My next guest in The Positive Aging Interviews is Charlotte, who just happens to be Mum to Jodie, from Jodie’s Touch of Style! At 70+ Charlotte is an inspiration and I love her outlook on life. As a model on Jodie’s Touch of Style, you can always see her looking elegant and I love that she is enjoying being a model.
I so enjoyed this interview with Charlotte who doesn’t show any signs of slowing down and is a great role model to women of all ages.
You can read more about Charlotte in her bio which is at the end of the post and also pop over to Jodie’s Touch of Style website to see Charlotte in modelling mode.
1. What does the term positive aging mean to you?
I remember back in the 1940’s, that my mom wore orthotic shoes and dressed in dowdy clothing. I remember her only having one dress to wear to all of our family events which made quite an impression on me. I realized then, that you need to take care of yourself!!
After I graduated college and became a home economics teacher, the image of these teachers were fat and frumpy. Once I realized this, I wanted to fight that image and create a better one for myself.
So I’d have to say that positive aging means to me to feel good about the stage of life I’m in at present. Being in good health and free of pain has a huge influence on this. Looking my age and being proud of it without advertising it is all part of the package.
2. What is one piece of advice you wish you had known when you were younger.
This is a hard question for me to answer. I guess I think I’ve done pretty good through the years, and I try not to dwell on the past, and things that I cannot change.
When it comes to my clothing, I have read many articles about style and clothes since I love the subject. And as much as I realize that many stylists will advise you to get rid of old clothes that you haven’t worn for two years, I don’t do this. Instead, I move them to the basement.
I had a health crisis and lost 25 lbs. about 5 years ago; therefore, old clothes fit again. Of course it doesn’t hurt that I can alter or recycle them since I have a sewing machine and know how to use it.
My theory is that styles come back around and with a little tweaking are fashion forward again. An example of this a pastel, plaid cotton casual dress with pleated skirt I made and wore in the early 90’s. When it was no longer in fashion, I took it down to the basement. This summer, I rediscovered it, and decided to take it apart. With a little creativity, I remade it into a skirt with a ruffle.
3. What are your tips for keeping fit and healthy as you age?
When I was a kid, I lived on a farm, so all of us had chores to do. I’m sure this started my physical activity routine, even though it wasn’t something that I loved.
In college, we were required to take physical education classes. I’m not sure that I loved these classes, but they did teach me the importance of moving and grooving!
I tried to continue being active, even as I got older. When I was in my 40’s, I signed up at a local gym and took the aerobic classes that they offered. I have to admit, that I enjoyed the dancing part of aerobics and having someone lead the class.
Now, I use a workout tape three times a week in my house. It’s Leslie Sansone’s 5 Mega Miles tape and I will even add in weighted gloves to increase the workout for myself.
Since I was a home economics teacher, I have always known that eating healthy is very important. I am very diligent about eating my fruits and vegetables at most meals. Of course, my downfall is my sweet tooth, but I try to limit my sugar intake!
My mental health is maintained by many social events and brain power that is enriched with constant reading, Sudokus, crosswords and other puzzles.
4. What is your favorite fashion or beauty tip?
Having spent almost 20 yrs. working in professional alterations, I would have to say my favorite tip is to get the correct size in your clothing. The zinger is that it’s very seldom perfect right off the rack. I think almost every person needs to have many items altered for a true perfect fit to their current body. This is something that I’ve learned over the years by adjusting items on others as well as myself. Especially when our weight changes throughout life, we need to have our pieces adjusted accordingly!
My favorite beauty tip is to not be afraid of color in clothing as well as makeup. Since my hair is now fully white, I find that I really need the contrast of other colors, in order to not look so monochromatic. Even if I’m wearing a clothing item that isn’t really a great color on me, I will throw on a scarf or necklace that is a better color. Since a scarf or necklace is nearer to my face, it can add a nice glow to my complexion.
5. You are featured on the blog, Jodie’s Touch of Style, as the 70+ model. Tell us how you came to be involved and a little about the blog?
When Jodie, the 50+ model on the blog who is also my daughter, sold her dental practice and expressed an interest in styling, all of my same age friends said she should design fashions for us. My friends felt that stores cater to younger women and they found it difficult to find clothing appropriate for our age group and types of activities. Since I’m a retired home economics teacher and have made clothing since my teenage years, I didn’t notice that aspect of shopping.
But as Jodie was working on the specifics for her blog, she wanted to show that even if the stores weren’t designing clothes specifically for women our age, maybe we could find ways to make them work for us. Most of the clothing we showcase on the blog is from our own closets, with some items made by me, some pieces gifted by vendors, and some purchased to represent a particular theme. The three of us have fun trying out new styles (usually) and representing style for women of the older generations!
6. What is your advice for those about to retire or who have retired to ensure they enjoy this special time of life?
I’ve actually retired a couple of times! My first retirement from teaching home economics, came as a surprise. I was reaching 50 years old and our school superintendent asked if I was considering retirement? I really hadn’t thought of it, but once he planted the seed, I thought it was a great plan. I was already working part-time at a Joann Fabric Store so the transition was not difficult. My daughter was in college at the time so working was helpful for that expense.
After moving out to Colorado to be closer to my daughter, I worked at Nordstroms department store doing alterations. When working, you find that your schedule is so structured. However, when you are retired every decision as to what to do is up to you.
My advice is to truly accept this freedom and really plan what you YOURSELF would like to do with your time and talents. You don’t need to feel obligated to satisfy others. You’ve worked hard to get to this position so relax and enjoy it.
My theory is that I’m retired and I should be my first priority now.
7. What is your favorite way to relax?
I am an avid seamstress and I love to create and make my own clothing. Not that it’s always relaxing, but that how I spend most of my days.
After the sun goes down, I tend to veg out and watch television. My latest favorite shows to watch are Scandal, How to Get Away With Murder and Law & Order. Of course, there are many times I fall asleep while I’m watching these shows…LOL!
8. What was the last book you read?
I take full advantage of our library here, and will request books online as soon as I read that they are available. The last one I read was John Grisham’s Camino Island. I’ve read all of his books, and they never disappoint me!!
Hello, I’m Charlotte, the 70+ model on the blog, Jodie’s Touch of Style. I’m the mother of Jodie who is the voice behind the blog!
I grew up on a farm in a small town in Indiana which is in the midwest of the United States. I have since moved to bigger cities in the USA and enjoy the city life! When I was growing up there were not that many options for women’s jobs, so I became a teacher. Luckily, I found my passion with sewing and creating clothing for myself and others. I taught this for over 30 years in the public school system to high schoolers.
My daughter always jokes that if I had been born in a later era, I could have been Martha Stewart because I enjoy creating different items and collecting everything!!
One of my loves as I’ve gotten older is travelling to many other countries and experiencing the cultures. I have traveled with a local travel group for over 10 years to places such as Africa, Hong Kong, Spain, the Panama Canal, and Greece! It’s always so interesting to me to find the similarities and differences of how other people live!
Let’s Keep Sizzling!