Dressing for Visibility Over 50

Do you dress to stand out? I seldom do but occasionally find that my normal is other people’s stand out. I always dress to be seen because invisibility feels insulting. I discovered just how visible I can tolerate this week.

Without the necklace, this outfit would look very plain.

Taking the time to dress nicely is a form of self-respect and my day always goes better when I do. Murphy’s Law ensures the day I don’t put on lipstick or finish my outfit with accessories, I’ll run into someone that makes me wish I hadn’t neglected it.

RV fashion

I’m not talking about over the top ornamentation…but a necklace, scarf or simple earrings are frequently all it takes to add a level of polish to your look.

This week we’ve been in an extremely casual place. I got to thinking about visibility and how loudly our clothes speak about us after an interesting evening in the local pub. The valley is filled with vacationers and has a very low key vibe.

Spotted Lake

WEARING- hattunic topearrings

After a day of sightseeing, we cleaned up to go to a local pub to watch the Warriors win. I kept on the same earrings, pants, and top and brushed my hat hair out, best I could.


I changed out of my flat shoes to a very low block heel, freshened my lipstick and added a colorful scarf. Not very different than what I wore during the day but enough of a change to make me feel dressed up for the occasion. I was a bit dressier than the other patrons but not in a major way.

An hour after we got there a woman came in wearing the shortest, tightest skirt I’d ever seen. Her clothes made her stand out. The men and women at this pub couldn’t help but look at her…me included.

Later, I reflected on how visible I want to be and know that I’m not uncomfortable standing out… but I’m uncomfortable sticking out like a sore thumb.

How about you?

Are you uncomfortable standing out?

Thanks for reading and have a great day!

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  1. June 16, 2017 / 4:16 am

    You look so lovely in pastels, Jennifer and stand out in the perfect way. The pinks and blues you have been wearing lately are spot on for your coloring. You would turn heads in any room.

    • June 16, 2017 / 6:23 am

      Thanks Pam. It’s new to me as you know, because black has always taken center stage in my wardrobe.

  2. Lezlie Davis
    June 16, 2017 / 4:38 am

    I don’t mind standing out if I’m appropriately dressed. Wearing a very short and tight skirt doesn’t fit my definition of appropriate. But who knows? Maybe she thought it was appropriate. We humans are such interesting creatures, aren’t we? I love what you wore. Pink is so pretty on you!

    • June 16, 2017 / 6:26 am

      I’m assuming she felt confident and appropriate too, Lezlie. We are certainly diverse and one woman’s delight is another’s woman’s torture. Thanks, I’m really enjoying pink.

  3. Linda
    June 16, 2017 / 4:54 am

    I feel exactly as you do. I want to look put together and accessorized, but I do not want to stand out. I tend to wear dark pants, or shorts and lighter tops. Since I am hippy, and somewhat overweight, I do not wear splashy prints or patterned pants. I love wearing jewelry and lipstick. And scarves, although living in Florida, the scarves are difficult to wear unless one is going to an airconditioned mall!

    • June 16, 2017 / 6:29 am

      Scarves are tough in the humidity! Good call on the patterned bottoms, Linda. They do draw more attention than solids.

  4. Sandy Andry
    June 16, 2017 / 5:00 am

    My “getting dressed” philosophy is the same as yours. It’s just as easy to put on something that is cute and matches rather than putting on something ugly and dumpy looking. Getting dressed for the day is the fun. I am not uncomfortable by standing out, but I must stand out for the right reasons. Really great looking? YES! Didn’t try and look like I came from working in the garden? NO!

    • June 16, 2017 / 6:30 am

      Perfect analogy, Sandy! It’s fun for me too!!

  5. June 16, 2017 / 5:12 am

    I enjoy wearing accessories and “making an effort” with my grooming. It shows respect for myself and others (I think). My husband and I (with dog)are setting off this morning for a trip to the Methow Valley in Washington. We usually have a couple of nice meals at The Freestone Inn near Mazama so I just feel better with some jewelry, a scarf, and a pair of ballerinas along.I feel appreciated when someone remarks about my look. It really is not so much about the clothes but about the little touches.

    • June 16, 2017 / 6:32 am

      I agree with you completely Joanne! Those little touches make all the difference.

  6. Laurel
    June 16, 2017 / 5:22 am

    Interesting post and I completely agree. I’m often playing with my accessories and outfit on the way out the door, and my DH invariably says, “Have you seen how people dress? Why are you worried about what you’re wearing?” (Yet he usually remarks on how nice I look…) And my response is I’m not worried or dressing for everyone else. Just for me. And I know how much/little I want to dress up and exactly the message I am sending.

    Your switchup here is perfect and something I can see myself doing. Enjoying ‘being along’ on your trip.

    • June 16, 2017 / 6:35 am

      I completely agree with you, Joanne. Little touches go a long long way. Have a great trip!

    • Yvette hammond
      June 16, 2017 / 10:07 am

      I agree with you. Sometimes when traveling I do not bring enough accessories to my satisfaction. I will definitely do better in my next trip!

      • June 16, 2017 / 12:04 pm

        Accessories take up little space, other than hats, and stretch outfits much further.

  7. Yvonne
    June 16, 2017 / 5:43 am

    Both your outfits are fabulous and totally appropriate. I would do the same as you, take it up a notch for an evening look, even if it is a casual evening. I don’t dress to get noticed, but I do like bold accessories and always seem to get compliments when I’m out.

    • June 16, 2017 / 6:37 am

      Bold jewelry is such a fun way to accessorize, Yvonne. Getting compliments means you’re getting noticed and that others appreciate your efforts.

  8. Barbara Daley
    June 16, 2017 / 5:48 am

    love this look on you

  9. Phawnda Moore
    June 16, 2017 / 8:16 am

    The colors and choices are lovely. Since studying fashion design in college, I learned my body type and style. It hasn’t changed over the decades, although, of course, clothes have! We also had another student draw our (standing) body shape on paper (taped to wall). It’s one thing to see yourself reflected in a mirror, another to see your shape in outline form.

    I’m still a strong classic with a bit of dramatic thrown in to not be boring. Also, at 5’2 and a size 6, I’m very aware of scale ~ have to be really careful at Chico’s!

    It might be fun sometime, Jennifer, to do this kind of style “test.” I still remember it and it’s very helpful.

    Love your blog and advice. You always look wonderful1

    • June 16, 2017 / 9:59 am

      That would be enlightening, Phawnda! Seeing your true silhouette would be very helpful. Many assume it’s the waist they determine your best garment choices but shoulders and hips play a much more important roll. Yes, Chico’s scale is large on many things so at 5’2 their petites could overwhelm you. Thanks so much!

  10. June 16, 2017 / 8:39 am

    Love the pup! (And you look lovely too.) xo

  11. Glenda Kociolek
    June 16, 2017 / 9:01 am

    Do you find the white top pictured wrinkled easily? I am considering ordering for a trip but noted on website several comments on the wrinkle aspect. I need something packable. Thank you

    • August 9, 2017 / 12:03 pm

      It does wrinkle so I’m not sure it’s best for suitcase packing, Glenda.

  12. marlene alves
    June 16, 2017 / 9:02 am

    I too, dress for myself and have since I was a teenager designing & making my own clothes in those days,. As a senior (far beyond 50’s), I continue to do so and earrings are an everyday item, even if I am not leaving the house.

    Jennifer, I like the contrast you use when illustrating the difference between “standing out” and “sticking out”. Good one..!

    P.S. And like Pam states, you look fabulous in those ‘pastels…so light & airy. Lovely on you…!

    • June 16, 2017 / 10:03 am

      Thanks Marlene! Mutton dressed as lamb or sticking out is never a comfortable feeling for me.

  13. Debbie Z.
    June 16, 2017 / 9:49 am

    Jennifer, your hair looks fabulous in those photos taken on the back of your RV. I don’t know what you are doing with it, but you should definitely keep it up. You look just great.

    • June 16, 2017 / 12:03 pm

      Thanks Debbie! I’m sticking with the Rogaine because it’s made all the difference for me.

  14. Susan
    June 16, 2017 / 12:47 pm

    I also agree. I dress for myself because it makes me feel good. If I dress like a slob, I feel like a slob. Besides, I’m just as comfortable in jeans and a nice top and scarf as I would be in jeans and a frumpy sweatshirt. And, as you say, it never fails you run into someone or end up in a situation in which you wished you’d dressed a little more carefully. I’d rather be slightly overdressed than underdressed. Standing out is preferable to sticking out.

    • June 16, 2017 / 2:29 pm

      I agree completely with you, Susan! I feel so horrible when I haven’t taken the extra effort to finish my look. Overdressed is always preferable to me too:)

  15. Elizabeth
    June 16, 2017 / 3:01 pm

    Hi Jennifer,

    Your pink J. Jill boyfriend pants are so cute on you! Did you have them hemmed? It doesn’t look like they are cuffed in the picture, but I’m not sure.

    • June 16, 2017 / 5:00 pm

      Mine are almost like the ones in the link, but no longer available. These look just like them.

  16. June 16, 2017 / 8:27 pm

    I don’t mind standing out a little as long as it’s in a good way… not in an itsy bitsy teeny tiny skirt sort of way! I love your statement that “taking the time to dress nicely is a form of self-respect.” A touch of make up and a pair of earrings or a necklace can go a long way toward making you look and feel put together even on the road.

    I thought of you today when I bought a hat that will accompany me on our upcoming travels.

    • June 17, 2017 / 7:02 am

      They do go a long way and just the effort makes us feel better. Hats are a terrific way to make a style statement! Happy travels, Elaine.

  17. Eileen
    June 28, 2017 / 10:02 am

    About a year ago, I started wearing a statement necklace every time I left the house, even if it was paired with just a t-shirt and jeans. All of a sudden, I went from invisible to noticed. I get compliments on my necklaces almost every time I go out now, from grocery store cashiers, bank clerks, random passersby. It really does change the entire look of an outfit and I feel very frumpy and boring if I go out now without wearing one.

    • June 29, 2017 / 6:37 am

      Statement necklaces make a huge difference! I wear one most days myself Eileen. Good for you!

  18. August 9, 2017 / 10:31 am

    I am getting addicted to this blog, Jennifer. I almost always wear earrings every day – even if I am gardening. It just makes me feel like myself. I am an artist and finally realized that it’s OK to send that message. I don’t want to call attention to myself, but I do want to project an image that is in synch with the way I view myself. That way, others can ignore me or strike up a conversation if they get the impulse. I love meeting new people!

    By the way, I must have missed it if you mentioned the shoes you have been wearing lately – the ones you have on in this blog. Please tell me what brand they are.

    • August 9, 2017 / 12:15 pm

      I’m happy you’re here, Sue! Dressing in an artistic way is fun and I enjoy doing it sometimes too! These shoes I’m wearing are here http://rstyle.me/n/cq9jwx39zw

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