red fitflop clogs

Retirement changes everything. When I stopped working, I had a wardrobe full of business casual clothing. Skirts and pants, suitable for an office environment, but comfortable because I had long since forsworn suffering on behalf of fashion. Boots and shoes that would go with the aforementioned “nice” clothing.

marilyn birthday 68

I also had the “fancy” wardrobe since, when Garry was working, we got invited to A-list events where formal clothing was mandated. It’s the only time in my life I had a formal wardrobe and led me to the discovery of those few designers who manage to make evening wear for women that does not cause pain, (and) or require a professional dresser to manage the zippers, buttons, and hooks. The organization of formal women’s wear can make the dashboard of a 747 look like child’s play.

Marilyn birthday portrait writer

There were overcoats for dress, for play, and the inevitable, regionally appropriate deep-winter parka guaranteed to keep you alive through an Antarctic blizzard.

Boots for winter, sandals for summer, heels for dressing. Flats for when the feet hurt too much to care. Pantyhose and insulated tights, heavy socks, thin socks. Big heavy gloves, lovely, elegant gloves (one usually lost before the second wearing). Shawls and wraps, capes and cloaks. Watch caps and wooly hats. Summer hats with wide brims to protect me from the sun.

Then, one day, all I needed were a few sweatshirts and sweaters, tee shirts, sweat pants, yoga pants and one good black dress per season. The rest? I’d never wear it again.

Garry and Bonnie olympus

When I first stopped working, I dressed as if I was going to the office. I did it automatically. I was programmed. One day, I looked at Garry. He had stopped wearing his sexy jeans and had made the big move to pajama bottoms with elastic waistbands.

I realized I needed to move on and was happy to do so. Today, it’s yoga and sweat pants. Logo tee and sweat shirts. Socks for my feet in the house.

Sandals in summer, Uggs in winter, clogs in-between. I have a pair of heels — the obligatory box shoes — in case I positively have no choice but to wear something dressy. It happens. Rarely. Once in a deep blue moon.


Clothes are still important. They have to be washable (dog hair is a fact of life). Comfortable. Loose. I find myself obsessive about non clashing colors. I favor neutral bottoms. Not a problem. Gray, black, tan, taupe, and navy will never go out of style. On top, black dominates, but there’s also red, orange, purple (violet, lavender) and even some green and blue.

Of course clothing is important. Naked at my age is not only chilly, but ew. It’s different. No one is going to notice the designer label except Garry and he doesn’t care.

Garry photog

I can wear whatever. And in a this town, whatever I wear is high fashion. That would include my Castle “WRITER” sweatshirt and my Abby’s lab forensic NCIS hoodie. Because I know fashion.

Categories: Anecdote, Fashion, Humor, Photography

Tags: , , , , ,

35 replies

  1. I look at my beautiful clothes and imagine when I will wear them all again. I too write in my sweats and love my crocs around the home. And I love your Writer shirt! 🙂


  2. Pajamas with elastic bands, hmmm. That’s funny. Men always have it easier. I am pretty much pants and long tops and flats, but, I had to go to the library in Beverly Hills the other day so I bought a new long top and wore my 3 inch heel boots and smoothed down my really short hair, the object being to look cute. The second time I went I wore pants, a long top and my lace up sneakers, makes climbing stairs and walking to the bus so much easier.


    • In Manhattan, where people still get dressed for work, all the woman wear sneakers till they get to the office, then change their shoes. Sidewalks are full of potholes. The sidewalks in this little town are in horrible shape. No one sane wears heels ever.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Comfort rules. I would love to see a photo of you all dressed up.


  4. I used to think there was not much point in spending money on dressy clothes that I rarely wear. Now I just don’t really want to wear them unless I have to. I like being comfortable and especially dread the idea of pantyhose and heels. I was never a high heels person even when I was young and platforms were all the rage. Next time I have to buy shoes I’ll be looking for a smart pair of black flats that hopefully will last me years. I hate shoe shopping.


  5. My wardrobe is 100% short sleeved collared polo-style shirts (T’s irritate my neck) and jeans… with a hoodie I wear almost constantly from September to May. That’s me. I don’t wear anything I don’t find to be comfortable, and I don’t see why people should be forced to wear things that are not comfortable. You touched on many of the things women wear that are not practical… for us guys it’s ties. Seriously, who willingly wears a noose around their neck. Ties are the devil’s work… I’ve worn one twice in my entire life, and hated it with a passion both times…


    • Garry wore a tie every day of his working life for more than 40 years. He can still tie a Windsor or double Windsor blind-folded. A couple of years ago, he got rid of all his ties and suits. He kept a couple of blazers, a few “nice” pairs of pants, bought two new dress shirts and 2 ties for emergencies. Dumped everything else. And he had a huge wardrobe … I mean … huge. Expensive. Tuxedos. Everything.

      Someone has to be giving him a major award to convince him to wear anything more dressy than jeans and boat shoes. Barefoot in boat shoes. We wear what the job requires until we don’t have to and then … well … You just can’t go home again, I guess.


  6. Was this the daily prompt? Because if so, they recycled on that I hadn’t deleted, so yay!

    I must say, I love your style and LOVE your hair 🙂


    • My hair has gone in and out of style, but these days, I don’t even go to a hair dresser for trimming. I snip a little piece off now and then, but otherwise, I wash it, dry it, tie it up, ignore it. It does what it does. Funny because it was very dark brown, very thick and curly when i was a girl. It straightened by itself in my teens.

      Yes, it was a daily prompt and my earlier one is in here too 🙂


  7. There used to be a time when I’d never be seen outside of the house in sweats (unless I was exercising). Yeah… it doesn’t bother me as much anymore. Ha! Disabled is just as bad as retired I suppose.


  8. Thank heavens, even the business world (at least here in Buffalo) has also gone to business casual. I used to have to wear dresses and suits with high heels and pantyhose – and I hated it. Now I can get away with slacks and shirts, and the occasional pant suit for closings. At home, of course, it’s sweats in the winter and yoga pants/T-shirts in the warmer seasons.


    • In this region, it has gone from casual to REALLY REALLY casual over the past 20 years. Only in the money industry and those who work in front of the camera get “dressed.” Everyone else goes to work in jeans and tee shirts. I always dressed a bit better than that because I needed to be taken seriously. Guys get away with jeans and tees. Women don’t.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I started to feel uncomfortable when you listed the things we had to wear…back then. I have a few dress up clothes, but I wear jeans and t shirts. It’s just me in my workshop, so why bother. It’s so much more comfortable now isn’t it? I too remember nylons, high heels, blouses, scarfs, pant suits and all the other stuff that gave me the confident I needed in my career. Now I am confident no matter what I wear. Love Garry’s t-shirt 🙂


  10. The art of buying clothes becomes an art as the years go by. Today I am for comfort.


  11. I love those shoes. I have a pair in brown that I got at a garage sale. I can’t believe someone would get rid of them. My semi-retirement fav pair of shoes. 🙂


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