Oddly enough, the “aha” moment struck yesterday morning. After hearing the sad news about my favorite fashion designer, Mr. Karl, I thought about fashion and clothing and then….I had an “Aha Moment”!
Oh Mr. Karl. I will miss you. And I’ll miss your signature pony tail. I only wish you had worn a man bun! And I’ll miss your white shirts!
I hardly made any clothing purchases from the fall into this winter.
No scarfs were purchased. Nor was any outwear.
This toasty nugget? Two years…or perhaps three years old!
Is there a reason for this? Kind of…
My closet has plenty of clothing.
Plaid among the pants hanging in the closet
If my skirts get any older they, as am I, will be placed in the “mature” demographic!
My blazers to not need another buddy hanging out with them.
The blazers are getting a bit cramped in there! And there’s about two-decades worth!
In all honesty, I’m happy with the clothing I have. I either really love every article of clothing or I have a tremendous like for others.
I blame Catholic School for my over-abundance of white shirts–but the fact is, I love a white shirt–it’s a very crisp look!
And I think a lot of my not having to purchase is simply because I purchase clothing that doesn’t go out of style or fashion, if you will. As a member of the pro-aging group and as I’ve gotten older, I realize that I don’t need to follow the trends. And when I do follow, I think hard if that trend will be around for a few seasons!
I got on the Camo trend train late last summer and I love these jeans–I call them “classically trendy”…
Two years ago when I purchased this leopard-print skirt, I really thought I was following a trend. Two years later–it’s a new neutral and this is my most worn skirt. All seasons. I love this..
I…..am…..a……….BASIC! Yes. A basic. In most circles being a basic is dull and boring and yawn-inspiring.
And yes! I LOVE being basic. I’m a very proud basic!
However, in my mind, being a basic simply means that you have clothing that is—well….basic!
There are enough white tee shirts to last me from now till kingdom come.
I kid you not. I have an entire drawer devoted to white tee shirts. When they get old I use them as cleaning rags. I love a good multi-tasker!
During the winter, I rarely wear dresses. In fact, this winter I never wore a dress once. I love the illusion of a dress by wearing a monochromatic theme. One of my favorite’s is a navy shirt, navy short sleeved shell and navy shoes. Everyone thought this was a dress!
A navy knit pencil skirt, a navy short-sleeved shell sweater and navy shoes. It’s not a dress-it’s “basic”ally separates!
I love this look simply because I love my clothes! If I fake tan the legs on Sunday, I can wear this Monday to work!
Let’s take a look at what I’ve been wearing –trust me most of it isn’t new
Yesterday’s outfit was inspired by the great Karl Lagerfeld and his penchant for the black and white suiting. The pants are from Gap from about six years ago–maybe more. The blazer around the same from J. Crew. The scarf? I have NO idea how long I’ve had it. It’s old…and I wore a plain black tee that I think I may have purchased in 2016.
My beatnick look–again, same GAP pants, an old turtleneck and the boots I picked up in November (You’ll see more about that later in the post)
More old clothes. More old boots. More old hair! Nothing in this photo is new!
The Weejuns–are from 1999 or 2000. I’ve had them resoled and sewn up a few times but they are my old reliables. The sweater was purchased back in November and I’ve worn it constantly throughout this winter. The jeans–I believe were purchased back in September making them newer moreso than older! I love this look so much I could wear it every day!
Navy suiting–suit-not-suit! All separates. J. Crew Schoolboy blazer–I think this is one of my older ones from maybe eight years ago and J. Crew pants that were purchased a few years back. Basic white tee and the scarf I stole from my daughter. Basic. Basic. Basic!!!
You’ll see this skirt below in the purchases I made this past fall/winter. I’m wearing it with a neon pink Tippi sweater from J. Crew–this has gotta be a 7 year-old sweater and old metallic heels that are really ready for the trash but I just can’t!!
A Saturday basic look. On winter Saturdays, I cook and bake and write and keep basic. White tee and jeans. Is there anything more basic?
I wore this to work today. Lucky for me, I was able to leave work at 2PM due to the snow but I have to make up the time. Don’t even get me started on THAT! Anyway, I’m wearing old leggings I picked up at Loft some years ago. The boots are from many moons and the sweater from this season at deep discount from J. Crew. You know–I love the sweater but am slightly disappointed at the way the bottom of the sweater is stretching out–I tug at it because of my long-waistedness. Why don’t companies make clothing for the long torsoed?
Now let’s look at what I bought this past winter (and I mean fall into winter)
I did purchase both the pants from J. Crew and the velvet tee from J. Crew Factory this year. Both items were on HEAVY discount. The pants will be around for a long time. I love the ankle length, the subtle plaid is perfect for work and the velvet tee can dress up any outfit–it’s also a great holiday item!
Two sweaters I purchased. A yellow roll-neck from J. Crew and an olive crew neck from J. Crew Factory. I have to say…the olive green sweater is probably my most-worn from this winter. In fact, I need to get it cleaned!
I know I mentioned I didn’t need another blazer–but when I saw this navy one on J. Crew Factory’s site for a grand total of $45. One can never have too many navy blazers.
Another J. Crew Factory find–and under $19.99. I loved these khaki pants so much I ordered a second pair. I’ve worn these quite often and they are three-season pants. The fit is beautiful!
I must say, J. Crew Factory knocked it out of the park for me this winter. Yet another factory find. I love—LOVE this skirt!!
This large yellow bag was purchased in November when we were in Paris. I used this so much since I bought it. Yellow–it brightened my winter!
Another Parisian find. They weren’t inexpensive but didn’t break the bank–and I got a discount at Galeries Lafayette because it was Black Friday….
…these booties by Geox were a very pragmatic purchase. They are comfortable as all get out and they are very basic in the best way!
Being a savvy clothing shopper means making that purchase that’ll last a few years. I also purchased a leopard neck wrap/scarf in 2016 for $7.00 that has been keeping me toasty this winter.
This seven-buck leopard collar scarf is the toastiest thing on earth! I love this so much and for the ridiculous price it’s the best value ever!
It also helps to be on the lookout for basic items that aren’t frumpy or aging to us. We want a modern vibe with a bit of an edge but we don’t want to look as though we are trying to capture our youth—know what I mean?
Okay. Allow me to explain. The kilt skirt, worn with tights and a textured turtleneck sweater is youthful–but I don’t appear to be making a desparate attempt to capture my childhood days. At least I don’t think so–lol!!
Here’s basically what it comes down to. Buy clothes you love. Stick within your affordability. Purchase clothing that’ll be in style (not necessarily fashion but–style). Buy classics but give them a modern edge!
We may be “mature” but it doesn’t mean we have to dress old, frumpy and unstylish–and you don’t have to spend a fortune. My clothing is purchased at discount. Sales are my bff’s. Full-price is not for me!!
How were your clothing purchases this winter? Did you end up making many purchases—fewer—none? Let’s talk!
I hardly bought any clothes this winter also. The main reason is I have sweaters and winter wear that was not/or hardly worn due to the drought and warm weather we have had in California for the past several years. I am finally wearing those sweaters and winter wear NOW that we are actually having a winter with lots of rain and weather in the 30’s and 40’s. Loving it! Since I retired I practically live in jeans and when I need to dress up I have several designer “black” slacks in different styles. Just pair them with beautiful tops etc. It is amazing that when you buy quality instead of quantity you are never out of style and if you take good care of your clothes and shoes they last for a very long time.
Hi Catherine! Wow! I’m glad that you are finally able to wear and ENJOY those winter clothes! You’re so right about buying quality rather than quantity and taking good care of the clothing. I take very good care of my wool clothing. Not sending them to the cleaners too often and just hanging them up properly–all it takes is a bit of time!!! XOXOXOXO
Catherine, I really like the way you dress. I found your blog searching for a mature womens style to wearing shorts. You have given me such great ideas. I want to try the plaid and leopard look and I know I can pull it off, I just can find the right one. I love to shop second hand. Believe it or not I find some real nice stylish clothes. I refuse to pay outrageous prices for top or skirts. Thank you for sharing your style. I enjoy seeing how it’s possible to dress fashionable at a mature age.
Hi Denise–and thank you!! You know, one of my favorite pairs of shoes are suede pointy-toed flats made in Italy by J. Crew that I found at the Goodwill for $7.00. I researched cleaning suede, gave them a good cleaning and they are gorgeous! I’m all about second-hand shopping. When I lived in NJ, the thrift shopping was excellent. Here in the Philly area it stinks because the consignment/secondhand stores are more expensive than a good online sale at J. Crew! I am totally with you!! XOXOXOXO
I bought some J.Crew sweaters when they were having a good sale (the Sophie sweater jacket) they were under 100.00CDN but are in two great colours that I will wear for years. I have wanted a pair of Aquatalia boots forever..and found a black suede pair on sale at 70% off now at MSLP of $750.00 they were still pricey even at 70% off..But $225 for these lifers is a steal. They can be resoled and reheeled as well. I never pay full retail anymore for anything…but I have cut back a lot on what I am purchasing. Friends that have retired say they notice that they just don’t dress the same way now and can’t justify some purchases. I’d rather put my money into regular mani pedies or a massage or a good hair cut (or wig;) than closets full o’clothing. Ya gotta update, repair, replace on the regular but not a full on overhaul yearly. I don’t get these ‘retired’ bloggers that seem to have endless amounts of NEW clothing, shoes, bags etc. Who they shillin’ for? I know, I know, click the link to ShopStyle…hmm not when I can find it on Amazon or through the manufacturer’s web site at a far better price.
Nice post Catherine on recycling, reusing and the value of going basic/classic that’s a very European thing. Buy good quality that fits your body, take care of it and wear for years.
Momcat. I’m nodding at every word you are saying. You know that there are a few “mature” bloggers that I’ve stopped reading because of the content of their blogs being nothing more than “click and bait” for ShopStyle/Nordstrom, etc. I’m not even going there! I honestly don’t know who else they are shillin’ for either! And it’s so blatant!
There’s a great shoe repair guy not too far from where I live and he’s great–he’s done wonders with repairs and he’ll let me know when a shoe isn’t worth repairing! It’s so funny because I find myself being more interested in spending the money on the nails, and the wigs and makeup. I have enough clothing. Besides work and specia occasions and going out, I practically live in PJ’s at home during the winter!!! XOXOXOXOXO
Yoga pants, tee shirts and slipper socks ok ok I work from home! And I never have to into the office.
If I ever had to go back into the office I would consult with you for assistance!
Thanks to you, I finally bought a J. Crew/Factory, Teddie sweater and have been wearing it on repeat! I love it! I also, bought a black cashmere wrap sweater, black suede booties, black suede OTK boots, suede tan pair of loafers. Pretty basic items. So glad I did, like Catherine above mentioned, it’s been cold out here in California and I’ve been wearing all of these items quite a bit. Finally, broke down and purchased my first pair of UGG slippers…too chilly for my flip flops. I feel like a wimp, lol!
Hi Catherine! I love your honesty and style.. I agree there are so many fashion blogs that are reading more like an infomercial..I can typically guess where the link will take me but I will read to see what’s on trend. I also like to keep things classic with an edge… nothing is more depressing than seeing ladies in our age group dressing frumpy…no reason you can’t be stylish at any age! On another topic,
My husband and I are going to Paris at the end of April and I’m trying to figure out what to pack so I blend in or at least don’t have tourist stamped on my forehead. I know you have been to Paris a million times and was hoping you might have some advice for a first timer…
.Thanks so much.
I like you in a elegant dress with pearls, like a Parisiene mademoiselle, and I like you in jeans! I bought a lot pre loved and little new.
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You are so well put-together, I just look on in awe. What a fun post! MJ
My single purchase for this winter was a light blue wool winter coat, in a Meghan Markle wrap-style. I got it for half price, and ever time I wear it I get compliments on it, mostly because of the pretty color, when most winter coats here in Canada are black or those puffy parka things. I am retired now and have so many sweaters and winter things I so seldom wear now that I don’t go out every day esp. in the bad weather, that it’s hard to justify buying more, plus the clothes this season seem ugly and of poor quality in what stores we have left. I envy you your US stores, but for me to buy US online means customs duty and taxes, plus paying the exchange rate. The older I am, the more selective I am about what I buy. I also find I buy fewer winter things, and more that I can wear in three seasons, spring, summer and fall and layer. But I am happy with my new winter coat.
Love this post and your style. Definitely put a smile on my face. I hardly bought anything this winter myself. So far, I have enjoyed re-wearing (if i can use that non-existing word, lol) the clothing items in my closets. Just like you, I have enough to last me for many years.
Right???!! My wardrobe this winter has been like the movie “Groundhog day” I’m repeating, repeating, repeating!!! XOXOXOXO
I am 69 and through the years I have developed a style that reflects me and being comfortable about who I am. I’ve recently gone through a major edit of my closet and resolved this year not to buy any items of clothing but instead wear what I have. I love the idea of using the money I’m not spending on clothes for my face and hair!
Barbara–right???? I take stock of my wardrobe and there’s nothing I need…or for that matter, want–with the exception of the Mother-of-the-Bride dress which I’ll be looking for this weekend! I also think by the time we reach our present age we have a good idea of our persona style–so the rest can be spent on our faces and hair!! XXOXOXOXO
I love all your ‘basic’ items. You are a very stylish dresser, very inspiring. Lise
You, Dear Catherine, are most assuredly not “Basic” in the way you put thought into ensembles. Wardrobe Mistresses swoon at your skills!… and candor.
One of the reasons I enjoy your blog is you speak from the heart, in honesty.
I decided to do a year of “shopping my personal boutique”. Going through my current wardrobe has been a therapeutic, if slow—in some instances agonizing, process. Developing an interesting perspective of my life in the “now”.
Shop from closet is the new mantra. Very stylish, trendy looks. I love the yellow bag from Paris.
Thank you! That bag got a lot of love from me this winter–and will next winter as well!!! XOXOXOXO