When Your Pop Of Color Is A Garage Door

I fought valiantly against pencil skirts and pumps.  At least this go-round, this decade. But pencil skirts have always been my destiny.

We all have native fashion types, right?. Sometimes we stretch ourselves and experiment. We essay hats, and full skirts, and cobalt blue pants. Other times we return to our sartorial roots, and find ourselves in a black and white shirt, pencil skirt and captoe Chanel-esque pumps.

And, occasionally, in front of a green door.

I’m wearing a Michael Kors Costco $60 wool peacoat, a badly tucked black and white Steven Alan shirt, jade heart necklace on a 24K chain, J. Crew #2 pencil skirt in cotton, and a pair of Beautifeel pumps. And I’m standing in a San Francisco alley, at 8:15am, posing in front of a tripod and camera set to 10-second autoshoot. Seemed time for a high-production value photo.  Never underestimate a green door, especially when one is not the sort to wear one’s pops of color.

That’s a closeup of my hair. The light this foggy morning allowed me to finally make clear how grey my hair is, or is not, and what the impact of the grow-out is. I haven’t colored it since November 2010. For both those thinking of growing out their blonde, and those who wonder how I can possibly do so. It’s a constant process, style. A heuristic that settles you into your self.

It’s also fun. Janet, my over-50 knees salute you.

Let’s hunker down and get precise. Note I said “Chanel-esque pumps.” But Sturdy Gals, as we know, insist on being able to walk 1.3 miles there and back, with minimal discomfort. This is the Beautifeel Rebecca, Black Net Suede. A reference to Chanel quilting, I presume.

J. Crew, on the other hand, makes a great pencil skirt. It’s their sweet spot, ladylike but available in unladylike colors. I’m tempted by snake print. Steven Alan makes a nice, soft, just interesting enough shirt. That’s their trademark. Beautifeel does comfortable, Chinatown jade. In business we’d throw the words “core competencies” around. Maybe even “competitive advantage.”

Everybody’s got their style DNA. Perhaps not a veritable double-helix of glamor always, but as true as we can make it.

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  • The pencil skirt is *fabulous* on you! And I’m thinking the shirt is meant to be ‘badly tucked,’ no? (BTW, that’s one great shirt.) it’s a grand look, the green door is such a killer background, especially at 8:15 in the a.m.!

  • Now, those are some heels I would gladly wear! Absolutely love them.

    Have I mentioned how glad I am you’re not coloring your hair? It’s just gorgeous.

  • I have no idea what a pencil skirt is, but I’m glad you recognized that perfect photo opportunity. The turquoise wall makes it seem that you don’t take your conservative clothes too seriously, plus there’s a great vertical/horizontal/diagonal tension going on with those lines in the wall.

    6:56 pm
    Lisa said...

    I appreciate the art history-esque commentary! Thank you.

  • You look fabulous. The pea coat is the touch that grounds the whole thing. There’s a Beautifeel store in a distant mall. I keep walking by and thinking I should stop in, now I’m sure of it.

  • I just had to comment since I was one of the arguers for aesthetic backgrounds for fashion photographs – the green garage door is spot on! Not too fussy, not trying too hard, and made for some excellent photographs which upheld your written words beautifully.

    Also, I too appreciate your lovely hair. I’ve had my first handful of greys grow in and I hope to grey as gracefully as you.

    6:57 pm
    Lisa said...

    I’m going to keep trying to find interesting backgrounds in San Francisco. Luckily there are a lot of doors in San Francisco.

  • what a lovely example you are to us all. absolutely lovely. such style and poise, always. here, at 43, I am still fighting the greys that have the audacity to show themselves. But amongst the brunette, and very long hair, it is conquer or be conquered.

  • You captured hot and appropriate! Plus perfect lighting and photo. Trifecta to you.

  • You look great in a pencil skirt, knees, hair and all! I have one pair of B–feel shoes from years ago and they still look good, very well made, in Israel , I think. I don;t live near any stores that sell them though. Love those.

  • Beautifeel are very comfy!! Not inexpensive but so worth the price. I chickened out on letting my blonde go gray, but I didn’t have that nice big chunk of it in the front. It was smattered all over and just looked dingy. Maybe I’ll try again in a year or so.
    Love that pencil skirt!!

  • White legs(ugh) use a self tanner! Hair(scary) great figure, clothes, pose. That hair kills the look. Mabey start to wear it in an updo.the hair looks like a Calico cat.

    6:59 pm
    Lisa said...

    Lewellyn, it was you I was thinking of when I said some wonder why I let my hair go grey. And now you’ve added white legs to the list of horrors!:). In all seriousness, I don’t really mind, and I’m glad you feel free to communicate your opinion.

    But why do we have to use self tanner? When I spend so much time putting sunscreen on my face, shouldn’t I celebrate my white legs?

  • Love this outfit! And the green door looks so good with your hair!

  • I am having my stylist look at ways of introducing my greys gradually…
    love the shoes they are my kind of heels.
    You look very polished in this outfit, definitely a sturdy girl look!
    Love the garage door for a pop of colour too.

  • You look gorgeous as always and I love the green garage door background.
    Those shoes look both chic and comfortable…I’m going to buy a pair so that I can go out and walk without pain.

  • The setup is perfect for you in this outfit. Your hair looks natural, as intended.
    Boy, am I lucky to get to wear thick black tights nearly year- around.
    Never ( reading the knee-post ) before, have I given a thought on my knees, lol.

  • always have had mixed feelings about grey hair on women getting older. in los angeles it is just not done. have always been surprised when I go to the Bay area that grey is the look for women over 50. in L.A. it’s a badge of shame, poverty or lack of style. that’s just the honest reality if you want to look professional (and especially if you work in the film business)

    i say more power to you if you can get away with it where you live!

    7:00 pm
    Lisa said...

    Very interesting, about Los Angeles. I have heard that before. The currency of power for women in entertainment is youth. Here in Silicon Valley, for those who work, it’s intelligence. So probably more room for grey hair.

  • P.S.
    goes without saying:
    beautiful woman, clothes, pictures…

  • I have those Beautifeel pumps in napa leather and patent from several years ago. I wear them all of the time, and they still look great.

  • Great look, great background! But I puzzled over it for a while ’cause I can’t see any good reason for you ever to be self-deprecating about your legs, as you have been in the past. Those legs deserve a pencil skirt!

    7:00 pm
    Lisa said...

    Thanks. I have short legs. Otherwise, they are my mother’s, genetically, and I am OK with them:).

  • “You look fabulous Darling!” Your hair is looking great. I, too, am a huge fan of Beautifeel shoes; being able to walk comfortably seems more and more important. You made me smile, imaging your in The City, with camera,in alley taking a picture of yourself. Still smiling at the thought.
    SF Bay Area

  • I really like your hair. It looks great as does your ensemble.

  • I think you look wonderful.
    Pencil skirts are evenings only for me, I’m too curvy for them and burst out of them – I have skinny legs but a torso and bust two to three sizes bigger – it has taken me decades to realise this!

  • The green door just makes you pop in the photos. Wishing I had legs like yours! Okay, now I am going to shop for some B-feel shoes – yours are wonderful. You look absolutely lovely in your pencil skirt!

  • August 23, High Summer, and LPC has pulled on a WOOL COAT to walk over a mile to work, both ways. The words August and Wool do not go together, there is no way to pair the two, yet there she is in full witness.

    So. I will take your weather, I will take your legs, I will take your hair, I will take those narrow hips and those glorious shoulders, I will take all those clothes, I will happily take that cranium that churns out these marvelous gift posts, thank you, and even though I’m not a color person, I’ll pack up that door and take it with me too.

    Glory! and Thank You!

    7:01 pm
    Lisa said...

    My gosh. I want you to write my poster. Thank you so much. And yes, it’s cold here in August. We expect it’ll warm up come October.

  • This is practically my teaching look! The major exception would be the hair worn loose. I’m forever tying mine back. I study every picture of your hair I see…wondering how soon as I expect to go more completely silver. I wish it would happen overnight.

    7:02 pm
    Lisa said...

    I pull mine back after the first post-washing day…

  • Wow I’m with Flo. That woman can compliment!

    Fifty and fabulous. Aren’t we all?

    xo jane

  • Thank you EVERYONE. You are very kind, and give me incentive to astonish the neighbors with photo antics.

    7:29 am
    Flo said...

    Fantasy: LPC does a takeoff series on the WhatIsJamesWearing blog wherein James goes all over the place posing in front of known landmarks, dressed in his outfit of the day. Proposed series title: What LPC Wears Where [or make it a contest by having readers guess her whereabouts, ie Where Is LPC Wearing]

    Sit down, Flo.

  • Love your hair, and you always look lovely from head to toe whatever brand/style you wear. Keep astonishing those neighbors!

  • Stay in the pencil skirt forever, you look very nice in it. I hope that at you can walk at least 3 km in it. I like your idea of using a bright background and using classic colours and repeating the background in your jewelry.

  • Love the look!

    Hair: Brava on having the perseverance to let the dye grow out. Currently I live in an area where all the coolest folks have gray hair. Pretty much only the very young dye. Very refreshing. Mine is going shock white pretty fast, though not fast enough to suit me. How about posting on eyeglass frame colors for gray/white hair? If you think frames should change with hair color?

    Legs: Love that you aren’t tanning. Love it! When more of us refuse to do so, won’t it become the new norm? And we’ll have fewer wrinkles? Which has been a pretty nice surprise for me. I just never really cared for soaking up the sun and kept covered up more for comfort than any other reason. Though for some women (especially sports enthusiasts) – that sun wrinkled look is part of their life history in my opinion, and I admire it. I’d take Georgia O’keeffe’s in a heartbeat.

  • Très jolie, as always. I am jealous of your hair! It still seems so thick and healthy, and mine has thinned considerably with age. No fair!

    Pencil skirt/blouse/sensible but cute heels was my favorite go-to work uniform back in the day. I’m glad to see it still looks perfect.

  • I think your legs appear noticably whiter because of the black skirt & shoes.
    I also have white legs so tend to only wear black skirts with black tights.

    You look good as usual.Ida

  • I really like the silver hair, it speaks to me of ‘Crone Power’, and no, I don’t mean that as a back-handed compliment. The juxtaposition of silver (old person) hair with abundance and length (young person attributes) is a very arresting juxtaposition, creating an aura of maturity/wisdom combined with energy/dynamism. It reminds me of the lovely, great Professor Mary Beard of Cambridge Uni, another luxuriantly silver-haired fifty-something with a super-charged brain and huge personality.

  • Your hair is reminding me of Susan Sontag now! But lighter of course. And I love that last pic of you, somehow it reminds me of Wonder Woman!


  • Does the pencil skirt allow you a full stride? I gave up on skirts because I have long legs, a long stride and I walk at a 4 mph pace. The narrow skirts felt like a hobble. Love your hair color, it’s very striking. I’ve got a streak, but it’s nothing to write home about.

  • i think you look great, lisa!! really liking the green door as your backdrop as well. :)

  • I like this look, but I’d suggest that you consider skirts that cut the knee in half.

  • Bare legs in August, in San Francisco, is bold indeed! For purely climatic reasons, as we both know. I applaud your forging ahead despite the chilly summer, and also your wisdom in adding the wool coat. I hope your warm torso helped to balance the exposed legs — which look great in that pencil skirt, by the way.

  • I think I have the No. 2 pencil skirt (which J.Crew used to call “Pencil Skirt” as they only had one!) in about colors. I love them all. They have worn well, they are lined, and work and play appropriate. Wins all around.

  • Oh yes, try the snake print as you look terrific in a pencil. Beautifeel shoes are wonderful and I am tempted by several new autumn styles.

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