Our internet friend Peg writes:
Help! I put my summer clothes away and saw black, black,black. Black Talbot suits, sparkly black evening tops, a black dress with ruffles which I hate. I am 16W above and 18W below and at 73 seem to be preparing to be laid out (at least they will have a choice). I think years of being pear shaped have driven me into the NYC disguise of black. I need color and perhaps counseling but would prefer color not bright colors but deep purples, amber reds, cerulean blues. Peg
Although everyone knows that the 70’s are the new 50’s, this question vaguely reminds Francesca (kinda, sorta) of one of her favorite, favorite poems, by Jenny Joseph:
WHEN I AM AN OLD WOMAN I SHALL WEAR PURPLE
With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick the flowers in other people’s gardens
And learn to spit
You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes
But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.
But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.
Francesca sincerely hopes that when she is 73 she has the humor and self-awareness of the super-fantastic Peg.
Anyhow, we begin the clothing search at Talbot’s Women, since that is where we usually begin. Indeed, Talbots is fond of black and grey, but there are always colorful exceptions, such as this Cherry Red number:
and this sky-blue pullover:
It is worth perusing their site to find high-quality clothing in colors that are attractive but not blinding.
And this dramatic mocha-colored satin-trimmed pants set, for the fashionable entrance into book parties in Manhattan, where everyone else is wearing black:
If the prices at Saks don’t make you turn this color, here is a gorgeous forest-green sweater for strolls in Central Park:
And finally, after you’ve perused all the above sites, Francesca suggests that Peg try hsn.com, where sizes often go up to 3x (or even 5x). Behold, an amazing georgette top with bat-wing sleeves:
or, for a more conservative look, this jersey knot dress with 3/4-length sleeves, available in red, teal, and navy:
Happy, happy shopping to Peg! xoxo!