My Wardrobe, Myself

The intersection of clothing, emotions, and life

Welcome to the third installment of my wardrobe do’s and don’ts series, which was initiated after I decided to revisit the “yes and no lists” I created back in May 2015. I wanted to see how much my lists might have changed over the past six-plus years. Before even perusing my old lists, however, I took some time to jot down my present day “musts” and “deal-breakers,” which were shared in the first two parts of this series:

  • In the first installment, I compiled a list of all of the qualities that I look for when shopping for clothing, shoes, and accessories.
  • In the second post, I shared my extensive list of wardrobe don’ts, those characteristics that I try to avoid when it comes to my closet pieces.

Both essays also included a number of visual examples of pieces that are either currently in my closet (the “do’s”) or those that had been purged from my wardrobe over the past ten or so years (the “don’ts”). As the old saying goes, a picture speaks a thousand words, but of course I also offered quite a few words in my posts, too!

wardrobe do's and don'ts

Speaking of wordiness, I originally planned for this to be a three-part series, but I’ve decided that there will now be a fourth part. As I was putting together what was supposed to be part three, I realized there was more to it than I had originally anticipated. Therefore, I decided to split it into two portions, today’s essay and another one that will go live next week. Clearly, I have a lot to say – and show – on the topic of wardrobe do’s and don’ts! I hope you’re finding this series both interesting and helpful.

The No Longer Do’s

In today’s post, I compare and contrast my 2015 list of wardrobe do’s with my newly created 2021 list to see what has changed. Upon reviewing my 2015 “do’s” list, I discovered ten characteristics that I highlighted as desirable back then that are no longer wardrobe preferences today. I list each one below and provide a bit of commentary around the reasons for the shift. As with parts one and two, I illustrate the points I make using examples from my own wardrobe. In today’s installment, almost all of the items shown have been purged from my closet (in most cases, several years ago), as they no longer fit my desired style. Let’s get started!

1. Gray clothing

Back when I had dyed auburn hair, I used to enjoy wearing all sorts of gray clothing, including the gray tops and toppers shown below:

no longer do's - gray clothing

Since I transitioned to my natural hair color, I no longer like to wear gray clothing. 

While I don’t think gray was ever really my best color, it worked reasonably well with my dyed hair, as I had relatively high contrast in my coloring at the time (this excellent post from Imogen Lamport beautifully illustrates the concepts of value and contrast). Now that I’ve transitioned to my natural “salt-and-pepper” hair color, most shades of gray look terrible on me, so this color is no longer a “do” for me. However, I will still occasionally wear a piece in a deep charcoal shade that actually works with my skin tone and hair.

2. Low-rise pants and jeans

The waistline on almost all of my pants and jeans used to end at least two inches below my belly button. Here are some of the pants and jeans that I enjoyed wearing around the time of my 2015 do’s and don’ts post:

no longer do's - low-rise pants and jeans

I used to like to wear lower-rise pants and jeans, but not anymore… 

Not only were low-rise pants the most prevalent style for a number of years, I also preferred them because I found them to be more comfortable than higher-rise garments. I’ve struggled with digestive issues for many years and find it uncomfortable to wear bottoms that are tight around my midsection. But I’ve also gone through menopause and my waist is no longer as svelte as it used to be, so I now prefer my pants to come up a bit higher.

My preferred rise is now more of a mid-to-high rise that ends right around my natural waist. I generally aim to buy pants and jeans that contain sufficient stretch to accommodate the abdominal bloating that I often experience, especially in the evenings.

I’ve had more success in finding comfortable pants than jeans, but I have managed to find some jeans that are less constricting for me. I don’t like jeggings or skinny jeans, even if they contain ample stretch, so my “white whale” pair of jeans has a straight cut, a mid-rise, and lots of “give,” while also having an inseam that’s long enough for me. It’s a tall order (pun intended), and black jeans that fit the bill still elude me, but I now have two pairs of blue jeans that meet my requirements.

3. Moto-style jackets

This style of jacket isn’t in the “no longer do” category because I dislike the way it looks. I actually enjoy moto-style jackets very much on other women, but they don’t work on me for several reasons. I have broad shoulders, a narrow torso, and ample hips, so it’s almost impossible for me to find a moto-style jacket that fits me in all three areas. I’m amenable to having the sides of my jackets taken in, and this is a common alteration for me, but most moto jackets are made from materials that are difficult to tailor. Additionally, when I size up to fit my shoulders and hips, the tailoring needed to fit my torso is often just too much.

Knit moto jackets used to work for me, as in the case of many of the pieces shown below, but I rarely see those types of jackets offered today.

no longer do's - moto-style jackets

I love the look of moto-style jackets, but they don’t work well on my body type. 

Also, the length can be an issue given my height. Most jackets that are a good hipbone length on other women are often too short for me. Additionally, as I’m sensitive about the size of my rear end (which is where I tend to gain weight), I prefer for my jackets to be a bit longer, such as the one at the bottom left in the image above. That particular jacket didn’t work for me for another reason, however. As is the case with many moto jackets, it only looked good when worn closed because the knit fabric was too “floppy” and wouldn’t stay in place when it wasn’t zipped up.

While I’m open to the possibility of finding a moto jacket that looks good on me and can be worn open (which is my preference), it’s not all that likely to happen, which is why moto-style jackets are no longer a “do” for me.

4. Cropped and Shrug Cardigans

Much like the moto jackets I wrote about in the previous section, shrug-style and cropped cardigans are no longer on my list of “do’s.” I now prefer my toppers to be a bit longer and either “bisect” my rear end (i.e., stop at the middle of it) or finish below it. I find that length to be more flattering on me now that my body is no longer as slim and firm as it used to be. I still like to wear tie-cardigans with my skirt and dress ensembles, but those toppers are a few inches longer than the ones shown below.

no longer do's - cropped and shrug cardigans

I now prefer that my cardigans are a bit longer than the ones pictured here. 

5. Tunics

My phase of liking to wear tunics was relatively short-lived, but I accumulated quite a few of them during that time, as pictured here:

no longer do's - tunics

I enjoyed wearing tunics for a short time, but I now prefer shorter and more fitted tops. 

As I’ve mentioned previously, I have a narrow torso, and even though my waist isn’t as slim as it once was, it’s still relatively small for a woman of my age. I like to highlight my narrow torso, as I feel that it’s one of my best features, and tunics tend to obscure rather than highlight that area.

Unless a tunic has some structure to it, I don’t feel all that fabulous wearing it. I like my tops to be more fitted than most tunics are, and I like them to be at least somewhat shorter than tunic length. I also dislike the side slits and curved hems that are common features of many tunics. So, for all of these reasons, I have crossed tunics off of my “do’s” list.

6. Maxi-Length Skirts and Dresses

For at least a few years, I was all about wearing floor-length skirts and dresses. I found them to be elegant, plus I liked the fact that I could wear flat shoes with them without feeling frumpy. As with many trends, I was a late adopter of the maxi silhouette. I got in on it towards the tail end of its popularity, when seemingly everyone was wearing maxis, especially in the Southern California beach area where I live.

Here’s a look at some of the maxi-length skirts and dresses that I loved and wore during the mid-to-late 2010’s:

no longer do's - maxi skirts and dresses

Maxi skirts and dresses used to be my favorite summer garments, but not anymore. 

I enjoyed wearing maxis for a long time, but I’ve gradually soured on them such that I currently own just one maxi skirt and two maxi dresses. I think I wore the skirt twice this past summer, but I didn’t wear the dresses at all. Of course, we’re still in a pandemic and I’m not wearing out-and-about garments as much as I used to, so my wear stats for 2020 and 2021 aren’t really representative of my “normal” situation.

It’s possible that I might continue to wear the maxis that I own, but I have no desire to purchase any new ones. We’ll see what happens next summer, but I think my current preference is for the now popular midi length that’s at least six inches shorter than a true maxi. That’s mostly the length of skirt and dress that I gravitate toward these days, and I bought a few dresses and one skirt of that length this year.

7. Knee-Length Skirts

Prior to my love of maxi-length skirts, I almost exclusively wore skirts that ended just below my knees. Most of those skirts had at least a slight A-line shape, and many of them could be referred to as “flared” in silhouette. I usually paired them with fitted sleeveless or short-sleeved tops, as well as either the cropped cardigans shown above or short fitted blazers. You can see photos of some of the ensembles I used to wear in this April 2021 post, but here are some examples of the skirts I previously owned:

no longer do's - knee-length skirts

I now prefer midi-length skirts, rather than the knee-length, A-line skirts I used to wear. 

Although I jettisoned most of the blazers prior to 2015, I continued to wear the knee-length skirts for the next few years with fitted tops and tie-cardigans. Swapping the blazers for cardigans gave me the more casual look that I preferred. It also helped me to avoid looking like I was on my way to church when I was instead running errands or enjoying coffee or a meal with my husband or a friend.

As my body changed with menopause, however, I no longer felt comfortable in the short, fitted tops and cropped cardigans. I also felt that the A-line skirts accentuated my larger bottom half. And most importantly, I no longer felt that this style of skirt was in line with the way I wanted to look. In fact, I hardly ever wear skirts anymore these days because I’ve had trouble finding any that I like.

Most skirts that I’ve seen in stores have been either too corporate-looking or too short and tight for my preferences. I’ve started to see more midi skirts on offer lately, so it’s possible that I might get back to wearing skirts regularly once again. But for now, I prefer dresses, and most of the ones I wear are in that middle ground between knee and maxi length.

8. Wearing Only Short-Sleeved and Long-Sleeved Tops with Pants

Back in 2015 when I wrote my original do’s and don’ts post, I preferred to only wear sleeved tops with my pants ensembles. I reserved the wearing of sleeveless tops for my skirt outfits. At the time, I felt that sleeved shirts balanced out my top and bottom halves more. I tend to be somewhat bottom-heavy, which is often more obvious when I wear pants than in skirts and dresses. I was also quite thin in 2015, especially in my upper body, which I think contributed to my looking more pear-shaped when I wore sleeveless tops with pants.

Now I’m a size or two bigger than I was in 2015 and my arms aren’t as firm and toned as they used to be, but I actually don’t mind pairing sleeveless tops with pants and jeans today. I usually end up also wearing some type of topper, as I run cold, but I wore sleeveless tops with cropped pants a number of times this past summer and was satisfied with my ensembles. Perhaps my proportions are now more balanced, or maybe my eye has just adjusted to a different silhouette, but I now happily wear tops with all types of sleeve lengths with pants.

I don’t have any pictures to show for this entry, as I haven’t taken many outfit photos the past few years. But suffice it to say that sleeveless tops with pants are now a “do” for me.

9. Bright-Colored Shoes

Remember when it used to be very much on trend to add a bright pair of shoes as a pop of color to an outfit, even when that color didn’t appear anywhere else in the look? Well, I tried to jump on board with that style and purchased a handful of colorful shoes, as shown below:

no longer do's - bright shoes

I now much prefer to wear black and metallic shoes, rather than these bright shoes or yesteryear. 

I was encouraged to try out this look in my virtual style consults with Bridgette Raes, who was (and I think still is?) a big proponent of wearing non-neutral footwear. However, I never felt truly comfortable having my shoes be the only instance of a color in a particular outfit. I always felt the need to include at least one other piece in that shade in my ensemble, and I sometimes ended up bringing in enough such items to be considered “matchy-matchy.”

Nowadays, I mostly keep it simple and wear only black and metallic shoes. The black shoes pair nicely with my mostly dark-colored bottoms, and my cool-toned metallic footwear provides a nice “bookend” for my hair. I currently own only one pair of shoes that isn’t black, metallic, or gray: my burgundy ankle boots. I love these boots, but I still only wear them with outfits that also include burgundy somewhere else, such as in a top, topper, or scarf. I’d be open to a multi-colored shoe option, perhaps an animal print or striped pair, but I’m no longer interested in wearing bright-colored footwear.

10. Colorful Jewelry

One of the goals I listed in my 2015 do’s and don’ts post was “aim to buy more colorful jewelry.” At the time, I thought I had too many neutral pieces in my accessory collection. I did end up purchasing quite a few colorful jewelry items over the next few years, but I didn’t love them as much as I hoped I would. I wore them on occasion, but I continued to reach for my neutral jewelry most of the time, especially my black and silver earrings, bracelets, and necklaces.

I still have some bright pieces that I wear, especially earrings in the blue family, but I put the brakes on buying any new colorful items. I also purged everything that I just wasn’t wearing, including most of the pieces shown below:

no longer do's - colorful jewelry

As with my shoes, I now prefer neutral jewelry instead of colorful pieces. 

I was able to “rescue” the earrings in the middle of the top row by painting the light green stone with metallic nail polish to create a more versatile neutral piece. I also still own the turquoise earrings in bottom row, but I don’t wear them all that often. I’ve found that although I love the look of turquoise jewelry, I can really only wear it with black and white clothing, as I don’t own any turquoise or similarly colored garments (not for lack of trying).

Conclusion and Your Thoughts

So, that was a look at my ten previous “do’s” that no longer hold appeal for me. It was interesting for me to reflect back on my former style preferences to see how they have changed. Of course, many of my do’s from 2015 remain the same, but I feel that the shifts mentioned in today’s post are significant, as are the ones that I’ll cover in my “no longer don’ts” post next week (there are ten of those, too!).

Now, I’d love to hear from you! Here are a few questions to help you gather your thoughts, but please feel free to comment however you’d like:

  • What types of garments, footwear, accessories, styles, and silhouettes did you used to love wearing but no longer do?
  • How has your personal style changed in recent years or over the course of your adult life?
  • What do you see as the reasons for those changes?

I look forward to reading about your “no longer do’s.” I hope you find this type of exploration helpful as you continue on your style journey.

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27 thoughts on “The Shift of Wardrobe “Do’s” Over Time

  1. Jelena says:

    I relate to the coloured shoes. They never look right on their own, so I add a scarf or a necklace. I mostly stick to black and metallic shoes, as my colouring is cool and dark. I’m also petite, so if I wear coloured footwear (I own several pairs in burgundy and navy for different seasons), it’s a column of colour. I don’t really care for looking taller, but slimmer and column of colour helps enormously.

    1. Debbie Roes says:

      You’re right that adding a scarf or necklace to coordinate with colored shoes can help a lot, Jelena. I still do that with the burgundy boots I have, but I usually also include an item of burgundy clothing. Even though I’m tall, I still like the look of a column of color, so that’s a formula I like to use often. It definitely is slimming, and I also think it looks chic and elegant.

      1. Jelena says:

        You’re right about looking elegant in a column of colour. It’s very important for me, too. As an H/rectangular shape, I usually wear an inner column. I’ve even created several variations of the same outfit, with dresses or pants and different heel heights.

        1. Debbie Roes says:

          Your inner column outfits sound nice, Jelena. I’m more likely to do an outer column of color, but I also have a different body shape (X shape). But your comment has me wanting to try the inner column more often, so I’m going to give it a go!

        2. Vildy says:

          You know, even though you often write about being sensitive about the size of your hips, I never have thought of you as either a pear or hourglass because you have been so successful at creating a sleek, elongated shape!

        3. Debbie Roes says:

          Thank you, Vildy! I’ve worked hard at learning to dress my body to accentuate my good points and play down those areas I’m less comfortable with. I think it helps that I have broad shoulders, as they balance out my hips. I have an “X” body shape as defined by Imogen Lamport, which is one of the two hourglass shapes (the other is an “8” shape). I’m sure you know about the body types, but here’s the link for those who may want to take Imogen’s body shape quiz and learn more:

        4. Jelena says:

          I see the column of colour as one of the most useful magic tricks to highlight your best assets and avoid drawing attention to the ones you don’t want to. I was amazed how different and better I looked.

        5. Vildy says:

          I’m one of the world’s real oddballs, apparently, as I don’t have any body image issues. Though I admit that when I knowingly eat things that will cause lower abdominal bloat, I don’t like that it ruins the line of clothing. 😀 But I do love the column of color – in my case the inside column – because I like an emphatic aspect to my outfits. I do like to highlight the gentle curve of my high upper hip since otherwise my hips are pretty straight. I also like Dress Like a Parisian’s idea that French women like to show the places of movement – the joints. Me, too. For me it’s all about movement – I don’t even care to look at red carpet/gala photos of people stuck against a background. I like the idea of movement so much that I don’t even care that I don’t have a graceful or attractive joint anywhere and would be objectively better off hiding ’em all. 😀 Look away! Look away! Elephant elbows. Well, the wrists are not so bad. 😀

          At 73, I have developed one “problem” and that is that I’ve lost close to 30 pounds over the last couple years and at my age my skin elasticity and collagen can’t keep up. I did this through dietary changes in service of giving my gut a rest and feeling more buoyant on my feet because I’m content with dressing my body whether it’s heavier or lighter. But now there’s wrinkles and sagginess where there never was. The worst of it, though, is the inner thighs, even though people are shocked when I ;mention how many times a day I am climbing stairs at home. Doesn’t do a thing for firming up my skin. On the other hand, I am not likely to be walking around in Daisy Duke shorts, anyway. Still, have commenced a regimen of several cups of bone broth a day partly for the collagen delivery and partly because the extra protein seems to help keep my neutrophil count up or repair it if the chemo takes it down too dangerously.

          I dress for myself, even at home, in order to keep feeling dynamic – that movement, again. 😀 But I also put effort into my outfits when I have to go out and have any kind of medical treatment or test. I want people to see me as full of life and be on my team for that reason vs any kind of pity. I get constant compliments on my outfits and my nurse practitioner and even my oncologist have regular conversations about clothing. I’m a kind of well-rehearsed introvert and so I’m defensively extroverted and friendly as a way of exerting some control over social situations. Since I’m dealing with so many women, including other patients I might sit next to, it’s a great icebreaker to be able to gab about clothes.

        6. Debbie Roes says:

          That’s wonderful that you don’t have body image issues, Vildy. Mine have been a major thorn in my side for so much of my life, and so difficult to overcome. I like what you wrote about wanting to see movement in clothes. I agree that so many red carpet looks are so much better in motion, which is part of why I like to watch the red carpet coverage of award shows rather than just looking at the pictures.

          I hear you about the loss of collagen when we age. For me, it seemed to happen pretty rapidly after menopause. I started using collagen powder a few years ago for digestive issues, but I think it has helped with my skin, too. I didn’t realize it might do that, but I think it has. Inner thighs can be a big problem for women in terms of elasticity, even for thin women. I’ve always done resistance training, but I’m trying to step it up as much as I can now to retain at least some of my muscle tone. Yeah, I don’t plan to wear Daisy Dukes, either! Good for you for drinking bone broth. Maybe I should do that, too, in addition to the collagen powder. I know bone broth has a lot of wonderful healing properties. I hope it helps you as you’re going through your chemo, and I wish you well overall with that challenging process.

          I think it’s wonderful that you dress up for your medical treatment and tests. The way we’re dressed impacts the way we feel, and it also impacts how others feel. It sounds like your lovely outfits are brightening the days of your medical team and I’m sure they enjoy seeing you as full of life (and it sounds as if you ARE). I can be a well-rehearsed introvert, too, but I’ve never heard it put that way before. Talking about clothes is always a great icebreaker! 🙂

        7. Phyllis Evans says:

          I want to clarify that I believe there are huge numbers of women who look magnificent through playing up the “flaws” that other women strive to disguise.  Example: Girl With Curves.  In my case, if my overall wrinkly sagginess were accompanied by a wiry, knobby, overly sunbaked appearance,  I could relish it as Boy, Has she ever lived! 😀   A kind of swashbuckling vagabond look.  Instead of Honey! I shrunk this lady!   ahahaha

        8. Debbie Roes says:

          I agree, Phyllis, that so much of it is about perspective. But it’s also about what a person is comfortable with. A lot of women love to show off their curvy hips, but that’s not me and I’d prefer to play them down. I remember Girl With Curves, and she looks lovely. I like your sense of humor with what you said towards the end… So much of everything is the way we look at it.

  2. Anonymous says:

    This resonates with me a lot. I used to go all or nothing with whatever shape currently seemed right to me- maxis, skinnies, etc- then get sick of all at once. Every few years, between preference and size changes, I’d turn over much of my wardrobe. Not sustainable, not cheap, and not in line with my life priorities.
    My current strategy is to have a variety of silouettes, but in neutrals only. Then it’s less to shift at once.
    The shoe comment resonated with me too. I’ve bought colorful statementy shoes but just felt self conscious. Even with having another piece in the color in the outfit, they feel too loud. I prefer my footwear to me low contrast to pants, skirt hems, or skin.

    1. Debbie Roes says:

      I like your strategy of having lots of silhouettes in neutral colors. I think that would help a lot with feeling less bored with one’s wardrobe, too (which is often what leads us to shop too much). I think that whenever new trends or silhouettes come along, it’s best to only “sample” them instead of diving in and accumulating a lot of pieces. It takes discipline to do that, though, and I haven’t had enough of it! I think the statement shoe look is something one either likes or doesn’t. I tried too hard to make it work, but I feel much like you do in wanting low contrast in terms of my footwear with my pants, skirts/dresses, and skin.

  3. Gail says:

    Hi, Debbie! When I was about 55 or so, I went through the big changes like yours. Before, I had liked sandals with thinner soles and quite low heels that clicked on the floor and looked fine with both casual and dressier (for me) outfits. After, I have been wearing only soft SAS oxfords and Oofos recovery sandals and clogs. I used to keep more shoes, and they matched the no-longer worn dresses I taught in. I usually had navy, black, brown. Now I am 75 and retired, living in a beach-type informal community. My dressy shoes are spongy Mary Janes! I wore heels when I lived with my mom and let her guide me. She was more traditonal. Once I moved out at 22, I ditched those along with the girdle. Now I have even ditched nylon hosiery.
    I do not–and this is the most recent change–wear skirts or dresses, nor do I wear pants with zippers. I never liked jeans–they feel harsh to me–but go for knit pants. I am small on top and like button-front shirts that I wear untucked. I feel I can go out in these and really never liked tees or anything over-the -head anyway. I like my soft hoodie, and it is the one item that may seem age-inappropriate, but it feels so good!
    I always had two bags–a regular one and a small dressy one. Now my shoulders do not support more than a small, light, cloth bag, which I use for all occasions.
    It is true for me as it is for you that grey doesn’t work any more. I still have a grey cardigan, but when it wears out, I will go with navy or charcoal, two favorites. I never liked citrus colors, but now I seem to wear blue 99% of the time. It is my calming and happy color. I still have a jacket that is black with pink trim and a beige and white shirt. When they go, it’s all blues, charcoals and some black.
    I still have a small wardrobe. I am comfortable with that and with my unfancy clothing items. I think age does require wearing comfort and ease of selection for many.
    It has been interesting to read about your transitions. Thank you for putting it out there.

    1. Debbie Roes says:

      Thanks for sharing about your wardrobe transitions, Gail, as well as what you like to wear now. I enjoyed learning more about you and your wardrobe preferences. Maybe the 50’s are when a lot of women shift what they like to wear. It sounds like you have a lot of clarity about what you like and what works best for you. I’m getting there, and it’s helping me a lot. I’m making fewer mistakes as I go along… I don’t think hoodies are necessarily age-inappropriate. My mom is a bit older than you and she has hoodies that she wears and looks good in. It’s interesting about gray clothing… I thought I would be able to wear it BETTER after my hair transition, but that’s not the case. I guess it can be for women with different skin tones than mine. I love to wear blue, too. Other than black, it’s my most common wardrobe color. And the older I get, the more I prioritize comfort. I want to feel like I’m wearing pajamas most of the time, but not look like it! I accomplish that much of the time, but not always.

  4. says:

    After losing some weight and paid employment, I like more fitted styles, no tunics. Painful feet means only Finn Comfort shoes; high cost means only black shoes. Hate blazers. I think gray-haired ladies look elegant all in gray lighter shades.

    1. Debbie Roes says:

      I agree that some gray-haired ladies look lovely in light gray, but that hasn’t been the case for me. Maybe when my hair is whiter in tone – I still have a lot of light brown in there. I haven’t tried Finn Comfort shoes, but I will check them out, as I have more foot problems now than when I was younger. I’ve heard that we lose a lot of the padding on our feet as we age, which is why we can’t comfortably wear certain footwear anymore.

  5. Rachel says:

    Once again: you are 100% on-trend (and my style rule twin)!
    all of these things – moto jackets, low-waisted pants, etc – were in style for most of us a few years ago…but much less so now.
    and: wow do I hear you on gray!…as a lifelong New Yorker whose pale skin made black a challenge even when my hair was dark, gray was my go-to back when I was dyeing my hair…but – with the exception of charcoal – it’s a no-go color now that I’ve ditched the dye…and boy, I miss it!! 😦
    the only difference for me is the sleeve length with pants rule…I’ve always been the opposite – pants feel so heavy to me that I’ve always tried to AVOID sleeves whenever possible…it felt dowdy to me (maybe that was just me? I don’t know)
    But weirdly, I’ve actually grown MORE comfortable with pants and sleeves over time… 😂 🤷‍♀️

    1. Debbie Roes says:

      I think that even when we transition to gray hair, we still have different skin tones, which is why some women with gray hair can wear gray clothing better than others. It’s a bummer that you used to love to wear gray and it’s not your best color anymore, Rachel. It was never my best color, but I did like to wear it, and now I mostly avoid it. Interesting about the sleeve length… I now like to wear both sleeveless and sleeved tops with pants, but I had a strong preference against sleeveless for a long time. I see what you mean about pants feeling heavy, though. I guess we all experience shifts in our preferences over time. I never thought to really examine mine before, but this has been an interesting series for me to write. It DOES seem like you and I share a lot of preferences 🙂

  6. Krissie says:

    I was always a big handbag, big earrings, and loud shoes kind of person way back then. Then with age along came painful feet, and achy shoulders from heavy handbags. Big earrings no longer suit me so I’ve swapped them for studs and very small hoops and hardly ever vary from that. I used to like loud shoes, now stick to black mainly for more formal wear and dark for casual too, not liking to stand out too much. When I discovered the dressing your truth system I discovered why I only like comfortable clothing and now it makes sense, so I honour that and buy softer stretchy fabrics, so jeans which I used to love are another change over from to softer lounge pants and any fabric as long as its soft and not structured. With handbags I’ve discoverd that small light totes suit me best, as in them I can transport a lot of things (usually eye glasses) etc while they dont give me a shoulder or neck ache . When going out I have one small black handbag, which I find too small actually but it suffices on going out in the evenings. With my hair being salt and pepper now the colours of clothes I used to like have also changed with the hair colour. Thank you Debbie for the questions, which have made me think of how things have changed during the course of time, not something I would think about usually by myself so thanks for brining to my attention.

    1. Debbie Roes says:

      Thanks for sharing your “no longer do’s,” Krissie. It sounds like you’re a Type 2 in Dressing Your Truth. I originally thought that was my type as well, but then I figured out that I’m a Type 4 with a secondary Type 2. My secondary is what leads me to want to wear comfortable knits most of the time, but I feel best when those items are in bold Type 4 colors. It helps a lot to learn about and honor our type – I love DYT and mostly follow the guidelines for my type. I struggle with jeans because I like the LOOK of them, but I never really find them comfortable enough. I’m glad this series has helped you to gain some insights. I never thought I would write THIS much about do’s and don’ts, but it’s been a great learning experience for me, too.

      1. Vildy says:

        There are or were some very realistic looking pajama jeans that people I knew wore – one woman’s mother bought them for her 😀 and she was skeptical until she tried them. Maybe they still make those?

        DYT is something I wished made sense for me. I’ve read and watched a ton of it. I wish there were a type where the energy flows *upward* from the feet because that would be me. 😀

        I do pretty continual wardrobe purging and was just recently surprised at how two Do’s have turned into Don’ts. I used to always wear lurex and now want to avoid it. Kept a couple of things, one because it’s the only orchid item I have, and otherwise purged all of it. And then
        a kind of metallic tarnished bronze color. As a girl, found a pin of a sailing ship in this finish
        at the dime store and loved it because everything else was always bright and shiny. Began to
        collect and wear this color in clothing. Wore it for years. Lately, though, have reacted negatively to it and gotten rid of everything I had.

        And, like you, I have become disaffected with lighter greys. Have kept one knit sweater skirt
        and little matching “jacket” style top but otherwise I strongly prefer charcoal. I particularly love what I think of as “charcoal blue”.

        1. Debbie Roes says:

          Thanks for the jeans tip, Vildy. I’ve tried two types of “pajama jeans” (the actual brand name, Pajama Jeans and another brand whose name escapes me). Neither one worked out, but I’m still very open to the concept. I would love to find jeans that are as comfortable (or close) to sweatpants or even my non-jean pant styles.

          DYT definitely isn’t for everyone, and from what I know about you, it seems like it might be too restrictive for someone who likes to dress in a more eclectic manner. I don’t follow all of the rules myself, but the basic framework for my type works for me.

          Thanks for sharing about your “no longer do’s.” Sometimes I think I will NEVER tire of a particular color or style (maxi skirts and dresses are one example), but it usually seems to happen at some point. I would be shocked if I ever tired of black or stripes, but it could happen… Like you, I love “charcoal blue.” It’s my favorite type of gray, but not that easy to find.

  7. Jenn says:

    My style has definitely evolved over the past couple of decades. When I appeared more youthful, I could pull off a plain cardigan without looking frumpy, but not anymore! That look ages me. My retirement from a (conservative) office seven years ago also called for a style overhaul, which I’m sort of still adjusting to.

    I’ve never been one for bright shoes (though a playful part of me would like to be), and my version of statement necklaces has always been a bit understated (and now even more so). I used to wear heels almost every time I left the house—but now I rarely wear them. I’m way more comfort-oriented these days.

    You’ve got me thinking about gray. As someone who looks less alive in black, I have a lot of gray. It’s not a problem now, with my colored hair, but I might want to branch out a bit—for when I no longer want to color my hair.

    As someone with neutral coloring who leans cool, much of my jewelry is in silver tones. However, I’ve noticed gold shows up on me more and can help neutralize the cool colors I often wear. So I have recently purchased a gold necklace which I layer with another gold necklace I already have and am enjoying the effect. It adds a much-need “pop” to my simple pieces and makes my casual tops appear dressier.

    In the DYT system, I’m primarily a 2 that leans 1. Soft colors (that aren’t too muted) complement me, but so does a T-shirt striped in white and emerald green.

    As I’ve gotten older, it takes me forever to get used to new looks and silhouettes. I often joke that by the time I do, they are about to go out of style—not that I care too much about that. Anyway, as someone who has had trouble letting go of her skinny jeans, I’m noticing I no longer want to buy pants that cling to my thighs. So I do think my eyes are adjusting to the straighter legs.

    1. Debbie Roes says:

      It’s interesting how we have to be more careful not to veer into frumpy territory as we age, Jenn. I’ve found the same thing, especially with things that are oversized or overly plain. I still like to wear heels and love the way they look, but I have been experiencing more pain when I wear them for long periods of time lately (which I’m sad about).

      As for gray, it still works for some ladies with gray hair, but it can be tricky. You should still enjoy it while your hair is dyed, but it doesn’t hurt to explore other colors. The “charcoal blue” shade that Vildy mentioned above would likely work for most women with gray hair, as it’s very cool-toned. You’re lucky to have neutral coloring, as it affords you more choices in colors for clothing and jewelry. I wish I could wear gold well, but it doesn’t look good on me. I love gunmetal as well as silver, but gunmetal hasn’t really been available much lately.

      I can picture you more now that you said you’re a DYT 2/1. I think my mom is a 1/2, so somewhat similar. A white and emerald green striped tee sounds fabulous. I chuckled at your last paragraph, as it’s very true for me, too. I tend to be a very late adopter, but I’m happy about the straighter leg jeans, But by the time I embrace wide leg silhouettes, they’ll likely be on their way out!

  8. Murphy says:

    As usual, your post has gotten me thinking, Debbie! I can relate to several of your style shifts!

    Like you, I have mostly given up on knee-length skirts, which I used to wear all the time for every occasion. One day I put on a favorite flouncy tweed skirt and a matching cashmere pullover, looked in the mirror, and realized I looked frumpy and like I had aged ten years. So I got rid of all my skirts except for a leather A-line and one A-line cotton print – I’m not sure why, but they are flattering.

    Now I wear pants or jeans 95% of the time and dresses the rest of the time- mostly for dressy occasions. I could wear dresses more but my fussy, painful feet do better in supportive shoes than tend to be clunky and look best with pants. My pants are all skinny or narrow/straight leg, which just flatters my body shape better.

    I used to wear mostly solid color tops, but I have branched out to some flattering prints. Also, I wear fewer tees and more often go for flowing fabrics. I don’t tuck tops as often, mostly preferring to wear them untucked because I am short-waisted. I still love my cashmere v-necks, but I got rid of my twin-set collection because they made me look frumpy. I kept only one that was a sentimental favorite, but I don’t wear it too often.

    Finally, I’m transitioning to more comfortable clothes: pants and jeans with more stretchy fabrics and more give in the waist, and tops that are fitted but that skim over my still-thin-but-less-firm middle.

    This is interesting to reflect on and I love reading about everyone’s style shifts!

    1. Debbie Roes says:

      I’m so happy that my posts get you to thinking, Murphy! That’s what they’re there for 🙂 I wonder why we both started to find knee-length skirts frumpy-looking. Maybe it has to do with our eyes adjusting to new trends and silhouettes, or maybe we just got tired of them. Like you, I wear pants much of the time, but I do still like to wear dresses in the summer. It’s challenging with the shoes, so I get it… That’s why I loved maxi lengths for so long, as they looked good with flats.

      It seems like you’ve made some big transitions in terms of “no longer do’s.” Many of your transitions are the same as mine, so I wonder if they are mostly age-related (I think we’re close to the same age). Reading about your transition from tees to flowing fabrics got ME thinking! Perhaps that will be a style shift for me. I do find myself craving more “special tops” that don’t require as much layering and accessorizing. Maybe I will do another check-in on do’s and don’ts a year from you and we can all weigh in.

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