Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Are you fighting the frump?

"We need to stay viable, we need to look vibrant, and we need to stay visible. Because if you feel good about yourself, veryone around you will feel good too. Confidence is contagious. You have to get to the point where you can look in a mirror and say, 'Wow! I look fabulous!'"--Charla Krupp

I had to chuckle the other day when I was reading Karla's lively and entertaining blog, Looking Towards Heaven. Karla encouraged readers to join Mrs. Fussypants of Mrs. Fussypants' Guide to Life in what she calls "Fight the Frump Friday." (By the way, I LOVE Mrs. Fussypants' slogan: "We Can't Both Look Good, It's Me or the House!")

This was the first I had heard of Mrs. Fussypants or "Fight the Frump Friday," so I was totally intrigued.

One of my goals (I'm not really calling it a resolution) for 2008 is to look as good as it is within my power to look. That can sometimes be a tall order when you get to be "a certain age," as I am. But as I commented on Karla's post, to paraphrase Dylan Thomas, I will not go gently into age-induced frumpiness!

So I was fascinated by a book Karla mentioned: How Not to Look Old, by Charla Krupp. Now, Charla's pretty opinionated about some of the wardrobe items she thinks we need to get rid of in our quest for a more youthful appearance, and I can't say I agree with her on every point...but here's the list:

Holiday sweaters with bells and appliqu├ęs (reindeers, teddy bears, bumblebees, pumpkins).
Granny necklaces that tell how many grandchildren you have.
Souvenir T-shirts.
T-shirts with meant-to-be funny sayings.
Acid-washed jeans.
Ripped jeans.
Shoulder pads.
Flannel shirts.
Muumuus. (**Does this really need to be stated?)
Photo handbags (the older you get, the more sophisticated your accessories should be).
Flesh-colored hose.
Penny loafers.
Oversize blazers.
Mommy robes.
Thin gold chain necklaces.
Elastic-waist pants.
Granny undies.
Baggy sweats.
Bearlike, full-length fur coats.
Short shorts.
Cargo pants.
Stockings with reinforced toes.
Three-piece suits with vests.

Agree or disagree, it's worth thinking about! By the way, Krupp doesn't think we should try to look like a teen-ager. In fact, that's strongly discouraged. But I must admit, I'd really like to read the book.

Also with a big hat tip to Karla, here's a video of Charla Krupp with more pointers and advice on how not to look old. (I totally disagre with her about underpants, by the way--but I must say, she really makes a strong case for the Le Mystere Renaissance bra...)

What do you think? Are you fighting the frump, or is it just not important to you? And if you are waging the battle against frumpiness, got any tips or advice? Let's hear 'em, ladies!


Juliet said...

Thanks for that video...I'm old..there are areas for me to work on.

Jen said...

Well, as you know, I think fighting personal frump should be a battle that begins early. ;) Though I'm not sure I agree with her re: hose colours. Sometimes there's a reason for the flesh-coloured thing...

That said, I think women of any age can NEVER go wrong with a classic wardrobe: think Jackie O, Audrey, Katherine, Sophia...with a little Marilyn thrown in for fun and giggles. Clean, simple lines; flattering colours and prints used in small doses. Classic jewelry. Simple makeup (and definitely a good red lipstick or two).

Additionally, getting plenty of exercise, rest, and healthy food is a great way to get a truly beautiful, healthy glow. It's not a myth. lol

Oh: Sunblock. EVERY DAY for the rest of your life. No matter what. Studies have actually shown that the protection afforded by sunscreen allows the skin to repair itself and reduce some signs of sun-induced aging. Amazing, how God made our bodies.

(Skincare and beauty advisor in a former life.)

Randy Spradlin said...


I agree with most of her list. She's really on to something. And...I'd never date someone wearing muumuus!


Solameanie said...

I came out of my mother's womb frumpy, and I will lie in my casket frumpy.

Add grumpy, bumpy and lumpy to the mix and you'll have an adequate portrait of me as I keen off into the sunset.

Cindy Swanson said...

But men are ALLOWED to be frumpy, Joel! It's one of those inequities of life...like men getting handsomer as they age.

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