Seriously, when we set sail for parts south, I had to find a boat/outdoor/walking sandal that would work for our lifestyle, fit my foot, not mar the boat, and provide some support on easy to medium hikes. I went through two brands of boating sandals before discovering Tevas, and while there may be others that would work, I love my Tevas.
Wrapping up this project of frolicking through my wardrobe, I am breathing a sigh of relief.
This Capsule Wardrobe project has been eye-opening and I recognize now that it isn’t a “one-and-done” project. Part 1, Part 2 and now, Part 3: the end of this series – but not of my continued quest for simplification.
“Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance.” –Coco Chanel
Love, Love, Love Chanel but, yes; even I question the simplicity of 6 strands of pearls. However, simplicity is the goal I seek with this closet cleaning project. I wonder if Coco had a capsule wardrobe. hmmmm. No matter.
Moving is a good impetus for decluttering your closet and fine tuning your wardrobe. So is gaining 10 pounds or retiring from the corporate world. When you happen to have gained 10 pounds, moved your home AND retired from the corporate world – well, capsule wardrobe or not, your closet needs to be blown to hell and reconstructed.
…or, Five Things Women Over 60 Shouldn’t Do
1. Wear high heels to look sexy and then shuffle along like a person of advanced years. Those hot shoes may look great when you’re standing still in “The Pose” but if you can’t walk down a city side walk at a close to normal pace and without your head down, watching every step, then leave them in the closet (or store). If you love high heels and can stride along confidently, then enjoy them to your heart’s content. The operative phrase here is “Stride along confidently”. You are strong, you are seasoned, you rock. Walk like it.
2. Wear turtlenecks, scarves, and six strands of pearls to hide your neck. First of all, they don’t fool anyone. Secondly, if someone is going to judge you for your glorious, somewhat worn, well-live-life skin, then to heck with them. Show your neck, show your cleavage. Show your damn arm wattles. This is life. You earned every wrinkle, sun spot, and wiggle. Now, if you live up north in the winter – stick with those scarves and turtlenecks. If you have your Grandmother’s pearls or a fake set that makes you feel fabulous—why, by all means feel fabulous. If you are one of those people who can toss on a scarf of any weight and size and have it turn your separates into an outfit, we secretly hate you, but go for it.
3. Edit your wardrobe or hairstyle to meet someone’s expectations of what Women Over 60 shouldn’t do (including us). As long as you aren’t breaking any laws, wear what you damn well please, what’s comfortable, and what makes you feel like your best you. Tell the 30-something fashion police to go play in the sandbox.
3. Get caught up in “The Dreaded Shoulds” instead of following your gut. You worked hard to get here and you made a whole lot of mistakes along the way. (We sure did.) You may have made some of them over and over. (We did.) Stop that and find friends who will support you and whom you can support (that’s huge—it’s a two-way street), accept that some of your family may not be supportive, but embrace those who do. Follow your gut—after all, she’s known you all your life.
5. Forget to take time to play. Remember running around in the back yard/streets/back forty when you were a kid? What makes you smile now? We walk for exercise, going for an aerobic >15 minute mile. The Teva Diva has discovered biking, first for transportation and now for fun. Whenever she’s on her bike she smiles. Spontaneously. She smiles so much on the bike she probably scares the any 30-somethings she meets. That’s good, because she’s usually wearing a skort and Tevas and evidently they consider that one of the things Women Over 60 Shouldn’t Do like that. Play cards, take up an outdoor game (tennis, bocce, petanque or, anyone?) Build a snowman or sand castle. Travel. Hike. Swim. Learn to surf. Play.
Yes, I have my own comments on each of the “don’ts” above, but you probably knew that I would…
1. Being the Heels Diva, it’s important to note there are high heels and then there are HIGH HEELS. It’s important to stride confidently regardless of the shoe. However, to think any woman, of any age can consistently stride confidently down a city sidewalk in a pair of Louboutin’s Pigalle 120mms…. Well, if you find her, and her ankles are still intact and she hasn’t done at least one face-plant – she’s my new hero. This is a picture of the one and only Gwyneth Paltrow from the Louboutin 120mm blog and the photo’s caption: “Gwyneth Paltrow in black Pigalle 120 Louboutins. Don’t her feet look cute in these 120’s?…” Noooooo. They do not. Gaping arch, pinched toes… what’s cute about that?? Wear whatever heels you want, hold your head up and walk on, sister.
2. I LOVE wearing scarves. Now that I don’t have to dress for success and I’m living further south in the Austin area, I don’t have the occasion or the weather to wear them often. But I still love them. Tres French. I love scarves NOT to hide anything, per se. But, if you can accessorize AND camouflage at the same time – that’s a win-win. Pearls? I am not sure I could put on enough pearls to hide, or even camouflage anything. Mrs. Bush combines the pearl/scarf accessories and it looks fine. Sort of.
3. Anyone who thinks they can give me a list of what I shouldn’t do and think I’m NOT going to go out and do it is unenlightened. Because I don’t have many “can’t”s, only a few “won’t”s (i.e. wear a bikini or eat candied crickets).
4. Anyone who tells me I should or should not do, have, be, go, feel, eat, wear, please #3 above. Then they “should” clean up their own life.
5. Giving yourself permission to play is probably the most difficult of the 5, at least for me. There’s always something or someone that needs to be called, cleaned, put up or away, etc., etc. Prioritizing your own joy typically takes a back seat to everything else. Like the oxygen masks on an airplane, Love yourself first so you’ll have the capacity to fully love others. Have fun. We said so
(aka: Barb, The Teva Diva)
Ten years ago EW and I went to California to visit our son and to celebrate our 50th and 60th birthdays. Favorite and a friend of his took us surfing. EW, having surfed long before Favorite was born (but not at all for over 20 years), eagerly followed Favorite out to deeper water. The young woman gracefully stayed with me and taught me (a total novice) to use a belly board. I LOVED it. As I was resting and basking in my new found talent a woman over 60 stopped by and chatted. She had her husband had belly boarded weekly until he passed away. She hadn’t done it for a year or two, but watching me brought it all back. I told her that on our walks I had seen groups of seniors belly boarding and suggested she check with local organizations to find one. I hope she did. I have chosen to believe she did. Play.
Photo of Belly Boarders in UK Cornwall by Rod Allday. Found on Wikipedia.
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It’ll probably come as no surprise to learn that I hate to shop. So far we’ve discussed bras, make-up, my two pairs of shoes, and more. While I like to spend money (sometimes too much) I don’t like to shop. I shop one of two ways.
Next to bras, I’ve always hated to buy handbags and my 30-year-old line is that I want one to be inexpensive enough that I have money to left to put in it.
While cruising, I essentially got rid of handbags and used a small backpack, a zipper tote, or (tres chic) a waterproof gear bag with a luggage strap attached. Since we are living aboard in a city for a couple of years, I needed a bag and the winner is… one EW bought for me. Yep. EW surprised me with a small shoulder bag for Christmas.
It wasn’t expensive, and it isn’t perfect, but it’s small, has a few different compartments, holds all I need for a normal trip ashore, and (most important for those on a boat) every single compartment closes. Think about it: you want nothing to fall out of your bag when you are handing it from dinghy to boat or dock. Trust me, those open outside pockets or open totes are not my friend.
I love my little cloth bag and will use it until it dies. I have my eye on my next bag, also compact but with a few more compartments and a bit higher cost. There are bags I’ve sworn I’ll never get.
1. Designer bags worn at the elbow as our moms did. I’m a cross-body-strap woman.
2. Teeny tiny lipstick bags for dates. How cute. I can forgo with a bag that’s holds enough so I don’t have to put stuff in EW’s pocket.
3. A large, overstuffed, over feminine bag that makes me so tired he has to carry it. You’ve seen that? When I was in Texas for Lynnelle’s birthday we stopped at Buck-ee’s —a truly amazing convenience store on steroids. I took a lot of photos, and then I saw this—Pa following Ma around with a large ladies’ hand bag on his arm. It’s not a good look for him.
Seeing that couple is what inspired this post. In the early days of my marriage I promised EW (at no prompting whatsoever) that I would never make him carry my large purse. I’ve stuck with that. That’s why we have small backpacks and gear bags. He looks manly carrying a backpack and I get to fill it as I wish—after all, I never told him I wouldn’t ask him to carry a bag, just not a large ladies’ purse.
I’ve got nothing to add here. Wish I did, but I like to shop. I love bags. I wouldn’t ever ask Kurt to carry one; hold one while I tried on more bags, maybe – but not carry. He could remain stationary.
The definition of “shop” is something we can discuss at some point. For me “shopping” isn’t necessarily buying, but more planning, dreaming, strategizing. That is, unless you’re talking about grocery shopping. If Karen and I are going out “shopping” we do tend to come back with something in a bag, but sometimes not. If we go out grocery shopping, then that is a given we’re coming back with multiple bags (not the kind of bags I love, but more akin to the kind Barb loves).
This is all I have to add, even though I opened by saying I didn’t have anything to add. See? Get us started and we don’t stop! I’ll bet if you get Barb started shopping she may be a tough one to get stopped.