Fashion Over 50: What is Your Purchasing Philosophy

Remember fast fashion days…typically for younger women who desire to change clothing like nail colors and make a financial decision to spend less on more.  However, I believe the majority of you have left fast fashion in the dust and now purchase with an eye for longevity.

That phrase is not original with me…one of you wonderful readers used it recently in a comment and I thought……..Perfect!  I purchase with an eye for longevity and always think about my clothing taking me in and through retirement days.  My pictures today are of pieces I have owned for a long, long time and still wear.

I guess that it why I can hang my clothing in families.  I have three main brands I wear over and over again…with a cast of fun pieces which surround them.  Lately, I look at pieces closer and consider how they will go into the next few years.  That is why when I see trends like leopard and tweed staying in the modern mix, I am always happy because I know they have sustained the years in my wardrobe.


So let’s talk…how much purchasing for longevity vs. fast fashion do you do these days?  Do you still enjoy the more for less philosophy or the less is more?

Buying with longevity in mind doesn’t mean we can’t have fun with fashion…in fact, isn’t that what accessories are for? It also doesn’t mean that we pay top dollar…it just means we get more bang for the buck.

I did find some fun pieces below at retailers who have been in my closet for years.  So, join in the conversation and then take a look………………and, of course,……………………………….



  1. I completely agree with you current philosophy. I have never been one for “fast fashion” and my sisters have never understood why I would pay as much for one outfit as they would pay for three. But I learned from our dad – “You get what you pay for”.
    I certainly will look closely at sales and that is when I will often add to what I already own and since I tend to stick to some basic neutrals most of what I add will mix and match with what I already have. I love to look at new items but I don’t find that I need to buy anywhere near as much as I used to.

  2. I am one who left ‘fast fashion’ in the dust. I have deliberately thought out a wardrobe that will take me into retirement, and now invest in quality over quantity. I think it helps if you know yourself and what you feel best in. I take your first photo as an example. A white shirt and jeans, a white shirt and black pants, a white shirt and a pencil skirt, these are classics that will always be in style, so a good place to buy the best you can afford. When you notice what you reach for again and again, you have pretty much determined your personal style. But I definitely shop with a list, mindful of what will take me into the future looking classy and chic. And I no longer purchase on impulse just because something is cute on the rack. It has to fit in with my style formula that I’ve developed, and it has to go with what is in the closet. Fit is everything, and toss away fashion often doesn’t do so well in that area. For me, less is more, and being able to keep things under control in the closet with classics and mix and match is what is working for me and what I see working in the future when I retire. That outfit with the black pants and top and the kimono is beautiful! I could wear a version of the black pants/black top with a topper every day and feel great in it. I don’t, but I could! : )

  3. I have had a past practice of buying a ton of clothes…some expensive, but never wearing. I also as retirement is now here, find myself wearing only a few basic items….because I no longer am wearing business suits and because my new body shape….you know the mature woman shape. I have no idea what to wear.
    I think Karen is correct in her ideas…..I love your blog and am trying to incorporate the wardrobe ideas. What three clothing brands are you using please. I love that bag in your first pictur
    Thank you

  4. I really don’t shop much- in retirement, there is no need for business attire. On the other hand I like to look nice, fresh, and sometimes trendy. Usually I accomplish the trendy with accessories. I have three nice summer dresses and a similar amount of winter dresses- more winter things than summer usually. There are actual empty shelves and drawers in my house! And that is fine.
    I love a nice white shirt and jeans too. But I will not pay over 100 dollars for either one. I have great luck with pants from Macy’s Alfani line, tops from their Charter Club line. Most of my dresses are CK,
    because they fit my hourglass shape.
    I would far far rather spend my money on travel than clothes. Every person gets to decide what’s most important though, right? Sipping a coffee in Paris in my JJill or Macy’s clothing- some of which also lasts for years if you take care of it- is the good life for me!

  5. My mom was such a great role model for me when it came to clothes shopping. She was a true bargain shopper, but always purchased quality, classic items. I’ve learned that it’s worth the expense to purchase better quality as these items hold up and wear well over time. If I want to experiment with trends, I’ll go for accessories (scarves, costume jewelry) to freshen up my classic wardrobe pieces. Thanks Pam! Your blog is such a daily inspiration!

  6. I sure do agree about the travel. I’d rather have basic neutrals to mix and match with some classic-style tops and spend my money on travel! I’m also a big fan of J Jill for comfortable, yet chic basics!

  7. Pamela, I used to buy loads of clothes, some cheap and some expensive. I never wore some of them because I was always going to lose a few pounds which I never did. I usually ended up donating them unworn to charity after a couple of years. I didn’t even like some of the clothes I bought as I was using retail therapy to cheer myself up and I just bought what I could get on. Six months ago I took up keep fit by watching exercise videos on YouTube. Then I found videos by ladies like yourself talking about transforming themselves in their 50s (I am 56). I started reading their blogs and very recently found yours too. What an education! I am now fitter, healthier, slimmer and recently went out and bought a few items which not only fitted but they suited me as well. I prefer to buy well made items which will last but are in the sale. However, thanks to ladies like yourself I have now learned not to buy something just because it is on sale as it is a waste of money. I am finally decluttering my wardrobe of all my past mistakes and really feel better for it. Keep up the good work – your blog is so interesting and inspiring.

  8. The biggest consideration for me when buying clothes is whether it fits my lifestyle. I am retired & live a casual lifestyle. While I want to look my best at home & when I am out & about, the places I frequent do not call for dressy attire. I have a few classic pieces, like a black velvet skirt & black velvet pants, that can be worn for dressier occasions. I tend to stick with vey simple styles that can be mixed & matched easily & accessorized for the occasion. The only fast fashion I buy these days comes from a clearance rack at a very low price.

  9. I haven’t really ever been a fast fashion person. In my 20’s and early 30’s I made a lot of my clothes so I could have a custom fit garment for a great price! Over the years I have been willing to pay more per item to have the quality that lasts but sometimes I want a piece that is just fun for a season and then I pay less.

  10. Nothing so classy as a crisp white shirt. I prefer the open neck on you rather than the buttoned up, but both are such great looks. I learned about the “capsule” idea from Janet Wallach’s “Working Wardrobe” years ago, and although an old book, it still contains invaluable info for building a wardrobe.

  11. I don’t especially enjoy shopping, so I really like classic pieces that can be mixed & matched & will stand the test of time. If I want to jazz things up or be a little more trendy, I’ll do it with accessories that aren’t too expensive.
    Love your philosophy, Pamela!

  12. I really prefer an open collar or V neck, Elizabeth. Just don’t wear it all the time. Thanks for stopping by.

  13. Interesting post. I am retired (60) so don’t require a work wardrobe. I have lots and lots of clothes that I like and enjoy wearing. Most are colourful. I have decided to “Shop My Wardrobe” for as many years as I can. I don’t have too many neutrals so I have ‘allowed’ myself to buy items in neutral colours. I have analysed my lifestyle and I require ‘neat & nice’ clothes for medical visits and only very occasionally do I need super special outfits. I’m off to a wedding in November and anticipate wearing a pretty dress I wore to a wedding four years ago. I don’t agree that we have to be on trend all of the time. One fashion trend that I do like is the Kimono. I like floaty soft clothes and they can be worn over neutrals. Didn’t even look twice at the cold shoulder and puffer jackets.

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