Going senior doesn’t mean that you suddenly forget all about style the moment birthday number 65 arrives. Heck (to be polite) no! Not today. The senior label may have once conjured up a stereotypical picture of balding men wearing cardigan sweaters and slippers and gray-haired women dressed in sweats or frumpy, flowery dresses. Scary thought when you consider that the Census Bureau projects this 65+ group to number 72 million in the U.S. by 2030.
When you reach those golden years, you may not be like Betty White, hosting Saturday Night Live in her 80s. But seniors today are active (including sexually), yes more youthful, and will live longer. Life expectancy was 47.3 years on average in 1950 and at the beginning of this Millennium, 76.9 years (figures from the National Center for Health Statistics).
Your retirement will also lead to style changes that you should anticipate. It’s not just about impressing others, but more about feeling confident and good about yourself.
If the financial meltdown decimated your retirement savings, you may be working well past 65. While you do have a job, keep in mind that you will eventually be free of your nine to five schedule. Then, you might find that those business suits, for instance, are left hanging in the closet while your choices of casual style clothing are way too limited. So before you buy more clothes for work that may soon retire with you, build up your wardrobe of separates so you can transition to permanent time off.
Aging Changes in Wardrobe
Your hair gets grayer, thinner. You get wrinkles. Gravity puts sags where you don’t want them. And thinning skin makes veins pop out on your legs. Each affects what you wear. A medical condition for instance may require you to avoid styles with too many buttons or zippers in the back.
If you’re female, you may want to change your hairstyle to a shorter cut or a layered look to disguise thinning. Men who are losing hair should avoid combing the longer strands over the bald spots. Both genders can color hair as long as the colors you choose are lighter. Strong or dark colors are not flattering to older, wrinkled skin. If you’re not sure, consult a hair stylist.
Mini skirts or loud shirts definitely don’t belong in a senior’s wardrobe. Clothes that are too tight or too large for your body only accent what you want to downplay. You lose height too so choose shapes that help you look taller.
What about shoes? Comfort comes first. If you like high heels, bring the height down a notch. Beware of styles that are too easy to slip on and off. They could cause you to trip or fall.
Dressing for Lifestyle
If you’re planning to travel, or not, it makes sense to choose clothes in fabrics that resist wrinkles. The less you have to fuss, the better. Even drycleaning could become a financial burden on a fixed income.
One final interesting statistic in 65+ in the United States from the National Center for Health Statistics deals with female dominance as age rises. While male births are about 5% higher than females, women start to outnumber men as early as age 35. That means more senior women will likely be single. All the more reason for both sexes to always look in style.