5 In Style/ Women Now

Fashion Inspiration on Instagram

Brenda Kinsel in leopard print on Brenda Kinsel website

BK on birthday taken by Caitlin Kinsel for Instagram


Some months back I took a social media class here in Sonoma at Cafe Mac. The person teaching it was Lucy Petricka of Blush Social. She’s young, she’s darling and she didn’t hide the fact that Instagram was her favorite of all the social media platforms. When the class was over she offered a 30-minute free consultation and I took her up on it. I was cranky about learning a new-to-me social media platform but I was also curious.

I’d mostly heard of young people doing Instagram–like the Kardashians and Taylor Swift. I was already on Facebook and Pinterest a little bit. Did I really want to take on something new?

When we met Lucy told me that Instagram would be perfect for my visual business in fashion. She thought I should be posting pictures of myself on my feed instead of pics of my pet cat Bella, lattes, and platters of berries.

My North Dakota Lutheran upbringing popped right up to tell me why I should NOT be posting pictures of myself: “Don’t draw attention to yourself. People will think you’re conceited.” I’d heard that all the time growing up.  I explained to Lucy why her suggestion about posting pictures of myself made me cringe. She wouldn’t back down so I came at it from a different angle.

“I can understand it for young people but who’s going to be on Instagram looking at what a 60-year-old is wearing?” I said.

I thought I had her there but no, she didn’t even twitch. She pulled out her phone and showed me Instagram feeds by women my age, near my age, or older.


Interest in aging women on Brenda Kinsel website


Fashion inspiration on Instagram on Brenda Kinsel website


Instagram fashion from around the world on Brenda Kinsel website


“Look at how many people are interested in the mature woman,” she said. Their follower numbers were staggering! 1K, 5K, 12K, 20K, 30K.

Impressive, but I was pretty sure none of those ladies were Lutherans.

“People like seeing you dressed in cute outfits. You do it every day anyway. Just have Russ take a picture of you and send it to me; I’ll do the rest,” she said.

I was still not a believer but I was willing to be coached.


My Instagram conversion experience

Lucy’s words were in my head: “Take pictures.” I started asking Russ to take pictures. I asked Erin to take pictures. Sometimes I asked sales associates in stores to take pictures.

I’m still in the early months of this relationship but I am officially engaged…in Instagram. I love the visual format. I love finding fashionistas all over the world who inspire me with their looks. I’ve become a follower.


I’m happy to be here

Here’s me on Instagram: @brendakinsel. I think I’m here to stay. You’ll see a lot of me on my feed but I also love posting pics of women in my life who inspire me.


BK on Instagram on Brenda Kinsel website


I hit the 1K mark this month for followers on my Instagram feed and so far no one has left me a comment like, “You’re so vain!” My community on Instagram is supportive, not catty; encouraging and positive. I can go on Instagram and instantly I’m around people who love fashion like I do. It feels like summer camp and I’m meeting lots of great new people.


Sharing a list of people I follow

I wanted to leave you with a list of people I follow who also focus on women over 50. Please share with me some of the people you follow. I’d love to check them out!
















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  • Reply
    Lisa White
    June 23, 2016 at 6:00 am

    I found Instagram because a friend invited me to do a 100 Day Fashion Challenge. It was just between us, but suddenly I have a few other people following…some very young. Most of them (not many) I have not met. I am 60 and will be 61 in September. I just post pictures of the outfits…still have not made it to 100, but I am getting there. I am trying to figure out how to edit. May I suggest another post? She is a stylist in Melbourne, Australia…. @thestylishwoman

    • Reply
      June 23, 2016 at 8:30 am

      Thanks, Lisa! What a great idea for Instagram. I LOVE your style. You are so inspiring! Thanks for the suggestion. Will go there now. That’s something I love so much about Instagram is the access to style from all over the world. Thanks, Lisa!

  • Reply
    June 23, 2016 at 8:35 am

    Thank you for sharing that list of over 50 fashion instagrammers to follow. I love Instagram. I also follow famers, knitters, world travellers, artists, food bloggers..the list goes on. Everyone is so inspirational. (So much better than facebook)

  • Reply
    June 25, 2016 at 6:19 am

    Brenda, I completely relate to your reticence. But since I have been following some fashion blogs for women of a certain age, I see the power of putting yourself out there. And I learn so much from them. Your audience will find you. Good for you! Linda

    • Reply
      June 30, 2016 at 7:49 pm

      Thanks for the encouragement, Linda. Much appreciated!

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