Currently Viewing: Advanced Style

I have to start by saying that I’m not a huge fan of the blog on which this film is based.  Advanced Style was started several years ago by a young man, Ari Seth Cohen, as a street style blog featuring stylish older people.  The blog became successful, partly due to some of the characters that Cohen featured.  Somewhere along the way the emphasis turned from individual style to style eccentrics, and at that point I pretty much lost interest in Advanced Style.

Cohen and his featured ladies have gone on to become media stars, with an Advanced Style book and documentary.  I wasn’t really interested in watching the film, but I’ve had a recent unfortunate encounter with a nasty cold germ, and so Netflix has become my best friend.  After two days of Miss Fisher, Poiret, and Miss Marple, I was ready for something other than murder, so when I noticed that Netflix was now streaming Advanced Style, I decided to just watch it.  The worst that could happen was that it would put me to sleep.

I’m happy to say that I did not go to sleep and that I found the film to be very enjoyable.  Yes, it did feature older women dressed in a way that most of us would have no desire of dressing, but the point made by the women themselves was not that it was important for them to look “kooky” but it was important that they dress to satisfy themselves.

For most of us, that would not mean putting on bright red eyelashes every day, or wearing a hat that could in no way be over-looked by other people on the street.  What it means is that older women (and men too, of course) should feel free to base their clothing choices on what makes them feel happy.

For many of us I suspect that it might be that we want to be a bit more “put together” in this dress-down casual world of ours.  An Advanced Style attitude would say to wear the dress, even though everyone else at the event will be wearing slacks.  Wear the skirt and sweater though all the other women will be in capris and tee shirts.

After watching the film I decided to give the blog a new look, and was happy to see  that some of the old format has returned.  There were photos of stylish people found on the street, not just Cohen’s “superstars”.  It’s great seeing older people with all kinds of personal style again being given the Advanced Style spotlight.

20 Comments

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20 responses to “Currently Viewing: Advanced Style

  1. The eccentrics don’t interest me as much as ordinary people — and often, the “stars” are obviously living on a much bigger budget than most seniors. But lately Cohen has featured more women I can identify with.

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  2. I remember falling in love with the blog a couple years back, but you are so right, it did transition to eccentrics, and I too tuned out.

    So glad to hear the doc is on Netflix! Like you I have caught a nasty cold, and have been resigned to the sofa and TV as company, so I’ll have to check it out!

    Also happy to hear the blog has returned to old ways!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I ran across these charming seniors a while back….but did not know how to find them again. I enjoyed every bit of your write-up Liz…thanks.

    How would I look up the blog…I think I would injoy it also. Anyone, know what I should Google. Thanks.

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  4. Thank you, Lizzie, for watching the documentary and writing your thoughts about it. I’ve also read the blog on & off, but didn’t take the time to analyse why. You hit it! Now might give the film a try.
    del

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  5. i have been around “eccentric” women and men all of my life…i often wondered if their way of dressing-and-living was a refusal to change with the times…-or- a comfort zone they prefered? knowing them personally it never occured to me to really question motives…i finally decided it was merely just a way of creative self expression/”this is really who iam” sort of thing..iworked for a “great Lady” designer who always wore vintage Chanel -pretty much all of the time -after a while i just decided it was her way of saying “i am comfortable – and this is / was / is me – and who i am- i – never- questioned her – and we were close..i was her assistant!?..i loved it – and her for it!

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  6. Me too-horrible flu-now recovered. Tuned out AS blog because of the eccentrics, will start following now. Thanks Lizzie!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh yes,I’ve enjoyed clips of these colorful denizens of city life. Now I must pull up a chair and spend an hour with them xo

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  8. You’re spot on Lizzie. I’m interested in seeing older ladies who simply have amazing style – not just the eccentrics – although being English, there’s nothing wrong with the odd eccentric or three!

    Being able to put an outfit together with style, shows creative flare and a sense of individuality. It’s a shame that we live in such a casual, dressed-down world today, although I’m sure we can all make the effort when we go out for lunch or in the evening.

    I love seeing older people wearing trendy gear. Dame Judy Dench was on a talk show last week, wearing a leather biker jacket and had her hair cropped very short – she looked wonderful. I definitely won’t be throwing out my own biker jacket once I hit 60 . . . . or 70 . . . .!! 🙂

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  9. A dear pal just gave me an Iris Apfel magnet and I’ve got her hanging right near me, reminding me not to wait until I’m older to be fabulous in dress, but to start right now. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Well, I tried watching the film with my husband and he balked after just a few minutes, saying that everyone seemed to be wearing clown outfits. But I will watch it myself, and I have followed the blog since I discovered it many years ago. One thing that did bother me, though, was the almost predatory way he followed some women on the street. In some cases when he finally caught up with someone and gave them a closer glance, he quickly turned away. It was as if he was saying, “You’re old but not interesting.” Ouch.

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  11. Lynn, I think you have hit on an issue here: that if you are an older woman, you should be eccentric or at least wildly interesting before someone younger will take notice or even listen to what you have to say. Up to that point you may as well be invisible. To me, it’s a veiled form of ageism.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Morning Waters

    I found the blog 2 years ago and it has inspired me to kick it up a notch. I have gotten a number of wonderful stylish pieces at local thrift stores, including an amazing carmel colored cashmere coat for $25.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Nancy

    I just watched the documentary as well and enjoyed it. I occasionally go through the blog. I enjoy the eccentric dressers. I enjoy eccentric dress in young people as well so I don’t have a problem with him focusing on those types. I agree with the other commenter it did seem sort of creepy when he approached some people.

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  14. Duana

    There’s not such a fine line between looking like a clown and looking fabulous! I vote for the latter.

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