My given name is Marleah which always seems to perplex people.
I go by Mimi which is my “grandma” name.
My mother was also called Mimi and that makes it even sweeter to hear.
Florida has 30,000 lakes and 1350 miles of shoreline. I live in the very center of it all. Life here is full of conveniences, with the beach and any of 7000 restaurants at my fingertips.
I worked as a print model in the 1970s and have since worked as a stylist then an interior decorator. My focus has always been on art, photography and fashion.
On retirement, I found I am definitely not a homebody. Instagram allows me to express and share my interests in travel and fashion as STILL STYLIN. Now at 71, I am having so much fun connecting with women around the world of all age groups.
I love sharing photos and ideas on my account, having my husband & best friend by my side and behind the camera.
With StillStylin, I hope to provide an example of fashion, fun and a positive approach to an easy-going lifestyle for women over 50.
I like to see the best in all people and keep an open mind in my view of the world. Sometimes as we get older, we forget to change with the times. I hope to be an example of lightheartedness and encouragement.
HAVE YOU ALWAYS HAD A LOVE FOR FASHION?
DO YOU FOLLOW TRENDS OR DO YOUR OWN THING?
I am definitely a lover of fashion, absolutely preferring to do my own thing. The 1960s brought a giant shift in fashion, art and music. My parents had a French tablecloth, huge, circular, hand embroidered with long fringe. I’d take off to meet friends for a concert dressed in blue jeans and a t-shirt, grab the tablecloth, throw it around my shoulders and go. It was a gorgeous look and my mother loved the bohemian streak in me.
My job as an interior decorator in the 1990s required a professional look with trending fashion. My job was to guide new homeowners through their selection process. I worked at a local Interior Design Company and they liked me showing up looking good and pulled together. I was more than happy to do that as it provided a great income for a single mom.
Before, as a hairstylist and makeup artist, I had a lot more freedom of expression. I worked with a salon in the 1970s and their only requirement for work clothing was the crazier the better. We were well known for wearing kimonos and cowboy boots. It was a golden decade of art on every level. Now at 71 I would call my style eclectic. Casual and comfortable wins for me every time.
HOW DID INSTAGRAM APPEAL TO YOU?
WHAT MADE YOU TAKE THE LEAP AND SHARE YOURSELF AND STYLING WITH THE REST OF THE WORLD?
At first I created an Instagram profile to keep up with my kids. I had no idea there was such a fabulous platform for middle aged women. I started seeing not only middle age women showing gorgeous lifestyles but women of my age group too. I’d done some modeling from the time I was 18 until I was 44. My last job in 1994 was modeling cruise wear. I wonder if cruise lines even still have formal night and casual night? It seems nowadays cruisers prefer a more informal holiday instead of packing all sorts of dressy outfits, I know I do.
One day my husband and I were at lunch and he started taking photos of me. We started posting them on Instagram, and now here we are. I was surprised at the positive reaction and delighted to meet such a wide array of supportive women and men who share their lifestyles. I am glad to see questions about how one can successfully flourish beyond middle age. We are truly having fun connecting with likeminded people globally.
DO YOU THINK YOU HAVE STYLE STRENGTHS?
I truly do think that I have style strength. I feel that I can wear an outfit consisting of a pair of 30 year old jeans with a $10.00 t-shirt and just as easily put on expensive designer’s clothing. One of my favorite posts from 2020 was called the DUVET CHALLENGE. I wore my queen size bed quilt from Stein Mart along with pearls. If one can pull off wearing a bedspread they indeed have style strength and they are good to go!
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ACCESSORY?
HOW MANY DO YOU OWN?
That would definitely be scarves!
I have no idea how many I have and thinking I’m probably much better off not knowing!
I have many that are packed away for winter and travel.
Scarves, like kimonos and coverups can be tossed around the shoulders and take a casual outfit from plain to glamourous in an instant. I’m all for that.
Oh! And earrings! Most definitely earrings too.
TELL ME A FEW OF YOUR FAVORITE COLOR COMBINATIONS?
Easiest question ever. Cobalt blue and white is my number one favorite of all time. I have boxes full of accoutrements which include pieces of Blue Onion, Flo Blue, Blue Willow, etc. I’ve had my home done in neutrals for about three years, beige, gray and tan but know I will most likely fall back on my trusted blue and white. For that reason I’m not quite willing to part with them yet. One of my favorite books on the subject is Carolyne Roehm’s book A Passion for Blue & White. Other than my favorite, red and turquoise & black and tan are fabulous color combinations that I also love.
Oh yea! I’m happy to share. I have used Clinique for the last three years. Clinique’s foaming cleanser mousse, clarifying lotion and moisture surge. I have extremely pale skin even though I’ve lived in Florida since 1958. My hair was dark brown with lots of red in it, people called it Irish Setter Red. Giant freckles ran across my nose, cheeks and shoulders leaving me vulnerable to sun damage. I totally stopped wearing foundation when I was 68 and since then used Prana Spa Ceuticals Reflect BB Creme with SPF 45.
Lipstick? My favorite is Nars Jungle Red. However my all day, every day go- tos are Rimmel London Provocalips. I wear Make Your Move which is a neutral , Heart Breaker which is brick, and Kiss Me You Fool, which is a sharp clear red. They go from early morning until the night time when you’re ready to take it off and run around $10.00 a piece, can’t beat that.
HOW DID YOU DECIDE TO LET YOUR GORGEOUS WHITE HAIR GROW OUT?
Was that an easy or hard decision to make?
Tell us about the journey?
Letting my hair go white was the easiest decision ever. My mom and sister had both gone from brunette to strawberry blonde to white. Sometimes red heads just naturally fade into silver and white because of having less pigment. At 65 as my roots became white, I started putting light blonde foils throughout my hair until the strawberry disappeared and the white took over. The transition was easy and mostly unnoticeable.
I really enjoy low maintenance. I get my ends trimmed 3 or 4 times a year, easy peasy and good to go. A few friends have encouraged me to color my hair telling me I’d look ten years younger. I’m good with being 71. I’m content and grateful. Being 71 is perfect, looking 71 is perfect. I’m in it for the here and now.
FAVORITE STORE PRE~COVID?
Oh for sure that would be Stein Mart! My heart broke a pinch when they closed. We had probably 6 of them in Central Florida, so we were really spoiled. I understand they’re online now which is great, however I’m the girl who wants to touch the fabric. No complaints as I took the opportunity in 2020 to get to know all of the local boutiques and I support those businesses. If you’re ever in my part of the world check out Luxe Designer Retail, Bijou’s Boutique, & Liz and Bebe’s.
ANY SIGNATURE PIECES YOU ARE KNOWN TO WEAR?
Florida is a super casual state of being. What I call my daily uniform is kimonos, either worn over leggings or blue jeans.
Florida heat is so intense for at least seven months a year that I dress minimally and keep a kimono on the car’s headrest. That way I can be cool when popping in and out of stores or restaurants. I just throw one over my shoulders and in I go.
STYLE ICON OF YOUR YOUTH?
I was eight years old in 1958. My Mom took me to see Auntie Mame starring Rosalind Russell. Afterwards over banana splits at the drugstore counter I told my mother, “I want all of that!” We laughed and talked about all of the fabulous clothes in the movie. Kimonos galore and the prettiest pale pink robe ever. Seriously, google it, she was awesome and you’ll see so many things that are being worn today.
(THIS WAS CONTESSA’s FAVORITE MOVIE AS WELL!)
My icon currently? Right now I am overly obsessed with Dr. Colleen Darnell, vintage_ egyptologist Vintage_Egyptologist on Instagram. Such excellence visually plus beauty and brains? It doesn’t get any better.
I’ve been practicing yoga for four years with John Russell who teaches Hatha Yoga here in Central Florida and the benefits are amazing. I attend his classes twice a week and he is a continual inspiration.
I’ve also been taking Tai Chi – Yang Style with TaiChiwithLiz for three years. She is also now teaching me a Tai Chi fan form which is a new learning curve. We meet once a week and I practice the routine every day for 15 minutes.
My teachers have become friends. They have such a positive impact on my life that during 2020’s lockdown I completed a 200 hour course and am now a Registered Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance.
Additionally, YOU TUBE is a world full of free opportunities. Once a week I also practice yoga with Raquel Welch, yes the actress, and the video is called “Raquel Welch Total Beauty and Fitness”. It was released around 1984 and is still fantastic.
I walk 3 times a week around one of the many local lakes or– anytime with You Tube. I have followed and walked with “Walking at Home with Leslie Sansone” for almost thirty years. Even on a busy day it seems doable to find fifteen minutes to walk a mile, if only in your pajamas in front of the TV.
While I’d like to seem all lofty and together, it’s just this simple. High cholesterol has always been a struggle because I am not compatible with statins. So I exercise everyday for my health and for my family. I’d like to be around as long as possible for them.
ANY ADVISE FOR READERS OVER 50 YOU CAN SHARE?
THOUGHTS ON GETTING OLDER?
“Pack your own chute.
Bend like the willow.
Move it or lose it.
Make good choices.
Don’t take yourself so seriously.”
On getting older, so far 71 is my favorite age. I am content.
The seventies decade seems to bring me clarity.
I remain grateful for a beautiful life surrounded by my loving family.
THANK YOU MIMI!
THIS WAS A DELIGHT TO RECEIVE AND PUT TOGETHER!
ONCE A MONTH Cindy Hattersley AND I PICK A “VICTIM” AS I LIKE TO SAY TO SHARE WITH OUR READERS.WE DO THIS TO EXPOSE YOU TO OTHER WOMEN THEIR LIFESTYLE AND THE PRODUCTS THEY USE WITH THIS AGING BUSINESS; I BElIEVE WE MUST KEEP SHARING!
THE MORE WE KNOW THE BETTER EQUIPPED WE WILL BE TO FACE WHATS AHEAD!
PLEASE FEEL FREE TO ASK MIMI ANY QUESTIONS YOU MIGHT HAVE FOR HER…………
I PROMISE SHE WILL ANSWER YOU!
NOW SLIP OVER TO CINDY’s BLOG as she will have another victim to share TOO!
THANK YOU FOR READING AND PARTICIPATING!
I ADORE SUPPORTING OTHER WOMEN AND I THINK YOU DO TOO!