Musings & Miscellany

Style Rut or Style Groove?

Happy day, reader dear!

Do you ever find yourself somewhere and wonder how you got there?

You know… One moment you close the front door with keys in hand, and the next time you notice, you’re parked at Target, putting on your mask to go in and look for toilet paper and paper towels. (Yes, future readers, this post was written in 2021!) It can feel scary, right? But autopilot and habits can also be helpful. I don’t have to think about brushing my teeth in the morning, it just happens.

When we repeat an action, it becomes a habit. A habit can save brain space and reduce decision fatigue. I start each morning with hot water with lemon and ginger. I don’t have to think about it or decide, tea? Coffee? Hot cocoa? Hot water with lemon and ginger it is. (Unless we are out of lemons or ginger.) Habits can also confine us. Imagine the child who has a peanut butter and jelly sandwich every day for lunch. What does she do when Aunt Mary takes her out to lunch and they don’t serve PB&J? If Aunt Mary is lucky, little Suzie will branch out. If not? Look out Aunt Mary. Meltdown is on the menu.

Our style and wardrobing habits are no different! The track that habit lays can be a groove that smooths our day and makes our life happier and easier. As we continue to run that same track, we can find it’s become a boring rut out of which we struggle to escape. Does dressing feel like a groove? Or a rut? What’s the difference?


A groove makes you happy, feels freeing and fun. You look in your closet, and there are options that make you happy. Choosing an outfit for the day may not be easy, but it doesn’t feel like work. It feels more like creation or play. I think this is the place we’d all like to be! (Maybe that’s wishful thinking, but I don’t think anyone says, Hey, I want getting dressed to frustrate me daily. Give me more of that, please.)


In contrast, a rut makes you miserable. You feel trapped and icky. In closet terms, getting dressed is frustrating at best, infuriating at worst. When it’s easy, the results are disappointing. You don’t feel your best. It’s Bad Hair Day meets Groundhog Day. When I talk to women (AND men. Yes, it happens to them, too.) who are in a rut they say things like My closet is boring. Or Nothing works. Or worse, I’m too old for style. There’s many a reason, but it may be as simple as having outgrown your style. Yes, that happens!

Sticky and stuck…

What’s Next?

As Lucy Van Pelt (of Peanuts) famously says, The mere fact that you realize you need help indicates that you are not too far gone. In other words, it’s time for a style renaissance. Or maybe style therapy. Because you deserve to feel good about how you look. ⁣There’s no age limit. There’s no need to earn it. You get to look and feel great now.⁣⁣ Not 10 pounds from now. NOW.⁣ If you’ve been waiting for permission, here you go:

You have permission to look and feel great at at ANY weight AND AT ANY AGE! Got it?⁣ GOOD!⁣

How to Get Out (of a Rut)

Read. (I like to think blogs like this can help!) Figure out what YOU like AND what you don’t. Wear more of what makes you happy when you see yourself in the mirror! Play in your closet. Here’s some other ideas… If you are retired, but a super relaxed style isn’t yours, that’s fine! You don’t have to dress like a retiree. You do you. Wear what makes your heart sing!

If you are struggling to put the pieces together, it’s okay to get help from a professional. (Yes, that is a shameless plug.) No one thinks there’s anything wrong with getting tutoring for trouble with math, or asking for help with a computer application we are struggling with, so why do we treat style differently? Style is a skill, too.

Feeling good about how we look is good for our confidence. We underestimate (Well, I don’t!) the power of what we wear to alter our mood and feelings about ourselves. This truth is as old as human history. Science backs it up.

How About You?

Do you feel like you are in a style groove? Or has your groove become a rut? Have you ever looked into your closet and thought, I’d like to burn it all and start over. Or, Who bought these clothes? Have you been in a rut before? What did you do to get out? I hope it didn’t involve a bonfire… (You can start anew with what you already own!) Do tell, one way or another. love to hear from you!

Stylishly yours,



    Liz, I forgot to add that I kept track of hat I ore for one month. Then I lightly figured out ho I as spending my time as a retiree. From there I decided basically ho much did I need for each activity over a month’s time. A little extra but I felt it as orth the trouble in the end!!

    • Liz K

      It’s always worth the time to figure out what you actually wear, Natalie! (So that you can stop buying the things you don’t wear.) And how much you need. These are both totally personal and no list can do it for you…


    Liz, I as in a rut and this is my specialty!! I had let my family become more important than myself! I realized I’ve alays dressed up more than others. Liz helped me realize that as a retiree I should continue to be myself!! I ent back to the draing board tp get out of my rut. I printeresed many pictures and noarroed don to LOVES!! Then I took a ne look at my body shape and decided hat I anted to disquise and dra attention. Then I decided ho my style of dress had changed but realized I as continuing to buy some clothing items for my old body. I’m a Spring so stayed ith my colors. Then I took a look at my ardrobe and gifted hat just simple asn’t orking for me. Not fitting or flattering!! Then I played ith outfits and my accessories. I added some accessories. I’ve bought some ne clothing over time. Filled in hat I needed as I made outfits that ere missing items. Then I bought clothing after deciding on items for a ardrobe capsule. I’m no in my groove but it’s a journey!! All your advice is a part of that journey I am on!! LOVE your posts!! Thank you so very much!! You have the best advice!! Your great liz!!

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