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Changing Wardrobe – Changing Times

Changing Wardrobe – Changing Times

By Susan Williams

I like to think that I’ve been pretty good about keeping my wardrobe current. 

When I began my career in the 1980’s, the movie Working Girl set the stage for what I wore to work. With the big shoulder pads in my suit jackets and the silk scarf ties tied around my neck, I remember vividly how I felt as I strode into the glass tower downtown where my office was to tackle the challenges for the day.

As I transitioned through my career, casual Friday’s started to creep onto the scene. Soon the daily wear of business suits and dresses were replaced once a week with casual clothes.

After a number of years, my older matching suits were pulled out from my closet and donated. I started to replace them with more separates. Colour coordinated pants, skirts and jackets that could be switched up and combined in different combinations soon became the order of the day.

These different combinations is what I pretty much wore for the last ten years of my career. Rather than follow the trends, I spent more money on what they call fashion investment pieces. Good, quality jackets and pants that stayed in style and lasted longer became my anchor and “go to” clothes.  Different shirts, different accessories were added and taken away over the years.

For me, it became a uniform of sorts.

When I put on these clothes every morning, I knew pretty much what the day would hold. Numerous e-mails, calls, meetings and decisions were pretty much to be expected with frequent business trips tossed in just to make things interesting.

But I walked into my closet last week.

I couldn’t help but notice all the dust settling on the shoulders of some of my “investment pieces”. In the last few years, I’ve occasionally pulled on some of these clothes for meetings but not nearly on the daily basis I used to.

I realized that as my career has transitioned over the last few years so has my wardrobe. Working remotely, my daily work uniform consists mainly now of yoga pants, casual skirts and pants. Long gone is the need for business jackets in multiple colours and all the other pieces of clothing that accompany them.

As I thought about this, I found myself feeling a little melancholy.

It wasn’t about the clothes or missing the work that I used to do. It was more about all the people that I had the opportunity to work with over the years. For over twenty eight years, I used to commute into an office and spend time with so many people I enjoyed seeing and working with. The thought of our lives not being connected again made me realize how fast it all went by.

Sure there were challenges and of course days that I would have loved to have just stayed home or called it quits. But for the most part, it was a time in my life that I really enjoyed.

So, as I pulled out these now dusty clothes from my closet for donation this last time, I know that the likelihood of them being replaced is pretty slim.

I guess a changing wardrobe represents a changing life.

So as long as I get to keep doing this, I suppose it means that I’m changing too. And that can’t be a bad thing.

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Susan Williams is the Founder of Booming Encore. Being a Boomer herself, Susan loves to discover and share ways to live life to the fullest. She shares her experiences, observations and opinions on living life after 50 and tries to embrace Booming Encore's philosophy of making sure every day matters.