Kathryn Cropped Square

This picture was taken of me four years ago — several years before my husband retired. I took care with my appearance, I felt confident, I dressed well, and I really liked who I was.

I look at the picture now and ask myself  “Where did that woman go?”

When my husband, Chris, retired  I scaled back my interior design and home staging business.  Now, it’s way too easy to neglect my appearance and dress down. I don’t have nearly as many client meetings or meetings with vendors.  I rarely go to trade shows. I’ve scaled back meeting with prospects over lunch and attending networking events.

One morning after exercising, I started working on projects around the house while still wearing my stinky exercise clothes.  My hair in a pony tail, I caught sight of myself in a mirror. I wasn’t happy with what I saw.

But I’m not sure what I liked less, my appearance or my attitude that led to my appearance. When did my husband’s retiring from work turn into me “retiring” from caring about my appearance? I realized in this new phase of my life I can let myself go or I can let myself grow.  I choose to grow and to grow in ways that support healthy self-esteem. That means continuing to care about my appearance and practicing self care.

Will I wear high heels and suits around the house? I doubt it. Will I dress in a way that makes me feel good about me? Absolutely. Part of the problem is not knowing how to dress. I need a happy medium between dressing for success and lounging at home on the weekends.

I searched for fashion advice on how to dress stylishly at 50+.  I found some good advice out there including an article on How to be Fashionable after 60 (I’m not that far away from the big 6-0).

I found the comment section of the article very interesting.  Some women were thrilled to find advice on appropriate dress. Others commented they were at a stage in life where they didn’t care how they dressed or what they looked like.  Whatever works for you is right.  I just know that I feel better when I look better. I also know I’m treated differently when I’m dressed for success than when I’m dressed as though I don’t care about my appearance. As we age, we can become more invisible and how we dress can exacerbate that process. I’m not ready to fade into the sunset just yet. I can use what I wear make a statement about who I am and who I want to be in this phase of my life.