The Ways I Define Myself

Retired Women Don’t Like Clothes

Lake Worth Parrots
Lake Worth Beach Parrots

It turns out that retired women don’t like clothes. Okay, maybe not clothes altogether. I don’t think that they’re turning clothing-optional, but the process of having to dress to head outside and, you know, interact with people who have things to do and places to be is not something that they look forward to doing. Apparently, years of interactions and dressing for those interactions, has sapped us of our desire to do it one more time. Stay-at-home-retirees! That’s a thing.

It's also a thing to be surprised by the person we used to be. Who is that woman who ran meetings and talked to people all day long? Could she possibly be the woman who lives in her Boomer sweats, tries to sneak out to the stores when no one else will be there, and who cringes at the thought of chit chat?

The idea of the older recluse is not far from our minds—in an envious way.

We did not retire to waste more time on mindless activities and conversations. If that’s what you’re offering, then there’s no getting dressed for you!

Tied with not wanting to get dressed in outside clothes in general is not wanting to get dressed at a specific time for a specific event. If us older people aren’t in the work force, it’s because we have no desire to set an alarm clock for anything other than zooming with friends or family. If we need to set aside even a couple of hours a week consistently to do something, well, that’s another hurdle that we’d rather not overcome.

The ability to roll over in the morning when you see that it’s gray or rainy or snowy or sunny and not feel guilty about it is pure joy. It’s not the same as pressing the snooze button. No, it’s the freedom of knowing that no button can dislodge me.

A lifetime of busy schedules and commitments has led to this, a generation of women who would rather retreat than plan, or attend, another event.

We have become as flighty as our teenage selves, or even our own kids. Sure, we sign up for volunteering and we’re committed to making the world a better place (or is a less horrible place?). Unless, of course, there is that urge to just stay home, with no places to be and people to see, no one expecting anything from us.

It’s lovely to know that you’re in charge of your time—and your wardrobe. You can finally just suit yourself.

Comments

Margaret

Laura, you nailed this oned. Here I am in my Pink Floyd t-shirt, bell bottoms and sneakers. For a moment I considered changing into something a little neater for a community center seminar tonight on composting. Then I thought, Nah! I'll go as I am, comfortable.

My ideal wardrobe these days is the thinnest t-shirts (so I don't overheat), comfortable non-restricting pants (Capri, long pants, etc.) and shoes that feel as if I'm walking on clouds. A fiberfill vest is what I wear most when it's cool out during the day.

I will admit that I've gone around town many times probably looking like a hobo, and I have to say, I don't really care. There is definitely a freedom to this not dressing to impress others.

Judith A Liebaert

AMEN! I have a wardrobe of leggings now, with select flattering tops for Zoom meetings for the board I volunteer on and some social zooms that com up now ad then. I have long since stopped obsessing over what I'm wearing if I have to run out to the store to pick up a few things. The leggings and a clean hoodie are good enough. At 65 I'm invisible to a good portion of the population anyway, and if anybody is paying attention to me — and I'm ever going to see them again? If they figure prominently in my life, they've already seen me (and my house) at my worst. My mother, a proper mid century wife and well dressed woman until the day she died (87 years old), is turn over in her grave.

Laura of RTOAW

Hurray for not worrying about what people think and for putting comfort first! Age=invisibility shield. Not a bad power to have.

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