Tucson Fashionista – Cele Peterson

Black and White Fashion Magazine Cover

It’s only fitting to start my new Tucson Fashionista series with Cele Peterson. History shows that the late Peterson was truly the desert’s grande dame of fashion. According to the Arizona Daily Star, Peterson opened her first fashion boutique during The Great Depression and it would go on to survive World War II and a devastating 1956 fire. Catering to wealthy wives and celebrities, including Lady Astor and Liz Taylor, Peterson would eventually create her own Southwest clothing line, “Station Wagon Togs,” that would not only be featured in Mademoiselle magazine but also find an audience in front of Pop McKale’s daughter, Ruth, among others. Gabrielle Giffords once commented that she always wore a silver pin bought at Peterson’s store to dress up her outfits, according to an article on preservetucson.org. Before her death at age 101 in 2010, Peterson had created a local empire of stores that spanned the city and forever cemented her name as one of city’s true style mavens.

Tucson Fashionista is an occasional and ongoing Zona Girl series on local women with legendary style.

When We Meet Again…

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The Quarantine Life

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A few days into social distancing and self-quarantine, I have watched way too many episodes of The Pioneer Woman. Seriously, she is so intriguing. She cooks amazing food and is always happy. ALWAYS. LIKE EVERY SINGLE SECOND. I just want to see her get mad one time! I also love reading the Facebook posts about how we’ll all come out of this as better people – fit because we have exercised every day (sure!) and smarter because we have read many novels (can’t seem to sit still through one!)

So, in that spirit, here are a few fun things to consider:

Trying out a new shampoo and conditioner – Jennifer Garner made me do it. She’s a queen and I love her and she uses Virtue Labs products, so I ordered a sample and now the full-size versions – they arrived by mail pretty quickly. I hope the magic Alpha Keratin will make my hair look amazing, but I’m willing to blindly follow Garner’s advice right now.

Working out to Fitness Blender videos on YouTube – These are short and sweet and very doable. Ranging in length from 10 to 50 minutes, they switch things up and make working out fun. I especially love their workouts for people who get bored easily.  Plus, Kelly — who does most of the workouts — is very real and not perfect and makes you feel like you have a workout buddy each time.

Lounging in pajamas – Amazon still has many sets from stylish satin to sporty and comfy. It looks like average delivery is a week out, but EVEN BETTER YET, you could stop by local boutique Bravowhich is still open in Plaza Colonial and continues to post all of their items on Facebook and Instagram.

Hang in there everyone!

Tucson Fashion “To Go”

As local restaurants consider a take-out/to-go model in the age of the coronavirus, so are a handful of Tucson boutiques trying to navigate this difficult time. We’re all in this together–who knew High School Musical would be so quoted during the Covid-19 Crisis? We must support our small businesses as much as we can.

A list of a few local stores happy to deliver fashion to your Tucson door or mailbox. Check out their Facebook and Instagram pages for updates!

POSH Boutique – The designer resale boutique is offering free delivery and free shipping on all merchandise throughout the city.

W Boutique – The stylish St. Philip’s Plaza store is offering free local delivery and free shipping.

Buffalo Exchange – Though all Buffalo Exchange locations are temporarily closed, you can still sell your items by requesting a bag online. More information is available on the company’s website.

Piece by Piece –  Another St Philip’s store offering virtual shopping and free shipping.

Best Gowns of 2020

With everything getting canceled, sadly including the Silver & Turquoise Ball, I thought I’d post some of my favorite gowns of the year so far. We will get back to living again, we just need to take this life break so we stay healthy.

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Arm Yourself

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Since the coronavirus has most of us social distancing these days, there’s no better time to talk about what to wear when we all see each other again!

Recently, I tried out black, mesh Arm Spanx under a black dress that otherwise would have meant baring my oft red-splotched arms at an event. I went back and forth about it, but also remembering that I’d been lacking in the push-up category lately and there would be a million pics of the night (because hello…women?), I tried them out. And they were glorious!

They slip on and fit right at mid-chest, so perfect under a dress or a top or a vest and I just felt a lot more confident. You can buy the premium brand Arm Spanx by Spanx – which range in price from $30 to $70 – or you could buy an Amazon knockoff brand like I did. Bellelovin, which despite its unfortunate brand name worked great for me, cost $12.99. Highly recommend!

The Desert Housewife Survival Guide

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One of the most epic fashion guidebooks out there may have been the 1980s The Official Preppy Handbook, which turned a sarcastic, yet truthful lens on high society and how to achieve it.  Having observed Foothills life in this desert city for two decades now, I’d like to offer up my own little tongue-in-cheek guide – The Desert Housewife Survival Guide – for those days when you have to run kids to school, go to the grocery store, try to work out and still feel somewhat pretty. Like you think you look effortless, but really, it took some commitment. Enjoy and feel free to add your own:

  1. Wear stylish workout clothes – Most of us can just throw on some Marshalls’ leggings and slim-fitting knock-off jacket and head out, but if I’m being truthful, it’s when you wear lululemon and Athleta that you feel like a BOSS.
  2. Baseball hat AND makeup – College-branded or vintage, trucker or sleek and sporty, wearing a baseball hat will not only hide your unwashed hair but puts a laser focus on your beautiful eyes. BUT, said eyes must have mascara and a full-face of makeup is even better.
  3. Tennis skirt – Even if you don’t play, it looks hotter than leggings or bike shorts in the spring and summer. A pink one is best, but any Easter egg color is perfect. Pair with self-tanner unless you are blessed with perfect skin.
  4. Cowboy boots – Are you tired of flip flops all year long? A pair of cowboy boots dresses up jeans, shorts, a dress, leggings. ANYTHING.
  5. Perfumed lotion – As it gets hotter, the perfect foil to swass and swoob. (coined words courtesy of my friend Sara)
  6. Designer bag – Whether it’s new or used, a designer bag makes anything better. Even if you haven’t showered and are literally done with everyone. Carrying one just makes life a little nicer.
  7. Jersey dress – A jersey dress doesn’t show sweat. Black is best, but any color will successfully camouflage that you had to run a child to day camp at Saguaro Monument East and then have to look decent enough to meet your friend for coffee.
  8. Self-tanner – I’m pale with rosacea. It’s my best friend.

 ***And whatever you do, DO NOT wear old pink crocs to pick up your daughter from high school and proceed to get out of your car to help her with her stuff!  I’m just saying…for a friend.

Totally Tweed

Ever since the crazy lady jumped on the Chanel runway during Paris Fashion Week, tweed has totally been on my mind!

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Fall Festival Inspo

I just attended the 50th birthday party for a dear friend and her “Festival/Coachella” theme brought out the coolest outfits. So, I may have changed a million times trying to make 47 look good in a boho chic dress, but the end result was worth it.  And to the guy who wore the faux fur coat….you are the GOAT!

The entire party inspired me to look for more age-friendly, Coachella ideas:

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