Closet 101 Style

Getting Older

A friend unexpectedly stopped by my place this weekend (well actually they kind of invited themselves up…that’s how you know it is a very close friend) and remarked that it looked like a clothing tornado had blown through. I explained that I was going through my fall closet cleaning process…and more specifically, getting rid of some items that were too “young” for me. We got into a conversation about how as we’ve gotten older, our style taste has changed. I thought it was a very interesting discussion. Here are some of the biggest changes in my style as I’ve exited my 20’s!



1. No more bandage dresses or anything too tight. I feel so bad for Mr. Feather because whenever I drag him shopping with me, he always goes to Herve Leger and holds up suggestions. His success rate in the last 3+ years? 0%. I know that they’re a favorite with the male persuasion, but anything “bandage” or that requires me to start sucking in (you all you know what I mean) after an appetizer has gone out the door. Everything has to be comfortable, and require little thought throughout the evening. Extra points if you can get away with a regular bra (no strapless!).

2. Kitten heels forever! When I get dressed in the morning for work, so often I think to myself “this would look great with so and so pair of heels in my closet”. When I was younger, I’d trot over and fetch them and be off for the day. Now? 9/10 times I reach for a pair of my Ferragamo Vara shoes (I have three pairs now), or my Repetto kittens.Β Just so much more comfortable throughout the day. Oh, and if it’s going to be a really long work day…like when you have calls with Europe and Asia? Chanel or AGL flats, all the way!

3. Skincare splurging. Before when I found myself at Sephora, I could spend copious amounts of time trying on various shades of polish, lipsticks, blush, and walk out with at least one or two new colorful items. These days, I still love Sephora…but I’d much rather be spending my money on skincare. I’ve already started noticing changes in my skin..less oily, more dry patches. That, combined with all the time I’ve been spending on planes, means that the right moisturizers and serums are more important for me now than the newest shade of whatever beautiful new lipstick line is being launched.

4. Bigger jewelry. I used to love really delicate, tiny jewelry, and those pieces still have a place in my wardrobe. More and more though, I am drawn to bigger/bolder jewelry items…sometimes the really tiny pieces just seem too “young”. Maybe it’s just the beginning of my transformation into my ultimate goal of a giant ruby ring wearing dragon lady. Yes?

That reminds me…me and Mr. Feather met the most amazing couple while we were on holiday in Australia. Both husband and wife wereΒ super successful in their own industries…big careers, kids that adore them…really, ourΒ heroes! Anyway, the woman had the most amazing jewelry on – the kind of pieces you saw once in a catalog or on a model’s neck at some store reception. When I complimented her on her gold cuff, she said her husband had purchased it for her. “I have seven words of advice for him, when it comes to buying me jewelry,” she said. “If it’s not big, don’t buy it!”

How has your style changed over the years?

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  • Stacey
    October 22, 2014 at 8:13 am

    Posts like this make me wish you were my big sister because I just got my first bandage dress and started wearing lipstick! We are a stage apart!

    • Katherine
      October 22, 2014 at 9:39 am

      Stacey your comment made me smile! I’m an only child and would have soved some sisters!! πŸ™‚

  • laura
    October 22, 2014 at 8:36 am

    ugh, those boots are TDF.

    i hear you on the too tight dresses. give me something with some room. i’ve gone very delicate for rings, but when it comes to gifts from the hubby the bigger the better (especially if we are talking diamonds, hah). also, no more flared jeans/pants, either. and i think i’m finally over my mac cosmetic phase.

  • Ammu
    October 22, 2014 at 8:37 am

    So funny – I have been thinking about the same stuff – I keep a fairly edited closet and rarely get rid of things unless they fall apart and are too much trouble to repair. But of late I have been thinking a fair bit about clothing that looks too young (I am 33) – to be honest, it’s less of an age question for me and more of an authority issue. I don’t want to wear things that lead people to assume I have less experience than I actually do.
    I think it’s time for a closet edit. Have already decided to get rid of a JCrew mini and a Steven Alan plaid mini shirt dress and have a few other items on my mind. I don’t mind short dresses but they need to look like something a toned 40-year-old would wear, not remind me of Alexa Chung πŸ˜‰

    • Katherine
      October 22, 2014 at 6:39 pm

      I can completely relate…short dresses with a flared skirt now look too “young” to me…they need to have a straight cut generally. I like the Alexa Chung test πŸ™‚

  • Mod
    October 22, 2014 at 8:45 am

    What a fantastic post! Ditto Stacey because in the past year I’ve been on a huge Sephora kick, wearing heels 95% of my workweek, and wanting a lil baby Tiffany DBTY necklace. This post made me look forward to what I thought I would love or use forever but maybe not as I’m only a few years out from 30.

    Dibs on the Herve Leger dresses for the time being! πŸ˜‰

  • Emily
    October 22, 2014 at 8:57 am

    I’m in my early 30s so I’m very self-conscious about showing too much skin! Even though I’m not curvy, I feel like I’m past the age where I should be wearing anything too low cut or too short.

    I’m also trying to shop less fast fashion. As cute and affordable as the clothes are, I’m too old to be wearing something that’s looks frayed or worn after one wash. I’m also too old to look like a fashion victim!

  • irina
    October 22, 2014 at 9:39 am

    good morning, Kat – I was never a big fan of HL, or anything similar for that matter but , I think, I would like the grey dress in the middle. It doesn’t seem too tight/revealing?
    Anyhow, it’s funny how a lot of my friends and I recently have been talking about changes in our fashion taste. I have been always dressing conservatively and pretty bland. Not a work requirement, just didn’t know how to express myself( or maybe there was nothing to express yet?:) For the last couple of years, and I just turned 36, it has been a complete makeover – in the direction of edgy and rock. My parents and bf are in silent shock:) I have always paid a lot of attention to the skincare but lately I’m actually using brow pencils, and blush, basically all the things that I never thought I would use. It’s not about the color as I’m still doing very minimal makeup, but about seeing the difference finally between applying the brow color vs. not applying:) I feel like I’m finally growing up!

    • Katherine
      October 22, 2014 at 6:38 pm

      Ahhh…thank you for sharing your experience. I love that you’ve gone more to edgy and rock πŸ™‚ And an eyebrow pencil is one of the makeup items that I absolutely could not part with.

  • Trang
    October 22, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    I think I am just slightly older than you Kat, and I have moved from kitten heels almost solely to flats. I also have moved onto to simple monochromatic dresses and outfits with a cardigan and scarf. I’ve given up altogether on makeup several days a week, book routine facials, and have my package of skincare on subscription. I think, it sounds like you are now very comfortable with yourself and your style. It’s one of the wonderful things about aging…I mean, maturing.

    • Katherine
      October 22, 2014 at 6:35 pm

      I laughed at your last line…sing it! I need to get more facials πŸ™‚

  • Yumi
    October 22, 2014 at 2:05 pm

    I love the list Katherine. I have a few more years in my 20s but I’m noticing that 1 and 2 on your list have started to hold especially true. As I’ve gotten older, comfort has become more important to me. I will no longer tolerate wearing something if I have more comfortable option. My clothes all have “food-friendliness” designations; and those that aren’t good for all-you-can-eat hotpot rarely get worn. I’ve also noticed that as I’ve aged, I’ve toned down the trendiness of the clothing I wear. Oh, and modesty matters more.

    • Katherine
      October 22, 2014 at 6:35 pm

      Ah yes wonderful point! All clothes should easily handle hot pot!

  • Ava Lon
    October 22, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    Dear Katherine,
    What a fun post!
    I think if you can, you should rock a slim fitting dress! You’ve got a teeny figure, I am surprised to hear you have anything to suck in at all! πŸ˜‰
    I do, however, completely agree with you about jewelry and shoes. I’ve been a flats girl for a while now. In fact, it’s too exhausting to even wear those sometimes or too precious — hard concrete and Chanel soles do not make happy companions — so I will wear something more durable for the commute to work and swap out so my more precious shoes have a bit more life extended in their soles before I have to spend even more money on resoling.

    I never gave it much thought, but for the most part, my jewelry collection has gotten larger (size of individual pieces) as I have gotten older. I didn’t think it was intentional but thinking about it most of the jewelry I get complimented on are my larger pieces. I won’t deny I still have a soft spot for some simpler daintier pieces like ones similar to this:
    I am thinking of your gorgeous bracelet, it is such a stunner! I am so curious what your next piece will be?!

    Skincare – it has always been important to me. I always wore sunblock and still do under all my makeup, SPF 50 and I can’t help but get excited when new collections of makeup come out. That said, I have become more aware of the cosmetics I used and try to use ones that are free of known chemicals that are naughty.

    All that said, if you happen to have a work trip planned to NYC in the next few days, HOP has started their Private sale today. Madhouse. Need anything? πŸ˜‰


    • Katherine
      October 22, 2014 at 6:34 pm

      That Jennifer Meyer piece is gorgeous! I love that one for everyday. You make a good point and I do have a soft spot for those types of items as well…as well as simple gold bangles, etc.

      You are a temptress with the NYC sale! Thank goodness I’m not going there this month…but did you see the price increase on Chanel flats? GRR!

      • Ava Lon
        October 23, 2014 at 12:08 pm

        Dear Katherine,
        No, what increase? I am not looking – is it really bad? πŸ™
        When did this happen? Probably while I was under a rock…
        I guess this makes sale season more important!

  • sabrina t.
    October 22, 2014 at 3:44 pm

    ahah no more ultra stretch dresses..when we grow up we know it!nice post:)

    Patchwork Γ  Porter

  • Fashion Blawger
    October 22, 2014 at 4:29 pm

    I love this post. I’m in my 20s but perhaps I’m an old soul bc I have mostly ditched painful high heels (I only keep a few I cannot run in).

    But I will speak up for Mr. Feather and say you should hold on to a few body hugging dressing. You have a great figure and can surprise him every now and then in one–particularly if you need to speed up the process of winning a disagreement πŸ˜‰

    As to the jewelry, I feel I am the opposite. When I was in HS and college I was into gaudy pieces. My pieces were as loud as me. As I’ve gotten older I am not so “loud” (although still very opinionated and outspoken) and my jewelry has become more delicate and simple. But my goal isn’t dragon lady πŸ˜‰

    • Katherine
      October 22, 2014 at 6:32 pm

      Aww I’m sure Mr. Feather would appreciate your advice! LOL!

  • Anna
    October 22, 2014 at 7:54 pm

    I’m 24 but tight stuff is out the window for me too. Sucking in just isn’t an option anymore when I’ve got plenty of great clothing items that flatter without sitting like a second skin. I feel your husband’s frustration though – I’ve got the same thing with my DBF πŸ˜›

    I still wear high heels daily and go for dainty jewelry, but I find myself attracted to classic neutral pieces. Brands like Theory, Vince, and Dolce and Gabbana make up the bulk of my wardrobe. It’s not like getting older causes us to dress differently. It’s the wisdom that comes with age that’s guiding us to these new choices.

  • cate
    October 22, 2014 at 8:52 pm

    I turned 36 this year and just recently overhauled my skincare routine! Bought my first eye cream, started using toner again (used it briefly in my 20s but stopped because I couldn’t tell a difference), and am experimenting with serums and moisturizers too. I really wish I had been religious with sunscreen in my 20s and used eye cream much, much earlier!
    Would you consider doing a post on your skincare routine? I would be really interested in that! πŸ™‚

    • Katherine
      October 24, 2014 at 1:49 pm

      Yes I recently changed some of my skincare! I have a post coming up…maybe in a month or so πŸ™‚

      • cate
        October 25, 2014 at 4:07 pm

        Awesome! I’m looking forward to it, Katherine! πŸ™‚

  • Maria
    October 23, 2014 at 8:34 am

    You may find your style changing again in your 40’s Katherine and not necessarily for the more conservative! πŸ˜‰ The thirties are still young, relatively, but most women seem to feel it’s a time to start holding back during the decade – as they should. However, then the 40’s come around and they start realizing – “Hey! I’m not an old lady yet….” – and then I see many women taking a few risks sartorially and dressing more modern/chic/alluring than they did in the 30’s.(as Irina mentions) Too classic becomes aging by that point.

    I’m with you on make-up. Especially eye make-up. Less is more as a woman ages. The eye ages first and nothing will draw more attention to it than tons of eye make-up Skincare has become my obsession, also. A little rouge helps…and a red lipcolor..

    Yes to big jewelry and low heels! My mother wore high heels into her late 50’s and rocked them but she did always love her heels. I think with those it becomes “use it or lose it”. It gets hard to go back. I lost it years ago,

    • Katherine
      October 24, 2014 at 1:52 pm

      Great comments Maria…especially on the classic and aging thing. I know that is something that I need to be careful of as well..sometimes I think I can look too dowdy in a quest to only buy “classic”.

  • Elna
    October 23, 2014 at 10:48 am

    I only realized that I exited 30 actually when I started to like pearls… Like I want all the shades of south sea pearls in the world! Lol

  • candace
    October 23, 2014 at 2:24 pm

    Katherine, totally relate to everything you are saying. but i discovered this at 41.

    as always – enjoy your post.

    thanks for sharing,
    houston, tx

  • ahhhsoneo
    October 24, 2014 at 8:07 pm

    I’m 37 years old, I recently realized that all that loose clothing was making me look older, fatter and matronly. I still have a good figure, I may not wear tight clothes everyday, but once in a while I bring sexy back and wear something tight-fitting! It’s good to know what looks good on your figure, and sometimes, it really is a tight little get up. You definitely should wear the HL for Mr. Feather, you have the figure and comfort clothing can be a slippery slope.

    I too have noticed an obsession with skincare. I find myself focusing less on eye makeup and more on blush and lipsticks. I want to look sexy but with classic twist, a la Dior New Look era.

  • a
    November 13, 2014 at 11:38 am

    I know men like to “show off their women” in provocative clothing, but why does it matter if she already shares your bed? πŸ˜‰

    • Katherine
      November 13, 2014 at 3:48 pm

      Cute comment! πŸ™‚

  • Vivian
    December 5, 2014 at 1:00 am

    Post-baby (err, now toddler), I don’t wear any heels anymore! Unless there an inch on some boots or something. lol Oh, I love love love the advice the hero-couple-wife gave you/her husband! You bet I’ll be borrowing that line from now on. heheh