Once I left the corporate world of employment many moons ago, I said goodbye to the uniform. It’s not that I’m opposed to uniforms, especially when they come in the form of Firemen or Naval Officers! But having worn a uniform from Infant School to High School, throughout an extensive hotel career and then the corporate world of “wear what you like if it follows these guidelines”, I laid to rest my power suit, pantyhose and ever so prim shoes!
Fast forward eighteen years of living in the Arizona desert – now I’m surrounded by cheeky cut-offs that mimic knickers with frayed edges worn by teenagers AND their moms, flip flops somehow became acceptable for date night, and if I never saw another guy in a Tommy Bahama shirt I wouldn’t be disappointed! How did mermaids with fishing rods, sipping martinis become a good idea on the back of a man’s shirt? And, I don’t care that the flip flops may be Tory Burch, they have no place on a date! Alas, this is the desert uniform! But it has instilled in me a renewed vigor for suit style, let’s shake off the desert dust and awaken the power-look within… and gents, you can buy me a martini instead of wearing one on the back of your silk shirt, it’ll be a lot cheaper!
In my quest to merge a business-like style with the desert uniform, I opted for the blazer. Well, I certainly wasn’t going for the pantyhose, I never liked wearing them everrrr and I'm sure they're bad for your health! Timing was on my side, and just as I walked in the door of H&M there was a white blazer with a fine pinstripe. White speaks desert, pinstripe speaks business… ta dah, nailed it! For $49.99 it was worth the experiment, and I needed the practice having been out of the blazer business a long time. I had no plans to resurface rusty blazer styling skills on a costly jacket that could possibly turn my desert uniform into something worthy of an abstract art gallery!
For me, the smallest details create the greatest glee, in this case the cuffs, or rather lack of cuffs. No buttons, just an open split, think Cruella De Vil meets Miranda Priestly! This is edgy, laser sharp and tailored without being tailored! The tiniest bit of gesticulation and those cuffs are slicing through the air like a knife throwing contest!
The Arizona summer provides more than enough days to warrant knickers with frayed edges, but I choose not to share my bottom or perfectly lasered bikini line with the rest of Scottsdale, although both look passable if comparison were a thing – but women don’t compare themselves with each other, right! However, a modest pair of shorts with frayed edges – yes indeed! So here lies the fusion of desert uniform and business attire… shorts and a blazer!
And, just in case you’re not feeling the shorts, and let’s face it, not every day is for pulling the shorts straw – a summer blazer is just as cool with a pair of jeans or pants. Here, these fabulous platform sandals raise the style bar of the jeans and tee (literally), or perhaps I'm just reliving my youth, both I think, but I’m a firm believer in #wearwhatyouwant and #stylehasnoage!
Getting back to the shorts, the main concern is to ensure your shorts are just a tad longer than the blazer even if only by an inch or two. It looks seriously weird from behind if the shorts are hidden. Don't be surprised if you get tapped on the shoulder by considerate passers by who want to let you know that you forgot something... like your pants!
This blazer was a seriously lucky find. It fits me perfectly, is super light weight and looks and feels much more expensive than it was. It's currently on sale with only a few sizes left. I've linked it below as well as a selection of other chic summer blazers.
Here are some of the other pieces or similar that I paired with the blazer:
There are affiliate links in this post which means I may receive a small percentage of sales made.
It's been eight weeks since I started using the Trophy Skin MicrodermMD which is an at-home microdermabrasion machine. Here is my complete review with before and after pictures, plus an ingenious experiment to treat the back of my left hand only!
Always on the hunt for the perfect piece that will cross the boundaries of casual to chic with just a change of bottoms or shoes! Here it is, a pretty floral pull over top with delightful balloon tie-sleeves from Anthropologie!
Every now and then I have a moment of madness! One of these days that moment may be considered pure genius, but for now they've mostly been considered worthy dinner party stories! My last moment of madness was just that, with a bonus... a return letter from Kensington Palace!
With summer just around the corner, it’s time to start planning for your vacation—and for many, that means getting that winter body in summer shape. More often than not, our desire to lose weight and tone up before an upcoming vacation becomes a last-minute sprint. But if you start now, you'll increase your odds of success. Here are a few simple tips for converting to a healthier lifestyle.
The ravages of a well spent youth are reflected in many ways as we leave one era of our lives and begin the next. Lines, wrinkles, blemishes and lack of elasticity appear to a greater or lesser degree depending on the level of "well spent" we're dealing with! It's a natural progression but can still be hard to accept, especially when the vision reflected back at us in the mirror is not representative of how we feel inside - wrinkle free and much the same as we've always felt!
Using tennis as an excuse for a girl's trip to Las Vegas is a sobering thought. What could possibly go wrong? But it's as good an excuse as any given that these six ladies in their midlife have friendship in common because of tennis.
The trip had been in the pipeline for months until one evening at the bar during a happy hour gathering, and far from sober, dates were secured, and flights were booked right there on cell phones. A mere $45 each way from Phoenix to Las Vegas... cheers to Southwest Airlines!
Spirits are lifted as spring emerges from hibernation and shows signs of sticking around. Even in Arizona, despite our mild winters and seemingly endless days of sunshine, there is a different feel about the season as warm tendrils of air waft around us and bees are sent into a frenzy over the blooming wild flowers.
What better time of year than spring to bust out some silk in bright vivid colors, especially colors that can be seen from outer space! A silk buttondown shirt is a classic that stands the test of time, you can be sure it will re-appear merged with different outfits year after year which also makes it a good investment!
Midlife pulls many tricks on us - hair growth where we least expect it, and hair loss where we need it most - from our head. Sadly, it effects women as well as men.
Hair, like everything else goes through changes over the course of a lifetime. Shine and volume synonymous with youth gives way to dull, weak and thinner strands. There are however several things we can do to maintain our luscious locks for as long as possible without going the chemical route.
The shirtdress is a timeless classic that can be worn by young and mature women with the same level of effortless chic. It basically takes the form of a long button down shirt, comes in a myriad of fabrics ranging from denim (mostly in the form of chambray) to silk. Like a good shirt, the shirtdress can be utilized for smart and casual occasions but with the added advantage of not having to wear pants! It's a wardrobe staple and the versatility it offers makes styling it fun.
Korean skin care products are fast becoming the most sought after and esteemed beauty treatments in Europe and North America. Saranghae is a 5-step skin care routine that has been developed over 600 years in South Korea using locally derived natural botanical extracts. The name "Saranghae" is Korean for "I love you".
Being British means I take my dogs and horses very seriously! The Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show is for anyone who takes their horses seriously and that of course includes dogs! Every year it takes place at WestWorld in north Scottsdale and this, the 63rd annual event is running through to Sunday February 25th.
Crane birds are the latest graphic to turn iconic, rather like pineapples and pelicans in seasons past. My crush began last year with a pair of crane bird palazzo pants, and now continues with two recent finds that are so inexpensive they're bound to fly off the racks before you can say "Get the flock out of here!"
As Valentine's Day approaches romance is in the air and spring tickles our senses with the melting of snow, peep shows of sunlight and flowering buds
Karen Serino is a life and style blogger, sharing fashion, fitness and fun for youthful women in their forties, fifties and beyond.
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Click the picture below to see my interview with the lovely Jonet Wooten from Fabulously Chic Over 50