I've seen it all from parachute pants to faux leather pants, GaGa platforms to stilettos, short shorts to ripped jeans and everything in between.  I've seen skirts, mini, midi, maxi, ruffled, high low, pleated and diagonal cut.  This season's sweaters are long, cropped, chunky, slouchy; you name it, I've seen it all before.  Which is exactly why I'm already getting bored with all the fall clones and like the emperor, I'm ready for something extraordinary; something that the ordinary can't replicate, but since I can't parade around in a skin suit, guess I'll reach for a cute coat and a waist full of belts instead.  "Forward, march!"
 
 
I spent the greater part of Saturday moving clothes and furniture to my storage unit while decked out in a chambray top, fringed choker, leather skirt and biker booties.  Huh?  Yes, I did and just because you're moving big boxes doesn't mean you can't look cute while doing it.  So, what did I do to relax afterwards?  I added a tweed blazer and went thrift shopping with the girls.  That's just how we do!
 
 
It was a beautiful sunny day with the temperature in the lower 60's.  Apparently the warm weather caused some to revert to summer apparel sporting shorts, short sleeve t-shirts, and I even saw a little girl with a halter style sundress.  A bit much, I would say; especially since the setting sun will usher in cooler fall temps.  I'm still crushing on RL styles with a purple, open front, maxi card, a equestrian tie neck top by RL, black stretch pants, suede Hilfiger boots, and a fuchsia beret.  I wanted to take a break from the usual neutral palette and it was a perfect day for splashes of bold color!  Check it out!
 
 
I'm still crushing on RL as you can tell from the pics below.  The chocolate turtleneck is from Rue 21 circa 2006, suede fringed wrap skirt by Chico's, suede boots by Bronx, leather concho worn as necklace from Cole Haan, and concho worn around the waist is by Brighton.  I'm sure my crush would be pleased with my ensemble.  

Now, on to what's really important.  Gather around ladies and feast on what I'm about to say.  I'm angry and that's putting it mildly.  The internet is flooded with how to's on the latest fashion, the hottest hair styles, the best makeup, reality show news, but how many of us take the time to check our credit scores or find tips on how to get out of debt?  If you ask me about any reality show especially those whose title begins with "The Real...", I probably wouldn't know a single star, but if you asked which of my credit cards has the lowest interest rate, the answer is Citi. If you asked me the balance of my checking account, I could come within $5.00 of being accurate.  There are far too many of us obsessed with spending to look good and at the same time are behind on our bills.  It doesn't make sense and if steps aren't taken to correct it now, it will only get worse.  You could find yourself out on the streets, no means of transportation and how cute would it be for you to look like the next top model hitchhiking down the interstate.  This is no laughing matter. There is nothing cute about being in deep debt.  Get serious and see a credit counselor immediately!  Looking good shouldn't help drive you to the poor house.

Need tips?  Email: benjaminbertha@yahoo.com
 
 
I would like to think of myself as a walking More magazine; a style magazine for women over 40.  I'm that person who's not afraid to express my creativity through my fashion choices even if the majority whisper "Oh no, she didn't!" Well, "Oh yes, I did!" take a chocolate leather skirt, remove the lining, and cut it into a fringed wrap to wear over my black leggings.  I added a fudge brown Tahari blazer, a cheetah print Brighton belt, fringed scarf, Big Apple cap, Brighton sunglasses, my funky Brighton tote.  There you have it, a mid-life fashionista living life and loving style. Once you're done with the whispering, watch me walk through.
 
 
The men's section of the thrift store has become a popular hangout for females looking for oversized sweaters to create the "Slouchy Jane" look.  I can live with that competition, but when I spotted a couple of guys with "my" men's sweaters in their shopping carts, I was ready to shout "Stay off  of my property!"  Sounds strange doesn't it; that I'm staking a claim to the men's department and I'm a girl?  In addition to the sweaters, I spied something else in their carts that women are sporting this season as well, trench coats.  But, to prove that there are no ill feelings, I'm posting pictures of the two young men in today's blog, even though they are guilty of purchasing "my" stuff! 
 
 
It's over and I'm thrilled!  For the finale, I wanted something a little edgy so I cinched my body warmer with a RL belt, added Kelsi Dagger over the knee suede boots, and a black and gray fringed wrap.  With all the excess of the wrap and boots, I chose a mid-sized Moschino crossbody bag instead of my usual oversized cow bag.  I hope that you will use a few, if not all, of the the style tips from the past 5 days and never again will you be able to truthfully say, "I have nothing to wear!"
Take a look!
 
 
It's a challenge, by me, for me and for you too if you're up for it.  One body warmer dress (formerly known as sweater dress) for 5 days worn in 5 different ways.  Sweater dress just sounds so, so, ordinary but body warmer sounds cozy and so warm, like my 36 year old blankie, I mean blanket.  Here's the deal.  Take one body warmer in a neutral color such as black or brown and create 5 different looks using scarves, belts, bags, boots or whatever props you need to keep the body warmer smoking hot.  I'm already on my fourth look and truthfully, I'm a bit bored with it, but I can't turn down a challenge from myself.  Take a look!

 
 
I would love to meet RL not to interview him on his style genius or his collection of timeless and sophisticated designs, but after introducing myself, I'd like to ask him for his belt.  Yes, I would like his leather and silver concho belt, the one that is highly sought after by thrifting fashionistas around the globe and if ever found, would be equivalent to winning the lottery.   Never mind shooting the breeze about yachts, polo, or even fall 2015 designs, my only question would be "Can I have your belt, please?"

Want to know about concho styles and origination?  Ask Ralph. 
http://global.ralphlauren.com/en-us/Style/Women/RLClassics/Pages/concho_belt.aspx
 
 
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I couldn't wait to try on my size 8 RL crested blazer, while silently praying that it would fit.  Before I could slide into my luckiest find since I don't know when, my eyes were immediately drawn to the rings on a fellow shopper's hands.  She was dressed impeccably in a tan fringed maxi skirt with a brown and tan animal print jacket.  Her hair was pulled away from her face, red lips, and I think I saw a bit of eyeshadow on her lids.  She took her sweet time sorting through clothing, looking for the good stuff I suppose; another snobby shopper.  I'm sure that I startled her just a little when I excitedly said, "I love your rings!"  Good thing she didn't have her hands on her taser while I fumbled through my purse searching for a business card and my camera.  "These rings belonged to my grandmother, she explained.  Her housed burned down and everything was lost, except these rings."  With her nails perfectly manicured, she didn't hesitate when I asked for a picture for my blog.  Looking at the picture again, I think I'm more fascinated by her hands than her 50 year old rings.  These hands could teach us a thing or two about the beauty and complexity of being a woman, about aging gracefully, about being tried by fire and coming through as a precious silver, and about leaving a legacy of style and sophistication.  These hands, with or without jewelry, are beautiful!