October 30, 2022 · 8:09 am
A few years back, I wrote a blog post called “My Writer’s Uniform” in which I speculated on what I might be wearing in retirement when I would be free from office dress codes and pursuing my life’s purpose in writing. Of course, the pandemic was nowhere on our radar at that time.
In 2020, when we started working from home due to the pandemic, the line between home life and work life quickly blurred. That being the case, I made a point of putting on jeans during working hours. When I was off the clock, I could relax and cozy up in my comfortable sweat pants and sweat shirts. In my mind, this helped with the boundary setting between work and home.
In 2021 when I retired, it came as no surprise that the sweats became the default outfit. After 33 years of getting dressed for work, I appreciated the break from the pressure of putting on the office “armour.” However, when I was making public appearances like in-person appointments or running errands, I was more than happy to build a comfortable outfit around my favourite jeans.
But it was early in 2022, when I knew it was time to put my nose to the grindstone and answer life’s calling in writing that the wardrobe question came up again. With this next phase in life just beginning, I could not imagine spending the next 30, 40 or 50 years in sweat pants. There had to be a happy medium.
As I was waking up one morning, I looked over at the sweat pant and sweat shirt ensemble I had hung on the door handle in preparation for that day. I asked myself, “Does this outfit really make me feel more creative?” Continue reading →
Filed under Writing
Tagged as apparel, artist, business, career, clothing, comfort, create, creating, creative, fashion, frame of mind, honour, inspiration, inspire, motivation, uniform, wardrobe, wear, writer, Writing
November 7, 2021 · 7:44 am
When I was recently out running socially distanced, masked, heavily hand sanitized errands, I was delighted when a store clerk asked, “Well aren’t we dressed up for shopping. Special occasion?”
I wasn’t fishing for a compliment, but thanks to Covid-19 and so many months of only going out for essential errands, I hadn’t received a compliment on an outfit in ages. What a thrill!
But in a senior’s moment, I had to take a look down to remind myself of what I was wearing. Everything was as I remembered it: a plain black t-shirt, plain black jeans, a jean jacket and a favourite pair of Chelsea boots.
I admit that I did give it about 15 seconds of thought when I chose the pieces, but it wasn’t so much in an effort to make a fashion statement as it was more of a strategic move to prevent the accidental mixing of a dark navy blue t-shirt with black jeans. One never knows when the fashion police might be lurking.
I replied jokingly (but deep down, quite seriously), “After being in lockdown for so long, it’s just such a thrill to be wearing clothes again instead of sweats. Going out for any reason is a special occasion!” Continue reading →
Filed under 50+, Misc blogs
Tagged as business, casual, clothing, comfort, designer, fashion, fashionstyle, garments, image, men's style, men’s clothing, office, pandemic, professional, retirement, style, trend, wardrobe
October 22, 2017 · 11:14 am
A couple of years ago, I wrote about my love-hate relationship with my iron in a tribute to my Dad and his crisp office shirts.
In that same train of thought, when growing up in the 1970’s, while in school in the 1980’s, and when launching my career in the 1990’s, the expectation was to have clean, neat and crisp clothes anytime I set foot outside the house, because “you never get a second chance to make a first impression”. Even if we look back at pictures from that era and question the wisdom of some of our fashion choices, neat and tidy clothing were a common denominator.
My parents’ suit-and-tie generation set the bar pretty high, even for a child. Clothes were meant to be worn gently, and maintained carefully to keep looking new as long as possible. The rotation generally went like this: every September, we got me new school clothes and the previous year’s school clothes (if I hadn’t outgrown them yet) became the “play clothes”, for wearing as soon as I got home from school. When a new batch of school clothes came in, a batch of gently-used play clothes would go to charity.
Along the way, a little nick in clothing meant taking out the needle and thread and try to make an invisible repair to restore it to its original beauty. And if invisible mending wasn’t successful, it went into the donation box.
That’s just the way I was brainwashed… I mean, brought up. It wasn’t just my parents’ generation that instilled this way of thinking, but it was my grandparents’ generation too who declared open war on wrinkles and holes long before I was born. And just think of the staff on Downtown Abbey and how many items they’ve darned and mended through their six seasons.
About 10 years ago, I let myself get talked into buying a distressed pair of brand name jeans with a few strategically-placed pulled threads. I can’t tell you what a struggle it was each time to convince myself to wear them and that I supposedly looked like a cool, edgy, fashion-forward 40 year old. I may have looked it, but I certainly didn’t feel it. Continue reading →
Filed under 50+, Humour
Tagged as age, age appropriate, apparel, art, blue jeans, clothes, clothing, demand, designer, designers, distressed, evolution, fashion, funny, generation gap, generations, history, holes, humor, humour, jeans, looks, men's fashion, mending, pendulum, retail, ripped, rips, self-expression, shopping, sociology, sophisticated, style, tears, wardrobe, women's fashion
April 2, 2017 · 11:42 am
For as long as I can remember, spring and fall were usually times to head back to the malls and hunt for a few new items of clothing to refresh the wardrobe.
I would assume that the timing has its origins back to childhood when fall meant “back to school” and spring meant replacing the t-shirts and shorts I outgrew from the previous season. Even though I haven’t set foot in a classroom in years and “outgrowing” holds a different meaning today, the traditions of shopping for spring and fall fashion stuck with me.
But the paradigm of seasonal shopping is starting to shift. With retirement just a few years away, my clothing needs are changing.
I would like to think that until now, for my work life and my social life, I had cultivated a look that struck the right balance between the office dress code, what allowed me to feel comfortable and confident and what pleased me personally.
I developed a uniform of separates I truly loved, that fit me the way I wanted. Through carefully selected long sleeved shirts, sweaters, blazers, dress pants, cotton pants, jeans, shoes, and socks of all colours, it was very easy to mix and match the pieces to achieve a multitude of looks, appropriate for the weather, the occasion, and how I felt on a given day.
I also had on hand the obligatory suits for interviews, weddings and funerals.
Similarly, I knew exactly which pieces traveled better than others, which took the guesswork out of packing for a trip. Continue reading →
Filed under 50+, Humour, Misc blogs, Writing
Tagged as age appropriate, artist, blazers, boots, clothing, comfort, confidence, confident, cool, corporate, cultivating a look, dress code, energize, fashion, fashionable, glamour, humor, humour, image, investment piece, jeans, Lenny Kravitz, malls, men's fashion, men's style, rock and roll, shopping, stores, style, stylist, wardrobe, write, writer, writer's life
October 30, 2016 · 5:02 pm
I certainly would not consider myself a fashionista or an authority on the topic of fashion, but let’s just say that I genuinely believe that cultivating a personal sense of style does have its merits.
Throughout my professional career, dressing appropriately was something I took seriously, to demonstrate to my colleagues and my superiors that I was interested, engaged and committed to my work and to my career.
By offering attention to detail in my professional wardrobe, I believed it was a sign that my work would also reflect the same attention to detail. To me, it helped project credibility. Also, by dressing appropriately for the office, I never really had to worry about being called to last-minute meetings, as I was always suitably attired.
I would like to think that at this stage of my life, my skills, my track record and my professional reputation speak for themselves. But still, I have no interest in showing up for work while wearing the same thing I would be wearing if I was at home, binge watching Netflix.
Throughout my life, I have turned to men’s fashion magazines for tips and hints for cultivating the right look for me, for my age, and for my body type. After building and refining what I consider to be a classic wardrobe, combining durable investment pieces and a few colourful statement pieces, even if I don’t need to buy anything new, the magazines help me validate that the pieces I am wearing are still contemporary. Continue reading →
Filed under 50+, How to, Humour, Inspiring, Misc blogs
Tagged as accessories, age appropriate, baby boomers, blazers, classic, clothing, cool, dad bod, dapper, fashion, fashionable, hints, inspiration, investment, jackets, magazines, mature, men's fashion, men's shoes, personal style, pieces, retirement, retirement plans, sharp, shoes, style, suits, ties, timeless, tips, trend, wardrobe