— Style —


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A few years ago my friend, Lois Joy Johnson, founding editor and beauty and fashion director of MORE magazine and now editor of AARP’s Beauty & Style DigiMag app, asked me to be in her book, The Woman’s Wakeup: How to Shake Up Your Looks, Life, and Love After 50. I was flattered and excited. Over the years Lois has worked with every top magazine, fashion brand, photographer, model, makeup artist and hairstylist. She knows more about putting together an outfit than anyone I know.

Imagine my surprise when Lois sent me the finished book, and there were 11 photos of me, plus I’m featured on page one of Chapter One!

Before I went to New York City for the photoshoot, Lois told me to bring three or four changes of clothes I felt comfortable in and the jewelry I wore all the time. She didn’t want me to go out and buy anything new for the shoot. She wanted it to be a reflection of how I dressed and who I was.

Since my mother had been a model and a buyer in couture, clothes have always been part of my life—or should I say mother’s life. I think she was disappointed I wasn’t a clotheshorse. Most of the clothes in my closet are black workout pants and t-shirts, but I have a few investment pieces. Like Lois, mother was a wizard at mixing scarves and jackets with different skirts and pants.

When I look back over the years at women like Coco Chanel, Audrey Hepburn, Jacqueline Onassis, Diane Von Furstenberg, Anita Pallenberg and Ali McGraw, the clothes they wore then are the clothes we’re wearing now. That’s because they’re classic!

Classics are the antithesis of “fast fashion.” They’ll still be “in fashion” and look great 30 years from now.

My thanks to Michael Waring for letting me use some of the photos from Lois’s book. I knew I was in great hands with Michael because he’s photographed all of Lois’s other books, including  Makeup Wakeup, Revitalizing Your Look at Any Age she did with Sandy Linter.

The clothes I’m wearing are all classics, plus they’re investment pieces. Investing in a handful of great, timeless pieces isn’t as bad as you might think. Since my 20’s, I’ve followed mother’s advice and bought one really nice piece in the fall and one in the spring. Over time, you put together a great wardrobe, plus you know you’re paying for good fabrics and workmanship.


In this first photo I’m wearing all Carolina Herrera. It was the first time I splurged on a really good cashmere sweater. It was worth it because it never pills, it holds its shape, and years later, it still looks brand new. The navy trousers are so well made, and I’d never owned anything like Herrera’s fox sweater. I wear it with everything from jeans to something dressier.

Until a few years ago I didn’t own much jewelry except for my wedding ring, a watch and two pairs of earrings. Since then I’ve bought a few bold necklaces like this one by Marquita Masterson, a double strand of grey glass pearls with a dark grey, glass centerpiece set in sterling silver. Lois pulled it to one side so the dark grey glass wasn’t centered under my chin or at the back of my neck. That’s the genius of a great stylist.

My berry wool dress is Chanel, one of the few things I owned, at the time, that had color. Typically I’ve been drawn to neutrals like taupe, grey and cream and of course… blue jeans! My berry shoes are Prada and have gold kitten heels, which still doesn’t make them any more comfortable for my feet. My necklace is made from hand-rolled rose petals by women in India from Urban Zen in New York City. Yes, my legs really bend like that, and no, my hand is not deformed.

I’ve mentioned this before, but my friend, Vinetta Rosin at Neiman Marcus, talked me into these Escada Leather pants. I thought I might be too old to wear leather pants, but for the last four years, I’ve worn them more than anything in my closet… except gym clothes. My sweater is Rick Owens and is cut higher in the front than the back and has slits down both sides. It’s a bit avantguarde but classic at the same time. My necklace is Christian Dior and is articulated so it folds up smaller for storage. Perhaps it’s the Texas girl in me, but I love thin soled boots with a cowboy heel. These are from Saint Laurent.

Trendy clothes and fast fashion are fun, but for the most part, I’d rather pass on a season’s worth of cutout shoulders and the color dujour in favor of one classic piece I’ll have forever.

I’m just curious, how do you feel about fast fashion?


  • Barbara Bergin September 15, 2017 at 6:10 am

    Have a closet full of classics: blazers and pleated pants, Italian loafers. I am an old woman, and can wear purple if I want, but I DO long for the 80s, when it was all so vary fashionable.

    • 1010ParkPlace September 15, 2017 at 9:08 am

      You and I are hardly OLD women, but I agree about missing the days when everyone looked nice! BTW, I’m in Florence and am wearing a purple, pleated midi skirt to dinner! Yep, I’ve earned the right to be eccentric! xoxox, Brenda

  • anne-marie September 15, 2017 at 6:38 am

    What a great example of classic investment fashion pieces. We would be challenged to guess their year of purchase since they are all so relevant, beautiful and, can I say, beautifully balanced in classicism and edge. This will probably be the case in ten years from now for all these pieces with the only problem being that you may get tired of wearing them? I’m guessing not. Well done!

    • 1010ParkPlace September 15, 2017 at 9:12 am

      Hi Anne-Marie, I don’t get tired of wearing them because my lifestyle’s changed and I don’t have as many opportunities to dress like this anymore. I’m in Italy st the moment. Yesterday I went to Ferregamo’s in Florence. They have a museum downstairs with shoes and sandals Ferragamo designed in the 1920s. They’re timeless. They’re what we’re wearing today! Brenda

  • Jen September 15, 2017 at 7:31 am

    Gorgeous! I love your taste. I agree: Buy well, buy once. Good pieces last forever. xo

    • 1010ParkPlace.com September 15, 2017 at 9:13 am

      Thank you, Jen! Miss your blog posts. xoxox, Brenda

  • Beckye September 15, 2017 at 7:39 am

    Lovely, and beautiful! What great advice from your mom! I’m going to pass that on to my daughter. I love classics, but I will get something in the current color every so often just for fun.

    • 1010ParkPlace September 15, 2017 at 9:17 am

      Becky, Absolutely! If you buy good classic pieces you can integrate them with newer ones… kind of like when Sharon Stone wore a Gap tee shirt with a vintage skirt to the Oscars. God bless her for doing that because she opened our eyes to new possibilities! xoxox, Brenda

  • Laureen Satabe September 15, 2017 at 7:55 am

    You’ve always had the classic look, sophistication at its best. A timeless beauty.

    • 1010ParkPlace September 15, 2017 at 9:19 am

      Thank you for saying that sweet friend. I’ll put your check in the mail, Love, Brenda

  • Gigi Schilling September 15, 2017 at 8:13 am

    Love Lois book The Wardrobe Wakeup! The best one ever in style.

    • 1010ParkPlace September 15, 2017 at 9:35 am

      Gigi, My fav as well.

    • 1010 Park Place September 26, 2017 at 2:05 pm

      Have you seen the one I’m in… The Woman’s Wakeup?

    • Gigi Schilling September 26, 2017 at 5:30 pm

      1010 Park Place yes I also have it.

  • Vinetta September 15, 2017 at 8:53 am

    Awesome article! All true, great advice.

    • 1010ParkPlace September 15, 2017 at 9:37 am

      Vinetta, You’re one of my style gurus! xoxox, Brenda

  • Susanna Moyer September 15, 2017 at 9:50 am

    Love this Brenda!! You always look amazing!!

    • 1010ParkPlace September 19, 2017 at 6:24 am

      Hello my fashionable friend! Love seeing you here! Hope all is going wonderfully well with you! XOXOX, Brenda

  • Janet Hasak September 15, 2017 at 11:17 am

    You have that classic look that never goes out of style. A timeless beauty for sure.

    • 1010ParkPlace September 19, 2017 at 6:27 am

      Hi Sweet Friend, Thank you although I’m not sure about what I brought on this trip to Italy! I would have been better off, sticking to my classic look. Italian women aren’t wearing sequins and satin although that’s to see The Rolling Stones in on Saturday in Lucca! I love the photos of you and your grand baby on FB. Hope you are doing well. Love, Brenda

  • Mamavalveeta03 September 15, 2017 at 12:51 pm

    What fantastic photographs of you! And yes, you’re in good hands with Michael. I’ve met him in Amagansett with his adorable wife, the very talented Andrea Linett….a kind man who I’m sure, put you at ease. I have both the Makeup Wakeup and Wardrobe Wakeup, and I love seeing beautiful women, not models, representing their everyday lifestyle/wardrobe choices. I love that vest!!!

    • 1010ParkPlace September 19, 2017 at 6:32 am

      Michael’s so talented. That day he was really sick but since the studio was rented and I’d flown in from Texas, he soldiered on. I’m with you about real women versus models. If you don’t have The Woman’s Wakeup: How to Shake Up… you might think about getting that one as well. XOXOX, Brenda

  • La Contessa September 15, 2017 at 6:33 pm

    You Look Fabulous!What Fun did you tell us the name of the book I think you did!I want one‼️‼️Autographed by You❤️Yes I agree buy the Good stuff even better if it’s on SALE!It lasts Forever‼️My Mother taught me that

    • 1010ParkPlace September 19, 2017 at 6:36 am

      Hi Contessa, Yes the name of the book is in the first paragraph. If you go on Amazon, look for Makeup Wakeup Lois did with my other friend, Sandy Linter. On SALE… I’ve never been lucky enough to find anything I wanted on sale but then I’m not a big shopper. And now when I shop I do it online! xoxo, Brenda

  • Sandra Sallin September 22, 2017 at 12:08 am

    Wow! What fabulous choices. Love all your looks!!!! I wonder if I’d make as good choices as you have. to make sure more people see you I’ve pinned your beautiful looks.

    • 1010ParkPlace September 26, 2017 at 1:02 pm

      Thank you, Sandra! I love these clothes and have had some of them for ages and still wear them. They’re classics! Thanks for pinning. xoxox, Brenda

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