In a suburban retirement, one really doesn’t need all that many clothes. Unless one volunteers at a high level and attends glam events. The rest of us can live pretty simply.
This doesn’t preclude style. I find that the best way to enjoy dressing simply is to find best-in-class pieces that I can wear over and again. So, as a jeans, tees, and flat shoes kind of person, I mostly want:
- Jeans that suit my body, in both comfort and aesthetics. Exactly what this means will differ for everyone. I like a medium wash with straight legs. You may prefer dark wash low-waisted skinnies. Or stretch leggings.
- Tees with something arty to them. For me this means graphics most often, as opposed to unusual silhouettes. I like my clothes traditional in their geometry. Again, your body and aesthetic may prefer an asymmetrical handkerchief hem tunic. The key is to develop your own understanding.
- Comfortable sandals and sneakers.
- All of the above should be trend-aware if not trend-forward, and in colors that work for me.
- And, were I to raise the bar, or try to stay warm, I’d add a jacket, a scarf that’s not shiny silk, and maybe even a hat. But I wanted to show you how I choose the absolute basics.
Above I’m wearing high-waisted 100% cotton Madewell jeans (Now on sale. BTW, I know the way I’m standing it looks as though the jeans sag, but once I move around they behave themselves), a “cropped” tee by SEA of New York, Birkenstock Gizehs, and simple diamond studs, necklace, wedding ring.
Let me first explain why I love that SEA tee. Of course, I do just like the way it looks. But, you know how “marinière” stripes are all the rage? This, my friends, is a “marin.” Van Gogh self-portrait hair reference for extra credit. Mic drop. Intellectual tongue-in-cheek fashion just slays me.
Why the jeans? Their high waist on my long torso means I can wear a quasi-cropped tee with midlife impunity. Why Birkenstocks? Because Birkenstocks, in white pearlized patent because I want to load on all the subtle detail I can.
Also, SEA is new to me but I like their stuff.
A Few More Stellar Jeans, Tees, And Flats
As Sturdy Gals know, in their hearts, even a jeans girl likes to dress up now and then. Last weekend most of my close family got together to celebrate my upcoming birthday. Turns out that the simple model of best-of-kind works for a Fun Night Out Use Case too.
I bought this little black Narciso Rodriguez dress in 2009. For you, a similar dress might be navy, gray, or brown. Or fuchsia, for that matter. These sleeves are just long enough for upper arm coverage, but short for Northern California summer nights. Neckline shows just a enough decolletage and no more, length shows just enough of my knees. So I feel decorous, despite the extremely close fit of the wool doubleknit. Win-win.
The shoes are by Jimmy Choo. I wore them when I got married. They are a pearlized suede with crystal toe-caps and metal heels. Again, loading neutral texture details onto a classic shoe.
Oh, and I curled my hair with that Conair gizmo one last time before giving it to my daughter. The gizmo, I gave her the gizmo, not my hair.
From bathroom selfie,
to hand-on-hip blog pose. I asked my son to take an outdoor photo. “In the middle of dinner?” he asked. “Yup,” I said. Then I handed him the camera with an incorrect setting and had to Photoshop my way to black and white. Eh, you can at least see the dress seaming.
Little Black Dresses In A Range Of Silhouettes, And Alluring Shoes You Can Walk In And Wear To Dinner With Your Family
There’s a lot to be said for style in retirement. We lose our smooth upper arms, keep our little black dresses, and, with luck, gain a boatload of confidence and good humor about our looks. It’s worth investing in pieces that take our simple outfits up a notch, and in the self-understanding to know what those pieces might be.
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