over50feeling40: Career Reinvention: Working Wardrobe For Midlife Women
Fashion and Lifestyle Blog for women over 50 to help achieve strength, confidence, joy, inspiration, and, of course, head-turning personal style!

Oct 11, 2015

Career Reinvention: Working Wardrobe For Midlife Women

Last week on MIDLIFE BOULEVARD, someone was seeking advice for a career wardrobe after age 50.  When I decided to work for myself after age 62, I gave great thought and consideration to my own working wardrobe.  Today, I will share my thoughts and Tuesday share some advice from professionals.


I became a marketing consultant, professional writer for two local women's magazines, and ramped up my blogging.  If I was going to tell someone else how to market their business, then my style needed to communicate I knew how to market me!  Many communications professionals seem to dress very casual...but I do not want to look like I am a writer on the staff...I want to look like I am the publisher of the magazine!  I don't really agree with the dress down attitude unless that is where you want to stay.
Here are some steps I made at the beginning:
1. I cleared my closet and took out anything that did not fit well or was poor quality.
2.  As I began to go to lunches for groups like the Chamber of Commerce and networking purposes, I watched and took mental notes of what other women are wearing.
3.  In a creative field, creativity matters.  I make sure to add interesting pieces and not be too plain.  It helps to have one statement piece in the look.
4. I purchased a few quality pieces including shoes.  And added some affordable pieces which I think look more expensive than they are.
5. More than ever before, I pay attention to my total look including hair and nails.  I have never really been one for regular manicures...now I am.  My hands are also part of my story. And, the total look means I consider closely my accessories in order to obtain a balance.  The accessories should enhance the outfit and not over-power it.
6. More with professional wear than ever before, I always ask what message is the look sending before I leave the house in it.  I want to communicate I am strong, professional, creative, and appropriately mature (meaning I want to make sure I don't look too young or trendy).  Classic, chic styles still work best in the career world.
For me, a casual Friday style in an office would be dark denim, and a quality blazer which fits well. I still want to maintain professionalism.  You can throw a blazer over just about anything...like this sheath dress...and come out with a more professional appearance. 


NINA GARCIA, PROJECT RUNWAY judge and creative director for MARIE CLAIRE, recently said, "Green is the color of hope."  This green and black sheath dress represents that for me.  I feel great in it after losing weight and it is the style I am going for right now.  It was not expensive, but it is worth a lot to me.  Find the dress CLICK HERE.

Please tell us...how do people in your industry typically dress?  Do you dress the same or go for a different style?  Tomorrow, come back for ideas from an image consultant.


Happy Work Week, all!

Now, it's time for 

Excellent reading from some of the best bloggers for midlife women. Just go HERE TO THE NONONSENSE BEAUTY BLOG

30 comments:

  1. This is a wonderful professional look Pam. I am so thrilled to see your new career take shape and grow. xox

    -Patti
    http://notdeadyetstyle.com

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    1. Thank you, Patti. So far it is a lot of fun!

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  2. Since I'm in the fashion industry, working surface design at a mass-market manufacturer [translation: I design prints for underwear and loungewear] almost anything goes at our office. Eyes definitely rolled when J wore the way too short shorts, but she wasn't sent home to change. And we still tell the story about the time that L's belt broke, so he grabbed a wide pink ribbon to hold his pants up. Stuff of legends. You know I dress on the wacky creative end of the spectrum, and nary a comment from the coworkers. Maybe they snigger quietly.

    You look great in your ensemble, ready to "get down to business"!

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    1. I know you are sending the creative messages you want to send, Anne and you do it with confidence. Creative offices are the more challenging ones when it comes to dress. Thanks for stopping by.

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  3. Another favorite outfit, This is so up-to-date and fitted. I just love it on you.

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    1. Thank you, Shelley. I am trying to step out with courage lately and wear more dresses.

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  4. This is a great look, Pam - not too fussy, but definitely pulled together, smart and successful. I tend to go very casual at work (I'm at a temp job, and everyone is fairly casual), but when I start working on my own business again very soon, I should have one or two good outfits. And a manicure. And definitely some decent, but interesting shoes!

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    1. Thanks Val. I hope your new venture goes well. This has been fun!

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  5. Your look commands respect and you lead by example without saying a word. I am so happy that you decided to work for yourself. I started to suggest that to you earlier because you have so much to offer. I wish you greater success than you ever dreamed possible! Hugs, Susan

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    1. You are a sweetheart, Susan. Several people said it to me, I just needed a little courage and we will see where it goes now! Thanks for the kind words and encouragement.

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  6. I think getting the balance right at 50+ is really important - we don't get away with the "casual office look" and at the same time we don't want to dress like an old lady. I think your outfit finds the middle ground well. I wear trousers and a nice blouse to my office job - I don't find blazers comfortable so I choose a good quality cardigan if it's a little chilly. I love sheath dresses and yours looks great - with summer coming it might be the way to transition.

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    1. it is so funny when I think of you starting summer, Leanne...and I am so anxious to see summer temps go away in Texas! I love cardigans as well..they work like jackets to be good completer pieces. Thanks for commenting!

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  7. Great look. Tights and matching shoe color really pull it together and add a great long line.

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    1. Thanks Haralee,...this is a dress I will only wear with tights...you won't see me in it barelegged. I love the long, clean line look with a sheath.

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  8. This looks so great on you, Pam. You are so right about the details. People notice the smallest things…and yes, I think nails and hands area critical. Just an aside: I recently started using the "Butter" line: expensive, sold at Nordstrom, but worth every penny! The base coat has made a huge difference for me: you might look into it. I take my own polish, always, for my manicures so I can then touch up!

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    1. Great idea, Libby! I will take my own polish from now on!

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  9. Love that sheath dress and that tote. So many women (myself included) fall into the trap of having so many bags that they bring into the office. I like the idea of having one elegant tote that's large enough for everything.

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    1. I am very into totes these days, Katy! This one was actually a giveaway item at the Saks Fifth Avenue Beauty Event and I needed black! I love it! Thanks for the comment.

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  10. You look fabulous! This post is full of good advice for all of us. Thanks to Miss Libby for the manicure touch up advice! Good grooming is key for a put-together chic, professional look. Miss Pam, you are a true inspiration!

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    1. Ahhhh, thank you Donna! Thanks for continuing to be here!

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  11. Not only do you look professional but quite stylish as well. Great post! I saw it in the Visible Monday linkup.

    My Visible Monday post...
    http://www.midlifemakeover.me/2015/10/boysenberry-uniform.html

    Have a great day! :)

    Jeanine

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  12. Fantastic look, Pam! You look ready to take on the world.

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  13. You look fabulous...I am so happy you shared this, for some reason I have begun to think at 61 it is all over, when I really want to be starting over! You have inspired me

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    1. Life is short, Donna. Get out and have some fun! There are so many things we can do and I really believe our intelligence and creativity is needed. Thanks for stopping by!

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  14. Pam,
    I love the message of confidence you send out to other women and also that they can reinvent themselves and their careers at any age!!

    xoxo
    Karena
    The Arts by Karena
    Artist Lee Bowers

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  15. I love dressing up although I've ditched my corporate Armani looking suits. Last week I was at a women's conference in NYC. Nearly every speaker was pretty casual, even the high profile women. That surprised me. I may have been the best-dressed woman there and you know what? At least a dozen women came up to me and told me how much they loved what I was wearing. If that's the case, then why are we so sold on dressing down at the office?

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  16. now that I work from home--rather than an office downtown--I sometimes forget what the current dress forms are, and more importantly, which styles are suitable for my "ageless" set. Thanks for the ideas and tips. Your outfit looks smart without being too trendy.

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  17. Great tips, thanks! I am a substitute teacher, and I agree with you, I like to dress up not down. I always show up in a nice shirt and skirt.

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  18. Great advice Pam! I think one should dress for where they want to be, dress professionally even if the staff is in teeshirts and jeans. You show class! Love the green and black combo on you, that pine green is very flattering!

    Thanks for linking up with Turning Heads Tuesday
    jess xx
    www.elegantlydressedandstylish.com

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Thanks so much for joining in our conversation today! I appreciate your time and love hearing from you!