{Fashion Flash}

Fashion Flash time! This week, it’s hosted by The No-Nonsense Beauty Blog, a truly savvy guide to FOF beauty, researched and written by FOF Deb Chase, a seasoned science and beauty reporter. Check out her sage advice on everything from Botox to brown spots, and enjoy all the other links from our fab Fashion Flash friends.

{Style Expert} A batcave for your batwings

It drives us batty — that flabby, saggy skin under our arms that seems to droop ever lower as we age. So we called on our style experts to help us find the solution. Here, they share their best “batwing-busters,” for hiding the jiggle while keeping cool.

Lovey Dash: “I love this new line called Babakul–especially their cardigans. They’re drapey in the front with a sweater-like binding in the back. They’re roomy, look great over tees, and come in four colors. When you wear it, no one will detect your batwings.”

pictured: Babakul Waterfall Rib Cardi ($105)

Lovey Dash is a Beverly Hills-based stylist. She was formerly in VIP sales for Louis Vuitton on Rodeo Drive.


Susan Hersh: “This season there has been a resurgence of blouses with bell, dolman or peasant sleeves. All are great to camouflage upper arm concerns.  The light blue Nanette Lepore shirt has feminine details that draw your focus to everything but the upper arms and silk fabric that floats off the body.  The Joie paisley printed soft cotton top has prints and pleats that also draws your eye away from the arm.”

pictured: (clockwise from leftOonagh Tie Top by Nanette Lepore ($198) // Paisley Top by Joie ($184) // Silk Blooms Eternal Top from Anthropologie ($88)

Susan Hersh is a Ford model and the host and executive producer of Meet The Experts.


Susan Grant: “I have Rick Owens scoop-necked, over-sized tees in multiple dark, neutrals and wear them over anything — either belted or tied low on the hips. It covers a multitude of flaws including flab on your upper arms, stomach or backside. And, it’s so light, it feels like you have nothing on.

Pictured: Rick Owens Lightweight Swing Tee ($352) // Ann Demeulemeester Long Wrap Around Belt ($130)

Susan Grant is merchandise manager for Muse, a full-service jewelry showroom.


Sandra Soich: “For summer, I have two battle plans for batwings. Plan one: I wear a brightly colored bustier or tank with built-in bra, and over it, I wear a sheer tee in a neutral color made from linen or bamboo. Plan two: I wear a classic white blouse with a sleeve that buttons at the elbow. This piece moves easily from day into evening (for the evening, I just add more accessories).

pictured: LNA Clothing Basic Tank ($10) //  Zadig et Zoltaire Anyta Shirt ($195) // Anne Fontaine Milous Blouse ($395) //

Sandra Soich is wardrobe stylist to the stars and founder of YourFashionTherapist.com.


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{Fashion Flash}

It’s Fashion Flash time! Check out these great posts from the best blogs for FOFs on the web:

Finding the right foundation for your skin can be tough.  Tim Quinn of Giorgio Armani Beauty offers Fab Over Forty suggestions to find the right foundation.

Want to get inspired? Take a look at one woman’s fitness and fat loss journey with Shawna K.

Are you suffering from chronic pain?  Staness, creator of The Menopause Makeover, recently discovered a drug-free option that can change your life.

As a part of the trend towards all things plus size, stay tuned for TLC’s newest reality show which follows five plus-size New Yorkers as they break into the fashion industry.

Alexander McQueen shoes are always coveted, but this fall, his bright pink velvet, peep-toe pumps are the shoe for turning heads.

A professional beauty tester shares her five favorite products for women over fifty. (Plus, win three of them!)

As Congress struggles with their budget, No-Nonsense Beauty Blog explores her own approach to a balanced beauty budget.

This week’s Fashion Flash is hosted by The Glam Gals, JoJami and Deborah from Fabulous After 40.

{Style Expert} Shape Up! Shapewear that puts muffin tops and rolls where they belong–on the breakfast table.

Body confidence expert Lisa Cole travels the country helping women find the undergarments that shape, smooth and tighten all their trouble spots. Having used her services firsthand, we know this woman has a gift. Here, she shares her 5 favorite shapewear solutions for FOFs.

Trouble Spot: Back Rolls (or “back bacon” as Lisa calls them) and a saggy bustline.

Lisa’s Solution: A Shapewear Camisole provides an instant lift for the bust plus shape and support for trouble spots on the back.

Best Bet: TC Fine Intimates Firm-Control Full Figure Shapewear Camisole


Trouble Spot: “Burrito Rolls” (the stomach bulge that appears in high-waisted pants and skirts)

Lisa’s Solution: “A shapewear brief eliminates lower belly challenges you may face while wearing skirts, dresses and other clingy garments.. Ideal for someone who wants to have control but not be smashed down.”

Best Bet: TC Fine Intimates Cuff Top Brief


Trouble Spot: A thick waist.

Lisa’s Solution: “The Torsette. Va Voom! Is that you when you were 22? This amazing shaper narrows your waist and smoothes back rolls. Make sure you’re wearing the right size bra (very important). Perfect for evening and black tie dressing.

Best Bet: TC Fine Intimates Firm-Control Torsette

Trouble Spot: Flabby thighs

Lisa’s Solution: “The pantliner is light as a feather and helps fight those cumbersome jiggles and saddle bags that can appear in skinny pants.”

Best Bet: TC Fine Intimates Pant Liner


Trouble Spot: A shapeless rear

Lisa’s Solution: “We’ve all had issues with sagging, shapeless behinds. Hi-waist shapewear with bike pants help you keep it all together. It has reinforcement in the rear for shaping and lift.”

Best Bet: TC Fine Intimates Hi-Waist Bike Pant

Images via lingerie fit expert and TC

{What do you think of this look?}

Style versus comfort is a dressing dilemma we all face. But, really, do we have to choose? This FOF clearly doesn’t think so. She’s rocking super-supportive sandals and an oh-so-en-mode wide brimmed hat. But, what do our style experts think? Did she achieve comfort-chic style? What do you think, FOFs?

Sherrie Mathieson: “This looks schizophrenic. Our practical FOF (having sought hat sun protection and comfort) starts with a summery, feminine vision for her upper self, then opts for a “hiking” look for her lower body. Rubber bands don’t make for great bracelets, and I have a feeling that the hidden shoulder bag is no more attractive than her sandals. She is a classic example of an FOF who sacrifices style for comfort.”

Sherrie Mathieson is a leading style expert and Random House author of Steal this Style and Forever Cool.

Susan Grant: “I like the pastel color combination and even the cheerful, colorful hat. But the vertical-striped blouse isn’t flattering on such a full figure, and the gathering at the waist accentuates her hips. The harem pants would be fine with a simple, straight tailored shirt worn un-tucked.”

Susan Grant is merchandise manager for Muse, a full-service jewelry showroom.

Sandra Soich:
“I can’t imagine someone could be serious about wearing this. It looks like she’s not wearing a bra when she should be wearing the best minimizer possible. She should forgo the blouson look for a top that’s long and lean. The hat is a definite ‘no.’ Her pants and shoes are the saving grace.”

Sandra Soich is wardrobe stylist to the stars and founder of YourFashionTherapist.com.

Lovey Dash: “Where does one begin? I guess I’ll start from the top. It’s such a great year for hats, but this one is ridiculous. The bow is too much and… red!?  The peasant top is not right for her bust size. A safari shirt or a tee would have been a better choice… actually, anything would have been better! The pants could have been a better fit, but I can deal. The shoes look comfortable, but I would have chosen an espadrille. At the very least, the sun is off her face and she is comfy…….”

Lovey Dash is a Beverly Hills-based stylist. She was formerly in VIP sales for Louis Vuitton on Rodeo Drive.

Robin Mizrahi: “This FOF proves it isn’t easy dressing comfortably and weather-appropriately without looking sloppy. This isn’t a look–just pieces she put on together. From the waist down there is a relaxed harmony — easy breezy, just stepping out and about. Not so with her upper half — the top is just not flattering for a woman with her bust. If she picks up her arm, the elastic at the bottom of the top will rise up and you will see her belly — big no no! This outfit could be helped with a simple shirt change. A soft linen or cotton voile shirt or even a slightly oversized white blouse is all she needs to make this look much better.”‘

Robin Mizrahi is co-owner of Pamela Robbins boutique, buyer, merchandiser and entrepreneur.

Susan Hersh: “I like her casual putty pants. They’re great to wear cuffed on a sizzling day, and the sandal is a perfect choice. The blouse is not flattering for such an endowed woman and the elastic waist adds a lot of unnecessary fabric to her stomach. A top such as this DVF blouse or this Joie silk blouse would be much more flattering. They have ¾ length sleeves (like the shirt she is wearing) but the hems are easy and loose and the split necklines are more forgiving.”

Susan Hersh is a Ford model and the host and executive producer of Meet The Experts.

Terry Gibralter:
“The blowsy striped top with full sleeves isn’t very flattering for such a well-endowed gal, and the wide elastic band doesn’t work with the pockets on the khakis.  Don’t even get me started on the hat! This look does not work!”

Terry Gibralter is the founder of Bespoke Custom Shopping Tours, carefully-crafted shopping “vacations” and a self-proclaimed, “fashion-obsessed” FOF.

{What do you think of this look?} Crafty? couture? (or crazy?)

Some FOFs are just cut from a different cloth. This FOF ditched the usual Dior, DVF and Donna Karan duds in favor of hand-stitching her own Fashion Week getup. Was this a fashion risk worthy of reward? Read what our FOF style gurus think. Then you weigh in. Tell us, is this look: Crafty? Couture? (Or crazy?)

FOF Susan Grant: “This certainly doesn’t flatter her nor have any attractive qualities on it’s own. The coat is too voluminous and garishly adorned with flowers and mismatched buttons. Her outfit screams ‘look at me,’ or actually, ‘look away!’”

Susan Grant is merchandise manager for Muse, a full-service jewelry showroom.


FOF Sherrie Mathieson: “This outfit has a ‘crafty,’ home-sewn look. It’s girly with a potholder motif. I’d never confuse this with couture. Was she wearing this long ensemble during daytime? If so, add ‘inappropriate’ to my less-than-enthused reaction.”

Sherrie Mathieson is a leading style expert and Random House author of Steal this Style and Forever Cool.


FOF Lovey Dash: “It is very crafty but not very couture. She could improve this look with black boots, leggings and a black top. She’d be better off without the dress entirely, it’s too glam with the casual coat.”

Lovey Dash is a Beverly Hills-based stylist. She was formerly in VIP sales for Louis Vuitton on Rodeo Drive.


FOF Sandra Soich: “Oh my! She’s dating herself with too much fabric for a mature woman. Something with cleaner, moving lines would be a better choice. This ensemble says, ‘matron.’”

Sandra Soich is wardrobe stylist to the stars and founder of YourFashionTherapist.com.


FOF Terry Gibralter: “I salute this FOF’s attempt to express herself through fashion, but it really looks like a home ec project gone astray. I don’t like the muddy-color palette paired with the badly appliqued pink flowers. Then there’s the striped, chain bag piped in red… Yikes! If you want to wear something this bold it must be impeccably tailored and well thought out.”

Terry Gibralter is the founder of Bespoke Custom Shopping Tours, carefully-crafted shopping “vacations” and a self-proclaimed, “fashion-obsessed” FOF.


FOF Susan Hersh: “This is definitely NOT couture. It looks more like a costume you’d see at Disney World. You could get lost in all that fabric, and even if not, it adds an extra ten pounds to your figure.  I cannot think of one place or event a woman could wear this.”

Susan Hersh is a Ford model and the host and executive producer of Meet The Experts.


FOF Linda Cohen:She obviously has her own point of view–I give her credit for that. She may be making a statement using recycled and vintage materials, but there is nothing appealing about this outfit at all for any FOF women. In the fashion world we used to call these home-economic  project looks ‘loving hands at home.'”

Linda Cohen owns her own consulting business specializing in retail merchandising.


Visit isme.com for buy now pay later options and next day delivery on all products, including a great selection of ladies clothing items, from evening maxi dresses to petite trousers.

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Does this look work (for work)?

In the 1988 movie Working Girl, Melanie Griffith’s character, Tess, longs to transform herself from a Staten Island secretary to a Manhattan businesswoman. Her boss, played by Sigourney Weaver, imparts this fashion wisdom: “Dress shabbily and they notice the dress. Dress impeccably, and they notice the woman.”

When you look at this FOF, do you see the clothes or the woman? Our FOF Style Gurus have strong opinions–do you agree? (Plus, this FOF happens to be a serious VIP in the working world. Can you guess who it is?)

Sherrie Mathieson: I love it. This is understated-luxe at it’s best. The palette of neutrals accentuated by warm plums and browns is exquisite. A variety of textures give excitement to this comfortable look. She is a poster child for my personal philosophy for successful style: modern classics, high quality, and dressing to emphasize your best features (notice the lovely ankles). Even her nails are perfectly groomed!

Sherrie Mathieson is a leading style expert and Random House author of Steal this Style and Forever Cool.


Susan Grant: The proportion of the pieces is perfect and so is the combination of textures. I love the dark knit top with shantung slacks. The wedge shoes are a feminine, modern touch. She is simply and elegantly accessorized with her watch and skin clutch. This look works!

Susan Grant is merchandise manager for Muse, a full-service jewelry showroom.


Lovey Dash: I like the proportions – the longer cardigan cover up with the shorter pant. The mix of colors are interesting, yet neutral, and age appropriate. Her watch, (I think it’s Hermes) and clutch look right but the shoes are killing her outfit! They are too casual and cheapen the look. I would have preferred a peep-toe kitten heel or even a nice Chanel flat.

Lovey Dash is a Beverly Hills-based stylist. She was formerly in VIP sales for Louis Vuitton on Rodeo Drive.


Susan Hersh: I love the color of her shoes and clutch, but  her cardigan is not flattering. She has it buttoned in the center but it would look better if she wore it open. It’s also pulling on her and hugging her buttocks. A more relaxed cardigan, in a heavier knit will not cling or show every ripple on her back. I’d prefer if she wore something more like this.

Susan Hersh is a Ford Model and the host and executive producer of Meet The Experts.


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{Beauty} What 50 used to look like

In 1900, the average life expectancy in the United States was 49, according to New York Times article. And a look back at the rare woman who did age into her FOF years can be a bit of a shock. Back then, 50 was the new 70. And, today? Age really ain’t nothing but a number…

Take a look at these famous FOFs over the past hundred years.  Do you think we are aging more gracefully? And if so, why?


Images via History Cooperative, Chronicle, Wikipedia, Art Posters & Prints, ACSU, Guardian UK, Dorothy Parker, Wikipedia, All Posters, Boston.com, UPI, and Zimbio

{Style Expert} Find it for le$$

Our FOF Style Gurus share their favorite, wear-everywhere summer pieces. Then, for the truly frugal, our FOF Bargain Gurus recommend look-alike items at a fraction of the price.


{Travel} “What’s in my travel bag”

Talk about emotional baggage! Three of the greatest FOF packers we know share what’s stowed in their carry-ons. From moleskin to powdered peanut butter…  their packing lists might surprise you.

1. Nancy Friedman is founder and CEO of an award-winning travel and hospitality P.R. agency based in New York. Her clients have included the island of St. Lucia, Sheraton Hotels and Resorts, Westin Hotels and Resorts and more. Nancy travels a few times each month for work and leisure. Her favorite travel destinations are Vermont, Spain, Denmark and the Dominican Republic.

Her luggage:
TUMI suitcases
in silver, brown, red and black.

What’s in her bag:
Lightweight sweater
— “For when it’s chilly on the plane. Or sometimes I’ll pack a pashmina or light jacket.”
Eye mask
— “For sleeping on the plane. My current one is leopard print.”
3 FDA-approved, clear bottles — “I put shampoo in one, conditioner in another, and Woolite or mouthwash in the third. My P.R. agency developed and branded these.
Soft Surroundings wrinkle-proof pants in black
— “They’re easy to wear on the plane, lightweight and super soft.”
Flats — “I rarely wear boots or sneakers at the airport because you have to take your shoes off to go through security.”
Books — “Currently I have one book for light reading, I Think I Love You by Allison Pearson and one that’s a little heavier, Even Silence Has an End by Ingrid Betancourt. I switch back and forth between the two.”
KIND bars — “I never want to be stuck hungry without healthful options.”
Nike bike shorts — “I love biking in different cities.”

Her travel packing tip:
“Pack clothing in one or two color schemes and accessorize.”

Her ideal vacation spot:
“It’s so hard to pick! Spring Creek Ranch in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, has the best views in the Tetons. In Prague, I love the Hotel Aria for its music theme. The Postcard Inn in St. Petersburg, Florda, is a fun and affordable beach destination.”

2. Marybeth Bond, “The Gutsy Traveler,” is the author of 11 travel books for women including the bestsellers 50 Best Girlfriend Getaways in North AmericaA Woman’s World and Gutsy Women. Marybeth has hiked, cycled, climbed, dived and kayaked her way through more than seventy countries, from the depths of the Flores Sea to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. She’s appeared as a travel expert on Oprah, CBS News, CNN, ABC, NBC, National Public Radio and National Geographic Weekend.

Her luggage:
Samsonite Spinner
in black or blue.

What’s in her bag:
Magellan’s hang-up toiletries holder
— “It has clear pockets so I can see what I packed at all times.”
Eye shield
— “If the person I’m traveling with wants to stay up late reading or I have a chatty neighbor on the plane, it’s great.”
Clothespin or large safety pin
— “Before I go to bed, I pin closed the curtains in my hotel room to keep it dark.”
Taupe-colored pashmina— “It goes with everything and it’s so warm. I use it as a night shawl, a throw, or a warming wrap in a chilly restaurant.”
Ann Taylor black open-toe, slingback heels
— “They’re dressy, but comfortable.”
Clinique or Olay face cream with SPF — “It’s very important my face cream has sun screen with a minimum of SPF 8. You can get sun damage without knowing it, even when you are driving.”
Moleskin — “I cut a 1-inch-by-1-inch piece and put it in my shoes. It prevents blisters.”

Her travel packing tip:
“Don’t pack a hairdryer. It’s what I call a ‘baggage buster.’ You don’t need it, every place has them.”

Her ideal vacation spot:
“I love Racho La Puerta — I’ve been there 3 times. It’s an all-inclusive spa resort in Mexico. I love their facials and hot river stones massage. They have more than 300 gym classes a week, a cooking school on an organic farm and Pultizer-prize-winning guest speakers. You stay in terra cotta cottages with private patios. The resort sits on 3,000 acres of preserved land. But, my favorite thing about it, is they have 36 hammocks that dot the property.


3. Debbi Kickham has been a travel writer since 1984. She is the former editor of the Robb Report and has written travel article for magazines and newspapers including The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Los Angeles Times, Glamour and Cigar Aficionado. Her new book, The Globetrotter’s Get Gorgeous Guide, is the world’s first beauty book for traveling women.

Her luggage: Travel Pro Platinum 6 in blue.

What’s in her bag:
A jump rope
— “If your hotel or resort doesn’t have a gym, you can still exercise in your room with a jump rope. I’ve done it many times even when I stayed at in an over-water bungalow in Bora Bora.”
Skirt Sports workout wear
— “It’s a little skirt with shorts underneath. I love wearing a skirt when I workout. It puts a little pizazz in your step.”
FitNutz Powdered Peanut Butter
— “All you do is add water and you have instant peanut butter. It gives Skippy a run for its money. Two tablespoons of Fitnutz is about 45 calories with 1 gram of fat. Two tablespoons of Skippy is about 130 calories and 50 grams of fat. It’s great if you need a little energy.”
En Passant by Frederic Malle — “This fragrance smells like lilacs. I’m crazy about it. On the plane I go fragrance free, but I always pack this to wear once I arrive at my destination.”
“Basket Case” by Orly nail polish— “It’s bright pink, my favorite color. I wear it constantly.”
A satin pillowcase
– “Satin is much more forgiving on your face and hair and doesn’t cause wrinkles like a cotton pillowcase does.”
Oscillococcinum— “This is a wonderful homeopathic remedy that you can buy at any pharmacy. Whenever I travel, I’m very susceptible to getting sick. The minute I feel like I’m coming down with something, I take it.”
Landau costume jewelry — “I think it’s a good idea to invest in some nice costume jewelry for traveling. I’m a big fan of Landau jewelry.”
Bass Weejuns tassled loafers with a rubber sole — “I swear by them for the airplane and sightseeing. Tomorrow I have a 3-hour layover in Miami. I’ll walk for exercise in the airport. I’ll wear loafers instead of sneakers so I don’t look like a slob.”
Magazines – “I love reading Allure, InStyle and spa magazines on the plane.”

Her travel packing tip:
“Instead of packing beauty products, check out the local pharmacy at your destination. Often you can find locally-made skincare items that are climate and temperature specific. These products also make great gifts.”

Her ideal vacation spot:
“I go to Hawaii once a year for two weeks. My favorite resort is the Fairmont Kea Lani– they have a fabulous beach, gorgeous swimming pool and all of the rooms are suites.”