Style Goals For 2016, And I Feel Bad About My Waist


As I’ve written, I don’t make resolutions for the new year. It’s a convenient and natural time to re-evaluate my style goals, though. Being retired (“working from home”) means a more casual but not sloppy look. I sometimes use that old saw about “what if I ran into my ex-husband and his new 34-year-old wife at the pharmacy?” to motivate me. But she’s actually 65, and a lovely person, so it’s just a Jedi mind trick.

1. For the last few years my primary style goal has been: to create/refine a wardrobe that is 100% loved. My style is a combination of casual and feminine, with a scrap of edgy. I want all my clothing to reflect me, in the way I see myself. “Almost good” pieces are out the door. No matched suits, crisp white shirts, or classic pumps for me although I appreciate the look on others.

2. My second and ongoing style goal is to refine my wardrobe so that nearly-everything goes with nearly-everything.  Some days one doesn’t want to put a lot of mental energy into creating new and fresh outfits. Favorite jeans + well-made tee + either scarf or necklace and bracelet is a happy uniform for me.


PicMonkey Collage55

Some examples of a cool uniform, imho.


3. Also: greater emphasis on quality. I use the Yiddish word “schmatta” (“rags”) when I shop to remind me I don’t need pieces that are cheaply made,  and/or sweatshop-produced. I shop less often for “deals” and I’m buying more of what I love based on quality and need, not price. That’s one reason I adore shopping at thrifts and consignment stores for good quality stuff. I don’t buy it if I don’t love it, which includes fit, color, condition, and good vibrations.

4. And: accept my new shape. I have read Nora Ephron’s book, I Feel Bad About My Neck, twice now and it always makes me laugh, and think. My neck is fine, it’s my expanding waist I must come to love. Even though I weigh within three or so pounds of my lowest adult weight, my waist keeps magically expanding. Fitted waistline skirts are a challenge and my favorite 1950’s and 60’s vintage dresses don’t zip. This makes me sad, and it’s a new reality – I really can’t lose much weight off  my frame and still look healthy. So it’s my mindset that has to change: nothing wrong with sizing up!



Things change.


Have you made any style goals? If you’re over 50, has your waist developed a mind of its own?

Stay fabulous,


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  1. hi!,I love your writing so much! percentage we keep in touch more about your
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  3. My waist has experienced the most change in mid-life.
    From 25″ -> 30″ between age 20 -> now.
    In contrast, my hips remained 39″ most of that time. My thighs are slimmer, but I intend to exercise more, which should help my bone density and build them back up.

  4. Yes, you can add me to the list of people whose waist has been slowly expanding since I turned 50. I know some of it was menopause weight gain, but as someone who has always been very slim, the fact that I’ve had to go up two sizes in only 3 years just to get the waist done up has been rather a shock. I’ve never had much in the hips or butt department, so the thicker waist only accentuates the “rectangle effect” that Greetje refers to.

    I read Ephron’s book twice and it was very entertaining, and sobering as well.

  5. Ah yes, a waist is a terrible thing to mind. I must tell you that I made a little snicker when I read the word ‘schmatta’ because I have often muttered the same when I am shopping.

  6. Girl! It’s my belly. I mean, with all that drama, I hardly notice what’s happening to my waist. OTOH, I have been doing sit-ups like a madwoman, and believe it or not, the most noticeable changes have been to my waist, not my belly. The belly is being awfully stubborn! Sigh. But I know what you mean about accepting the change. I do try to give it my love. But I must admit I’d like some of that love back. 😉

    • that’s so great: “I’d like some of that love back.” sometimes it feels like a one-way street! : >

  7. Oh my gosh Patti, I loved this post! I am 100% with you on the style goals…I want a closet that fits easily together full of all pieces that I love! It’s been a tedious process getting rid of all those clothes that I might “need someday!” and it’s a work in progress but it’s getting there! This was such a great post! XO -Kim

  8. Yes Patti…waists are on the up (or should that be out?!).
    I think that we should just accept it, and tweak our style.
    I read Greetje’s comment with interest….I work in a hospital, so go out of my way to avoid them, so that would not be for me.
    As for exercise….hmmmm, I am active all day, but not a fan of hard work at a gym (or similar). I think I will resign myself to comfort as my waist continues to grow.
    I am 3 inches wider than I was.
    Like you, I suffer when I lose weight, looking gaunt is not attractive!
    My body is slowly sliding south anyway and I have accepted it’s fate….it does not stop us wearing nice things though, does it?
    Thank goodness for that!

    • Right – I think we can still look fantastic, and a couple of inches here and there isn’t going to stop us. : > xo

  9. I never had much of a waist. Combined with no hips and no bum, this resulted in “an inverted triangle” shape. The challenge always was to create an hourglass figure through the cut of the clothes I was wearing.
    Then somewhere between my 50th and 60th birthday my waist expanded dramatically. I think I was 58 when in one year my waist expanded with 8 cm (3 inch). That is a lot for a waist and I was doomed to be tall and square from then on. As I am not averse to plastic surgery and the such, I decided I was going to create a waist by liposuction. I know this is not very popular with a lot of people and I also know there are risks involved. But I took great care of finding the right person with the right credentials and reviews (from my GP who is great). It was done under local anaesthesia in 3/4 of an hour. No scars, Easy recovery period. I had to wear a bodyshaper day and night for about a month or six weeks. That was all. No pain and a lot of gain. I now have slightly more of a waist than I had when I was 49 (as far as I was concerned he could have sucked a bit more….). And I can make that hourglass shape again which I so lack.
    For me this was a perfect solution. For others it might be hell.

  10. As I turn the big five oh this year my waist seems to be expanding in advance of the big day. Always a keener.

    I have decided this year to actually keep a record of my weight and see if that makes a difference. So far I’ve put on 2 lbs! Ha! My stomach is secretly snickering at my pathetic efforts.


    • Our stomachs do have minds of their own, like I said to Ally. I think it’s time for unconditional love : >

  11. Unfortunately, my waist has magically expanded yet again. I would give the world to have your weight…but some how I must get a handle on it…so sad that I still haven’t conquered the beast!

    • It’s really comforting that so many of us share this “magical” expansion. xox

  12. Tell me about it! No matter how much I exercise, my waist is immune to change. It just sits there and laughs at my efforts to shrink it. I’ve come to realize my waist has a mind of its own and I’ll never win a fight with it. *sigh* So I dress around it, which is often possible.

    Nice post, buddy. Sorry about the fevered response but you triggered a sore spot…

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