Sunday, September 8, 2019

What To Wear?

When I retired, so many people told me that I could now put away my stylish clothes, heels and jewelry and put on t-shirts and sweats everyday. Never having to worry about make-up or any of the fashion style that I tried to have while in the working world. Obviously, they did not know me very well. 

Even while in the working world, there were weekends. Did I let myself go on Saturday and Sunday or days off when I had a routine job to go to daily? The answer is a big fat NO! There are many reasons why and I will try to touch on some of my reasoning. It may go against what others believe in and all I can say is to each their own. What makes me feel comfortable does not necessarily make you feel comfortable, nor should it.

First of all, I was brought up by two very Southern ladies: my Mom and my Mamaw. Neither one of them came out of the bedroom in the morning without at least washing their faces and putting on a moisturizer and a dab of lipstick, along with a brush through their hair at the bare minimum. Then they would make breakfast for themselves and sometimes others before going back and dressing for the day. If they were headed out to work, they came out fully dressed to go, make up, hair and all. If they were staying home, they would dress a bit more casually, but very stylish and most definitely makeup. Their motto was to look your best helps one to mentally feel better about themselves. It worked for them, therefore this would become my motto as well. At this stage, I should add that when I went off to college my sorority house mother felt this same way. We were not to come out of our rooms in the morning without adding a bit of color to our faces and dressing for the day. (I am pretty sure that it is not still like that now.)

Just so you know this was not just a female habit, my Papaw and brother were expected to come into the mainstream of the house looking nice also. No one ever came out in slouchy pajamas. They were either dressed or had a nice robe on for breakfast before going back to dress for the day. On weekends my Papaw would always be working on "stuff" in his garage. This became every day once he was retired. He had a standard outfit, of which my Mamaw made sure were always clean, pressed and hanging in his closet.
He would never wear this out except possibly to the hardware store. If we were going out he dressed in what today is considered business casual but never ever went out without his hat.

In today's world there is advice on how to dress for every situation such as the new Mom, the woman going back in the work place and of course the catalogs that show everything in between. From what I see when I go out now that I am retired, maybe there should be articles about women who are a bit older (but not feeling older) of what choices we have to dress. 

Really, it comes down to what one feels about themselves. Having my kind of family background probably is why I feel the way I do. It is not a case of dressing for others, but for myself. It just makes me feel good. I am not criticizing but taking notice that I feel too many of us are lumped together with a frumpy image of a woman going around in sweats or work out shorts and t shirts and no makeup. The next two pictures are not that bad, just not something that I would not want to go out shopping in, yet when I go to the grocery or run errands, I see so much worse than this. Again, I must say, to each their own. If this makes you feel good about yourself, then go for it.

There is a time for work out clothes and just a touch of make up since we sweat it off anyway, plus a pulled back pony tail or head band to keep hair out of your face for working out. I am lucky, in that we have turned a room in our home into a workout room and it has three pieces of equipment and weights so there is no need to go out to a gym. When I did go out to the gym, I used the locker room to change and add a touch of makeup if I were going anywhere after my workout. Otherwise, it was straight home to shower and to become ME again. Even if I were not going out again, I wanted to feel like ME again and get something casual on with a bit of makeup. After all, in my mind at least, I had that workout glow going for me so why not touch it up a bit? Nothing wrong with a pair of jeans and casual shirt with comfy shoes for the day. 

There are some days that I may be headed out to lunch or an appointment or a special date with my husband. I love to throw together comfy, yet very stylish outfits and then move on to writing at my desk. It just makes me feel good.

You must determine your personality to help you dress successfully as a retiree. The best way is to determine if your personality is more classic, romantic, bohemian, dramatic, minimalist or sporty. Each personality will have different types of clothes. I personally feel that I can fit somewhat into each personality category, depending on how I feel each morning. That way it gives me some different styles to choose from. If you ever watched "Grace & Frankie" with Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, then you may know that Grace is the classic, while Frankie is the creative bohemian. Being in a successful TV series, the writers tend to take each character strictly by their personality type. Without going overboard in the classic wardrobe, that along with some romantic style and sporty style, I also every once in a while like a simple bohemian look. After all, I am a writer, former musician and wanna be artist.

There is a whole new "pro-age" makeup routine going around. It seemed to have started with BOOM, by Cindy Joseph. She was discovered as a model at age 49. In my favorite catalog from Chico's, I noticed her right away. She looked as if she were glowing in every picture and since I am a Chico's kind of gal, to me she always looked stylish. Due to her good looks as she aged, she discovered BOOM cosmetics and showed many women, through YOU TUBE, just how to achieve a natural, graceful look, no matter what your age.

It is up to each woman to decide what makes her feel good about herself, not what others see, but about how she feels. My thoughts on clothing when you are retired are that your requirements are not that much different from the clothes you wore to work; smart and casual. I feel like too many women start dressing really old for fear of dressing too young or that they feel so comfort driven that sweat pants and a hoodie become their staple in their wardrobe. Don't get me wrong! I have some great sweat suits that are stylish and actually came from Chico's. On cool days, they are very comfortable yet stylish. (not just any old pair of sweats and throw on sweatshirt) The other days, it is quite exciting to throw on a comfortable outfit with necklace or scarf, whether I am going out or not. It just makes me feel good.

Anyone can look at the before and after pictures above and see the difference. To me, just looking at the two pictures, I can even feel the difference. It is all about aging gracefully. Style puts spice in my life and somehow I feel much more confident within myself. Finding the right outfit for the day adds to looking forward to an exciting day, whether it be sitting at my desk writing, or easy chair reading or just "being at home" with the love of my life. 

No way can I leave out that my husband seems to feel the same way. He never has lost his touch of style, whether it is comfortable jeans or shorts with a great fitting polo shirt and sometimes even a great  t-shirt. Whatever he chooses, it is the image that he wants to create for himself.

It is a feel good image that even on days when one does not feel their best, it helps mentally give you the "ummpphh" that you need to carry on in a more positive manner. There are more and more baby boomers out there and no one needs to be a frumpy old grandma or great-grandma. (or grandpa for that matter!)

To end on a positive note let me give you a great picture and quote. 

"I am not interested in looking younger. I want to look healthy and radiant. I want to look like me."
Cindy Joseph

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