now that the holidays are behind us it’s time to get my date night game on. what exactly is date night and why do mr. style and i bother with a special night dedicated to a bit of fun after nearly thirty-four years of marriage? and why do i pick out special clothes? i mean we have been going on dates for years. what’s all the hullabaloo? but i had an interesting email from a reader the other day that made me pause for a moment. and i thought i would share an excerpt. don’t worry said reader shall remain nameless but i suspect she speaks for more than one of us:
I would like to mention something you know intuitively and maybe would want to remind your followers occasionally…and that is what “putting yourself together in the morning” does for your psyche the rest of the day.
I struggle with mild depression and take daily meds to keep it mild. To the world and my wonderful family I appear normal, so that’s good but inside I’m not. Since I’ve found your website I’ve become refreshingly aware of the impact of “how I look” is on my depression. When I see you all “turned out” in something cute and ready for the day’s events, I realize that’s the first step in “facing” the day. The next is what you show in your face…”happiness,” “optimism” and how you carry and present yourself…with “confidence” and “panache.”
so why do i bother pulling together a special outfit for date night or any night or day for that matter? because it’s good for the soul. as a young mother many years ago, one lucky day (if you believe in luck), it dawned on me that i would be of no use to anyone, let alone my husband or my children if i didn’t take care of myself. how could i truly love others if i didn’t first love me? and isn’t that the dilemma of a nurturer? putting your needs ahead of others? it’s just so gratifying to see our loved ones feeling joyful and fulfilled. and it’s oh so easy to pencil yourself in at the bottom of the list.
but there’s a valuable lesson to be learned with placing a priority on ourselves. because if there’s no me, there’s no us, and there’s no them. if i’m not whole, and happy, and content with just me, myself, and i how on earth could i possibly make others feel loved, feel complete, feel whole? and that’s my goal while i walk this earth for however many years i’m granted – to love. to give that love freely with no expectations, an abundance of forgiveness, and no regrets. and it begins with me. it begins with you. it starts with taking care of yourself day-in and day-out. with simple things like reading a book, or taking a golf lesson, or maybe a daily walk before the sun rises. maybe it’s learning italian because you’re planning a trip to italy. i love mani’s and pedi’s and facials. go ahead, fill in the blank. because we’re all so different, amazing and unique. and i encourage each of you to nurture not only your soul but your body as well. exercise, nutrition, and skin care are part of my daily regime to help me be the best me i can be.
i know we all live busy lives and it’s ever so easy to lose sight of yourself, or your wardrobe, or the importance of putting your best foot forward each and every day. it takes work to plan an outfit, or schedule date night, but as i mentioned it’s good for the soul. so after all these years of marriage, i’m still going to make the effort to look my very best. and attend a concert or play, go bowling or visit a vineyard or dine at one of our favorite restaurants. because it’s good for me, and it’s good for mr. style, and in the end it’s good for our children and anyone else we come into contact with.
so for today’s date night i chose a pair of bermudas i picked up last week at banana republic. it looks as if the online inventory is low so take a look at this pair or this one. recently, i suggested popping a blazer over the top of a pair of sporty shorts. and that’s just what i did. j.crew is one of my favorite stores to shop for blazers as they typically are well-made with workable button holes and nice finishing details like striped linings or brass buttons.
to keep the color scheme simple and classic i slipped on a sleeveless white shirt from misook but if you like sleeves take at look at this shirt. since the overall outfit errs on the side of sophistication i couldn’t resisit slipping into wedge sandals. this pair is years old so take a look at this pair. or this one. i love how they add a boost of height.
a handbag is a practical accessory as it schleps all of our must-have items like driver’s license and wallet in style. this particular bag is by ralph lauren. here’s one that is similar or this one.
it looks as if another ootn is in the books. and guess what? it’s already wednesday. we’re halfway through the week. happy hump day, ladies! and don’t forget to do something nice for yourself today. you are worth it.
shorts | top | blazer | sandals | handbag | handbag
is the Founder and CEO of Style at a Certain Age. She writes Sundays-Fridays on all topics ranging from fashion, health, wellness, home design and more.
She’s 63, 5’8, and size 8.
Well said Beth
A very inspiring post today .
So true – thank you so much for your words!
Excellent post! Like your reader, I have experienced varying stages of the “blues”. Caring for myself, my appearance and general well-being, is vital. If we don’t take care of ourselves, it’s sure as shootin’ that no one else will. A question for you: I turn seventy in a couple of weeks and my daughter and granddaughter are coming up from Texas. I think she has scheduled a photography session for us and I’m stumped as to what to wear. She said to “dress up”. Since retirement, I don’t dress up much but wouldn’t mind getting a dress that could be worn for different occasions. Jacket dress, wrap dress, what would you suggest? xoxo
Wonderful post and a great reminder to us all. I agree with you on your philosophy and it is one that my Mom has taught me. Even at 85 she still gets up and fixes up and it is very rare she will ever be found without perfect hair and lipstick. A wonderful role model for me. Thanks for keeping us all in check and on our toes!!
Beautiful, Beth. Just beautiful. This made my day. Thank you.
Great post Beth!
It’s like what they tell us on airplanes–if an emergency happens where you’d need oxygen, put your own mask on first and then proceed to help others. If we don’t take care of ourselves, who the heck is going to!? Very true.
Love the bag with those berms! (My son lived/worked in Bermuda some years ago, and he wore them all the time to work.)
I couldn’t agree with you more Beth about the need to take care of ourselves and present ourselves in a lovely life affirming manner to the world. Areas I need to work on are my casual, at home and running around outfits. This is one place, I sometimes neglect to take the time to really put together a flattering look.
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