I Am Too Old for This S**t, Fashion Edition

Oct 26, 2022

I’ve said it before, and I will say it again: I am too old to suffer for fashion.  I have reached an age where I need my mattress, my pillow, my slippers, etc. to get a decent night’s sleep, so I am completely unwilling to be pinched, poked, constrained or hurt in any way by my daytime attire.

Some of you may be fine in the too-tight-in-the-toe Louboutins or the killer dress that you can’t move your arms in, but I am not.  Not anymore.  I have suffered all I am will to suffer.  The lasting impact of the pandemic is that I will not go gently into that good night while being suffocated by shapewear.  So here are a few of the pieces that help me get that professional look, comfortably.

The Shoes // When I need high heels, there are a handful of brands that give me the comfort I need to wear them all day without pain.  With a cushioned footbed and bouncy synthetic sole, my first choice are Cole Haan pumps, especially these basic heels.  These pumps are comfortable, but they’re not orthopedic.

One step up from the Cole Haan pumps (that pun was unintentional, but it stays) are Rockport, Sofft or Naturalizer heels.  These brands don’t just add cushion, they construct shoes for support and comfort.  I have owned all of them, and I would buy any one of them again.  And I am definitely buying these Naturalizer pumps for work (so chic!).

As for flats, Rothy’s are my number one choice due to their flexible fabric and cushy sole.  But again, these are cushy, not supportive.  For real support from a casual flat, I’ve never found a better option than Birdie’s.  Every time I put them on, it’s like a vacation for my feet.  Need pointed toe shoes? Rockport’s Total Motion Flats are the way to go.

The Pants // The last thing I need is a pinchy waistband digging into my side halfway through the work day.  I prevent this in several ways:

  1. I no longer care about the size on the tag; I buy the pants that fit. Period. Sizing up never hurt anyone.
  2. I no longer wear low rise anything, ever. My body is no longer built for that, and that’s okay.
  3. I look for soft fabrics that stretch and move when I do.

Top of the list for the best pants are these Ann Taylor pull on pants with a flat waist band.  Their high waist side zip pants are also on this list.

Need something other than a wide leg cut?  You want NYDJ’s Sculpt Her line. Lots of style.  Also in plus.  And they make blazers and skirts with the same forgiving fabrics and cuts.

The Bra // After many years of thinking that I was wearing a comfortable bra when I really wasn’t, I finally found one that doesn’t bind or pinch.  Natori makes a lot of great bras, but their Bliss Perfection Bra is the one for me.

On the weekends, I like the True & Co. v-neck bra; it has just the right amount of support for my smedium-sized bust.  The company also makes a line of wire-free options for women with larger chests.

The Shapewear // I know, I know, the words shapewear and comfort aren’t usually said in the same breath, but sometimes, a girl just needs to smooth it out and lift it up to look her best.  And I’m not advocating for corset-like suffocation, just a little help in the right areas to keep the line of my clothes smooth.

Since having my daughter, I wear Soma’s ultralight shaping thong under most dresses. I also like Commando’s shapewear short because there is no waist band to pinch me.  Or if you wear a lot of skirts and dresses, don’t skip out on a shaping slip to smooth things without the thigh pinch.

The Blazer // When I have a long day ahead of me — whether I’m driving to a client meeting far away or I’ll be in the office til God knows when — I need to wear my comfortable blazer.  The one I can move my arms in.  The one I can stretch in.  The one that doesn’t constrict my elbows while I type, making my fingers go numb.  NYDJ’s classic knit blazer is that blazer.

Do you have a piece of clothing that looks stylish but feels comfortable?  A piece you love to wear and tell everyone about?  Leave it in the comments.

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Style, Work

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  1. Jil says:

    I love the theme of this post! Shoutout to Wit & Wisdom “ab-solution” jeans, found at Nordstrom. They have a stretchy waistband with an actual button and zipper fly so they look like regular jeans, and the jean is soft and stretchy but more durable than leggings. These jeans are just as (or more??) comfortable as my beloved joggers.

  2. Annie says:

    Appreciate this post and have hit the stage of life/career where I’m on the same page. I’m also trying to pickup comfortable high quality pieces that I think will be fairly timeless on me. I picked up a pair of these on Poshmark and they have been a comfortable workhorse: https://thefoldlondon.com/product/workout-performance-4-way-stretch-twill-slim-leg-trousers-midnight-blue/ and I’ve loved this jacket for everything from court to casual: https://fourobjects.com/products/rabbitjacket?al_pg_id=22dd1c99-4c4e-461e-a247-7574abf7774e Spending much more per piece than I used to, but also buying many less pieces, mostly used.

  3. Lindsey says:

    Same same, and wanted to say that for suiting, I pretty much only wear the M.M.LaFleur jardigans. They drape beautifully, I can wash them at home, and there is no bunching or pinching. I’ve worn the Woolf to court for the last five or so years. It is a little more elevated than a normal knit. Highly recommend.

  4. Samantha says:

    I love everything about this post. I needed to read this in my current season of life. Thank you.

  5. Julia says:

    Liverpool Kelsey Trousers are my go-to comfort pants for work!

  6. LMP says:

    Slow clap for this! Thank you for the suggestions and thank you to those who added theirs in the comments!

  7. Susan says:

    So glad to see this post, I have felt this way post pandemic but felt it might be just me. My suggestions are as follows: NYDJ ponte pants for work—they wash so well, do not pill and hold color forever. I’ve also embraced the sweater vest over a button down shirt trend, it passes for office appropriate, appears a little trendy/young when styled with a fun pearl choker/accessories. Also love Sofft wedge heels, they are better than most heels for long term standing/walking. Also I’ve discovered Soma “smart bras” and I will never look back. They feel like a hug, but still supportive to these been there done that boobs. Can’t wait to read other’s suggestions!

  8. Lost says:

    Thank you for the suggestions for comfortable workwear. I’ve been loving Kut from the Kloth jeans lately. Lumps and bumps in my thighs don’t show through and the Fab Ab collection is super comfortable. Size down.

  9. Lisa says:

    Love this post and Amen sistah! I fell in love with the High Waist Straight Pants in Double knit from Ann Taylor https://www.anntaylor.com/the-high-waist-straight-pant-in-double-knit/592648?skuId=33570013&defaultColor=5051&catid=cata000013&selectedColor=5051

    Bought both the spring colors and have worn them to work, dinners, girls night etc. They pack amazingly for travel, machine washable.They are simply the best. New colors in for fall and now they come in tall also, Hint: I always wear tall pants in AT, but since they weren’t available last spring I bought regular and they fit me well. Tall would be too long. Also, I tried the ankle style in these and found them to be more fitted and way too short, so I highly recommend the full length.

  10. Kristen says:

    Thank you!!!! I could not high five this post more. First for your always spot-on recommendations but also for realizing that we ARE to old for this sh*t. I’ve been reading you since way back when, your DC days(!) and you’ve matured in your fashion, and are always spot on with your ability to mix trend and classic lines. Please keep doing what you’re doing, you’re great. And congrats on the baby, to both you and Kyle. (Please, more guest posts from him! He’s hilarious)

  11. Allison says:

    Yes to all of this!

    My favorite recent buy (pretty sure I saw it here in the first place) is the Columnist High Waisted Knit Trouser from Express. I have the wide leg one, plan on buying at least one more wide leg and maybe trying others from the line as well. Pull on, so no digging. Material has a great weight so they drape beautifully. Bonus, they are on sale right now (along with just about everything at Express).

    At 5’3″ish, I have to wear heels but I would live in these pants if I could. https://www.express.com/clothing/women/columnist-high-waisted-knit-trouser-pant/pro/09192116/color/Pitch%20Black/e/regular/

  12. S says:

    Eileen Fisher took the Rothy’s fabric concept and applied it to booties. It’s amazing. There are several styles and this is my fav below. I’m obsessed.

    https://www.eileenfisher.com/purl-recycled-stretch-knit-bootie/EF46223.html?loc=US

  13. J says:

    Hi ladies! Does anyone know how Birdies hold up to city walking? I’m planning a vacation (yay finally!) and am looking for something as comfy as but dressier than Allbirds Tree Skippers. Thanks!

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