— Style —


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I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of the phrase “it girl.” It’s been around long enough, ever since Clara Bow was the very first “it girl” in 1927. Time for some “it women,” I say. The women I would classify as “it ” have every bit as much style and pizzazz as any “it girl.” And they have what many “it girls” don’t: the confidence that comes with experience and an understanding of who they are and what the world’s all about. They have personal style, but their style does not define them.

They are, as one friend said recently, “bien dans sa peau.” Comfortable in their own skin and in the world.

The women who have “it,” in my opinion, are happy with themselves but are not resting on their laurels. They’re looking around and saying, “What’s next?” In fact the “it women” who inspire me are all in their 50s, 60s and beyond. They’re at a place in life where they could dial things down, but instead, they’re just shifting direction.

Like my friend Alice. Alice has 20 years under her belt as a licensed psychologist, and she’s embarking on a new career as a minister in the United Church of Canada. At 61. How cool is that? She’s an “it woman” in spades, as far as I’m concerned, with a fabulous new short haircut, a great sense of humor and a confidence and calmness that draws people to her.

I also count my friend Ann as an “it woman.” Ann has worn many hats in her time: business owner, French instructor, real estate agent, wife, mother, and most recently, jewelry designer. When Ann and her husband moved their family to Saint Thomas in 2010, she reinvented herself. In her mid-fifties at the time, she began designing and crafting her own line of beautiful jewelry from larimar, “the Caribbean stone.” Ann and I share a love for white jeans and simple classic styles. She looks fabulous, doesn’t she? Confident, talented, successful and definitely “bien dans sa peau.”

Okay. So you might be saying, “I don’t know who these women are?” Where are the “it women” I might know about?

You mean like Annie Lennox, who at 63 has spun her fame in the music world into political activism, founding “The Circle,” an organization which empowers women and girls around the world? Or other fabulous women like Kristin Scott Thomas, 57, Isabella Rossellini, 65, or Lauren Hutton, 74? All women of a certain age who look fabulous, who have great personal style and who, in my opinion, challenge the idea of style as connected only with their outward appearance. They all have “it.”

I can’t help thinking that maybe, while we’re moving from the idea of “it girls” to “it women,” we should also remove the idea of celebrity as a qualification for “it.”

There’s nothing as attractive as a woman who has style and experience. Who has lived long enough to know who she is, and yet is still excited about life and its possibilities. And maybe we should be celebrating the “it women,” all around us, who aren’t necessarily famous.

We all need a little inspiration to inspire us to be better, to face with confidence whatever challenge life throws at us. Even if it’s trying to find the courage to go grey or to hang onto our skinny jeans. I just happen to believe that inspiring “it women” are closer than we might think.

I’ve been trying to channel my inner “it woman” to find enough courage to wear my burgundy hat out in public. What do you think?


  • Bonnie K. Aldinger February 15, 2018 at 10:20 am

    Oh heck, wear that hat! You look fabulous!

    • Sue Burpee February 15, 2018 at 12:28 pm

      Ah. Thanks, Bonnie.

  • Brenda Coffee February 15, 2018 at 11:02 am

    “Inspiring women are all around us!” You’re so right, Sue! I’ve done lots of profiles of amazing women for just that reason! Thanks for your suggesting we use “it woman.” It’s easy to get comfortable with an old phrase and not even think about updating it. I look forward to reading more of your posts. xoxox, Brenda

    • Sue Burpee February 15, 2018 at 12:29 pm

      Thanks so much for giving me the opportunity to join the ladies at 1010 Park Place, Brenda.

  • Elizabeth February 15, 2018 at 12:35 pm

    Looking forward to seeing you in a couple of weeks, will have to get my “it” game on!
    PS. Alice is also known around here as Princess!

    • Alice February 15, 2018 at 7:17 pm

      Princess Grammie, that is.

  • Rebecca Forstadt Olkowski February 15, 2018 at 12:41 pm

    The hat is fabulous! What wonderful it women!

  • Arlene February 15, 2018 at 5:00 pm

    Love the hat Sue… great read.

  • Ann February 15, 2018 at 6:29 pm

    Good show, Sue! Love the purple on you.

    Ann in Missouri

  • Lisa February 15, 2018 at 8:42 pm


  • Wendy in York February 16, 2018 at 1:17 am

    Hi Sue , nice to see you wearing a new hat – so to speak & you are my ‘it woman’ of course .

  • Diane February 16, 2018 at 6:45 am

    I’m a hat girl and don’t even consider what others may think when I wear one. I am simply too old to even consider their opinions about the hat atop my head on any given day…. so many more important things to worry about that truly affect people. I say Wear The Hat! xo

  • Bridget February 16, 2018 at 7:25 am

    This is EXCELLENT!

    P.S. Wear that hat whenever you can. 🙂

  • Ann Larkin-Roy February 16, 2018 at 7:39 am

    Thank you for including me in this great read. I am so fortunate to be surrounded by so many inspiring, interesting and amazing “It Women”! The paths we’ve chosen are so different and yet this wonderful journey all started with a passion and a purpose.
    Sue, I love your chapeau! You look fabulous as always and it’s so you!

  • Vicki February 16, 2018 at 10:57 am

    Great article with definately something to think about for those of us in our older years. Thanks!

  • Joanna February 16, 2018 at 1:43 pm

    I’m a reader of Sue Burpee and am over the top happy that she will be reaching more readers with her guest appearance on 1010 Park Place. She writes from the heart and her honesty appeals to me. You go girl!

  • Rosemary February 17, 2018 at 3:21 pm

    Definitely wear the hat!! You look great … confident and stylish!
    Love your choice of “it women” … they all radiate a certain “je ne sais quoi ” and almost seem to improve with age …
    Great post Sue!

  • Mamavalveeta03 February 24, 2018 at 9:42 pm

    Go for it, Sue! You’ve got panache! (I’m pretty sure that in French that means “Screw it, I’ll wear the hat if I damned want to!” 😉 )

  • Sandra Sallin-Apart From My Art February 25, 2018 at 12:23 pm

    You’re an “It” girl also. You’ve got style up your kazoo! You went from being an educator to blogger. We’re all loving your posts and style. Now you’re here. Congratulations! Writing a column on style and fashion. Did you ever think this would happen? Brenda can spot talent.

  • HolaBromz March 20, 2018 at 5:15 am


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