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As a former prime-time TV news anchor and broadcast journalist for KPRC 2 in Houston, Texas, a Top 10 market, Dominique Sachse was a household name. During her 28 years on television, Dominique received numerous prestigious accolades including three Emmy awards and the prestigious Edward R. Murrow award among others. But since then, Dominique has shifted her focus from television to filming and editing her own YouTube channel where she talks to almost two million subscribers from around the world. Women in their prime who are looking to see themselves differently, step outside of their usual box and look, feel, and be their best.

Here’s part of my recent conversation with this classy lady.

BRENDA: I love that your experience as a news anchor and broadcast journalist taught you so much about hair, makeup, and wardrobe. It left you perfectly positioned to talk to women about how to make meaningful changes in these areas, and how they can feel better about themselves.

Life Makeover: Embrace the Bold, Beautiful, and Blessed You, Dominique Sachse’s book

DOMINIQUE: I was lucky. Some TV stations have hair, makeup, and wardrobe. We never did. We had consultants who would come through periodically and critique us on what we were doing and how we were doing, and I liked that because it gave me an objective perspective on perhaps how I wasn’t seeing myself. There are certain standards and truths to presentation in TV news. Basics like solids work better than patterns. Certain colors and hairstyles will work better than others because you don’t want things to take away from what you have to say. You want it to compliment, but not be a distraction, and for me, throw in some style points. How can I differentiate myself? We can’t all wear the same red sheath dress all the time, so how can you be unique in that and find your own way? It definitely helped me, especially transitioning over to YouTube and this kind of content. 

Dominique’s Big Volume Short Hair YouTube Tutorial

BRENDA: It’s impressive to see what you’ve built with your YouTube channel. I always learn something from your videos, so thank you so much.

DOMINIQUE: Thank you. It’s really funny, Brenda, back before we had YouTube tutorials, people would email me and ask, how do you do that makeup look, and I would type back, “Well first you apply this type of eyeshadow here, and then you…” When I think back, this was insane! Thank goodness somebody opened my eyes to what a YouTube tutorial was because I never would have known or considered that lane of opportunity. 

BRENDA: I love that you let us see behind the mask. You have such elegance and style, even when you’re in the midst of one of life’s storms, and you’ve been through some biggies in the last few years, you give us a glimpse of how you’re doing. I think that authenticity makes you and your message that much more relatable, but that’s gutsy, Dominique.

Photograph by Al Torres

DOMINIQUE: It is, and I’ve always been pretty transparent…In the past, I’ve been burned by being open but yet, ironically, in this forum, I felt like it was better to be open, and the more open I was, the more connection I was getting with the viewer. At the same time, it opens you up to intense scrutiny and criticism, but again, this is where I circle back to being in the television news business. You learn to develop a hard shell pretty quickly because you are critiqued up, down, left, and right, and you can’t take it personally…I just learned to separate it. I’m not going to take in what nasty people have to say, and I’m going to enjoy the fruits of being transparent because it does truly make women feel like they’re not alone.

BRENDA: Your YouTube audience loves that you’ve brought your mother, Audrey, into your videos. I think these videos show us a different side of you, and they extend the age of your viewers. 

DOMINIQUE: I agree, and they love her. I’m so glad you mentioned her because she’s my guest on my podcast for Mother’s Day, and I had viewers ask questions. This is an interesting conversation. 

Growing Older and Wiser with My Mom I Over 50 & Flourishing EP 3

BRENDA: You’ve just launchedyour podcast, Over 50 and Flourishing with Dominique Sachse, which we can listen to as a podcast or watch the video format on your YouTube channel. I think it’s a brilliant branding move, but with everything you’re already doing, why did this new format appeal to you?

DOMINIQUE: It’s one of the wonderful things about having a podcast because you’ve got all this time and ability to go deeper, so we’re traveling down roads we haven’t fully discovered before…We talk about aging and what is frustrating. The mother/daughter relationship and how it can be strenuous at times and most certainly not always perfect…I like the fact that as we age and grow, our dynamic changes. Our roles change and our views on things change as well, and I think that’s a wonderful discovery with her, and I have considered myself blessed. She’s 87, and she’s still with me. She’s two blocks away, and I know that’s a gift and it’s fleeting, and I will appreciate it and tap into it while I have it.

BRENDA: Tell me about your style and how it’s changed over the last few years.

Photograph by Al Torre

DOMINIQUE: I joke that I no longer own a sheath dress. My entire news wardrobe got kicked to the curb. Everything was either donated or taken to a resale store. My style is so much more uniquely mine now. So much more casual and relaxed, and I enjoy it, although last night I attended a cocktail event. It’s been a really long time since I put on a cocktail dress…I’m in jeans and rock t-shirts and blazers a lot, so it’s all about balance…and I’m incredibly mindful about not overconsuming and also continuing to clean and purge and get rid of things. 

Ever since I moved out of my house, into an apartment, I’ve really embraced this whole “less is more” modality, and I find I feel freer. I enjoy my space more. I enjoy the lack of clutter, the cleanliness, the tidiness, and the organization. It’s always been a part of my fabric, but over the years I’d just accumulated too much. I had been too much of a consumer and had done so recklessly, and that’s one of the lessons I’ve learned in this transition is to really pay attention to the spending. Is it a need or a want? Is it being purchased out of emotion? What’s going on here? To analyze why am I spending right now. Do I really need this and if not, can I pace myself, can I wait, can I find a substitute? I’m just thinking about things very differently, and I’m enjoying the fact that I am. It’s maturity and wisdom, and I’m growing in that department, which I like.

BRENDA: Are there any styles and trends, whether it’s makeup or clothes, women over 50 should rethink?

Dominique in one of her favorite brands, LilySilk’s Handkerchief Dress

DOMINIQUE: I think it’s up to each woman’s unique style and presentation. I’m not a big fan of rules. I’m a fan of if you keep it classy, then you will always steer in the right direction, but there are many modalities in that…I’ve known women who are way older than me who I think dress way younger than me because they’ve got these amazing youthful, free spirits about them, and they’ve taken on this Bohemian free expression in their clothing. It’s so cool and liberating to see, and I think, wow! You have such a unique style and way of presenting that’s not typical of a woman your age, but so befitting for you, so that’s the key. Who are you as a person? Where are you in your life? How can your style and your clothing reflect that spirit? How can it be done creatively and with taste? If each woman figures that out for herself then that’s a unique creative expression I love to see. Not only on myself but on others.

BRENDA: The thing I love most about Instagram is discovering other women and their styles, and they range all over the map in age as well. It delights me.

DOMINIQUE: Same, and it’s inspirational and aspirational. I think sometimes we get stuck in a framework of ‘this is how I’ve operated,’ and we’ve struggled to get outside the box. It’s like you said, you can scroll on Instagram and see another woman’s presentation and think I would never think to do that, but how can I take something like that and make it my own? How can I make this my unique expression? But inspiration is key, and I think the upside of social media is when you find the inspiration that serves you well. 

BRENDA: When I do fashion blogs I feature elevated casual. Examples of how we can be comfortable and relaxed, but our clothes are nicer looking and set us apart. This spring I rediscovered Banana Republic. I didn’t realize they’d turned such a huge corner.

DOMINIQUE: Huge! It’s like Ralph Lauren.

BRENDA: Yes! I want to tell you, I went nuts in there one day.

DOMINIQUE: Me too! And I’m so glad you mentioned that because it’s a prime example of what you would call a once sort of middle-of-the-road company. There wasn’t much delineation between them and Gap and all of a sudden they have elevated. Their price point has gone up, but it’s still relatively affordable for what they’re offering now, and I love their style. I love their branding and their marketing. I think they’ve done an amazing job, pivoting into this arena. If you’re sort of wondering where to start, and you don’t want to spend a crazy amount of money, pull up Banana Republic’s website and their inspiration is right there for you.

BRENDA: I know. I’m so excited about them.

DOMINIQUE: I am too! It’s funny you said that.

Photograph by Al Torres

BRENDA: Do you have a favorite go-to outfit or style?

DOMINIQUE: I tend to prefer structured over big and blousy, so tailored fitting always suits me better. I also like comfort, so for me, Norma Kamali is that perfect combination. I feel it’s tasteful, it’s linear, straight, it suits me but it’s also got style. Those are my underpinnings of what I need to feel good, and it can look different. They sometimes do stretch, flared jeans, a little cropped rock t-shirt, a structured blazer, and some fun boots. It’s really a mix, but again, it’s knowing what fits my body. I think maybe that’s where a lot of women struggle. 

You can like a certain style, but how does it look on you?

We all have different body types, and we need to be cognizant of is what we’re choosing an enhancer of what we have. That’s how I see fashion. I see it as an opportunity to enhance what’s going on underneath, but it’s got to be carefully curated and chosen.

Full-length hanging or leaning wall mirror with stand.

BRENDA: And every woman needs a full-length mirror. 

DOMINIQUE: Several, in different lights.

BRENDA: Mirrors don’t lie. If you just see yourself from the waist up, you’re navigating in the dark.

DOMINIQUE: Stand in front of a full-length mirror and take a picture of yourself because there’s something very powerful about seeing it in a photo versus looking in the mirror. The photo just gives you this extra objective edge and you see things you might not have seen by staring in the mirror. 

BRENDA: What about accessories? Do they play a key role when you get dressed?

Dominique’s guitar purse strap from her Instagram. If you want to see the video, check it out here.

DOMINIQUE: They’re the icing on the cake. You take an outfit and you grab a hat and suddenly it’s like you’re speaking a new language. It’s amazing what one little thing can do. I’ve got a really nice Capucines, Louis Vuitton bag. It’s a very classic, straightforward black bag, but the purse strap is on the thin side, and it digs into my shoulder. I went online and went to Etsy and looked for ‘guitar purse straps.’ They’re wide, soft and you can pick any cool, decorative variations of a guitar purse strap and I popped off the Louis Vuitton one and popped on the guitar purse strap. I cannot tell you how many compliments I get on that bag and it’s…because of the purse strap that cost me twenty-five bucks. Totally changed the look of the bag, and what’s great is I could buy a purse strap in five different colors to go with a ton of outfits, and I’ve got all of this versatility and it’s not costing me a lot of money. So my investment was in the key piece, but just be creative. That’s my example of how to do that.

BRENDA: In Florence, I saw some purses in the window where the handles were all sterling silver. One of the bags was white leather but the handle looked like, imagine a very rococo set of sterling silver flatware. It was that detailed, and it was the strap or the handle, if you will, that made the bag.

DOMINIQUE: So how can we look for little ways, as you say, to elevate our style? There are so many ways to do that. I took a scarf and twisted it into a thin little tie and tied it around my hat, so now instead of having a plain band around my hat, I have a beautiful scarf. There are many ways to get creative with accessories, but I think the accessories are the icing. How do you want to frost your cake?

BRENDA: And it’s the frosting that shows the expression of your style.

DOMINIQUE: Yes. Completely. 

BRENDA: And you have style in spades, Dominique. I appreciate your time, and I’ve loved visiting with you. 

DOMINIQUE: I’ve so enjoyed getting to know you. You’re an absolute delight. Thank you for reaching out and wanting to do this. It means a lot.

Please leave me and Dominique a comment or a question and then visit Cindy Hattersley’s blog to meet the woman she’s featuring in our Ageless Style post. 

Love, Brenda

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