I’ve heard from many women in my Style Your Way To Success Over Fifty Facebook Group who are newly retired from a medical career, that it’s difficult to know what to wear now that scrubs are not the OOTD (Outfit Of The Day). These women have been wearing baggy, non-figure-flattering scrubs in the most unflattering colors five days a week for twenty or thirty years! No wonder they’re confused! Being retired means retiring those baggy scrubs, or if you’ve been in another career, you no longer have to wear the job uniform. There is a world of stylish clothing out there just waiting for you…
SO, NOW WHAT?
HOW DO YOU GO FROM SCRUBS TO STYLISH STREET CLOTHES?
Never fear! There is life after work uniforms. In fact, there’s a wonderful life of options awaiting you! Any color, fabric, pattern, design line, bling, or fit you choose. That’s right, you get to choose what to wear every day.
WHAT’S THAT? YOU DON’T HAVE A CLUE WHAT TO WEAR NOW THAT YOU CAN WEAR ANYTHING YOU LIKE?
Here are steps you can take to go from the Land of Scrub-A-Dump to the Land of Street-Style, which can also be applied to ANY transition from work-wear to a retirement wardrobe:
Step 1: Take Time To Consider Your New Lifestyle
Knowing how you’ll be spending your day will dictate the clothing you’ll need. What are you going to do with your time now that you’re retired? List all the new activities, such as grandchildren babysitting, hobbies, volunteer work, travel, workout routines, etc. Each new activity requires a capsule wardrobe, which is everything you need to wear for a particular activity. So, for example, if you’re planning to spend two days a week watching your grand kids, and three days a week volunteering at the library, you’ll need two capsule wardrobes: 1) Casual, Comfortable Clothes for running, crawling, and chasing the wee ones, and 2) Casual Business Attire for working in the library. Now, look in your closet and see how many outfits you can create for those two capsule wardrobes. If you can’t make enough outfits, it’s time to make a shopping list and go shopping!
Step 2: One Step At A Time — Get To Know Your Body Shape
Going from scrubs to tight-fitting, skin-revealing clothes can be a shock to your system. So, take some time to get to know your body shape and the clothes that flatter your body. I can teach you all about the clothes to wear for your body shape in my virtual, self-guided class, “Love My Body!” Click here for details about all my self-guided classes, and read about Love My Body >> Love My Body!. Once you know your body shape, you can buy clothes that get you dressed effortlessly and confidently. For example, if you have a triangle, or pear shape, as many women do, you could start off wearing this loose-fitting, flowing linen outfit (top pictured above from Blue Fish Clothing. It’s beautiful, has asymmetrical shape that adds interest, but it’s still comfortable like scrubs. Then, gradually, add more body shaping accessories, such as a long top with a wide belt around your small rib cage, shown in the outfit above.
Step 3: Start Experimenting With New Daytime Outfits
Now that you’re retired, you can discover the joy of creative freedom! It’s time to rediscover your favorite outfit silhouettes from long ago. Did you always love wearing a short skirt, tights, and boots? How about dresses? You can find flattering dresses in every length — short sack dress, knee-length sheath dress, and mid-length or long dresses worn with boots. Are you a jeans gal? You’re in luck! Now, you can find high-waisted, low-waisted, skin tight or roomy trouser jeans, to your liking.
Go to the store and try on all different styles of jeans — skinny, straight, bootleg, and flare. There’s a jean for every body type out there. Find the jean type that is most flattering on your body shape. Then add some tops in your best colors, and don’t just settle for tee shirts. There are cotton, silk, rayon, knit, and even nice polyester fabrics that will flow nicely over your curves. Now, add a tailored jacket or long cardigan sweater, and a pair of short boots (booties), and you’re set. In my photo, above, I’m wearing a Cabi jacket (“The LRJ”) from this fall’s collection for a pop of color, over a tunic dress and leggings. Very comfortable and stylish. Check out their collection here >> Cabi Clothing Fall/Winter Collection
Discover Leggings and Long Tunic Tops
If you have a round shape, like an apple, you may think you can’t wear this trendy style. But a long, tunic top over stretchy leggings is a good look for just about all body shapes. Make sure your tunic top is long enough to cover your derrierre, and balance your bottom half with the tallest shoes you can handle in the same color as your leggings, or go with knee-high boots. You’ll be amazed at how comfortable this combination is — it feels like you’re walking out the door in your pj’s — or scrubs! I love the tunic tops from Covered Perfectly. You can use my 20% off discount code, which is “LW20” at checkout.
Try the New Trend of Athleisurewear
Athleisurewear will feel very familiar to you after scrubs! This can be leggings or nice yoga pants, a long cotton top or cold-shoulder workout top, and a nylon jacket. Let’s say you’re running errands, so you wear cropped leggings, a long tunic tee shirt, a nicely colored zipper hoodie, and slip-on sneakers. Leggings can be black or brightly colored or patterned! Your sports bra and loose-fitting tunic top is color-coordinated with the leggings, and your slip-ons are street shoes. You LOOK like you could be heading to the gym, but you’re not!
Step 4: Accessorize, accessorize, accessorize
Accessories are what really pull your outfit together to make a statement. Even if you’re running to the grocery store, now you can take the time to feel put together by throwing a gorgeous scarf around your neck, or adding a statement necklace. It makes all the difference, and I promise you’ll get noticed! Create a new hobby of scouring your local thrift stores to find special accessories, for very little money, that will make you FEEL BEAUTIFUL when you walk out the door each day. If you’d like to watch my jewelry designer friend, Helen (pictured above) and me doing a LIVE WEBINAR presentation of how to accessorize with statement necklaces, here’s a link to the replay >> How To Accessorize With Statement Necklaces
Step 5: Buy New Shoes
No more hospital shoes! There are so many comfortable, yet trendy and chic, shoes these days, like these Gucci loafers or Munroe animal print booties. Shoes can make or break your outfit. No more sneakers every day, unless they’re colorful and trendy! Now you can branch out to wear multi-colored slip-on shoes or strappy sandals with built-in arch support (for example, Vionic brand). Animal print, shimmery, suede, patent leather, or faux leather. Your shoes can create a statement! Have some fun!
How are you planning on building your retirement-friendly wardrobe?
What are you excited to wear every day instead of your scrubs?
Please share a comment below!