Calling All Female Retirees

by Judy
(Ontario, Canada)

Just had to add this image! :)

Just had to add this image! :)

I am about to retire and I have some of the silliest concerns you can just imagine, that believe it or not, could (not saying they will) cause some depression in my early months or maybe years of my retirement.

The first will be not needing to buy much in clothes anymore. As a female who has always loved to buy new tops and especially shoes and has spent many hours searching for new items to buy, this is going to be a big gap in my life.

Yes, I know, I will need SOME clothes but certainly not the big wardrobe I now have which is going to sit there and taunt me. Am I stupid for worrying about this? I can't even pare it down right now because most consignment shops are not currently taking in items and most of my items are just too new to donate, at least right now.

The second concern is even sillier but here goes. Unlike Wendy, I don't have beautiful thick hair. My hair is baby fine and straight, so I have to wash and blow dry it if I want to have any semblance of what looks presentable in public or even to my husband!

On top of that I will be also putting on my make-up most days because I've heard that it is important in retirement to not let yourself go. BUT, on most days I won't be going anywhere so how does one justify going through all this work for nothing? (and please be aware, I don't desire to be going places all the time). I can be a happy homebody.

So tell me ladies, am I the only one who worries/worried about some of the silly things of retirement? If no, how did you cope?

Comments for Calling All Female Retirees

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Comment #2
by: Wendy, Retirement Enthusiast/Coach

OK, gals, I am loving the responses here. It really makes you think!

For days now, I've been looking at SILVER hair color... yes, I might drop the blonde that I've been since childhood and go with the one-inch COVID gray on top. :) (see what you gals have done!) I still wear my hair too long, don't care either, it's me.

Better yet - I turned 65 in June. It's brought out my WILD WENDY side! :)

I purchased new glasses last month -- clear turquoise frames in the middle that change to purple at the ends! Oh yes, I did too!

AND after I got that pair, I ordered a hot pink pair online too! Big Ole Grin!

What the heck! Love these colors!

Then someone called herself "hippie" here. Well, I think I am! She wears grey all the time... I could never ever wear gray, maybe a hoodie, but that's it. I'm a colorful gal. Love tie-dye look from my teen years still too! LOVE my jewelry too! Even if I go out with only lipstick on, I would NEVER leave the house without earrings and rings. It's a must have for me! :)

Aren't we all funny? Having fun!

Thanks So Much
by: Judy Ontario Canada

Just wanted to first of all thank Wendy for preceding my posting with the oh so funny but true cartoon...Murphy's Law, for sure!

I also really appreciate all the comments and suggestions from those of you who posted replies to my dilemma. I will certainly be keeping these in my bookmarked folder on my computer for future reference.

Now, on to official retirement!

Retired My Work Logo
by: Canadian Retiree

The first thing I did when I retired, was to take all my work clothes which had my University Bookstore Logo on them and relegate them to the back of my closet. I wore the same Logo for about 20 years. I had to wear it at work.

I also had to carry my work ID card on a Lanyard. I tucked that away in a drawer, plus all my name badges. Looking back on it now, no wonder it was difficult to let go. I identified with my job and my place of employment. I still wear some of my coats and a baseball cap that have the campus logo when I go shopping.

I also did a real clutter clearing of my closet and got rid of clothes that no longer fit and or I just don't need anymore. I had about 5 bags that I donated to Value Village.

I still have some really nice clothes and I do like to get dressed up now and then. For years I mostly wore running shoes, jeans and a T-shirt to work. I did heavy lifting of books so didn't dare wear any good clothes.

It's kind of fun to wear a dress or a skirt now. Yes, I agree retirement does bring about changes in our ward robes and our daily routines - no more 6 am alarm for me!

Girly girl retires🙃
by: Anonymous

Hi, I semi retired 3 years ago, but still work 1-2 days a week. During the pandemic I went through all my clothing and got rid of 60 to 70% of what I owned. I don't even miss it!

I'm a girly girl and I like to look nice. I continue to get my nails done I do my own pedicures and I like to look presentable when I go out in public. It's just a psychological thing to me I just feel so much better. t

There were times during the height of the pandemic when I didn't take a shower and flopped around in my nightgown looking like hell 😕🤣
my husband and I did a couple of big projects including ripping out our bathroom and redoing the whole thing but I did sit on my ass a lot too. 😩

do what you need to feel good flopping around in my night down and not taking a shower didn't work for me at all 😩🤣😕😎😘

post retirement
by: Cindi H, Ohio

If I were you, I'd eventually donate the "work outfits" eventually or sell them on line if they are really nice.

You don't have to stop buying though. My mom's 93 and she still loves buying new tops and pants and sweaters. She's always liked being able to dress nicely.

I don't wear much make up but have started using eye liner again and wearing my earrings just to feel like myself again. It's windy where I live so I wear my baby fine hair straight just below my shoulders and can put it in a pony tail if I need it out of the way.

We don't have to go downhill. I've seen 80+ year olds wearing eye makeup or lipstick still. We won't look like we're still 30, but it's nice to so some things so we feel good.

dressing up and makeup
by: Anonymous

Well, I don't have a car and walk everywhere in a neighborhood where you don't want to call attention to yourself. So it is straight hemmed sweatpants with drawstring waist in grey for me. I need grey now because it hides the blond hair of my chihuahua.

I never had this problem when working and could wear dark colors, black, navy, brown. The same goes for my tops, which are t shirts and sweatshirts. Since I am never in a car, my hobbies are gardening and step aerobics, all which are possible in my grey outfits.

Hair: Mine is brown, thin , and fine (female baldness runs in my family). I never got to be a hippie type mostly because for two of my 3 career fields I worked in "distinguished type dress for success" positions). So, now is the time. I am growing my hair long to wear in one side braid.

All that said, I often walk 2.5 miles to help my friend with stage 4 pancreatic cancer.

So....My grey shirt, pants, and sweatshirt look works for, cleaning, gardening, step aerobics, walking to my friend's house, and my dog.

I have no romantic interests, so no obligations or rewards there for dressing up. I do dress up for church and doughnuts afterwards but that is gone due to covid.

by: Janice/Missouri

Well..I had no such clothes issues..My part time gig was National Guard so i wore a uniform, which maybe could go to Civil Air Patrol as Air Force now has a new uniform.

My other gig was environmental emergency response and so wore jeans as got plenty dirty...and now we live on 80 acres so alot of my clothes is old shirts, etc that get plenty dirty.

Have a few "good" clothes and don't need anything more..well except a new hunting clothes item now and then.. I did keep clothes from a very long ago dress up life...but those now have shoulder pads and are outdated.

Keep the special stuff, sell the others on Ebay, etsy, Facebook market place...keep it too long no one will want them and they will continue to hamper your forward retirement progress.

I don't buy clothes but do buy alot of fabric for quilts, which I then give away.

Be kind to yourself in retirement, it will take some time to adjust..that's normal.

Shedding the old skin
by: Laura in Vermont

Retiring for me was like going through molt. I no longer worry about how I look weekdays.

Last year when I retired I pretty much quit cutting my hair, only trimmed my bangs, until it got so long I tried my old haircutting method again. Much better! Hate to do hair but hate longer hair more, I guess.

Unfortunately I didn't clean out before COVID shut down the donation sites. Otherwise I'd have given most of my casual work wardrobe away. In a busy week I might use 2 pair of decent pants to do errands and go to see people (doctors, DAR). They seem to be getting too big now anyway.

I did toss some things, perfumed things mostly. They were gifts, I didn't use them, so out they went. Don't know if they were even still good.

Bottom line is to set a standard that fits you and keep it. I must shower daily, keep my hair clean, and dress every day--no laying around in PJs. With my major depressive episodes, it's a requirement, even if I do nothing else all day. I recommended it to every depressed person I knew while working at the mental health center, and I think it's good for new retirees too.

Never mind I'm in sweats and tees most days LOL. Dressed is dressed! I'm comfortable and if I don't leave the house (standards!) it's good enough.

Basically, modify your routine but don't desert what helps you!

It's been tough
by: Jennifer Donovan, Houghton, MI

I retired two years ago at age 75. Had a lot of "professional" work clothes that I never wear now but can't bring myself to give away because "they're still good."

So I have a closet stuffed with clothes I never wear and will never wear, plus half a dozen casual tops and jeans that I wear over and over again.

As for makeup, I put it on faithfully every day for about a year, the started doing less and less, until I am down to a little eyebrow pencil and that's it. My face is a little blotchy, but no one sees me anyway, and the few who do, don't care. Yes, I feel depressed.

If I have any advice that I wish I'd taken 2 years ago, it's "keep doing what makes you feel good about yourself, because retirement is a huge loss, a grieving process, and if you let yourself sink, you'll have a heck of a time crawling back up and out of the swamp."

You are special and beautiful
by: Michael D. Bell, REALTOR®, Venice Florida

There is nothing wrong with wanting to look nice everyday. It can make you feel better about yourself. Wear your hair as you like. Wear makeup or not if that is what you like.

When I was growing up, one of our neighbors was always "made-up" whether she was in a business suit or a swim suit.

And, you can still spend hours shopping for new shoes and clothes - those might be more suited for your new lifestyle.

Each day is special and beautiful. So, do things that make YOU feel special and beautiful.

by: diane british columbis canada

I retired 7 years ago and love to shop but realize I don't need a lot of "work" clothes so when I retired I donated most of my work clothes and then found out I needed the odd nice thing for events, so I could buy.

I also buy clothes for the season as too often you see seniors with blouses or fortrel pants that are way outdated and that ages a person. They won't get rid of them because they are "still good".

I don't bother to wear makeup but still use a good face cream. No one notices.

By the way, I have baby fine hair as well and so I let it grow a bit (i usually keep it short) and got a perm , important to use big rollers, now I have lots of volume and some bounce. it works.

Female retirees
by: Hilda Adelaide South Australia.

I have only been retired for 7 months. As an OR nurse, I didn't have a corporate or super "dressy" wardrobe anyway, and so my wardrobe is naturally a more casual one.

I had a big clean out of my closets in the months leading up to retirement, simply because it really needed doing. I donated all clothing that was too small, or that I hadn't worn for a few years, or didn't love, to charity. I only have clothes that I know I will wear.

However, if you love fashion and love the clothes you have, why get rid of them just yet?

Why not enjoy at least some of them post retirement? Perhaps some items could be adapted to a more casual but chic style when you go out?

Life changes, but it doesn't stop. The outings don't stop! If you make sure to have a social life, you could have plenty of reasons to wear nice fashion and lovely shoes. Some people love to dress fashionably, even in a casual style, others don't care.

Do what is most comfortable for you. Perhaps consider slowly replacing your outfits over time as you feel your way through the first several months or so. You will soon discover what is useful and what isn't.

As for make up.... again, do what is most comfortable for you. As someone who is quite fair I find I need a little make up to give me some colour and so I wear it every day and always have. A little goes a long way, so I only wear a small amount of tinted moisturiser, a little mascara and a slick of light lipstick.

I have medium thickness, fine, very straight hair which I just wear in a blunt cut bob with bangs. Once styled, I find this cut helps to prevent that flat thin look. (A layered version also works well for me) It's reasonably low maintenance and I just wash and style on alternate days, with a quick touch up in between. It's just long enough to pull back into a tiny ponytail if needed, for doing jobs around the house.

You will hopefully settle into a retirement routine.

I get up around 7.30 - 8 am most mornings. By 9 - 9.30 am I'm usually showered, dressed, groomed and ready for the day. Very occasionally, I'll have a sleep in.... usually only after a really poor nights sleep. The only time you'll find me in my PJs is if I am unwell.

I have always liked to look "groomed", even if I'm "slumming" it at home, so I take the trouble to be groomed to please myself. I don't want to let myself go.

Yes, it takes time to be groomed, but so what? You have the time to do it! If it feels right for you, continue your grooming routine. As Jane from Texas says, the less you do, the less you'll feel like doing.

I know my husband appreciates the fact that I still make an effort and from that point of view, I can expect him to do the same, hahaha!

Look good, feel good!

Enjoy your retirement Judy!

by: Anonymous

I used to wear make up every day and since retirement I no longer do. I have worn it on a few occasions like a wedding and another event.

Why don't you sell you work attire on Ebay and then build a retirement wardrobe of comfortable but stylish clothing.

No idea what kind of casual clothes you like but you could build a nice mix and match wardrobe. If you go on vacations, such as going to the Caribbean, you could build up a summer type wardrobe.

Retirement is a new journey! Take one day at a time!

by: Plp Green Bay

Yes, it is hard to just give away my good work cloths, but now 6 years in retirement, I am finally parting with those clothes. That takes time, one because you know what you paid for each outfit, but you have to forget that.

I gave the really good stuff to a women’s closet, and the rest to Goodwill.

Make-up, look up Cindy Joseph’s Boom products.
Read her story. I love the simplicity of her products and still feel OK.

I do not want to spend time on make-up anymore. It is perfect solution to make you feel good. Well, I could say more but ENJOY your retirement.

Wendy: WOW. Just looked at this product -- its for seniors! Blush. Lipstick. Eyeshadow. Highlighter. All in one product for $28. It says "give yourself the look of happiness" and I love that. As I said, I only wear lipstick for a bit of color, but I think this will do me even better! So excited, Ordered! Thank you Green Bay!

Female Retirees
by: Anonymous

I also have a closet full of beautiful clothes I no longer wear. Hate to give them up but I never go anywhere. I give most that fit to my adopted daughter who is very grateful for them. She is short so only some things fit her.

As for my hair, mine is also thin, not too thin, but requires a lot of care. I no longer wash it as much, I just let it go. No one sees me, just my husband and he does not seem to notice. Loves me just as much. I got a haircut that does not need any care except for washing and blow drying.

I have let myself go, wear pajamas all day and sleep a lot. And I don't like letting myself go but no motivation anymore. I rarely ever wear makeup as I have allergies to so much stuff I stopped wearing it years ago.

Just use a bit of blush now and then and maybe lipstick if I feel energetic enough to apply it, ha, ha. Not sure what to do to make myself get dressed, get a shower and wash my hair.

I have eczema so water bothers my skin but I never let that stop me when I worked. However, using it as an excuse now. LOL

Me and my husband have date day twice a week and that's the only day I dress up. I make a point to always look nice that day.

Wendy: Oh My Goodness, I use my Eczema as an excuse too! I am so lucky I am forced out of the house daily, to help mom at age 93, or I might fall into the pit like you! Oh no! Sooo happy you go on dates each week to force you out!

by: Jane/Texas

Something that is important to you is never silly. I have found that over the years if something is on my mind I need to address it in order to get it off my mind.

Why does a top have to be old to donate? Just askin'. The subject of doing your hair. Do it. When you look in the mirror it should make you feel good. If you are used to doing your hair.. continue.

The same thing with make up. If it makes you happy... do it. I wrote a blog a long time ago about taking the tired out of retired. I found that the less I did each day the less I could do. Eventually, I could do almost nothing at all.

When I put on my make up I find that I feel like getting out ... even if it is just to the front porch or to get the mail. Daily grooming is for you and no one else. It is a way of saying you are worth it. It is not for nothing.... it is for you.

Besides, when someone comes to the door you will not find yourself hiding, afraid they will discover you are home without your hair and make up done. You can open the door with pride.

You have retired from work not from life.

Wendy: Disclosure: I did the bold text as it was too good to miss! :)

Retired, and suits galore
by: Wendy, Retirement Enthusiast/Coach

I had to laugh at your wardrobe problem. I've been retired ten years and I STILL have all my old biz suits. WHY oh WHY?

I am so glad you wrote this as I just realized I don't even OPEN that closet anymore, so why am I keeping them? I will box them up next week and donate when I can...

Now, I don't do my hair, it's stuck in a ponytail most days. Easy peasy.

I also don't do makeup, haven't for years, except lipstick. I am so pale, I look dead if I don't get some color on my face -- via the lip color. Just that little touch is enough to make me feel presentable.

BUT -- doesn't matter what any of us do. Follow what your little heart tells you to do. Do what makes you feel good, doesn't matter who sees you, it's all about you and your version of retired life.

For now, do what you always did. In time, you will find new routines, new habits, and move past these worries.

Retirement -- Bring It On!

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