STOCKHOLM STREET STYLE

Scandi-Chic

Ooh

You can dance

You can jive

Having the time of your life

Ooh, see that girl

Watch that scene

Dig in the dancing queen

ABBA Dancing Queen

Whenever I used to think of Sweden, I immediately would think about ABBA, or the popular Swedish retailers IKEA and H& M. I never thought about fashion. Ever.

We all know Europe is famous for its fashion capitals, but until recently many have overlooked Stockholm. In the last few decades, it has emerged as one of the top places to go for a fashion fix, without ever looking like it was really trying. The effortless simplicity of style in Sweden’s capital would be interesting to any fashionista.

Stockholm Street Style from my closet

I began to wonder if I could go into my closet and reproduce outfits that one might see while walking the streets of Stockholm. Needless to say, the effortless street style that Stockholm is so famous for is not about one look in particular, nor is it about wearing certain labels or brands.

Just exactly what is Stockholm Street Style, anyway. Well, it’s about individuality, dressing in a way that brings out your own individual personality in clothes.

The use of the term ‘Scandi-chic’ has increased in recent years. I think it has come to represent a personal sense of style. An ‘ I am dressing for me. I am dressing for comfort’ style.

Just think of IKEA, H&M. Simple and something you can easily put together yourself. Easy and uncomplicated style. A natural sense of style.

Anne-Sofie Back is a trending Swedish designer that is popular both in Sweden as well as London. And, of course, Björn Borg,  is associated with being sporty, creative and innovative. 

Coco Chanel once said, “simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance”. I think, in Europe, Stockholm has gotten the message and is giving Paris interesting competition.

Sandra Hart • Life Over Sixty With Sandra

YOUR AUTHENTIC SELF

An unlikely celebrity caught my attention the other night during the Icon Generation Award at the 2019 MTV Movie & TV Awards Monday night. He offered a bit of information that I give out every week.

“Here’s the thing that I want to share with you guys – Because there’s another side to being your authentic self, your true self – and that’s the side that the magic is on. That’s the side that’s gold. While yes, it’s important to be yourself – you’ve got to recognize the joy and the responsibility of bringing everybody with you. And you do that by being kind, by being compassionate, by being inclusive and straight up just being good to people because that matters.” The Rock

Truer words were never spoken. Being your authentic self and being proud of that self. That’s where the magic lies. That is what has always been the most important. So many of us women over sixty sometimes lose our way once the children leave the nest or we retire from our careers. We can feel lost at sea without a rudder.

The beauty industry hasn’t helped. It has capitalized on selling us dreams of products that will keep us young. Fortifying that if we don’t look young we are worthless and undesirable. Not a word about the most important part of who we genuinely are – our inner selves. That is exactly where our beauty has always come from.

Years ago my husband kept talking about a famous race car friend of his who constantly had so many women running after him. In my mind, I envisioned a wildly handsome man. Instead, when I finally met him, my initial reaction was shock in how unattractive I thought he was.

At the time, I was guilty of only superficially reacting to his outer appeal. As I got to know him better, he became more and more attractive and actually quite sexy. His inner beauty was so strong, it radiated and translated into one very handsome and successful man.

That is how strong our inner authentic self – our true self is. We have to believe we are worthy and that we deserve all that life will bring us. Once you find that pot of gold within yourself it’s your responsibility to share it with others. We should not leave anyone behind.

I have often been asked why at my age would I want to be a life coach, or take the time and responsibility of sharing my years of living on Youtube. My answer was given by Dwayne Johnson, I don’t want to leave anyone behind. Everyone deserves to live the best possible life over sixty.

Copyright©️Sandra Hart 2019

All Rights Reserved

Lipstick On His Glass

My husband keeps complaining that I leave lipstick on our glasses. He’s ninety-two and I keep reminding him he is a lucky duck at his age to still have a hot woman around to mess up his glassware with a Chanel shade named after him – Arthur.

For Arthur’s ninetieth the children and I took him on a transatlantic round trip on Cunard’s Queen Mary. I found ‘Arthur’ in the Chanel section at the boutique and decided why not. I spent $20,000 on this party for him, why not $50 on me. I love Arthur, but I also love lipstick.

There is something to be said about growing older. Arthur reminds everyone when he gets in and out of trouble with the etiquette police , “Im an old guy.” He can do ‘head scratching’ things and get away with it. Because he is old.

We just had a phone call from friends who have been together for 30 years. She has never been married and he has. She is over 80 and he is younger. She is afraid to fly so they have traveled the world together for thirty years by tramp steamers, cruise ships, trains and car. Now, on his part, that’s love if I have ever heard of it. Arthur would have left me years ago if he for thirty years had to take freighters to get from point A to B when traveling.

For our friends, everything for thirty years seemed just fine. They were both in the together groove without strings attached. They lived in her Manhattan apartment and vacationed in his Pocono house and traveled the world in between. Well, that phone call, they are getting married and we are invited to the wedding. True. We are going to a wedding in July. There is something to be said about growing older and not giving a hoot what others think.

I guess you could think of it as sometimes it takes couples longer than others to realize that they are in love. Forever love.

Hummmm? I wonder. She probably never leaves her lipstick on the drinking glasses. She finally got her man.

Copyright©️ Sandra Hart

LEVI STRAUSS IS MY HERO

Here she goes again with her weirdo thought process. Jeans? Why on earth jeans today, Sandra?

Well, I say to myself, it may have taken me thirty years to warm up to the idea of wearing ripped jeans, but one is never too old to take a risk and live on the fashion edge, even if you are eighty! Sometimes as hard boiled as I am, I do have room for a change of heart!

1873 BIRTH OF BLUE JEANS

If Levi Strauss were alive today he would be either scratching his head in wonderment or snapping his suspenders with glee if he knew his work pants have become a staple and an American fashion icon.

Even in the 40’s and 50’s it was still a man’s world.

When I was growing up in the ’40’s and 50’s there wasn’t anything ‘jeans’ except the one ‘man-style’ any girl right away knew didn’t include them if she had a waist and hips. In order to get the right hip fit, the waist was miles too big and had to be belted like a paper bag to fit our waists. The legs were too long, so we had to cuff them a few times. But no doubt about it, we all wore jeans, even though it was a man thing.

Men, boys, girls, all shapes and sizes – jeans were in. There was an important exception, though. MOMS. I don’t ever remember one single mother who wore jeans. Ever. It was either slacks or dresses for casual wear.

THE MOM JEANS ARRIVE

Finally in the early 60’s we young mothers were excited when Levi’s finally awoke to the fact that the 40’s girl’s were now grown and were yearning to keep their love of jeans in their fashion choices. The cross over began as jeans were being designed with a woman’s shape in mind.

GRUNGE CHANGED JEANS

Yup! The grunge and rock scene changed how we would think about and wear jeans forever. Everyone’s favorite jeans that we had worn threadbare, but dared not leave the house wearing, suddenly became fashionable. Design houses began to purposely destress and deconstruct jeans into high fashion. Jeans had crossed over the rainbow bridge and found heaven in the fashion halls of the rich, famous and everyday man and woman. Manufacturers and designers found the pot of gold at the end of that beautiful rainbow!

DISTRESSED DENIAL

Well, you probably have already guessed the end of my story. After years of watching women my age and younger, walk around in ‘those things’, I have finally caved in and bought a pair of jeans that I could have destroyed on my own if I had any sense about me.

ELEGANT 80 CONVERT

Yes, they are very comfortable and so I like them because they make me feel hip – yes. Am I gong to buy another pair? Probably not, because the economist in me says I can make my own. I still love my regular grandma jeans, but the best part is that I am now more hip in my grandchildren’s eyes. That is worth all the ripped jeans in the world!

Copyright Sandra Hart 2019

All Rights Reserved

SARATOGA TRUNK STARTED IT ALL

The year was 1945. Going to the movies was the great escape. It was entertainment that helped everyone escape the stress of WWII. My mother loved the movies. As early as I can remember sitting on my mother’s lap during an afternoon matinee was an important part of my life; memories that have stayed with me throughout the years.

I fell in love with Gary Cooper while sitting on my mothers lap. So much so that I struggled free, escaping from my comfortable perch to join Gary Cooper on the screen. Movies and movie stars. My love of both started with Gary Cooper and Ingrid Bergman in Saratoga Trunk when I was five years old.

I never outgrew my passion for movies. Moving from teenage crushes on Tab Hunter, then William Holden in Picnic and then Cary Grant in To Catch A Thief. I absorbed the lives I saw on the screen and made them mine. I wanted to be a part of that life. I wanted to be an actress. I never lost that dream.

Well, life happened and I wound up, not on the big screen, but the small one. Television. For most of my adult life I was in television in various rolls. Romper Room, talk show host, news anchor and syndicated host of my own financial show. My plan for my life was different than my five-year-old dream.

Then, before I could blink my eyes it seems, my fiftieth birthday rolled in. My hair was starting to gray, I had just celebrated an anniversary with my husband of five years. Somehow all of these changing factors, milestones in my life, proved to culminate in an ‘aha’ moment. I was going to go for it.

For forty-five years I had put my life’s dream on the back burner. Never say never. I was going to be an actress. Maybe not a movie star, but I was ready to work at building a new career and living my dream.

I immediately got headshots, made the casting rounds, and auditioned for a theater group. I used the same persistence that had helped build my television career. I made new friends and connections and soon was working in theater, film and television. I was older and didn’t have to compete with ingenious like I would have had to years ago. I had a chance at a second act and life was good.

Well it still is. I rarely audition anymore, though, because I am in what I consider my third chapter. My husband and I have resettled to Florida. I write books, this blog, lecture, have a presence on social networks and have a YouTube channel. But one thing has remained constant. I love movie stars of the 40’s and 50’s. Those glamour girls with great acting chops and charisma.

What’s the proof of that? I am doing a retrospective on Instagram (sandrashart) of the actresses that kept me company in many darkened movie theaters while growing up and dreaming of being a movie star. Let’s remember the good days of movies together!

Copyright Sandra Hart©️2018

All Rights Reserved

LATE-IN-LIFE REJECTION

It is Saturday and I’m sitting in my favorite chair, coffee at my elbow, Sofi at my feet and my husband across the room reading his favorite news magazine. Alexa is streaming big band music and I am wondering what I can write about here on my blog. It’s a brain fog kind of day and my thoughts are all over the place.

My husband and I have been married close to 35 years. Ours was his first marriage and I came into the partnership a widow with three teenage children. It hasn’t always been smooth sailing for us, but we have weathered the ups and downs of a late-in -life marriage and are still here.

Recently one female friend and her husband celebrated their 60th anniversary; another lost her husband and a third is divorced in her 70’s. Loss by death is one thing we understand is out of our control, but divorce has its own separate pain. Rejection. How does someone in what should be the best years of her life survive that?

A divorce in later life is not only a personal rejection by an individual, but a shattering of long-held values and one’s self-image as someone who thought she and her partner would live happily after.

Therapists suggest the next 7 steps to help ease that feeling of rejection.

1. Feel the feelings. …

2. Understand you will go through the stages of grief. …

3. Think of your pain like a wave. …

4. Gather your support system around you. …

5. Stop the self-blame. …

6. Practice self-care. …

7. Find a therapist who can help.

Life is not always mapped out the way we planned, but as women we have to look at ourselves and say every day to our mirror, “I am worthy. I am enough.”

https://youtu.be/XsEu84UMAac

Copyright Sandra Hart 2018©️

All Rights Reserved.

FASHION POLICE

Let’s talk fashion. Should older women be conscious of their age when deciding what styles to wear? In my opinion, no they shouldn’t.

Age has very little to do with personal style. Who cares what the fashion police think? What really matters is what you think about what you wear.

As a teen I couldn’t wait every fall to get the September issue of Seventeen magazine so that I would know what was trending in back to school outfits!

In my twenties and thirties, it was Vogue or Harpers Bazaar that were my fashion bibles. I couldn’t afford the designer clothes featured, but I sure as heck could try to copy their styling.

By some miracle, maybe it was menopause, my late forties a lightbulb went off in my head. I just wanted to be me! I wanted to be brave enough to leave the trend train and follow my own fashion sense and style. That is when I finally got the courage to appreciate and be the real me.

My classic/ Bohemian style was born and I have given it a healthy life ever since. I’m free to be me and will never even think to let fashion trends define my style.

What do you think?

Copyright Sandra Hart 2018©️