Grace or Frankie? A Silk Scarf Experiment


Early in our relationship, I told Christian that I was looking forward to being a retired lady. My impression was that when you're older, you no longer have to ascribe to a work dress code, or really any dress code, and I was looking forward to wearing what I wanted whenever I wanted. 

I envisioned myself like the women of Advanced Style: fashionable and fun and out of the box. Christian took this to mean that I was planning on becoming an old "cat lady" who wore disheveled, mismatched clothes.

This misconception persisted for some time. Not just days, or even weeks, it lasted for years before it was righted. (Impressive that he stayed with me for so long, all while thinking that someday a switch would flip, and I'd become a crazy lady.) It came up in conversation eventually, and if I remember correctly, I used Iris Apfel as an example of a stylish older woman who wears just what she wants. 

Then, Grace and Frankie came out on Netflix. I LOVE Grace and Frankie. If you haven't seen it, it stars Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin as two 70-something women. Their husbands reveal that they've had a decades-long affair, and are leaving their wives to finally be together. That leaves Grace (Fonda) and Frankie (Tomlin) living together in their co-owned beach house. Grace is uptight, a bit snobbish, and very, very groomed. Frankie is the opposite. She's a painter who wears long, flowy dresses and clogs, and loves crystals and feelings. 

Christian came downstairs one day as I was watching it, paused for a second and said, "You want to be Frankie, don't you?" 

Let's get to it!


THE EVENT: A work and errands day. 

THE BROKEN RULE: This broken rule is new. There are many accessories that I believe I just couldn't pull off, (large hats, bow ties, regular ties, large earrings, the list can continue) and today's silk scarf is one of them. Because this rule encapsulates many items, let's begin by calling it:

Really, Rebecca? You cannot pull off (insert large accessory here.) 

THE OUTFIT: For this outfit, like Drake, I started from the bottom. I pulled on these black, cropped trousers because they were clean. The scarf was chosen: a square with a red, white and black geometric pattern. After circling my closet for some time, I decided on a denim button-up on top. I thought the denim might give the outfit the casual note it needed, and that the collar would act as an anchor for the scarf.

Then came the scarf tying. What an ordeal! My first thirty-or-so attempts made me look like a confused Boy Scout. Finally, I came up with the version you see here - it's sort of like a silk-scarf turtleneck. 

Shoes finished the outfit - I chose those new brown mules as another attempt to dress down the look. 

THE EXPERIENCE: While Christian is right, I do identify as more of a Frankie, this outfit made feel very, very Grace. I think the collared shirt and trousers (plus the scarf!!) are what pushed me over the edge. I felt like I should be attending a meeting at a country club. (Do country clubs have meetings?)


Grace is always sleek and well-tailored so, in this instance, I was frumpy Grace. Everything felt bunchy. UGH! Bunchy! The bane of my petite-but-curved existence! I felt like the version of Jane Fonda that never had a fitness empire! Let me tell you, not a great feeling. 

The real test for this outfit was Sephora. Our engagement photos are today (!!) and I needed mascara. I find Sephora's customer service to be stifling. Every time I've shopped there, every employee asks me multiple times if I need help and it overwhelms me. I just want to wear a t-shirt that says, "LEAVE ME ALONE" so I can peruse in peace. I always, ALWAYS receive a bizarre compliment: "Do you need any help? I love your shoe color." WHAT? Is this part of their training?

That being said, I knew that if no salesperson mentioned my scarf in Sephora than perhaps the scarf wasn't a success... 

Every salesperson asked me if I needed help (one lady asked FIVE times). Not one of them complimented the scarf.

THE CONCLUSION: I haven't figured out silk scarves yet, but I'm not giving up. (I never thought that I'd write that sentence...) 

Now that I've tried silk scarf a la Grace, maybe I need to consider how Frankie would wear a silk scarf. In her hair? Around her wrists? As some sort of fanny pack? Paint brush holster? Silk-scarf socks? I even have a Frankie-approved, tie dyed silk scarf patiently waiting in my closet for round two!

Do you watch Grace and Frankie? Are you a Frankie or a Grace? Or perhaps you're a Sol or a Robert? Let me know below. I'd love to chat about it. :)