I love the idea of how to transition our closet into retirement. When I talk to most women, they are gung ho to purge all of the office clothing and don more casual items.
While that makes sense in the lifestyle aspect, it certainly isn’t fabulous for the environment or your wallet.
So let’s talk about some of the work-appropriate items that we can transition into retirement very easily.
Quote of the day: “Vision is the art of seeing things invisible.” Jonathan Swift
I always say that one of my superpowers is thinking outside of the box when it comes to our clothing garments. Being able to wear them in multiple ways creates a versatile closet and saves you money in the long run.
Don’t get me wrong, I always love to go shopping, but many times you buy the same things you already have in your closet. Ever noticed that? LOL!
Therefore, let’s concentrate on how to wear a pencil skirt even for a casual day. We will also showcase wearing blazers after retirement along with styling that button-down blouse. These are all items that we might have worn in our careers, yet there is no reason not to keep them.
If the clothing still fits and you like the color, let’s see how they can transition into retirement life.
Don’t have a pencil skirt from your working days? We also explored the option of casualizing your blazer and your button-up blouse.
In fact, I recently wore a pair of work pants for a casual day by cuffing them and pairing them with sneakers seen here.
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Skirt: WHBM ~~ Vest: Old Navy~~ Sweater: Charming Charlies~~ Shoes: Yes We Vibe (JODIE10 -10% off or JODIEBOGO -BOGO on footwear)~~ Scarf and Headscarf: Gibby’s Frillery c/o use code Jodie20~~ Earrings: Alison & Aubrey~~ Purse: no label
Work Clothes vs. Retirement Clothing
The easiest way to make our work clothing transition into retirement is to stop thinking about it as work clothing, haha. Seriously. It’s only natural to categorize our clothes into work, play, workout, fancy, sleepwear, etc. The list goes on.
But in reality, that doesn’t behoove the idea to make our closets more sustainable.
Realistically, it is organizationally beneficial to group our clothing in our closets. How I do that is to keep all of the jackets together, the dresses in one area, etc.
However, when you pull out a clothing item, don’t succumb to calling it a work skirt or any of those words I used above.
Instead, describe the item.
For example, this skirt that is actually part of a suit should be described as a mint-colored, knee-length, straight skirt. By calling it that, now I can pair it with laid-back items to run errands for the day.
Insider tip: It’s not a terrible idea to purge some items from our career days. Do you have 10 pairs of black work pants? There’s just no reason to have that many of the same items. Trust me when I say that they look alike and no one will notice all of those little details that you think set them apart.
HOWEVER, remember that only 10% of clothing given to thrift stores is actually sold. The US ships a billion pounds of used clothing to other countries that aren’t needed.
What else can you do? How about asking friends if they would wear it or recycle it somehow.
The other good reason not to purge all of your career clothing is that you never know when you might need to head to a professional event.
Pencil Skirt: Styled to Transition Into Retirement
So the meat of this post is taking this pencil skirt and wearing it with something on the top half that I would also wear with denim.
For this day, that was a chenille cut-out sweater and polka dot puffer vest. (Of course, the footwear helped the idea too, but I’ll talk about that below).
My thought process started with the puffer vest. It’s very whimsical with the polka dots and the yellow is a happy, high-energy color.
Insider tip: This vest is actually from the kid’s section at Old Navy. They have pieces that go up to 16 for kids, which translates to a Small for women. If you are looking for more fun pieces and colors, this could be an invaluable resource.
After choosing the puffer vest, I needed something substantial under it and decided on a sweater for warmth. While the colors don’t match exactly, they are in the same hue, just different shades of mint green, and therefore work together fabulously.
Insider tip: I always wear a t-shirt (long or short sleeve) under a sweater. Then I don’t have to wash the sweater since it wasn’t against my skin. And t-shirts take up less volume in the washer than the sweater would.
What About the Accessories?
Even your career-focused accessories can be worn in retirement. Stud earrings will never go out of style and this pair is one that could easily go from work to casual to fancy.
Since the cut-out sweater might be one of those that you think a necklace would be too much, I decided to wear a pin instead. It’s an angel pin that was given out to everyone who attended my friend’s mother’s funeral.
While many of you don’t feel the need to add in so many “extras”, these are things that make me happy. Besides, I have so many accessories, that I figure, why not wear them?
Pshaw to Coco Chanel’s idea to take off one thing before you leave the house. She said it’s better to be underdressed. Obviously, that is only ONE person’s opinion and I believe the opposite. I think it’s better to be overdressed.
The headscarf and decorative scarf on my purse are both from Gibby’s Frillery. The headscarf is meant to be a headscarf and even comes with an elastic band on it so all you have to do is tighten it or loosen it. The creator, Kim, always shows it with the end at the base of the head, but I decided to wear them on the top of my head today.
And then I “wore” the ribbon scarf in another colorway tied on my purse handle. It really gives the back view more interest when I’m carrying my purse on my shoulder.
Work Skirts/Pants Can Transition Into Retirement
I realize that most women fall into the habit of wearing pants for casual days anymore. Maybe it’s a pendulum swing since women weren’t allowed to wear pants for so long, haha?
Yet, I think skirts are beneficial for so many reasons. In fact, I gave 5 advantages of skirts in this post.
Insider tip: Some women shy away from skirts since it shows off their legs, but the idea that our legs have veins and scars should not be a deterrent from the style. Our scars prove that we were stronger than whatever tried to hurt us.
And veins? Heck, people get tattoos, so maybe we should consider our veins as deconstructed tattoos?
For me, skirts are a wonderful alternative to shorts in the summertime. And even in the springtime when there is a chill in the air, layering other parts of your body, can make your body regulate temperature just fine.
Now don’t think this retirement clothing transition idea only works with pencil skirts. You can just as easily wear your work pants or any kind of skirt that was part of your career wardrobe.
No one is going to realize that this article of clothing was originally purchased to be worn for office days. Especially if you add in other fun elements that are the focal point of the look.
Related post wearing this skirt:
Sneakers and Skirts
I’ve talked about wearing sneakers with everything from pants to skirts, as well as dresses. There are just so many stylish options that include the comfort we older women need.
This is the advantage for stopping to think about skirts as dressy. Even a pencil skirt can be a casual element because it’s a combination of everything in the look. This is exactly how your clothes can easily transition into retirement.
Use the dichotomy of grabbing something you’d wear with jeans and pair it with your career clothing.
This pair of print sneakers are from Yes We Vibe. They have an incredible amount of prints you can choose for many types of footwear (and more). These are the Active Vibe Sneakers and are incredibly lightweight.
While I consider these a comfy footwear option, the sizing isn’t all-inclusive. They don’t have wide-width selections. However, they do have free-size replacements on all footwear.
Insider tip: I found this company because Lesley has bought over 4 pairs from the company. I reached out to them to be an affiliate which is how you can benefit from my discount codes, JODIE10 -10% off or JODIEBOGO -BOGO on footwear. I do receive a small commission if you purchase through my link.
Will Your Clothes Transition?
I would love to hear your struggles with the idea to transition your career clothes to your retirement lifestyle.
Maybe it’s too late and you’ve already purged all of your work-related clothing? Heck, I still laugh that I tend to look at the blazers when we go shopping especially thrift shopping because they can be such a deal.
Sometimes it’s extremely helpful to our state of mind to dress more tailored or intentional as opposed to sloppy. We may think that it doesn’t matter how we look in our retired years, yet it’s only human nature to feel better about ourselves when we look better.
Insider tip: If your pencil skirt doesn’t stretch much and doesn’t seem comfy enough for casual days, think about upcycling it. In the past, I had my mom sew-in knit panels between the side seams for more stretch. This can be done with the same color material so it’s not obvious, OR with a contrasting color for a fun detail.
Thank you for visiting my space on the internet. I like to showcase how it’s never too late to look great for women of any age, size, or working with any budget.
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