In 1997 at forty years old, I weighed more than two hundred pounds. After a devastating divorce the following year, I became homeless. The next few years shaped my life in ways I could never have imagined. When I finally found my voice and the courage to address my lifelong issues with weight and an extreme lack of confidence, I began Fifty, not Frumpy as a Facebook page on July 16, 2011. With almost thirty-five thousand followers on Facebook and more than six million blog views later, I turned 60 and started this new site.
Fifty, not Frumpy was a fun way to share my passion for style and my attempts to create outfits which are appropriate for those of us who are enjoying our second fifty years of life. When I started to blog, I had recently lost more than forty pounds and was in the process of buying a new wardrobe when I discovered it wasn’t as easy or as much fun as you might think.
We may run and workout or diet endlessly but the fact is our bodies are now shaped differently. Our more rounded curves and softer coloring require that we put a little more thought into our wardrobe choices. We may still dress a bit like our daughters, but we need to make some adjustments so that our choices flatter us and remain appropriate. I launched SusanAfter60.com after my 60th birthday to share all that I continue to learn in this new stage of life. I hope that this project helps you find a style that serves you well.
Mr. Mickey is my adventure partner and an integral part of my life and thus my blogging experience. We have been dating for more than eleven years. He is my photographer and my inspiration for living a full and elegant life. He usually plans our outings and wants to take pictures of everything we do to share with you. He is very proud of this project and enjoys sharing every date with you here on the blog. We love to meet you when we are out and about. Please always come up and tell us who you are if you happen to see us on one of our adventures.
I love fashion but at more than sixty years old I must use a different set of guidelines for putting together outfits than the gals featured in Vogue and on runways. Living in a small southern city and working within my clothing budget, I’ve learned to adapt current fashion to fit my lifestyle and social circle.
Fashion is what you buy. Style is what you do with it. The way we present ourselves is unspoken communication. I want my style to convey that I am a professional woman with an awareness of trends while remaining appropriate, approachable and engaging.
My career in the fashion industry began in 1976, working part-time in the Visual Merchandise Department at Parks Belk. Within a year, I was promoted to the Visual Merchandise Manager of three Parks Belk Department Stores. After serving four years in the United States Navy, I held the position of Corporate Director of eight Cosmetic Departments for Rices Nachman’s Department Stores as well as the District Manager of a chain of boutiques.
My first venture as a business owner was a consulting firm named ‘Career Image’, which also included speaking at seminars throughout the southeast United States to present the concept of using your best colors and clothing shapes to build a wardrobe that will work for you in any situation. I conducted personal consultations at the client’s closet and then accompanied them on well-planned shopping trips afterward.
The company I own now evolved from being a professional boutique jewelry designer for more than ten years. As the President of Vintage Jewelry Supplies Company, I must know current trends in fashion and buy what is needed to fit those trends months in advance. As the editor of the blog Fifty, not Frumpy and now Susan After 60, I share tips, trends and wardrobe ideas for women of all ages but especially those who like me, become fashion challenged over the years. After a few years working non-stop or devoting our lives to children or aging parents, we often lose touch with style.
Full disclosure: If you visit the links in advertisements at the footer of this blog I will earn a small commission on your purchase from those companies. If you would like to contact me about planning or attending my speaking engagements or other work, you may reach me through the Contact tab above.