living a well tended life... at any age

redress

re·dress
verb ri-ˈdres
to set right : remedy 

I’ve always been a bit consumed with my wardrobe. As a creative person, I’m definitely attuned to aesthetics, to how things “look”. But feeling stylish and well-dressed has also many times been critical to my overall sense of security and well-being. I’ve often described my clothing as my “armor” – particularly when  going through a difficult time in my life. It was as if presenting a perfect “package” to the outside world would safely contain whatever turmoil I felt within.

By my mid-40’s I was newly (re)married with 2 “big” kids and a growing landscape design business. I had also finally cultivated what I liked to call “my look”. A crisp white shirt and a flared chino or “Audrey”-style pant accessorized  with an assortment of colorful flats, fun coats and structured bags to punch things up kept me from looking like every other mom at the bus stop. It suited me perfectly – polished for meetings with clients but casual enough for my day-to-day life. Best of all, the poise and security I presented to the world was finally matched by a newfound inner peace  and confidence.

And then I got pregnant.

Fast-foward about 2 years. Having my 3rd baby at 45 meant that losing the weight took longer than before, but by the time Noah turned one I was back in my old clothes.

Except.

I now found that by the end of the day my “crisp” white shirt was a wrinkled, stained mess, and my chinos were covered in grass stains and dried Cheerios. Worse, it seemed that my body was not quite as “back” as I thought it was. Yes, my clothes fit but my figure had “shifted” in a  way that seemed to be, well, permanent (or requiring a level of exercise that was several steps up from my thrice-weekly 3-mile run – not happening).

I now possessed an enviable wardrobe that took years to build but no longer fit – either my figure or my lifestyle.

So here I am, once again re-inventing “my look” as I navigate this new world – one where I often feel like a tourist in a country I visited a long, long time ago.

It’s a land I call “Nursery School Drop-Off”.

And when I’m not doing the math in my head to figure out the age difference between me and my new mom acquaintances (or marvelling at how, in their 3rd trimesters they’re still wearing their wedding rings because they haven’t SWELLED UP BEYOND ALL RECOGNITION BY THEIR 3RD MONTH), I’m trying to figure out how I can be the stylish, polished “me” that I want to be. I want a wardrobe that’s unique without trying too hard, comfortable enough so I can sit on the floor or climb up a slide, and – most importantly – one that is age appropriate. I’m proud to be a 47-year-old mom of a toddler, and equally proud to have raised my amazing older children (now 19 and 14).

I’d love to hear how your wardrobe has reflected a shift into a next “phase of life”. Are you entering a new decade, or about to become an “empty-nester”? Or perhaps you’re going from a full-time corporate setting to a work-at-home arrangement?

5 Comments

  1. tumbleweed boutique | donuts, dresses and dirt on April 17, 2011 at 10:33 pm

    […] odd to “shop” at a store that is 3,000 miles away. But as I’ve written in earlier posts I really strive to not dress like every other mom on the block. And the distance thing is easily […]

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  3. Brenda on July 30, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    My dress has changes depending on my career. Since I am now in the tech sector, I can finally be free to be who I am in clothing. A vintage hippy with style. Of course, since I am not longer 20 or 30 something I am mindful of what I am wearing, but vintage hippy attire is universal.

    • sherisilver on July 30, 2012 at 9:03 pm

      Vintage hippy – I love that! 🙂

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