Thursday, July 5, 2007

On the Steps…….Paris, France


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  1. Anonymous

    July 5, 2007 at 9:32 am

    this restores my faith in the capacity of french women to look really chic whenever they care to! so dĂ©suet, so individual, so stylish…

  2. Anonymous

    July 5, 2007 at 9:56 am

    Normally I feel that overalls shouldn’t be worn by anyone over the age of 3, but she actually succeeds in looking stylish-even elegant. I love her hair and her confident stance. I hope to look that good as I age. I’m in my mid-forties now and love seeing your pics of chic women in their fifties, sixties, seventies.

  3. Romeika

    July 5, 2007 at 10:11 am

    I love it when you post photos of elder people. She looks great.

  4. Anonymous

    July 5, 2007 at 11:03 am

    She looks fine in her grey hair. Maybe the overall could have been a size smaller-maybe a black wide belt would look nice too.

  5. Anonymous

    July 5, 2007 at 11:07 am

    Seriously, the overalls? They do not look chic on anyone. Now if she had been wearing a wide legged trouser jean, she would have been just as comfortable and look much better. JMHO.

  6. Anonymous

    July 5, 2007 at 11:41 am

    I met a French artist once who was wearing overalls and shyly said she looked “like a boy”…nothing farther from the truth! The attention to make-up, hair, and accessories tells me this was a deliberate choice. Check out the flats! This is a woman who knows her own style! Thanks again for posting pictures of older woman–at 52, I truly appreciate them!

  7. Anonymous

    July 5, 2007 at 11:42 am

    Her hair and make up are really lovely and that makes her stand out, but I’m not sure what’s so stylish about the overalls. Would she be considered stylish, or even noticed, if she was at a bus stop in Des Moines? I suspect not.

    I had the same thought about Carlo and his ratty suit that appeared a few days ago. Would you have taken his picture if you didn’t know who he was or if you had seen him outside a Rite Aid in Scranton? Does the context determine whether or not that suit, or these overalls, look chic or just sloppy?

  8. Anonymous

    July 5, 2007 at 12:05 pm

    overalls never look good on ANYONE…

  9. Phoebe

    July 5, 2007 at 12:15 pm

    Change the title to “On the Steps…..Lincoln, Nebraska,” and then decide if the outfit still has that certain something.

  10. t38

    July 5, 2007 at 12:15 pm

    I adore older people living free style!

  11. Anonymous

    July 5, 2007 at 12:23 pm

    It’s as if she’s never seen WilliamSledd’s Denim Edition. Perhaps he should translate it into French?


  12. lisa

    July 5, 2007 at 12:39 pm

    I think she looks really cool, chic even though she is old… stylish in her own way … good that she is not wearing any belt, that would have made the look tacky. just love her shoes!

  13. iopine

    July 5, 2007 at 1:04 pm

    Usually, that wash makes me cringe, and usually, overalls make me cringe.

    This isn’t cringe-inducing, however. Her mien, hair and peacoat save it.

  14. Anonymous

    July 5, 2007 at 1:15 pm

    I like the simplicity but find the overalls a bit condescending.

  15. The Galleryst

    July 5, 2007 at 1:26 pm

    I agree with a previous comment that the overalls should be smaller. I’m pretty sure that I don’t like them though. It looks like they were the last piece of clean laundry that she’s wearing while her clothes are being washed.

    It does prompt an interesting question on the value of context and landscape in fashion and style. Is someone in Kansas who wears a suit inherently more stylish than someone in Paris who wears overalls? Is one more affected than the other? Or is it just a sign of the times and the trend towards more and more casual dressing as a way to dress “creatively” that we would even be having a conversation of whether overalls are appropriate in Paris?

  16. Anonymous

    July 5, 2007 at 1:27 pm

    ya know, at first glance i was a little taken aback by the older woman in overalls but i have to admit, im absolutely loving this on her!

  17. cordelia

    July 5, 2007 at 2:14 pm

    Can’t help thinking how much nicer she would look if she used some color in her hair. But that’s me. I can’t get used to white hair, even when I tell people (women) that it’s all right for them. I respect them and don’t want to be critical, but I HATE it. The last frontier. An obstacle to freedom? Rather a sweet, refined, feminine tool, just some little streaks… et voilĂ !

  18. Alison

    July 5, 2007 at 2:20 pm

    I feel like you’ve photographed this woman before…

  19. lewehrman

    July 5, 2007 at 2:39 pm

    She makes the overalls so chic with the ballet flats and shrunken peacoat. I am very inspired. I have worn overalls from time to time and tried to reinvent them in a chic way. I am awed.

    I think that her and Renata would be friends. They would have dined at La Coupole back in the day with Yves, Pierre, Lou Lou, Betty and all the rest. Sigh.

  20. SKJ

    July 5, 2007 at 2:59 pm

    This is EXACTLY how i want to age. Informal elegance…. not to mention cool.

  21. Anonymous

    July 5, 2007 at 3:39 pm

    How on earth did she DO it? She looks fantastic and there is no reason I can articulate for why she should. Those clothes? On a woman of that age? And she looks really really wonderful.

  22. Rina

    July 5, 2007 at 3:59 pm

    Being honest, she looks great ALTHOUGH she wears an overall.

  23. foodie415

    July 5, 2007 at 4:42 pm

    She’s very subversive!

  24. Jim

    July 5, 2007 at 5:21 pm

    Isn’t this the same woman you considered for “Sartorialist of the Year” last fall? You posted her photo at; she was wearing a cardigan, as I recall, and look tres elegant.

  25. SartoriallyAddicted

    July 5, 2007 at 5:30 pm

    …and you think baggy overalls on a women paired with a black peacoat in the summer is webworthy because….

  26. missx

    July 5, 2007 at 5:45 pm

    Her hair is beautiful and inspirational… anyway, I notice that a lot of people don’t seem to like her overalls. I admit they do look a bit big and ill fitting in the picture, but I think it’s just the stance (ie her feet on different steps). Perhaps if she was standing normally, they would look a bit slimmer and more flattering?

  27. editor

    July 5, 2007 at 6:05 pm

    as a proponent of the overall, i am especially happy to see it on an older woman who is wearing it as part of her urban uniform. while i do appreciate, visually, the contrast achieved, i am never a fan of this wash though.
    the arguments being made that it’s her location that earns her style any validity is… obvious. and here’s the thing – she’s not in the middle of the US. she’s in a european city and she chose to wear overalls with sophisticated, yet consistently comfortable pieces (shoes and jacket).
    tres chic

  28. Anonymous

    July 5, 2007 at 6:29 pm

    I really like how she chose to wear the pea coat-style jacket with the overalls. Very country-meets-city-esque.

  29. simply olive

    July 5, 2007 at 7:01 pm

    if your posting photographs of paris, why an overalled woman? i can walk down any midwestern small town and see this…

  30. Anonymous

    July 5, 2007 at 7:18 pm

    Like a few others, I do think that you’ve photographed this woman before…. and as before, she looks very together. I’m not a fan of overalls or jeans but this works.

  31. easylowdown

    July 5, 2007 at 7:50 pm

    Ah those overalls. And with the little black jacket! Perfect without even trying. Though… that haircut wasn’t cheap. Yeah. She sure as hell knows what she’s doing.

  32. Anonymous

    July 5, 2007 at 7:55 pm

    Lisa, older would have been nicer than old. This femme is beautiful.

  33. M-

    July 5, 2007 at 8:17 pm

    ok sart
    i am starting to get concerned about what you consider sartorial.

  34. Carlene

    July 5, 2007 at 8:28 pm

    Nope, you probably won’t see a woman in overalls walking down most small town midwestern streets. Trust me. Overalls are too “butch” for most of the midwest. Unless they are stonewashed overall shorts worn by pregnant people. You *can* see plenty of women, of all ages, in low-rise too-small jeans with muffin tops and fake tans, though. Come visit.

  35. rollergirl

    July 5, 2007 at 8:32 pm

    Wow, she looks totally cool. Is it the hair? I think it’s the mix of everything…that’s what those guys who are criticising the overall are missing. It’s not just the overalls, it’s the whole look. So you actually wouldn’t see this exact look at a bus stop in Des Moines. (So there!)

  36. Anonymous

    July 5, 2007 at 8:54 pm

    This is the same outfit I wore in Paris in my twenties – except I had motorcycle boots – and I always felt just right in it. I loved those overalls. Changing the shoes totally changes the whole outfit, though. I love it! Next time I go to Paris, it will be flats.

  37. Anonymous

    July 5, 2007 at 8:58 pm

    I totally agree with Anon 11:42- context seems to be everything. I mean, this woman looks exactly like my Mom. Don’t get me wrong, I think my Mom has her chic moments. But you could roam the woods of Upper Michigan and see 100 more like her.

    That being said, she looks cute….. Cuz my Mom is cute.

  38. Anonymous

    July 5, 2007 at 9:15 pm

    teehee, i’m having visions of petite parisian women swarming through kansas in overalls.

    that said, i don’t like that wash of denim on anything. but i do think she demonstrates an interest way to war all those jumpers, jumpsuits, and one piece items of clothing that are out there these days. the peacoat adds just a touch of structure that i like.

  39. fawn

    July 5, 2007 at 9:19 pm

    she has a great devil-may-care attitude! if one were to meet her in person, the overalls could probably go unnoticed. but… they’re so baggy and ill-fitting. the idea of her telling her boudoir maid (because of course she has one) in the morning, “put out les overalls, bien sur!” almost makes it okay, though.

  40. Anonymous

    July 5, 2007 at 11:53 pm

    This is THE BEST I have ever seen anyone wear overalls! I remember when I was pregnant and nothing fit and someone told me to just wear overalls and I cried for hours at the thought! Isn’t this the same woman you photographed last year wearing a black or navy cardigan slung over the shoulders?

  41. Anonymous

    July 6, 2007 at 12:18 am

    I agree that the certain something comes with the (known) location and guessed profession of this lady. Love her confident and natural stance.
    Sart, you make me believe that style and fashion can exist no matter what gender, size or age you have. Thank you for that and keep on doing this!

  42. HervertVonHeimen

    July 6, 2007 at 1:49 am

    If she only wears this once then it’s unique and therefore chic. If she wears it more than once it’s vomit time.

  43. Anonymous

    July 6, 2007 at 2:18 am

    how could you say that she should color her hair! it is so chic. well done grey and white hair has so much more style than boring, over processed, colored hair. her hair looks amazing.

  44. Stylish

    July 6, 2007 at 3:34 am

    I just love your photos!

  45. Maylis

    July 6, 2007 at 3:56 am

    It is not what you wear but how you wear it: the overall with the jacket + ballerinas would look good on anybody with her build,attitude and looks.Her age is irrelevant, and I resent the ageism in many of your comments.

  46. Anonymous

    July 6, 2007 at 4:09 am

    My first take was that this was cringe-inducing and only considered chic since she’s in Paris. But when I thought about it, fashion is a way of expressing yourself. I like how she comes across as fun and that she doesn’t take herself too seriously. I prefer this to the many women in Prada, Gucci, etc., who buy a design and show no creativity or character in their fashion.

  47. Pistachio Of Liberty

    July 6, 2007 at 5:03 am

    missx, you are right on. I have been a big employer of overalls, and I think it’s the stance that makes that crotch-al area too large to be flattering. While not a fan of the “wash”, a very worn pair will thin and a large pair will drape [in fact, I don't like that long stiff line the metal zipper creates so I remove it and stitch up the fly. It's not like a woman needs one!]

    I guess I see where she was going with the high/low and all that, but I still like mine scaled differently – with a tiny camisole and a little chunk of a boot (my husband always claims I am most adorably sexy in such an emsemble). To me this feels like a straw cowboy hat with a tuxedo, too arch.

  48. daniqueconijn

    July 6, 2007 at 5:05 am

    ohhh this is just great!!
    just because everybody thinks overalls are ugly…
    this lady is wearing it wonderfully and she looks so fantastic with the little coat over it..
    i just love it!
    the little shoes are perfect too..

  49. Linda

    July 6, 2007 at 7:32 am

    She looks great! She also looks totally comfortable and secure with a style that’s quite unusual for a woman in her age. She’s true inspiration – and that for a woman in any age. I would love to see more photos of women and men in her age.

  50. william d. anderson

    July 6, 2007 at 7:36 am

    thanks for posting this. i like that you continually put up pics that encourage people to really consider what works and what doesn’t. the feeback is very interesting. between this, the old guy with the red socks, and the young guy smoking a pipe. i say the guy with the pipe clearly takes the prize for “beyond fashion.” but this is a close second. its an interesting thing she’s doing…but this illustrates why its important dress your age. and if not, at least make sure it fits.

  51. editor

    July 6, 2007 at 8:44 am

    gotta say, the comments about the overalls being ill-fitting are … maybe not being made by women in their 60s and 70s. the body changes. is she supposed to have a nipped in waist?
    i’m also pretty pleased that overalls were one of my 34 pieces, and remained a staple for me after that project, prior to seeing this pic. i’m not letting go of them anytime soon – looks like i have another … 40+ years to enjoy them. ;)

  52. Anonymous

    July 6, 2007 at 8:46 am

    I would LOVE it if Sart did a little experiment. He could take photos of Americans from all over the place, including the Midwest, and change the locations to say “NYC” or “Paris” or “Rome” or “Berlin” and everyone lauded the attire and fashion and then he could say “just kidding, it’s not Paris, it’s Omaha!”. Lol……GENIUS!
    Sart, feel free to use that.

  53. Anonymous

    July 6, 2007 at 9:29 am

    I can’t find the shot for the life of me, but I believe the reason this woman looks somewhat familiar is because she resembles a beautiful older woman dressed in all dark colors with a very intense gaze (and lovely bone structure, as many people commented) that you shot on a Paris street many months ago.
    Also… I’ve been loving overalls for years and this shot has just given me the best inspiration yet!

  54. chloe

    July 6, 2007 at 9:37 am

    I totally rocked this look when I was in high school…hmmm…..

    And yet, because she’s French she looks so much cooler than I ever did. Plush her hair is fabulous…092104girl

  55. Anonymous

    July 6, 2007 at 9:39 am

    Dearest Sart, Thank you for honoring the unique amongst us.

    As for those nay-sayers who suggest that if this classic, elegant, individualist was in Lincoln, Nebraska (as though Lincoln, Nebraska is an insult) she would not have been worthy of the shot:

    1. I have visited Lincoln Nebraska, and I can tell you that you will find interesting, quirky folk there; and:
    2. She has the elan to dress as who she is, which is the point of your photo. She is an individual, a unique being who feel comfortable in her skin. Period.

    She’s a relief. Thank you. xoxox, as always, Lady

  56. Anonymous

    July 6, 2007 at 9:44 am

    PS: I forgot to mention to the writer who disparaged “Carlo in his ratty suit”: That “ratty suit” is the whole point! I love that suit, and his elegance in wearing it, and his great respect for it…and love. He is wearing his past, and maybe the family past, history of himself and people he loves, whether with us or past. Such reverence and respect! I am so touched, Sart by your recognition and understanding. He is a CLASS act and one of YOUR BEST shots because of your understanding and intution. I am so touched…perhaps more touched by this photo than any other. xoxo, as always, lady

  57. Jim

    July 6, 2007 at 11:13 am

    Here she is from last fall; this is what I and others were remembering. (I had to reload that page several times to see the photo; maybe it’s just my browser . . .)

  58. Anonymous

    July 6, 2007 at 12:38 pm

    Frankly, I am surprised by such a complete lack of vision by so many fashion enthusiasts! This woman has so much more style than Anna Della Russo or her asst. It is really not that hard to shop out of lookbooks. I grew up in the South and have family from Chicago and I’ve seen a few overalls in my day.

    Not a one looked remotely like this in overalls.

  59. Anonymous

    July 6, 2007 at 3:55 pm

    Of course the context matters!

    The difference between a five year old wearing overalls on a farm and a grown women wearing overalls in Paris is that the former is an obvious, practical choice, and the latter is an unexpected, stylistic choice.

    Whether you like the look or not, it’s not ‘just overalls’.

  60. editor

    July 6, 2007 at 4:21 pm

    outstanding find jim.
    now ‘fess up sart. how did you just happen to bump into the same woman? who is she?

  61. Anonymous

    July 6, 2007 at 7:37 pm

    all that I can say is WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW

  62. Anonymous

    July 6, 2007 at 9:05 pm

    Thanks to Carlene and the others who attempted to defend Midwestern fashion. I rarely see women in overalls here in Iowa. (Yes, Iowa.)

    Having said that…I agree that her attitude is what makes this outfit work. That and her gorgeous hair. Coloring that hair would be a crime.

  63. jericho

    July 7, 2007 at 1:59 am

    CARPENTER PANTS??? Luckily for this madame, she has pulled of the impossible and manged to look effectively chic in them.
    Carpenter pants are like Fanny packs: Impossible and most of the times lame.

  64. Anonymous

    July 7, 2007 at 3:20 am

    I’d like to know more about this woman. What does she do? How does she do it?

    – desertwind

  65. Anonymous

    July 7, 2007 at 8:00 am

    Jim- exactly the photo I was thinking of. Both are great photos and again, she has style without spending alot of money on expensive clothing. Her personality shines right through with her sense of creativity.

  66. Torben

    July 7, 2007 at 12:08 pm

    I wrote a comment to this post which Sartorialist must have chosen to not accept, since it’s not here. And this is not the first time it’s happened!

    I think it’s a problem that you bias your comments on your blog! Most are positive comments, and very few negative. I was constructive and gave my honest opinion without offending or being too harsh. Even though I love this blog for it’s picture content, I am extremely disappointed that there is no room for true freedom of speech and that you delete the comments that doesn’t suit your profile.

    No wonder that it’s become a popular blog. Had it included all the negative posts, all the critical ones you’ve erased over the timespan of this blog, I think we would have had a more true look at what peoples opinions are. I don’t get why you and so many other fashion people are so scared of criticism. But, I’ve probably just wasted 10 minutes of my time and energy on writing this, which will be moderated out of existance, since it puts you in a bad light and speaks the truth.

  67. Anonymous

    July 7, 2007 at 12:26 pm

    Concerning the question of where the picture is taken…

    This woman would have been stunning in Des Moines as well!

    The mix makes it beautiful. One can find people with overalls in any god-forsaken backwater town, but none would combine it with a conservative steel-gray haircut and a black coat.

    Would that they did.


    July 7, 2007 at 5:59 pm

    I have three pairs of Big Star overalls tucked away somewhere for the sole reason of wearing them when I’m seventy or so… this picture proves my it.

  69. Fab50Plus

    July 8, 2007 at 10:10 am

    Okay, I would have said that there is absolutely no way to make overalls look good – once again life proves to me that I know virtually nothing!

    She looks fabulous! The super casual overalls with the more tailored ballet flats, coat and immaculate hair – and the look on her face that says “Here’s who I am right now – take it or leave it!”


  70. Anonymous

    July 8, 2007 at 3:11 pm

    That looks really cute! She looks fashionable in it!

  71. Anonymous

    July 8, 2007 at 4:18 pm

    she rocks.she’s comfortable, feminine
    and classy!A woman with grey hair is not afraid of aging!super cool!

  72. Anonymous

    July 8, 2007 at 4:22 pm

    This woman would look elegant wearing rags! It is her overall refinement that does it — the haircut, the jewelry, the grace of her posture, the intelligence of her expression. What is so obvious is that she has chosen to make an explicit, ironic contrast between the elegance of everything else she is wearing with the overalls. Only someone with great confidence in her sense of style could pull this off.

    What she has done is tranformative — taken something rather ordinary in the US, and made it look utterly new and exotic because it is so out of context in her world. After all, overalls in Nebraska or Kansas might be commonplace at the mall, (and would look like what they are — something to throw on with an old T-shirt and flipflops), they are undoubtedly far more rare in Paris.

    And, no doubt she is aware of the loose fitting pants many designers have shown recently — I think Yamamoto, in particular, would love this outfit.

    This look is no accident — it is well thought out by a sophisticated woman who not only has great personal style, but a sense of fun as well, and maybe that is the magic ingredient!

  73. Damselfly

    July 8, 2007 at 7:06 pm

    My mother has recently decided to allow her hair to go grey…and I support her choice. This is proof that a woman allowing herself to be her age can be freeing and stylish at the same time!

  74. The Sartorialist

    July 8, 2007 at 7:35 pm

    for torben
    please email me what you wrote in your comment and I will tell you exactly why i didn’t post it.

    I’m consistently shocked by what people think they have the right to say about other people.

    most times when i tell people why i didn’t post it they understand that maybe it was less than polite

    I am not afraid of criticism-i’m not try to sell you anything- but I will not abide the outright rudeness some people think they have the “right” to unleash on others.

    are you really going to tell me that there is not both postive and negative comments on this post?

  75. Anonymous

    July 8, 2007 at 7:50 pm

    I have been reading this blog for about a year and the comments have become more and more negative and just rude. Remember that super duper stylish Dior Homme Femme that many posters felt threatened by and was then removed? Discussion of fashion in a positive environment is what separates this blog from so many others or at least it used to a lot more. I don’t feel like it is skewed or censored for dissenting opinions, just nastiness.

    If you want to trash people, go post on Perez Hilton!

  76. Katherine

    July 8, 2007 at 8:58 pm

    I’ve read comments that I thought seemed pretty harsh, or over-critical, so I was a bit surprised when it seemed like my comments were filtered out when at least one of them had only positive remarks. I was wondering if you could do me the same favor as Torben. Sorry for being a pain in the ass. Always love the photos, even when I don’t dig the outfits.

  77. rollergirl

    July 9, 2007 at 2:37 pm

    Well…to the people who are miffed that their negative comments don’t get used, I find on other blogs (like who,what,wear daily) where there are lots of negative comments, I don’t really read them. I like this blog because it makes me feel good. If I have a negative comment I prefer to keep it to myself. And Sart, I won’t care if you don’t post this comment because it’s not really about what she’s wearing (I’ve already commented on that)!

  78. Anonymous

    July 11, 2007 at 7:51 pm

    “I’m consistently shocked by what people think they have the right to say about other people.”

    Isn’t this exactly what the fashion industry has done (directly and indirectly) to people for years: told us that we need to be thin, we’re too frumpy, we need this season’s “it” bag or that pair of shoes to be truly stylish, need to color our hair, hide our blemishes (hello, Photoshop, surgery, and makeup), have bigger chests, get suctioned, get tanned, etc., etc.? Imagine how those people feel, whose photos appear in a fashion don’t spread in a magazine. Or people who get clowned on shows like WNTW.

    And haven’t we all done the same thing to the fashion houses and designers? They think they’ve created a fashion masterpiece, only to find that most regular folks can’t/refuse to buy it, and it ends up on some clearance rack or in some discount store begging to be taken home at a rock bottom price. And we all go, “What were they thinking?!?!”

    The truth is that we all judge one another’s outward appearances and fashion choices all of the time. This happens at work and at play. And oftentimes other people can see our good, bad, and ugly choices better than we can see them ourselves. I think that the true offense lies in not learning from the experience – good, bad, or indifferent.

    Take this woman for example. IMHO she is an attractive older woman with great features and hair. She is clearly taking a fashion risk, and expressing herself. I don’t think that the overalls flatter her figure at all, and that there are way better options for her out there, especially in Paris. I have nothing personal against her, but I just feel that her outfit doesn’t do her justice. She’s beautiful, and I want her to highlight her assets, not hide them in denim. Shouldn’t we all strive to help one another look our best?

  79. timecrumples

    July 11, 2007 at 8:01 pm

    Love the look, and that she’s a chic older woman. Is this part of the deconstruct of the sleek body outline? The less there is around us the more we gather on our bodies?

  80. Anonymous

    July 13, 2007 at 4:06 am

    i love overalls!!! thank you!

  81. Anonymous

    July 19, 2007 at 8:54 pm

    The overalls must go!! A beautiful woman should look accentuate her beauty…this does not work.

  82. Anonymous

    April 3, 2008 at 10:40 pm

    the point is not that she wants to look chic in overalls. she isnt trying to be stilish – she isn’t trying at all.

    she’s just saying, to hell with it, im wearing overalls, and because of my impeccably effortless beauty, i look just that: beautiful.

    she doesnt need anyones approval.

  83. Anonymous

    August 23, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    This woman looks great in overalls. I love overalls. Woman look great wearing a long sleeve shirt, turtleneck or sweatshirt with overalls. Overalls have lots of pockets. She has her hand in one of the front pockets. I wear overalls all the time and keep my hands in the front pockets.

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