Honing my Personal Style: The Edit

At 60 my personal style is changing. Rather than settling further into a certain look I’m branching out and trying new things. I’m experimenting with styles that have never appealed to me before and am having fun discovering new ways to style old favorites.

Everywhere I look, I see inspiring women whose personal style is interesting and noteworthy. Their confidence is evident and they make me long to experiment even more.

dressing to please myself

Where did this come from? Perhaps it’s being 60 and believing I can choose to be as eccentric as I please and it’s no one’s business but my own. Perhaps it’s boredom with how I have been dressing for the past few years. Whatever the reason it’s fun and if getting dressed isn’t fun, what’s the point?

I’ve been digging deeply into my closet and editing things out that probably should have left years ago. I’m being extremely careful with accessories. I seldom get rid of them because they’re the magic ingredient in many fabulous looks.

Vintage handbag and antique earringsI’ve invested in special pieces for many years and have treasures that were passed down to me from my grandmother so their uniqueness makes them timeless. Some accessories get put away for 5-10 years then resurface in new and interesting ways.

Duplicates are being compared and the most worn are being donated.

Classic has always been a part of my personal style. I love to mix it with edgy, feminine, sporty and dramatic looks. Classic jeans, black pants or crisp white shirt are great anchors for many looks. These are staying in my closet and are being organized by color.

As I look back I realize I have never been drawn to traditional dressing. Oh sure, I had a navy blazer I wore with my jeans in the 80’s but I didn’t style it traditionally.

Is there a look you have steadfastly avoided?

When is the last time you edited your wardrobe?


Thanks for reading and have a great day!

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  1. Hi Jennifer, I really enjoy reading your blogs. I would like to suggest that you consider using the picture of yourself, in this particular blog, as your site picture, as you look very confident and it’s much more flattering. Best regards, Chris

    1. Good suggestion, Chris! Done. Have a great day.

  2. Louise K. says:

    You’re so inspiring! My closet needs a ruthless de-clutter – I have clothes of 3 different sizes, and things I never wear, but it’s hard to get rid of things. I really do want a minimal wardrobe, where everything fits well and looks good. I’m going to make some ground rules and stick to them!

    1. It may be easier to move all the garments that don’t fit you to another closet or pack in a suitcase and put away. That’s a slightly smaller commitment and can ease the way to finally donating. It’s a big chore to try everything on so pick a day and just do your pants. Then another day or week, do your shoes. You’ll gradually weed it down and can then start putting combinations together and see what works with what.

  3. Debbie Z. says:

    I am 61 and I have always had a style that I am comfortable with and is “me”. I guess it is classic, mostly solids, stripes, and polka dots, but I try to throw in something with a different twist here and there. I try to stay current and the last things I want to look like is an old lady. For instance, I have three pairs of brown boots and three pairs of black that I absolutely love and just putting them on with black leggings and a jacket with style gives me confidence. Kind of a cross between current style and traditional British riding habit, I guess. Another fun thing for me is collecting antique jewelry and wearing an antique pin on a lapel or a wonderful amber necklace with a white shirt. Thank you for your blog. You inspire me, Jennifer, and have given me so many wonderful ideas. Please don’t quit- I look forward to your emails in my inbox!

    1. I’m so happy you’re enjoying my blog! Thank you, so much. Leggings tucked into boots are a favorite of mine too. Feeling confident is where it’s at!!

  4. AUDREY MEYER says:

    I do like your waterfall top Jenny. I am an 80 yr old and enjoy following your blog and your reader’s comments. I particularly liked reading Roxanne B’s message about her Granny not wanting ‘old lady’ shoes – I understand that sentiment. I frequently browse among the younger fashion shops to seek out just that special piece I am looking for. Sometimes something a bit quirky can add some punch to an otherwise classic outfit. I’ve had an abiding passion for fashion all my life and still get a kick out of looking good.

    1. That’s wonderful Audrey! I’m so happy to hear you’ve got a passion for fashion. It’s so fun and keeps us modern. Bravo!

  5. Constance says:

    I have been editing my closet and trying to move to a more artsy and dramatic style. It is difficult because so much of it looks shapeless on me and I do want some definition. I also have bought a few pieces which are hard to style and I think I am going back to the boutique with them for help from the salesperson. I often think I have things that go with them and the shapes don’t work together. I enjoy your blog and will watch your experimentation with interest.

    1. That’s a great idea! It helps to imagine at least 3 ways you can style something before you bring it home. 3 ways which use what you already own!

  6. I too have been updating my wardrobe. (which is hard work) Experimenting with colour and style changes.
    The only problem is…me! At first I think my outfit looks good. Then I say… what was I thinking!!
    Having the confidence to wear something different from my old self would help. The hard part is finishing with accessories and shoes!!
    In my case small changes are the way to go!
    Rant over!!
    ???? Robin

    1. Thanks for ranting, Robin! We all learn from each other. Small changes help build our confidence. Keep at it! Take pictures in a mirror of an outfit you’ve decided you don’t like them study it to find out why you dislike it. That’s how you learn!

      1. Great idea! Thanks!!

      2. Xx

      3. 🙂

  7. Oh, this is so timely for me!! I’ll be 60 next year and I am going through a style transition. Part of it is due to some weight gain (and weight moving to areas where I’ve not had to worry about before — stomach area). My old style was tailored and classic. But I’m finding myself drawn to more unstructured pieces and fabrics that are draped and flowing. However, I still prefer those neutrals — black, navy, brown. I guess now in a different way! Also, I am enjoying jewelry (necklaces and earrings) more than ever and am experimenting with much bolder pieces!

    1. Accessories are playing a larger roll in my look too, Beth. Style transitions are a goood thing. They help us look and feel current too.

  8. Deborah Wiltshire Whaley says:

    I have always loved styling a classic look with something edgy. Once, in the early 1990’s, I wore a mid length black velvet dress with a leather motorcycle jacket and black leather “combat” boots to a company Christmas party held at The Legion Of Honor in San Francisco. I would wear that again today. I still love pairing 1960’s classic as well as mod with a jeans jacket. I am not inclined to wear conservative clothes. I love love love J. Peterman clothing and collect the more quirky styles like a band jacket or multi button victorian jacket. I have never parted with a single garment from them. Living in Virginia now perhaps it is a “southern” thing but I am very much into pearls!

    1. Your style sounds so fun Deborah! Holding on to those unique special pieces is so smart! I remember the J Peterman catalog! Pearls are a favorite of mine too.

  9. I’m the same age as you and experimenting with new styles – a little. I find that as my body and features soften (no matter how hard I work out), having a crisp edge to my clothing provides definition. I have a smallish frame and flowing clothing can tend to overwhelm if it’s not proportionate. Finding the balance is tricky, and that’s what I’m experimenting with these days.

    1. Very good point about definition! I never used to wear crisp white shirts and reach for them frequently these days. Overly boxy doesn’t work for my shape so I’m all about promotion too! Being short demands it.

  10. I do love the fact that at our age, we can be as eccentric as we choose! I find that I, too, am becoming more adventurous with how I dress, trying new looks and styling old pieces differently. Reading fashion blogs like yours has given me ideas and encouraged me to experiment.

    1. One of the delights of aging is the confidence to go for it!!!

  11. I avoid anything boxy or Boho. I like a somewhat structured look, for the most part. I love classic pieces with a twist.
    Twice a year ( Fall/Winter ) and (Spring /Summer) I edit my closet, getting rid of anything I didn’t love, was not a perfect fit, or is worn. Then…I shop!

    1. That’s the perfect time to do an edit Joanna! If I find myself fidgeting with a garment more than a few times it either gets altered or donated fast! That’s one thing I can’t tolerate. No Boho for me either. Never has been a look I like on me.

  12. We are all a work in progress…always good to remember. I am currently in re-negotiations with my style. My over 60, creative side wants more freedom, but my professional magazine-editor side wants more tailoring. My body shape is flattered more with structure. So balancing all of that can create style challenges. I try to be true to the messages I want to send with my style. Lately, the creative messaging really wants to bust out and I feel I am trying to control more. Will let the world know how all of this plays out in the future. Good topic and, as always, you look amazing.

    1. Mixing those two can be tricky. Creative and structured may seem opposite but needn’t be. Garments with avante guard silhouettes in structured fabrics might be a great option. Adding a twist in your accessories always adds creativity and you do it beautifully Pam.

  13. interesting….. I’m feeling the same. I’ve always dressed in a classic style, but very traditional too. Sort of that “buttoned down” look. I’m over 60 and I want to bring some “softness” to my style. I want a more relaxed, artsy look but it’s so difficult to see myself in anything different. I have several items like you’re wearing in the photo above and my closet is filled with gray and black. I’ve always found it easy to dress for work and/or travel with a closet filled with the same colors. Now that I’m retired, I’ve been ridding my closet of all that darkness but I’m stuck on how to go forward. The last 3 items I purchased for spring have been black! I’m telling myself that they will be softer when worn with white,…. but I am obviously not making much progress, except that 1 of the pieces had a boho vibe and another has flowy sleeves.

    1. Black is just so easy to buy and wear. How about experimenting with a softer neutral? Black and white is a string contrast and may not look soft on you. Flowy fabrics help, good idea. You could experiment with inexpensive T-shirts in color. Depending on you coloring you could try blue, green, yellow, wheat, peach, pink, salmon etc. add them to an otherwise black outfit and see how it lightens everything. Add a pretty, soft lipstick and play with the feel.

  14. Your style (which I love) could be classified as classic with a twist. Nothing staid, just chic and yes, the dreaded word, comfortable. It’s not as easy to live your life, doing things, enjoying activities, if the clothes wear you, not the other way around. I think a woman should revamp her wardrobe, makeup and hair every few years. The body changes, boy, does it change, and tweaking is necessary.

    1. It sure does change! Things are in totally different spots now. Even my backside has dropped so pants fit differently. You’re so right Donna. Having your clothes wear you is no fun! I changed up my hair 6 mo this ago and love the tweek. It was a small change that made a big difference.

  15. I find my wardrobe changing toward the casual now that I’ve retired officially, and my closet is an evolving space. More and more of my favorite ‘work’ clothing (blazers, dress slacks, etc) are making their way to Good Will. Each time I change seasons in the closet, a few more things exit and more casual things take their place. While working, we had a huge annual trade show…working a showroom, seeing industry colleagues we only encountered annually, etc., and we all bought at least one new and popping outfit for the show including jewelry, etc. Those days are behind me, but I still struggle with parting with a favorite item although I know it’s becoming outdated and won’t be worn again. Guess it’s time to do the final cuts.

    Like you, I do have favorite accessories and accents that I keep and find myself wearing after years of storage. This year I bought bright ankle pants and found the perfect funky necklace from a few years back popped them perfectly. So glad I didn’t part with that one. 🙂

    1. You’ll get there! It’s smart to take your time Laurel. Maybe one of those blazers would work over jeans and casual too with fun shoes? Or dress slacks, hemmed for flats worn with a simply Tee and fun necklace. Play with combinations but keep your favorites. Isn’t retirement awesome??

      1. Good ideas! I have at least one blazer that would work with jeans, I think. And I’ve ordered a couple of T’s that might work with dressier pants. Why not try before I send them off? 🙂

      2. Absolutely! And then try it over a sundress perhaps.

  16. I love reading your posts, and sometimes I would like to see the comments others have left even if I haven’t left a comment. Are they left off intentionally?
    Thank you for writing for the not-invisible woman!

    1. My pleasure Kathy! We are far from invisible. I have comment moderation to stop spam but if you check later you’ll see comments. You can also subscribe below to get them in your email if you’ve asked a question. My readers are the very best and the comments are the best part!!

  17. What a timely article – I just edited my wardrobe last week donating accessories and clothing I haven’t worn in a while. The empty hangers are my reminders of what I need to shop for that’s lacking such as hot weather tops.
    I refer to my style as “Classic with a twist” – the twist is sometimes dramatic, elegant or sophisticated. The style I will never wear is boho – not my taste and doesn’t suit my body type.

    1. You’re so right! Those empty hangers are winking from my closet too! I’ve made a list! Fresh white t-shirts for summer, tops my list. Boho isn’t my look either. I love it in others but feel strange eating it.

  18. Roxanne B says:

    When I was a little girl in the ’50s, my mother took my elderly grandmother shoe shopping for Easter (back in the days when you sat down and the shoe people tried your shoes on your feet). I’ll never forget Granny telling the salesman ” and don’t show me any old lady shoes!” That was truly a life lesson for me, and now at 64 I understand. When it comes to accessories, I never throw anything away because it always recycles back into fashion. Like you, Jennifer, I have special pieces I treasure like Granny’s 100 year old engagement ring I wear every day.

    1. I got goose bumps reading your comment Roxanne! You are so blessed to have it! Your Granny sounds like my kind of gal.

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