“It’s easy to see, I have confidence in me…”

Whether you’re a young nun on a hilltop (incase you didn’t catch it the title of this post is a line from sound of music duh) , a mom sitting at the computer in sweats drinking coffee and paying bills, or a 95 year old Polish immigrant, artist, and style icon named  Ilona Royce Smithkin, you can have confidence. 

“I came into my own, maybe ten, twelves years ago…”

Her eyelashes flutter against her wrinkled cheeks as she describes, with perfectly painted pink lips, how she cut pieces of her own hair to create perfectly matching false lashes. She, along with many other beautiful ladies, is the subject of a fabulous documentary I came across on Netflix called, “Advanced Style”. Originally a blog, then book, now documentary and phenomenon, it features fashionable women over 50 on the streets of New York City.

It took Ilona 83 years to fully figure out who she was. She and the other women were so inspiring to me, not only because of their incredible sense of style and artistry but also because of their confidence. I’m beginning to learn from so many women I speak to, my mothers (I have two mothers, I hope you’re as fortunate) friends, and even myself as I get older, that the older you get, the less you care. Care what others think about you. When we’re young we have so much insecurity about what we look like, what we say, how others perceive us. It’s so nice to grow and let some of that slip away.

“At my stage of my life I’m more interested in the air, the sea, the feeling of freedom within myself. I don’t have to prove anything to anybody else, I don’t have to impress anybody, and I wouldn’t want to because I’m really enjoying myself at this stage of my life and I really feel good about me.”

Maybe it was the fashion, the thick New York accents that reminded me of the women in my husbands family, or the fact that these women were just so darn cute, but I couldn’t get enough of Advanced Style. You have to watch this film and I just know you’ll feel like running to your closet, putting on some red lipstick, a feather boa, and dancing around the room. Or not. But I know you’ll really enjoy it and get a kick out of these ladies, even if you remain seated the whole time.


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