Are American Women Un-Chic?

If our generation spent the time that would be needed to read the collection of beauty, fashion, health, relationship and other advice books that are being written for us, we’d be dead by the time we finished. So if we’re going to read—and heed—any of these books, we should make our choices pretty darn carefully.

A (American) woman (who lives in France) recently wrote a book on how French women stay Forever Chic, for all of us (presumably) un-chic American women. I could start following every tip in that book (never wear sweat pants, adorn my neck with scarves and wash my hair once a week), learn to speak French fluently, and perhaps even move to Paris, but none of it is going to magically turn me into a French woman. Besides, I like sweats!

But a book called Getting Older Never Looked Good: A Head to Heels Guide To Ageless Beauty, written by three FOFs who live right here in the United States, intrigued me by its unpretentiousness, lack of glossy photos and illustrations and no-nonsense advice.

To wit:

  • “When it comes to getting older, pretending does not work, trying too hard does not work, trying to dress like your teenager does not work. The right bra works, the right underwear works, the right makeup works, the right hairstyle for your face works, and so does knowing when your clothing is too short or too tight or too low cut! Learning to accept what we have to work with works big time. Being you, only better, works every time.”
  • “Thickening waistlines make us look a little like SpongeBob SquarePants. Wearing boxy tops is not the solution to square. Select tops that give the illusion of a waist; just don’t cut straight across the stomach. Ruched tops are always a good choice. Ruching is a miracle; it adds soft gathering or pleats without adding bulk!”
  • “Beware that Crocs croak! If you can hose off your shoes along with your patio furniture, they don’t belong on your feet. Save the Birkenstocks, loafers, sneakers and Doc Martins for the farm or the gym.”

The trio of FOF authors, each named Judy, knows that “getting older” isn’t always fun, but the goal of their book is to help us all get “over the bumps” without going into a tailspin. I applaud them for approaching the subject with honesty, heart and humor. While other authors pompously preach, the 3 Judys are a joy to read and even a bigger joy to meet. Click over to my interview with them to see what I mean.