March has arrived, the first whisper of Spring. My spirit feels renewed, reawakened because the last hurrah of winter will soon be gone, and in four short days, my Ultimate Concierge and I will travel to East Africa with three of our grandsons.
I feel so hopeful.
Almost like the bare branch of a tree that lay barren during the winter months and now is experiencing renewed growth. I am blossoming from the inside with an abundance of joy. Joy has fertilized my soul. I have my inner joy. And, the clothes in my closet will add the finishing touches. The barren branch will spring alive!
With joy on my mind, I refuse to allow myself to sink into despair over the prospects of packing for two weeks in Rwanda, Tanzania, and Kenya. As a woman after 50, I no longer have to labor about how to pack. Suitcase or duffel? That is an easy call. I decide on two Tumi duffels. One for myself and the other for my Ultimate Concierge’s clothing. My old Louis Vuitton carry-on or a far newer less heavy one? I decided to carry on my Tumi.
Without A Word, My Outer Wear Announces Who I Am.
Let me backtrack for a moment.
Before a person has a conversation with you, they have information in their mind about you. They register the information unconsciously by looking at your outer style. By the time you are a woman after 50, you have become fluent in expressing yourself to others. Let me explain what I mean.
A Woman’s Accessories Are a Tell All
Subconsciously you understand what I am about to explain to you. What I want you to consider doing is thinking about this when you go into your closet and drawers.
A girl can’t leave the house or town without her jewelry! Right, darling?
For this trip to East Africa, I decided I will wear my roll-on Cartier wedding band, my Apple watch with its Hermes brown strap, a St. Christopher’s medal around my neck given to me by my close friend, Patti, my red string from Jerusalem around my left wrist and my daily go-to pearl earrings with an extra pearl earring to slip into the second piercing I have on one ear. I have decided not to pack any carry-on jewelry.
What has a stranger learned about me from my outer style before I utter a word? They know I am married. I am spiritual. And I am a 21st-century computer-literate woman and I am a little daring with an avant-garde flair wearing two drop earrings in one ear! From my luggage, they know I am practical and wise.
A Profound Phrase
I have been searching for a phrase to describe how every woman at every age, especially a woman after 50, should feel when she dresses. I think this is a profound one.
A woman after 50 should not want to be ‘something’ when she dons her outerwear from her closet. She wants to be ‘someone.’
Take a Walk Into Your Closet and Edit
Take the Marie Kondo and Honey Good route.
How do the clothes in your closet portray you? Are you a romantic, tailored, exotic, plain? Are you in a time warp or have you evolved into the woman you are today? When your thoughts have turned into answers, you are ready to edit your closet.
I believe in starting with an end goal in mind. My end goal is to reinvest and rebuild what suits my fancy after 50.
- Firstly, I organize my wardrobe by season.
- Secondly, I discard colors that no longer suit me.
- Thirdly, I give away clothing that I have not worn in over a year unless they are keepsakes that I wear on occasion.
- And, lastly and happily darling, I have found pieces that I now love to wear.
A woman’s closet is always a work in progress so think of yourself as a curator, darling!
It is a daunting task but well worth your emotional and physical efforts when you pull everything out to go through your entire wardrobe.
Make four different piles: Sell. Donate. Tailor, Keep. Then retreat back into your closet with ‘your keepers.’ Now for the fun part, reinvest and rebuild, always keeping in mind the portrait you want to show the world.
Read all about my take on the Marie Kondo method of orderliness here!
As a woman after 50 what is your lifestyle? What is your daily uniform? Remember you wear 20% of your wardrobe 80% of the time. Do you want to continue this pattern or perhaps add a new approach? I say, add a new approach. This should be a slow and gradual process.
Start with new accessories. A new color? Glasses with a flair? Brooches to pin on a hat, handbag, or coat?
I decided I was tired of wearing multiple chains of different lengths around my neck. So, I purchased a chain that is less than 16 inches long and I wear one of my large coins that are keepsakes. Why? Because they are a loving memory and I prefer a simple style.
Over the course of the last year, I added the color pink to my wardrobe. I purchased a pink bomber jacket, a dress, hat, and scarf.
I discarded everything that was taupe and brown. The shades of colors don’t make me happy and don’t compliment my coloring.
Buy one item you cannot afford instead of spending the same amount of money on several items that you forget you own. For starters, every season I buy a new handbag and a new pair of sunglasses. This season I purchased three different styles of purses and a new pair of sunglasses.
Let March be the month to detox your closet and your drawers.
How Our Looks Change
How our looks change in the course of our lives is not a frivolous thought. A woman after 50 looks into her mirror and asks herself, “How do I look?”
As a woman after 50, I add a question to my first question. I ask myself, “How do I feel?”
I have come to terms with the fact that I have gray hair, lines on my face, hands that portray my age, and thighs that are no longer firm. There are moments when I wish I were much younger, but my feelings have nothing to do with my outer looks.
I love life, I seek curiosity, I want my Ultimate Concierge to be younger, I want to continue to go, go, go, and I will until I am forced to stop, stop, stop. What do I do to feel better? What can you do if you are feeling as I feel?
Personal transformation begins with a solid inner lifestyle. As a woman grows older, this is required if she is to feel joy.
How do you feel joy? You stay busy and productive in areas that fulfill your desires.
I use one inner tool a day that I make part of my inner beauty ritual. I take a pilates class three days a week. There I spend an hour stretching and strengthening, and when I leave the studio at 9:00 am, I am revitalized and truly happy. The other days, I walk on my treadmill while listening to a documentary on my television or music on my Google Hub Max.
I work and write four days a week. Friday is my day to shop, meet a friend for lunch or perhaps visit a gallery, play cards or stay at home and read or work.
The weekends are dedicated to my Ultimate Concierge. We watch movies and documentaries, talk, shop, and spend the evening with friends.
I have multigenerational friends. I prefer my friends to be a bit eccentric rather than exclusive! Exclusivity turns me away. Thank you, Kankakee by the Sea.
The above tools I have incorporated into my life, and they do fertilize my soul. I may not be younger than springtime, but the branch of my tree is full because I will be damned not to let it be. I make my cup runneth over. You can make yours do the same.
Happy March, darlings!
If you enjoyed this story, please subscribe to my email list. When I post a new story, you will receive it in your inbox. You might also enjoy my post: HOW I ORGANIZED MY CLOSET AND BROUGHT PEACE TO MY MIND.
Is your closet in order? Does it reflect the you in you? Please share in the comments!
Love this article! It’s time for me to do my March closet edit, and you shared some fabulous tips!
So glad I started you on a ‘closet journey.’ Warmly, Honey
I started Pilates this past year, in addition to my gym routine. Pilates is my happy place! And now time for that closet purge…
Go, girl go!!!! Warmly, Honey
Great article, Honey!
Please explain what you mean by. “I prefer my friends to be a bit eccentric rather than exclusive!”
And now I’m off to curating my closet!
I enjoy the company of women who have a free spirit. They live outside the box. They are curious and welcome women from all walks of life into their lives. Warmly, Honey
I am now doing this. I have clothes from my “before” world at the office and “before” clothes from my married life. Then I have my “transition” clothes of the last few years as my weight fluctuated from a 24 to an 8 to an 18. Stabilized now at a comfortable XL or L.
Now it is time to weed out the past and only keep those items that show the creative Me. Probably that means all “before” will go to donation as it is nice to have a clean sweep of those memories. They were then and this is now.
Looking forward to a neatly organized closet filled with my most creative and unique clothes that suit my WFH [work from home] life now, my passions, and my new activities. Time to revel in being ME.
Thanks for posting this encouragement, Honey! Onward ho!
Go girl go!!!!!!!!!!!! You have found the winning answer. Hello from Tanzania. East Africa. Warmly, Honey