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It’s an age-old question, what should I wear?

by Meghan Hogrefe |

     I woke up this morning feeling in my forties! It was a feeling of complete and utter “I am here, but how did I get here”? I’m suddenly feeling my middle age yet at the same time, I feel nostalgic and sentimental, not depressed or sad. My nostalgia wants me to grab all my girlfriends and hit the town, after 9:00 pm to laugh with complete abandonment of adulthood.

     Arriving at a restaurant excited and giddy! The mere act of stepping out of the car, tossing your hair back casually, (not worrying if gray is peaking out), as though the car is just the backdrop and the sidewalk is my unending runway.  Strolling casually with confidence and deliberate direction to the girl squad, the team of all teams. Upon reaching the table, the infectious cheer and enthusiastic greeting, as if you just solved world peace, in honor of your arrival. No one cheers anymore when we arrive, can we bring that back?  I remember that sensation of sitting down not knowing what I am going to order or where the night is going to take me. I laugh, because forties me, I have already read the menu ahead of time, possibly even days before. I just wish I could still harness the feeling of the giddiness, the buzz, and the sensation through your bones.  The confidence in knowing that I look good, my friends look great, we are the ones. We are the ones.

     Presently, as I write this, I don’t feel youth slipping away, as you may think. It’s the opposite, completely! I have that same giddiness and sensation, I feel a new energy, a resurgence, you can call it. It’s that same physical, yet mentally aware sense. I have so much more insight into who I am because of who I was, then. Those nights, as nostalgic and “glamorous” as I remember it to have been were a time, a vibe. Being young is a vibe. You capture it for a specific finite series of moments all connected by some commonality, age.

     The sensation I described above I would also feel as I got ready for those nights out. I would change repeatedly, switching out the skinny jeans with my Christian Louboutin heels that I exchanged three weeks of PB&J’s for one pair, to my Converse with a very short skirt and an “old on purpose,” vintage tee. There was excitement filling the air.  Or was it the flat iron steam and wafting scent of the remnants of burnt hair? Overall, in my room, standing there half naked, comfortably, still not sure what I am dressing for. Could be a swanky, unreasonably unaffordable new dinner spot, or the old trendy bar where they love us and the bill is always half price, or the real scenario; we go to a random show or after-hours club. The uncertainty of the night keeps amassing stacks of clothes all over my bed! One shoe in the corner, another boot on my foot, the Converse that ultimately didn’t make the cut. All of these accessory players were my go-to staple pieces.

     Nostalgia aside, the pattern of life is that my sensations have become sensibility. I have new staple choices between loungewear with sneakers or a skirt.  A-line dress with casual, but low, heels. The thrilling act of choosing clothes for the unknown has become a sensible yet sassy selection of the calculated calendar of daily events. I choose my clothes with a deliberate mix of casual cool meets sensible shrewdness with full awareness that while being young is a vibe, getting older is a privilege.  This evolution of choosing clothing is a daily event. Not to be taken lightly, what you wear doesn’t determine who you are, but who you feel you are in that moment. The choice is what you design for the day. I always say, my clothing doesn’t define me, it designs me. We are under no obligation to be who we were five minutes ago. We are all a Work in Process.


Top three dressing hacks for busy babes:

  • Any season: Wear layers. This fall, a dickie blazer or structured blazer is a great staple for going from office to out, even if out means grocery shopping or a soccer game. It pairs with almost any dress or pants combo. That casual cool attitude sends “top in class” vibes.
  • Minimalist mentality: A simple understated gold or silver necklace that falls to the collarbone can dress up a situation at the office or show ‘em you are a “less-is-more “kind of woman! They won’t see your fierce force coming!
  • Highs and lows: high pony/ loose bun or low pony - the choice is easy if you are a woman on the road. Low pony allows for more versatility, going from day into night, hair comes out of a hair tie with zero hair bumps, unlike the kind that buns can leave you with. The low pony gives a smart look while bringing sexy back. Low pony meetings keep you feeling smart while hair-down meetups keep you sexy and sassy.


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