The Art Of Creative Dressing

I believe that chic is in the eye of the beholder and we’ve earned the right to dress  any way that makes us happy, But beware…if  you choose a style of dressing, because you admire it on other women, and it feels fake on you…it’s not going to make you feel very confident. Authenticity plays into your confidence in a big way. And like I’ve said, confidence is everything.

In my last post, the topic of Creative dressing came up in relation to visibility for aging women.

The Art Of Creative Dressing


Meet my friend Elizabeth.  She’s an amazingly authentic, creative dresser. She lives this style in her personality, home decor as well as her wardrobe. She wears creative mixed with sporty, feminine, elegant and dramatic…depending on her mood. Her style recipe is unique to her and a constant delight. It’s not just how she dresses, it’s her essence, and she’s the real deal.


The Art Of Creative Dressing

~Creative and Feminine~

Jennifer~ Have you always dressed this creatively?

Elizabeth~ No, my style started to gravitate to this in my thirties. As I got older my confidence grew, I cared less what people thought of how I dressed, so I began dressing to please myself.

The Art Of Creative Dressing

She had this coat made from old curtains because the fabric was much too nice to cut into pillows

Jennifer~Do you have a shopping strategy?

Elizabeth~ No, I buy what I like when I see it. I know I’ll find a place to wear it. When I found my full-length red opera coat, I just couldn’t pass it up. Even if I just wore it to Safeway, it needed to be mine! 

The Art Of Creative Dressing

~Creative and Dramatic~

Elizabeth ended up wearing this spectacular Opera Coat on the photo shoot of a lifetime. She brought her sons to Paris, to be photographed at the Louvre.

The Art Of Creative Dressing

~Creative and Romantic~ Her hat won Best Garden Hat at the DeYoung Museum in San Francisco

Jennifer~How do you decide what you will wear each day?

Elizabeth~I just reach my arm into my closet and pull out what feels right for me that day. I believe we radiate confidence from the inside out when we’re well dressed. Americans have become way too casual and don’t bother to dress up anymore. I believe our good things should be used everyday. Why save it? Enjoy it!

The Art Of Creative Dresssing

~Creative and Sporty~

Jennifer~ Tell me about the antique garments that you wear.

Elizabeth~ I love the history of the clothes. I collect all sorts of vintage and antique garments and accessories. I even have some Priest Robes and a Bishops Coat. I mix and match whatever feels right at the time.

The Art Of Creative Dressing

~Creative and Elegant~

Jennifer~ If you could give one piece of advice to the woman who would like to dress more creatively, what would it be?

Elizabeth~ If you love it, buy it and wear it. Don’t just save and admire it. Put it on and enjoy it.

 The Art Of Creative Dressing

Jennifer~ What is the one thing we would never see you wearing!

Elizabeth~ Something too young for me or Electric Blue!

The Art Of Creative Dressing

Who is the Creative Dresser?

  • The creative dresser is artistic and original.
  • They have a “do your own thing” attitude about dressing and don’t follow rules.
  • The creative dresser’s entire appearance is a mixture of anything and everything that reflects what she’s feeling.
  • Accessories can be unusual, ethnic, antique and worn in unexpected places.
  • The clothes are usually loose-fitting, often layered and do not define the waistline.
  • They often combine multiple patterns.

The Creative Dresser is Elizabeth who writes the wonderful blog The Vintage Contessa. Thank you Elizabeth, for allowing me to share your pictures!

It’s funny but my wardrobe feels awfully boring to me right now. 🙂



  1. Wendy
    March 19, 2015 / 2:41 am

    What a beautiful woman! It is funny; I can be very creative and eclectic with my home decorating, but I could never pull off Elizabeth’s style, as I would not feel like me. I am loving this series, since I am morphing again with working for home and launching ths new creative career while entering my fifties! These discussions really help!

    • Wendy
      March 19, 2015 / 2:44 am

      P.s. Although I did buy a black and red opera style coat last fall that I am dying to wear if the snow ever stops! I think the vintage contessa would approve!

    • Jennifer
      March 19, 2015 / 8:27 pm

      She would definitely approve. Perhaps you could wear it with your knit pointe pants and fun shoes!! Morphing is good and fun.

  2. Badinage
    March 19, 2015 / 4:46 am

    The Contessa is quite fabulous, she radiates glamour, I would feel so self conscious if my clothing made people look at me, but I can tell that this is her natural style, it’s her intrinsic self manifested in clothing.

    • Jennifer
      March 19, 2015 / 8:29 pm

      She is really an amazingly confident woman. I can’t pull her look off either!

    • March 19, 2015 / 10:16 pm

      beautifully said! And perfectly true! Elizabeth is completely true to herself! She has created a life, a world and a wardrobe uniquely her own….and not one bit of it is “forced” nor “false”!! It is true to her being!

      Her story (I am hoping she will write a book about it!!) about marrying an Italian whose parents died and left younger siblings in Italy; she moved right over there with her Italian husband and they raised those children when having their two sons!

      What a tale!!! I damn near ran off the road on our way to Ojai when she was explaining it to me! Yowzers!!!! Seriously the best story I have ever heard!!!

      She is the “real deal”; and so much fun, infectious positive energy! If we could make her into a prescription…..I swear, we could cure cancer and all kinds of other ills!

      She is just plain DIVINE!!!!! Open a can with “FUN” on the side of it! This is who pops out!! Tah DAH!!!!

      And also gorgeous!!!! Naturally beautiful, fun, creative, funny,enthusiastic and genuine!!!!

      God looked at Elizabeth and said……”You….You get it ALL!!!”

      And she did!!!!

      • March 20, 2015 / 3:34 pm

        Oh, Penelope, You said that so well. You described La Contessa perfectly. Contessa you must print this out and frame it! Brava Penelope!

        • March 22, 2015 / 6:04 am

          Penelope, that brought tears to my eyes. I can only imagine how Elizabeth felt. You said it PERFECTLY. There is nothing else that I could add about this woman that I am very lucky to call my friend other than that she is as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside and she is one of the most generous people that I know…

      • Jennifer
        March 25, 2015 / 10:41 pm

        Elizabeth is an amazing women. Honest, kind and full of life. I’m happy to call her my friend. She does need to write a book!!

  3. March 19, 2015 / 5:23 am

    I love it! If I had that opera coat I would wear it all the time. Quite charming, approachable, and so very beautiful

    • Jennifer
      March 19, 2015 / 8:33 pm

      She is!! I can see you wearing that coat! Keep your eye out, and one will cross your path. When it does, snap it up!

  4. March 19, 2015 / 5:54 am

    She is gorgeous and inspirational! I agree with her Americans have become way too casual…I am still amazed that we think ripped jeans are fashionable!…and she is fabulous! Thanks for such an excellent post, Jennifer!

    • Jennifer
      March 19, 2015 / 8:36 pm

      I completely agree with her and you! Casual is slipping down the drain to sloppy. Don’t get me started on the ripped jeans!! When will that trend die!!

  5. March 19, 2015 / 6:25 am

    Jennifer thank you so much for featuring our friend Elizabeth, her great style and panache! She is an inspiration always!

    The Arts by Karena
    A New Gallery in Town!

    • Jennifer
      March 19, 2015 / 8:40 pm

      She has more panache in her pinkie, than many women have in their whole hand!!xo

    • March 19, 2015 / 10:18 pm

      such a great word. Panache! and perfect for her! Brava!!!

      • Jennifer
        March 25, 2015 / 10:42 pm

        Yes it’s perfect!!

  6. March 19, 2015 / 6:33 am

    Oh, I love this new series! Wonderful idea. Elizabeth was the perfect woman to begin your series with. Her visual confidence is one to be admired. I love her take and suggestion on buying an item you like when you see it and then wearing it, no matter where that maybe, even if it’s just to the super market.

    • Jennifer
      March 19, 2015 / 8:41 pm

      Thanks Trina! Her comment further down is even more telling

  7. March 19, 2015 / 7:01 am

    Oh my god – me too! I should just head to the convent in my boring stuff. I’m in love with this woman! In love with her enthusiasm, smile, the lemons and the chickens! What’s not to love? And you posted this lovely ditty just in time for long awaited spring and summer colors. Bless you.

    • Jennifer
      March 19, 2015 / 8:47 pm

      You’re hilarious and so right Barb! Her heart is so wonderful, it eclipses her wardrobe! My summer clothes are boring too! Oy…

  8. March 19, 2015 / 7:10 am

    What a great post! I love the Contessa’s attitude and her style — and I look forward to seeing more of this series, a very good idea.

    • Jennifer
      March 19, 2015 / 8:50 pm

      Thanks Frances! She’s a unique and wonderful woman.

  9. March 19, 2015 / 7:25 am

    Wow! What style! And spectacular photos!

    I truly do believe if you have the confidence with which to carry yourself you can pull off anything.

    I also like the idea of being called a “creative dresser”. I would have considered myself in that category but then I read about the “loose clothing” “no waist” and that is not me.

    Will be sharing this post : )


    • Jennifer
      March 19, 2015 / 8:54 pm

      You definitely have “creative” in your style recipe!! We are all a combination of styles. Even I have it in small doses. Thanks Suzanne!!

  10. March 19, 2015 / 8:26 am

    What an inspiration Elizabeth is! I can’t possibly imagine what could be too young for her. Thanks for this post. It’s beautiful.

    • Jennifer
      March 19, 2015 / 8:56 pm

      Thank you Suzi! She’s inspiring and very confident about what works for her and what doesn’t!!

  11. jill
    March 19, 2015 / 8:37 am

    love everything about this post. although it is funny to read elizabeth’s voice without all the EMPHASIS! she is definitely an inspiration to us all. 🙂 xx

    • Jennifer
      March 19, 2015 / 8:58 pm

      Her EMPHASIS reflects her personality. When I first read her…I wondered what the capitals were all about…then I met her and realized it’s her zest for life!

      • March 19, 2015 / 10:21 pm

        perfectly said! She actually had a “COMPLAINT” about her caps..which I encouraged her to publish!! she had quite a response!!!!

        It does completely reflect her personality…..I mean PERSONALITY!!!!!

        what a wonderful post!!

        • Jennifer
          March 20, 2015 / 1:05 pm

          Thanks Penelope. She’s a wonderful friend and a class act all the way!

          • March 22, 2015 / 6:06 am

            Yes! Those capitals are exactly how she talks!! So much joy…

  12. March 19, 2015 / 8:50 am

    Ah the Contessa had a real flair and I read and enjoy her blog. That image of her in front of the Louvre reminds me of the cover of The Duchesse do Devonshire’s book…very clever.
    I could never carry off clothes like La Contessa is wearing, as I mentioned in my last post…I dress for my authentic self. Will look forward to more in this series…it’s going to be a fun one.

    • Jennifer
      March 19, 2015 / 9:01 pm

      Thanks Leslie! That photo shoot was truly amazing. I couldn’t wear her style either. It’s all about confidence…owning and wearing our personal style, confidently.

  13. March 19, 2015 / 8:55 am

    What a fun post! I love that opera coat!! Thank you for sharing. Love a woman with confidence and style!

    • Jennifer
      March 19, 2015 / 9:06 pm

      Thanks Elizabeth. It is amazing!

  14. March 19, 2015 / 9:58 am

    Beautiful woman, great pictures. Funny, I think people might call me a creative dresser, but lately at least, I don’t feel it. Perhaps it’s just winter and all these heavy sweaters and things? Ah, but I don’t think that would get in the way of a truly creative dresser. True sigh.


    • Jennifer
      March 19, 2015 / 9:09 pm

      Thanks Anita! It’s all about the mix we use in our personal style. You probably are a creative’s all in the mix that makes up our special style recipe.

  15. March 19, 2015 / 11:05 am

    Not sure I can do creative. It takes a certain personality to carry if off well.

    • Jennifer
      March 19, 2015 / 9:10 pm

      It does Jo!! I do small touches of it…but less lately.

  16. March 19, 2015 / 12:21 pm

    La Contessa has style ozing out of her fingertips. She’s the Auntie Mame you always wanted to meet. What ever she wears just works. You must also remember that her heart and intelligence is also larger than life. She is the whole package tied with a puple ribbon edged with leopard!

    • Jennifer
      March 19, 2015 / 9:12 pm

      Yes Sandra!! That’s why she’s the real deal!! I’ve never met anyone as authentically creative as her!! I know you know her, so you know!!

      • March 19, 2015 / 10:30 pm

        I completely agree! By the way, Elizabeth had a real “Auntie Mame”! (Elizabeth called her that!!) Katherine Abercrombie who lived a half a mile from me in Montecito; in my favorite house I have ever seen on this earth! (and I have seen a lot of them)!! The loveliest woman….most generous woman and most feminine and individual woman ever. she wore orange feathers! Elizabeth comes by this a bit genetically! Which takes nothing away from her creativity and confidence!

        she is a BONANZA of a person! And I have never said that about ANYBODY else in my life!!! It is the only word that works!!!! completely authentic BONANZA!!!!

        • Jennifer
          March 20, 2015 / 1:07 pm

          I’ve never met anyone like her and am proud to call her my friend!

    • March 19, 2015 / 10:35 pm

      What a fabulous description! And you and I have to have lunch! La Contessa has issued an order……and I already knew I would adore you even before you met her! I will be calling! Fortunately we live nearby!!!!!

  17. March 19, 2015 / 1:36 pm

    I adore her and her style. If I ever get to meet her I know how enchanted I would be. She’s awesome. And, I love this series, J. So interesting. Now that I’m back at work in a boutique it is amazing how “safe” most women play it. They don’t want to, they believe they must. Because they’ve always done it that way. I pluck something out of the racks once they’re in the fitting room and ask them to “just try it.” They smile, they laugh, they come out of the fitting room for everyone to see, we put jewelry on them, talk about where they’re going, and it’s wonderful to see the transformation. Then they come back over & over. xx’s

    • Jennifer
      March 19, 2015 / 9:15 pm

      It’s all about the confidence, isn’t it Marsha? Playing it safe is so boring but many of us do it. Yes,maybe amazing:) xoxo

  18. March 19, 2015 / 1:55 pm

    Introvert that I am, I don’t feel comfortable drawing attention to myself in how I dress. And yet, I think La Contessa is ABFAB and I just know I would adore her! What joie de vivre and style. I love that she is brave enough to express her individuality and not give a flip what people might say. And it seems most people would say….”Isn’t she terrific?”

    Lovely post, Jennifer.

    • March 19, 2015 / 2:15 pm

      Elizabeth has amazing style.
      As you said……..she’s authentic.
      La Contessa is the real deal xx Anita

    • Jennifer
      March 19, 2015 / 9:19 pm

      Thank you Barbara! I know you would love her. I don’t have the free spirit she has either. Her style is so honest and refreshing. And the real beauty is that her personality is the same.

    • March 19, 2015 / 10:38 pm

      Everyone I know and have seen with La Contessa says exactly that!!!
      “Isn’t she terrific??!!!”

      I guess that is surprising to some people!!!

      I have another friend who fits this bill! I will send her info to our hostess here! To know two in a lifetime is one lucky person!

      In a different way…..but the same spirit of “dressing creatively”!!!

      • Jennifer
        March 25, 2015 / 10:45 pm

        I’d love to know who you mean Penelope! There can not be two like Elizabeth! She is an original!

  19. March 19, 2015 / 3:37 pm

    Love your style blog. Great photos of such creative fashionistas. So nice to meet you at BAM.

    • Jennifer
      March 19, 2015 / 9:21 pm

      Thanks Judy:)! BAM was such an inspiring event, I loved meeting you too. See you next year!!

  20. March 19, 2015 / 5:58 pm

    YOU NAILED ME with your description of a CREATIVE DRESSER!I recognized myself immediately!THANK YOU this is so FUN.I hope I do not disappoint any of the ladies now!!Especially MARSHA!!
    THANK YOU all for your comments and just remember COCO said to take one piece off when you walk out that door!This CONTESSA says ADD just one more bangle or brooch or necklace……………….the weight will make you stand tall.Think of jewelry as a posture enhancement!Believe me it works!!!!!!!!!!XX

    • Jennifer
      March 19, 2015 / 9:26 pm

      Your accessory advice is priceless!! I wish I’d put it in my post! Thanks for letting me feature your confident style!. You are so inspiring to so many. xoxo

  21. March 19, 2015 / 7:36 pm

    This is such a wonderful post, Jennifer. The Contessa reminds me of Mme Mère, who would have LOVED that opera coat. She was, after all, an opera singer. These days, the opera is the only place you can see women “tirées à quatre épingles” (dressed to the nines).

    I can’t wait for the next installment, my dear friend.

    Cheers, M-T

    • Jennifer
      March 19, 2015 / 9:30 pm

      I really admire women who dress up for life. It makes such a difference in how we feel and how we are perceived. Your Mme Mere sounds amazing. It helps explain why you are so fabulous!
      Lets chat later this week. xoxo my gorgeous friend.

  22. Tamera Beardsley
    March 20, 2015 / 9:14 am

    Beautifully done my dear! You highlighted Contessa with style and panache! I so enjoy hearing ‘your voice’ in your latest posts! Happy Weekend dear! xoxo

    • Jennifer
      March 20, 2015 / 1:11 pm

      Thanks Tamera! Wishing you a glorious weekend my friend! xoxxo

  23. March 20, 2015 / 12:33 pm

    I think Elizabeth is a marvelous example of knowing one’s own style and owning it brilliantly. I adore her style, her spirit, her panache, and that she carries it off superbly.

    The key, it seems to me, is knowing what suits us – body, spirit, lifestyle – and living it.

    • Jennifer
      March 20, 2015 / 1:13 pm

      That is the key, and she’s nailed hers perfectly.

  24. Deborah Montgomery
    March 20, 2015 / 4:57 pm

    What fabulous style. She looks like she has loads of fun. Not my style, but I admire her confidence and joie de vivre.

    • Jennifer
      March 20, 2015 / 5:07 pm

      Not mine either, but it’s fabulous!!

  25. March 22, 2015 / 6:09 am

    Jennifer, I haven’t been online in the past few days but I am SO glad that I didn’t miss your perfect description of our friend and I will look forward to the rest of the series!

    • Jennifer
      March 25, 2015 / 10:46 pm

      I just had to start with Elizabeth! There’s no one like her. Beautiful inside and out. xo

  26. March 22, 2015 / 2:30 pm

    What a wonderful interview! Creative dressing is such an art. Thanks for sharing with visible Monday, xo.

    • Jennifer
      March 25, 2015 / 10:47 pm

      It is an art! I wish I has some more of it’s talent!!

  27. March 22, 2015 / 4:06 pm

    Hi Jennifer,
    I love the point you make at the beginning of the post about choosing a style that fits with each of us, not because we see it on someone else. Sometimes I am just so grateful to be a woman because of the wide style choices available to us, even at my age. I have found it a bit more difficult to find unique pieces that suit my age, but shopping is half the fun! I will look forward to your next installment! xx Nancy

    • Jennifer
      March 25, 2015 / 10:50 pm

      Thank you Nancy. Unique is one of the reasons I like to shop in boutiques rather than large retailers. I prefer not to look like eceryine else! It’s also a huge component of vintage shopping which I’ve yet to delve into successfully.

  28. Catherine
    March 23, 2015 / 10:34 am

    Hello Jennifer…I love your new series…La Contessa is such an inspiration and a wonderful model for me too 😉 thank you for sharing the photo…she has such style, class and elegance; a lovely portrait from one gracious lady to another. xx

    • Jennifer
      March 25, 2015 / 10:53 pm

      She is inspiring! She turns heads and hearts with her special take on life. xo

  29. March 25, 2015 / 8:17 am

    Jennifer wonderful post about our dear Elizabeth!! I’m late responding. Loved the interview and photos. She truly inspires one to dress up and have fun! Her home is the same. After our lunch I went home and thought how dull I am!!
    Xo Kim

    • Jennifer
      March 25, 2015 / 9:08 am

      Me too. My house looked so boring and my clothes! Forget about that. BORING!

  30. April 23, 2015 / 7:33 am

    Elizabeth makes me smile!! I actually adore her in that simple cashmere wrap in the last picture …her inner beauty shines!!

    • Jennifer
      April 23, 2015 / 7:45 am

      Me too! She’s so genuinely creative, it’s fun to be her friend.

  31. July 31, 2015 / 6:15 am

    Love this woman’s style spent a morning, nearly on her blog earlier this summer. FUN!

  32. Ashley - Modern Belle
    August 4, 2015 / 2:21 am

    Jennifer – thank you so much for showcasing Elizabeth. I love her sense of style and confidence. I am in LOVE with the red opera coat! Stunning photo! #stylefocus

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