Deconstructing "the look". French women make it look so easy. If I piled on all these items I look like the Michelin woman.
Deconstructing “the look” which comes so easily for French women.  If I piled on all these items I’d look like the Michelin man in drag.

It’s those sly French women who are responsible for my latest wardrobe folly. Watching them dash about the streets of Paris wearing simple basics with a gorgeous scarf lufting in the breeze, classic, art-inspired jewelry and an expensive leather cross-body bag, I imagined I could also achieve that air of je ne sais quois. All I had to do was buy good pants, tops and jackets in neutral black, white or gray, throw on a marvelous scarf and I too would be elevated to their level of chic sang-froid.

So I got to work. While my intentions were good, I’ve gone a bit overboard in stocking my wardrobe with basic black and white. Any modern woman will totally understand that we need more than one pair of black pants but how many is too many? The same issue applies to white tops—and black tops too for that matter. I’m embarrassed to tell you how many I have but Boomer Broads will understand how we need long-sleeved blouses, short-sleeved, three-quarters sleeves and sleeveless because our needs vary depending on the occasion and the weather. And this includes tee-shirts as well.

That's what I need - a separate room just for scarves.
That’s what I need – a separate room just for scarves.

What about those colourful scarves guaranteed to ensure my passage into French chic-dom? I now have too many and have not yet found a suitable filing system for them. I’ve tried draping them over hangers, clipping them on laundry rings, stuffing them through special from-the-organizer-store looped hangers and rolling them in drawers. The result is a big fat jumble of anxiety-inducing fabric lumps jammed into my front hall closet. They’re neither inspiring nor anywhere close to delivering the flair and joie de vivre I was hoping to project when I wore them with my exploding inventory of “basics”.

A typically Canadian take on scarf chic.
A typically Canadian take on scarf chic.

My pathological lack of je ne sais quois means I’ll never achieve that French level of chic. I’m a small-town Canuck of a certain age who keeps deferring to my favourite pair of NYD jeans, my comfy FitFlops™ and whatever tee-shirt or blouse happens to be at the front of the line in my closet. In Canada, scarfs are for keeping us warm. Pants are for keeping us warm. Blouses and tee-shirts are for keeping us warm—or cool if we’re menopausal. If the moon and stars are properly aligned and the wardrobe pieces all click, it’s a bonus.

But that doesn’t mean I’m going to stop trying. Somewhere out there is that perfect top and scarf that will deliver me into the realm of Frenchness I desire. It’s as simple as black and white. But first, I have to start smoking, lose thirty pounds, grow my hair long and wear five-inch stiletto’s every day. And we all know what the chances of that are. C’est la vie, ma cherie.

In my dreams . . .
In my dreams . . .




Lynda Davis

As an early Baby Boomer, born in 1947, it seems to me that as we approach our retirement years, Boomers have gone from being the energy driving our nation to slowly becoming invisible. We risk losing our identity as society remains stubbornly youth-centric. And the irony is that Gen Xers and Ys are not the majority; we are. BOOMERBROADcast is my platform for being the voice of Baby Boomers, women in particular. We've generated a lot of changes over the decades but there's still a long way to go. After a 40-year career in the corporate world, I've taken up expressing the observations and concerns of our generation. Instead of pounding the pavement in my bellbottoms with a cardboard sign, I'm pounding my laptop (I learned to type on a manual typewriter and old habits die hard). If you have issues or concerns you would like voiced or have comments on what I've voiced, I'd love to hear from you. We started breaking the rules in the sixties and now that we're in our sixties it's no time to become complacent. Hope you'll stay tuned and if you like BOOMERBROADcast, share it with your friends. Let's rock n' roll! If you would like to be notified whenever I publish a new posting, click on the little blue box in the lower right of your screen that says +Follow→ Lynda Davis

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