Hit Your Style Sweet Spot in Your Retirement Community or Neighborhood

Welcome to a new collaboration with Jennifer of A Well Styled Life and Pam of over50feeling40.  We desire for all of us…the grandmothers, the professionals, the retirees, the volunteers… the fabulous women over 50 …to look and feel our best each and every day.  After years of blogging for this audience, we have heard from so many of you about your discouragement and despondency when you look in the mirror every morning.  But, we both know just how transformative style can be and we hope to encourage you with specific, step-by-step guidelines right here every Sunday.  We would like to see all of us empowered with strength, joy, and confidence!
Each Sunday, we will bring to you a scenario we face each week and show you our step-by-step process as we decide what to wear…you will see on our individual blogs how we handle the challenge and seek our personal sweet spot for the day!

We are walking into new territory this week.  Recently, we asked readers what you would like to see discussed here and heard from many. One of the survey takers said she recently moved into a retirement community and was feeling a little out of place because the other women residents dressed very nice there.

This challenge required Jennifer and I both to share empathy and think what we might do if we lived in such a place…which I probably will someday!

For me, there is very little I would do different.  Here is what I recommend:

1.  Always dress for yourself and dress to look and feel your best every day.  It affects your joy and your overall attitude.  The word retirement is not a license for frumpy…far from it, it is a license for fun! Though the other ladies look nice, don’t dress for them…dress for you!  I submit retirement will be a more joyful time if you are dressing each day “to live” life to it’s fullest.  You just never know what opportunities will come your way.

2. Make sure you have a wardrobe of strong neutral foundations…like the METRO CROPPED LEGGINGS I am wearing above. I cuffed them up to create  the “boyfriend” style. Then if you are invited over for dinner, or to play Bunko, or go to a movie, you can just toss on a nice blouse or a fun tunic like this one.  In fact, SOFT SURROUNDINGS is the perfect place for a new retirement community wardrobe with many beautiful, easy selections to fit each occasion.  This top is called the STANDOUT SHIRT and is presently not on their website…as soon as it hits the site I will tweet it out!  I like a casual look which says I am approachable and happy.  

3. If attending a neighborhood or homeowner’s meeting, you need to have some pieces which communicate…take me seriously…I am intelligent and strong.  Here I threw a vintage Ralph Lauren Blazer on over my jeans.  

I found this one…brand new…with the over $300 price tag still on it…at our local GOODWILL SA.  In other words, you can find some great pieces for amazing prices at thrift and consignment shops.

A working retirement wardrobe is one of separates which are constantly inter-changeable and give you the appearance of many different looks. They make it easy to grab something at a moments notice and look your best.

I really would not do anything very different from what I currently do. However, since the closet space might be smaller, I would have a few purposeful neutral foundation pieces of pants, jeans, leggings, and skirts with several great fitting tops which are fun; and a couple of dresses as needed for events.  All of my pieces would send the messages I desire to send at this time of my life!  You can be retired and shine every time you enter a room or event and, yet, be in simple wear.  Now, let’s go see what JENNIFER OF A WELL STYLED LIFE is wearing!

Clothing from today’s post:

Also, there is plenty of inspiration on my HIT YOUR STYLE SWEET SPOT!


Keep your eyes open right here this week for a fun giveaway (gorgeous prize), new brands to meet, and important new information just for us “seasoned” ladies!  Until then…

Happy first week of February!

Disclaimer:  Soft Surroundings provided the tunic and leggings for this post and Hotter.com provided the shoes last year… but the words are my own.


  1. That tunic is so cool, I will keep watching for it on their site. Both looks are modern and classy. My mom lives in a retirement community and I notice women there, even in their 90's, making an effort with their appearance. It can be as simple as lipstick or light makeup. And as you say, consignment and thrift stores can make it cost-effective.

    1. I promise to spread the word when I know it is on their site, Karen. I have seen some amazing women in their nineties who took such care with their appearance and have inspired me to always take that care! Thanks for stopping by.

  2. When I retired (10 years ago) at 55, I gave all my structured, dark coloured, business clothes away and filled my closet with the 'lagenlook' – all my clothes are now cotton or linen (light for summer, heavy for winter) and some wool. a bit of black, but mostly white and colour – comfortable, freeing and beautiful! i also ditched the heels for 'flats only', and started making my own, unique jewelry. retirement is great! 🙂

  3. That is a fabulous tunic and looks great on you! Great find on the RL blazer…I am impressed with your shopping. I will be in McKinney in a couple weeks to visit family. Any tips for dressing in Texas February weather?

    1. Thanks for the kind words, Donna…and welcome to Texas soon. We are having a warmer winter than usual; however, traditionally February is the coldest month for us. Layers are always a good idea. You will be north where it is colder than where I am in San Antonio…but really no matter what, our weather this time of year is better than almost any where else in the US…so enjoy your stay and I hope we bring you sunshine.

  4. I so agree with on dressing your best everyday. A frustration I can imagine that people might have in a retirement home is that they may not know how to access the internet to find wonderful different styles. I am so glad you brought up about SA and Goodwill's (or any resale really). So many good choices there and a senior would appreciate the good values and wide array of choices.

  5. Oh I totally agree with Point #1 Pam, dress for yourself and also just because we are retired doesn't mean we have to look frumpy. Sometimes people are on a budget especially if they are in a retirement home so I love your jacket that you found at SA. Thanks for sharing your post and encouraging us all to look our best at #overthemoon link up. Hope to see you next week.

    1. That's why I try to inform about all price points. Some will go one direction and others another. I love treasure hunting at Goodwill…just see what we can find. Thanks Haralee.

  6. You always look smart! I appreciate all the sound advice you give Pam. Having never had children, I know there will be a home of some sort in my (hopefully) far distant future. I will make the most of it and and continue to dress for myself.

    1. I love these flats…they are very comfortable…just click the picture for the link or I linked to the product at the bottom. There are local retail outlets which carry this brand.

  7. Great suggestions. My mom lives in assisted living (and most residents are over 85) and she tells me she is the "best dressed" there… that people are always commenting on her outfits. So no matter the age, it's still a thing!

  8. I think retirement style can encompass 20 or more years. It spans 55+ active adults to 95 y/o seniors. Someone moving into an Adults Only community with their own home might need to transition from a work wardrobe to a more casual one with more Book Club/Bridge Group/Church/Family Gathering kind of social attire, or supplement their wardrobe with togs for a favorite sport or hobby. An older senior giving up a single family home and moving into Independent or Assisted Living with a possible retreat into a lifestyle with more home help has different needs. Once you aren't keeping a home you don't need gardening and lawn care outfits, if you've slowed down a bit maybe sports attire changes too. One thing I found when my mother went into a Health Center was that clothing needed to be washable. Her helpers were attuned to the nice silk blouse or wool pants that needed special care.

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