Kathryn B. is an active seventy-two year old great-grandmother who still works part-time, volunteers at a local middle school, and takes crafting classes once a week. She visits the gym three mornings a week, enjoys walking, and tries to eat a healthy diet (usually!). From her condo in West Columbia, Kathryn shared some of the thoughts and concerns of senior shoppers in greater Columbia.
Like most seniors, Kathryn is concerned about expense. She budgets carefully and prioritizes her spending. There is often little left for fashion. This year her fashion purchases were two long, brightly colored scarves from Old Navy and a pair of white walking shoes from Rack Room Shoes where, with BOGO pricing, she also treated herself to a pair of embellished flats.
Kathryn enjoys watching fashion shows, looking at magazines, and window shopping, but does not try to follow the current trends. She remembers tie-dyed tees, miniskirts, and wide leg (bell-bottom) pants of the sixties and seventies and sees what she describes as, ‘repeating fashion cycles.’
Preferring to stay with the classics that never go out of style, Kathryn favors Land’s End jeans and slacks at Sears, simple long sleeve tees and comfortable sleepwear and robes, often found at one of Kohl’s frequent sales.
Kathryn’s closet is not full, and she says that she would rather have only a few nice pieces than a ‘closet full of stuff.’ She cares for her clothing carefully and keeps out-of-season clothing in dry cleaner plastic bags.
“Many older women,” states Kathryn, “want to cover their upper arms.” She laughs, “Who wants to see dew laps?” Always seeking tops with longer sleeves, lightweight jackets, simple boleros or wraps, she keeps a sharp eye out for bargains.
Finally, Kathryn admits a concern of many seniors: they want clothing that is easy to put on. With many women living alone, long back zippers are impossible, and senior fingers, often lose battles with tiny buttons. Front-hook bras, claims Kathryn, are a blessing.
In parting, Kathryn shared a kernel of senior wisdom: keep the necklines a little higher, like the turtlenecks and crews at Sears, and the skirts a little longer, like the mid-lengths at JC Penney and Belk. “Knees and necks are rarely pretty, and neither improves with age.”
Thank you, Kathryn, for sharing the thoughts of a Columbia area senior. Many can relate to your concerns and learn from your insights and advice.
As always, maximize your style and minimize your spending~