Thursday, October 16, 2014

Health & Fashion After 50

Let's face it: Just because a woman isn't 25 anymore doesn't mean she doesn't want to look and feel her best. What worked at 25, fashion- and health-wise, may not always work at 50+.

In this entry, let's take fashion first. Now I'm not an expert on fashion by any stretch of the imagination. Yet as someone who is looking to simplify and pare down in all areas, including her wardrobe, I have come to realize that less is more. As someone who doesn't have a big budget to work with, I've come to appreciate the idea of staples.  As in, wardrobe staples. Something even designers advise women to have in their closets.

Before I mention my own choice staples--those go-to, mix & match clothes that I love and feel good wearing, let me point out that I've come to the conclusion that I'm happy with my size. Size 6 in Misses, size 7 in Junior, occasionally a size 4, depending on the cut/designer/store.

I mention this only because I've spent part of this summer trying to get down to smaller sizes until I came to the conclusion--and God impressed upon my heart--that happiness is not found in dress or jeans size. Neither is joy, and happiness and joy are not the same thing. Trust me, though: Neither the Misses nor the Junior sections in a store will give you self-esteem, confidence, poise, or well-being. All of those things should come from within. They don't come with a price tag attached, no matter what this consumer-driven society tells us.

Another thing, too: It's okay if we, as "mature" women, can't wear what we wore at 18 or even 30. I'm not saying that we have to dress like old ladies, either. In fact, women of our generation, those last few years of the Baby Boomers, have a more youthful style, more fun and bright and fashionable, than generations before us.

I like what a friend and former coworker once told me: "A woman should dress like an actress making an entrance onto the stage." She meant the clothes themselves; I believe it's about the confidence and healthy self-image the "actress" wears like a dazzling gown.

Now here are my "staples." These are all personal choices, but I found it interesting while surfing the Internet that others consider some of these to be their staples, too.

A comfortable pair of mid-rise, "skinny" (straight-leg) jeans
Remember the days of not eating a bite all day at college because you poured yourself into skintight Jordache jeans that morning? Yeah, um, no, those days are over for me. Let's go for fit, style AND comfort. And lunch, ya'll. Let's go for lunch that day, too! Look for the words "curvy" and "stretch denim." These look great with the legs tucked into boots, with kitten heels or ankle boots, high heels (if you wear them) and sandals.

A comfortable pair of mid-rise, boot-cut jeans
(Please see above for the skinny jeans comments, because they fit here, too!) Oh--and I prefer Levis, but Old Navy and Target have some great selections in these, too. In both, skinny and boot-cut, the dark denim just looks dressier.

A pair of black jeans; a pair of white jeans.
These can be dressed up very nicely. They're also both the Un-jeans of the jeans world.

Stretchy, long- or short-sleeved solid tops
Stock up on all colors! Dress up with scarves, necklaces, or just a cute sweater.

Tank tops, preferably solid
Yes, you heard right. Tanks! You can wear these under a shrug or another shirt. They look great with jeans, skirts, shorts, you name it. Make sure the fit is good.

Leather jacket
One that comes to your waist, no longer. It's a cool item, whether black or red, and it looks good with jeans, skirts, and pants.

Black skirt and black dress pants
I prefer both to be comfortable. And I also happen to be one of those people who believes you can never have too many black pants! Black is so basic, and it can be paired with a top or sweater of bold or multiple colors. If that's a black pencil skirt, even better.

I would also like to include a very pretty, very feminine and crisp, button-down white blouse. Something that pearls, real or bought at Target, would enhance.

Agree with my list? Disagree? What are your staples?

Tomorrow--let's talk shoes & accessories!

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