What makes everyday fashion over 60 “soul-stirring?

everyday fashion over 60

Happy Monday, ladies!  Today I am discussing what makes everyday fashion over 60 “soul- stirring?”

Now, I did not say stunning…allow me to explain…

One of the reasons I re-visited Tim Gunn’s book, A Guide to Quality, Taste and Style, is chapter 3…Diagnosing the Common Closet.

He tackles this topic in a way that most of us can get, and so much everyday fashion over 60 is seeking the balance between our old professional lives and our new more relaxed lives.

Thus, the closet dilemma…what stays and what goes?

Tim Gunn discusses how our closets should provide a relaxed environment and reflect our authentic selves.  (a goal I achieve by using my style adjectives)

He also acknowledges that this takes practice and commitment with missteps along the way.

We have all experienced those missteps.



everyday fashion over 60

 This is a discussion…I want to hear from you as to what everyday fashion meets your “soul-stirring” guidelines.

I think this is very personal, however, we can help one another…as we so often do here.

Tim recommends that we begin by creating four piles from the closet:

The Soul-Stirring Pile

The Repair Pile

The Gift Away Pile

The Throw Out Pile

It is the “soul-stirring” pile where I would like to begin a discussion with you, because as wearers of everyday fashion over 60, I think our soul stirring has most likely changed!

Of course, we do not want to continue to hang on to expensive, designer clothing we no long wear…it is time for sentiments with our clothing to take a back seat.

I know this can be difficult, but our closets will be all we need for them to be if we move clothing that merely has sentimental value, but we no longer wear it.

I have made myself move on the pieces which just sat, yet inside I was thinking…“but I wore this when…..”

I am going to hang on to my mother-of-the-groom dress for at least a year and see if I have a reason to wear it again.

The soul-stirring pile should be items we wear now and often.

After all, these everyday fashion pieces must be “soul-stirring” to each of us or we would not reach for them so often…right?

I also personally think this has little to do with the cost of the item.

everyday fashion over 60

In my post last week, Fall Travel Favorites for Women Over 60, I am wearing a little red jacket I have owned for years. 

I purchased it at Marshall’s for about $17 and it would go in my soul-stirring pile.  I love it.


everyday fashion over 60

The everyday fashion pieces that I love the most in my closet speak my style adjectives, fit well, and stir my creative soul.

Some may understand that when I think of everyday fashion over 60, I think of my accessories first.

For example, the Via Spiga flats I have on here have stirred my sole for years.

I originally found them at a Nordstrom Rack.

They still look great, are very comfortable, and have that current adjective I like to wear. 

So many times I have been asked for a link to these shoes…but, alas, I cannot find this exact shoe…only similar styles.

I would NEVER remove it from the closet…unless they do fall apart one day….but this leather and design is amazing.

My Chico’s long denim jacket, and JJILL boyfriend jeans are keepers for me, however, I do not consider them irreplaceable. 

My everyday fashion over 60 which is soul-stirring would include a pile of scarves, necklaces and bracelets that I am not ready to part with and wear often.

I keep telling myself that I will know when it is time to send some along.

everyday fashion over 60

This green Chico’s top goes in my “soul-stirring” pile.

I wear it so often because it is perfect for warmer weather…hits my color palette…speaks my adjectives…is flattering…washes so well…and all of those are reasons why I reach for it.

I have shopped for similar tops that I have the same attachment to as I do this one…still looking to come closer than I have.

I merely wanted to demonstrate to you the types of items I would consider “soul-stirring” in my closet.

Many would shake their heads and say…these are not fabulous fashion pieces…how can they be “soul-stirring.”

Well, to me they are and I own several everyday fashion over 60 selections that help me feel this way…at all price points.

My closet is in the best shape it has every been because I have used my style adjectives and color palette to build a wardrobe that works well as a team!

I look into the closet and see “uniquely me.”  Tim Gunn uses this “soul-stirring” pile to help women see the same thing.

everyday fashion over 60

I find this to be another way which confirms the importance and success of dressing with style adjectives….those five words are the connecting narrative in my closet.

So, what about you…can you describe what your soul-stirring everyday fashion over 60 would look like?

I think it would help all of us to know the types of pieces that would be in your pile.  I cannot wait to read what you have to say.

Thank you for being here as we discuss what makes everyday fashion over 60 “soul-stirring?”

Tomorrow…more fun with Would You Wear It!


By Pamela Lutrell

Remember,  you can shop ANYTIME with the links under the page at the top called SHOPPING LINKS...and I will receive a small compensation for your shopping.

Also, if I have posted a link on a specific garment, and you use that link to go to the website of the brand, but look around and buy something else, I still get credit…though you do not buy what I am wearing.

Please ask any questions… this income helps keep me here, because even at age 70, Mr. B and I need additional income.  He also works two jobs.

Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who shops this way.

everyday fashion over 60


  1. You have brought up an interesting question. I’m thinking how I really need to look at my closet differently. I rarely go through my clothes to weed out things I rarely wear because in my mind I’m thinking I may need this or that sometime. However, I do also realize that many of those items are no longer “ soul stirring” and I should pass them along to someone who can use them. For so many years I could wear my small petite clothing since I never gained weight during my 40 years of working, but now that I’m retired, and gaining weight, I should recognize that I will never weigh 100 lbs again. What stirs my soul now tends to be anything comfortable as you have shown us today…jeans, sweaters, jackets, my scarves, shoes that do not hurt my feet.

  2. As I turned 70 this past summer, I keep thinking that gone are the days when I say…I will hold this until such and such happens…I want to experience life fully one day at a time and that means retiring some of the “what if” pieces. We are simply in a new phase…their is as much excitement about that if we want there to be. I do believe my soul stirring items have changed and I do believe I can look my authentic self more than ever before. Thanks for starting this off today, Celia.

  3. I would argue against the term “soul-stirring” in favor of something like “uniquely me”. I think I’ve done a good job of narrowing things down to pieces that represent me as I am today. But I don’t think an entire wardrobe can be “soul-stirring”. But, however you describe it, getting rid of the items that don’t represent the way I live today has been a great exercise and something I encourage everyone to do!

  4. Hi Carlene, so happy to have you join in. Soul stirring is Tim Gunn’s description and that is why I opened it for comments. Thank you for sharing! I join with you with a wardrobe that is uniquely me!

  5. For such a long time, I kept my teaching wardrobe. I wore casual Friday clothes all weekend. For a long time, I kept telling myself I would wear my work clothes, even in retirement, but they are no longer serving me. While I admire the conserving spirit of people who wear their work clothes to church 20 years after retirement, I wish to look more aware. I got rid of several, and a 30 pound weight loss meant many -had- to go, which was a blessing on the decision front. My “babies” are mostly sweaters … a turquoise cashmere, an amber cardigan, a sweater blazer in an oversized leopard print. I also adore my high end, buttery athleisure pants (mostly Athleta), and wear them with something pretty on top. Otherwise, the jewelry I make and wear, and the sentimental pieces I was given, are really my soul stirrers. And, my shoe collection, although these days you might as well call it a sneaker collection, where my faves are very sleek navy blue, or very large, retro, multicolored Hoka or New Balance. This was a very interesting exercise. To identify a pair of leggings as “soul stirring” really does get me to the heart of the matter … my active, fun life in retirement!

  6. I am so glad you enjoyed the exercise and appreciate you sharing your thought process.

  7. I have never thought of my clothes as “soul-stirring”, having never placed that much importance on them, but I understand it is Ted’s phrase. I agree with Carlene in the use of “uniquely me” and feel more comfortable with that. “Soul-stirring” is an experience, or seeing things in nature, speaking strictly for myself! I reevaluate my closet seasonally, and it makes me feel really good to donate nice things that are no longer working. I know that, due to their current style and excellent condition, they are going to bless someone else. I just think about the excitement someone will get when they are shopping at a local thrift store and see one of those items. I hung on to most of my blazers because I like them with jeans, but this year, in keeping with current style, had to let a few go and will replace them. They will never be “out of style,” but I’m looking for something different. Classic dresses and skirts got to stay also, because I wear them so often. All that said, I can honestly say I’m not so attached to any clothing piece enough to label it “soul-stirring.” I have things I really enjoy wearing a great deal and am happy to have them, and they express my style, but I guess I’m just not so attached to anything that I couldn’t let it go. Clothes are all replaceable. Maybe we couldn’t find an exact replica, but they are really expendable. Just my thoughts.

  8. Karen, I do agree with you and love how you described someone receiving your donated items. I also love to donate, but have considered it a blessing to be able to sell some of my nicer things…that helps me and the friend who sells them for me with split profits. The only times I have felt close to soul stirring in regards to clothing is when I was invited to fashion shows…same feelings I get in art museums.

  9. This is something I need to do. I really need to figure out what I should keep and get rid of one way or the other. My problem is I get overwhelmed then I just put the piles back in the closet and walk away. I need to set aside a day to do this. I think now with the change of weather and pulling out fall clothes would be a great time to do this. When I put away my summer clothes I’m finding there are many items I never wore. Wish me luck in this!!

  10. I do wish you luck…and I promise if you will think about what you want to say with your clothing at this stage of life and select at least four adjectives…it will help you decide what to keep and what to let go of. What do you want others to know about you…without saying a word…just passing you on the street? Then keep and wear the clothing that communicates those messages. Have fun with it and don’t allow stress to set in.

  11. Two pieces immediately come to mind when I think “soul-stirring”. One is an ultra feminine, floaty silk top in my favorite shade of Millennial pink. It was a low price point, TJMaxx, purchase. The second is one of the most expensive items I have ever purchased, a silk scarf with a Montreal motif, a city I have an emotional attachment to. I almost never wear either piece. My frigid climate precludes floaty silk and the scarf has an unfortunate red/white/blue color scheme. I’m going to think deeper about why I love these items and how I can incorporate more pieces that evoke that feeling.

  12. This resonates with me and instantly brought to mind having binge-watched and embarked on a Marie Kondo mission to clear out room by room those items that failed to “spark joy.” Her spark joy is Mr. Gunn’s soul-stirring, I think. I definitely have a soul-stirring wardrobe: it is my vacation clothes, and I thoroughly love these pieces because I am always on holiday when they are worn, they are fewer in number but more vibrant and interesting than my daily life wardrobe. This is opening my eyes today. I want to feel as happy and excited about my daily wear as possible. Do I need a further edit, or perhaps some new additions? 🤔

  13. Happy to help you process these…I certainly understand pieces with those attachments. Once I decided to wear my best colors, it was hard to let go of some of the items I owned from the past…but if they were out of my color scheme, I made myself say goodbye. I think there are other things you could do with your silk scarf…even framing it or tying on a handbag. Just put some pondering to how you could use it and still hang on.

  14. So do I! I want my wardrobe to spark joy and that has been my main goal for a long time. I love your observation, Connie about your travel clothes! Thanks for sharing this…I forgot about the Marie Kondo mission when reading Tim’s book!

  15. Today I am wearing a nice, well-made striped t-shirt that makes me feel like Dennis the Menace. Why don’t I give this t-shirt away which stirs my soul in negative ways? I keep hoping I’ll spill something on it. Today is my chore day so the chances of a mishap are somewhat better except I wear an apron. I need to take a hard look at some of the things in my closet which linger from the career and are not really needed. What stirs my soul in a positive way is one Ralph Lauren wool shirtdress, pink Banana Republic cargo pants and an Ann Taylor eyelet nice t-shirt. I am going to do go do what you and Tim Gunn suggests and get all the loved items together to see whether I can see some sort of a flow-through idea. Thanks for this thoughtful post.

  16. You are welcome, Mary! None of us should wear clothing that makes us feel like Dennis the Menace!

  17. I have a lot of items that are soul stirring. I would call them my happy pieces—I wear them and I am happy and feel special in them. I have weeded my closet for many years since i moved to Florida from the Northeast. Since I am retired, I no longer need work clothes and no longer need all the heavy jackets and coats and sweaters. I think i wear a sweater here in Florida maybe 10 times a year!

  18. I have a pair of shoes that are soul stirring. I no longer wear heels, but these are black patent leather with a 3-inch heel. There are a lot of “I wore them when’s” attached to them. They don’t take up much space, & I have gotten rid of the rest of my heels. I will be keeping them for now. I think I have pared my wardrobe down to what I like & wear. My jewelry tells another story. Most of the pieces were gifts from my late husband, & I will be keeping them for the foreseeable future.

  19. I just love Tim Gunn’s ability to cut to the chase about purchases (whether they are smart ones or impulsive flukes) with such candidness and humor. I think he uses the term ‘The Creeping Closet’ to refer to having too much or pieces that don’t mesh. ( I often think about who I would like to be sitting next to on a plane and he is definitely in my top 5.) I made a dent in my closet last month when I switched over to fall/winter. My happiest pieces are my shoes/boots , my third pieces, and scarves. I live in a 4 season climate, so I have variations. I know many people here wear what they want, but I do happily stick to my autumn palette and I consider my closet my easy to manage ‘boutique’. I am trying to curate it so that I can see where the holes are. I like my collection of autumn colored jeans and slacks (mostly from Talbots and bought with their matching plain tops). I love my Kettlewell Breton tops, too. I mix or match all my pieces with a third piece as a topper. I like layers. Now I am trying to figure out a sweater that is ‘current’ to go with two nice orphan skirts. My happiest pieces are a knee length hoodie from TJMax, 3 Breton tops, a teal coatigan, a old plaid raincoat (used more often as a coat) from Lands End, a new plaid coat from Talbots, a fine cashmere scarf, lug loafers, and Naot winter boots. I love shopping high and low. I follow my adjectives and colors, and focus on fit. Sorry for rambling here. I could go on for hours. I wish we could all zoom! Pam, you promote very thoughtful and helpful discussions. I have learned so much from you. Gosh, I bet I haven’t answered your questions!

  20. Hi Pam, I just got home from taking a pile of clothes to a consignment shop as I do every spring and fall. Then I read your post. Now, looking through my closet again, I realize that there are more things I should have taken! Anyway, I do have some soul stirring favorites. I have a large collection of Rothy’s flats and points and I am happy when wearing any of them. I also have a couple of faux leather moto jackets from Chico’s that I wear and wear and wear. I have a few scarves that I’ve even purchased duplicates of because they work so well with my clothing. I I really enjoy your posts about closet organization!

  21. A change in size forced me to purge my closet. My lifestyle is casual, comfortable, classic, stylish and fun. Season change is always the time I purge. If I haven’t worn it in 2 years I will not keep it. I wore scrubs as a nurse so no professional clothes are hanging out in my closet. I have a sneaker collection As well. Comfortable is at the top of my adjectives and in my cool summer pallet.

  22. Thanks for sharing Deb…after my foot surgery, I hope to purchase a pair of Rothy’s!

  23. Yes my closet needs to be thinned out!
    As for defining who I am has been especially difficult lately. My daughter died recently. She had lived with me for a long while. My identity has changed but to who or what, I
    haven’t come to terms with that yet.
    However maybe, with your encouragement I’ll be able to see see my closet in a new way. Thank you.

  24. I love the term soul stirring and this post speaks to me today. I pulled out a tunic I purchased with high hopes but it’s not that comfortable. Not sized correctly. But cute. I hang things I’m not liking at the beginning of my first closet rod. I think about it and eventually give it to a thrift store that helps local people. My first instinct that a clothing piece is not a keeper is always correct I am noticing. My favorite clothing is soul stirring!

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