Grandmother and Retired

by Lily
(San Juan County, WA)

I live a ferry ride away from urban life on a nature preserve --- love photography and textiles. Retired from psychotherapy --feel healthy and smart but am fearful of just looking old as I turn 66 in two weeks.

Hi Lily --

Congratulations on your impending retirement, and welcome to Fashion After 50.

There's lots of information on the site about How to Dress under that section of the menu. You may want to do some Basic Wardrobe Planning, for example, to assess your new needs. At first, it will be hard to get rid of familiar clothing to make room for the new. I periodically put little labels on clothing with a date and remove it when I wear the garment. If the label is still there a year later, I decide whether to keep it or discard.

The Do and Don't section also may be helpful.

Here are some principles that I find helpful:

1. Stick to solid colors. Avoid fussy small prints, especially little flowers.

2. Make sure clothing fits. Invest in tailoring as needed.

3. Update classics with on-trend accessories.

4. Get a good haircut.

As a therapist, I'm sure you know that our society has foisted this notion on us that we are not allowed to look old.

If there is something that really bothers you and you can afford it, investigate cosmetic surgery. Even that cannot change the truth that our skin loses its elasticity, our complexion loses its dewy youthful blooms, and parts sag.

Carol Venuto wrote a wonderful page for the site about ladies shapewear that does a great job of encouraging us to keep fit rather than turn to uncomfortable undergarments for a more pleasing silhouette.

Self-acceptance plays a huge part in how we feel about aging. Perhaps you will want to explore some of the writings I summarize in my three-part series about croning.

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