Privilege Blog

What Are You Balancing In Your Personal Style, Or, Saturday Morning at 9:55am

When I get dressed for style I do so in front of a mirror. I can’t lay an outfit down on my bed and be sure it’s what I want. Usually I start with shoes, or jeans (I am almost always in jeans), then pick a shirt that works – length, silhouette, color – then jewelry. To dangle or not to dangle. Finally, lipstick. The key accessory for fading lips.

I am guessing I’m by no means unusual? And do you all feel, as I do, a sort of click when you’ve got it right? Right being subjective of course.

My friend Sue at Une Femme wrote a post this week on style balance. She listed several visual elements we can work with. For example, structured/soft, classic/trendy, or formal/casual. There are more. Then she pointed out that we’re often balancing not only the visual aspects of style, but the key issues of our personal expression.

I was compelled to draw a diagram. This may qualify as the dopiest-looking thing I’ve ever published. I’d put up a poll if I knew how.


But dopey or not it says that the identity markers that I consider in my personal style are few but mighty. Lo.

Those I Take With Me Everywhere:

  • Feminine/Masculine – I’ve always felt I have a traditionally “masculine” personality, despite being quite deeply situated in my female gender. I believe I’ve use clothing to balance my feminine physical appearance, to give people a better understanding of who I’ll be when I open my mouth. Also to ward off unwanted attention. See the pink oblong and blue square? You knew what I was getting at with that code, right?
  • Fancy/Regular – No matter where I am going I am always aware of how “fancy” I am, or not. I’m guessing it comes from childhood shopping trips at Saks with Mom. Hence the gold crown. I promise I am making myself laugh.

Those Driven By Social Context:

  • Making An Effort/I Woke Up Like This – This is not casual vs. fancy per se. This is: Do I show the time I’ve spent in putting myself together, even if it’s just when I choose black jeans, black 20-year old Doc Martens, and a dark gray tee printed with a t-rex? I don’t really like to go to the supermarket looking like I’ve made an effort. That’s just me, no stricture implied.
  • Standing Out/Blending In – This is partly about what everyone else will be wearing, and partly about how much I showcase my female self. Is everyone else conservatively dressed and I’m in something Artsy? Is everyone else Artsy and I’m the Grande Dame? And, always, are my clothes tight? Bright? Is my hair down and unstraightened? Are my lips red? (The answer to the last four questions has traditionally been Rarely.)

So all the other “balance elements,” as Sue might say, serve larger principles. I’m not just balancing an outfit, I’m balancing my identity in the world. I would assume many of you do as well, although I do believe there are free spirits who dress solely to express.

Over Time

  • As my social context changes, I adjust. For example, as I spend more time in the intimacy of a suburb, I feel less interest in style as armor.
  • As my physical self changes, I adjust. For example, as I age I wear tighter clothes because, while my body may be less female, I am not.

Back to the mirror.

When I look I don’t just see my clothes, I see myself, and the equivalent of the green circle. I haven’t found the aesthetics of style to be too hard – a navy shirt, orange contrasts with navy, I have blue eyes, oh let’s add violet. But personal expression, that’s been buried, and kind of hard to get at. I thank you for your company.

I am curious as to what you all balance in your style. Goodness knows we’re already balancing a lot that has nothing whatsoever to do with clothes.

Have an excellent weekend.


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62 Responses

  1. Goodness, Lisa, you make this all so complicated! But I guess as a style blogger, you feel the need occasionally to wax thoughtful and theoretical about how you dress, and spark some interesting discussion. So here’s my take:

    First, I ask myself “What’s clean?” and proceed from there. I have certain tops I wear with certain pants: dark blue jeans, white jeans, black slacks, light or dark tan slacks. My choice of desired pants or top dictates the other. Time of day or evening dictates the level of “fancy,” which usually means level of sparkle/shine for earrings and necklace (jade round on a neck cord for day vs David Yurman-style silver chain with gem pendant for evening). Usually flats for day, heels for later.

    But most of all, I regard myself as always dressed appropriately, whatever I wear. If I’m too fancy, then I am raising the tone of the occasion; if I am too casual, then I am encouraging others to feel comfortable. I just don’t worry about it. And for me, a bit of eye make-up is more important than lipstick (which vanishes with the first glass of wine, anyway!). As long as my clothes are clean, my hair is combed, and my brain and my smile are still working, I am fit to go anywhere!

    (And I don’t worry about “masculine this” and “feminine that” – I’m just me.)

    1. @Victoire, Sounds like a comfortable self.

      I don’t see this as me “Making this” complicated – I think that given who I am and what my background is, it was bound to be complicated. The question was simply whether I would ever dig out the buried town or not.

      Think about it – debutante with faith in social graces and professional-grade taste, shy intellectual professor, High WASP We Do Not Talk About It family culture, what was the child to do but deconstruct her clothing? Or else carry to her grave the unspoken cultural and familial complications.

      I’d much rather blab it all out here on the Internet;).

  2. I love this post, Lisa. As I did the one on Sue/Une Femme’s blog when I read it. I just love “philosophising” (as a friend used to say I am wont to do) about clothes.

    Identity is so much a part of why we choose what we wear. I found retirement added another variable into the balancing act, along with gender, age, size, yadda, yadda. I don’t want to look like what people imagine I should look like as a retired person. I read a post last year on Man Repeller where a young writer equated baggy pants and slippers with being retired. Ackk. Talk about sensitive to that issue… I commented and, for the only time in my blog reading history, gave the blogger a blast of my temper. I was not alone. Who knew so many retired people were reading that blog, even though it’s intended for a much younger audience. To her credit the young writer responded respectfully to every enraged woman of a certain age who had commented.

    P.S. I do admit that I’m wearing baggy shorts and slippers right now … but no one needs to know that. Ha.
    P.P.S. I planned to write a post building on Sue’s, as well. But I’m still mulling things over.

    1. @Sue Burpee, I’m glad you liked it!

      I really didn’t philosophize about clothes until I was a couple of years into writing this blog. Didn’t have the self-awareness for it.

      I left out the signalling of social position altogether – retired, retired from what of job becomes important down here in Silicon Valley, etc – but I only left it out because I was too tired to talk any more. Ha! Baton to you!

  3. All-right, I admit to living in yoga clothes. I find them so comfortable. I have few opportunities to really feel the need to dress up.
    The other day I saw a woman dressed in blue jeans with a shirt tucked in and a simple belt. She also had on ankle boots. I thought it was a nice look. I’m trying to order a few things for fall. Clothes and I have always been at odds. I’ve never found them a good value yet, as I age I’m feeling the need to take a bit more care.
    I could agree that your thoughts on dressing seem complicated. Having said that I wish I could be more thoughtful about my wardrobe.


    1. @luci, I will hasten to assure that that before my readers here responded to warmly to my initial High WASP style posts, I didn’t think that much about all this. Mind you, I ACTED in accordance with all these issues, I just didn’t think about them;). The blog was the vehicle for thought. Once I started thinking, I just kept going.

      And I would wear yoga clothes but the pants are too tight for my comfort. Tees and jeans are my equivalent. I just like to up the ante a little bit, now that I’ve spent these eleven years writing here!

  4. Lisa, I always appreciate your thoughtful take on these things. Thanks for crafting such an interesting and (as always) intelligent and analytical assessment. I love getting analytical about style. (Nail down the formula that works, repeat . Repeat again with variation.)

    And I love that you added a crown.

    Can’t wait to see you in a few weeks!!

  5. I love the crown — I will remember that as I choose jewelry for an outfit :)
    I have always been very conscious of being well “put together” as my mother dressed beautifully right up to the end — I lost her two years ago — she was 91. We went shopping shortly before her last illness and I vividly remember walking into a store with her, watching her turn and scan the racks, and then nodding as she said, “Old lady clothes — nothing for me.”
    Mom never wanted to stand out, but she stayed true to herself and always looked beautifully put together, so much so that several women at her condo commented rather cattily on that fact.
    I’m not bothered too much about what other people think since I retired, but I vividly remember using “style as armor” when I was working and felt I needed a boost of confidence.
    Thanks for this very thought-provoking post.

    1. @Cynthia, You are very welcome. Your mother sounds like a style force, I love that image of her looking around the store and nodding.

      I’m thinking I need a crown. Maybe we all need one of one sort or another:).

  6. I don’t think much about stuff like this – not sure why. It’s a good exercise.

    I’d say at this point in my life I balance comfort with looking good. I can’t stand to be uncomfortable, whether it’s the fit, the fabric, heels, etc.

    I also have to think about (not daily, but a lot) if I care if I get paint on it?

    I care about what I look like if I’m going out to dinner, in a restaurant or dinner party, but on a daily basis, I’m run around like I’m happily invisible.

    1. @KSL, “Happily invisible:):” I suspect that had I not fallen into a writing a style blog I would do the same thing.

  7. Thanks for the structure to plan an outfit …I also read Susan’s structure piece…I enjoy pondering these aspects of style …..I really do spend time getting dressed so that what I put together doesn’t fit someone’s preconceived notion of what a retired person wears…Loveth the crown that indeed spoke to me…I try to balance casual and chic…I like the style of a cashmere hoodie, dark jeans and boots…Oh I also wear my pearls with everything..Just me…All of this is indeed fun in a world where fun is so scarce until it becomes an endangered feeling…

    1. @Deede, I like the idea of a cashmere hoodie, dark jeans and boots too! With pearls;). It should be fun, even if we are the type to ponder. I think fun and pondering can coexist.

  8. Goodness I must be dumb. My first thought when I get dressed is the weather. How hot will it be today. What can I wear to be comfortable. I don’t care if I’m dressed up or down at the market. I figure I’m lucky to be there shopping for food as opposed to eating cereal for dinner.

    I do love getting dressed with style for fun times with friends etc. I wear loose clothing but then again I don’t have your body. You look great always. I never think about the philosophy of dressing I do it purely by visual instinct. How good does it look? What colors? What jewelry. It’s all instinct never brains.

  9. I love your diagram. The first thing I was drawn to was the pink oval in the blue square and yes I saw/see what you were getting at. In fact I think your illustration is incredibly simple, the embodiment of your words.

    I used to wear clothing as armor and most of my interest in style and fashion was in fashioning my personal fortress. I’m still interested but participate less or at least differently. I’ve given myself permission to observe but ignore if I so choose.

    I like the crown. It reminds me to balance my more formal parts with my “don’t care” parts, and I still often find myself falling on one side or the other of the overdressed/underdressed divide. It is that idea of balancing my identity in the world that I struggle with the most, not being over or under-dressed, but being somewhere in the ball-park without compromises my hard-earned rough edges. if that makes any sense.

    1. @Mardel, It makes total sense. And I’m not surprised that you and I occupy a similar space with this, we both mix worded concepts and the more visual aesthetics it seems by nature.

  10. I balance caring against really wanting to sleep for 20 more minutes. But just today I unpacked the BEST box of clothing I haven’t seen in almost 2 years (or fit into for 4) and I am freakin’ thrilled. It’s like I went to the most amazing store and found everything in the world and it all fits fabulously, is gorgeous and I didn’t have to pay for it! Also, I love the crown.

    1. @K-Line, Enjoy your very own clothes! I have always been an early riser, maybe that’s where all the extra time to think about this stuff that may not really warrant thinking about comes from;).

  11. “High WASP WeDoNotTalkAboutIt family culture, what was the child to do but deconstruct her clothing? Or else carry to her grave the unspoken cultural and familial complications.”

    hopehopeHOPE we shall meet this child again in the novel! xo

    1. @Flo, At this moment sadly it appears not. However, should I ever attempt Novel #2, whose characters do seem to be making a bid for attention, I will make sure she has her day. Thank you for caring:).

  12. Simply stated, I’ve always felt comfortable dressing in high end classics. Even better, to this day, it continues to work well for me. Going with classics, I never feel over or under dressed. I do not feel the need to call attention to myself or make a statement. By classics, I include: oxford shirts, long and short sleeve T’s, black and navy slacks and skirts, and jeans. Add to this a collection of sheath dresses. Lastly, several blazers that can be paired with slacks, jeans, skirts and some dresses. I find this makes dressing easy…for me. I suspect people find me very predictable when it comes to dressing.

    1. @Susan, I think that the good thing about classics, if they suit you inside and out, is eventually people associate you with them, and you own them. It becomes a uniform, and therefore predictable but not boring at all as you yourself are the centerpiece.

  13. Me again. I re-read your post a few times, and I still don’t quite “get” it, but I see that you are asking about “balance,” so I’ve been thinking about that.

    I have a highly expressive personality, although I’m quieter in my old age, so I suppose one could say that I “balance” that personality with very calm, ordinary, almost mono-chromatic clothing. Black, white, and tan, with the occasional burst of, perhaps, cobalt blue or teal green.

    If I wore the purple caftan, strings of bright beads, and wild feathers in my hair that my personality might bring to mind, I think people would run away from me!

    1. As long as my clothes are clean, my hair is combed, and my brain and my smile are still working, I am fit to go anywhere!

      Your assessment speaks to me, Victoire. And comfort,especially in shoes & brassieres is essential to me.

    2. @Victoire, This is exactly what I was talking about – that personal balance:). And @Holly Rosee I hasten to add that I insist on comfort, have all my life, to the point where I wouldn’t wear nightgowns with elastic sleeves as a little girl;). The analytical thinking however, has come with the territory.

      And I agree, shoes and bras in particular have to be comfortable and so many are not!

  14. Thank you for your paradigm. I have to think about it. A year out from retirement as an attorney, I am still having a hard time finding my style. I am wont to adopt my work week “Saturday style”, which was put on whatever is clean, no make up, hair pulled back. About halfway through the year, I realized it was making me depressed.

    Then I began to rotate “career clothes” through the retirement week. I wore my more unstructured blazers with jeans and my better flats and loafers with same.

    But now we are in Cape Cod more than not and about to move permanently. The dress style is ….well, let’s just say that my husband made me promise to “never let myself go” as much as he sees everyday. In short: sweats, shorts, sneakers abound.

    But I, too, feel uncomfortable looking like I am “making an effort” at the grocery store. No make up, earrings, bracelets, or changing purses. This is not sitting well with me when I have two full closets (master bedroom and guest) full of my clothes that I do not want to get rid of.

    What to do?

    Thank you for giving a structure to the analysis.

    1. @Lorett, It is an interesting conundrum you have raised! Marie Kondo would suggest keeping only the clothes that spark joy in your heart and eyes. Another approach would be a functional analysis, of the clothes you need to keep for a night on the town (or opera, or ballet) in a more formal city like Boston or New York, as well as special events like class reunions, family reunions, or God forbid, funerals. Yet another way to look at it, would be to keep clothing which is versatile enough to be dressed up or equally, dressed down. There’s no easy answer….

    2. @Lorett, You are more than welcome – thank you in turn for humoring my need to analyze. Retirement dressing is a conundrum, I agree. I am comfortable that after five years I know how to leave the house, in a car. But when I’m in my house, and I go out front to garden, I know I look kind of crazy in my pajama bottoms and old tank tops. That will be the next project – upgrading what I wear in the house so I am at least not embarrassed to go outside!

      I think something can be said for selling off/donating what’s in your closet and starting afresh. In a year – taking this year to try to wear everything you have at least and see if it can still play a role. Because buying new casual but stylish-for-you gear can be extremely inexpensive these days.

      You haven’t retired into your old life, you’ve got a new one. Or so I have found.

  15. Wow. I am such a plebeian compared to you. I grab jeans then ask “is it hot or cold?” I then proceed with either a tee shirt or sweater. I am not worthy to be part of this group.

    1. @MaryAnne, Ha! Look, it’s all your fault! I didn’t use to think about this either, I just had it all running in the back of my head making choices for me:). If I were comfortable in jeans with a tee and no hint of artistic expression that is what I would wear. I guess I will also wave to my mother at this point, she had a big impact on me.

  16. Love your sketch – don’t ever be afraid of illustrating your ideas! 1 picture equals….etc.
    You bring up several interesting points: career women may have questions about adjusting to retirement, and what to wear (as well as the bigger question, what to do). We all re-invent ourselves several times during our life, as we take on or drop various roles. You’ve traded paid employment in high-tech for self-directed work that may well pay off in the future – but it’s still using your brain and creativity, only in a different direction.
    Right now, I’m working part-time (half time) as a physician, something I’ve previously done fulltime for the past 44 years, so it is really part of my identity. Working hours, I wear the same clothes I’ve always worn, with seasonal refreshers such as accessories in new colors, if they suit me. If not, I sit it out.
    But during my increased leisure hours, there is a conundrum – do I want to use up the clothes I already have, or buy a new leisure wardrobe? I’ve opted for the former (frugality) and just dial the accessories down a notch from workplace formal – a straw carryall rather than a leather bag, perhaps a colourful (my husband would say explosive) scarf rather than a traditional work-appropriate pattern, certainly more casual jewelry – and more bracelets and earrings than before – which I never wear to work – because bracelets jangle and make distracting (depending on the context, joyful) noises, and earrings fall off when I’m on the phone a lot (my ears are not pierced). But during my free time, I can shed these workplace inhibitions and go to town with jewelry that makes me happy!

    1. @sensitive poet, It sounds as though your work clothes are integrating well into your part-time life, so no need to buy new for now? I love the thought of your jewelry creating a sound track to your new life.

      And that Ellis Faas website is GORGEOUS! Thanks!

  17. Just replying now to your query on the lipstick post you wrote in June (sorry for the delay), Ellis Faas cosmetics (no animal testing, no ugly additives) have a website,, and will send you generous free samples of foundation to try, with free shipping too! Sometimes they include a free sample of lip products as well. Ecco Bella is sometimes available at health food stores, or on eBay. They may also have a website.

    1. @sensitive poet, No worries on delay! My goodness, I sometimes don’t even manage to get to all the comments which bothers me but I depend on the tolerance of the group. xox.

  18. This is the single best thing I’ve ever read, anywhere, about how we choose to dress ourselves. I think I’ve tried to figure it out all my life, and I’m only now getting closer to understanding it. I think I try to balance feminine appeal, however muted, with the norm I see around me, and also current style with appropriateness for the task or occasion. Somewhere in there, what appeals to me hopefully fits. What you said, though, about showing whether you’ve made an effort, or not – that lit up my brain, and I know that’s a sticky point for me. I don’t want to go around daily looking like I’ve put in too much effort, yet imagine that’s exactly what I often do. I know I’ve got it right when I feel confident and comfortable in my skin, in my clothes, in my mind. Like myself, really, or however much of myself I’m presenting to the world at the moment. Thank you so much for thinking this out for yourself, and finding the words to explain it so brilliantly! It’s genius.

    1. @Jane, You are really kind, and I thank you. It sounds as though for some of us getting dressed is linked to our identity and social selves, for others, not. When it is linked, we won’t enjoy style as much as we might until we can understand how the linkage works, at least a little bit. All the best.

  19. Fascinating discussion. I struggle with what to wear at home in retirement..

    I am reminded of a comment a university collrge professor once said:She asked us to look at what we were wearing that day and said “Of everything in your closet you chose this”. That statement certainly comes to mind some days

    1. @Connie, Maybe that’s it – if we are the sort who is always aware of choice, and aware in an internal voice sense, more than instinct for function or aesthetics, we analyze.

      Seems like another post on transitioning a wardrobe to retirement wouldn’t go amiss at some point.

  20. “I’ve always felt I have a traditionally “masculine” personality, despite being quite deeply situated in my female gender. I believe I’ve use clothing to balance my feminine physical appearance, to give people a better understanding of who I’ll be when I open my mouth.” 〈— this is so interesting to me, as I do the exact opposite for the same reason – as another woman who thinks my personality can trend towards “masculine”(unapologetic about strong opinions, decisive, on the loud side, openly ambitious) my appearance leans overly feminine to help balance that. It was something that started subconsciously, I think, but at this point is a relatively conscious choice I make, especially at work (I work with 80% men currently, and am the only woman on a 13 person management team.) My look 100% of the time I leave the house is a dress (occasionally skirt and top) full makeup, blowdried hair, and noticeable jewelry – the changes that happen are entirely level of formality/conservativeness based on if I’m going to work vs. not work/fun/fancy fun. Yes, I put on makeup to go to the grocery store on the weekend. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately as the conversation around dressing kids, little girls in particular, gender neutrally is such a big one these days, and something I agree with even though I’m so far from it myself. Thanks for adding more points to the thought process!

    1. @Elizabeth, Interesting. Thank you for adding your thoughts too.

      I should add, as I’ve read these comments and thought more, I also dressed in a masculine way to fend off advances. I worked in male-dominated fields, in the 80s, I was small and blonde, I felt I needed to protect myself. I hope for the day that dressing “like a woman” doesn’t mean, “dressing like you’re looking for a man.”

    2. @Lisa, Ah, see, I actually don’t think that those two things are inherently connected. But I also think that in Europe in general/Scandinavia specifically you see a lot more style that is overtly feminine without being overtly sexual than you do in the US, and this, maybe especially the combination of living in a generally more gender-equal society, has shaped my views in the last few years.

    3. @Elizabeth, I don’t think they are necessarily connected, but in my days as a single woman, in my culture, in my work environment, sure felt like it;). I mean, weird as it feels to say this, the 80s were THIRTY years ago!

      Also, in case I haven’t been clear, this is not a prescriptive post, like the ones where I might say watch for the undertones when choosing a purple:). This is exploratory, where I don’t come up with an answer, I only light up stuff that is in the way of an answer so I can pass it by. Then I think maybe the question, or the thoughts I come up with, might be useful to some.

  21. Finding balance in dressing is becoming more difficult the older I get. (I’m 61.) I worry about my hair color matching the lines on my face, that my hair cut stays youthful and not matronly, that my clothes are feminine but not frilly and stylish yet classic, and that I appear comfortable and relaxed but not sloppy or overdressed. I suspect it’s much easier for men!

    1. @Leslie K, I am pretty sure you are right. I think men have worries as they age, but dressing isn’t one of them.

      “Youthful but not matronly.”

      One might also say “modern.”

      Still engaged. So funny how our hair gets into the conversation, for me too.

  22. Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art.” So I think it is true that looking beautiful as we grow older does require extra attention, effort and time. I saw a young lady – maybe seventeen – this morning. She was barefoot in the produce section of the grocery store, clad only in frayed shorts and a wrinkled shirt. Her hair was long and tangled, but clean. No makeup. She was stunning. The only advantage I have over her is the wisdom to know I can’t go out like that.

    1. @Cynthia Blaylock, If we go out like that, people think we are homeless. This is exactly what I mean, the way we have an identity that we want to communicate, and it’s a amalgam of what our bodies say and what our clothing says, and then of course what we might say if we start talking;).

  23. I dress to be seen, to look my best especially at the supermarket, I am not a wallflower and I allow my choice of clothing to reflect that, but in a tasteful, classic and slightly masculine (Kate Hepburn) kind of way. I like to look strong and confident. Life is too short to be dull darling. I just want to look my best. I like things that are fresh, interesting, fit well, comfortable and flattering, so my clothes, like everything in my life, have a lot to live up to. I find I rarely go back to things I bought in a previous season, I have a few staples such as pants and jeans, jackets and going out shoes that get re-used, but tops and everyday shoes, I buy new each season. I love colour and texture, and I get bored with life very easily, in fact I find life mostly boring, so I distract myself with clothes and makeup. There I said it. I get bored. I want to look well put together because it makes me feel better about being in the world – fake it to make it. And yes, it must also be weather appropriate. I adjust my clothes according to what my body is doing as well and never want to dress too old and mature or too young like mutton dressed as lamb. So there’s a very fine line there. Yes actually, it’s harder than first thought. I’m totally in love with a loose flowy striped top from Trenery this year, so much so that I bought 2 – one to wash and one to wear. My uniform for this winter. I also hate anything that looks slightly worn out, so they never get worn again again either. Dolce Vita.

  24. I love this discussion. As someone else has already said I check the weather first. Since I have a tummy that I try to camouflage, I try to look put together., otherwise I just look sloppy. As for grocery shopping, I try to be mindful of how cold it is in the store and usually have a casual jacket I throw on. I do try to balance a loose fitting top with narrow pants. I love feeling good about how I look.

    1. @Marilyn Leslie, I love it too. In order to get to that feeling, I admit I had to do a LOT of talking here;). I check the weather too, but we don’t have a lot of variance so that wasn’t in the forefront of my mind when I wrote this.

  25. Long time reader, first time commenter. I’ve been working on my retirement transition for 3 years since leaving a corporate job in media and moving to California. I’m 62 and the conversation in this post speaks to me. My 62 year old body is changing from the one I knew my whole life. I’m trying to learn the best way to dress it, with a focus on comfortably fitting into my new lifestyle.
    I have TOO MUCH in my closet that is no longer useful, but the sentimental attachments – many lovely pieces belonged to my mother – and the idea that maybe I will wear it again one day prevent me from giving them away.
    I am inspired by this group and the many conversations on style and aging gracefully. Happy to be part of the conversation.

    1. @Audrie, Hello, and welcome! Very happy to have you as part of the conversation. I have pieces with sentimental attachment too – I’ve just given up the idea that I’m ever going to wear my old Mexican sundress, or a black net costume Mom gave me when she came from Egypt. They are talismans, I don’t mind allocating them some closet space.

      I bet that leaving a corporate media job and moving to California puts entirely new demands on you and what you wear. You’ve got company here;).

  26. Lovely sketch Lisa (crown included)
    Tydesley wrote that Cleopatra “may not have wanted to look -on coins f.e.-delicate and beautiful,she may have wanted to show power abowe anything else”-and intelligence,I assume
    Sounds familiar,don’t you think?
    I love your analytical posts and a lot of comments resonate,too
    A lot of balancing is subconsciously incorporated in my style decisions-I like to keep it simple and understated (but with things that don’t scream but discretly whisper only to those who know to hear) -I try to think about it as the blank screen where the actor (or accessories!) does the magic :-)
    But,sometimes,one has , or want , to have a match point-I’m sure,Cleopatra would approve

  27. “(but with things that don’t scream but discretly whisper only to those who know to hear)” that’s how I feel too:).

    Thank you – I think I’ll add Cleopatra to my references. xox.

  28. I love my dark “rinse” colored jeans in retirement. I have kept my cute tops from when I worked and feel like I can go just about anywhere in a nice top (or sweater) and jeans. It feels like the way I dressed in college! Lately, I have been investing in nice skirts for going to parties, theater, etc., that I can still wear with nice tops.

    1. Sounds like a great strategy – also allows you to go basic on the bottoms and find great investment tops.

  29. My final comment on this post, before we move on to whatever Lisa is thinking about tomorrow:

    When in doubt, throw on some pearls!

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