Dressing down

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Grey nomads still like to wear makeuo
You can still look good on the road

Dear Jaclyn and Heidi,
I don’t want life on the open road to turn into me into a slob! Up until I retired six months ago, I worked in an executive environment where personal presentation was vital. I lalways iked to look my best … and I still do! Now I am no precious Princess. I under­stand that not everywhere has running water and a place to plug in my hair dryer, and I’m fine with that. But I like to try! At a Happy Hour last week there were comments made about the fact I was wearing lipstick and had ironed a sharp crease in my blouse. And this from women who had clearly stopped ‘making an effort’ some time ago! Should I really have to ‘de-glam’ to fit in with other less stylish grey nomads?

Forget those ill-considered comments, Allanah. Your trip is about what you want, and there is no reason you shouldn’t take pride in your appearance. However, you are still adjusting to your new lifestyle. Most people who re­tire to live on the road slowly evolve their style and their dress ‘code’ typically becomes more relaxed. Collared shirts become T-Shirts and creased trousers become shorts. But that’s just for them … you do what is right for you. Be aware though that human nature means that there will always be people who comment on others who are different … whether it be because they have got a larger-than-average rig or because they wear make-up and a dress for a pic­nic on the Birdsville Track! Be true to who you are, Allanah.

You can’t have it both ways, Allanah. You object to people judging you for the way you present yourself but then seem eager to label all grey nomads as slobs, and attack women who dress for their surround­ings for ‘not making an effort’. The clear inference is you consider yourself better than them. Newsflash, Allanah! You’re not in the boardroom now and you’ll soon find the road is a great leveller. We’re all equal whether we’re in a ‘ luxury rig or a battered second-hand van, and it’s your ‘superior’ attitude – not your dress sense – that will lose you friends. Put on your mascara and do your hair for that big night out at the campfire if you want, Allanah. Just don’t look down on others for mak­ing different clothing choices.


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