How To Make A Slow (If Impatient) Evolution Of Personal Style

The impatient part is because I am me, the give me patience and give it to me now woman. There’s really no rush to modify my style. No contracts with Anthropologie or Calvin Klein. So I am trying to take a more contemplative road. Then again, it is just clothing, not the Mars landing.  : >


The spark for change came in conversation with my friend Ally, about choosing non-traditional pieces. That phrase resonated with me: I am not very attracted to mainstream blouses, skirts and shoes.

I have no judgement about traditional clothing for others: tailored suits and simple knits and silk scarves and pearl studs are timeless. They are not so much “me” as they once were, at least in this phase of my style. At 85, I may be back in Brooks Brothers suits and loving it. The freedom of getting old!

My new style key words include: natural fabrics, semi-fitted, Japanese minimalism, a quirky line/accent, mostly neutrals but not color-averse, slightly mannish – especially jackets and shoes – and nothing I would wear to my old corporate office!

Here’s an example from our stay in NYC, dressed for a casual day of thrifting and coffee shops. The jacket is old, thrifted and by Tahari (sim), a traditional brand. But I added my cat-gem brooch (sim) from Bella’s Etsy shop to give it more sparkle. The skirt is one of my new favorites, a thrifted Comptoir des Cotonniers (sim) that’s a little short for me without tights. The sneakers (sim) are also thrifted in Greenwich Village, and the sunglasses (sim) are my absolute favorite thrift find, pink and oversized. Lipstick, custom made for me at Bite Lip Lab.


As part of my research I have gone crazy for Yohji Yamamoto, Comme des Garconnes (Rei Kawakubo), Rick Owens, and A.P.C., all of which require thousands of $$$ to get started. Mainstream brand Eileen Fisher has some asymmetrical pieces that, while still pricey, are not in the realm of mortgage payments.

And this Etsy shop has lots of what I like as part of my evolution: Metaformose. I can order this cool minimalist dress custom made for $90:


Or these slouchy wrap-front trousers:


So I am having a great time, window shopping, online browsing, and scribbling in my notebook. As for buying, it’s thrifting and consignment and eBay. Do you shift your style from time to time? Fast and furious or slowly?

Stay fabulous,

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  1. I know the brand (being Dutch .. I am in the neighbourhood). And it is indeed a very good brand. You look very good in as well the skirt as the top. Lovely colour red near your face. And I love the picture where the wind got hold of the ruffle haha. Such an endearing picture.

  2. I am currently shifting my style too. Tired of the things I wore for years. Retirement is freeing. Looking for looser asymmetrical and interesting. Love to sew and am getting the expensive look you show above from Vogue patterns. Mostly Marci and Katherine Tilton. For years I sewed to try to have the soccer mom look that I couldn’t afford but wanted to fit in so desperately. Now it’s all about being comfortable and a little off beat, wish I had been smarter in my 40 s and 50s.

  3. I have always liked the shapes of designs by Yohji Yamamoto and Comme des Garcon, but have never found anything secondhand that I could afford. Some days I think I would like to get rid of my entire wardrobe and start again, knowing what I know now, and what fits my body best at this point in my life. I would definitely wear the Yamamoto skirt and the chic Metaformose dress. I like your idea of making notes when you come across things you like for future reference.

    • I can definitely see “you” in these pieces, Shelley. I’ve often wanted to “start over” too – but like you I have to go piece by piece. We can still have fab style, yes? xox

  4. I love the way you mixed vintage, consignment & retail! I’m with you in wanting to rework my style. I’m working towards blending “slow fashion” brands with consignments store scores. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • thank you Cheri for your kind words. Shopping straight retail now sounds too limiting to me! xo

  5. The skirt looks great on you with the trainers and sunglasses, practically dressed for sightseeing but with a sprinkle of cool.
    I’m fascinated that you make notes. How I dress is a happy accident. I see vintage things, I fall in love and I buy them. I’ve never been a planner, in life, career, travel or wardrobe. I’m spontaneous to the last xxx

    • I love that – spontaneity brings about many glorious decisions! I am more of a left-brainer, but it’s loosening up (in a good way) as I get older. Still can never find my glasses, though. xox

  6. I am finding one of the joys of ageing is that style evolution, leaving behind what we wore in the past and embracing a change of style. Like you I am enjoying the style of some of the Japanese designers, something about the shapes really speaks to me at present. The known designers are not available here(not in my price range anyway) , I have discovered another Japanese brand Moyuru that I am loving and it is more affordable. Love your stylish and practical New York outfir.

    • ah I am loving Moyuru too, but it is hard to find. Your style is one of those that is inspiring me in this direction, Jill. xo

  7. I love your New York outfit. I totally GET your style. It would be amazing to be able to afford those designers. I have fantasies about my million dollar wardrobe just about every day. But you have a style that would look contrived if you piled on the designer stuff. I like the way you mix things. It is interesting to me that you make a conscious choice about how you will dress. I just let my style happen on its own. I never even think about it unless I have a dress code that I must adhere to. Hmmm…maybe I should put in a little more mental effort. You’ve got me thinking, Patti.

    • No, don’t think! You’re likely a more artistic and spontaneous dresser than I am – and that is fantastic. xo

  8. You look casually elegant and funky in your New York outfit, complete with those fabulous sunglasses! While I can kinda get the appeal of the styles you’ve featured – the sculptured elegance and drapey lines – I know I wouldn’t wear them myself, they just feel a bit plain and grown-up for me. (You know how I like a print!) I can appreciate them on other people though, wouldn’t do for us all to like the same stuff, would it?! xxx

    • Agreed – if we all looked the same it would be Orwellian. I love your colorful style, xo.

  9. I changed my look radically when I moved to Phoenix, because of the weather – over 100 for 5 months, rather than the snow 5 months a year of central Massachusetts. Out of necessity, I live in tank tops & shorts, or tank dresses. No layers, obviously. Sandals, not boots. Less jewelry, sadly, because metal heats up in the sun. More plastics.

    • I know you love your vintage jewelry and hope you get to wear it at least half the year! Totally agree, our climate is a big influence on our style. xo

  10. Yes! I had the same thoughts about the same kinds of pieces – each one unique and sculptural (I love the Metamorfose dress). Then I lost my job and quit buying clothes, period. Maybe I need to start farking the clothes I have, a la Melanie.

    • Yes, Melanie is full of great ideas, as are you. You’re an artist, so go for it. xo

  11. I’m going to keep my eyes peeled if I see anything along these lines for you while thrifting.

    I like your chic yet practical NY ensemble. Those shoes are what I needed on my last trip there. The sunnies are fabulous!

    Quite a few of these pieces remind me of what Sylvia and Lyn (Accidental Icon) like.


    • Good eye, you – I am often inspired by Sylvia and Lyn, and you! I gotta say, those sneakers saved my feet in NYC. xo

  12. I’m actually going through a similar change myself as I feel I’ll passing into a whole new phase of l life. In my younger years I loved to play with style, but then spent years in an atmosphere where I felt I had to tone myself down for others. Now I’m out of that place, seeing myself differently as I’ve just had bariatric surgery, and I’m ready to have fun again! And my clothes seems like a great place to start!

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