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Me in my High School prom dress. The dress was fine... but the hair!

For most of my adult life I’ve either been a business suit kind of girl—tailored and simple, yet straight out of Vogue. I wanted to be Lauren Hutton in the 70s—or I’ve lived in blue jeans and heels. As I’ve gotten older, my fashion sense about hair, makeup and shoes has changed.

A few years ago my friend, Vinetta, a sales associate at Neiman Marcus, brought a pair of black leather pants into the dressing room. They fit like a dream, but I stood there remembering a pair I’d worn in my 20’s and something I’d read that said if you wore a style the “first time around,” you might be too old to wear it the second time it comes into fashion. I bought the pants anyway. A couple of weeks later my friend, Taylor, gave me a pearl and black leather bracelet for Christmas. She said it “looked like me.” Really?

It was at that moment I said goodbye to business suits and hello to a new style of dressing! I’m still trying to figure out what that is.

Yesterday you may have gotten a 1010ParkPlace “Fashion Friday” email, featuring the beautiful and stylish Xitlalt Herrera-Salazar, Public Relations Manager for Neiman Marcus, San Antonio. Every time I see Xitlalt (Sic-lali), she takes my breath away. She has an innate sense of style that’s never trendy, but right on the mark, and she wears clothes with an ease and confidence like no one else. I’ve told her I want her to take me shopping. Even though I won’t look like her, and my feet will rebel at her stilettos, I want everything she wears and have literally asked Vinetta to search for them.

“By giving to others you learn a lot about yourself.”

I hope you look forward to “Fashion Friday” because each week it will be something different. In addition to meeting stylish women like Xitlalt and advice from fashion blogger Cherie James–who mixes vintage and new clothes with shoes she redesigns–I’m opening my photo album to give you a few laughs and a look back at the clothes I’ve worn, like my prom dress hair. I even have a surprise fashion blogger, waiting in the wings… You’ll never guess! NEVER!

Last week I went to New York City to be in a cosmetic commercial. Twenty “real women” were chosen out of 2,000 who auditioned. The producers wanted to feature us in our own clothes so we were told to bring four, solid colored tops. The director nixed what I brought and told the producer she wanted me to wear my “badass, black leather jacket.” I love that description of my Vince jacket, the second one I’ve bought. The first one I left in a NYC taxicab… I was heartbroken. Here are three similar, Vince, badass jackets!

So here’s to inspiring one another to step up our fashion game, regardless of where we shop. I’m not talking about anything silly or extreme, but as Xitlalt says, “Wear what you love because you want to feel good about it,” and “Always take a risk with something fun.”

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Hi Girlfriends,

I’m proud to say that 1010ParkPlace™ has been voted one of the Top Ten Blogs for women over 50: the best-educated, wealthiest, most powerful demographic in history.

Here you will get a glimpse into the lives of other women, learn how they handled things life put in their path like divorce, the death of a spouse, serious health issues, low self-esteem, addiction and how to reinvent yourself after a major life change. You will find like-minded women and relevant conversations about finances, fashion, sex, books, music, films and food. We feature interviews with inspiring women along with straight-talk and bold conversations to reawaken your passions and make life count.

Brenda’s Blog has between a 58.4% and a 68.7% click thru rate, which is unheard of. My readers tell me it’s because I’m sassy and transparent, they trust me and no topic is off limits.

Tell your girlfriends, sisters and coworkers about 1010ParkPlace. We have lots of exciting interviews planned and stay tuned for updates about my memoir! 

#WhereStyleIsAgeless   #MakeLifeCount   #WhatAreYouWaitingFor


  1. I once bought a green leather mini skirt and jacket, it was the 80’s.
    It was so off the wall because I was all business suits and so conservative back then.
    That outfit felt fabulous and everyone of my friends borrowed it.
    I’m looking forward to Fashion Friday’s.

    • I bet you looked great in that outfit, Doreen. Don’t know about you, but mini skirts aren’t for me anymore. A number of the over 50 fashion bloggers are wearing mini skirts and dressing like they’re in their 20s. While it’s our right to wear what we want, I feel they look foolish, not youthful. Happy you’re looking forward to Fashion Friday! xoxox, Brenda

  2. Feels like a trend! In the 80s I bought a red leather mini skirt from Henri Bendel that was so over the top for me given I was a boring “dress for success” skirted suits and bow ties corporate gal. The suits have come and gone but the red mini has a prominent place in my closet and still is one of the best things I’ve ever owned and worn!

    • I bet your suits had big shoulder pads, too! Mine did. I was on the board of a public company then, and they hated me because I’d done a hostile takeover of the company. Those board meetings were hell, but each of us would come in our serious suits. At night I remember playing pool with a boyfriend in a black mini skirt, a daring purple sweater and heels. Much more fun! Unlike you, Joyce, I no longer have the mini skirt. xoxox, Brenda

  3. I am transitioning my style. I find this metamorphosis rather freeing. I am in discovery as to who I am, no longer being the facade of those around me. I have a Ralph Lauren tweed riding jacket with leather buttons. I put it in my Good Will so many times these last 20 years, but always took it out of the pile and hung it back in my closet! I actually wore it this past winter and received great accolades! I also cherish my red leather biker jacket which I wear a lot! Then, I exude a “don’t mess with me” confidence! Thanks for letting me share!

    • A red leather biker jacket!! Oh, Charlotte! I’m envious! Keep wearing that! Think of all the things you could pair that with on a daily basis. If you want to be a bit dressier, a cream colored cashmere sweater and some great, black, slim leg pants… not leggings. Brenda

  4. I believe age has nothing to do with style. I’ve always been more Avante Garde than corporate would allow and still feel that way today. My body has changed in some undesirable ways but, I’m accepting what is and staying with my personal style. You, Brenda, would look fabulous in a burlap sack, it’s just who you are no matter what you wear.

    • You’re right about that, Barbara! Style is ageless. My mother had such great style, even when she wore one of her long, silk dressing gowns in the evening, she’d wear them with gold mules and a gold necklace. And at the dementia facility, she’d dress to the nines for meals in her navy blue jacket, piped in white, a cream colored knit shell underneath with a great necklace, navy pants, 2 inch stacked heels and a navy, quilted bag that looked like a Chanel but wasn’t. Of course all of the other ladies were wearing sweatsuits or big muumuus, but she didn’t care. Thanks for your sweet compliment. xoxox, Brenda

  5. I feel so famous….. I’m in your blog…… And you spelled my name right, nobody ever spells my name right, I love the prom photo, fashion is eternal, always evolving, keeps you creative!

    • You’re cute! “Always evolving… ” That’s so right. I need to do a blog about just that. So many women stay stuck in a rut with hair, makeup and clothes and never evolve. Have I told you how much I appreciate your friendship and for steering me in the right direction with clothes? Here’s to Escada leather pants and Brunello Cucinelli! If only I could afford more of his pieces! xoxox, Brenda

  6. I have always found fashion terrible delicious! I love the wide scoop of fashion. Today in my 60’s I am still discovering clothing, jewelry, shoes, bags and different items that speak to me. I am sometimes, trendy, stylish but I hope never dowdy. Keep this blogs coming…I love them. Thank you!

    • Thanks Kris! So happy you like my blogs! Fashion is delicious. “Dowdy… ” Now there’s a word we don’t hear much anymore… Thank goodness! Although I know several women who are so conservative, a case could be made that they’re leaning toward dowdy! LOL! Brenda

  7. I love this! I’ve always worn clothes to suit me, not trying to suit me to the clothes. I’m comfortable. And that’s what’s important!

    • Hi Diane, Even when wearing business suits, I bought ones I loved. They were usually Armani, no frills, tailored but elegant. They were what I needed as a board member of a public company. Now that my style has changed, I’m lucky to have so many role models. The women I’ve met doing 1010ParkPlace have their own styles and have influenced me greatly. Since I’m in NYC frequently, I see them to catch up, and I’m always blown away by their individuality and style. I leave one in the morning, having decided I want to dress more like her, only to meet another for drinks that night and am bowled over by her as well. They’re all women we’ve featured on 1010ParkPlace’s Style Inspiration. Think I may rerun some of these incase readers haven’t met them all. Thanks! Brenda

  8. I can’t wait to see the commercial! When I left corporate America I gave away all my suits and had to juggle my idea of a wardrobe and not fall into a rut of a uniform, t-shirt and jeans. My sister loves to shop and I send her out with a list for me like, something in yellow and funky for summer or something vintage looking in an overall paisley and she scores!

  9. Haralee, you’re brave to let someone else pick your wardrobe! I don’t like to shop in stores, but I’ve gotten very good at shopping online. I do want Xitlalt Herrera-Salazar, PR Manager for Neiman Marcus, San Antonio, to take me shopping (this week’s Style Inspiration feature) as well as Lauren Ezersky, former host of the television show, “Behind the Velvet Ropes,” (another Style Inspiration woman.) Both Xitlalt and Lauren have amazing styles. Very different, but looks I’d love to wear. Lauren and I wanted to get a camera to follow us into Saks, NYC, last week for her to “take me shopping,” but started the corporate permission thing too late. Next time! If you like vintage, you may like this week’s “Fashion Friday.” Summer fashions influenced by Sandra Dee movies. xoxox, Brenda

  10. I love this and I can’t wait to see the commercial! I’ve always considered how I want to feel in my clothes, before anything else. Although those feelings change, for a long time I wanted to be hidden and now I want to be seen, I don’t mean looked at, but recognised for who I am. Essie xx

  11. I love your comment that you want “affirmation with a makeover!” I’m older than you are and I’ve moved out of jeans and Ts but keeping the boots and scarves, although I’m never sure what to do with them! Are you looking for a fashion makeover? Hair & makeup? Both? I think we’re all at that point. I’d really like to know. Sorry I’m just now getting to this. One of my puppies had emergency abdominal surgery to remove a wire she swallowed. Her care and feeding… and her sister, have consumed my life! xoxox, Brenda Ray Coffee

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