Men: Why Do Their Clothes Take A Dive When They Retire?
By Karen and Erica
Men. We love them. They are our colleagues, friends and family. Many of them have been really good to us. And many of them are retiring now, just like us.
But we worry about one thing.
We have changed our approach to clothing since we retired. We don't go to court any more and we don't have to comply with a dress code. So we wear suits rather less--and when we do they often involve sequins. We experiment. We opt often to put together creative outfits from various sources.
Even though we don't have to look like lawyers any more, we seldom leave home looking anything other than put together and stylish--at least that is the plan. We like to face the world with an image we have curated. First impressions are critical. We continue to want to be taken seriously as women of, and in, the world, even though we no longer have institutional arms around us.
Men, on the other hand, seem to have no such instinct. Many of the retired men we know are perfectly comfortable appearing in public looking as if they had slept, and gardened, and cleaned the house, in their clothes. Their definitions of freedom and self-determination seem to be the freedom not to have to shave--or perhaps even to shower. And men we know who are soon to retire can't wait to do the same.
What's up with that? No satisfactory answer has been offered.
We surmise that, while we are not confident unless we are reasonably proud of how we present ourselves, men are perfectly confident that they will be taken seriously, and seen for the sexy, experienced fellows they are, no matter what they are wearing. If an occasion calls for professional suave or party duds, they can still pull it together, calling forth their inner Cary Grant. But if not--who cares? Are they thinking, "everyone knows I am a silver fox, no matter what I am wearing"?
We are not sure, but in any event, while we might wish we were supremely confident no matter how we looked, that is not what we learned from our decades of working. We think whenever you go out, you had better decide on a look, and wear it well. Luckily, we love dress up. So we'll let the men do what they want (unless they accompany us somewhere in public) and we will own the confidence we have earned by ensuring that we look as cool as we can.