Sophia Wonders How to Dress

by TinaSophiaT
(Kent, United Kingdom)

I am 53, with no idea of what to wear. I live in jeans & t shirts, & hate parts of my body, & how I look, dressed or undressed!

Hi Sophia -- I understand not wanting to look in the mirror anymore.

There is no easy solution to our changing bodies. It's one part self-acceptance and one-part getting out to exercise to control one's shape as much as one can.

Arthritis, joint pain, being in the sandwich generation taking care of both parents and children, all impact how much time and money one has for exercise and clothing.

Do jeans and tees fit your lifestyle? If so, what's wrong with them?

Do you want something more feminine? Read about how to get a good fit in pants, flattering dress styles, and other hints at Fashion After 50.

Please feel free to explore the site. There are pages about basic wardrobe planning, for example, and a style guide of 11 Do and Don't tips.

Thank you for reading, and please visit us again.

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Irish Reader Says She Does Not Have a Style

by Siobhan
(Ireland)

I wear casual clothes during the day whilst doing my housework or gardening. Shopping/visiting generally tailored trousers with a top which I feel goes well with the trousers.

For more formal occasions I dress up with jewelry & matching bag/shoes.

Hi Siobham --

I'm a little confused. Did you take the fashion archetype quiz and get equal results for several different style types? If so, that may mean that you integrate several preferences for a balanced look. Perhaps you are a practical and tailored Artemis or Athena for everyday wear, then flower as a romantic Aphrodite when you dress up.

On the other hand, if you have almost equal results for all eight fashion types, you may be truly all over the map style-wise.

This site is a little different than some others that, at least to me, seem to channel all women in a certain style direction.

I believe fashioning our inner selves is more important than what we wear, and what we wear can be an expression of our inner balance, creativity, and accomplishments. If your outer self is not expressing your inner self, you may want to look more deeply at how you would like to present yourself to the world.

But that's entirely up to you, and I support whatever choice you make.

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Sophia Looks Terrific in Blue

by Carol
(Penticton, B.C. Canada)

This Sophia has a fashion hit with swing-front cardigan, blue top, and black slacks.

This Sophia has a fashion hit with swing-front cardigan, blue top, and black slacks.

I am retired and nearing 70 year of age so would like to find a wardrobe that is age appropriate but not matronly. I am only five feet tall and overweight (should lose about 20 pounds but can look quite good if the clothes fit properly.

To this point I have always had a closet full of everything and whenever I went out it was a major deal of trying on so many outfit combinations until finally I would find something suitable to wear.

I have been working on developing actual outfits that are preplanned in my closet so getting dressed is not such a major deal. Have not worn a dress in years and would love to have some that would work for the summer casual shopping and backyard entertaining.

Hi Carol -- When I saw your photo, I thought, "What a great looking Sophia fashion archetype."

The swingy sweater, blue top, and black slacks are perfect for minimizing bottom-heavy weight. The bright blue is attractive with your complexion and delightful silver hair color.

You are so right about fit. The top beneath the cardigan looks as if it may be stretched a bit, but some of the new "bandage" look tops and skirts are supposed to do this. So it becomes your personal choice.

Long skirts are a wonderful summery fashion touch and also look great with boots in winter.

This color-block tier skirt will draw the eye downward, toward your cute sandals and painted toenails. I am not familiar with Canadian retailers, so look at the general idea rather than the specific product.



Bay Studio Colorblock Tier Skirt


Shorter skirts can show off your legs. Avoid shirring or pleats at the waistline. Panels (what used to be called gores) and bias-cut skirts that lie flatter on top, then flare, are more flattering.

Keep an eye on catalogs, online and those that come in the mail, for looks you like that you can replicate in clothes in your price range.

One tip for developing outfits is to put things you want to wear together in the closet, so they are easy to grab.

I don't envy you cleaning out your clutter. One trick I've developed is putting a little sticky label on things I don't wear often. If I haven't worn it in a year, I know I can throw it out. Or else I must get busy and wear it.

You have good taste that seems just right for a Sophia. Stick with it, and wear the pants you like fearlessly!

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Kali, Sophia, Athena: She Wants to Trade Tailored Look for Free-Spirit Togs

by Anne
(St. Charles )

I am in the process of learning more about who I am and what I like and don't like in my life. I don't like the way I dress. I dress Land's End at Walmart prices. Simple, good taste, never draws attention. A tailored look.

I want to be an elegant free spirit. Think colors and flowing and dresses. Movement.

I am 58 years old and married. Several years ago I let my hair go gray and like the results. I am 5'6" and weigh 125 lbs. I walk or do yoga everday.

I live in the Midwest so we have all four seasons. I have a small group of friends.

My question is what new pieces can I start adding to my to my everyday wardrobe that will start taking me from buttoned up Land's End to Judi Dench's closet in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

Hi Anne -- I'm with you. I am tailored button-down Athena who longs to be Hecate. The Kali in your fashion archetype profile shows you are committed to a change.

Your interest in yoga clothes suggests you may already have some pieces that can be paired with more flowing garments, especially the stretch tops.

How do these suggestions strike you? First, a long skirt with a nice print. Watch out for two much shirring at the waist line; a bias cut is a sleeker look. Tiers also can emphasize pounds unless the most noticeable one is at the bottom.

Shop SoftSurroundings.comhas a really nice selection of summer skirts -- but not at Wal-Mart prices.

Second, a peasant blouse is a nice, soft, loose look. You can even wear it with the tailored slacks you already own.

Tunics are another popular style, and Dench wore these, if I remember correctly. An asymmetric hem (sometimes called sharkbite) or billowing sleeves (think Dolman or kimono style) are nice.

Look for scarves on sale. These are another way to ease into a more free-spirited look without spending a fortune. Wear a long one untied and hanging or loosely drape a larger one.

I like to wear my favorite scarves with one tail spread out over an arm to display the pattern, then loosely wrapped and thrown over my shoulder. This photo captures the general idea. However, the part of the scarf that seems to be stretched tautly when photographed on the floor actually drapes comfortably in a big loop when I am wearing that outfit.

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Sophia Doesn't Feel Pulled Together

I see myself as the quiz showed. But I also feel like I'm never quite pulled together.

Hi Sophia, for want of a personal name --

I am glad you found the quiz accurately reflects your style.

Feeling pulled together can be challenging for your fashion archetype. First, you may be preoccupied with things in life that mean more to you than clothing. Sophia is often an idealist.

Second, because Sophia likes simplicity, she may not take the time to buy accessories. It is often the details that make the outfit seem pulled together.

Here are few thoughts:



  • Do you have pierced ears? Simple earrings, such as little pearls, are wonderful way to add a finishing touch to your look. If you get used to wearing these every day, you soon won't feel completely dressed without them.

  • A signature necklace is another way to add a finishing touch that is uniquely you and doesn't need to be changed out too often.

  • Keep track of seasonal colors that are in favor. In winter, a nice scarf and a hat, if you wear one, can create that pulled-together and on-trend look. In summer, a handbag and sandals may do the trick.

  • A nice top in the season's on-trend style and color can be worn with classic skirts and slacks alike. So again, this can be a relatively low-cost investment in feeling up-to-date.

  • A bit of lipstick and blush make me feel dressed up. I don't much like make-up and never wear it at home. So taking a little time to put on even this much helps me feel more polished to face the world.

I hope these relatively inexpensive and easy suggestions will reassure you that you are doing just fine with the looks you love. Sometimes feeling pulled-together is more a state of mind and taking a few extra minutes to add accessories or put on make-up.

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