Introducing Women: Susan Blakey

For the section Introducing women, today is the turn of Californian Susan Blakey by Une femme d’un certain age. Susan started her blog in 2007 because searching for inspiration for her style on the web she couldn’t find anything that could help her; and this was the spring to start her own  fashion blog. Her goal is to advocate a style that is accessible to most of mature women.

Read the interview that  she kindly gave us to know her style better!

blog and style over fifty Not Only Twenty

 NotOnlyTwenty: Why and how did you decide to start your blog Un femme d’un certain age?

Susan Blakey- Un femme d’un certain age: I began blogging in 2007, soon after I’d turned 50.  I was struggling with how to dress, and looked for inspiration online. When I couldn’t find any style blogs for women our age, I decided to start writing one.

NOT: Un femme d’un certain age has an incredibly engaged readership. What do you think is the secret?

SB: Thanks! I think it’s a combination of maintaining a personal perspective, and talking about style that’s accessible to most of us. We’re just trying to get dressed every day and look our best, and that’s my focus.

NOT: Do you think that women feel the society’s pressure to look fashionable, even in their 40-something and over?

SB: I really think it depends on the woman and her social spheres. I think most often it’s women themselves have decided that they don’t want to give up on style just because they hit a certain age. Is there a certain cultural pressure to look a certain way? Absolutely, but I also see women defining “stylish” for themselves.

 NOT: Style advices from a fashion blogger can help women to feel more confident?

SB: Wear what you love, what feels comfortable.

blog and style over fifty Not Only Twenty

 NOT: Where does the style advice stop and where does rule begin?

SB: Good question! I no longer believe in rules. I think there are certain guidelines that can help us create a harmonious, balanced effect, but that we should feel free to ignore those if they clash with our personal style.

 NOT: You don’t have to be young to have style, but how important is budget?

SB: I’d say only minimally important. I know women who shop exclusively at resale or thrift stores and have developed a good eye and fabulous style. I do think quality is important, and always suggest getting fewer items of better quality, but they certainly don’t have to be designer labels.

 NOT: Who inspires you the most in fashion?

SB: That’s a tough question. I have a couple of friends who have amazing style and I’m always inspired by them. Other bloggers, for sure. I love Emmanuelle Alt, Linda Rodin, Linda Fargo.

 NOT: Who is the most inspiring woman (more generally, not only about fashion), and why?

SB: I’d have to say writers. I know a few women who have written an published books (or are in the process of writing one) and have so much admiration for their disciplineperseverance, and grit.

 NOT: What blog do you follow the most; and why?

SB: I follow a lot of blogs, and have made friends with so many bloggers over the years. It would be hard to choose just one.

 NOT: How do you describe your personal style?

SB: Los Angeles meets Rive Gauche. Right now I’d describe it as Polished Casual. Simple, but with an interesting detail or two.

 NOT: What factors influence your style?

SB: Comfort, versatility, packability. I’m very short (5’1”) so it’s easy to be overwhelmed by too much pattern or detail. My “canvas” is smaller, so I tend to keep things simple and try to stick to one or two focal points per outfit. I love to travel, so also am mindful when shopping of what clothing will pack well.

 NOT: How your style changes with age?

SB: I think I’m less inclined to follow rules. I have more trust in my sense of what feels right for me.

NOT: Do you think women should dress ‘age appropriately’ and what does it mean to you?

SB: I think “age appropriate” has become mostly meaningless. I think it’s more important to dress for your personality and lifestyle.

 NOT: What do you think about the current Italian fashion industry?

SB: I don’t know enough about the Italian fashion industry to comment really. I will say that when we’ve visited Italy, I do notice how well-dressed so many Italians are. They pay attention to cut, fit, and quality of fabrics.

 NOT: In your opinion is it always licit to play with fashion to express oneself, at whatever age and whatever size?

SB: Of course! Dressing to express ourselves is one of life’s pleasures.

blog and style over fifty Not Only Twenty NOT: What do you think about the fashion blogging world?

SB: I love the diversity of style blogging. We get to see many, many viewpoints aside from the institutional ones. And on the whole, I’ve found the blogging community to be very inclusive and supportive of each other.

 NOT: A secret for success with social networks?

SB: I don’t really have any secrets. I’d say be yourself, don’t be afraid to engage, be respectful. With regard to my own blog and social media, I try to keep the focus positive.

 NOT: What do you have to say about the growing interest on over 40 fashion bloggers? 

SB: I think it’s great! Our demographic is huge, and has retained an interest in style and fashion. We often have more disposable income, and the fashion industry on the whole should be paying attention.

 NOT: Style and life suggestions for the 40 and over?

SB: Wear what feels good, and fits with your lifestyle. Don’t be afraid to try new things. Keep an open mind. Take care of your body, but enjoy good food. Treasure your women friends.

NOT: You’re plans for the future?

SB: I just want to keep doing what I love: writing about style and traveling.













blog and style over fifty Not Only Twenty


blog and style over fifty Not Only Twenty


blog and style over fifty Not Only Twenty


blog and style over fifty Not Only Twenty


blog and style over fifty Not Only Twenty

Rita Palazzi
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