50+ Style and Comfort, Can They Co-Exist?

Rachel Zoe

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According to Fashion Stylist Rachel Zoe “Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak.”  This means Style is completely within your reach, on your terms.  Dictionary.com defines comfort as “to make physically comfortable.”  So, Comfort in your clothing is possible.  That’s exciting, isn’t it?

Can you achieve your personal Style while still maintaining your Comfort needs?  I think you can.  You will need to do some homework (including determining your comfort factor), but it will be worth the effort.  I promise.

Although this blog is addressing the 50+ age group, Style and Comfort goes beyond age and is ultimately a concern for women of all ages.

I recently ran across a picture of myself around age 6 all dolled up in a lace frock.  I immediately remembered the scratch of the stiff fabric against my skin and I swear I could see a wince on my face in the photo.  My quest for comfort was born!  To this day I don’t wear taut or scratchy fabric.

Let’s talk about the Comfort Factor.

When I think of clothing comfort, #1 on my list is my feet.  They must be comfortable.  This means the fit, the height of the heel, the material of the heel (no wooden heels, please), the quality of the fabric (will it stretch out too much), the placement of the straps, buckles or bows, the look of the shoe within my overall Style profile (no Uggs for me) and, of course, the color.  That’s a lot for a single shoe to live up to, but I have it down to a science now – with one swift look it’s either a joyous YES or a definite NO.  With each yes, I expand my wardrobe on my terms.  With each no, I reinforce my core requirements of comfort over fashion (not to be confused with style).

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The #1 Comfort Factor for some is temperature – their clothes must provide them with warmth or keep them feeling fresh and cool.  Natural fabric will help solve this problem.  For others, it’s all about keeping it simple.   Rely on a great fitting garment and simple accessories to accomplish a simple, elegant look.  Still others feel their best in pants.  Find the perfect fit and focus on wide leg or straight leg, depending on your body shape.  Experiment with tops, vests and jackets.

The key is to know thyself!  What type of clothing allows you to move freely and feel at ease?  What fabric feels good?  What type of shoe best supports you?  Are you more comfortable in long sleeves?  Skirts vs. dresses?  Casual over Sophisticated?  Light and bright colors rather than deep or dark?

What about the Style Factor?

Since Rachel has given us permission to create our own Style, I say let’s go with it!  Do you know the types of shoes that best support your style profile – flats, boots, pumps, Mary Janes, platform wedges?  Are your shoe choices comfortable?  Be honest or you will never accomplish the Casual Chic Look, which is built on Style and Comfort.   A recent client and I successfully crafted a 3-week traveling wardrobe built exclusively on style and comfort – it CAN be done!

Spend some time contemplating what makes you happy (style) and what feels good (comfort) in your clothing.  Put your style, next to your comfort and see what happens.  Maybe you need a tweak here and there, but you are on your way to Style and Comfort, no matter your age!

Go ahead, speak YOUR style every time you get dressed.

Love Only

Closet organized by item and color.  Oprah.com

Closet organized by item and color. Oprah.com

Stand in front of your closet.  Take a deep breath and slowly observe everything in front of you. Dresses.  Skirts. Pants.  Shoes.  Scarves.  Everything.  Now pull out ONE article of clothing.  Do you love it?  No, I mean really love it.  Do you look and feel terrific when you wear it?  Your confidence and personal power is palpable when you show up in this garment.  If this describes how you feel about your choice, then Congratulations! you are on the right track with your wardrobe.  Repeat this process with every item in your closet.

For each piece that earns the “wow” or “I love this” response, put it to one side of your closet.  Continue until you have gone through your entire wardrobe.   Tip, the best way to determine how a garment looks on you is to see it in a photo.  Have a friend take photos of you in all the clothing you love.  It will amaze you how much a photo can reveal.


Next, take a second, more scrutinizing collective look at the clothes hanging on the “yes” side of your closet.

    • Review the colors that still work for you, even though you’ve changed your hair color.
    • Is the fit still flattering?
    • How is the condition of each garment? Does it need cleaning, repairs or is it just way past its shelf life?
    • What about the style or theme? Does it still express who are are?
    • What about the energy of the garment? Are you holding on for sentimental reasons and it’s just taking up space in your closet?  Did your former boyfriend buy it for you and if he’s no longer around, do you really want to wear this garment?  Yes, sometimes love deserves a second chance, but that’s people, not clothing.

To love every item in your closet, you must put aside the emotions, the financial value and sentiment.  True love is a tall order.  The color, fit, style, fabric, line and design must all be working together to create this fantastic garment that does not upstage you, but highlights you.  That’s love!

What would it be like to feel this way about every article of clothing in your closet?  Imagine waking up each day to a wardrobe that makes you feel Attractive, Confident and Powerful.  A closet where  Love Only  lives.

Should It Stay or Go?  The chart below was featured in the August 2013 edition of InStyle magazine.  It will help you with the process of finding only love in your closet.

I thoroughly enjoy guiding women of all ages through this process of finding true love in their wardrobe.


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