Lifestyle Thought Leader: Nina Anders
When my daughter was born, I was fully prepared for her arrival.
Her room was a beautiful confection of cream, peach and sage green. Her closet was full of little outfits and little shoes that would carry her through her whole first year.
Old Maternity Clothes:
As a new momma, I hit the ground running. I cooked, cleaned, and cared for my precious bundle of joy. If you had stopped by my home, you would have found me in either black or grey leggings and an oversized red tunic. Occasionally, I snuck into some of my old maternity clothes—but please don’t pass that around.
“it would have been a little strange and difficult to care for a baby in a pencil skirt and heels.”
I was not wearing my pre-pregnancy clothing for two reasons. One, it would have been a little strange and difficult to care for a baby in a pencil skirt and heels. Two, I had not lost my baby weight. Out of my extensive, carefully curated wardrobe, I was only actually wearing six or seven pieces.
Most importantly, I felt that I was a different woman when I became a mother. I wanted to learn to cook, clean, and decorate our home. The old Nina spent her days focused on work. That Nina collected beautiful clothes, traveled, and spent time in the office. I was rarely outside, but after my daughter came I found myself rejoicing as I pushed her stroller through the neighborhood.
As I took stock in this new lifestyle, almost everything needed to change. From dumping padded bras to adding casual pieces to my mostly formal wardrobe, the time was now. Over time, I created a blended look that was practical but still “me” by combining pieces from my business wardrobe with my more casual mom look.
As a new mom, I was drawn to softer silhouettes and needed easy-care fabrics. This new woman left a corporate job with travel and perks for quiet days at the neighborhood park. As I shared in the first post of this series, it was a pivotal time in my life. However, my wardrobe hadn’t pivoted with me.
Our middle years, perimenopause, menopause, changes in relationships with our spouses and children, and possibly changing jobs or retiring, all herald a variety of adjustments. Our wardrobes need to adjust with these changes. Even bigger than midlife? 2020 and its fallout has created a similar call to look at our lifestyle as we consider building a wardrobe that not only fits the changes emotionally, psychologically and spiritually but on what we actually need in our wardrobe to function in our newly reordered lives.
“I am building my wardrobe around looking stylish but still comfortable at home..”
My Focus Has Changed:
One of my girl friends sends photos of the new clothes she purchases. It’s interesting to see what she chooses and why. When we met, she frequently chose clothing to wear out. Now she chooses clothing she wears in. I too have been thinking more in terms of what I need to look nice at home. I feel much more home-centered than I did before 2020 and my recent clothing purchases reflect this.
In 2020, I was about comfort, and I wore PJ’s way more than I would like to admit. There was something comforting about the soft flannels, knits, and the coziness of the clothes we normally wear to bed that gave me a sense of being safe.
A few months ago, I dumped all the PJ’s I wore in 2020. While my clothing is a little more relaxed, I am not wearing pajamas during the day anymore, and once again endeavor to look nice and “put together” every day whether we go out or not. In fact, I do dress nicely every day—but much more toned down.
Life is different, we are different, and even though we come and go as we please, like my friend, my focus has changed. I am building my wardrobe around looking stylish but still comfortable at home.
Importance Of Finding Clothes That Are “You”:
Through this fashion series, we have talked about dressing to project the woman we are becoming, taking note of the changes in our bodies and coloring, and now, making sure we are choosing clothes that fit our lifestyle. I can’t let this moment go by without reflecting on the importance of finding clothes that are “you”.
“I was struck by the sameness of the women’s clothing.”
Recently, we visited Mount Dora, Florida a Mecca for middle-aged vacationers who have done the amusement parks and are looking for something a little different. Mount Dora has a vibrant antiques community, as well as quaint inns and restaurants, and a beautiful waterfront with walking trails and boating.
At first, I thought we were the youngest people there, but I realized that in terms of age, we were probably the same age as everyone else.
I was struck by the sameness of the women’s clothing: White or denim peddle pushers, pull-on shorts, flat sandals and oversized shirts often matching the pants. A chin-length bob or practical pixie was the hairstyle of the moment.
The Middle-Aged Women Look:
This type of look screams “middle age”, “tourist”, and sadly, “Karen”. I can name the three or four stores where these clothes come from. We shop there because we think that these are the types of clothes we are supposed to wear as middle-aged women.
We women are taught to blend in, and follow the crowd, rather than develop a style that is unique unto ourselves—and I think it’s really sad. I didn’t mind that I stood out in my flair jeans and long hair. I felt completely comfortable in my clothing choices because they are “me” right now.
Don’t be afraid to shop anywhere you find clothing you love. Don’t feel as if you have to shop at the handful of over 50 stores because your friends do, or because that is what is expected.
“You will make some mistakes, you will change even more..”
Experiment With Your Lifestyle:
Go back through your closet and pull out old gems. Wear them with contemporary pieces. Hunt down silhouettes and fabrics you love and play with accessories. You will make some mistakes. You will change even more. And hopefully, your wardrobe will keep up with your life’s twists, turns and pivots.
I hope you’ll scan back through this series, and experiment with your style. I hope you will find a look that suits your changing coloring, body, lifestyle, and the amazing woman you have become. Don’t be afraid to let your light shine bright, life is too precious to do otherwise.
About the Author:
As the dust from the divorce settled, Nina embarked on finding herself, reconnecting spiritually and mapping out a new future for herself. Seeing there was no real guidance for women in their fifties and beyond, Nina decided to start her award winning blog, Sharing A Journey, a life/style blog for women over 50. The blog covers fashion, beauty, and lifestyle topics for women looking to live their best lives during their middle years.
To follow along, or join in, you can follow Nina’s blog here www.sharingajourney.com, on Instagram @sharing_a_journey, Pinterest, Facebook and YouTube at sharingajourney. Sign on to the Sharing A Journey weekly newsletter and get Nina’s shopping tips here: http://bit.ly/Fashionq