Monday, April 24, 2017

Ageless Style Series-Elizabeth Kirkpatrick aka “The Contessa”

I apologize for doing back to back fashion posts but I had my hip replaced one week ago today and this timeline creeped up on me.  I am doing great (graduated to a cane today) Almost two years ago when I was recovering from my last hip replacement I was searching for something to post about and I came across the uber stylish Linda V Wright, an American living in Paris.  The post still remains one of my most popular.  Why?  Because Linda "owns her own style".   She dresses for herself in what she feels most comfortable and does it with confidence and class. You can read that post here. About a year ago I contacted some of my stylish blogger friends and set out to do a series on Ageless Style.  My friend Elizabeth of the Vintage Contessa decided (with a little coaxing) to partner with me in this endeavor.  Every other month Elizabeth and I are going to feature someone who we feel has "ageless style".
To start the series off Elizabeth and I are interviewing each other. I had to dig to find pictures of myself.  I am not fond of having my picture taken. Elizabeth and the camera are very good friends. She is one of the most genuinely beautiful women I have ever met and very comfortable in her own skin. Who says you can’t combine leopard with more leopard?
Elizabeth and I  share some similar loves, vintage and artisan jewelry, and individually designed clothing. Elizabeth is not afraid to layer and more is always more in her book.
Here is my interview with Elizabeth.  I hope you enjoy it.
CH-How Would You Describe Your Style?
CH- What inspires your signature style?
CH-What accessory Can You Not Do Without?
EK-ALWAYS HAVE A FEW BANGLES on the wrist………..but they do get in the way of cooking a MEAL so come evening OFF THEY COME!
CH-Favorite Color
I adore that European mustard gold green color THAT is VERY hard to find here in the STATES! If I see someone wearing it I usually will STOP them in their tracks to find out MORE!
CH-Do you have a signature piece that defines your style?
EK-I used to have OLD CURTAINS made into long flowing coats.With BIG POCKETS SO I could collect the CHICKEN EGGS if I wore it as a robe!I have a GOOD sense of color and NEVER leave the house without being ACCESSORIZED.That could mean a scarf…….a BASKET for a PURSE.A NECKLACE THAT FRAMES MY CHUBBY FACE!  A HAT.I tend to layer it on………….MORE IS MORE even for the GROCERY STORE!I make people SMILE………some will even stop me with a lovely compliment which of course makes me feel good and I think it makes them feel good. I have noticed in these past few years if I take the time to dress; my DAY will be more REWARDED.I just feel better……… helps ones MOOD.
CH-Do you have a style icon?
EK-I ADORE CARMEN DELL’ OREFICE always have even as a teenager.Did you see her modeling in PARIS on instagram this last season? SHE IS INCREDIBLE AT AGE 85.
OF COURSE, I ADORE IRIS APFEL also.I think SHE AND I would have a BALL together.We both think outside the BOX.She traveled extensively for her work and was CREATIVE enough to see the VALUE in MARKET pieces way back when.BEADS, VESTMENT pieces for priests,etc.
CH-What are your beauty essentials that you couldn't do without
EK-MY FACIAL GAL……….she is the REAL DEAL from POLAND and has turned my dry skin in to a soft chubby glow.Her products are from SPAIN.
CH-Do you have repeat offenders in your closet if so what are they?
EK-SURE I DO…….the GARDENING PANTS I have had for 25 years.The t-shirts that are not long enough for me but you just need for that extra layer under the sweat shirt. I do have a few pieces that I CANNOT TOSS YET………I will NEVER fit into them again in MY LIFE TIME but I LOVED THEM and SO they STAY taking up SPACE that I desperately NEED in the closet!
I am saving my OLD PERRY ELLIS CAMEL HAIR coat for one of MY SONS!!!!!!!!!
Just in case they ever go to NEW YORK in THE WINTER!
CH-What advice do you have for women over 50, or over 40?
EK-OH 40……….those were THE BEST YEARS SO FAR.
50………comes with a PUNCH to some; more than half your LIFE is OVER.YOU reflect on what you have accomplished and where your headed.YOU ARE YOU, doubtful you will change at this STAGE of LIFE.Most likely LIFE will not get BETTER and hopefully it will not get WORSE.YOU ENJOY EACH DAY.Complain a little bit………as things on THY BOD start to CHANGE!I found myself looking in the mirror saying ,“WHEN DID THAT HAPPEN!”YOU either SUCK IT UP and KEEP MOVING or you head to the FILLERS AND BOTOX! I think you can see I do not DO ANY OF THOSE BEAUTY TREATMENTS.I want to see what I have earned………..the GREY HAIR, THE WRINKLES……….it’s ALL GOOD.Much MORE BEAUTIFUL than the over done faces we are seeing in the MEDIA. Be TRUE to YOURSELF………..AGING is a GIFT! Let it take it’s course. Look at it as a NEW ADVENTURE……………there is SO Much for the OLDER WOMEN NOW. WE ARE IN DEMAND!
CH-Do you have any style rules that you live by?
CH-What are your favorite online go to sources?
EK-I am not one to SHOP on line much……….I still need to see the garment and try it on as I am pretty tall and most things are not long enough for me.I do SEARCH for KAFTANS or CAFTANS from time to time.MY dear FRIEND SANDRA SALLIN got me on EBAY searching out ANGELA CAPUTI accessories…………..I found out in a HEART BEAT that can be DANGEROUS!!!SO EASY TO PUSH THAT BUTTON,But so much JOY when that parcel arrives!!!!!!
CH-Do you have a particular designer that you are drawn to?
EK-I REALLY ADORE the BRYN WALKER LINE here in NORTHERN CALIFORNIA.They make basically the same designs year after year but in NEW FABRICS! The LINEN and VELVET and FLEECE are my FAVORITES.The pants are long enough and I can fit into a MEDIUM or a LARGE or an EXTRA LARGE so when the SALES come around and THEY HAVE GOOD SALES I can usually SCORE SOME WONDERFUL PIECES as SIZE is not a NEGATIVE HERE!THEY MAKE CLOTHES WITH COLOR and DO BLACK AND WHITE pieces BEAUTIFULLY TOO. I have said for years I should TOSS all my other clothes………….and just have a BRYN WALKER CLOSET. THAT HASNOT HAPPENED YET and I doubt it will…….. HOWEVER,I do like THE IDEA.
I hope you enjoyed my interview with Elizabeth. Elizabeth is interviewing me on her blog here . If you don’t read her blog the Vintage Contessa I encourage you to do so.  Grab a glass of wine or a cup of coffee you will want to start at the beginning and enjoy.  Oh and did I mention she has a pet pig?
In June I will be interviewing the lovely Adrienne Shubin of the Rich Life in the Wine Country. ‘


  1. fabulous style!! hope your hip is better!!!!!! do you have rheumatoid arthritis?

  2. I adore Elizabeth and her fabulous style! Fun learning more about her! So happy you are doing so well - hip replacement is never easy.

  3. I found a chair where the sun was streaming in this morning and just sat and enjoyed this fun read! Elizabeth inspires me to appreciate the over-50 years, act on my creativity, (and not freak out over the physical drawbacks!).

  4. "if I take the time to dress; my DAY will be more REWARDED" advice! I need to heed this and quite wearing my workout pants all day if I don't have a meeting. Elizabeth is gorgeous.

    I hope you feel better, Cindy!

  5. YOU forgot to say LINDA V. WRIGHT is very CLASSICAL...............I too found her early on on IG and was drawn to her URN SHOES which I now own!!!!!!!!BIRTHDAY GIFT to myself...........!!!!She owns a boutique in PARIS and has two daughters one who is a model!
    THIS POST had me saying to THAT ME?!!!As I scrolled I did not think I had given YOU a few of the photos you had here of me...........NOW I GET IT!You were A Cruising.................
    Besides having an attack about the MAILCHIMP NOT GOING out at the same time I TOO think this will be a GREAT SERIES..................I look forward to my next FASHION VICTIM who will be kept under wraps at the MOMENT as she is KINDA a MOVIE STAR!!!!!
    Can't thank you enough CINDY and I do hope you are feeling better......................XX

  6. Both hips? Wow, my hats off to you. I hope you're feeling so much better. What a great idea for a series. Brilliant. I love reading your story and Elizabeths'. Im honored to be included in the future. You are both inspirations. I think this series will be a huge success. Maybe a book in the future?

  7. I hope that you are feeling better and are up and around in no time with no cane! But don't rush it! I love Elizabeth, she is such a beautiful person inside and out. Her style is fabulous!

  8. What a fabulous way to greet the day. Gotta' love a women who dresses up to collect the eggs. Life is short; dress to make yourself happy. As for the small-minded naysayers who are forever trying to keep free spirits inside the "pack", do you really want those people for friends? I'm seriously needing more bangles! Hope you are feeling better!

  9. Hello Cindy - I've just popped across from the Contessa's post on you - I loved reading the post you're a fabulously stylish lady! Contessa is an absolute delight isn't she? Such grace and style - I love your back to back fashion posts! I hope you recover speedily following your hip replacement.

  10. Speedy recovery, Cindy. Loved this post and am looking forward to all the mature ladies, I'm right in there, well, actually older than both of you. :) Dressing first thing in the morning to be presentable is so important at every age, wouldn't go back to the slouchy days.

  11. Elizabeth you are a national treasure! xo

  12. Hey are so brave! Both hips and still gardening no less. Love this post. So true about 40 vs 50.
    Weird stuff just happens after 50.
    I just love The Contessa's P's...her Pig and her Pearls ; )

    xo kelley

    1. Only the Contessa cand do the two P's with such style!!

  13. OK. I'm gonna start this comment again. I opted to answer with my Wordpress, but I don't know where the hell the comment went.
    Honestly, I don't know whether to be jealous of you or hug you--simply because you know Elizabeth in real life. I'll be both.
    Also--I'm glad you and Elizabeth collaborated with the twinning posts. I loved reading about you and I loved reading about Elizabeth and her curtain coat and her over-the-top personality!
    This makes me happy, as a blogger in the "over 60" category, it's fun to learn and to be introduced to other blogs that I can enjoy and look forward to reading.
    I'm going to read your other posts and become familiar! Thank you, Catherine

  14. I have loved Elizabeth since I first ran into her on the internet! I can't even remember when or where, on Instagram I think... I've followed her since. I adore her style, humour, adventure, candour, and intelligence. This was such a lovely interview to read, thank you for that, and I am grateful to Elizabeth for now introducing me to your lovely blog! xx

    1. Thank you so much for the lovely comments. Elizabeth and I are really looking forward to this series!

  15. I love love love that you interviewed each other. What a great idea. And Elizabeth? She is truly inspiring in her love of life that is so reflected in her personal style. I adore her and everything she puts on, with such enthusiasm and confidence. It suits her! She carries off an individual look that is breathtaking in its vibrance, like some amazing and colorful tapestry. I applaud her doing it, and I find myself on occasion a teeny tiny bit envious that someone of my (teeny tiny) stature cannot pull this off in any way.

    On the other hand, the lessons in layering and personal style can be translated into any size and shape, as long as we respect aspects of proportion that are fundamental to design, to composition of an artwork, and to using our bodies as our own canvas.

    I wonder if you and Elizabeth might be interested in gathering more input and doing more cross postings with some of us who are on the fringes of more standard sizes, where constraints in how we dress exist. (I would certainly love to participate in something like that, representing the very petite but busty and not skinny side of the spectrum.) ��

    1. Hi D.A Elizabeth and I plan to interview many over the next year all shapes and sizes!! I am only 5'4 certainly not thin so I know where you are coming from! Thanks so much for weighing in!

  16. Thank you so much Catherine! I read your blog as makes me smile!!

  17. how have i missed this woman, wouldn't she be a fun friend!? this is a great series cindy, now i am off to read about one of my favs, YOU!

    1. Debra you would love the Contessa. She is full of fun!! We would all have a blast!

  18. Cyndi I loved this post. I so admire a woman that has her very own personal style and wears it proudly without hesitation. I would love to be that free spirited.

    1. I am not that "free" either Kathy Sue but I wish I had the guts Elizabeth does!!

  19. Gosh, I love her style. I am short and on the uhummm curvy side. I find layering just bulks me up more. best for taller gals me thinks.

    1. The key to this series is having the confidence to find your own style and own it! I too am curvish and not very tall. In June Elizabeth will be interviewing someone with great style with a physique similar to yours! Thanks for commenting!

  20. Know the powerful statement and personal truth that grabbed me? MY DAY WILL BE MORE REWARDED. She's a gorgeous woman, and the idea resonates with this little blogger on the opposite end of the style spectrum. I love the boldness, creativity, and happy chic! Now I'm off to Elizabeth's blog! :)

    1. Glad you enjoyed her Michelle! I too am on the opposite end of the style spectrum but I LOVE her style!

  21. Cindy you did a fantastic job with this Ageless Style concept, and Elizabeth is a supremely perfect choice to launch it. i have always admired her bold sense of style and even though I am probably the opposite in terms of style, I am right there with her in regards to a complete liberation about about age and style for women. Absolutely agree that we should wear what makes us feel good irregardless of what the fashion industry might think.
    On a side note, I've been thinking about you and I'm so happy to hear that you're already using a cane.
    Hm.. that last sentence looks funny. Life has really changed when we become thankful for our canes huh? hahahah
    hugs to you,

    1. Hi Leslie

      I have a friend who commented "who ever thought we would be looking forward to going on medicare"!! If you are self employed and have terrible insurance yes! You will be happy to know that as of Saturday I ditched the cane it was more of a hindrance than a help! Just a little stiff...very, very little pain!

  22. I enjoyed this blog post with you and Elizabeth whose blog I just recently discovered and enjoy. I love her unique style and am so pleased to be introduced to your blog, too. I am short. I couldn't get away with the same style as Elizabeth but in my heart I could! Most of all it is indeed her sense of fun that I so admire! I'm looking forward to this series on style –– thanks so much1

  23. Cindy!
    OI love this post....I have known about The Contessa since I first started reading blogs. I adore her style and confidence. The word she used to describe her style is just so perfect---theatrical. Why not? I appreciate her thoughts on aging as well. I can't wait to go over and read your interview. You know how much I love your style Cindy! It's funny until recently I would have never been able to come up with one word for my own style and then I sent a photo of a bag I was about to purchase to my 22 year old daughter and her response was, "Get it, your style has always been androgynous." The bag is from the men's department. I'm 55 and just figuring this out now?!

  24. Cindy, I will enjoy this Ageless Beauty series. Women our age need role models to inspire us and Elizabeth certainly does. I am lucky to have know her for the past 35 years. She has always had her own style which makes her unique. Elizabeth is a wonderful friend who has figured out what is important in life. She is unpretentious, warm and charming. She loves life, family and beauty. She knows what works for her and she embraces those styles. Thank you for featuring my friend and I look forward to your future posts.

  25. The Contessa is a character in the best of ways!!

  26. Love this so much Cindy and loved reading about you on her blog too! You both have great style and I admire you both so much! Great idea doing these little question things. I have often thought of doing it with California women! Hope you are doing well and recovering. Sending hugs, Kim


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