Arizona life: how to wear professional clothes after retirement

Eco-Friendly Chic: How to Wear Professional Clothes After Retirement

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It’s such an eco-friendly idea to think about how to wear professional clothes after retirement. Because for the thrifty soul in me, it seems like such a waste to purge half of our closet when we transition into our non-working days.

Quote of the day: “Don’t be intimidated by what you don’t know. That can be your greatest strength and ensure that you do things differently.” Sara Blakely

This week will showcase 3 different clothing items that you may be tempted to get rid of, and how they can still work in your casual life.
I talked about the pencil skirt, but it would be the same idea for work pants. Now Charlotte is styling a button-down blouse. And don’t forget to check out Lesley with her blazer.

In all reality, when we think about our retirement life, the usual thought is to imagine more comfy clothing, and not being in a work “uniform.” I get it.
Yet it’s very eco-friendly to keep the clothes we already have in our closets. There’s no reason to go crazy and feel like you need a whole new wardrobe.

Besides, once you read these posts, you’ll realize just how versatile any of your work clothes can be.

Retired women: how to wear professional clothes after retirement

Dress: Joan Vass c/o ~~Top: Calvin Klein-thrifted~~ Shoes: Enzo Angiolini ~~ Scarf: from Scotland~~ Earrings: Sun City Craft Fair ~~ Purse: Style & Co

Blouse Hacks: How to Wear Professional Clothes After Retirement

One of the biggest secrets about how to wear professional clothes after retirement is super simple. Stop thinking of them as professional clothes. Seriously.
Any clothing item by itself isn’t “professional.” Just like you can wear a “fancy” skirt and transform the outfit into a casual look by adding sneakers and denim (see how I did that here).

So much of how we perceive a look is not dependent on one item by itself. It’s a combination of all the clothing together. Sure, you probably wore a blouse like the one Charlotte is wearing with your work pants/skirt and blazer and it was perfect for the office environment.
You looked professional in it because of how you wore it with other “smart” pieces.

But now it’s time to break up with professional looks. That means you don’t pair all of the professional clothing together at once. YET that doesn’t mean you have to get rid of it. Just wear it differently and combine it in many casual ways.

In fact, many of your “work pants” might even be appropriate to wear to a wedding. While many of us don’t think to wear pants to a wedding, we have explored that idea.

Insider tip: It’s beneficial to stop categorizing our clothing. Stop calling it a work blouse, and think of it as an open circle of material with sleeves. Now what else could be described that way?? Do I have you thinking differently yet?

How to wear professional clothes after retirement and be casual

Button-Up Blouse

So now that I described this button-up blouse in a whole different light, can you see the idea of how to wear professional clothes after retirement can be accomplished??
One of the hugest advantages of a button-up anything is that it can be worn unbuttoned as a “jacket.”

In fact, for the transition from winter into spring, a lightweight jacket is exactly what we need. So Charlotte is wearing her button-up blouse almost like a kimono over a maxi dress.

Insider tip: Another trick to making your blouses versatile is to always think about layering them both under and over other items. This is exactly why I love having a variety of different-sized blouses in my closet.
If you don’t like being able to see the buttons when you layer a lightweight item over a button-up blouse, then place a cami over the buttoned blouse first before you layer the lightweight shirt. I show this example here.

Related Posts about the button-up blouses
Reasons to wear a blouse unbuttoned
Try it under a dress
Make it a jacket, In reality, this is no different than all of the shackets we’ve been seeing lately.
Layer it-double blouses
How they are the perfect layer in the summer

Two more ways to make this button-up blouse more versatile?
1-Button some of the buttons but not all of them. See how I did that with my husband’s shirt.
2-Use 2 different button-down blouses and combine them to be one. Shown in my YouTube video here.

Another Key of How to Wear Professional Clothes After Retirment

Accessories are functional for so many reasons. Most of us use them to add some individuality to our looks with necklaces, earrings, and purses. This is why accessories can be one of the keys for how to wear professional clothes after retirement.
Just think of how our accessories can change the look of our office wear into something more whimsical or casual.

Charlotte added a scarf to her neck for this look.
How did she tie it? Nothing super fancy. She just threw it around her neck and double knotted it to let the ends hang long, yet keep the scarf in place in the middle.

Insider tip: Remember the most esthetic part of a scarf is usually its material and/or print. You don’t need to know 10,000 ways to tie it, to make it work for your outfit. Just throw it on and let the material do its magic.
Think of your scarf as a long, fabric necklace!

Women over 70: how to wear professional clothes after retirement

Maxi Dress

The maxi dress comes and goes as a stylish option and right now I’m seeing them more and more. My mom has worn this dress twice before on the blog here and here. Funny how both outfits are VERY similar.
That’s a perfect example of how we get into habits about how to style something in our closet. But it’s good for our brain to switch it up!

Realistically, maxis are fantastic dresses for older women. Why?
1-They provide coverage without being too overwhelming
2-They are much cooler in the hot summers than pants or even capris
3-With tights in the winter, they can be warmer because you have 2 layers on the bottom half. I bet most of you rarely layer something under your jeans for warmth in the winter.
4-There is no worry about matching the top to the bottom. It’s one and done, and then you add the extras.

Now don’t worry if your maxi has slits on one side or even both sides that you’ll be too exposed. The slits are a wonderful detail to make sure you can walk easily without having to take micro-steps.

If the slits seem too high, don’t despair:
1- Sew it closed at the top. Not all the way down, but just until you feel comfortable.
2-Think about wearing a pair of workout shorts or capris under it to provide coverage.

Another advantage to having slits is it makes it easy to tie knots on the side if you want to make the skirt shorter.
Here’s an example of how that can happen.
Or I showcased getting creative with a maxi skirt and a few of the options would work for a maxi dress too, like the knotted part or use a belt to hike it up.

Skirt and flats

Flats For Women of Any Age

A dress doesn’t mean the outfit has to be dressy. Just like wearing something you consider professional clothing does not have to be a work look.
Many times I get the question about what shoes to wear with this or that.

If you’ve are new here, then we have showcased one outfit with many types of footwear in the past.
1-Maxi skirt
2-Knee length skirt
3-Short skirt

Charlotte is wearing a pair of colorful flats with her maxi dress and button-up blouse. It was a casual day for us as we went to explore a museum in Scottsdale.
While we tend to make sure we have neutral shoes in our closet, I also think a couple of colorful pairs can be super beneficial. It’s an easy way to brighten up any look.

Insider tip: If you have a pair of flats that don’t have enough arch support, I use these interchangeable arch supports in all of those kinds of shoes.

Button down blouse made casual


To finish up this eco-friendly idea of how to wear professional clothing after retirement, the best thing we can always do is make what we already have work for us.
Sometimes that means we need to alter things or get creative, but it’s so much better for the environment this way.

One of the facts that most of us don’t know is how little of what we donate actually gets put to good use. Most of our donated items end up being transported overseas, where it’s not helpful there either.

So while Marie Kondo has a great idea to focus on what causes us joy, it can be just as joyful to work with what we already have in our closet.

I’m a fix-it girl at heart, so here are just a couple of ideas of how to change things:
1-Is something too big? Alter it smaller.
2-Don’t like the color of an item? Check out the possibility of dying it. Or embroider it.
3-Is it too small? Many times things can be made bigger with extra fabric.

Other struggles with certain clothing items? Email me, and let’s see if we can figure out something!!

How to wear professional clothes after retirement

Photo credit: Rob Filogomo

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