I started working in the ’70s, and I wore what all women wore for business at that time; mini skirts, empire waist dresses, platform shoes, fish-net stockings, etc. We were still wearing mod clothes from the Beatles era, including butterfly-sleeved sheer dresses and tons of necklaces. We all looked cute as hell.
The deadly and soul-destroying bland “I’m a responsible working woman” suits came later on….the less said about those, the better.
As the decades went on, we wore the Madonna look, the Cher look, the Annie Hall look, and we followed right along with all the fashion trends. It was a lot of fashion and makeup fun, and we all looked great.
Now that I am retired, I have found my own “retirement chic.” It can (and does) include such things as:
- black yoga pants (so comfy and so forgiving!)
- wild-colored tunic tops
- slim jeans
- cocoon sweaters
- ankle boots
- colorful cotton tops with embroidered yokes
- stretchy zip jackets
- strappy flats
- cotton socks (wild colors especially)
- LL Bean jackets
- colorful gauze dresses
- LOTS of jewelry
The basis for this fashion trend can be described in one word: COMFORT. Let’s face it, as we grow older, things that never used to sag DO sag. Our perky bits become droopy, our taut faces become a relief map of everything we have experienced throughout our lives, and age spots become the new Connect the Dots game.
My own belief at this age is this: the less skin shown, the better. I really don’t think that people want to see my wrinkled cleavage, my spotted legs or my gnarly toenails. All that is easily covered by a few “retirement fashion tips:”
Love sandals but hate the sight of vein-y feet? Easily solved—buy strappy sandals or flats.
Love tank tops but hate showing your *wubbies? No problem: try cap-sleeved or short sleeve tops instead.
Love low necklines but hate your wrinkled and spotted neck and chest? Easy fix: try the tops with criss-cross straps at the neckline, or the ones with lace inserts.
Love tops that show off your midriff? If yours is still firm and flat, good on you! Show it off. But if the midriff has fallen into disrepair like mine has, cover it up.
There’s no need to stop being fashionable as we grew older. As beauty is 90% illusion anyway, wear what looks good on you with pride. But most of all, comfort is king. I spent the best years of my life suffering in high heels, tight waistbands, and tons of makeup. I’m spending this time in my life in comfort and fashion; my fashion!
*Wubbies—that flappy skin under the arm from elbow to armpit.