The Day That Fashion Passed Me By

I distinctly remember when I felt that fashion was, essentially, passing me by. 

I was living in East Texas and one of my favorite stores was Coldwater Creek. I was so excited when they came to town. I'd been shopping from their site for years. 

Then one day I walked in and strolled down the aisles. And not one thing appealed to me. 

I recall getting the attention of a sales clerk, (the place was all but empty), and I asked her what had happened to all the pretty clothes they used to sell.

She explained to me that the company was trying to get the attention of the "thirties and under woman" and had restructured their clothing lines. Or something to that effect. 

I remember telling her that when I was under 30, I didn't have the money to shop in their kind of store. And when I was over 40 and could afford it, they no longer had one item of clothing that appealed to me.

With that, I walked out of the store, never to return. 




Jeans had gone below the navel. How many women my age could get away with that during menopause? 

Tops were tight. How could I possibly pull that off?

I felt betrayed in a way. Were women over 40 supposed to just lie down and die?
Then I got a divorce and moved here.

I told myself I didn't care about fashion any longer. And I guess I really didn't for awhile. 



But then, something just aligned with the stars. All of a sudden, I was seeing styles that appealed to me again. 







Oh, pretty clothes, where have you been hiding???

I haven't busted out the pocketbook to purchase anything yet. But now I get a little excited when I see these new-to-me styles. 

Because after my ankle accident, I gained 20 pounds. Which means most of my clothing is gathering dust in the closet. 

And I don't have the kind of money I had when I walked into Coldwater Creek that day at least 10 years ago.



But light is beginning to glow at the end of the fashion tunnel.

So yesterday I started a Pinterest board on fashion. Something I thought I'd never do. 

You see, there are some women who can get through menopause and still have a flattering figure. 

But there are probably many, many more that lose that shape they once admired in the mirror. 

And lose their confidence along with it. 

I am one of those women.

It isn't that I didn't want to look pretty. It's that fashion had passed me by. And after awhile, I ceased to allow myself to care. 

Or so I thought.

It isn't fair. No. No it's not.



We can't stop the clock. 

But perhaps we've been searching for beauty in all the wrong places. 

Many of us over 50 women have learned how to live alone, and love and embrace the simple things in life. 

We've learned that our time is important and to finally surround ourselves with people we actually like. 

Many of us have had babies (and have the stretch marks to prove it). Our bodies have morphed into something we no longer recognize, but have to live with and find clothing for.


Magazines and advertisements may not tell us we're beautiful.

So we have to tell ourselves that we are, and not let fashion leave us in the dust. (We don't have to follow trends.)

And then we've got to find clothing that will work with our curves. So we can look in the mirror and feel good about ourselves again.


Blogs I have found that I'll be watching...

A Well Styled Life
Best Of Everything After 50
Chic At Any Age


24 comments

  1. I've felt exactly like this Brenda and now I am mid 50's I finally feel I am getting my own style at last. I am a larger lady but I love colour, even my hair is now pink and suddenly complete strangers are coming up to me {mostly women of my age) and saying how much they like it and wishing they were brave enough to do something similar. I love some of the clothes you have pictured, very me and I find linen dresses so comfortable to wear with leggings or tights. A very thoughtful post Brenda and treat yourself when you can to a piece of clothing that makes you feel good because it is true that a smile really is the best thing you can wear :-)

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  2. Yay! So glad for you Brenda! Love all the pretty colors and styles you have shown here. I hear you on menopause and being over 50 thing. (I'm 51 next month) I'm having a hard time on finding the right fit for the ever growing bust area. Ugh, can't stand it!

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  3. So so so true, Brenda. Sometimes I look in the mirror and think---WHERE did SHE go (the old me)? lol I have found some clothes I like lately, too. I think things go in cycles and I for one like what I am seeing out there again. I need to look at those blogs! xo Diana

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  4. I'm definitely not a fashionista and I simply wear yoga pants or shorts and cotton tops around the house if I'm not going anywhere because comfort is key, plus I'm always working around the house. When I run errands, I at least wear a nice pair of jeans or capris and a pretty top. And I do have some "fancier" clothes for special occasions, but I keep my wardrobe minimal. I'll be 54 next month and I'm actually at the lowest weight I've been in many years, but menopause has not been kind to my belly!

    I never cared too much for Coldwater Creek (too middle-aged looking; over-priced - though I did have a nice jacket of that brand that I found at Goodwill!) and now the brick and mortar stores have gone out of business. I find that Jones of NY tops fit me well - I find them inexpensively at TJ Maxx or Goodwill. Two other inexpensive places to shop for clothes for us middle-aged women are Ross and Burlington.

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  5. I have noticed that this style they call "vintage prairie" is figure friendly to me, too! The tight tops and low slung jeans must be gone, or at least I hope so. I am sixty-seven and overweight, but I recently found two loose, colorful, and flattering tops at a department store and when I looked online I discovered the trends were coming back around to my style again! I say lets stock up quickly before they change and leave us not liking anything again! You found some lovely styles, now I'm going back to look at them again.

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  6. I hung in there with the 'fashion' until I lost my job. At home all the time and no money did not keep me up to date. I found some cute things before going to Paris, but now most of them don't fit. I know I need to lose weight but I also need to clothe the body I have now. I have finally found a few styles I like and have gathered a small wardrobe of church,out to eat with friends and shopping outfits. I'm not the most stylish but I feel better about myself. I hope you find some clothes and share the styles with us.

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  7. I have recently rediscovered my love of fashion and I have been having fun getting dressed again. I have even shared a few outfits on Instagram!! Selfies and sharing are something I said I would never ever do...and look at me now! I'm a middle aged wanna be fashion blogger! ;-) Love that last boho outfit!! Fabulous.

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  8. That third picture speaks to your bohemian side Brenda. Very pretty!

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  9. Oh my. You hit the nail on the head. My once tiny waist exploded! And now I have a belly. Ha! We get soft and round...like grandmothers. The better for snuggling kiddos. Ha! Sheila

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  10. I love the long tops that are in style right now, but I'm mighty afraid they'll pass within a year or two as most styles do. There's a store called Christopher and Banks - I used to buy all my clothes there. Then like Coldwater Creek the styles dramatically changed and they had nothing I wanted. Well low and behold they learned that the younger set just didn't want to shop there. So now they're back to selling "old lady clothes" - the type you and I like that look nice on us. But I never went back. All my clothes shopping now is at Macy's with heavy discount coupons, sales, and my Macy's card. Great deals if you work the system.
    Mary

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  11. Brenda, Coldwater Creek actually went out of business for a time but now they are back online. Maybe they've changed for the better and you might like them again. I'm not sure if they have any real stores.

    I'm 56, and being plus-size cancels out a lot of clothing stores for me. I tend to buy most of my clothes from Chicos, Talbots, Blair, and Woman Within. I think stores/sites like JC Penny, Soft Surroundings, and Northstyle have nice clothing for our age group.

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  12. So true Brenda.. Agree with the above post. I think clothing goes in cycles, and this years things are better. Love all the tunics and the pretty colors.. I am 61 and the menopause time is AWFUL... [don't think I will ever get through the hot flashes.lol]
    Hope you will be able to buy your self a pretty new outfit soon.

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  13. You are an inspiration to women everywhere, Brenda - and I am proud to call you my friend. Xo

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  14. Well said, Brenda. I love the last outfit-not sure I could wear it but it speaks of an independent, comfortable with who I am attitude. I 've always liked soft, pretty styles, florals in particular.

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  15. Here's a little story about Coldwater Creek -- in 2013 we moved to Parkersburg WV for a year. When we got there, I found out that Coldwater Creek had a big distribution center near the town, and I planned to apply there for a job. But before I had a chance to apply, Coldwater Creek announced it was going out of business and the distribution center was closed down. So I guess that the changes they made to their clothing line weren't so good for business!

    I'm 60 now and I quit paying as much attention to fashion in my 50s. For the past decade it seems like I just always fall back on wearing jeans or khakis with a plain T-shirt. I always wear simple little post earrings and for a big event I put on a necklace. Wow, what a fashion statement! I need to jazz things up too, so I look forward to what you share with us on this topic.

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  16. I love this post Brenda. There are a few of us fashion bloggers over 50 with softer figures. I think when we roll over and say fashion doesn't matter or there's nothing out there for me, there won't be. I switched to a primarily fashion blog two months ago and my numbers have nearly doubled. Women of all ages do care how they look and we need let the fashion industry know that. Great post my friend.

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  17. Great post!!!! A few years ago I went through a fashion slump as well. I stopped highlighting my hair and stayed in yoga pants and sloppy tees most of the time. I felt "old". Then a couple of years ago something clicked and I wanted to look and feel better about myself. I "discovered" flowy, tunics and leggings and straight leg pants and fell in love! The tops cover my middle which isn't as trim as it used to be and the flowy fit reminds me of my hippy girl days - yet they are more grown up. JJill is another good store that has some great sales on loose, quality clothing. There is another really good blog called 50 Is Not Old - http://50isnotold.com/. Her name is Tania and she wears beautiful clothes that she finds at reasonable prices and at consignment stores. She also has a Facebook Page and a Pinterest Page. One of the stores she recommends is glamourfarms.com/ and I love their tops. I am looking forward to viewing your Pinterest also!

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  18. I can't recommend the floral kimono enough! I have one almost exactly like the photo above and it's my favorite piece of clothing. On hot days it covers bare arms without adding too much heaviness, and on cool days I can wear it over a long sleeve or 3/4 sleeve tee. I think you will really enjoy it if you order one!

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  19. I agree whole heartly. I still wear blue jeans (probably bury me in them) but I love the new tops they have now. I own 4 nice dresses that I bought at Goodwill (new they were very expensive) but I got them for $1.50 each. I don't wear them however, because I can't find shoes to go with them. And I don't have anyplace to go but when I do I will have something nice to wear and worry then about the shoes. The style now days is that you go bare legged. I still want to wear my pantyhose because I want something between my feet and my shoes. Does anyone else have this problem?

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  20. Amen Brenda, thanks for always putting into words what the rest of us are feeling. You're not alone..... And neither are we. Thanks for being here for us.

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  21. I agree.. but there seem to be more and more cute things "out there" that work with our mature curves. Another great blog is lemonlanestyle.com She is not just a fashion blog but has an area "Fashion over 50" and does alot of fashion posts for the more mature figure, although she is a nice size 12 I think! She just had a 10 day fashion challenge, where she would show an outfit, and us who joined would dress as close to it as we could and then post our picture on her FB group. it was fun and very inspiring and motivating. She seems to shot alot at The Loft online and has alot of longer tops, looser tops, peplum tops, etc. which are very flattering, and young gals are wearing them too. She also wears alot of "skinny jeans" though they are sized for anyone, and very very flattering. It WAS very exciting to try to dress outside the box of what we are normally used to. By the way, love the things you've shown. LOVE that last outfit of the long top with flowered pants! Find a blog, try to dress similarly and see what happens. You may find that things you thought didn't look good on you, do! Now I just wish I could wear shoes with heels.... sigh.

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  22. I could have written this post myself, Brenda!! I will definitely be looking at these blogs, and hope you will do some follow-ups for us...
    I'm tired of sluffing around in 'dance pants' and grotty knit shirts with no shape to them!

    Bless you for writing about this...

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  23. Another FABULOUS post Brenda !! When i was in my early 40s - i also had surgeries (2 surgeries). I also gained a stubborn 20 lbs that is still on me to this day ! (and a few lbs. carried over from my 30s decade)!Love the fashion pics you posted! I want to look nice AND be comfortable and those outfits you shared are both. Even our skin changes in these years, so it needs taking care of with some extra thought. If the weight aint goin' anywhere...........we might as well look nice in some fashions that are age and comfort appropriate LOL

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