How to style a 70s look

What’s that strange music and why do I feel like dancing?

I usually get a bit mad at my husband when we compare childhoods. He grew up in America during the glory days of the 60s and 70s. I hear him talk about going on family camping trips and cross country drives while staying at national parks and motels. He had a swimming pool in his back yard and all the regular toys of the times. Meanwhile, in China people didn’t have food, much less toys. I’m quite a bit younger than my husband but even with that, when I tell about the conditions where I grew up, he can’t believe it. He’s said more than once that it sounded like America in the times of the pioneers. Where I lived, in small villages in northeast China, we didn’t have running water or central heat. I never had a single doll. If I wasn’t going to bed hungry at the end of the day, I was pretty happy. Of course, when you’re a kid you don’t really know all these things. You still manage to have fun with your friends and find other things to play with. In the 70s, China was still a pretty poor country. But late in that decade things began to change. President Nixon visited and the country finally started to really open up to the rest of the world. It was the beginning of the new China. It would still be a long time before we saw westerners coming to vacation and work, and even longer before the economy started to explode but that was when the fuse was lit.

How to style a 70s look?
How to style a 70s look?

Back here in America in the 70s, it was the time of disco, flared pants, suede shoes and jackets and sleeveless dresses. Well guess what? They’re back! Fashion trends come and go and then come back. And that’s exactly what is now happening. This year, the 70s style is really hot. Today, I’m doing my take on recreating a 70s proper lady look. Although outside my house, the temperatures are bitter cold and the ground is still covered in snow, it’s time to think about spring. I’m not the only one around Michigan who’s had their fill. I’ve decided I will no longer participate in winter. Spring will be here, at least on the calendar, in just over a month from now. Close enough! We were just talking to my sister-in-law today. She lives in California and has saved some tomato seeds from several heirloom varieties she enjoyed. She’s going to send us some so we can get them going inside and then move them out to the garden once this arctic blast finally moves along. I love spring! The smells and colors after a long grey winter. It’s the season of gardens and birds. It’s also the best season to wear pastel colors. So for today’s post, I chose a soft light blue tweed dress. I love the simple cut and jeweled decoration at the collar. It really adds a touch of chic elegance to the dress. To stay with the pastel theme I used my light yellow boxy leather tote for a soft but colorful pop. Unfortunately I do still have to live in the reality of today’s weather so to keep me warm and heat up the color splash, I covered up with my Leopard print cardigan. It not only keeps the chill away but also added a fun, casual feeling.

Yellow tote
Yellow tote

The sleeveless dress left plenty of opportunity for some statement jewelry on my arms. I’ve said before that a cool bracelet can pull double duty as it plays off the jeweled collar on the dress while adding welcome color of its own. I’m always on the lookout for interesting, classic and of course affordable bling. Recently, I came across an online jewelry store called “My Arm Charms” and picked up a couple really cool bracelets from them. I liked the look of a lot of their products but you know how it is when you see things on the web. You can never be sure what you’ll get. So I figured I would just dip my toe into the water to check the quality. I’m pleased to report that my order was filled immediately and the quality is great! I love these types of bangles and usually pick them up at one of the local discount fashion brand stores. But there, I have no doubt I’d have to pay more to get less. And to go one better, I also just found out that MyArmCharms.com is hosting a giveaway this week. If you like what you see on my wrist, there’s little doubt that you’ll like it on yours. You can click here to see their offerings and enter the giveaway contest. Now I’ve got to go, my husband got his leisure suit from the cleaners and we’re going to the disco!

leopard cardigan
leopard cardigan
My Arm Charms bracelets
My Arm Charms bracelets
Blue tweet dress
Blue tweet dress
My Arm Charms Elephant drop charms bracelet
My Arm Charms Elephant drop charms bracelet
How to style a 70s look?
How to style a 70s look?

Blue dress @Nordstrom Rack
Leopard Cardigan @New York & Co.
Shoes @DSW
Strength Drop Charm Elephant & Davina Cable Cuff bracelets @My Arm Charms

Cheers!

Grace

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What to wear for a Chinese New Year party—Did someone say Party?

Last night was our annual Chinese New Year party. Since I’ve moved to America, my husband and I have hosted this event every year but one. That was three years ago and we were just in the process of moving to our new (for us) house. We were still living out of boxes and just couldn’t pull it off. I originally wanted to have these parties, just so I could keep a bit of China with me after I moved so far away. And as it turned out, our party became pretty popular. For one thing, Chinese New Year always falls somewhere from the middle of January to the middle of February. So it makes a nice diversion half way between the Christmas holiday season and the beginning of spring. Of course the other side of that is more often than not, we have some pretty nasty weather on that day. Last year was especially bad as the Detroit area was in the middle of the worst winter on record for snow. We had a LOT of leftovers that time!

What to wear for a Chinese New Year party
What to wear for a Chinese New Year party

We decorate our house, cook a lot of food and invite neighbors, friends, family and coworkers. We ask them to wear something red and some have even gotten traditional clothing. The first few years I tried to cook almost all of the food. How crazy was that? Eventually we got a bit smarter and we now order most of our dishes from a local authentic carryout place. I still make one or two of my specialties and we always ask our guests to bring a dish to share. That’s worked out great. Of course we all join in to make the traditional jiaozi or dumplings. This is a yearly activity and we encourage everyone to join in. In fact they all seem to love it. Fireworks are the norm for making noise to scare away the Nian monster, but they are a bit too exciting to use indoors in winter. So instead, we usually cover the floor with balloons that everyone helps to blow up. Then when we’re ready, we stomp on them all until every one is popped. You’d be surprised how silly a bunch of adults dressed for a party look when they’re jumping around trying to get that balloon before it scoots under a table. I’m thinking there may be a vine video here!

What to wear for a Chinese New Year party
What to wear for a Chinese New Year party

We’ve had other games and activities over the years, but usually people are pretty happy just to have the chance to chat, eat, drink, listen to Chinese music and unwind. Of course we usually have our party on the Saturday before the actual New Year so everyone can have a good time without worrying about getting up early the next morning. We try to save the real New Year’s Eve for a smaller family dinner. This holiday is all about family and back in China the trains, buses, airports and roads are packed with travelers trying to get home from the city to spend time with family and friends. That’s really the best thing about hosting the party. There’s a lot of work and time involved, but at the end of the night, you’re already home! And when there’s a fresh coating of snow on the roads and the temperature is way below freezing, that’s a nice place to be!

What to wear for a Chinese New Year party
What to wear for a Chinese New Year party

I hope you can share your experiences with hosting or going to a party. Would you rather have the work but be at your home when it’s all over or let someone else have the stress but you have to drive? Please leave a comment with your interesting party story!

What to wear for a Chinese New Year party
What to wear for a Chinese New Year party
What to wear for a Chinese New Year party
What to wear for a Chinese New Year party
What to wear for a Chinese New Year party
What to wear for a Chinese New Year party
What to wear for a Chinese New Year party
What to wear for a Chinese New Year party
What to wear for a Chinese New Year party
What to wear for a Chinese New Year party
What to wear for a Chinese New Year party
What to wear for a Chinese New Year party

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Beauty101byLisa

Cheers!
Grace

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Over 40s Petite fashion and life style blogger