That particular Pinterest board reflected the taste of the pinner, which runs to skinny jeans and equestrienne looks (left). I do see 60+ women here in the narrowest pants tucked into boots, but they are a tiny (in all respects) minority.
The clothes didn't represent the range of what I and other retired (or semi-retired) women in my large city are wearing. One reason is our age, rarely under 55. (The majority of women in Canada retire between 60 and 64, with many working longer due to the recession.)
Style differences aside, there seem to be several requisites–what women seek when they no longer have to "look the part" for whatever occupation they had, regardless of where they live.
The Non-work Wardrobe: What Women Want
We're making a transition in our wardrobes but not our personal style. The preppy sales manager does not go all floaty boho, the crisply-tailored banker keeps her immaculate shirts.
This ensemble, one of those pinned by Laura Lewis, shows a number of pieces that could have been in a classic dresser's career closet and are still going strong (though I'd donate the boots, too high for me).
Not everyone is this classic. Many of my cohort prefer the softer lines of ethnic inspired wear or Eileen Fisher-type pieces, like this woman's jacket (from the Denny Andrews web site):
Those busy with boards and committees find a cardigan like White and Warren's Cashmere Curved Hem supplies enough "dressing", but feels cozy and comfortable. However, for those meetings, they will pair it with pants they once wore to the office rather than pale-wash jeans. Price, $320.
2. Our bodies have changed from tip to toe. If it didn't happen at 50, it's happened after 60! We are not necessarily bigger, but we have different proportions.
We seek the ease of stretch fabrics and knits, and don't want layers that bulk up the torso or the widest horizontal stripes. We avoid accessories that evoke pain: high heels, oversized, heavy bags.
We are museum docents, breakfast-servers at schools, hospital volunteers. We do not dress like a Kardashian for such activities. The holey jeans below won't work, and few will choose a plaid untucked shirt.
This outfit from J. Jill, ponte pants and a silk/poly/cotton sweater with flats, goes out or stays home gracefully:
I have nothing against the discreet use of elastic used at the waist, as a flat-front or side insert, and don't understand the venom reserved for it: what do you think is holding up those yoga pants? (The J. Jill pants have a tailored waistband and zipper.)
3. Maintenance costs count.
Nearly all of the 60ish women I've polled spend less than in their working years and avoid added expense.
The pale ensemble below, while undeniably elegant, says hi to the cleaner's after every outing.
Give us a long sweater-jacket that will see us through three seasons, in a gorgeous ethereal shade, in washable cotton knit. (From Poetry UK; price £119.)
4. Retired women bump utility up a notch or two on our list of criteria, and are less blown about by the vagaries of fashion. But we know a standout piece is a good investment. We don't want only stalwart basics.
My head is turned by a shearling cape by Poetry–it has what Janice of The Vivienne Files calls "whoppage". When I ask myself "What am I doing when I'm wearing this?" and the answer is "Oh, who cares? I would sleep in it!", I'm in trouble.
Price? All right: £695. Feels better in pounds.
I might point out, too, that it will always fit.
Am I buying it? I think not, as where I live, those open sides would invite hypothermia. That's another joy of being more-or-less-retired: taking the time to think about a big purchase.