In Search of My New Life-Style over 50. First Stop: Chico’s

Chicos Navy Blouse on Over 50 Feeling 40

Today begins my new journey to find a personal style which best represents me in my new stage of life over 50. Here are the reasons for the journey:

  1. I now work mostly at home and no longer need professional dress for my occupation.
  2. I want to communicate that I am elegant, intelligent, confident, approachable and creative. Recognizing that in order to dress both elegant and creative, I must keep the creative part of my outfits under control.
  3. I need to try clothing on to get the best fit. I want to wear less over-sized garments and more garments which fit.  I am noticing that in many places I can size down!
  4. Also, looking for more ideas of garments and outfits that I can wear throughout the year and are not so seasonal.

Chicos jewelry on over 50 feeling 40

 

 

THE STARTING GATE IS CHICO’S

 

 

This is more of a research mission than a purchasing mission, unless I find items I just do not want to leave behind.   I am looking for the designs and styles that I believe work and the ones that I need to stop wearing once and for all.  I am also looking for inspiration for styling garments I already own.  Let’s start with my favorite garment of the day, THE DRAPE SLEEVE PULLOVER TOP.  I will be watching this garment to see if I can pick it up on sale.  I liked the flattering fit, the elegant style of the sleeves, and the color. It says casual chic to me.  This is a good direction for me and I added a touch of creativity with a necklace from this sale rack…

Chicos jewelry on over 50 feeling 40

But as I walked by this rack…I was saying in my head…Walkaway from the fun accessories!  I love Chico’s accessories so much and often leave with something, but I have so many necklaces that I have no current need…though need wasn’t ever really a consideration before! 

My past casual life has included many ponchos, so I was drawn to this tropical one.  But once I tried it on, I thought…this is the old me, not the me I want for my new casual chic life-style.  So, I decided to bid it farewell.

I love the Traveler’s Collection and own many pieces for my past work life. I was drawn to this PRINTED SOUTACHE JACKET.  I love the print and the colors, but my regular size was too boxy and going down to this size just did not seem to be a good fit.  It is a beautiful jacket though. 

Deep Cherry Travelers Cardigan on over 50 Feeling 40

I really really like the new Traveler’s color called Deep Cherry.  It is a beautiful red and there are many fun pieces offered in the color.  Because I have had success with the Traveler’s cardigans, I tried the CLASSIC DRAPED JACKET on, but decided I was not that crazy about it on me. I was drawn to it because of the back seaming which I believe gives it a more flattering fit.  But, I think that works better for someone with smaller curves than I have. It is a beautiful jacket/cardigan. I want to watch for it in a shorter piece. 

 

And wanting to see how a shorter piece would look, I tried on this very pretty TRAVELER’S EMBELLISHED JACKET.  It is a lovely jacket and I liked it though I do not need a garment like this right now.  But, if you were to need a pretty piece to go over a sleeveless top or dress, this would be a great consideration.  If you like reds, you will love this new color.

Marla Wynn at Chicos on Over 50 Feeling 40

I am a fan of designer Marla Wynne, so when Chico’s began to carry a collection by her, I wanted to try on some of the pieces.  That is why I decided to try this top.  I like me in collars, as well as V-necks, and I liked the pinstripe.  But it was not flattering or functional.  So I decided to leave it behind as well.  Some of her other designs for Chico’s are lovely and if you like the over-size style, you will want to check it out.  If my adjectives were different, I might be selecting these types of styles.  But, it is not where I really want my new life-style direction to go.  STRIPED DOLMAN SLEEVE BLOUSE

 

SO WHAT DID I LEARN, CLASS

Sale Shopping at Chico's on over 50 feeling 40

Once again…fit is everything.  I have gone down a size in most garments at Chico’s (Woo-Hoo).  I am looking for mostly classic styles which are more fit.   I did purchase an item on sale that I will share with you on Sunday.  Hopefully you will come back!  I also learned that it is time to retire the stiff boxy jackets and  large ponchos from my style.  I still love the jewelry, but I am attempting to keep it under control.  I have some lovely considerations in the slideshow today from Chico’s, and next Tuesday, we will make another stop in my journey.

KEEP SMILING!!

JUST A NOTE:

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

 

Sun Basket is a delicious, easy, fun home delivery meal plan

 

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

43 Comments

  1. There is a lot here Pam! This is such a good idea, to go try on even if you don’t plan on buying or have a particular need. This also points out why actually trying things on in the stores works better than online, unless you plan to do a lot of returns. It is interesting to me how you see your style evolving. You also mentioned “need” not being an issue before. That stood out to me because I remember talking about this with a friend, who was kind of taking me to task for going on a shopping excursion with my sister. This was right after I retired and this friend was telling me that I no longer needed a lot to wear. I pointed out the fun of just being with my sister doing something we both enjoy, and figuring out my new lifestyle. This, what you are doing here, is an important step. While trying on, we reassess. I was still very much drawn to professional wear for a long time after I retired. It was such a habit and felt normal. The new lifestyle did not have enough time to “feel normal” yet! About need though, I admit that my income did change and now when I shop, or look online, I ask myself if I really do “need” this or that. Most often, the answer is no. Now, do I WANT it?? Absolutely yes! But I have learned to temper this according to the budget I set. I’ve been retired for about a year and a half now, and in the spring/early summer I just actually figured our my new style. Passing through several seasons helps us to determine what we are honestly going to wear. Also, I find that now I don’t have the same kinds of places to wear things, not doing the same events, meetings, etc., so I have donated A LOT this year. It’s felt freeing. I love to dress “up” and look polished and nice even to be at home, but the choices are more relaxed. I have gone more for mix and match neutrals that can be dressed up or down. That accessory rack you showed – wow! My Chico’s has a sad sale rack compared to that. You see maybe 20 random, undesirable pieces. The regular rack looks like your sale rack! Lucky you! Accessories are truly helpful in changing the look of a neutral outfit. You will no doubt get lots of mileage from your collection! Very helpful post! Gives me more to consider!

    1. Thanks for sharing these points Karen. I believe I will be more relaxed, but always want to fix up and look my best daily!

  2. I think the Marla Wynne IS flattering on you!! The drape is a slenderizing drape and the subtle striping in the fabric are also very figure friendly. As you’re wearing it now over the black is a look that reflects both elegance and casual…………good for a run to the store to look very put together or good for making yourself feel good/professional while working from home. I know you must have lots of correspondence from companies that you want to partner with and that is part of your profession now, so this top worn while at the computer and working would be good.

    Far be it from me to try and talk someone into something they don’t want or need, but I just wanted to help you see it from a different perspective. You were so right to walk away from the poncho and the Traveler’s pieces, while a lovely color, were equally not flattering.

    1. Thank you, Carol. I appreciate your thoughts. I do like to wear a collar like this design has. Let me ponder it longer.

    2. My two cents:
      I agree with Carol – that Marla Wynne top is flattering on you and definitely communicates your key style adjectives!

      Thank you for your enjoyable blog.

        1. Interestingly, I disagree with Lisa and Carol. I don’t think the fit or shape of the Marla Wynne piece is particularly flattering on you. I much prefer your move toward a more fitted profile like the one the drape sleeve pullover gives you.

          1. Thanks Elaine! I really like the draped sleeve the best of all that I tried on this day. That is why I put that image at the top!

    3. I agree that the Marla Wynne top was flattering — this was exactly my thought as I read through the post.

  3. A great post today…..when our lifestyle changes for any reason, yes, our wardrobes will change. I found it especially hard to donate my work wardrobe, and I cannot figure out why. I wasn’t going to need it. But I hung onto things as Karen mentions through a full year of seasonal changes. Then it got taken to the Goodwill store. It was a process of letting go.
    Today as a retiree, there may (someday again, hopefully) lunches out, exercise classes and book club at our usually very busy Senior Center. (Now closed until 2021).
    I’m mainly at home, although our retail stores are open. I just cannot justify shopping right now until my surgery is behind me next week.
    You look great, Pam, and I do believe the reds are one of your colors!

    1. Thank you, Paulette. I hope your surgery goes well…please keep us up-to-date on your progress! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Pamela, you look amazing in that drape-sleeve top! I think it definitely speaks to the easy elegance look. It’s my favorite of all the try-ons.

  5. You are on the right track looking for more fitted, but not tight garments. It is amazing how much slimmer you look in the first outfit. I have lost 128 pounds, and have not had skin removal yet, but even with the loose skin, I look so much smaller in fitted or structured garments. Knit or stretchy fabric can add comfort. Pants that are fitted, but stretchy, almost like a girdle look best on me.

  6. You look so good in that Chico blouse with the drape sleeves. You were right the jackets were either too boxy or long. You are doing great with your new choices!

  7. It’s interesting that the two items I thought looked best on you, the red cardigan, and the Marla Wynne blouse, you weren’t so keen on. But that’s the whole point, choosing items that reflect who YOU are, and your current lifestyle, and not dressing to fulfill the expectations of others.
    I think you are quite right about fit, which is why it is nice to try things on, that and things don’t alway suit us, despite wishing it were so.
    In my retirement I deliberately simplified my wardrobe to a few dresses, skirts, trousers and tops. I have enough not to get bored, but make sure I rotate through everything. It’s immensely liberating. Yet I still read your blog!

  8. Wow, you hit the bonanza with this trip. I thought you looked great in everything but that tropical top. Interesting how lovely that jacket looked with going down a size. Too bad you felt it was a bit small because that and the first top were my favorites on you. I so agree with the comment about the need to try things on.

    1. Thank you Nancy! It was a fun trip…I love doing this…especially at the end of and beginning of new seasons!

  9. I enjoyed your pictures today as well as the explanation of your current thinking. Since I retired 10 years ago, my clothing selections like others have become much more casual. Now my usual attire is jeans and some tee or top. However, growing up when I did in the late 50’s and 60’s, my mother always stressed about being properly dressed when we went “ to town” so I struggle still to not spruce up my look to run into a grocery store. Fortunately I can wear many clothes I’ve worn for years as they are very basic in their construction and style. Being a big Chico’s fan, I too have many items purchased there but like you, much prefer to physically try on choices in the store rather than selecting through website. Throughout these weeks and months of home isolation, I have been sorely tempted to take advantage of the wonderful sales available, but like you and your jewelry, I keep reminding myself that I have no need for any more. I have a closet full of clothes and no where to go. Most events I might attend in the future are attended by people who no longer dress up so fancier, dressy clothing is rarely needed. I appreciate your showing and explaining what will … and no longer, won’t…work in your your current situation. Wise, and thrifty. PS: I too really like that deep cherry color…I might just have to break down and buy something in that color like the flutter sleeve top.

    1. The flutter sleeve top is so pretty, Celia…it would be worth the breakdown. I have also decided that occasionally I will reward myself for my labors and the rewards will most likely be in jewelry…I love it so! Thanks for sharing.

  10. Pam, I know you’re looking and not buying, but that Marla Wynn blouse is a win for you. The slightly shorter hemline in the center serves to elongates the lower half of your body. It looks very flowy, light and elegant – covers and reveals at the same time. Some simple gold jewelry would pick up the gold highlights in your hair.

    1. It was a good price on sale, Kat. I think you ladies are about to convince me…but I would have to return to the store. I don’t see it online. Thanks for sharing.

      1. Well…after I said I could not find it…I found it! I just added the link under the picture for the Dolman Striped Blouse if anyone else is interested!

  11. I came here to comment how flattering the Marla Wynn blouse was on you, and see that I’m not alone! In fact, I’m going to order one for myself right now. From reviews on Chico’s website, I see some women sized down one size and others sized down two. I would usually get a large (or size 2) but am torn between getting a small or medium – what was your experience when trying it on? Thanks for the excellent blog!

    1. Hi Tess, Yes, I sized down and would recommend you do that. Would you consider, clicking the link in my post and placing your order through my link? I receive a small compensation when you do that and it helps to provide for me since this is now the primary incoome. Thank you so much.

  12. I think the first look is the most flattering and you’ll get a lot of use out of it. Fit is everything! I am always drawn to pretty things that have classic lines. That doesn’t mean I need them in my wardrobe! I love the cherry red Travelers jacket but I have enough classic pieces that I can wear when I “dress up.” I bought a velvet pencil skirt from Chico’s a couple of years ago. I couldn’t resist because I already had the matching tank and it was a fraction of the original price. I haven’t worn it! I know that if I need something festive I pieces in my closet that will work. The red jacket would be a great topper but I have a black cashmere-blend sequined cardigan that I seldom wear so no more dressy “classic” pieces for me!

  13. I love when you try on styles for us to see! My favorites on you were the draped sleeve top and the short dressy cherry jacket (although that would be for a special occasion). The Marla Wynn top was cute, but I think it would be better on you in a different color. I too am trying to get away from long or boxy cardigans and jackets, and am trying to pare down my wardrobe. They say that we wear 20% or our wardrobe 80% of the time, but somehow it’s always fun to get something new.

    1. It is fun to keep things fresh. I want more that I go-to. I know I eventually will take out more professional clothing, but I kept a lot of it for now until I am convinced it is just taking up space. Thanks for the encouragement, Sharon.

  14. I really like the drape sleeve top on you. I would like it in the cherry red for myself. I think you definitely made the right choice on the poncho. I don’t know if it was the print or the shape, but it looked “too old” for you. As someone else noted, it took me a long time to donate a lot of my working wardrobe. My closet was so jam packed when I retired that I had trouble finding things. I have kept a few classic pieces, but much was donated. Even after ten years, I am still a work in progress on finding exactly the right mix for myself. Your journey is inspiring me.

    1. I hope so, Becky…I am certain I will be a work in progress for a long while! Glad to have you along for the ride.

  15. Pam, go back and get that striped shirt! I followed your link and it is only available for pick up in a store…get it, otherwise someone in San Antonio is going to snatch it up! Such a good price but not available in the stores near me. Loved todays post and seeing the Chicos outfits on you.

  16. What a great post. I really like the first picture. The style was classic but with the necklace it showed someone that fun. That may sound silly but that was my first thought. As I went through each picture I enjoyed comparing my reaction to mine and we were very close. I am retired and now have an adjusted budget so I am training myself to resist purchasing something I would have wore to work. It first it was frustrating but now I am having fun with the challenge. Thank you for your helpful ideas with this.

    1. I am 52 and spend most of my time at home. I want to look Classy, Elegant and Chic and am interested in your posts on how you are looking to refine your style to become more elegant everyday.

      I like the first black draped sleeve top and think this suits the new style that you are looking to achieve and you should buy this before it sells out, as you love it.

      I think you were right to leave all the other items shown here behind, as whilst they may fit you, I agree that they do not reflect the new look that you are trying to achieve.

  17. Great post. It’s been so helpful to me to see what a difference different styles, colors, and sizing suit different bodies on your blog and a couple of others. I agree wholeheartedly that you really need to try things on, in store preferably! It’s too easy to keep mail order items that are ALMOST right, and then not enjoy wearing them. Being retired is so helpful: don’t need as much, less temptation to buy something to meet a particular urgent but fleeting need. Thanks for your good cheer and persistence!

  18. Thank you for taking us shopping with you, Pam! I’ve sworn off buying more clothes (or accessories) until I’ve finished purging my closet of things I rarely wear or that don’t fit the post-retirement “me”, so I got a vicarious thrill from coming with you today. [As a sad aside, Chico’s has just announced it’s gone bankrupt in Canada & is closing all its stores up here.]

    May I add one more voice to the chorus very much in favour of the lovely Marla Wynne top? I think it looks incredibly flattering on you: the flowy fabric drapes beautifully, emphasizing the slimming vertical line, & the longer sides, subtle stripes, shirt collar neckline (that makes a V) & placket all echo that, drawing the eye up & down. I think it & the drapey sleeved black top fit your style brief best; the others, while pretty, feel very boxy or heavy. I just wish you’d let us see the leopard print top; I do love leopard prints 🙂

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