUL! From a loving grandma of five

  8. Hello Hollie, I found your blog via Vix's. What a wonderful and inspirational post. I too have been inspired by many of the wonderful bloggers you mention, who have in fact also inspired me to start blogging myself. I love people who dress differently and have their own individual style. I applaud you on doing your own thing. You have the most beautiful children too! xxx

  9. So touching! I miss Krista! Didn't know she is on IG... You look so lovely and individual, Hollie, and your kids are just beautiful! Just as you look up to this colorful and unique 40+ blogging crowd, your kids look up to you every single day of their life. So you are inspiring the next generation, and the chain is going on and on and on...

    Learning about who we are, that's what is really cool! Dressing up is just another way to play and experiment, and there shouldn't be anything too serious about it - it's only clothes! And it is never, ever, ever too late to live, as long as we are alive. :)

  10. Hello Hollie, I found you via Vix. I too love to renovate scarves and other clothing. I love your new vest.
    I also had a fashion revolution a few years ago with Style Like U and Advanced Style, as well as Helga and Desiree.
    What a lovely tribute to your elders!
    Your kids are adorable.
    xo Jazzy Jack

  11. Your lovely, and brilliant, and looks like your kids are following mama. I have one daughter 27, who has developed a style of her own with a blend of vintage, just retro (old cast offs), and a few basic staples. She spends next to nothing but looks pulled together and natural. My 16 year old dresses right now for comfort and getting through her most stressful year of high school, but has a flare for cool and ld hats (and very very vintage sheet music. I love following Vix, and add things to my dress that just make me happy, but readily admit, have not found my total confidence yet.

  12. Hollie, your post today brought back a lot of memories and a big smile. I love reading your posts. You are wonderful.

  13. Hollie, I am not sure if my comment got published or not so i am posting again, i love this post, it is so heartfelt and true. I was in a place where i was not sure where i belonged or what i should be and i also found amazing bloggers like Vix and Helga and Desiree and you. Your children are beautiful and i want to share with you that my girl is now 16 and dresses in retro 80s pants and cool vintage tee shirts all thrifted! You are wonderful. <3

  14. looove this post!!
    clothes are not only textiles to protect us from the weather! they are symbols of what we are! who wants to be a pair of mom jeans & a flimsy tee?? really?? ;-D
    gorgeous kids in very chic styles! <3

  15. what a lovely post and what a lovely attitude!!!

  16. Really sweet shout outs. Gotta lend credit where it's due, for sure. The list of ladies and gents who inspire me on a daily basis is long, indeed. Rad post. Keeping being you!

    - Anna

  17. I agree with what my good friend Suzanne says above -- age doesn't matter. Dress to express yourself at any stage of life. Older women tend to understand this better as younger women get too wrapped up in other people's opinions. Yes, technically I could be your parent but I prefer to think of us as ageless equals.

  18. Found this post via Vix, and thoroughly enjoyed it. When you write about how you felt when first found bloggers like Vix and Krista (I used to follow Krista's blog as well, and now follow her on IG) I realized it is how I felt when I discovered the women of Ari Cohen's blog, Advanced Style. I'm 56, so for me to see women in their 60's, 70's and 80's with incredibly over the top style, it was as inspiring for me as the women in their 40's were for you.

    Women of all ages can inspire each other to be more confident in their self-expression, but I have found that it tends to be those who are over 40 who are more creative in their outfits, at least the ones I know (Mel and Suzanne are friend of mine). Never be afraid to show your real self, and you'll inspire your kids (who are adorable!) to do the same.

  19. Oh, what a lovely post! I also came here from Vintage Vix. I'm 38 not 32 but I too follow- or followed those no longer writing - all the blogs you mention. All the best, your kids are adorable and all of your outfits are great <3

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  21. I'm glad I was raised by an outrageous Fashionista Mom that even in her 80's always said "It's better to be looked over darling than overlooked." Amen to that! Wear what YOU Love and do what YOU Love, Confidence is very Attractive in any form!

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