Introducing Women: Wendy Packer
Published by Rita Palazzi / Women are told / August 27, 2018
Wendy's fashion is an inner force
Wendy Packer is a New York fashion blogger, one of the first fashion bloggers to talk about women over 50. According to Wendy, fashion is just a way to feel good about yourself and others and increase your self-esteem.
Wendy defines her classic clothing with style, I would say that her style denotes good taste and charm: every choice seems not casual, but wise.
I invite you to read her interesting interview and treasure her advice.
NotOnlyTwenty: Wendy can you tell us when and why did you decide to start your Fashion Over Fifty blog?
Wendy Packer - Fashion Over Fifty: I tried to find a job as a lawyer at 58 and could not find one. So I decided to do something I've always been passionate about, fashion. I would have gladly entered Fashion Design in high school, but it was not a great option then. Last summer I took lessons at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York. I've been there a month and I'm going to come back next summer because it's always been my first love.
NOT: Fashion Over Fifty has a great following. What do you think is the secret?
WP: I have a very involved public on Facebook. It started as a kind of support group / magazine. I wanted to know what other women felt and I looked for women who did unusual things or who had reinvented themselves after 50. I presented contents of which, five years ago, nobody spoke. I think I'm just a little bit ahead of the trend.
NOT : Do you think women feel the pressure of society to be fashionable, even in their 40s and over?
WP: I do not think there's a pressure from society for over fifty women to look fashionable. That is the question. Today's society determines our demographic decline. Once you have a certain age, people start to ignore your physical appearance. Women begin to feel invisible and even their self-esteem begins to decline. It is sad.
NOT: The style tips from a fashion blogger can help women to feel more confident?
WP: The advice I can give is to follow the style that you have always liked. If you were preppy , update your look with a little more sophistication. If women become more sophisticated in their tastes, they can wear classic pieces that never go out of fashion. The vintage designer clothes are very popular. Likewise, if you loved boho chic, there's no reason to change. But adding a little bit of refinement or mitigating it could be more suitable. However, there are those women who like to wear eccentric clothes at all ages. We have witnessed a trend of women who totally rejected all the rules of style and wore as many colors and models as possible. This is a lot of fun , but it's not for everyone.
NOT: Where do the style tips end and where do the rules start?
WP: There are no rules, throw them out the window.
NOT: You do not have to be young to have style, but how important is the budget ?
WP: Today, Marshalls, TJMaxx and other discounted clothing stores have a lot of known brands at a lower price . You can also shop in your closet and find the classic pieces that have always worked. Zara copies the models of the catwalks for very advantageous prices! So you can build your basic pieces for much less today. If you have the money, you can add a design accessory and an exceptional eye to any suit, but it is not necessary. I try to show in my Instagram page that you do not need anything from a designer. In Europe, my favorite store is Primark . On Instagram you can find me at @FashionOverFifty.wendy
NOT: Who inspires you in fashion ?
WP: The women who remain loyal to their classical style .
NOT: Do you think that the fashion industry can change the idea that only lean and young women can represent beauty ?
WP: It's already changing. Since I started doing it 5 years ago, things are very different. Almost all department stores or retailers have big sizes, while 5 years ago nothing could be found. In magazines, you see women over fifty in advertising and much more often as models. See women in catalogs as models with fashion news.
NOT: How do you describe your personal style ?
WP: In the days when I do not wear jeans, I'm very classic. I come from the Midwest, where we have always matched bags to our shoes , and I still like continuity throughout the look. I love blazers, they go well with anything. I also try not to buy separately because those pieces remain in my closet. If I buy a garment, I must have something in mind with which I can wear it. I have not really changed much since I've always dressed even when I was younger. I guess I would call it traditional with an extra twist!
NOT: Which factors influence your style ?
WP: My taste is the first one, so the price. As a blogger and a person on Instagram, I always have to wear new looks. Having a certain budget, it's not easy when you constantly have to invent new looks. Fortunately, designers send me things, so this helps. But I always try to show women how they look fashionable in Fashion Friendly for Over Fifty women, and there's no need for designer stuff.
NOT: How has your style changed overthe years?
WP: Mine has not changed much. I'm small and petite women can get away with more, I'm not sure why. If I wear a short dress, I'll wear it with opaque tights and boots that make it more classic than young. I always enjoyed having fun with accessories and I keep doing it. Any woman of any age can find fun accessories and not only make them work, but they can transform the dress. I do not wear high heels over 5 centimeters unless I go to a party. Even then, if the heels I'm too tall I can not wait to sit down and then I do not enjoy it so much. This is something I need to work on.
NOT: Do you think women should dress "appropriately for age" and what does this mean for you?
WP: Today there is no appropriate age. I have seen many women over fifty wear very short shorts and feel great. My knees began to give way, unfortunately, so I prefer a bermuda short-pants. Many women have kept themselves in good shape, so if a woman can wear a bikini, go for it! On my blog, there was a big controversy about the necklines. Some women do not approve of the neckline much and others love it. I think it depends on how you've been raised to determine it. But I think as women over fifty start evolving their style, their sense of self and their sensuality begin to evolve, that things will change. Even the woman begins to feel more sensual, which is fabulous because our souls never grow old. We are the same person inside, regardless of our age. Sensuality, sexuality, passion and lust are for all of life, they never abandon us.
NOT: Is there anything you would say to Italian women about style?
WP: Yes, you can come to the United States and give some lessons to women here.
NOT: What do you think of the current fashion industry?
WP: I think it's changing in a fantastic way. My hero is designer Christian Siriano who put women in sizes 16-20 (US sizes 50 and up) on the catwalk . He embraced diversity and so many celebrities are embracing not only his style, but his dream. I think that soon others will start to follow him because fashion should be for everyone . Not just for women aged 20-35 in size 2-6. You can also see low-end brandssuch as H & M , Target and Kohl that collaborate withfamous designers because everyone wants to look elegant regardless of their budget . Fortunately, these less expensive retailers are doing this.
NOT: What do you think of the fashion blog world?
WP: It's fabulous. I love all the new bloggers and their creativity. I particularly like Instagram women from Europe. As I said, most European women seem to retain their sense of style regardless of age. I love seeing styles from all sides. It is also my creativity.
NOT: A secret to success with social networks ?
WP: I l my greatest success is mainly on Facebook . First of all, it is my passion. This is the key to everything! I also really like engaging my audience. I like knowing how they feel, this is something you can not get on Instagram. No matter what your passion is , follow it and put your body and soul into it. My first year was my lifeline. Both my children went to college and both my parents died between 2012 and 2013. When I started on Facebook in 2013, I was really lost. I have contacted many women not only to help others, but to help myself. Whether it's cooking , photography or surfing, if it's something you love, you'll find a way to grow it.
NOT: What about the growing interest in over 50 fashion bloggers?
WP: It's fusty . The more we are, the better. It means that more women are interested in their appearance and their feelings . I think it is a departure from the stereotypes that women of a certain age should watch and act accordingly. Stereotypes for over50 women are garbage.
NOT: Hints style and life for the 40s and beyond?
WP: For anyone of any age: try to stay connected to your passion. We all go through difficult times, some people get lost and many have periods of depression . But if you can connect with that 5-year-old child inside you and what you loved most, you can start from there, I think it's a good start.
NOT: I think fashion is just a way to express ourselves, what do you think?
WP: We are all designers . Every day you wake up and get dressed, you are planning who you are for yourself and for the outside world. Often the way you dress is a reflection of how you feel. When I was at Law School, during the final exams, I was very stressed. I wore the same pair of sweatpants every day for 3 weeks, without washing them.
NOT: in an interview you talked about the Over 50 Movement: it's not just fashion, but the right to live our lives as protagonists. Is there anything you would say to Italian women?
WP: I think European women are incredible. Italian women take care of their clothes before leaving home. I've been in various parts of Europe for the last 5 years and I'm always so happy when I see how women of all ages seem to be still fashionable. I think American women have a lot to learn from Europeans . In America, women have forgotten how to take care of their clothing.
NOT: What are your plans for the future?
WP: I dream of doing workshops for women over fifty. I have done these workshops and they are so rewarding. We do training courses, makeup tutorials, hairstyles and other styling courses. We also have lessons that help women increase their self-esteem.
Wendy I love your story and thanks for sharing. I’m a 63 year old woman starting to “wake up” again. My husband passed away 2 years ago. I too back in high school wanted to be a Fashion Designer but took the safe route and became a Social Worker. I retired a year ago after 40 years of being a Social Worker and started expanding my baking business. However, when I asked the question to myself….who was I before I met my husband? What were my dreams? Is there anything I didn’t pursue that I could still do now? Well, modeling has always been on the back burner. I started looking on the internet and exploring….is there a demand for “old” models? To my surprise it appears that there is. So, two months ago it was off to the gym and getting this body and mind in better shape. I’ve reconnected with a photographer that took photos of me 40 years ago and we are putting together a portfolio. The outcome doesn’t matter! I’m pursuing a dream and a passion that I put aside so many years ago and the funny thing is….I have more confidence about it now than I had back then….when I had that drop dead gorgeous body!
Good for you. I am putting together a program just for women like you. It is a week long and we will be doing makeovers, styling sessions,
color consultations, etc.. I am also working with a modeling agency who will be helping guide the women.
Let me know what happens. I congratulate you for following your dream, as it is never too late. Especially today as there are more and more companies, and retailers who are using women Over Fifty. Wishing you the best.
Warmest regards, Wendy