How to retire fashionably

BRONWYN WILLIAMS
Last updated 05:00 13/06/2012
comfortable
STAY STRONG: Get rid of your horrible old sweaters to avoid temptation.

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Dear Fashion Doctor

Like many post-war baby boomers, I am on the cusp of retirement and am giving a lot of thought about how to have a quality retirement. I am a cautious shopper and am very prone to wearing clothes around the house and garden that should, in all honesty, be relegated to the rubbish bin. I'm a bit scared that this sloppy habit will become ingrained once I finish work even though I'm aware that looking good makes you feel good. Can you give me some tips about a post-work wardrobe?

Many thanks, Eva

Hi Eva,

Funnily enough I have struggled with the same problem. Not because I'm retired (far from it), but because I work a lot from home. Regardless of whether you're being paid or not, there are a few dangers to spending a heap of time at home alone, whether you're working or simply pottering.

The routine of getting up, dressed and made up for work in the morning is ingrained in us as a way of preparing for the day ahead. Skipping out this important routine may be fun for a while, but a lack of direction in your day long term can lead to boredom, loneliness and sometimes, depression.

Whether I'm working at the office or from home during the week, I always get up at the same time. My morning routine is the same – shower, breakfast, dressed and makeup on, before either heading out the door or sitting down at my desk at home.

I don't wear super fancy heels or anything at home, but I always make sure I look respectable – jeans, ballet flats, a cashmere sweater and a nice necklace – even though nobody but me will see me that day. It's easy to slip on a horrible old sweater simply because it's easy or comfortable, so get rid of them to avoid temptation.

When I started working from home I went through my wardrobe and tossed out everything that might tempt me to become a slob.

I replaced these with comfy but stylish clothes. That meant no to sweat pants, but yes to soft palazzo pants; no to holey sweaters but yes to sleek merinos; no to old slippers but yes to soft and elegant trainers; and don't forget that a slick of lipstick will make any woman feel fabulous.

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