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 now more than eight million blog views, I am in my 60’s.

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 shaped differently now. 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 to share what I continue to learn in this stage of life. I enjoy fashion, but now I must use a different set of guidelines for putting together outfits than the younger gals. 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. 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 since 2006. 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.

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.

I started Vintage Jewelry Supplies Company more than thirty years ago. 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 working non-stop or devoting our lives to children or aging parents, we may lose touch with our style. 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.

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