This Sophia and Hecate Wants Her Inner Kali Shake Up and Revitalize Her Look

This profile isn't far off the mark. At work, my "uniform" was dark neutral pants with bright, artistic tops.

Now recently retired, I'm re-designing my life and the way I want to dress for this new stage. I'd like to be more eclectic and try things that I haven't worn before while maintaining a neat and competent appearance.

Fit is very important because I'm barely 5' tall, still fairly well proportioned, long waisted and sadly, short legged.

I look forward to looking at the rest of your website. Thanks!

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New York Grandmother Favors Romantic, Sexy, Polished Look at 60-Plus

by Lee
(New York)

I live in New York and I am a grandmother of two handsome boys.

After working for many years, and helped with the grand children, it is now ME TIME. This next chapter in my life is really feeling good! I do workout (occasionally), but will be exercising at least three times per week, especially since the waistline is slightly too large.

I enjoy looking good even if I am just running around the neighborhood. Looking good for me is very uplifting. I believe as older women, we can still be so beautiful even with the gray hair! Also, full of wisdom and love for the generations behind us.

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Aphrodite and Sophia Admires Carefull Dress

by Pat
(Sonora, CA USA)

I'm 71 yrs old, careless dresser, and want to know how to dress.

I have a new love interest and want correct color/style. Wear jeans too much, love long dresses, jackets. Live in country, mostly casual dressing. Need total makeover. 20 lbs overweight.

5'2" rarely wear makeup, hair short and white, like.

Hi Pat --

I'm sure you understand that no one can get a total makeover on the basis of a few sentences posted online.

No one is born with good taste. On the other hand, you can easily acquire a few strategies to change your habits.

Free make-up lessons are available at many cosmetic counters and stores that specialize in make-up. Go during the week when the representatives are less busy.

You say you are a careless dresser; it sounds like your new love interest has made you aware of your desire to pay attention.

So, devote a little time to scanning women's fashion catalogues or online sites.

Here is a page on color in fashion. I tend to think that there are so many variations in human skin tone, eyes, and hair, as well as the hues in the color chart, that there are many exceptions to every so-called fashion color rule.

Have fun designing your new look. Viva Kali!

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On-the-Go Athena Chooses Professional Look

by Annette
(Washington DC)

This archetype fits me. I'm 70 years old and still work in a job that requires me to travel a lot. I must represent my company in a polished and sophisticated manner, not over the top.

I tend toward the "simply classic" model that permits some mixing and matching. Going flashy for me is throwing a large, colorful print scarf or shawl over a little black dress or slim pants.

I don't have time for shopping and keeping up with fashion trends. Keep your platform shoes, thankyouverymuch. My pumps work just fine.

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Sophia Love Simple, Flowing Garments

by Michelle
(Milpitas, Ca USA)

I believe the archetype fits the real me. I try to dress that way with soft simple flowy clothes.

I have gained weight from under my breasts to my hips, i have no backside to speak of which makes it difficult to find clothing I like.

I am 5"7", 134 lbs. I am a stay-at-home grandmother. I live with my daughter and all but 1 grandchild. I try to maintain the house for family.

I volunteer at the Humane Society couple days a week. I attend church two days a week. I live in northern California.

I am not on-the-go that much as I have health problems, but I enjoy looking my best most of the time.

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Metis and Sophia Work for Fashion Style of Working Artist

Artist; make my living as an enamelist/goldsmith.

Maintain working studio, retail, wholesale premises in SW Florida.

Transplant from NY/New England. Live in a sub tropical climate-hot humid -- HOT!

Activities, art and cultural events, fundraisers, etc.

Married 18 years, two dogs, modern style home adjacent to wildlife preserve.

Body type: Pencil or flute (tall, thin, flat and little curves) blue eyed, blonde hair.

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Hecate

by Verna
(Ohio)

Verna relaxes in style.

Verna relaxes in style.

According to your quiz, I am the bohemian and free spirit type, followed closely by practical and polished. Not bad. I consider myself an old hippie, or as I prefer, woman of the Sixties era.

I have tons of clothes -- at least 50 pairs of shoes (mostly high heels) and lots of jewelry. All on a relatively modest budget. I get my hair done regularly and my nails once a week.

I don't know exactly what you want to know, so:

I have a chronic disabling pain condition and have been married to my fantastic second husband for 25 years. I live in a small town in the Midwest where I grew up as the (only?) resident radical. Not exactly Bohemian!

I recently turned 65 and am beginning to think I need to adjust my look somewhat. But it is difficult to find clothing that is 1)not made for 20 somethings and 2)I can afford.

Hi Verna -- Thanks for writing. I am glad the fashion archetype quiz is mostly on-track.

We do have to become more selective about our clothing as we age. I teach college and, truthfully, I don't think some of the young women ought to be wearing what they do. As Simon Doonan wrote, "Say no to 'ho."

Fashion After 50 has a few pages about saving money:

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Sophia Needs A Little Kali to Spice Up Her Style

I am 73, married to a man who is still working full time. I retired 12 years ago from a position in a research university. Since that time I have pursued interests in photography, gardening,cooking and travel, while spending time with grandchildren and other family and friends.

As my family is changing, I find that I have more time for myself and would like to update my wardrobe, which up to this time has been formulaic with an emphasis on simple pieces in plain colors that can be combined in different ways and changed with an array of scarves, jewelry, etc.

Hi there -- Other readers have also have written about wanting to experiment with new fashion looks, so I will refer you to other suggestions on this page. Thank you for writing.

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Sophia with Aphrodite and Athena Thrown in for Good Measure

by Miss Marti
(Irvine, California - USA)

I want to dress sophisticated but have to make do with resale and thrift stores. I prefer a simple line that will stand the test of time. More than anything, I want a basic wardrobe that will take me from the boardroom to fine dining with nothing more than a change of shoes and a spritz of my favorite perfume.

Hello Miss Marti -- Thrift and resale stores are a great place to find high-quality clothing. I picked up a Diane Fries beaded handkerchief skirt dress for $5.

Of course, it depends where you shop. Big cities with wealthy populations will yield better finds than small-town shops in middle-class or poor areas.

Princess line dresses that show your figure and wrap dresses are classic and romantic.

An empire waistline can hide midriff bulge.

Long skirts and tops have been in fashion for quite a while, especially in more casual areas such as coastal California, Florida, and the Northeastern summer beaches.

You sound like a perfect Sophia-Aprhrodite-Athena type.

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Hecate Loves Skirts

by Ellen
(Iowa)

On my wedding day in 1995 vintage 1955 gown ( my Mother's)

On my wedding day in 1995 vintage 1955 gown ( my Mother's)

On my wedding day in 1995 vintage 1955 gown ( my Mother's) taken July 2012 with my husband

I work in healthcare. I am a dietitian. I have always preferred skirts to pants and people often ask me if i dress that way for religious reasons. I do believe in modesty but I do wear pants, shorts and capris at home but not too often at work. I love long skirts and loose fitting comfortable clothing but I am told I should wear more fitted clothing to accentuate my waist.

Hi Ellen -- Thank you for posting your pictures.

It often isn't easy for people to give us advice, so if others say you ought to accentuate your waist, you must have something worth showing off!

I have a beaded stretch belt that slides over my head. It has so many different colors in it, it goes with lots of different skirts and makes an interesting focal point. Also, it's comfortable, and I find that some belts are not.

Belts are a nice accessory to indulge, because they often are not too expensive. So you can give yourself a "present" or a pick-me-up when you need to reward yourself.

If you are in health care, I bet there are days when you deserve one!

Experiment to find styles that you enjoy wearing and feel comfortable. Perhaps you'll develop a fashion fetish for belts.

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Athena's Practical and Polished Style Clashes with Dress-Down Community Norms

by Regina
(Maine, USA)

Think I'm a combination of Athena and Metis.

Born 20 mins. outside of NYC and always interested in fashion, colors, experimenting. However, now I'm retired and living a completely different lifestyle in northeastern Maine.

I've become too relaxed in the way I dress these days & am not happy. I will be 73 in Nov. and am working on losing some weight by the end of Aug.

I would like several basic interchangeable outfits that I can mix and dress up or down. Unfortunately, due to physical limitations, I always wear slacks and flats. I have wonderful costume jewelry, scarfs, and some really good pieces of jewelry. I would like to express my creative side without attracting too much attention to myself in a part of the country where the majority of the women are extremely casual. You might ask why I'm here.

Trying to sell our home to move closer to the Boston area about an hour away in southern Maine but real estate isn't exactly great right now. I don't want to wait longer to upgrade the way I look.

I'm 5'6" with a disappearing waistline (working on stopping that & correcting). I'm told i don't look as if I'm overweight but I know I am. Travel each year, sometimes overseas. Mostly local day-tripping or dining out. Daily walks with my husband and dog to a park.

Hello Regina --

It sounds like you know exactly how you want to dress and have many accessories to make that happen.

I understand that some parts of the country are less dressy than others. You must make up your own mind whether you want to dress down to fit in or make some bold fashion statements that may indeed attract attention.

At age 73, I am sure you know that you are not going to be able to change anyone but yourself. Your neighbors will respond according to their own values and character your fashion ideas. If a look attracts attention that makes you uncomfortable, you simply will not wear it again. It's worth a try, right, if you gotta be you!

As for creating a set of interchangeable outfits, that simply takes a bit of time editing your wardrobe. You may need to sit down with paper and pen (or Excel spreadsheet if you prefer) as shown on this page about creating a week's wardrobe for $200. Prices have gone up since I wrote that page, but the planning principle and schematic is sound.

To toot my own horn just a bit, basic wardrobe planning is one of the most popular pages at Fashion After 50.

It boils down the process of creating the mix-and-match wardrobe you want into three steps. You can read a whole book on this process, but this article does a good job of making it all concise.

Let me know how it goes, Regina. I'd love some photos of how you decide to express your inner goddesses.

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Tied between Athena and Kali

I am 56 and I am flummoxed by what to wear!

I run a volunteer theatre company and work part time at a not for profit. I have two adult children and a 13-year-old. I have been married for 34 years to a wonderful guy to whom I think I still am a puzzle, which is actually great!

I feel like I am in two or more worlds -- approaching retirement age, still mothering when most of my friends are empty nesters, a conservative and yet a theatrical artist. I have a complicated life, and I don't have a clue how to dress for it!

Hello and thank you for taking the archetype quiz --

The reason you feel as if you are in two or more worlds is because you are.

Because you are in theater, I suspect that a great deal of experimentation and unique approaches will be at worst tolerated and at best admired in you.

Of course, this also depends on the part of the country in which you live. Big cities tend to be more liberal and tolerant of arty and Boehemian types than some smaller towns. This is not always true, because there are some small towns that are devoted to arts and crafts.

The Athena-Kali combination makes me think that you dress practically and conservatively and long to express a more colorful part of your personality. Do you think that is true?

As I wrote in this past Friday's newsletter, trust yourself. If you have a fashion miss, move on. Allow Kali room to play with clothing, like a drama queen, and enjoy the results.

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Athena and Sophia Guide Her Fashion Choices

by Susan
(Missouri)

I think it fits. I like to dress simply using high quality clothes. I tend to get a bit dated because I buy more expensive clothes and then don't want to get rid of them cause I paid so much.

I am 62 and wanting to start working again after taking a year off. I want to appear capable and not old. I want to make my age a non-factor or better yet, a plus.

Hi Susan --

Unfortunately the world judges us harshly for our age.

This is an issue not only of fashion style but business self-presentation skills. A resume that highlights skills needed now in your business field, confidence, and not appearing to evaluate an interviewer or manager who is younger than you also contribute to presenting oneself as youthful.

The business you are in governs appropriate style. Athena and Sophia prefer classics and, as you say, high quality garments. Spend a bit of time in the library or online looking at current trends in color combinations and accessories. This should help you to update the quality outfits you already own.

Practice your interviewing skills. Do some research about common interview questions and ways to avoid mine fields. It helps me to write out my answers and practice them out loud in a mock interview.

There may be an employment readiness group or seminars in your area. These provide help in getting ready for your job search as well as support from others in the same boat.

I wish you all the best.

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Metis Plans Wardrobe for Japan Travel

by Theresa Estebo
(Colorado Springs,CO)

I am a nurse. I love dressing up, and have shopped a lot of retro in the past... just to be a little different. But I am ready for a more sophisticated, pulled together look. I want to have a practical, affordable look for when I go to Japan in October. It's time to start putting things together.

My husband walks really fast. I try to keep up with him. It is a constant problem when I am trying to dress nicely to have shoes on that allow me to walk. When we travel, we walk miles.

Nice look with practical walking shoes. I refuse to wear my running shoes, unless I am running.
We love the outdoors and are often in hiking clothes on the weekend.

I wear scrubs at work. My budget is limited. I am confused about the shoe issue and about the straight leg versus flared leg issue. And young people just seem to be wearing leggings.

I could almost pull it off, but I am 5'8", and about 155 lbs, so I am not tiny. I have toned arms and legs, but oh, the tummy is the problem. Not that I don't work at it.

So, I would like to have something to wear for five days of walking and touring in Japan. Something for a concert. A nice outfit for the grocery store. A great hiking outfit. A great running errands outfit. My budget would be no more than $500. And that's a fact. Don't do credit.

Hi Theresa -- That is a tall order! Good quality shoes alone can cost $100-$200 or more.

Everything you choose had best serve more than one purpose and be wrinkle-resistant. Have you checked out my 3 principles for a travel wardrobe?

Keep in mind that Japan has mountainous areas that can be quite cool. Be sure to check the weather for the areas you will visit.

Japanese cities are sophisticated; I've never been there, but it seems that people wear a lot of black -- as in New York.

So a black pant suit would be a good place to start. Add a skirt and a fancier blouse and you have an outfit for a concert, dinner out, or one of Japan's many jazz clubs.

There are a few pages that discuss different pant styles and how to get a flattering fit. There's even a page for wide leg pants.

Shoes are so personal. I love Merrell. Timberland also works for me.

I have worn a lot of SAS shoes, but I am hearing from shoe stores in my area that the quality is slipping. I found that to be true of one of the newer models I tried on and rejected.

Easy Spirit has a good reputation.

You are wise to plan your wardrobe now so you can think it through and take advantage of great end-of-season prices. And leave room in your suitcase for something you buy while there.

What a great adventure. I hope you and your husband have a wonderful time.

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