Anyone else having a casual Crisis of Fashion? There’s something about the change in season, my increasing age, and the banishment of skinny jeans that has me simply confused/baffled/bummed about what to wear. It’s not so much about sliding my 40something year old self into the latest trends which… 90’s fashion is trending, friends and I’ve already done it. I’m also gently and willingly on way up in sizes and after months of being uncomfortable in jeans from 2019, I’ve decided I deserve clothes that fit my body and bring me joy.
But WHAT ARE THOSE CLOTHES? I think I’ve found them for myself and I thought I’d share.
Let’s talk general aesthetic because I’m not just whipping money out of my wallet without attaching it to a well considered vibe. The general aesthetic is three words I’ve defined for myself so when I’m out rummaging the thrift stores, I stay in my self-determined lane. My forever aesthetic is: classic French cowgirl. She is not one person – she is many people, she is a vibe.
All the trendy Tiktok girlies have transitioned from Coastal Grandmother to Coastal Cowgirl but this is more that alliteration. And I KNOW, I fall in love with a Texan and it’s all turquoise and cowboy boots but honestly, it really just appeals to me and feels comfortable and classic.
Classic – we’re talking loose men’s button down shirts, straight jeans, tortoiseshell glasses, white sneakers, a good heel, a perfect nude lip.
French – we’re talking sex appeal, ease, slip dresses, square necks, open backs.
Cowgirl – we’re walking denim on denim, turquoise, quality cowboy boots, yes absolutely a Stetson, good leather well worn.
Is this cool? I don’t care. Does it feel cool to me? Yes, and that’s all that matters.
• We all want different things from our denim. It’s very personal. I want a classic straight leg. Medium wash. Thick and non-stretch jean. When it comes to jeans I’m into a hard pant. I LOVE a Levi because they’re nostalgic and they still make great quality, long lasting denim that won’t completely break the bank. These Levi’s 501 Two-Tone Jeans have been my favorite find this year. They’re classic with a subtle Punky Brewster mismatch that I think will carry me for years to come.
• As a denim on denim monster, this Essential Western Denim Shirt pairs well with all my hears and clearly leans hard into my cowgirl aesthetic.
• I won’t talk myself out of how much I love this belt. I think silver and turquoise moments age well and this kind of belt is also great for belting long dresses.
• I could forever live in a crisp men’s button down shirt like this Tomboy Shirt or this Crinkle Gauze Shirt. But the best men’s shirts are always at Goodwill, second hand, nicely worn in and the price is right!
• I love a flowy short dress with long sleeves like this Noemia Dress from Sezane for spring. Sexy with a little shoulder coverage because it’s not all the way hot just yet. And these Pyne and Smith linen dresses transition really well into summer. I have a few I’ve worn for years and they’re workhorses!
• The grocery shopping or weekend morning outfit is as follows: bike shorts, a boxy oxford or a 3/4 zip and a baseball cap.
• I don’t have patience for a full makeup situation, especially as the weather warms. You’ll find me in a tinted sunscreen, this perfect Clinique Fuller Fig a-little-more-than-nude lip gloss, and this easy smudgey brown shadow pencil.
• For body care, I’m slathering myself in sesame oil just out of the shower. Basically, I’m edible.
• Shoes are hard. Shoes are always hard. With jeans I either wear suede heels or reeboks or I dig through the men’s section of Goodwill’s here in Texas looking for cowboy boots.
• One of my toxic traits is that I cannot keep track of earrings. One is allways disappearing I can’t explain it. It’s useless to me have any type of costly earrings. They just have short lifespans in my care. I humbly buy a bag of very cheap gold earrings and ride with em for as long as I have em.
Now, do share! Do you have an aesthetic? Sound off in the comments below!
(And thank you to Will for taking this picture of me on his lunch break.)
Being a New Yorker, I wear the “all black” uniform. Black trousers, black cashmere sweaters turtleneck, black suites, black/dark wash jeans, black tops you get the picture. Boring you say… I say no, it’s not… I do add interesting high end accessories. Chanel ballet flats in the summer, velvet slipper shoes (check out Jon Joseph) and black boots in the winter. Prada did a monkey shoe several years ago-amazing but unfortunately unavailable now. Pearl or diamond stud earrings, watch and rings. Rinse and repeat. Call me boring, but it works. Classics all day everyday!
Much to my husband’s dismay as he loves color and would love to see me in it. So, I do wear white and navy… sticking to the neutrals.
Whatever style make you feel your best and beautiful, I say go for it!
I am turning 41 in a few months and have found myself unleashing my wild feral self as I age: I’ve said good-bye to almost all waistbands and have a collection of fun patterned boilersuits (coveralls, jumpsuits…whatever they call them) and loose flowy shirt dresses. Leopard print is the new black and I frequently mix it with other patterns. I think the sad state of the world has made me go totally YOLO in terms of not caring what others think, not caring about “trends”, and not caring about what a 40-something “should” wear. Is it comfortable? Does it bring me joy? What I have noticed since going feral, I receive SO MANY COMPLIMENTS from strangers regarding my clothes. So it also brings others joy!
My go-to clothing for this feral shift is RedSky (shopredsky.com) – a small batch, queer + woman owned Canadian clothing shop. Highly recommend for others wanting to unleash their cozy feral side. ;)
I’m 45 and sticking to my skinnies. Tik tokkers be dammed. Other jeans make me look frumpy, and skinnies make me feel good. Wear what makes you feel good!!!
Not long before the pandemic started, I felt like I was landing on a style that I described as “a little bit Katharine Hepburn, a little bit Lorelei, a little bit Time Lord”. However, then I and everyone else landed solidly in the land of soft pants always. I’m slowly coming out of that comfort-hole.
For my birthday last year, I bought myself my very first pair of Louboutins (which I wore once before needed to repair them, because I was too excited and didn’t do research. Did you know you have to put a protector on the sole if you ever want to wear them outside?! 35 is clearly just as impatient as 12). Next on my fashion list is new pants: black skinny, black boot or straight, a dark wash skinny (clearly I refuse to give them up), and a mid wash boot or straight.
I’ve decided I’m in a transitional season with clothes, where I have do-fers that will keep me while/until I research the sustainable “best” version. I want to move away from fast fashion to truly sustainable/repairable/ethical fashion. Baby steps.
Yes. Joy yes! This is why I started a fashion blog 3 weeks ago, why leave style influences up to 20 year olds on TikTok? My three clothing adjectives are nostalgic, breathable and special which are also my life values.
A colleague once described my style as “black and a blanket”. And I have just embraced that to play with textures and accents ( for date night- black silk dress and a silk scarf, for work- a black cashmere sweater, narrow pants and a giant wool wrap, for the weekend, black joggers, a black denim shirt and a hand knit scarf). I love playing with the combinations and expressing my mood. Also keeps my impulse thrift purchases in check.
As a native central Texan, I am keenly aware of, but yet never ready for, our hot summers. While I try to be stylish, my wardrobe has to be comfortable.
I do love classic French looks. It always looks effortlessly chic. I only discovered Sezane last year but I have quickly become obsessed. Their Tomboy shirt (that you referenced) is wonderful – a beautiful, quality cotton and a perfect fit. I get compliments on it every single time I wear it.
I can’t wait to look at the links you provided. Thank you for sharing!
Oh man, I do love those jeans but I simply cannot figure out how I am supposed to sit in these rib cage pants without feeling like I am being cut in half by a magician! Look amazing standing, but I better not plan to sit all day.
i don’t know wth i would call my aesthetic, but lately i’ve been drifting towards simpler pieces that can be dressed up where i feel sexy (or at least sexy adjacent) or down where i’m comfy but still look polished. i’m living for solid neutrals (blacks, creamy whites, cognacs, oh my), playing with textures to make it interesting (please drape me in velvet for the rest of my life tyvm). satiny/silky/swishy camisoles, oversized semi-cropped shirts, high neck lines make me feel fancy AF. half tuck into the front of my high waist jeans, throw on my fave tennis shoes or block heels, dry shampoo tousle my hair, fill in my brows, mascara always, a creamy mauve lip, and i’m out the door! but that’s daytime jeannette! nightime jeannette wants to feel like a smokeshow! i recently dusted off a black Express jumpsuit – the top half is corset style with a strapless sweetheart neckline, and the bottom half is like the best fitting pair of slim slacks that hit just above the ankle. paired with high block heels, simple gold dangly earrings, and extra smokey eyeshadow – i was surrounded by tons of beautiful people but i still felt exquisite.
so, minimal polished smokeshow? is that an aesthetic?
I love that, Jeannette!
I am with you and I always lose one earring tribe! In addition I love hoops but struggle with many styles because I can’t close them!
I bought these in silver and just love them! Plus they have tons of styles if you don’t like the bling.
PAVOI 18K Gold https://a.co/d/jdczD41
What about perfume?
First of all, LOVE this. Thank you. My personal style/aesthetic quest has filled the edges of my brain, notes app, and pages upon pages of literalll journals for the better part of a decade and I’ve finally landed in the Classic/French/Bohemian camp. I’m with you in the non-stretch denim department (Levis & Point Sur denim are my faves), natural fabrics/materials, and classic cuts with some earthy, lacy, floral flair. For jewelry, I consistently reach for my chunky silver and turquoise cuffs that belonged to my mom and grandma and/or barely-there necklaces and earrings (speaking of, have you hopped on the “huggie” train? A more comfortable and secure solution to studs. I’ve loved my pairs from AMYO). I’ve got my makeup and skincare down to a pretty solid list of tried-and-trues, but the hair journey is another story–– but we are ON IT. Should we talk about this for several more hours? Always here for it, if so.
Joy the Baker
Ha! We should maybe talk about all of this for several more hours! I googled the Point Sur jeans and Amyo earrings immediately and THANK YOU! the jeans are out of stock but the earrings are so so cute! Definitely going to grab a few pairs once I lose my current batch of amazon goldies!
Finding my style has been SUCH a challenge for me but I feel like I’m ultimately drawn to what I’ve just now decided to call ‘summer camp chic’. Sometimes I’m the camp director in a button down and slacks, sometimes I’m a fun counselor sneaking out for a date in a flirty dress and reeboks, and sometimes I’m a nine year old in a tie-dye shirt and cutoffs running through the sprinklers. We’re working on it!
Joy the Baker
YES FRIEND Summer Camp Chic! I could instantly see it! You’re realy onto something. Oh I’m seeing cute bandanas, too!
I always have a meltdown during the initial spring and fall weather change. It helps immensely to have a plan, and I thank you for reminding me. It has been too cold and wet so far this spring in Oregon to worry about it, but I know that lever is going to come down fast. Thanks for some fresh ideas and new stores to add to my clothing bookmarks.
Joy the Baker
I hope some sunny spring days are headed your way soon! Wait… do those even happen in Oregon?
Thank you for always sharing! Always love your posts. Question: the chain in your palm – necklace or bracelet? I looked for a link but couldn’t find -perhaps it is a longtime favorite with personal history?
Joy the Baker
Oh you’re right! I don’t think I included a link for that! It’s actually from the jewelry section of Sezane. Admittedly a little pricey for what it is but I bought it for myself during spendier days, if you know what I mean.