| | |

What I Wore: This is 44

This article may contain affiliate links; if you click on a shopping link and make a purchase I may receive a commission. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Alison Gary of Wardrobe Oxygen in a red wrap dress from Universal Standard

Guess who was born 44 years ago today?  Moi!  Happy birthday to me! I know a lot of people dread their birthdays, but the older I get the more I am glad I am able to be healthy and here to celebrate it.  And I feel stronger and healthier at 44 years of age than I did at 43.  Age is but a number, and while we can't stop the hands of time, we can make some small changes to better enjoy the time we have on this planet.  And I'm going to enjoy it rocking this red Universal Standard wrap dress!

universal standard red wrap dress 4

dress | necklace | earrings | shoes | ring | lipstick | lipgloss

red universal standard dress 3

Dress: Rivers Wrap Dress c/o Universal Standard (XS) | Earrings: Lovestruck Earrings c/o Jenny Bird | Necklace: Love Pendant c/o Jenny Bird | Ring: Baublebar | Shoes: c/o Talbots (same shoe but color sold out; similar shoe in the same color) | Lipstick: L'Oreal in Matte-traction Red | Lipgloss: Avon True Color Lip Glow Gloss in Flame

universal standard wrap dress 3


Valentine's Day is right around the corner and this look would be perfect for it.  I recently received this Universal Standard wrap dress.  It's a crepey fabric that doesn't cling and is opaque.  I love the gathering at the shoulders which ensures there's plenty of coverage at the bust. The sleeves have proper cuffs and buttons which makes the dress more work-appropriate and look more expensive. I wasn't sure what shoes to wear with it, but taking my advice from Friday's post where I say there should be one “off” thing, I picked these plum suede pumps from Talbots.  You've seen them before in this blog post.  I like the effect much better than black, nude, or leopard (the regular go-to shoes).

universal standard dresses petite 4

Jenny Bird sent me the earrings and necklace to celebrate her “Love” collection and they are pieces that are lovely now, but also after Valentine's Day.  I think the necklace is too cool, a very subtle way of writing the word while making it a cool sculpture.  Jenny Bird jewelry continues to be one of my favorites for the creativity, modern look, and the impressive quality.

universal standard petite dress review 3

So back to feeling good at 44.  In 2018 I started a new job (this here thing you're reading) and a new lifestyle.  I go to the gym every weekday morning for 30 minutes.  We usually do weight training, with a bit of cardio.  To be able to keep up with this exercise, my diet changed.  I am now someone who walks by the fridge, opens it up, grabs a handful of baby spinach and shoves it in her mouth as she heads to the laundry room. I drink maybe once a month at most, go to bed most nights before 10:30, and try to meditate at least once a week. I had a hard time getting into the rhythm of working for myself and working from home, but it's starting to kick in and I've learned a lot about myself and my work style. I'm still working on letting others know when I have too much on my plate, saying no, and asking for help.  But at 44, I feel more in control of myself and more comfortable in this body than I have felt in years… maybe ever? I am off to celebrate my birthday by taking most of the day off.  I usually spend it doing things I rarely have time for – sitting down and drinking coffee in a cafe with my Kindle, going to lunch with my mom, hitting somewhere my husband hates like IKEA or a thrift store. But do know I started this day off with a good birthday sweat at the gym.  It's not about being thin, a certain weight, a certain dress size.  It's about finding ways to live this life as vibrantly as possible!

Shop the Post:

Universal Standard red wrap dress and Jenny Bird "Love" pendant as seen on Alison Gary of Wardrobe Oxygen

A woman with curly hair wearing a plaid blazer holds a green fur coat over her shoulder on a city street.

Did you like what you just read?

Consider tapping here to buy me a coffee in thanks. The best gift you can give a content creator is the gift of sharing. Consider sharing this article on Facebook or Pinterest. Thank you so much for your support!

Similar Posts


  1. Happy belated birthday wishes, dearest Alison! I am sorry that my crazy week did not include time for reading (let alone responding to) my favorite blogs, so that my birthday salutation is nearly a week late, but better late than never.

    I am so delighted that you feel more yourself than ever, at 44. I think we truly have infinite possibilities to grow as we age, and get stronger inwardly and outwardly. Thank you for sharing your own inspiring journey with us. I am on a similar path. . . I don’t think I had made as much personal progress as you at 44, but at 61, I know what I need and go for it. Here’s to being strong, striving women!

    Last but not least, you totally rock that red dress with the violet heels.

    1. Oh that dress is stunning! I keep meaning to check out OfMercer. They had a popup in Georgetown like two years ago and I loved the quality but was between sizes. I should check them out again, thanks for the reminder!

  2. Happy Birthday! You look wonderful, I love that you took your own advice with the purple shoes, and I truly enjoy coming to your site each and every day. You are honest and inspiring and I am grateful for your hard work. My birthday is coming up in early February and like you, I feel like it’s a great time to be thankful and move forward joyfully!

  3. Happy birthday! I love the look and the shoes are scrolldown bling! (My just-made-up opposite of scrolldown fug, a-la the Fug Girls.)

  4. Oh we’re both Acquarius 😉 I celebrated mine last Monday !
    Hope you have a marvelous celebration, red is superb on you.

  5. Rockin that dress–and I love you did your workout this morning. I like to think about working out as my savings back for enjoying the time when I don’t have to go to work every day. And also, for helping me keep up with an active almost 4 year old.
    Happy birthday Ali–44 looks great on you. May this trip around the sun bring you continued joy and success.

  6. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Now please excuse me I need to go over to the Universal Standard site and order this dress.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *