Women Over 50: Clean your closets, wear linen, break out the popsicles and enjoy summer!


Soft Surroundings outfit on over 50 Feeling 40


I did it!  This over 50 woman dared to walk into her closet last Saturday for a good cleaning, and I discovered pieces (like this linen outfit from Soft Surroundings), more peace (as many of you said I would), and celebrated with a cool popsicle…because every good Gigi keeps popsicles in her freezer this time of year!  It really does feel good to have made a significant dent in my wardrobe.

I am always amazed at what we learn about someone from their closets.  If it is full of everything and unfocused, the woman is most often struggling with who she is.  If is it full of drab, uninspired, oversized tee shirts and ill -fitting jeans, then most often the woman is depressed with her life or her body type.  Confident women are focused and understand who they are.  How I send messages with my clothing has been the way I have stayed on task and confident.  I have learned that getting dressed no matter what I am doing is a huge joy booster!  

Yet, if you were to have walked into my closet last week, you would have thought I was the woman struggling with identity.  It was a full-house packed mess.  My busyness the last four years kept me from keeping separate the seasons and from weeding out the “no-not-me-looks.”  There were three main things I kept in mind last Saturday:

  1. Most items…especially pants…needed to be tried on in front of a full- length mirror in order to properly decide what stays and what goes
  2. To be kind to myself and not expect too much this first round of refining the closet. In other words, it did not need to be especially severe right now.  I will probably revisit this next year after living my new life for a time.
  3. My style adjectives. I want to speak to the world that I am elegant, intelligent, confident, approachable and creative (creativity is a way I express my joy)




Because I was overwhelmed and almost talked myself out of it, I started with the accessories.   There were some scarves that needed to go on their merry way.  I always have two discard piles (sounds like a card game!). The first pile goes to Goodwill as donations.  The second pile goes to my friend who will sell them on EBAY and we split the profits.  At this time, it is too overwhelming for me to try to sell them myself and I like helping her out as well.  The scarves to go first were really long ones, or in colors I no longer prefer, or gimmicky. 

I asked myself if there is a chance that I would truly wear the accessory in my new stage of life, and if the chance was there, I kept it.  But, for those with no chance and which may not have been worn for some time…they went to discard.




The next step was to remove everything from the main closet that is for fall or winter.   Many of you know…I love fall and winter clothing best and this was a huge pile to remove.  Mr. B asked if we were moving up north…he has no understanding of why I own so many cold weather clothes in a warm climate.  Perhaps he is right!  But, most of the garments are items I really love.  I did pass a small amount at this time to the discard pile to sell.  The blessing of owning a home where the three children have moved on, is extra closet space.  I am using it well!  I know I will need to force myself eventually to weed out these seasons…I just was not completely ready for that now.  They are tucked away waiting for the first cool breezes…which, around here, will be a long wait.



Linen from Soft Surroundings on Over 50 Feeling 40 

Everything had to have a flattering fit in order to stay in the closet.  Many of you will be happy to know that the majority of the discards were over-sized or ill-fitting garments.  I was a little appalled at how many jeans were hanging in there, but I tried each pair on and gave it the discerning eye.  Several did not make the cut, but I did hang on to a few pair that each had their own unique qualities.   As with jeans, not all of the long toppers and jackets were sent away, but many said good bye.

I am wearing today a linen top and cotton capris from Soft Surroundings.  I rediscovered them both in the closet clean and so glad that I did…I like both pieces and they are great for summer.  The leather sandals are Born and I have owned them a long time…originally purchased at Marshalls.  OK, yes, the popsicles are different colors!  Mr. B, my photographer, made me get a red one to be a closer match with the shoes!  I did not eat either one…but he did!  Now, back to the wardrobe… I like this quote from Tish Jett, because I find it to be so true. 

“At our age, we probably know what works best on our bodies. It’s evident. It’s those clothes we wear over and over, buy over and over, the items that receive the most compliments, not the ones hanging there unworn.”  – Tish Jett, Forever Chic

I still kept many of my clothing from my professional, in-office life.  I think they will gradually go away as I determine what I need for this new life.  But, I do feel so much better to have my main closet clean and lean...No, it is not 10 items, but a lot less than it was. Tomorrow, we will talk more on all that I am learning about becoming a woman of elegance.  For now, here is a slideshow, and make sure you…..

KEEP SMILING…Popsicle, anyone?

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Pamela Lutrell for Goli GummiesThere are several ways that I generate income through this blog in order to cover business expenses and give myself much needed income.  Purchases through the slideshow links is one way, ads on the page is one way and a new way is through ordering or re-ordering the GOLI Apple Cider Vinegar gummies through me with my GOLI LINK HERE.  Again, if you are not familiar with the benefits of apple cider vinegar, you should speak with your personal physician.  My husband and I are sold on the benefits and I am proud to represent this product.  I am going to leave this at the bottom of my posts so that when you, friends or family would like to order you can use my link.  Thanks for the support.  This is a great product; as well as, the ones below!


Mr. B and I love our meals from Sun Basket!

Sun Basket on Over 50 Feeling 40


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My Complexion Loves Chamonix…My esthetician says my complexion is super tight!

Chamonix on Over 50 Feeling 40


All natural, plant-cell technology skincare


By Pamela Lutrell




  1. Outshines! the watermelon flavor! incredible. I really related to closet cleaning, ive been avoiding it. Retired in April, so i have no idea what my normal is going to be. and i have a whole section of jackets and sweaters, because of the frosty air conditioned office i worked in, but now, living in south florida, how much of it will ever see the light of day…on the other hand, plenty of time for visits to family and friends up north, when normal returns, so dont want to just dump all of that either…i could start with the scarves…why i buy them i dont know, attracted to the pretty materials and colors i guess, but so few of them ever make it outdoors also. i chuckled at the 10 item comment…i dont think i will ever be capable of that.

    1. I am the same way with scarves! They always attract me. I discarded a few, but I am sure more will need to go! I will try the Outshines Watermelon… sounds great. Thanks for being here, Sheryl.

  2. That is a nice linen top and red sandals!! I will gladly take the black & white bicycle scarf off your hands. Cute!!

    1. I like this top a lot from Soft Surroundings..the wrinkling is minimal. I may still have the bicycle scarf…let me check on it.

  3. I have several linen pieces that I am not wearing. The wrinkles drive me crazy! How do you handle this? Is there something new that helps keep the wrinkles away? Do you just wear linen and not let the wrinkles bother you? Are wrinkles acceptable? This is a dilemma for me.

    1. I agree that with the majority, the wrinkling is insane and it seems that many women wear them that way. The higher quality the linen, the less wrinkles. I like this top because the wrinkles are less than others I have experienced.

    2. Linen wrinkles are totally acceptable. Linen should be ironed before wearing though and then wrinkle on the body. When you live or vacation in a hot climate linen is a life-saver.

      1. Thanks for letting us know, Terri! I was out and about in over 100 degrees in this top yesterday and it worked great, so I agree with what you are saying. I will start to iron beforehand now.

    3. Your outfit looks just lovely.
      I cleaned my closet out when we went into lockdown.
      I have given away some & have some organized to take to consignment.
      I feel I should have been more severe.
      I love linen in the summer.
      The winkles of good linen are just elegant!

      1. I also feel I should have been more severe, Dianne. But, I think it is good to do this gradually and make sure we do not toss something we really love. I believe, for me, a big round three comes when the wear begins to change. Thanks!

  4. You look adorable there with your red Popsicle. As always this blog inspired me to attack a certain closet I’ve been avoiding in what was my daughter’s bedroom once upon a time! I’ve got to get in there! And purge….Meanwhike, everything in there is mine. (Hanging my head shamefully ) . More stuff I never wear.

    1. I may have just created the same scenario, Paulette but loading up my daughter’s closet with seasonal wear. We will see how long I hang on to these pieces…it will be a process. Don’t hang your head in shame…we all go through this at one time or another. Just consider it a transition to a new fabulous you!

  5. I guess you could say I am a woman struggling to discover who I am, according to my closet. For the past 40 years I have been swayed much too easily by others opinions and my closet looks like it. I have done purges in the past, then too much sneeks back in. I think the fact that I like colour has much to do with that, so I must once again whittle down the extraneous ‘stuff’ that is not being worn. Following eagerly along.

    1. I just went through all of these revelations after working a professional life for the past four years and realizing how it changed me, Diane. Good news…we can all go back to being confident women who understand who we are. Do this…select five adjectives that you want to communicate with your style every time you dress. What do you want to tell the world about you just from the cover of your own book? I would guess that one of your adjectives would be creative…since you love color so much. But, balance it with four more adjectives about you. Use these adjectives for cleaning out the closet and for shopping. I have learned how well this works over the past 10 years and you will be amazed at how remaining true to your adjectives day after day develops a personal Diane-style.

  6. I laughed at Mr. B having you coordinate popsicle colors to your shoes. I’d bet you and he enjoy much laughter in your life…I certainly hope so because it surely makes life, especially during this pandemic isolation, much easier to contend with. I have not been brave enough yet to venture into my closets ( note plural) to do what you have done. Perhaps I can start by separating winter items from warm weather to at least have that separation. With retirement from teaching I’ve put on a few pounds so really need to do some major purging. And I have a friend who cannot seem to gain weight so I’ve promised to give her my 4’s and 6’s . It’s just that getting up to start….which I will soon, I hope.

    1. Wow…I am so jealous that you have 4s and 6s to give away. I never saw those numbers in my own closet…rejoice! Just separating the seasons was refreshing and freeing. Then I went in and did refining after that. It does feel good once you start the process.

  7. I have been cleaning out my closet, too! But…I decided to doit a little at a time. I decided that 20 items at a minimum had to go. I kept going through the top rack until I had 20. I put them in a bag and and I keep adding to it. I am going to go for the next 20 this week! I jsut don’t want to do it all day! HAHA! It is amazing what I have been finding!

    1. LOL…I was amazed at what I found as well, Kay. I like your system…thanks for sharing it.

  8. Wow! If I had something as great as that linen look hiding in my closet, I would be very motivated to clean. I made a difficult decision to retire this week from my job as a junior high school teacher. I wasn’t quite ready for a lot of reasons, but I live with someone in a high risk group and am older myself, so we thought it was the smart thing to do. Unfortunately, I bought a lot of clothes at bargain basement prices during the lockdown. I have already cut off the tags and steamed them. Also unfortunately, though I can wear them at home, I didn’t need them and I don’t love them. They were purchased for, as it turns out, another life. I am happy and sad and really quite stunned that I did this. Of course, I’m not ready to clean my closet yet as I still have the daunting job of cleaning out a classrooom.

    1. I know how difficult this decision is, Linda. I have been there when I chose to leave teaching five years ago. With the recent layoff, it was decided for me, but I hope we all can look forward to new experiences and an exciting life right now. You might think about applying to be an online teacher. Good ones for online education programs are needed. But you may be truly ready to go forward and leave teaching as a wonderful experience from your past. Another option for you is to sell those new items online through an EBAY shop. I do this with a friend since I am still technically “working” at home, but she says it is so easy to do. Good luck with the classroom clean…stay positive and hopeful for what lies ahead.

  9. I keep a big shopping bag near my closet and when I’m getting dressed I consider what is in my closet. When I’m choosing my ootd I will examine and ask myself why I didn’t choose a garment. Often this helps me to thin out my wardrobe because I’m in the moment. Instead of tackling my entire wardrobe I’ll just take a segment; last week I took all my white shirts out and one made the donation bag. This exercise keeps me from feeling overwhelmed. As I transition from busy professional to country club chic I keep a small notebook where I write down what type of garment I need to complete an outfit. Love this on you and, yes, Outshine pops are delicious. My favorite is the chocolate tipped raspberry.

  10. Congratulations on your great progress Pam! Purging clothes is difficult emotionally. I love linen in the summer and do live with some wrinkles, just knowing that is the nature of linen is kind of freeing, no need to steam or iron if you don’t want to (I don’t!). It took me awhile to get into linen, but now I like it. Your top and crops are a great look! I love the SS crops – I have the black ones on my shopping list. Soft Surroundings was the only clothing store not open on my recent shopping trip – major disappointment! But I know my size so will buy them online. That’s such a good idea starting with accessories. Starting in and then just taking the next step is a very practical way to go about this. I’m working toward moving, no real timeline yet, but having cleaned out three of my parents’ places in recent years, when I purge I think about my kids. I can attest to the fact that I am able to be much more ruthless when I keep them in mind. It is a horrendous job getting rid of eons of ‘stuff’, so I am going to move with very little. I think I’m keeping my local Goodwill in business with all the carloads I’ve been hauling over! I do not want my kids to have the experiences I’ve had if something happens to me. So my purging method is to think, “They don’t want this” and away it goes. Clothes are done, and when something new comes in, something has to exit. Shoes aren’t as easy!!

    1. Such a good point, Karen…to keep our kids in mind and not want to leave them a mess some day. I need to remember that as well. Thanks for sharing and that is a good plan to move with as little as possible.

  11. My closet was trimmed down already and in need of a summery dress. I ordered from Macys the periwinkle shirt dress you recommended in a previous article. So it arrived and I put it on and added some flip flops and made some homemade ice cream and celebrated summer in this San Antonio heat wave!

  12. Congratulations to you! You are looking relaxed and happy, and I can perceive that relaxation and happiness in your writing today. Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us.

    1. Thank you, Janet. The farther I get from leaving office life…the happier and more relaxed I am. So glad you can see!

  13. I did a closet purge in February & tried on all my pants & jeans. The fit on so many of them was awful. Those went into the donation bag along with several tops. I was looking at a blouse that I haven’t worn yet this summer & wondering why I kept it or even bought it. I really don’t like it. I have a bag of miscellaneous items to donate when I can. It includes a tee shirt I wore recently that I decided was too short. Now, every time I wear something I look at it with a more discerning eye. I really like you outfit. It looks fresh & cool for summer.

    1. Thanks Becky! Now, that I can pull back and take that time, I also plan to purge as I go forward…especially when we get to cooler weather. Thanks!

  14. Congratulations on your successful “Closet Styling”! That’s a major accomplishment for a Saturday project.

    Why yes!, thank you; always a treat to share popsicles. And smiles… lots & lots of smiles.

    It’s taking me time to reassess my personal style & wardrobe, too. Seven years later _still_ trying to develop a new routine, too. But, did purge most of the Winter woolies & all skirted suits/blouses.

    Feeling like it’s time to release a few more #-lovedbutnolongerrelevant pieces (hilarious hash tag to use) *grin*.

  15. How about a closet full of pre-quarantine weight gain clothes? Ha! Someone’s going to have to do something about that….

    1. I went through that…while we supported our local restaurants! But hopefully back on track now. I agree it was a huge problem!

  16. I absolutely love that linen top you’re wearing. I’ve always avoided linen because I find it hot & clammy & prefer gauzy cotton: I don’t know if this is a function of climate or just my imagination! And I am impressed with 2 things, Pam. First, how you took on your closet without stressing yourself out by trying to do everything at once. You’re very clever to do a few pieces at a time, giving yourself time to get used to the changes & contemplating where to go next. Second, I’m impressed with how you’re standing there in white with a cherry popsicle & haven’t dripped it all over yourself!

    And jeans: I’m not too sure how many pairs I have, but it’s a lot. Different shades of blue (and many in other colours), different pocket & yoke details, some with sparkles across the backside etc. I wear them because I love them, but also because we’re bikers & I spend a lot of my summer on the back of a Harley. Jeans are ideal biker wear: narrow legs so no fabric flapping around to get caught on things, they cut wind & sunburn & even the best rider in the world — & my husband is one — can’t always avoid laying a bike down. On long road trips I wear leather chaps for protection, but locally I depend on good denim to keep my hide intact if we go down. So I think we’re all allowed a closet passion or two that doesn’t necessarily fit the agenda of cutting back 🙂

    1. Thanks Janet…I did not have that popsicle out for too long…or it would have dripped away. Of course we are allowed a closet passion or two…we need wardrobes that make us happy and fit our lifestyles! Thanks for sharing yours….

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