Style has long been touted as a concern of the young and hip of our society. Years and experience have taught the rest of us older and wiser folks that one's outward appearance does not matter one ounce when it comes to becoming acquainted with the inward man. While this will forever be true, there is something to be said for style and age & aging with style.
-Style begins with cleanliness. We have all, I think, had encounters with elderly people that do not have hygiene habits that would be applauded. Many times, this is through no direct fault of their own, especially if they are being completely cared for by another. Those of us who are still in charge of these areas of our lives, need to pay special attention to cleanliness & hygiene as we move forward in age. Yes, we are often exhausted from sleepless nights & yes, it does, at times, seem pointless if we do not intend on having visitors that particular day, but the benefits to our skin, nails, hair and especially to our self confidence certainly outweigh the excuses. Also, pay attention to dental hygiene at the same time. People will appreciate it so much if you're speaking and they do not have to back up! Carry mints, if need be.
-Posture. Many times, as we age, our posture can become poor. Perhaps it's the weight of the years that we've seen, perhaps there was an injury that was a per-curser for this. Whatever the case may be, we can each improve in this area. Remind yourself throughout the day to sit & stand straighter. If you use a walker, ask about a walker that will allow you to stand straighter instead of leaning forward. It takes a great deal of time to build the core abdominal muscles that support your back, but it is worth it. Oftentimes when those muscles are weak, it can cause back pain. If you work on strengthening them by just consciously thinking about your posture throughout the day, you should start to notice a difference in pain levels in your back.
-Trimming. Set a regular routine, if you haven't one, of having your hair, beard, mustache, and nails trimmed. This is a part of cleanliness, but often gets overlooked because it is irregular. Having these things done improves your appearance and your outlook on life.
-Clothing. Just because you've lived a number of years does not mean that your clothing need look like it's seen all of those years! Look through your wardrobe. The first concern is fit. Do your clothes fit you properly? Be honest! If not, pass them on to a thrift store where someone else can benefit from them. Then, if you do not have suitable items to choose from, look for some that will be suitable. Women should have at least 1 dress or slacks outfit that is suitable for both weddings and funerals. Men should have at least 1 suit to go to weddings/funerals. Everyone should have a variety of comfortable clothing for receiving guests or going about in town. It is helpful if there are not too many styles & colours, so that when it comes time to mix & match, you can make an outfit out of almost any combination of them. Also, be sure to have well fitting coats & jackets for the weather in your area. Oftentimes a light jacket for spring/fall, a warm winter coat for daily use & an overcoat for special occasions is sufficient. I know many people prefer black or grey for their outerwear since it is timeless instead of trendy. Pay attention to shoes & boots, as well, to make sure that they are genuinely attractive & useful. If you have ice in the winter in your area, consider getting “yak tracks” or ice cleats of some kind to make going outside a little safer. The fresh air will certainly improve your outlook on life & staying safe & upright is top priority! Scarves and hats in colours that are more vibrant will help to keep your wardrobe from being dreary without breaking the bank. Having to buy multiple coats in different colours would be costly, but having a couple that you can dress up with just the right scarf or hat would be so much less expensive. Another very useful item is a good robe to cover your nightclothes & a good pair of slippers that are not ratty, in case you have an unexpected visitor.
-Jewelry. Keep it simple and classic. There is no need for elaborate jewelry, and simple, tasteful additions are much easier to deal with when you're putting an outfit together.
-Moisturize. Both men and women can benefit from moisturizers or lotions on their faces & bodies. As we age, our skin thins & it can be very easy for it to tear. Make sure that you have enough moisture going on so that this becomes less of an issue.
Many of these things may seem very basic to many people, but as we age, they can fall through the cracks. We've spent much of our lives caring for other people & can begin to justify not caring for ourselves properly. So take a few months and evaluate these items & correct them. If you're on a strict budget, ask a friend to look in thrift stores for items you're trying to find. Likely, they will find it just as much fun as you do when a good quality item with style is found! Have fun with the process!