Fashion Over 50: Clothing As Your Armor

“Clothes are sometimes the armor we wear to give us strength in a challenging world.”

This was one of the comments in our aging discussion on Friday and came from Binky…and I love it.  I am six months into a new professional job I began at age 65.  I know I was hired for my experience, but the challenge for me is to keep my co-workers not thinking about my age.

I want to bring my A-game every day, and I do believe my clothes are the armor I wear for that challenge.  My professional dress sends the message I am intelligent, creative, strong and successful.  That gives me confidence and helps me to face the challenges with a determination to complete each day as a winner.

In the six short months I have been there, we have added two grandchildren and I have experienced a shoulder injury.  So, you can perhaps see what a challenge it is to keep the focus off my age.  I do it with diligent, determined work…and my armor.  I do believe, especially at work, the right armor is so important to send messages of competence and confidence.

Do you agree that clothing can be our armor to gain strength in a challenging world?  If so, do you have a situation you could share with us?

I love to wear Ralph Lauren when I want to feel classic and strong.  Though this jacket has been in my closet for years, different versions of it are still in style today.  This is Ralph Lauren Week at Dillard’s and I have included several retailers with RL looks in the slideshow below.  Thanks to Binky for the great quote and for all of us, remember to

KEEP SMILING!! (No matter the challenges)



  1. Great look, Pam! Binky, how true your sentiment rings! In any challenge we face in life, i.e. professional, health-related, emotional distress, or even success – the clothes we choose to wear helps us to sort things out! ~~ xo

  2. I honestly never thought of it this way, but that is true. I know when I have meetings at work I dress differently than I do on days when I know I’ll be in my office most of the day. Today I have meetings until later in the evening, and I have dressed in a way that says I am professional, confident in my abilities, and kind of no-nonsense. So yes, this is true.

  3. Years ago, when I still had kids in school, I wanted that Ralph Lauren Navy blazer almost to an obsession. Not being able to justify even the sale price, I saved in small increments and waited for a good sale. I loved that blazer and always felt powerful in it and wore it a lot. Fast-forward 20 years and 2 sizes later I gave it away. You just reminded me how much I liked it and I think it’s time for another one. My kids are grown, married and successful. No more mom guilt for me.

    1. It is time, Nina. I just purchased a winter coat that I never would have gone for years ago…all my winter coats are thrifted. So I am going to get a winter coat which will probably last me the rest of my days! Let us know if you find your jacket…some great choices below.

  4. OMG!I had forgotten an old RL houndstooth blazer similar to the one pictured. Its been languishing in my out of season closet. It’s been too small but after a weight loss it fits again. Whoopee! It’s going back in to my rotation. Thanks for a great post and a wonderful quote, Binky.

  5. Oh yes! I learned from my mother about “power outfits” and red being a power color. I’ve used it on many occasions when I wanted to be taken seriously.

  6. How I dress definitely determines my attitude. I no longer go to the office, but each day, I make the effort to fix my hair, put on a little makeup, & dress in something that says “Get thing done!” even if I’m only staying home & cleaning the house.

  7. I retired 8 years ago and the business suits and heels mentality took a long time to diminish. I still dress everyday in assembled “outfits” and love that my granddaughters are proud of my appearance. I don’t leave my bedroom without putting myself together. It is integral to my confidence and attitude so that every day is a success. I suppose even with carpools, soccer or shopping I’m still wearing my “armor”. I LOVE that idea. Thanks for sharing the quote.

  8. I think you look fabulous in Ralph Lauren. They always look expensive and classic. No closet is ever really happy without a Ralph section. And I will check out Dillard’s Ralph week.

  9. I definitely dress according to my schedule at work. Management, board,committee and external meetings, interviews and terminations (I’m in HR) require more professional attire. It also supports my confidence and wellbeing and sends a message to others of confidence and competence. Informal gatherings with family and friends call for my fun and playful attire when I can just be myself, relaxed and comfortable in my own skin.

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