Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Retirement Fashion: Fabulous from A-Z

Retirement fashion.  An oxymoron? 

I recently wrote about another possible oxymoron, "Librarian Fashion," and smashed that stereotype. 

I am going to do it again with the stereotype of the retired old lady. You know the one: an overweight wrinkled crone with unkempt gray hair, shuffling around in her bathrobe and yelling at the kids across the street for making too much noise.


I will cop to the overweight part, and I might yell at the kids occasionally, but otherwise, no way am I letting it all go.  I may be retired but I'm not out.

So in keeping with my ever continuing desire to provide a public service via this blog, I am here to give some fashion tips and inspiration for those of us of a certain age and less than perfect size.

I got the idea for this post from an article I came across in a recent "Beauty & Style" edition of "People Magazine" called "Gorgeous from A to Z: Style.  Beauty. Health.  A Universally Appealing Wish List (Fall 2014)."

Well, universally appealing if you are between 18 and 35.  But it had some fun tips such as "L" is for "Little Black Dress" and "D" is for "Diamond earrings."  At my age, not so sure about the "little" part of "Little Black Dress" and on a fixed income, those diamond earrings will probably not manifest themselves. 

So I have subtitled my list "A Must-Have Fashion List for Curvy Women of a Certain Age Who Will Not Go Quietly."

Just because we are retired, it doesn't mean we stop wearing makeup, stay in our pajamas all day and watch "Dr. Phil."  Well, I might do that once in awhile (the no makeup and pajamas part) when I am home alone and planning on some binge watching of "Downton Abbey," but in general, I try to maintain myself as I did when I was out there in the world every day.  As a woman, I think I owe it to my fellow sisters of a certain age to hold up my end of things and not fall into the stereotype.  Just as I refused to fall into the librarian stereotype, I refuse to fall into the old lady stereotype.

So here is my list on how to be fabulous at any age from A-Z.

First of all,

A is for Attitude.

Yes, we are up there in age, but that doesn't mean we are invisible or ready to head toward the light.  We are still uppity and full of life and we show it by maintaining our sense of humor about life and about ourselves and by being interested in everything.  We travel, we exercise, we read, we skydive (some of us do that. I don't), we dance, we go to movies, we LIVE!  And it shows in how we express ourselves.

B is for Blouson top.

Now that's a term you don't hear much anymore, but I remember my mother using it all of the time, telling me it hides a multitude of sins.  And as usual, mother was right (one of these days my own kids will say that).  If you've been sinning a bit with the chocolates and you've got a little somethin' somethin' around the middle, this kind of top is for you.

C is for Classic Jacket

A nice black tuxedo jacket goes with everything.  Throw it on over jeans or a cool pencil skirt and you are instantly ready to go anywhere.  But it doesn't have to be black.  And roll those sleeves up for a little sass!


D is for Drapey Top.

I made that term up, but see "B" above.  Does the same thing.

E is for Earrings.

Just remember, your ears don't get fat.  Your earrings will always fit.  And earrings are a great way to express yourself so go BIG!

F is for Forever 21

(I got the jacket there)

When you are retired, you often don't have as much money as you once did to splurge on the latest trends.  So dip your toe in at Forever 21, where the clothes may fall apart after a couple of wearings but who cares?  They are inexpensive and fun.  They even have plus sizes.  And if you are embarrassed to shop there or the salesgirl looks at you funny, tell her you are shopping for your granddaughter.  Or better yet, ask her, "You lookin' at me?"

G is for Gray Hair

Don't even think about it.

H is for Headband

A cute way to have something on your head for the winter months and when you don't want to have to fix your hair or get hat hair from a hat.

I is for Innovation

Don't be afraid to experiment or reinvent yourself.  Now that you are not reporting to work every day, you are not limited by a dress code and can have some fun.  Not every look might work, but it's your life.  Live it.


J is for Jeans

If you are like me, finding the right jeans is as difficult as finding the right bathing suit and shopping for both of them can be a nightmare as in "is that really me in that mirror or one of those dancing elephants in "Fantasia" kind of nightmare.  But once you have the right pair, life is good.  There are some good ones out there that plump up the tush and pull in everything else.  Oprah raved about the Miraclebody Jeans a couple of years back and they were pretty good.  But just find the ones that make YOU feel you look great.  If YOU feel you look great, than you DO!

K is for Knee-High Boots 

Boots add a polished look and work especially well if your legs are less than perfect.

L is for Leopard Print


Leopard is the new black.  Trust me. You can wear it with everything!

M is for Make-up

Now I am not one of those women who won't let her husband see her without makeup so she jumps out of bed first thing and paints her face.  We all know I never jump out of bed.  When I am at home, I look like hell, but if I am going out, you won't catch me without mascara and lipstick at the very least.  Well, maybe at the gym or running to the grocery store, I let it slip a bit, but my point is, just because we are old, doesn't mean we have to accept the wrinkles and the flab and the little hairs on our chinny chin chins.  We should do what we can to still look good.

N is for No Bra

I just put this in to make sure you were paying attention.  But if you can get away with it, why not?

O is for Over the Knee Boots

The thing with over-the-knee boots is getting the damn things on and off.  So I say, if you can get them on and off, wear them!  I can and I do!

P is for Peplum

See "B" and "D" above.

Q is for Queen

You are one so demand the royal treatment. Any woman who has made it this far deserves some respect.  Don't take any crap from anyone!

R is for Really, Really Cool Jeans

As I said earlier, finding the right pair of jeans is essential. But I say go one step further.  Get some jeans that are fun, that have some sparkle, some bling or embellishment that shows your rock star side, your attitude!

S is for Sunglasses

Instant attitude!

T is for Tulle

No matter what her age, a girl can never have enough tulle. How else can she get her Stevie Nicks on?

U is for Unlimited Shoes

Like earrings, when you have packed on a few pounds and squeezing into your jeans feels like your are stuffing a sausage, your shoes will never let you down.  They will always fit.  And a lady can never have enough shoes!

V is for V-Neck


A nice V-neck is slimming to your face and calls attention to that alluring part of you, your collarbone and décolletage. It elongates your whole silhouette.

W is for Workout

Yes, we need to exercise (sigh), and it's a lot easier to go to the gym if we have a cute outfit that looks the part to wear.

X is for XL

This is what happens if you DON'T go to the gym.  But if it does, thanks to this size in our favorite store, we don't have to shop at Lane Bryant.

Y is for Yoga Pants

At this point, anything with elastic is a godsend.  Maybe you might even do some yoga.

Z is for Zebra Print

Zebra print just might overtake leopard as the new black!

Well, I hope I have provided some inspiration to some of my fellow fashionistas of a certain age.

The bottom line is this: 


Want to share YOUR Fashion Tips?

Thanks for Reading! 

See you Friday 

for my review of the new movie
"The Boy Next Door,"
The Week in Reviews,

 as well as my progress on

"My 1001 Movies I Must See Before I Die Project."


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