This…was a BLAST! My first ever Fashionista Interview for my blog!!!!
This New Series is called:
CONFESSIONS OF ANOTHER FASHIONISTA
I had the honour (and the best time!) interviewing Sheila of Ephemera Blog!
Do you know Sheila? Her sense of style and her personality are just bigger than life- and she’s fun, witty and a delight to get to know. She’s so interesting!
If you’d like to listen to the Podcast (which is chock full of interesting details- plus I love her voice!) Oh! And this is my first run at this, so please be patient as it takes a few seconds to start– but I assure you – we are there! LOL!
Here it is and ENJOY:
No time to listen to the podcast? No worries! Here’s our conversation (minus the laughter!) in writing!
Hi Sheila- So happy to have you here! Let’s begin!
L: Please tell us a bit about yourself and your love of fashion. Where did it all start and what are you up to these days?
Sheila: My first love of fashion came from observing the women in my family, in particular, my mom (an artist), my paternal grandmother and my great-aunt Ann. My mom encouraged me in my teen years to never repeat the same outfit twice, which helped me explore my personality and become creative, not just wearing the same things over and over. My grandma didn’t look like a typical grandmother – she dyed her hair bright red and wore bright colours (my copper jewelry collection started with her). I only remember meeting my Aunt Ann once, when I was 14 and she was in her 60s – but she made a huge impression in her spike heels, miniskirt, black hair and bright pink lipstick. “I want to be like THAT!” I remember thinking.
These days, I have lived up to all of them: I rarely wear a duplicate outfit, and I think my female relatives would all agree that I’ve held up their standard of wearing bright colours, and not conforming to what someone my age (nearly 54) is “supposed” to wear. My art is my clothes – I pour my creativity into getting dressed and making outfits that tell the world who I am.
I try to pass this along to the people in my life: my friends, my coworkers, my readers, and my fellow fashion-lovers that I see and talk to.
L: Let’s talk about the subject of Ageism. Have you been affected by this in your life: ex: Work, lifestyle, collaborations…If so, please share.
Sheila: I haven’t really noticed ageism as it applies to me when it comes to fashion, aside from the side-eye I often get when I’m out in public dressed to the nines. I’ve been lucky in that most of my interactions with people in my live (work, social) are on an equal level. I know that folks I work with are often surprised by my age, as they assume I’m younger due to the way I dress.
L: What in your opinion, needs to change when it comes to fashion and to women as we get older?
Sheila: I’d like to see the attitude of “you’re too old for that” fall by the wayside. The assumption that certain stores or lines are only for the young or the older woman – that can go! How about we let women make up their own minds of what they want to wear, and not be prescriptive when it comes to certain styles? I’ll wear a miniskirt if I want to, thank you!
Having said that – I’ll wear whatever the heck I want – I do know that as I’ve aged, I have changed how I dress somewhat. I’m more mindful of my own body and want to feel good in my clothes, and I’ve learned that certain styles just don’t suit me. I don’t have any patience with clothes that aren’t comfortable and don’t make me feel awesome. If an item bugs me when I’m wearing it, I pass it along – into the giveaway pile it goes!
L: How would you describe your style?
Sheila: My style is best categorized as Eclectic. I’m all over the map! I love vintage, especially from the 60s, 70s, and 80s. I have sub-categories that I play with, like rocker chic, Big Boss Lady, artsy, vintage. It’s hard to define, though – that advice from Mom really stuck!
L: Do you feel well represented in the media?
Sheila: Heck no! I don’t see anyone like me. Women of my hair colour (currently white/lavender/pastel) and age (mid-50s) are usually depicted as grandmotherly types, wearing clothes that cover them up from head to toe. Sure, there are some women who do look like that…but there are a lot who don’t! It would be nice to see funky-looking people of all ages represented in media. Not just young, young, young, and one token oldster.
L: What advice do you have for younger women on this path to getting to where you’ve arrived so far?
Sheila: I wish I could give a quick “one size fits all” piece of advice, but as with clothing, that’s usually not applicable. But I would advise everyone (not just women!) to try to overcome the fear of failure. What I mean by that is…don’t be afraid to try something new, whether that’s bright colours or a different style (skirts, dresses), and not worry what people will say. Yes, if you start dressing differently, people WILL comment. That’s okay! They’re being observant! But it can be scary to put yourself out there, and that holds so many people back from really expressing themselves through their clothing. I will give you three tips that can help get past that mental block/fear of what other people think:
Clothing as Armour: What we wear tells the world who we are…or who we want the world to THINK we are! We control this – if you want to look like a confident Boss Lady, then dress like one. If you are feeling off your game, dress so that people notice the outfit, not YOU. Clothing is our armour: think of a doctor. You see her white coat, but not the person – the white coat is the armour.
Colour Therapy: Colours can lift our spirits, or make us feel blah. When I wear yellow or red or pink, I feel happy and joyful. They give me confidence from the outside in. Wearing black or beige all the time can end up causing you to feel invisible or sad. Need a boost? Wear something bright.
Most people are not even thinking about you, much less looking at you. Most people going about their lives are so wrapped up with themselves that they don’t even see the people around them. While they might notice a body dressed in yellow or a person with purple hair, it’s usually a momentary thing, and then they’re back in their heads. We get so wrapped up in what other people think, we forget that 95% of people really don’t care. It seems harsh, but it’s true! The other 5% will say something, but it’s almost always positive (nice shoes! I like your colours!).
Creating confidence from the outside in through purposeful dress, using colour to feel good, and letting go of the fear of what others will think – these are what I regularly practice when I dress. I still feel the fear, especially when I step outside of my own comfort zone (which admittedly is a large zone!). I have worn outfits that I considered failures, but I remind myself, “It’s just one outfit,” and I move on. I will say that some of my confidence comes with age – cover your ears! – as I “give less fucks” about what other people think.
L: I love it! Where are you getting your styling inspiration from, these days?
Sheila: My style inspiration comes from everything! I read fashion websites to check out my favourite designer collections, to see what celebrities are wearing, and to keep on top of general trends (I gave up on buying fashion magazines long ago). I love people-watching to see what they’re actually wearing on the street. I rarely shop retail, but I do like to have a wander through stores to see how designer trends are trickling down – I don’t follow trends, but I like to know what they are. I also take colour inspiration from nature; if you see two or three colours together in nature, you can do them in clothes. Think of a pansy’s purple, yellow and green, or a plum tree in bloom (brown, burgundy, pink) – so of course you can wear all those colours at once! All of these sources are factors and influence me when I’m in my closet selecting outfits and thinking about what I want to wear.
L: Are you working on any projects right now or in the near future?
Sheila: I love researching the brands and designers of the clothes that I find second-hand, so I’m continually absorbing and learning. I watch documentaries on fashion (“Worn Stories” on Netflix is a fascinating look at people and their relationships to clothing, and “McQueen” is my favourite designer documentary). I read books about designers, the history of vintage clothing/jewelry, and I just enrolled in a course offered by the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) called “Fashion as Design”, which looks at archetypes of fashion (eg. the white t-shirt, the leather jacket) and examines how their form follows function (and vice versa) and delves into our self-expression through clothing.
On the blog level, in the past I’ve done clothing challenges (restrictive/capsule wardrobes, group challenges, etc.), and this past year due to the pandemic, I’ve been doing Flashbacks, where I dig up all the pictures of my past outfits that feature one specific item, like my pink “Barbie” shoes. My blog archives go back to 2008, so that’s been a lot of fun to look at how I’ve changed physically (so many different haircuts/colours!) and how my style has evolved
L: In concluding, do you have any ‘Fashion Confessions’ or tid-bits of advice, quotes- or anything you might want to share as food for thought?
Sheila: No confessions – I’ve nothing to hide! As for advice, just…be brave! Life is short, wear the clothes! And when you see someone who’s made that extra effort, please pay them a compliment. I believe in rewarding good behaviour, and a compliment from a friend or a stranger can really make someone’s day, and encourage them to keep making that effort. Even after all these decades of quirky dressing, I still love getting comments on my outfits.
L: Lastly, where can my Readers follow you to see your incredible style?
Sheila: Readers can find me at my blog: SheilaEphemera.blogspot.com. I don’t have a phone, so my blog is my one social media outlet – no Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram. I post 4-5 times a week, and have a wonderful group of readers and fellow fashionable bloggers that I’ve gotten to know over the past 13+ years (I’ve met loads of them too). It’s an amazingly supportive and creative community, and I’m grateful for all the fabulous friends I’ve met through blogging!
Thanks, Lucy! I’m honoured to be here!
L: Thanks so much Sheila- this was incredibly fun and interesting- and certainly memorable! Love ya! We really must do this again as there are so many more things I’d love for us to chat about!
How fun was this!!
Please comment below and give Sheila some love!
Also, please let me if you’d like to participate in an interview for:
Confessions of Another Fashionista!