What Would Your Clothes Say If They Could Talk?

What would your clothes say if they could talk? For most of my young life I didn’t give much thought to what my clothes were saying about me. I mean, I cared about how I looked, but didn’t focus consciously on my image. Work clothes were professional, predictable and safe. The unconscious message was: you can trust me, I am here for business.

Date clothes were slinkier, shorter and more fun. The message was: I am a fun-loving girl and if I like you, there will be some smooching later. Then there were jeans, tees and sweaters. All clothing was purchased at the mall or in downtown department stores, and yes, I am sure I could “see myself coming and going.”

It was a revelation and a revolution to really dig into fashion in my middle years. After about age 45, I started enjoying clothes in a new way: as a means of expressing myself consciously. I don’t mean with a message tee shirt, although I admit to still liking those (they are always on the list of Fashion Don’ts for Women of a Certain Age).

When I worked as a psychotherapist, I put my outfits together carefully, to be modest but still modern. I wanted my clothes to say “I can help you.”

During my golden years, I am having much more fun with clothing, experimenting and evolving. I think about the messages my look may be communicating. And now my clothes are much more personal, often found at thrifts (in person and online), resale shops and boutiques.

These days, [I hope] my clothes say “I’m retired but I haven’t quit style.” Top from Vintage by Suzanne.

While I’ve never dressed provocatively, it would feel extra strange now. My sexuality is personal, not for public view. Think more Diane Keaton, less Kardashian. So one of my messages is: I am a woman, but not available for consumption!

Another message I hope I am sending is: I am comfortable in my skin. I am not trying too hard, I don’t have a need to impress so much any more. Of course I want to look attractive, that’s natural, but not at the price of being stuffed into clothing that belongs to someone else.

I am all grown up now, and my wardrobe communicates that message. I am a woman to be reckoned with, not a little girl. I am feminine, but not on display. I hope my clothing says that I am approachable too, not snobbish or stiff.

If my dress could talk, I’d like her to say: “Let’s have a chat, woman-to-woman, about something fascinating!”

“Fashion is not necessarily about labels. It’s not about brands. It’s about something else that comes from within you.

-Ralph Lauren

How about you? What would your clothes say if they could talk? Has the message changed over the years?

Stay fabulous, xo

Wear what you love, always. Here are some goodies to browse:

Please be aware that links to vendors may be affiliate links. I may benefit from your purchases through the links on the blog. Header photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash.

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  1. I really like the picture of you wearing jeans and sneakers. Suzanne’s gorgeous top, of course. Your list of go-to threads brilliantly captures your confident personality. In a word, yes!

  2. I love this! Sometimes my clothes say, “Seriously? At YOUR age??” in a voice so close to my (deceased) mother’s that I look around half-expecting to see her standing there. I just say “damn right at my age!” in reply — & laugh. I loved my mother to bits, but she expended a lot of energy over the years trying to force-fit me into a sedate model of socially-approved womanhood that I’d rejected very early on. I doubt she’d be any happier with my equally-vehement rejection of the concept of “age-appropriate” 🙂 As I ask my husband’s 2 grown kids when they ask us if we’re ever going to grow up: “why on earth would we do that?”

    • Hi Janet and thanks for your lively comments! Socially-approved womanhood sounds like “get back to the kitchen.” And yeah, we have to grow old but we don’t have to grow up : > xx

  3. I adore that photo of you in the jeans and sneakers. With that fab top from Suzanne. Your style list is so reflective of your inner strength. I love that. I have my “Look at me, I feel like a frickin’ film star!!” days but also more of the elusive, quiet, powerhouse days too. It’s an interesting process, probably with focus shifting due to this pandemic. What’s in the future…?

    • Hi Mel! Wish you were here. I adore both your film star and your quiet powerhouse looks. And I can’t wait to see what’s in the future for all of us. Stay uber-fabulous, my friend, xx.

  4. This stylish T and jeans with red sneakers is soooooo in style right now and you look marvelous in the outfit. I believe in timeless style which never goes out of fashion and you’ve nailed it! So us Floridians!

    • Hi Katelyn and thanks for coming by! And thank you for the kind words. Rock on, fellow Floridian, xx.

  5. Great topic to think about. Funny I also have Diane Keaton on my fashion icon list along with Diane von Fürstenberg,Arianna Huffington,and Catherine Deneuve .Ideally I would like my clothes to present the message that I may be in my seventh
    fun decade but I have creative style ,and a Joie de vivre lets talk. I really like your weekly goodies to browse for Joie de vivre creative items as you also have great style and I also find style inspiration from younger women like yourself.

    • Hi Joan, nice to see you as always! Thanks for your comments, and I think your fashion icons are fabulous. Don’t you love that expression, “joi de vivre”? : > Stay well and safe, xx.

  6. Every time I see you in those red sneakers I get an “envy” attack. I’ve been hesitant. Bought them in white and actually had a family member remind me of my age! I’m 72 but in my mind I’m 22. I think I will order them; I’m too old to worry what my sister thinks, right?

    • GET THE SNEAKS, Louise, if you like them. Age is no factor, as we know. And sneakers actually should be de rigeur for us over 60 : > Treat yourself, xx.

  7. Those wide legged jeans–what are they and can I find them?! Love! (And thank you for these great thoughts. I love to see what you do next!!

    • Hi Deborah! Thanks for the nice compliments. Those jeans are Amazon’s “house brand” Daily Ritual boyfriend jeans; they’re a year old so I don’t know if the exact style is still for sale. But the brand has been good for me : > Take care, xx.

  8. first, you seemed to have changed little physically over time. at first I thought the first photo was recent. obviously doing something right. also, I think that work outfit is quite stylish and even a little edgy with the boots. and a good transition to a more relaxed style now.

    • Hello Darby and thanks for your kind comments! I hope you’re enjoying your summer, and staying well, xx.

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