21 Apr 2015

Style Notes

Norman Parkinson, Style Notes, Vicki Archer

Travelling is a wonderful time for reflection.

And so is staying home.

The luxury of the unfamiliar opens the mind and allows ideas to breathe and see the light of day.

Observation is our privilege. The joyous feeling of anonymity frees us and opens our eyes to our surroundings; the prerogative to forget who we are and where we belong.




I have been making notes; this time style notes.

Women, in whichever city, never cease to inspire me. I gratefully review, compare and contrast their style, their delivery and their take on fashion. They intrigue me and more than anything else, they motivate me.

Watching New Yorkers has me mentally taking style notes. In New York, the women wear it differently from the women in London and the women in Paris. Never better or worse, just different.

What I have observed is that style, wherever its origin, has many reference points in common. There are similar factors, rules that make style work for us.


Style Notes

Fashion should make life easier.

Style should be an easy start to the day, not an unfamiliar pest that nags and won’t leave us alone. Knowing our style means that fashion becomes a true friend and not an antagonist.

Style is never about age.

There is no such thing as “dressing your age”. That expression should be expunged forever. Attitude is the only thing that counts.

Style is timeless.

What we wear over the years should not alter greatly once we have found our stride. Updating key pieces and adding current accessories makes essentials the true winners.

Know your colour.

I wear black, grey and navy predominately. Sometimes a little white, cream, a dash of red, Schiaparelli pink and emerald; that is my colour cocktail. I have accepted that certain shades, as much as I like them, don’t like me. My hair has changed and so has my colour palette. Knowing this makes finding my way so much easier.

Style should be comfortable.

Comfort means you feel great; feeling great means you look great. If we feel comfortable in our clothes chances are that our confidence is spiking. Win/win.

Style should never overpower the woman.

Remember we wear clothes, they don’t wear us. Never, ever.


One piece I will be refreshing in my essentials is the turtleneck.

Style notes: What should we add? xv

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La Contessa

I think You have that right about NEW YORKERS!I like the idea of the short sleeve turtle neck……..
I just bought a BIRTHDAY CARD yesterday that has an older woman on it and inside the card reads……..It’s ALL about the ATTITUDE!I am giving that to my 89 year old neighbor today……..FASHION should be FUN……………I keep trying to keep that way!XX


And you do that very successfully Elizabeth.. your joie de vivre shows through, always… :)


Vicki, everything you have mentioned rings so true for me. Unless one has needed a makeover and come to realize that it is finally time to wear what she pleases; style should be classic and comfortable in my view.
Thank you as always for the words of wisdom!

The Arts by Karena

Cathy C

Hello Vicki,
I wish New York was having better weather for you. Next time, Southern California? We have style too!
This Spring I am “adding” a shirt dress – as soon as I can find one. I loved them in the eighties and I am glad they showed them this year for spring. The difference between now and then: need one that is a bit longer – at least to the knee, not stick straight; with sleeves to roll up; in a luxurious fabric. I know it sounds easy enough, but nothing so far. Any ideas? Maybe I will find one in black and white gingham…three birds, one stone!

Mimi Gregor

I have a couple sleeveless turtlenecks, and they are very versatile. They are better than the sleeved version when it comes to layering: no bulky arms to slide into coat sleeves. And I love the way they give me just a bit of warmth on the coolish early spring days, yet show off my toned arms (which I am quite proud of!)


I have a black sleeveless turtleneck that I spent too much on – exactly 16 years ago!! I bought it to wear on a trip to California to visit my daughter who lived there for a couple of years after college. It’s been to Europe and many places in between. It still looks great. It’s timeless.

Anita Rivera

I agree with all of it! We wear the clothes, we are the power underneath the style. Our age should be clothed in wisdom on all levels from making life decisions to style choices! We make statements with our actions and sense of confidence. These are lessons learned daily through all of our lives.

Great photos…such inspiration for ANYTIME!


Great post as always, Vicki. What strikes me is how much better the women in the black and white photos you posted look to me than anything that I see in current fashion magazines. They are so much lovelier and more feminine looking than today’s crop of top models.


Vicki, you are so inspiring, informing and a fabulous fashonista .. I love all your notes and apart from your daily inspiration, I always feel happy after reading your posts … you put such a positive spin on my day! PS I love turtle necks too!

Gai Reid

Vicki I love your comment about how travel makes us free to forget who we are etc. I always think that when I am in Paris I can be the person who lives inside my skin, not the person who lives inside my house or my job. I become authentically me. Also I love these photos, confirming yet again that fashion of the past looks so stylish!


If travel is about observation (and it certainly is!), then we, as travelers, have a responsibility to be as beautiful as possible, because we will be observed by others, too! That’s my excuse for dressing up more than many people expect when I travel, and I’m sticking with it. And any day that I might be tempted to wander outside in my gym clothes, I remind myself that literally hundreds of visitors to Chicago will see me, at least in passing, and I owe it to them to put forward the best possible image of our city!


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