How Not to Look Old – revisited

I am re-posting my very first Fight the Frump post. When originally posted, it created quite a stir. For some people, it struck a chord. For others, it struck a nerve. I think we can all benefit from a bit of discussion.

I was at the bookstore the other night reading through my usual selection that I am too cheap to buy even though it’s on my recommended reading list over in my left side bar enjoy scanning through while the kids play with the lead-tainted Thomas train set.
I’ve learned so many invaluable tips from this book:

Have you ever noticed, when looking through old photos, how much older everyone looks in them? Pick up a high school yearbook from the 50s and all of the girls look like they are headed to the nearest AARP office to sign up.

Some trends just make us look older than we are. And at my age, I’m not willing to fall into that trap. Look at Oprah, Katie Couric… these women look better now than they did fifteen years ago!

Here are some of the tips recommended in this book:

Cut Bangs (there are so many styles of bangs to choose from. Not all will be flattering on your face shape. But choose some. Bangs soften and frame the face)

Lighten the lipstick and lipliner.

Choose fun hip eyeglasses, not granny styles. Seriously, girlfriend was probably younger than I am when she had this photo taken. But the hair and the glasses make her look like she could be my great aunt Hilda (if I had a great aunt Hilda).

I don’t think these express anything except temporary loss of sanity.

Avoid hair that is too long and parted down the middle.

Lighten the hair.

Eyebrows, ladies! Eyebrows! I am example numero uno for what a good brow shaping can do to improve your looks. Weedwhackers come to mind when I think of my eyebrows pre-1994, which is the year that will forever be known as the year that I got a clue that my bushy eyebrows needed help, STAT!

And her top 24 items that must be removed from all closets: (listed in this great article)

  1. Holiday sweaters with bells and appliqu├ęs (reindeers, teddy bears, bumblebees, pumpkins).
  2. Granny necklaces that tell how many grandchildren you have.
  3. Souvenir T-shirts.
  4. T-shirts with meant-to-be funny sayings.
  5. Acid-washed jeans.
  6. Ripped jeans.
  7. Shoulder pads.
  8. Flannel shirts.
  9. Muumuus. (**Does this really need to be stated?)
  10. Photo handbags (the older you get, the more sophisticated your accessories should be).
  11. Flesh-colored hose.
  12. Penny loafers.
  13. Oversize blazers.
  14. Mommy robes.
  15. Thin gold chain necklaces.
  16. Elastic-waist pants.
  17. Granny undies.
  18. Baggy sweats.
  19. Bearlike, full-length fur coats.
  20. Short shorts.
  21. Cargo pants.
  22. Stockings with reinforced toes.
  23. Three-piece suits with vests.
  24. Backpacks.

For more information, check out these links:
This video shows Charla talking about some of her tips.

Read an excerpt of How Not to Look Old here.

An interview with Time magazine here.

Let’s fight the frump, ladies! We can do it! My challenge to you, should you dare to take it, is to clear your closet of at least ONE frumpy outfit (we all have them). Take a picture of it and post it. Then get rid of it.

I’ll take my own challenge and I’ll be posting my frumpy outfit on Monday so that I can spend my entire weekend in it, crying over the future loss…

*Come back over here Monday to add your post to Mr. Linky. Then we can head over to each others blogs and cry on to each others shoulders applaud each other for letting go.


  1. http://~%20Straight%20Shooter%20~ says

    Oh Sister, where to even begin??? My whole closet is Frump From the Past it seems…
    It will take me till Monday too!

  2. http://Bev says

    I just posted on a book telling me how to organize my closet and figure out what to wear from it. This book is perfect in telling me what to have in it to begin with, and I will be asking for it for my birthday – perfect, and great stuff. I’m right there with you on the list – photo handbags, sweet but I dont think so. Holiday sweatshirts – please.

  3. http://It%20All%20Started%20With%20a%20Kiss says

    I do NOT have a frumpy outfit in my closet! *ahem*

  4. http://Melody says

    I already threw out/gave away all my frumpy outfits. Well, most of them anyway – I’ll see what I can do.


  5. http://Michelle%20Smiles says

    I will not give up my mommy robe, flannel shirts or baggy sweats. They make me happy in the winter. But I never wear them in public.

  6. http://Valarie says

    No wonder we look so much older back then. I wore lots of that stuff during highschool, becuase it was cool! Can I say we have come a long way baby, or is that to cliche’??? I am gonna do this! I am gonna go clean out my closet. Why do I have the stuff in there anyway, I am not gonna wear it. :o)

  7. http://Family%20O'Foxes says

    great post. I can’t wait to check out the links you posted.

    #17….oh no that is me. what kind of underwear does she recommend if we can’t wear g’ma undies???!!! HELP! hee hee

    frumpy outfit…geesh…that will be embarrassing.

  8. http://Family%20O'Foxes says

    I put that book on hold at the library. :) I’m 5th on hold for it.


  9. http://Crafty%20Carolinagirl says

    Uh oh! I have several items on this list. I might have to re-examine my closet!

  10. http://mandy says

    brilliant! i love your list of tid-bits!!!!
    time to go get bangs again.

  11. http://Rebecca%20Ramsey says

    I love your list except…
    I have to admit. I like my granny panties! At least sometimes!

  12. http://Zen%20Diva says

    This is a great idea. It’s been awhile since I’ve gone through the closet to purge. My husband will LOVE to see me get rid of some stuff!

  13. http://Wendy says

    Okay, I’m fighting frump-but I need help with flesh colored hose-I wear hose once a year when I speak at a formal dinner-what am I supposed to wear instead?

    And what’s wrong with backpacks? I’m thinking backpacks instead of diaper bags…help me out!

  14. http://Alicia says

    I remember this post! I went through my closet right away and emptied out so much stuff. The video alone inspired me in so many ways. I maintain the right to keep one frumpy outfit, just because. But I will for sure take a photo of it for Monday, just to remind me Not to Ever Leave the House in it!

  15. http://Family%20O'Foxes says

    I thought of you as I picked up this library book yesterday.
    I’ve been enjoying reading through it.
    Thanks for the recommendation.

Speak Your Mind