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Patti Not Dead Yet

I don’t have any biological sisters, so I like to think of Patti G. as a big sister who shares––but not just with me. Her fashion blog, Not Dead Yet Style is like a salon where style-conscious women can drop in for a visit.

The party starts on Visibile Mondays, a weekly feature where Patti extends an open invitation to anyone who wants to link their style posts to her blog. That’s how I’ve met dozens of like-minded women who feed my style brain with one idea after another.

Patti is what Malcolm Gladwell would call a connector. She knows gobs of people and she has a special gift for bringing them together.

She is just a few years older than I, but Patti has a twinkle in her eye that keeps her looking like a mischievous imp of an unknowable age. I’ve seen that look before in women decades older than us who still cast the brightest beam of light in a room crowded with youth. I suspect Patti will ever be one of those women.

Not Dead Yet Style

What do you think about aging? Is there anything that has surprised you about the age you are now?

I don’t love the concept of aging. Physically, we’re meant to be at our peak in youth; there’s no getting around that basic biological truth. So I don’t relish the loss of my good eyesight, fast reflexes, stamina, and ability to party till sun-up!

The tradeoffs of aging are more internal, emotional and cognitive. I do like being smarter, more patient, wiser, and more serene. I know how to have a wonderful marriage, how to handle stress at work, how to unwind and appreciate the joy. Not too shabby!

Do you talk to people seated next to you on airplanes? What’s the most surprising/notable thing you’ve learned in these conversations– that sticks with you?

I don’t usually talk to people on airplanes (see Introvert below  : >) until we are taxiing for arrival! Then, perhaps because of my introvert nature, I might ask open-ended questions and listen. Like, “What do you love about living in New York?” I am heartened by how polite and kind most people are to strangers.

What cause do you care enough about that you would (or already do) donate your time to?

I have worked on several political campaigns, including US Congress. It was exhilarating and I do believe in the political process for making change. Closer to home, I support Animal Rescue efforts. My husband and I have helped spay and neuter lots of kitties in the neighborhood. That’s a feel-good activity, for us–– not for the cats : >

What’s your favorite beauty tip? And who else would it work for?

Tough one. I think I look my best when my fine curly hair is behaving nicely. So for me, and perhaps the other fine-haired curlies: using non-sulphate shampoo, a glop of gel and air-drying gets the best results. I also love to wear lipstick. It lifts my whole look!

What famous personality from the past has a personal style that you’re most drawn to wear yourself?

I love to study fashions of the past for inspiration. I don’t wear the same pieces, but the wonderful confidence and simplicity of Katherine Hepburn’s style inspires me. I like flowy blouses and feminine pieces mixed with masculine, as she did so beautifully. I am crazy about Marilyn Monroe’s wavy blond hairdos and her red lipstick, too.

Introvert or extrovert? Elaborate, please.

Introvert––completely by nature. In real life, I know how to do extroverted things like maintain conversations and attend parties (ack!). But I absolutely require my solitude and quiet to recharge. Believe it or not, my dream is to live in Manhattan! I work out that contradiction by being a quiet observer of that city’s miracles : >

What’s the last good book you read (and why did you like it)?

For fiction: Gone, Girl. So creepy, spine tingling, shocking. For non-fiction and more uplift: One Minute Mindfulness by Donald Altman. Wonderful stress-relievers!

If you have just five minutes to do something to care for yourself, what will you do?

Splash my face, brush my teeth, put on some lipstick and listen to a great tune.

What’s the most challenging and the most rewarding part of maintaining a regular fashion blog?

It’s challenging to come up with good write-able topics. I want to be authentic and also relevant to others’ lives. And just the time commitment is a challenge; some evenings I feel like watching a basketball game rather than writing  : >

The rewards outweigh the challenges by far. It’s great to hone my skills and stay abreast of style. I’ve befriended so many fabulous women, and had the pleasure to meet a few in person. I now have a diary of my life (well, starting at age 56) to reflect back on. And I get to be, I hope, a role model of sorts for women in midlife who are fearful of aging. We are Not Dead Yet!

Who is your favorite 50+ fashion blogger? I’d love to be introduced.

Life is short. Wear the good stuff.