August 13, 2010

Style Advice from my Grandma

Today's post is in honour of my Grandma. She's 95, and she is the most stylish nonagenarian you'll ever meet. Today my Grandma is having major abdominal surgery to remove what is most likely a cancerous tumor. In preparation for this surgery, she bought new perfume, new nightgowns, and new teeth. That kind of sums up her approach to style: there's no reason to be sloppy, no matter what cards life deals you.

Style Advice From my Grandma:
  1. Being well-dressed is always appropriate. Grandma always looks elegant and poised. ALWAYS. Even when she was young and broke, even when she was a farm wife with two small kids, even when waiting for an ambulance.
  2. Proper grooming is important. I've only seen Grandma without makeup once, and that was the day after she broke her (second) hip. Mind you, I'm quite happy to leave the house without makeup, but I do admire her dedication to looking how she wants to look.
  3. Vanity can be dangerous. Grandma has avoided dealing with medical issues she found embarrassing. If she can get past that, so can the rest of us.
  4. At a certain point, hair dye isn't fooling anyone. Grandma went silver very early but stopped coloring her hair in her 60s. Her now-platinum hair is shiny and gorgeous.
  5. Figure out what works for you. Grandma likes jackets and blazers, so she buys a lot of them. She looks beautiful in soft colors like pink, leaf green, pale blue and cream, so that's what she buys.
  6. One of the secrets to looking younger than you are is to keep up with fashion. She actually told my Mom this, and Mom passed it on to me. Grandma still buys a few new clothes -- often the aforementioned jackets -- once or twice a year. An on-trend jacket updates the classic long skirts, straight trousers, crewnecks and turtlenecks already in her closet. She buys new glasses frames every few years.
  7. Find your perfect shopping partner. Grandma and her daughter, my Aunty P, are the original Shopping Team co-captains.
  8. Good costume jewelry has a long lifespan. My grandparents never had much money, so Grandma doesn't have a lot of "real" jewelry. She regularly wears gorgeous costume jewelry she's had for decades.
  9. Stand up straight. I bet your Grandma told you that too, didn't she?
  10. Love can change a life. That's not style per se, but it's essential to who she is. A warm and caring heart is completely beautiful.


  1. Lovely advice. Thinking of your Grandma and you on this tense day.

  2. This is a lovely post. Hope things go well for your Grandma!

  3. Thanks, E-Jo. Not such good news thus far, I'm sorry to say. I bet she looks good, though.

  4. Thinking of you and your Grandma, sweets.

  5. That is some excellent advice from a wise lady.

    My best vibes to you and your Gran, Kelly.

  6. What great advice for carrying yourself like a lady.
    I fully support most of these statements.
    Except I like to shop alone and think women can be most beautiful without make-up for most occasions.
    Thanks for posting. Your grandma reads sweet and kind!