Judith Boyd keeps a blog called Style Crone, dedicated to the idea that reaching the half-decade mark shouldn't imply the end of life for women over fifty. "Cherish your inner crone" is her credo, and Boyd herself is her own poster girl: Somewhere in her sixties, she's gorgeous, with the kind of slim, angular shape that was ordained by the gods to have elegant clothing hanging off of it. Boyd sells vintage clothing out of her studio and, in another of her lives, is a nurse who makes stylish head wraps for women undergoing chemotherapy. Boyd, it goes without saying, stood out in a crowd of well-costumed folks last Friday night at the Denver Modernism Show. She wore a long, flowing vest over a powder blue sleeveless top and tapered crops, with a pale blue vintage handbag to match, hoop earrings and open-toed heels showing bright red nails. But it was her delightful toque, cast at a jaunty angle, that set the whole thing off. The hat, it turned out, wasn't the one she'd begun the evening wearing; she bought it at the show, liked it even better than the other and traded looks on the spot.
Hats, Boyd notes, are at the root of her sense of style, and she often chooses outfits that revolve around them. She years ago owned a hat store and now keeps a room in her house where only hats live; to her, the chapeau is the ultimate prop for self-expression, a powerful personal talisman. And dressing around the one that calls most loudly to her each day is a meditation for her, a way to prepare herself for everyday stress. Considering her profession in nursing, it only makes sense that feeling good about yourself might help you remain on an even keel as you help others feel better, too.
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There's a lesson in that: Treat yourself well, and the rest will follow. And start with a proper hat.