Friday, July 29, 2011

The Big Girl Glasses

Iris Apfel

In New York when a woman gets to be a certain age that surpasses that certain age, she gets to have certain fashion privileges. You earn the right to wear what you want, and you have the wisdom to wear it well. In New Orleans the rite of passage is the Big Girl Drapes. What rite of passages do you enjoy?

At age 40, like clockwork, my "up-close" vision started down the blurry slope. I embraced it as a fashion opportunity to wear cute reading glasses. But it was a nuisance not being able to see everything I wanted to see without having to search for a pair of reading glasses. It truly was the only thing in the aging process I objected to.

Age is something we all achieve at one time or another. It is democratic in what it does to us. You can have tons of cosmetic procedures, but your body (and mind ha ha) is the age it is no matter what. Breezy slogans of any number being the new number may be cute (60 the new 40 ha ha), but really it is what it is. And it's not all bad if you embrace change as much as you can.

Baby boomers redefine everything, and they (we) are certainly re-inventing how one ages. No longer do we have the relief of letting ourselves go and relaxing. Now we have to do things: To work, to be fit, to be pro active in our own health care, to stay current and hip.

As with most things this reinvention is a blessing and a curse. No granny frocks and aprons and jiggling your upper arms to make the grand kids laugh. No napping in the sun for hours at a time. No social security or pension check coming in, and if one does come in, it certainly isn't large enough to live on. Savings and home values and retirement funds that took years to cultivate are wiped out more often than not these days.

But along with the gloom and doom of all this, and getting the sappy AARP Magazine every month, so much is better for those of us aging (which is all of us ha ha). We can be more healthy, be more lively, and do more things. And it is fun.

I just had another birthday, the second into my seventh decade. I am blessed to be in good health, and living a vibrant happy life. I still work at something I love, and live with someone I love.

My sister came to visit me for this birthday, and we spent a wonderful twelve days together with Alberto. We had not seen each other since Katrina. She is five years younger than I am. I am the eldest of seven.

We had "a bucket list" of things we wanted to do together, a couple of them quite practical. One was to get new glasses together, and the other had do with bra fittings (saving that for another post ha ha). I knew from an eye exam I had over a year ago that I needed glasses above and beyond the readers I had been sporting since age 40. In fact I bought the frames a year ago, and never had the prescription filled.

The frames I chose were a no-brain-er. I knew I would always get the really big glasses I had always seen New York City ladies of a certain age wearing. You'd see them shopping on Madison Avenue, or having lunch at a swanky spot, or sipping a cocktail at The Carlyle. Sophistication and a joie de vivre dripped off of them.

Carrie Donovan

Sylvia Weinstock

Of course young girls wear oversized glasses too. And when I was a young girl in the 1970s there were plenty of fashion role models wearing them. We had Jackie and Audrey, and Gloria Steinem, and the it girls in the movies, Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton, and Ali McGraw. Only then my young perfect eyes didn't need remedial eyeglasses. Like many young girls now,  I wore (and still do) glam fashionista oversized sunglasses.

Valorie Hart 1970? - photo by Bill Hart

Diane Keaton in oversized glasses in the 1970s

Ali McGraw in oversized eyeglasses in the 1970's

Jane Fonda in the 1970's

I tried on many oversized frames before deciding. You have a better choice in sunglasses. All you have to do is ask the optical shop to pop out the sunglasses lenses and put your prescription lenses in. My sister and I went to Eyemasters, with chain shops nationwide. They often have terrific specials, and we shopped many other chain stores and found two pairs of glasses with, gasp, invisible line bifocals, for $99.  I chose one pair of frames from Eyemasters, and had them use my frames for the other.

Last year, I tried on every big frame from Chanel to Versace, and finally chose a tortoise color pair from Oliver Peoples called "Ballerina", which somehow spoke to me. I love them! I am adjusting to the bifocal part, having to find just the right position to read on the computer. The glasses force me to hold my head up a bit, which I think improves my posture.The distance part of the lenses is magical!!!!

Oliver Peoples Ballerina Eyeglasses

The Visual Vamp wearing Oliver Peoples Ballerina eyeglasses - photo by Sharon Rivas

A Visual Vamp birthday toast with my sister Cher - photo by Alberto Paz

On another subject, I want to thank all of you following me over to my new blog home. I hope more of you will find your way here.  This is the first official post I am doing, and I am finding my way with new tools. It's kind of an exciting time for me.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Here I Am

Welcome to my new address!

All new places have glitches, so please let me know if you have any problems.

Please scroll down on old posts. The comments are now a part of the post, so it takes awhile to see the next one.

Thanks for coming along!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Million Dollar Look

I can't believe it's the finale tonight of Million Dollar Decorators! It's been fun!

Go over to Houzz and see the collection of things I found to get the look of Mary McDonald's fab glam office HERE


Renae Moore said...
Yay Valorie, You did good! xo
Carrie'sCreations said...
I have Loved Million Dollar Decorator's hope it makes it for a second season, such a great show!
Karena said...
Love it Valorie!! bravo!! Do come and join my giveaway of a wonderful painting by Mary Maxam! xoxo Karena Art by Karena
classic • casual • home said...
Off I go....sounds fun!
littlebadwolf said...
fantastico! como usual.....

Friday, July 15, 2011


My sister is visiting me! We have not seen each other since Katrina.

I have also been busy with some freelance projects, and some changes for The Visual Vamp blog. which is as they say, "under construction".

New and frequent posts coming soon. Hang in here with me.

As part of the changes, I want to ask you guys how you feel about the "Follower" feature. Is it important to you? I appreciate every reader and follower. How would you feel if I did not include the "Follower" feature on the updated Visual Vamp blog?

PS The sisters in the photo are Lady Gaga with her sister Natali


Reggie Darling said...
Keep the "follower" feature! Over 900 is most impressive, indeed!
Anonymous said...
It's hard to disagree with the ever tasteful Reggie, but I think the follower feature looks a little "facebookie". I would delete it.
aBroad said...
Keep the Follower feature !
aBroad said...
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Irene said...
Looking forward to the new look, I'm not concerned about the follower feature, as long as you leave you and Alberto dancing. You are an inspiration.
Karena said...
I like the follower feature. I think who those who take the time to visit regularly is nice to show that! Have a great time with your sister Valorie! xoxo Karena Art by Karena Do come and enter my new Giveaway, a very special painting!
Jan said...
Enjoy your time with your sister. I foresee prolonged chatting (if you're anything like me and my sister) xxx
Planet Tango said...
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Planet Tango said...
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Planet Tango said...
My sister and I always fly united
vicki archer said...
Hello Valorie, I don't like the look of the follower gadget either but I think it is important to make it easy for readers to connect if they want....I think it can be hidden on the dashboard page but then it makes it just that bit harder for readers to follow....Compromise... always a bore! xv
Anonymous said...
Dear VV, Looking forward to re-Vamped blog! I see followers and subscribers on blogs -- forgive this naive or obvious question - Different or the same? Best wishes, BarbaraG
Vickie H. said...
Change can be so exciting. Have no opinion on the "follower" issue. You can proceed without it and if you need to, always add it back later, can't you?
elizgonz said...
I'm a regular reader and read sooo many blogs, but I have no idea what the purpose of the Followers is. You don't need it.
pve design said...
My sister is following me to Chicago in 2 weeks where I will be working, illustrating a wedding and my daughter is following me there so we will have BIG FUN with each other. I love following you. pve
Acanthus and Acorn said...
Keep the follower box...I agree it's not the most attractive thing, but I think the FB one is worse! I am betting the updates will make you bothered by it.
Lila said...
Sisters are the best! I have four myself! Enjoy your time together! xoxo Lila Ferraro