By Bonnie Obremski
As the “granny chic” look lingers in some city boutiques catering to millennials, these women show us what’s actually on trend among the 60+ set—no grandchildren required.
“I fell in love with this coat when I met the man who made it in Uzbekistan. I just said, ‘This is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen in my whole life.’ And it’s way over my pay grade to have bought it, but it didn’t matter. It was just so beautiful, I couldn’t not have it—which is an odd way to live. But, we all have times when things are that special. I don’t take it to the grocery store.
As for my personal style, I dress every day. I take care of what I put on. I think about where I’m going, what I’m doing, what looks good with what—and it’s just a playground. My wardrobe is a playground. It seems like I can do something fun almost every day.”
“I’ve lived in Port Townsend since 1971. I hitchhiked up here from California. I had to walk across the Hood Canal bridge because there were no cars coming here. I went back to California and I did the Ouija board with some girlfriends. I asked ‘Should I go to Port Townsend?’ It spelled ‘yes.’ I asked, ‘What should I do there?’ It spelled, ‘J-U-S-T L-I-V-E.’ So I’ve been here all these years. I came by myself. I’ve had two partners. I have two grown sons. I have grandchildren. I’ve lived many lives. I’ve salmon-trolled, planted trees, had a restaurant been a massage therapist, worked at Jefferson Healthcare for 31 years, and now I’m a Nia teacher. As for my style, I like color even though I wear a lot of black or navy blue. If a color doesn't feel right, I won’t wear it. I’m a thrift store queen so I’ll buy things and I’ll put them on and if they don’t work for me I’ll sell them at another consignment store. I like fabric and I like the feel of things. I don’t like flowy things because I don’t like to get caught as I’m moving. I like things that fit. It has to feel right. I have to close my eyes and feel like I can move in the item I’m wearing.”
“I just retired from being a professor of nursing and midwifery at Seattle University and also I’m a nurse midwife. I’ve delivered several thousand babies. As far as my style is concerned, I’m not too radical, but I do like primary colors. I like things that are going to last, that are somewhat stylish but also classic. My politics are more liberal and progressive than my style.”
“Oh my gosh, I have a three-legged dog and that’s wonderful! And what else? I have a husband. I like my dog better. Is that OK? I write poetry and I write short stories. My style is casual, except when I’m with Jean and I dress up a little bit more because she’s from Seattle and I’m from way out in Sequim in the country. Hiking style, that’s my style.”
“I am 83. I have four boys, I have seven grandchildren and four great grandchildren, the youngest is six months old. I’m very casual. I can dress up, but what I have on right now is what I live in and what I like. I do like to look good and I like good clothes. I like sharp clothes. This is a Judith Bird sweater and it’s one of my favorite pieces, one of my go-tos.”
“I want to be comfortable, whatever that means to me. That doesn’t necessarily mean loose, but it could be. There’s a lot of dark neutrals and red and blue and navy in my closet. I kind of live in my sweatpants. I’m a writer and I used to make films. So, I’m home a lot and I just stay in my sweats. Although, those even, I like them. So, when I go out in Port Townsend, it’s an excuse to pull things out that I really like to have fun with.”
“I moved here from Montana after living there nearly 40 years. I’ve got two boys in West Seattle. So, I told myself after I retired from massage therapy, which is what I’ve been doing for 20 years, I’d like to be closer to the kids—close...but not too close. My style: A lot of people have, over the years, called it eclectic. I like to put together found things. You know, you just go and find things that feel good and put them together and maybe do some more tweaking and then you have your style. It reflects who I am because it’s about just trying to be open to what presents itself and then you dance with that and see where it takes you.”
“I’m new to town, I moved at the end of March from San Francisco. I live next door to Judy. We met her the first week that we moved here. I do love living in Port Townsend. I’m very comfortable with what I wear. I need be able to move in it, I need to be able to play in it, walk in it, run in it, cook in it, everything. But, it’s also interesting moving to Port Townsend from San Francisco. There’s kind of a similarity, but I feel like I took on a little more Port Townsend style and it’s very comfortable. It’s totally me. I always wear scarves. I love purple. I’m in my second round of purple. I was in purple as a young woman in my 20s, but it was a different hue of purple. It was that Shakespearean purple velvet. Now, it’s more plum. I like to play with scarves and asymmetry.”
“What I want in my style is congruency between what’s on the outside and what’s on the inside. I was in the Air Force and retired as a captain. For all the years that I worked, I had to be a certain way or a certain thing. I wore a uniform for 20 years and now I want to just be me.”
“I’ve been a textile artist and a weaver since 1980. I got my first loom in 1974, so that’s a lot of years of weaving! Clothing expresses who we are. I like my clothes to be comfortable, not too fussy, although when you look at my weaving, it’s complex. I think pattern has really defined my art. I like a graphic, strong look, but it still has to be comfortable. My current interest is in Tai Chi and movement. I don’t know how those two things relate to art. But somehow, they do work together.”