During my most recent trip to Arizona I discovered this orange leather jacket at an estate sale.  Like hats, I seem to find signs to my favorite shopping destination sprinkled across the landscape no matter the geographic location.


I fell in love with everything about this jacket, but upon reading the Sunday New York Times Magazine on February 2nd, I learned that no amount of orange could change the fact that older women are not “seen” in our culture.


The piece on “Erasure” HERE by Parul Sehgal HERE, an editor at The New York Times Book Review, had me with its first sentence: “Efforts to force collective amnesia are as old as conquest.”  She goes on to state that “Erasure refers to the practice of collective indifference that renders certain people and groups invisible.”


It was no surprise to read that “the casualties of ‘erasure’ constitute familiar castes: women, minorities, the LGBT population and the poor.”  However, Sehgal’s focus on older women at the end of her essay was profoundly powerful.  “There has been a blank around the lives of older women, who report feeling invisible as they age – which is, as it turn out, more fact than feeling.”


“Much international data measuring health, assets and domestic violence studies only women from 15 to 49 and research into violence against women in conflict zones ends at that age too.  So does H.I.V.-prevalence data.  Older women simply go missing in literature, film and television.”


Photos By Daniel

The article depicts examples of how “erasure” is beginning to shift in small ways (again not surprisingly, mostly for the white and well-off), but it provides evidence as to how important it is to strive for the opposite of “dismissing the history, pain and achievements of inconvenient people,” which would be the “allowing for full personhood in all its idiosyncrasies.”  I dedicate my orange leather jacket to this movement for the benefit of all!

Orange leather jacket, chunky heeled boots, vintage earrings and vintage burgundy leather gloves – estate sales, black jeans – Paris boutique, black turtleneck – consignment store, suede cap with patent leather brim – retail sale years ago.

Linking up with Patti’s Visible Monday HERE, Catherine’s #iwillwearwhatilike HERE, and Cherie’s Shoe and Tell HERE.

38 Responses to “The Orange Leather Jacket And The Concept Of “Erasure””

  1. LA Contessa

    IS there anyTHING you canNOT WEAR???????
    YOU are a model for ALL GENERATIONS!
    I mean that!YOU need to be PICKED up by an AGENCY!

  2. Pam@over50feeling40

    I want to be you when I grow up! I agree with La Contessa…you need to be modeling full time, Judith. You never cease to amaze me.

  3. Patti

    I hope you don’t mind if I shared this on my FB page. A number of my friends may not follow you, but I want them to make your (online) acquaintance and read this. Than pk you!

  4. Ormond

    Dear Judith,
    You’re so right about erasure. I’m 64, 5 feet 9 and wear bright blue and green glasses. I illustrated this being ignored to an incredulous young friend lately in a restaurant, by telling her that I’d try to catch the waiter’s eye and order. After a few minutes of just looking, I raised my hand, I waved – nothing. She believed me then. On the plus side, I often think I could commit the perfect murder – there’d be no witnesses.

  5. Emily

    You look fabulous, but as a woman in my 60’s, I can identify with your observation that no amount of orange can change the fact that older women aren’t seen in our society. I am almost 5’8″ and slim, and I take time to accessorize and wear make-up even when I am going to the grocery store, yet I often wonder why I even bother. Clerks leave me standing there while they rush to help the younger woman who just walked up. Once when I complained, the clerk explained that he didn’t even see me there! Worse, is the dreaded patronizing “dearie” or “young lady” designed to diminish the worth of an older woman. But I refuse to give in, and I enjoy seeing the posts from women like you who continue to show the world that we count, too.

  6. Mary

    You are absolutely gorgeous! Your very presence here serves as a beacon, a bright light for all women who may feel invisible. Our youth-obsessed/celebrity- driven society may dictate “erasure” but you challenge such notions with every post here on this lovely blog. Keep on shining your light!

  7. Cheryl Tucker

    What an amazing post! I express these feelings often to friends and my blog. The more it is brought out and talked about the better things will be for future women as they age. We have to keep getting the word out. Your outfit is just too perfect for any words I can come up with and that jacket is beyond! I got so excited when I saw it I about fell out of my chair! Peace! Cheryl

  8. Vix

    The only Erasure I know are the 1980s electro pop group.

    I can’t believe you’d go unnoticed in anything least of all that cool as f*ck leather jacket.

    I shall read the article when I’ve caught up with my blog reading but I do feel a lot of women bring it on themselves, they get past a certain age and cut their hair, start wearing comfy shoes, elasticated waistbands, cut back on the make up and generally tone it down and play it safe.


  9. Nancy

    Yes, and yes, and yes. And no women do not “bring it on themselves” by “playing safe.” Why should someone in comfortable shoes be ignored, pray tell?

  10. Carol in Denver

    Love that orange jacket, especially how you’ve accessorized it with burgundy gloves.

    As an older woman, I find any kindness or attention paid me is delightful. On the other hand, I’m introverted, and find that sometimes, not being noticed suits me just fine.

  11. Patti

    Thank you so much for this! The orange is such a happy, lively color. The sentiment of ‘erasure’ resonates! I hope you don’t mind that I shared your blog post on my own FB page; a number of my friends don’t follow you, and I want to be certain they have an opportunity to make your (online) acquaintance and hear this message.

  12. Patti

    Gorgeous outfit, and a provocative read. Sometimes I like to be “invisible” but I don’t want to get poor treatment or be left out of clinical studies! We still have a way to go, but we, the older generation, are doing our best to make our contributions visible. Thanks for linking,


  13. Tami Von Zalez

    Thank God you my dear are not invisible! May you continue your quest toward non-erasure!

  14. Susan (une femme)

    Judith, you look stunning!! I’m bookmarking that article to read later, looks like a good one.

  15. Margy

    What an interesting article, Judith…there’s a little bit of irony in it being posted by you, who in no uncertain terms, is not erased. You are gorgeous, the orange jacket and chunky boots are to die for. You are such a good example of one (spectacular) way of aging…for everyone has her own way…I, for one, would definitely dig that jacket!

  16. SJgal

    Erasure is real but I choose to fight it with fashion and color and hats – just like Judith.

    I am a fit 57 and experienced being invisible one week (dressed in jeans and sleeveless top) and a sought after dance partner at the same club the next week when I wore a colorful and fitted Eva Varro dress! Yes, it is part “marketing” and dressing the part of a salsa dancer but I think others perceive us differently based on the energy and sense of aliveness we exude – both which are impacted by color.

  17. Angelica

    I agree with what you wrote but I must say you look like a young woman. Most of elderly women do not look or dress like that. It is this category that is “erased”, invisible and forgotten. Older women deserve to be remembered and accounted for even if they do not ar cannot look younger. I very much admire women like you who through their blogs, statement and pictures show that age is not an obstacle for still being young, creative and lively. Most woman however just grow old quietly and , it’s true, in total oblivion from the world’s attention.

  18. Jodie filogomo

    Well, I think we’re starting to fight back against the erasure! And I’m sure some of it stems from how older women used to dress! We’re fighting back and you’re leading the pack Judith!! jodie

  19. Juana Bordas

    always fabuloso

  20. No Fear of Fashion

    I think this is absolute heaven. Next Friday I am going to show my new red leather jacket on jeans. I can tell you, I don’t look anywhere near as good as you do. You so have the right proportions. The turtleneck with it, the trousers, those perfect boots, the cap… it is all so well balanced to create this perfect outfit. The orange jacket itself is BEAUTIFUL with capitals. So unusual. I love it.
    PS I will make myself visible… usually when I come it, things get very busy haha.

  21. Jazzy Jack

    I’m interested in Vix’s comment. I think you can dress with comfort but still with flair. I happen to have IBS and can’t wear tight waists, and bunions so can’t wear heels. If we don’t show the stereotypical sillhouette we can be judged as frumpy, not feminine and not worth looking at as women.
    We need to work a little harder, but it is possible to be funky still.
    Maybe older women haven’t learnt how to pull it off as there are few examples.
    It is shocking that we aren’t included in scientific studies over 49. What?!
    Having said all that, you are a marvel of figure, style, artistry and poetry. If you stand up for us I’m sure people will listen…especially in that super luscious leather orange. Yummmmm!!
    Xo Jazzy Jack

  22. Anne-Marie Bruun

    You are so absolutely amazing in the orange I love it. And the text goes straight to my feminist heart.

  23. valerie hansen

    The whole outfit is so chic…you are just adorable! That orange jacket is so unique….love the look!!


  24. Lee

    I dunno, Judith… if anyone could make older women visible, it would be you, in that outfit. You look SMASHING.

  25. Suzanne

    You had some serious luck at that estate sale to find this amazing jacket that you wear so damn well.

    Thanks for sharing that article as well.

    Your blog and posts are helping to change the old fashioned views of the disappearing woman as we age. There is no way anyone could look at you here and believe you are disappearing.


  26. Joan Gage

    Loved this post! Reminded me of one I wrote about the invisible (older) woman.

  27. Jean @ DrossintoGold

    So well said and confirms all my experience. However, on the flip side is the exquisite joy of having spontaneous connections with older women of many cultures. It might only be eye contact but we see each other and affirm our mutual presence and vitality. I prefer to focus on that, since I have limited bandwidth for all the other stuff these days!! Thank you for fighting the good fight!! 🙂

  28. merle weismer

    Thanks for this post, Judith! Debra is giving a hat workshop at my home here in PA. I called the local paper to let them know that stylish artists and designers are signed up to make hats out of paper towels and we whacky older women will not be put on a shelf in beige.
    I live in the country , Lancaster Co. to be exact, I wear Debra’s hats, and I dress my truth at 63. I get stared at in the grocery store, not ignored, but in a way, it is kind of like the same thing, but I am having fun.
    Stay tuned for some FB pics after the class.
    The movement continues, and you look fab!

  29. Shelley

    First off, I am so envious of your lithe figure and your ability to carry off pretty much any style, from a badass biker chick in this marvelous jacket (the details are divine!) to the ultimate elegant diva.

    The concept of erasure and invisibility is familiar to me as a woman over 50. I don’t find I am invisible in the town where I live, or in New York when I visit, but I tend to be most visible to women my age, and/or kindred spirits of all ages. As far as straight men are concerned, I disappeared from their radar ages ago.

    It does depend on how you present yourself – I was wearing jeans, boots and an all-weather jacket the other day to put up posters, and was asked if I was “incognito”. However, you shouldn’t have to dress up just to go to the grocery store in order to ensure the clerk pays attention to you.

  30. Fran

    Oh, the story of those statistics really says it all so, so, quickly — once we can no longer reproduce, we are apparently of no interest or value to the rest of the human race!

    Fortunately I don’t experience that too directly in my personal life — but, then, I’m only 59, and look a bit younger than that. It does seem that straight white men are the least likely group to notice my existence, but, since most of the world’s power is still in their hands, that matters.

    Most of the ‘rules’ for how older women are ‘supposed’ to dress seem to be designed to make us even more invisible than we already are — how rude of us, to dress well, forcing others to notice our wrinkles and reminding them of their own mortality!

    You look fantastic in that jacket and in everything else you wear. Keep on enjoying it!

  31. Vicki

    Your efforts are well-chosen, both in appearance and substance. I’d missed that NYT article which so well describes my 7 years of widowhood: not even listed in obit of husband’s father later same year…just “oversight” I was told ( of a BIG eraser) by whomever ran it in paper…my “family” of 35 years.Time to suck it up: again! Your inspiration and frequent flecks of wisdom help more than you’ll ever know. I thank you on behalf of the many who read, absorb, might not contact…and myself!

  32. Anna Parkes

    Thanks for enlightening me with regards to Erasure. I for one, can say that this matters not one jot to the likes of we fabulous fashionistas. Your trail blazing orange ensemble can only go to prove that the rock chic is alive and well and lives on in the hearts and minds of the over 50’s, regardless of someone, somewhere deeming us invisible. You are a legend, Judith, a style goddess for us all to emulate. Hurrah!
    Anna’s Island Style

  33. Geneva White

    Dear Judith;

    I could not agree more with the observation; as you know my blogs are all about older women and the importance about feeling great about themselves. It is very hard to maintain self esteem when your very existence is overlooked and your are ‘erased’.

    As usual, you look absolutely wonderful and are the perfect example of a vibrant and exciting woman who ‘rocks her age’. Don’t dedicate the jacket; keep it and use it as a banner for all of us older women who admire you so much. BTW, I absolutely agree with the comment that you should be a full time model. You look marvelous and I really do find it hard to believe you would be ignored in any setting.


  34. Julia

    Love the jacket, the hat, and the article links!

  35. Sheila (of Ephemera)

    Holy smokes, Judith, you look amazing and totally badass in this outfit! I love that orange jacket – what a killer find! Looking forward to reading that article, thank you!

  36. That's Not My Age

    You look fantastic Judith – I am really enjoying your adventure with style, it just gets better and better! Thought-provoking article but I do think things are will change the more women like ourselves refuse to accept the notion of invisibility.

  37. Anniefashionsprite

    Judith, Good morning. You are lovely as always! Your intuitive ability to ferret
    Out the pieces you find inspiring. Manifesting what you love?
    I appreciate you sharing the article. Feeling that. Sensing how enlivened
    I feel to counter that invisibility abuse of aging population. Another layer of
    Awareness for me. Bringing a fuller presence into places I sense may
    prefer I disappear! Much here. Thanks again!

  38. nerri

    Since going defiantly white-haired I seem to be less invisible. Bright silk scarves or bright hats help too. I now get noticed enough for youngsters to offer me their seat on a busy tram. That’s all the validation I want.

Leave a Reply

Proudly powered by WordPress. Theme developed with WordPress Theme Generator.
Copyright © STYLE CRONE. All rights reserved.