stylish self-expression as we age

who are you?  probably one of the most basic questions; and probably one of the most debated ones throughout history.  i’m not a philosopher, so i don’t and won’t have any deep answers here.  but today i’m thinking about the idea of self-expression through style.  as a reader recently pointed out, when a life event like a death happens, you’re gonna reflect on who you are in some form or another—like it or not.  and this week since i’ve talked about career and trailblazing women through the lens of fashion, i thought i’d turn it inward:  how do we express ourselves through fashion, especially as we age?   

fashion foot forward

fashion can say everything about us; or it can say nothing at all.  that’s the beauty of it, really.  every morning, we can wake up with the intent to express to the world a myriad of different aspects of who we are simply with what we wear.  it’s powerful.  through simple outfit choices—basic color combinations—we can express confidence, intelligence, and social-awareness.

it will come as no surprise to you that one of my go-to looks is preppy.   it has been my entire life.  over the years, i’ve talked about that aesthetic on the blog here, here, and here.  i’m a generally cheerful and optimistic person.  i’m deliberate and mindful.  this is what preppy conveys to me.  and this is doubly true as i’ve gotten older—more confident in who i am and the fashion choices i make.  

similar coat (Talbots) | denim (Ann Taylor) | shoes (J.Crew) | Similar Tote (Nordstrom)

today i’ve put together a perfectly preppy autumn outfit.  i’ve gone with a mixture of Talbots, Ann Taylor, J.Crew, and Nordstrom. (Make sure to check out J.Crew‘s sale.)  i’ve got on a perfectly plaid coat that Ann Taylor can’t keep in-stock.  so i’ve got a similar coat from Talbots for you. 

as i’ve said numerous times this week:  nothing says fall like plaid.  and plaid is in a big way this year.  i’ve paired the coat with a pair of skinny jeans from Ann Taylor.  we’ve talked a lot about denim this fall, and make sure to check out the different types of sported below. 

can’t keep it in stock

similar coat (Talbots) | denim (Ann Taylor) | shoes (J.Crew) | similar tote (Nordstrom)

the weather has finally turned here in Athens.  it’s getting chilly outside.  yesterday on the blog, it was all about blazers.  today, it’s all about coats.  as i mentioned, Ann Taylor can’t keep this plaid one in-stock.  so i’ve got a similar coat from Talbots for you.  i’ve also compiled a list of fall coats and their variations i’m currently loving.  and make sure to stay-tuned to our YouTube channel.  more on jackets soon!  

penny loafers for your thoughts

similar coat (Talbots) | denim (Ann Taylor) | shoes (J.Crew) | similar tote (Nordstrom)

part of the preppy style is a good pair of penny loafers. so easy.  so stylish.  so comfortable.  if you need to be on your feet all day, get a pair.  your tootsies will thank you.  and they pair so perfectly with a skinny pair of denim.  

if you missed our Monday’s post, i put together a large selection of fall bags. today i’ve got a simple leather tote.  super simple, but super practical.  you can grab a similar tote at Nordstrom.

all right, gang!  hump day is here.  we’re halfway through the week.  today, talk to me about your personal style and aesthetic.  what does it say about you?  what do you want to project with it?  have you maintained and developed your style through the years?  or has it changed?  has it evolved, or are you totally rethinking it?  leave a comment below.  your outpouring of love, support, and interest is always an inspiration to me. 


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  1. Gray wrote:

    The blog is great and I am loving the updates. I have sent several friends here, who don’t read blogs at all. You’re one of my inspirations…KEEP IT UP. You’re persevering during this tough time….

    Posted 10.9.19
  2. nancy page wrote:

    Love everything about this look.

    Posted 10.9.19
  3. Suzanne M Smith wrote:

    Good looking coat! I agree it’s very similar to the Talbots version, too. We went to brunch this morning and it was such a pleasant temp out there today. I’m so ready for fall, and it was fun to get out some fall clothes and feel comfortable in them. Hope you are doing well, Beth…

    Posted 10.9.19
  4. Christine wrote:

    I take time to “coordinate” my outfits . I love the basics – traditional, classic , capsule wardrobes, preppy … I suppose that is my style . I prefer neutrals with splashes of color in accessories- shoes , bags , jewelry , scarves .
    My challenge at this point in my life is to keep on a budget and spend less …
    I love to dress nicely , but find things are so expensive ! Any hints ???

    Posted 10.9.19
    • Tammy wrote:

      You always look perfectly polished, Beth! I find I still have my same love for the classics, but having recently retired my clothing needs and budget have changed. I would love tips on still staying on trend for less!

      Posted 10.10.19
  5. Kim wrote:

    Interesting topic. My personal style has been described classic with an edge. I like to have a classic look but then throw in something unconventional. Could be an accessory or unusual shirt, shoes, etc. I like to see women who age gracefully but don’t let themselves go. People are living longer and there is plenty of time for doubleknit elastic waist-band pants. Not. Then there is the other end of the spectrum: women who become caricatures of themselves with too many whimsical touches. Your thoughts?

    Posted 10.9.19
  6. Vicki wrote:

    Oh my gosh! If I could just have everything you have. My style is pretty much the same, preppy. I remember the Shetland sweaters from my college days. I buy classic and sometimes it never goes out of style and if it is good quality, I drag it back out of my stored clothing. Unfortunately, that doesn’t keep me from wanting everything new and buying as much as I’m able. My only issue is that I am a petite and some of your beautiful choices don’t come in petite. 🙁 Thanks for your blog and I’m so glad I found it!

    Posted 10.9.19
  7. Janellyn Lipinski wrote:

    Very nice…..

    Posted 10.9.19
  8. valerie taylor wrote:

    I am totally rethinking my style as a woman of 64 I find I am awash not wanting to be old as I am youthful in appearance and personality but not wanting to dress as if I am still in my 30s so definitely rethinking! Although preppy is not my style and I am hour glass as well I must try to sort thru styles I do love your blog and follow closely. It helps

    Posted 10.9.19
  9. I have loved a corporate look from as early as 14yrs old. When I was finally old enough to wear suits, I was all in. I loved the fabric and the beautiful tailoring. I felt strong, elegant and in control. Being a geek, I was used to standing out, but this style me feel good about that. It took me up the ladder quickly, but it wasn’t until I had children that I discovered what it took to own your own path. When I retired, I had met a new girl pal who thought I looked too formal in my beloved suits, so I followed her down a new path. Well…I am back in blazers, but not matchy, matchy.
    I love her style on her, but I felt very adrift without my suits. I wear them in a very modern way, and I thank her for helping me rethink them. I love your look, which is really very similar to mine for the most part. I am short and pear figure, so belts have never been my strong point although I love the look. I too am known for my smile, and positivity. Helping people just makes my heart sing.
    My mum always said that there was a silver lining in every cloud, and I added that sometimes you have to dig a little deep to find it. Your silver lining, is that you are reaping the love that you instilled in your wonderful boys all these years….and you have discovered yourself and your strength in this wonderful endeavor that is Style at a Certain Age. Hugs.

    Posted 10.9.19
  10. Julie Mycock wrote:

    Hi Beth, I think my style is the classics with a difference, I like to add a pop of colour but sometimes I think simple says volumes too. I’ve always loved Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn but I found your blog two years and you became my inspiration because you gave me the insight to think outside the box at times, not just through clothes but hair and make-up too, so thank you Beth, xoxo

    Posted 10.9.19
  11. Susan wrote:

    Hi Beth..Love your blog today! I have a very classic style, sort of preppy, I still tie sweaters around my shoulders if it is chilly. I do like a capsule wardrobe! I am overwhelmed with an bursting at the seams closet! I chose anything new very carefully. I like neutrals, beige, black navy and grey. I have beautiful scarfs, great shoes and bags for a pop of color.
    I can take 10 pieces and make 30 outfits and love doing it! I love your style, but not sure I could live with so many choices! You do a wonderful job!!

    Posted 10.9.19
  12. Jeanette wrote:

    I am a woman in my 60’s too, I have been overweight for most of my life. Life changes and now I am at a sensible weight. So I am now faced with the candy store of clothes I always wished to wear but felt I couldn’t due to my size. I really do feel we spend too much time thinking about whether we should be wearing a certain style at a certain age. I love an outfit with a twist and enjoy reading your blog and challenging myself to have fun with my fashion. Thank you.

    Posted 10.9.19
  13. Robyn wrote:

    I turned 60 this June. As I age I’m craving simplicity. Simplicity in dress, hair, makeup and decor. My style is probably considered quiet. Basics with an edge. My style icons are a cross between Emmanuelle Alt, Carolyn Bisset Kennedy and Audrey Hepburn. I like some preppy clothes if they’re toned down and simple.

    Posted 10.11.19

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