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These Stylish Senior Women Just Say “No” to Sweatpants

Meet a few 70-plus women who like to turn up and turn out in style.

The recent death of legendary designer Karl Lagerfeld has many people remembering his famous and rather savage quote, “Sweatpants are a sign of defeat. You lost control of your life so you bought some sweatpants.”

I find that if I’m dressed and put together properly, that I can put my day together in a better way.

Now, we like our cozy sweatpants as much as the next person, but think they have a time and a place. And a group of women in New Jersey, ages 77 and up, certainly feel the same way. They are residents of an “engaged-living” retirement community called Applewood in Freehold, NJ, who were recently profiled on App.com for their sophisticated take on Jersey Shore style.

“Psychologically, I feel better when I’m dressed,” said Marjorie Zemek, 77, who wore a twirly above-the-knee skirt and chic turtleneck. “If I have makeup on and I’m wearing something that I like, I am happier… a more joyful kind of person. Don’t get me wrong: When I’m at home, I’m in old sweats and old jeans. But when I leave my apartment, I am always dressed.”

Engaged Living

These Stylish Senior Women Just Say "No" to Sweatpants | NextTribe

Stylish Applewood residents (from left to right) Pat Christiansen, Joann Milazzo, Marjorie Zemek, Norma Rothstein and Jean Frailey. Image: Applewood/Facebook

“I won’t leave the house without makeup,” added Norma Rothstein, a retired dental hygienist who will soon turn 91. She chooses to color her hair, keep her nails polished, and accessorize her classic, tailored clothes with bold jewelry (in one photo, she’s seen in a graphic red and black sweater over black pants with a chunky necklace and earrings. Noted Norma, “It gives me a feeling of well-being that I look good and I’m ready to go out.”

Agreed Jean Frailey, who is 80 years old and before retirement worked as a Salvation Army officer: “I find that if I’m dressed and put together properly, that I can put my day together in a better way. I can be more productive, I can do what I’m supposed to do because I feel like I’m ready for the game.” For her photo, she wore a sleek black pantsuit with floral embellishments at the shoulder.

Create your own uniform, Zemek advised.  And one of her suggestions sound to our ears as if it has all the comfort of sweats with a little more chic. Her example: “Leggings with a bigger top and boots. It’s easy and it’s adorable.”

Wonder what Karl Lagerfeld would have said?

By Janet Siroto


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