One of the ways my sister and I are not the same is the way we prepare for the day and dress. I don't own "around the house clothes"(although I do own painting and some workout clothing). My sister throws on whatever she finds and if we decide to go somewhere (be it the store, my brother's house or out to dinner), she needs to "change" and "get ready". I on the other hand, dress for the day-whatever it may bring. Admittedly retirement allows me to stay in jammies until ten if I choose, before I dress for that day ahead.
One of the many joys of retirement from my perspective at least was the ability to say good buy to lots of clothes and makeup. Although I was in the workforce for only part of my working life, the job I had required a true dress for success wardrobe. Add that to the fact that my husband spent much of his life in jobs that required serious entertainment, as well as multiple formal functions a year, and you end up with lots of clothes and clothing types: formal wear, business wear, at home casual, home improvement clothes (required for people who own a 1940s brownstone), sit on the ground while watching kids play soccer clothes. My closet was psychotic, I had required laundry and dry cleaning bills............well, you get the idea!!!
Enter retirement, and the retirement budget (and lifestyle). On the one hand I am more than happy to see most of those clothing types and expenses leave my life. For me, I'm also happy to leave almost all of the makeup behind as well. On the other hand, one doesn't want to descend to the "well, we're not leaving the house today, so...." philosophy. Especially in the south, where the traditional shower time is as likely to be at bedtime as when one awakes.
So the challenge becomes how to be casual but not too casual, without spending a fortune. Equally challenging is a low key routine that prepares one for every occasion. in other words, I want to be prepared for what the day will bring-but I don't want to spend a great deal of time, money or effort doing so (call me lazy at heart). My solution has been a casual uniform of sorts (what one blogger called her "everyday casual uniform"), and much sstreamliningg-along with a few costly and or labor intensive expenses.
As I've been unpacking, I realize how easy I have made things on every level. I like clothes, especially color. I just don't want to have to "think" about how I look, especially after dressing in the morning. Nor do I wish to shop till I drop. I don't want to look down and say "oops, I have to change before I hit the store", using the example above. My solution is to own things that go together (yes all my spring clothing does that) and to only buy a couple items a year and only if I love them. All of my pants are similar knit, yoga pant styles that can be worn with flats or flip flops. In other words, if I got up in the dark, I probably could get dressed and go through the day. My one weakness in all this is casual jewelery. Really short hair means that you can wear almost any earring any color any time. However, since I'm as likely to take my earrings of while watching TV, most of my jewelry is neither expensive nor precious, Just classic. finally, I keep a few clothes for painting and get rid of every thing I don't like or what is torn, frayed, broken out of size (and wear big aprons when I cook!)
By the same token, I deliberately choose personal styling that requires no effort. I have quite short hair that is well style and only needs wash and go and finger styling. I keep it gray because it has to be cut so often (and acknowledge that I have the type of gray and the skin tone to do that). My nails are short (as much for the requirement of my lifestyle as anything else). Fake or long nails would be lost on me and would probably be sewn through in a week or less. I have few moderately expensive skin care products and very good perfume. My skin is so dry that it needs to be moisturized more than once a day, limiting my makeup to blush and lip gloss most days.
Most days I arise and put on casual kit pants, bright layered tops, jewelry, blush and lip gloss and I am prepared for the day. This will take me through dinner out at the end of the day, unless I have on shorts or sweats during weather extremes. It's what works for me.
My retirement lifestyle is not made of routines. Every day is very different. Some days I am extremely busy but may not leave the house except for my walk. Some days I am in and out, some days I am out all day. Some days I am active, some days I spend much of the time reading. Add that to the fact that I am by nature a casual person, have a sensitive and damaged knee, and prefer not to change throughout the day and you end up with the kind of uniform wardrobe you see above.
For me its the happy medium-clothing that is comfortable everywhere and looks fine everywhere. Other people make different choices. Some are jeans people during the day and dress up people for dinner (I'll say here that in Texas I wore many skirts, seeing as that they are cooler than pants-even during the daytime). Some folks cannot go out of the house without lipstick (a best friend). I guess the challenge is finding style and comfort within your budget and energy level.
Mine works for me. And now time to stop delaying and time to start unpacking the rest of those clothes!