Today, Cindy Hattersley and I are interviewing a different over 50 woman for our Ageless Style series.
Since she was in her 20s, Candace Leslie Cima has never understood why aging has had such a negative connotation. Now, at age 76, Candace has a popular Instagram page, @lifeinmy70s, and a YouTube channel that offers suggestions for becoming the woman our mothers and grandmothers never dreamed of being.
Join me as Candace and I discuss what it means to be healthy and stylish as we age.
Candace Leslie Cima believes that staying healthy and aging well doesn’t just happen. It takes planning and effort, like choosing better foods, staying well hydrated, moving our body in some form of exercise, and keeping our mind active.
CANDACE: Even when I was very young I was interested in aging, but one of the pet peeves I had growing up and as a young mother were the magazine covers that said how to look your best in your 30s, 40s, and 50s and they just stopped after that.
BRENDA: I know. Older women didn’t matter. So many facets of our culture continue to see aging in a negative light. One of your missions is to show women that aging is a gift to be embraced. I love that about you.
CANDACE: You’re very nice to say that so thank you. I would love in some small way to have an effect on the dialog about aging.
BRENDA: The other thing I like about you is you encourage women to stop chasing age and beauty.
CANDACE: Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t tell you how many times I look at a “before” and “after” picture of someone who’s had a facelift and I always choose the before. I wonder what they see when they look in the mirror.
BRENDA: Sometimes I see a woman who’s gone too far, and I want to say, ‘Stop messing with your face.’
CANDACE: With aging, I think it’s important to practice acceptance and embrace it. When we look in the mirror we’re going to see an older version of ourselves, but why is that bad?
BRENDA: In my case I’d say it’s more sad than bad. LOL! I think I borrowed that from Nora Ephron. Remember her book, I Feel Sad About My Neck? I’m struggling with accepting the face I see in the mirror, but in the next minute I think, I’m grateful to still be here. Let’s talk about your yoga practice. How long have you been doing yoga?
CANDACE: For thirty or forty years. I was doing yoga before it was mainstream and very popular.
BRENDA: You have a lot of yoga routines on your YouTube channel.
CANDACE: I think someone who’s older can definitely do yoga, but they need to take it a little at a time. If you’re trying to suddenly go into a yoga class, especially if you’re not into exercise, and trying to do the whole class and achieve those poses is not a good idea. My approach to yoga is to learn one pose at a time so that’s what my Inner Yoga series of eight classes is, and then you learn to put them together. Then I have a more basic one. Inner Yoga with Modifications where I show women how to get into the poses using blocks and different things without having to do anything too dramatic. Once you’ve learned some of the poses and know what you’re doing and what your body will do, then you can go into a yoga class.
BRENDA: Your arms are in incredible shape. What do you do to achieve this?
CANDACE: I have a set arm workout I’ve been doing for about 25 years or more…A physical therapist put it together for me when I had problems with my shoulder. You can find my basic Arm Workout I’ve been doing for all these years on my YouTube channel. I wouldn’t recommend starting out with any more than two, three-pound weights. BTW, I’ve never had another problem with my shoulder.
BRENDA: I’ve noticed a lot of us start stooping as we get older. Is there something we can do to prevent that?
CANDACE: I catch myself doing that too, so I’m constantly reminding myself to stand up straight. But I think my yoga poses are good for that…Yoga is so much weight-bearing exercise and I think it helps with posture, balance, and strength, not to mention flexibility.
BRENDA: And mental wellness.
CANDACE: Right! I can’t think of another thing a woman could do for herself that covers as many bases and is as important as starting a yoga practice.
BRENDA: Let’s talk about fashion. What I love most about your fashion sense is it tells us we don’t have to wear “older woman” clothes defined by our mothers and grandmothers.
CANDACE: If you look at a picture of your grandmother at a much younger age than you are now, I’m sure she looked a whole lot older.
BRENDA: How would you describe your style?
CANDACE: I guess classic. I like elegance and simplicity so I don’t wear a lot of bows and frills. I’m more of a classic, clean-lines.
BRENDA: What are your favorite brands?
CANDACE: If I had to pick one favorite brand it would be Ann Taylor which is very moderately priced. I’ve been wearing Ann Taylor since my daughter was in high school. I used to take her shopping there. Their clothes are quality and they work for lots of age groups.
BRENDA: I like what you said in one of your videos: “A woman doesn’t have to be thin to look good in her clothes.”
CANDACE: I don’t think you have to dress a certain way because of your age or your body shape. If you choose the right things in the right proportions and the right colors, you can look good at any size.
BRENDA: If you look for #plussize on Instagram, you can find so many plus-size women who are stylish and beautiful. Do you think some women are afraid to step outside of the fashion box they’ve put themselves in?
CANDACE: Oh, absolutely. I’m always saying you need to reinvent yourself every ten years because you’re not the same person you were ten years ago. Your style, personality. Try new things and create a style that goes with who you are now. I think a lot of women are in a rut: “I’ve always worn my hair like this.” But that was you when you were younger.
BRENDA: Is there anything you wouldn’t wear now?
CANDANCE: I don’t wear anything above the knee, too cutesy or girlish, and I won’t wear Mary Janes…I wear heels every day. They’re very comfortable for me. I think they create a good look for an older woman…The one thing I still wear from high school is white Keds. They also make a brown leather slip-on that is really great.
BRENDA: I wish I could still wear heels, but I love Keds! How can we can look casual but still look polished and put together?
CANDACE: I think any outfit, whether casual or dressy, depending on how you put it together with shoes and accessories is what counts. A lot of women put on things that don’t look like they put a lot of thought into it. Even with casual, you can tell when a woman took care choosing what to wear. I always wear a necklace and earrings.
BRENDA: Thank you, Candace. I’ve enjoyed our conversation.
CANDACE: It was wonderful to talk to you so thanks for asking me.
Thank you for reading Ageless Style with Candace Leslie Cima. Please leave me and Candace a comment or ask a question and then visit Cindy Hattersley’s blog to meet the woman she’s featuring this month.