There are dozens of blogs about fashion and style for women over 50. This is not one of them. Some of the looks are inspiring, but when it’s all said and done, appearance is not my hobby.
Not that I want to look bad. But even if you fight the cosmetic effects of aging with surgery, injectables, hair dye and fashion-forward outfits, guess what? You are still getting old. It’s liberating to love life and accept how you look with a minimum of effort. I’m willing to try, just not that hard, and I don’t want my legacy to be she died wearing cute clothes.
That said, appearance haunts a lot of us as we age, and worrying about what to wear is hardwired into my brain. My mother used to say she would slit her wrists if she couldn’t buy a new blouse. We didn’t have much money, but we had fancy church outfits with matching hats and little purses. A special shorts set for our annual trip to Disneyland. How fun it was to shop for school dresses at Sears – three for $10.
Dressing well appealed to me in theory, but I didn’t find my sweet spot until late in my career. For me, it was all about keeping it simple. I put a fair amount of time into finding a few classic outfits for work, and then I was done! I didn’t go shopping again unless I needed a replacement.
Now that I’m retired, I usually wear something comfortable for puttering around the house and suitable for my afternoon walk. My equivalent of yoga pants. But there are occasions where I need something more, and I’ve been informed by a dear friend previously known as Stylish Young Coworker (SYC) that men’s jeans from Kohl’s aren’t my best option.
I honestly appreciate experts weighing in because it saves me the work. A reader shared an endorsement for Levi’s boyfriend jeans … ordered them from Amazon but didn’t like the way they fit. I texted a picture of me wearing them to another special person in my life we shall call Bossy Fashion Friend (BFF).
Me: these are boyfriend jeans. aren’t they supposed to be baggy?
BFF: I like the more fitted bf jean. Not a fan of the loose. Because if you go big, you’ll get that sag that’s not flattering.
Me: these are the men’s jeans i like
BFF: Lol. They are too loose on you! There should be a dong in the crotch of those.
BFF: Keep the bf ones. Super cute and flattering.
Then she started talking slouchy tees and cardis, and my eyes glazed over. I seriously do not want to spend much time thinking about clothes. Just need a couple of minimalist go-to retirement outfits so I can forget about it and go on with life.
BFF: Your work wardrobe was on point. Now you need casual clothes.
Me: yes, i usually wear track pants. today is the first day in a week i put on real clothes.
Since I was already dressed, why not head over to Kohl’s and check out the women’s department? I tried on Levi’s slimming skinny jeans, and I liked them! I texted BFF a picture from the dressing room.
Me: what think?
BFF: YES! So cute! Those jeans are fab.
Me: ok. i’m buying.
Since I was on a roll, I went back to the men’s department. It’s like a magnet. Secret deals only men know about. I had to twist strangely to read the label on the jeans I was wearing, but I saw they were Levi’s 505s.
Why, what luck! There they are! I selected a size smaller than I currently wear out of respect for dreaded butt sag, and they fit. Men’s jeans have nice deep pockets. I guess they shorten the pockets on women’s jeans to reduce bulk, because bulk is the devil’s work.
In the end, I left Kohl’s with skinny jeans, a light denim shirt, men’s jeans and another pair of track pants. I got home and tried them all on again, because that is what I do. I also wanted to see how the skinny jeans paired with Birkenstocks, because I’m all about ugly shoes.
Me: with birkies??
BFF: Yes, love that!! And roll up your sleeves a bit, too.
Dang, she is bossy. But back to my original question. What to wear in retirement? Whatever you want!