Jean of @idiosyncraticfashionistas, and her partner in crime, Valerie, started in 2009 as “Style Bloggers of a Certain Age.” As social media influencers, they are “setting a bad, bad example for older women everywhere.” Jean does modeling and styling; public speaking, print and on-air interviews; product consultations and focus groupsas well as volunteering for NY Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) counseling seniors, their families and caregivers to identify, prevent and report Medicare fraud, abuse and waste; and with City Critters animal rescue and is president of her co-op board. 

Most importantly, Jean is a loyal Alembika customer, having discovered the brand more than a dozen years ago through Fern Penn’s boutique “Rosebud” on Thompson Street in Soho, which specialized in clothes, jewelry and accessories made in Israel and featured brands like Kedem Sasson, Ronen Chen and Alembika.

What did you, or do you do for work?
I worked for the federal government for over 46 years; more than 40 in Medicare and Medicaid programs, starting in Washington, DC in 1971 and moving to NYC in 1975. I worked in almost all aspects of those federal health care programs, from policy and legislative development to procedure coding claims processing and fraud investigations. I taught Medicare 101 and Medicare Fraud, Abuse and Waste at the University of South Carolina’s institute for training US Attorneys, FBI Academy in Quantico, VA, Federal Law Enforcement Center in Glynco, GA and HHS/OIG’s training center in Largo, MD. I worked on hundreds of cases and testified as an expert witness in federal criminal and civil trials, grand juries and sentencing hearings in over 60 cases in 10 states, Puerto Rico and DC. I also testified at trial for the NYC Special Narcotics Prosecutor.

What do you do when you don’t know what to do?
I stop, take a deep breath, try to determine what’s the worst that could happen, and then make the most informed decision by Googling info, doing research, and calling friends and experts for advice. 

What would you do if you had the whole day to yourself?
Go to a museum, such as The Metropolitan, Whitney, MOMA, Brooklyn Museum, Jewish Museum or El Museo Del Barrio.

What is the one piece of clothing you cannot live without?
Hands down, my answer is “HATS!” They complete an outfit like icing on a cake or an exclamation point at the end of a sentence!

What is the best thing about being a woman?
Kinship and community with women of all ages, nationalities, ethnicities, abilities and religions are blessings to be cherished and celebrated.

What woman from history (alive or dead) would you love to have dinner with and why?
I would love to have dinner with Julia Child, a woman who succeeded in a man’s world when the vast majority of recognized chefs were men. A trailblazer gifted with many talents in addition to her amazing ability to cook, Julia had a wicked sense of humor, exhibited true grace under pressure (carrying to on despite mishaps like dropping a roast chicken on camera), and could appreciate a glass of wine and a shared moment with male and female family and friends.

What piece of advice would you like to pass along to younger women?
My advice to younger people of all genders is: Don’t sweat the small stuff! Like the song says: “Wish that I knew what I know now, when I was younger.” Don’t fight aging. Life only gets better with age. 

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1 Comment

  1. Jean is a Fabulous inspiration

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