Evolution: life certainly goes on – sometimes at break neck speed it appears – sometimes subtly enough for me to barely notice but the changes are real, however small. We used to live in a city all shiny and fast then moved to where we are now a couple of years ago on the edge of a small town and a nature reserve. I find myself less and less dressing up and increasingly dressing more practically and simpler. Happily it’s easier all round, liberating in fact and the bonus is that I feel it’s still a reasonably youthful ‘look’.
So now my exercise of choice is to walk a few times a week along the natural areas of the nature reserve a few minutes’ from the house. It really is the most relaxing thing at the end of the day just for 20 minutes or so and come back to a nice shower or bath. I also started swimming again after a 6 months break and feel very good for it.
I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting older – 5 0 in a couple of months – but I feel the need to pace myself – ok – slow down not just in the physical sense but also to be more mindful of my stress/worry levels. Of course some is unavoidable but many things have really taught me not to sweat the small stuff, just let go of the things that have little or no consequence and trust my own instincts more. I do count my blessings everyday.
Refinement: my wardrobe has simplified to the elements listed here and I am in the process of fine tuning some of these eg my trenches that are knee length will now be replaced when the time comes to shorter lengths because it’s more practical for my life. I have 3 types: the classic Burberry trench, the raincoat which is a straighter style here (with a removeable wool lining) and the shorter length in navy here
Another example is my collection of silk shirts from over the decades. Not having to wear them to an office corporate style, I re-purposed them with jeans and softly tailored trousers for a more wearable, smart/casual look. They are mostly dry clean only so I have invested in washable silk versions to add to the collection – thank you M&S! After a cull I own exactly 2 tee shirts because I prefer cotton or linen shirts as casual wear – even on holiday.
I used to wear dresses and skirts a lot and trousers/jeans least, well the reverse happened though I still love to wear dresses and skirts when the occasion arises. During Autumn/Winter I am happiest in a plain cashmere dress or tweed skirt and knee boots layered up with tights, cashmere jumpers and shawls. These are timeless styles and I don’t get tired of them.
Among my accessories, H scarves in the formats of the 90cm and little gavroche (sometimes worn together) work for me and make me happy to wear.
I still enjoy my bag collection and realise it’s a continuous editing process to match my evolving lifestyle albeit slow. It’s always a question of the styles that I use most going forward. The main thing is that I seem to manage better with the smaller sizes.
My shoes I wear are now almost exclusively very low or mid heels (5cm max.). I feel I’ve come full circle from the 90’s when all I wore were Chelsea boots in Autumn/Winter/Spring and kitten heels in Summer. Comfort is non negotiable and as I said in my last post, thank goodness there’s so much choice around nowadays.
Jewellery is a challenge for me currently as I simply don’t wear mine enough so I will make it a priority to rediscover my collection.
Versatility: an unexpected bonus I began to notice is that once my wardrobe made more sense and better reflected my lifestyle, it was very easy to wear most things in most places, most of the time. Therefore I never had to go out and shop for a specific occasion, ok it helps to have collected good things over the decades but for me it was a huge achievement to stop feeling I had nothing to wear! Simply by changing the outfit combination and/or accessories, I was ready for anywhere, anytime. Especially when traveling, I always liked to be smart-casual here. I have a family wedding coming up next Summer and I already have the outfit that I will wear and a choice of evening wear depending on the exact set up on the night. These ‘special’ and other fancy social occasions are rare for me so I do not go out to buy an outfit each time, preferring to use something I already have.
Thanks for reading and have a great week!