Fashion Crisis: I’m Ready For a Uniform

We Need  A Fashion UniformAging out on fashion is a dialogue many of we post 50s have with ourselves.  I mean, who is going to tell us anyway if we are wearing something that has an expiration date and lives between out of style and vintage?  Shopping out of our closets can be risky.

I have dresses in my closet that have events attached to them and I am thinking maybe they are ready for prime time again. (Dangerous thought perhaps.) I recently slipped on the royal blue Nicole Miller suit I wore to my youngest son’s bar-mitzvah (11 years ago).  Good news, it still fits. But, what’s of concern is — as I stand alone in my dressing room, I actually am considering wearing it again. I mean I just went shopping for a stylish suit for a “professional” talk I have to give, and the price range for new suits is somewhere between $500 and $1,000. Hey, I had only worn that suit once, and I’m not sure I’d wear the new one more than that. What to do?

How many years have to pass before clothing is considered vintage?  According to 20 years is “classic” and 25 years is “vintage.”  “While an item must be 100 years old to be considered an antique, there is no clear-cut amount of years which defines vintage. Vintage should exhibit positive qualities of the time in which it was made.”

So when dressing from the back end of our closets – I think it’s safest to bring in an outside opinion – and preferably a fearlessly-honest friend or someone a decade younger.  We all need an “opinionator” who is vigilantly  making sure we skip the shoulder pads of the 70’s and 80’s, the parachute pants and that very mini, mini leather number.

The other day I dressed quickly, grabbing from “the top” of the pile and this is what my ensemble looked like.  It dawned on me that I may need a new strategy.  Let’s take a look at what I pulled together on the fly. (Ouch!)


First of all I was clearly confronted with a seasonal fashion challenge: White shorts in mid-September? (But hey, they were on top of the pile!)

Free socks (orange and yellow). Perhaps best to not wear just because I got them for free. (Oh dear — I have 3 pairs of them.)

Belt or no belt?  (Maybe a belt would help.)

It dawned on me that a uniform would be a great idea for my daily dressing.  How amazing would it be to confidently pull out “the go-to outfit” – dress and be done? Imagine the hours saved and the negative self-talk eliminated.  No longer would I be hanging out with my old friends: Vintage, Classic and Outdated.  It’s time for a no-fuss, feel good go-to look.  It’s too much work otherwise. Getting dressed should be as easy as putting on yoga pants, sports bra and workout shirt.  But, what outfit do we put on AFTER we get out of the yoga pants?

So my goal this fall is to create the uniform that doesn’t require a lot of self-talk and personal negotiation i.e., – is this too young, too old, too tight?  This fall it’s going to be easy. I’m going with my favorite dark denim straight leg jeans and black jeans, and I’m buying fresh crisp white blouses (lots of them).  There’s plenty of websites to shop from–(I love Nordstrom and Anne Taylor, and Saks).  I believe this “look” is classic, professional and hip.  And to jazz up the “look,” I’m going to add a scarf for color and a great leather motorcycle jacket when it gets cold out.  I’m going to wear short boots or tall boots with small heels because heels hurt my toes (they don’t bend so well anymore).


Bloomingdales always has a great selection of white blouses no matter your age.

Well, wondering if I’m the only one out there who is thinking a “uniform” is in order.  Have you come up with anything we all may want to consider – please share – we need all the help we can get.





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Fashion Crisis: I’m Ready For a Uniform was last modified: by


Felice Shapiro

Felice Shapiro Felice Shapiro loves figuring out what's next. Felice writes with honesty and humor about real life events, romance, tragedy, reinvention and family not to mention — fashion, beauty & travel. As a serial entrepreneur in the publishing space, she launched to meet the needs of women entering their next phase at 50. Inspired and armed with her love of publishing, writing, start-ups and women’s issues, Shapiro launched an online magazine for 50-something women to share personal stories, successes and relevant issues. She is proud of BA50 which is in its 4th year and has over 7 million unique visitors. 

  16 comments for “Fashion Crisis: I’m Ready For a Uniform

  1. September 17, 2013 at 6:27 am

    I have a closet full of white shirts-they work with everything. You look fabulous!

    • felice
      September 17, 2013 at 2:37 pm

      ha ha thanks

  2. Adrienne Graudins
    September 17, 2013 at 9:40 am

    Felice, I think you look wonderful in both outfits because you’re smiling and carrying yourself with confidence (although I do like the second look better). I have to admit that I have always been a little envious of men and their suits. What better uniform is there? The cut of the jacket reveals as much or as little of their physique as they want and the tie adds an element of personality. Your ‘uniform’ does the same in a more feminine and comfortable way. I love it!

    • felice
      September 17, 2013 at 2:39 pm

      that’s sweet

  3. Marlene Clayton
    September 17, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    Looks like you found the uniform. Black jeans, white blouse, black sweater. Now we will find the pros with the assessories . Will that make life easier, or will it be boring? Bet the assessoriizing will take up the missing gap of time. Looking good even in the white shorts.

  4. felice
    September 17, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    ha ha – you are the sweetest

  5. lisa
    September 17, 2013 at 7:29 pm

    love the look!

  6. pauline
    September 17, 2013 at 8:04 pm

    My go to uniform is skinny dark jeans and oversize tops that cover the muffin. We are going into summer here in Australia and it gets harder to find something to wear in hot weather. I love the winter fashion of boots and jackets but struggle with summer although I love the hot weather. Peg pants in soft jersey and half tucked in white t shirts with flip flops will be my uniform for summer days.

    Love your jeans look, classic.

  7. September 17, 2013 at 10:00 pm

    You look great and it is a perfect look, the 2nd look.
    I used to work with a handsome man who only wore white shirts and black suits. He always looked great for work. For casual events he wore a white polo and black jeans and he always looked well turned out.
    I of course can not wear a white blouse because I seem to miss my lips when drinking my coffee which I do through-out the day!

  8. Erasergirl
    September 17, 2013 at 10:26 pm

    I reached the uniform stage by the time i was 30, was it actually Einstein who wore the same thing everyday so he didn’t need to think about it? I have a color palette of navy blue, forest green, scarlet red, black, tan and white.with a few special patterned pieces. Polos, khakis, jeans, jackets, and i basically i just rotate them. Not a fashion plate, but not a disaster. and you do look grand. wish i could pull off skinny jeans and leather jacket…alas… i look like a couch on ten pins.

  9. melissa
    September 18, 2013 at 5:16 am

    The black jean look is really nice. I love the belt, and boots with just a bit of heel appeal to me as well. We know we are getting older and more mature when we can forego the high heels.
    Hilarious about the uniform idea. It would make our lives easier because we wouldn’t have to wonder if we looked like fuddy duddies (probably spelled incorrectly) or perhaps worse if we looked like fuddies trying to look like teenagers.
    But if you think about it, don’t girls and woman of all ages face the fashion dilemma? Think back to grade school and the uniform debate.

  10. September 19, 2013 at 8:43 pm

    Felice – love the look! Remember black is a neutral – anytime you want to venture out of the neutral zone, call me and we’ll walk the path together because I’m pretty sure you can rock color as well as you rock that leather jacket, black bootie combo!
    Let’s paint the palette for your follow up post!
    Doreen Dove

  11. Susan
    September 23, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    I am all for the uniform having worn power suits in the 80’s and business grey and navy suits since then. Think lawyer stuff. Now that I am working part time with limited court appearances, it is much harder to come up with ideas. Business casual is the devils tool. Where do I find it. I want a uniform and yours looks great! Thx for the inspiration.

  12. Sonja Fitz
    September 24, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    Love your uniform, it looks great!!! (Full disclosure: I am not yet over 50, but I will be there shortly!) 🙂 For me, I hate wearing “crisp white shirts’ no matter how many “Top 10 Fashion Must Haves” lists they are on because my boobs always peek-a-boo in button gap. If I size up, then it’s too boxy. My favorite uniform (weather permitting) is leggings with sweater dresses – aaaaaaah it feels like jammies all day and still looks cute, esp. with boots! 🙂

  13. Marg
    July 20, 2016 at 4:58 pm

    Love this! It’s a great look on you. Most of us do wear uniforms,the favored pants and top we always reach for, for everyday. It makes sense to put more thought into that outfit. As I’ve gotten older (57) I moved from black to navy blue for my bottom half. I find I’m more comfortable in the navy blue although not as easy to find and not as city sharp as black but then…. neither am I, as I used to be!

  14. Marg
    July 20, 2016 at 5:01 pm

    I meant to add, Would love an update on this story. Are you still wearing your “uniform”? if so, has it evolved? Thanks

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