by James Tuttle

Gentle reader,

Our favorite Millionaire Matchmaker Patti Stanger is back in L.A. for her fifth season on Bravo and it looks like she’s had a little work done on her face to commemorate the occasion.  Unfortunately, it looks like she did the work herself after she’d had a few cocktails.  Seriously, Patti, what’s with the wonky lips and the eyebrows creeping upward at different altitudes?  Do they measure out Botox these days or just randomly inject and run?

Nick Ayler: Not a millionaire but he should be. (Photo: R Gerst)

This scary makeover thing usually happens before season two, after the person has watched themselves over the six or eight episodes of the first season and felt like they needed to correct a few things.  Luckily, there’s enough time after they find out they’ve been picked up for a second season to get a little filler, tightening or all-out liposuction before taping begins anew.  In Patti’s case, it’s been four seasons but the word on the street is that she’s newly single so that might be her reason for slimming down and fucking with her face.

"It was a hit and run. The doctor wrestled me to the ground, zapped me with botox and ran away laughing. Thank God he left my hands alone."

I have to admit that I mostly watch Millionaire Matchmaker on the little screen stuck to the front of the treadmill at Gold’s Hollywood but, regardless of the format, the show seems to be getting a little flat.  Patti’s team of weird Goth people Destin and Bat Girl Rachel continue to round up the “millionaires” and wrangle the prostitutes—oh, sorry, I mean the “girls”—but there’s no way that these people are decent judges of attitude or style.  In the first episode of Season 5, they vet a group of aspiring millionaire bait and start criticizing their outfits and, even though those girls looked pretty busted, they could still give Rachel with the bright red bangs and slutty fishnets, who is judging their asses, a run for her damn money.

Destin and Rachel lend a touch of class to a show about slutty gold-diggers.

In this week’s episode, Patti drags some chauvinist ass with Bozo hair to Tori Spelling’s house to demonstrate that you actually can be a wife and a mom while holding down a decent job.  Tori looked great and added some freshness to Millionaire’s stale format but it was a strange coincidence because I had just called her mom to touch base about the newest collections.  I’m not sure if Tori’s mom is shopping just now, though.  She sold her house this summer for eighty-five million but she was originally asking a hundred and fifty and a difference like that can seriously cut into a girl’s Dior budget.

Back on the show, the chauvinist guy took his clothes off for a weird sub-zero ice sauna date and it was a wow moment for Millionaire Matchmaker because, even though clown hair is not uncommon there, the millionaires usually do not have crazy hot bodies.

Sex in a hot sauna might give you a heart attack, but you won't even be able to find your junk in a cold one.

In other news, my fabulous friend Margot turned me on to a New York Magazine article about Isabella Rossellini that sparked a discussion about what women of a certain age should be wearing and that tied perfectly into Patti’s new face and what is right and wrong for someone who is not 23.

So, I started to look around at what other fashion consultants and stylists were suggesting for women over 40 or over 50 and it seemed like they expected you to have one foot in the damn morgue already!  They suggested that you cover up legs and arms, wear jackets to hide expanding midsections, get a new haircut to freshen up thinning locks and they absolutely forbade trying to “dress too young.”  What the hell?

Rashida Jones and her mom, Peggy Lipton.

I was hanging out with actress Peggy Lipton the other day and she looks better now, trying on sky-high heels and swinging a furry green Mongolian lamb clutch, than she did when I first met her fifteen years ago, and I can say the same about a lot of other fabulous women who’ve added crow’s feet to their lists of assets.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to see my grandmother rocking skimpy Hervé Leger tube dresses or a head-to-toe look off the Alexander McQueen catwalk, but I don’t really recommend that for twenty-somethings, either.  Even Daphne Guinness changes it up a bit, for god’s sake.

MaxMara, Escada and St. John fall/winter 2011

We all know that MaxMara and Escada favor the classic looks for the more conservative ladies, and you can try St. John if you’re feeling really Dowager Duchess, but you really can find great pieces all over the place.  So that you may breathe easier, here are my very own, completely off-the-cuff suggestions for ladies of a certain age:

1. Dress confidently:  By now, you know your personality and what you like.  Trust yourself to make the right decisions and don’t worry about what Vogue is saying.  Actually, scratch that.  Vogue is pretty reliable.  Don’t listen to OK Magazine, though.

Over 40 and Confident: Daphne Guinness by Nick Knight for W.

2. Dress beautifully:  Choose quality of fabric and construction over trendiness. And leave logo tees and H&M for the newbies.  You’ve come a long way and you deserve to feel special.

3. Dress fashionably:  Sift through the shows on Style.com each season, choose the styles that you like and work it out.  You’ll have to buy a few new things to stay current but you probably have a great collection of pieces that you can utilize, too.  Above all, make them your own.

4.  You are not old:  I know others are warning against dressing too young but, please, you already know what your boundaries are.  Also remember that you shouldn’t dress too old.  “Granny chic” is not chic on grannies, ironically.

5. Let go:  You know that beautifully crafted jacket that you’ve been hanging onto for years but rarely wear?  Get rid of it!  Go through your entire wardrobe and throw out or donate everything that is not essential to your life right now.  Be merciless.  I know it’s hard because I struggle through it, too, but you’ll feel newly reborn when you’ve unloaded all that sartorial baggage and you’ll love the space for new things to come into your life.

6. Work out and eat right:  This is true for any age.  Clothes go on bodies and unless the clothes are in the shape of a mu-mu or a tent, the body will be evident to some degree.  Everything I’ve read about dressing for one’s age seemed to assume that anyone over 30 is in drastic physical decline and this needn’t be the case.  Hit the gym and skip the dessert and you’ll be happier, healthier and look better in whatever you wear.

Much love,