I was in bed feeling sorry for myself last week with an upset stomach and sore throat.  Then the mail came and I started to perk up.  There it was – the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale catalog with, as the cover said, “The Newest Fashion Now” with all the new looks for Fall 2010.

As I turned the pages smiles came to my face.  Oh, how I loved all the Fall fashions. Each outfit was nicer than the next.  I wanted them all (well, not technically every single thing in the catalog, but there was almost one thing I liked on every women’s attire or accessories page and I also liked the men’s clothes and accessories pages too, for my son D that is, so he can be a trendsetter this Fall too.)

I quickly sent a text to my daughter A (instead of calling, so as not to upset my sore throat.) The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale catalog is here and I love EVERYTHING!  And the sale is so GREAT! A quickly sent a text in return saying she was looking at the same catalog and agreed.  “We must go shopping this weekend when I come home,” said A.

I studied each page.  Yes, no.  No, yes.  What will be appropriate for my 50+ year old body?  Can I wear some of these new looks for Fall? Yes, no. No, yes, yes. But, why doesn’t Nordstrom use any mature models in their catalog, especially when they are showing Misses size clothing? Everyone looks like they are twentysomething.

Despite my negativity about the lack of mature models, and despite my upset stomach and sore throat, I was determined to learn more about these new Fall Fashions.  Soooo, off to Nordstrom, A and I went on Saturday afternoon, with catalog in hand (which I will say was not in great shape after being woman-handled for three days.)

“You must have a Nordstrom credit card to access the gray tents and pre-order,” said the nice saleswoman.  “Okay,” I replied very quickly.  “Where do I sign?”  (Earlier in the day mind you, I had asked my boyfriend L who is a financial advisor, about how much money I needed to save for retirement. That question quickly went out the window as I entered the gray tents around the store.  I’ll save more next month I decided. Today, I’m going to live in the moment or live as though it is Fall 2010.)

From the bottom up: First, we entered the shoe tent. Ooh, ooh, ooh.  A bought a pair of cuffed black suede boots. “They look fabulous,” said the nice saleswoman. A also bought the second pair of black studded leather booties when we returned on Sunday to shop for her brother D. No boots for me – at my age I cannot wear the heels, nor do I want any studs around my feet. Instead, I picked out an embellished pair of purple suede ballet flats. “They look so cute on you,” said the nice saleswoman.  “And they will go great with jeans,” said A. “You should buy them.”  And so I did.

The ultimate utility: A and I both liked the same trench coat. Could we, should we, dare we, both get the same DKNY black coat? Unfortunately, Utility Chic, as the trend goes, was more fitting on A than on me.  Everything looks good on A.  “It fits you so well and with a coat like this you can wear it all year round,” said the nice saleswoman. “You should buy it,” I told A, “It’s such a sale.” And so she did.

Work it, work it, work it: It was my turn next.  I wanted to try on some of the “polished wardrobe builders declared effortlessly stylish and easy on my budget.”  Into the dressing room I went, with several three-quarter sleeve cardigans adorned with trendy decorative details  (I bought the purple and black ones) and two pencil skirts in eggplant and olive (I am a writer, I should wear pencil skirts.) 

“Buy the more form-fitted petite size,” said A.

“Really?” I said, “Are you sure the petites aren’t too tight?”

According to Kim Johnson Gross, author of “What To Wear For The Rest of Your Life,”eighty percent of women are wearing the wrong size, which makes you look older and heavier.” (I don’t want to be one of those women, so I bought the petite skirts.)

Must accessorize:  While I’m not a BIG fan of the BIG Satchel bags, I did purchase a BIG wide patented leather belt, which will give my waist the right amount of cinch to make my skirt and sweater a real trendy outfit this Fall…just like the model in the catalog.  As for a Fall handbag, I did find one of the newest drawstring bags in my favorite wine color.  It wasn’t too large or too small.  It was just the right size for my frame.  (Stop, wait, hold on, I told myself.  Not today.  Steven by Steve Madden must wait, even if it is named “Tulip” shopper, after one of my favorite flowers. I was a good boomer girl. I didn’t buy it….yet!)

A and I left the store with more than we had planned.  We also returned the next day to outfit her brother D with the newest Fall trends for men – all on sale. 

“Don’t those jeans look amazing on D?” said A.

“Hmm, hmm, hmm, are you going to shorten them, or does the pant leg just hang way below the sneaker?” I asked politely.

“That’s the style, MOM,” said A.

What does mom know?   I’m so glad that style consultant Sherrie Mathieson emailed to tell me about her style books.  I may need to buy copies.  Sherrie’s website says that Steal This Style is “the perfect guide for the fun enterprise of borrowing from younger generations (pieces that are hip yet appropriate) as well as past generations (classic items that are forever cool) – and attaining great style in the process. ”  Sherrie also has another book for boomers  called Forever Cool, that the New York Times Book Review said is “dedicated to the over-50 set (both women and men) who are looking for what’s comfortable, appropriate–yet hip.”

One more thing, do you know 47% of those who responded to the June InStyle Readers’ Poll said that they “feel sexiest the moment they put on beautiful new clothes.” 

Is it Fall yet? Is it Fall yet? Is it Fall yet?  Can’t wait to put on my beautiful new clothes!

Wait, wait, wait, one more thing, do you know that 30% of those who responded to the June InStyle Readers’ Poll also said that they “feel sexiest the moment they get the perfect haircut.”

So glad my hairstylist J gave me a great haircut on Friday afternoon.