In Praise Of... Personal Style

I’m not naturally rebellious, but as the years go by there are rules I find irritating to say the least; in particular I get annoyed about ‘rules’ on what I should or should not wear.

At the age of 63, I figure I am only responsible to myself as to how I dress. Not that I plan hanging out on a nudist beach any time soon, but after years in the corporate world it is a relief to no longer wear a ‘uniform’ – actual or perceived.

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Dress to show off your best assets

Coincidentally, as I now have the freedom to wear what I want, I have also taken a much stronger interest in my personal presentation. I understand the importance of self-image and take the time to get dressed and feel my best.

I have a personal rule that I won’t go to the shops unless I am tidily dressed and have added a pop of lipstick. It was too easy in my early retirement to hang around all day in gardening clothes, but I quickly found that I felt bad when I did so.

So, in figuring out what clothes work for me in my retirement (I prefer to call it re-wirement) I have learned a lot about what works for my body and my lifestyle. I have determined my personal style.

I hang out in some online style groups, I share my ‘#everydaystyle’ (thanks to Nikki Parkinson of Styling You for that inspiration) on Instagram, and I dress to please myself. I know what makes me feel confident and what doesn’t. I know I like a balance of style and comfort. I know I like to be aware of the latest trends and colours, but not be a slave to them. And I know that a lot of the so-called style rules don’t work for me.

I don’t own a crisp white button up shirt – I’m tall and a bit overweight with short hair – I look butch in that style.

I do wear distressed skinny jeans – skinny jeans suit my shape and flatter my legs (one of my best assets). I like the distressed look as one of my nods to current trends.

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Stay current with trends that suit you and your lifestyle

I do sometimes wear dresses and skirts above my knee, again because my legs are good. I don’t wear super mini skirts like I did in my late teens and 20s but I won’t have anyone tell me I can’t. I don’t because I would spend all day tugging at the skirt. That’s the same reason I haven’t embraced the off-the-shoulder trend; I hate strapless bras and I don’t want to be fussing with a top that pops up (or heaven forbid, down!).

I rarely wear high heels because I get a sore back and ankles when I do, but I do like an ankle boot with a low heel and I am a great fan of kicks. I can stay current without breaking my neck and those styles suit my lifestyle.

I know that my wardrobe needs to be travel friendly because we travel domestically a lot and internationally when we can. That dictates the fabrics that I select – I love natural fibres but silk isn’t practical for me.

Unlike my legs, my arms aren’t in great shape, so I don’t often wear a sleeveless dress or top. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t – I see plenty of women older than me with great muscle definition rocking sleeveless tops.

So, I only have one ‘rule’ to share with you. Know what suits you, what you can afford and what makes you feel your best. Wear that!

What do you like to wear – and what suits your own style best?

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Image credit: (feature) © Fox Searchlight, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel 2015; (in-text) Jan Wild.