Sunday, October 19, 2014

Shoes & Accessories for after 50

Up until this year, I've always been one of those women who LOVES jewelry. Especially the unusual kind or anything handmade or Bohemian! Usually, though, I end up picking up whatever's in clearance at Target or JC Penny or Belk. There are very few "real" items that I own--like my wedding band and the string of pearls to the right, a present from my husband that he recently had restrung for me. Everything else I own is costume.

But this year, I've started to pare down. Part of it, I think, IS being over 50. I had that discussion with my best friend, Linda, who agrees that there comes a time when you look around your house and realize you have TOO much stuff. A great part of it, too, is that this year (actually, it started happening last year), I would go into a store and *almost* pick up a necklace or another bracelet, and a familiar Still, Small Voice in my heart would ask, "Do you really need that?"

Does it look like I need more bracelets? This has been pared down, though it's taken a couple of years of doing so. It's taken being honest with myself, noticing what really gets worn, what just sits on this stand, and what has value because it was a gift. (Like my Pandora bracelet, which doesn't have a lot of beads yet, but it is of value to me as a gift from my husband, and most of the beads I do have are gifts from and representing my kids, daughters-in-law and grandchildren.

In case you haven't figured it out (and that's okay; I'm skirting around the issue anyway!), there is a scripture that keeps coming back to me. "Do not store up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." - Jesus, Matthew 6:19-21, NASB.

This scripture, and others, together with minimalist blogs that I've been reading over this year, have gotten me to take a good look at my little "treasures" that I've stored up in this house. More on all of that in another entry, but for now, I have found that less is more after 50 when it comes to accessories, too. Your tastes also change as you get older; what you absolutely, positively had to have, even at 40, now doesn't capture your attention or fit with your wardrobe or who you are now. pared-down I've gotten my necklaces! This has taken a lot of honesty, too. Yes, it was so cute when I bought it, and I had all good intentions to wear it...and then it rarely made it off my necklace shelf to see the light of day outside.

So this, plus my pearls, are seeing more of the light of day. I tend to add *very* sparingly to this. I'm opting for the elegance of simplicity, as well as wearing what I REALLY like. I really love flower jewelry, colorful beads, and understated, thinner necklaces with one pendant at the end of it, and I still love Bohemian. On the other hand, let's keep it simple: Let's have a few items I truly love on hand, something that will complement a dress or outfit, rather than accumulating stuff just for the sake of it.

Earrings have been a lot easier. Again, I only own one pair of "real" earrings--the pearl ones that go with my string of pearls. But at right are my current favorite earrings. Yes, I have more, but these are my go-tos, the ones I wear most of the time. The blue stone ones, especially, have garnered a lot of compliments! I consider those my Friday, Celebrate-the-End-of-the-Week earrings.

I know a lot of women like the bigger earrings, but at 54, I'm just finding the smaller, more understated and dainty earrings suit me. Those big, fun hoop earrings are some that I still love--but again, better to have earrings you really love than to buy out everything the store has in stock, clearance or otherwise.

And the daintier ones go soooooo nice with short hair!

Shoes have been more of a problem to pare down. First of all, you need a great pair of running shoes, for walking, for comfort, for work (if you're allowed to wear them). If you hike, you need a pair of hiking boots (like the ones peeking out in this picture). If you're a North Carolinian, how can you NOT have some flip-flops?! I'm sure some women, even after 50, can't do without their high heels.

Again, I'm at a point where I know what I love. Your clothes will rule what you have as shoes to a large degree, too. I've come to three conclusions:

1) I want to be comfortable
2) I prefer kitten heels to high heels


3) I really love boots. Cowboy boots, black boots, ankle boots, short boots (like these in the picture, still in great shape from last year). When the weather calls for them. Otherwise, I really love sandals, though I haven't managed to pare down in that area OR the boots.

Keep in mind when there are days that a colorful scarf (or one of those infinity ones that Linda rocks!) will better suit an outfit than a necklace, any day.

Full disclosure: I'm NOT a belt person. I only own 2. So I guess that's one area that's easy for me to pare down.

How about you? Have you gone through your accessories? Have you found what you love, what you use all the time, what was nice at 25 but now it's just collecting dust?

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