Since moving from Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, to New York, I’ve found myself falling into a familiar daily routine I had only previously witnessed. I wake up during sunrise to make a cafecito, turn on the radio, and take a glance at how my plants are doing. At 3 p.m., after working my graphic design job for several hours, I take a coffee break — this time on my balcony as I watch families heading to the park and neighbors running errands. Evenings are accompanied by some boleros by Agustín Lara and Toña La Negra as I make tostones or amarillitos. I think I’ve unconsciously kickstarted my señora era.
All Latines are familiar with the señora lifestyle: it’s the leisurely routine the elders in our lives lived that, to our sprightly childhood eyes, appeared boring and stationery. At 25 years old, several decades before my abuelita entered her own señora era, this now feels like self-care. I’m not alone. The señora era is currently trending on TikTok, where countless young Latinas are posting videos of themselves cleaning, cooking, gardening, and relaxing to the tune of Eydie Gormé and Los Panchos' 1964 rendition of "Sabor a Mí." Like me, many of the women who are sharing these videos are the first to navigate educational or professional spaces in the U.S., and are dealing with an immense amount of pressure to excel and an expectation of self-sacrifice that is generationally inherited. It’s no wonder the señora lifestyle has come early for millennial and Gen Z Latinas.
Seeking to live more slowly and intentionally, the señora lifestyle has allowed me to hold space to think, meditate, and replenish, rather than working nonstop and burning out. It’s a direct pushback against the hustle-and-bustle culture of the U.S., and especially New York City. For me, it’s an unrushed way of life that is influenced by the señoras who raised me, those who made café con leche en la greca, tended to their plantain trees and orchids, and listened to baladas and salsa.
As I find myself falling into señora-like routines that help me live fully in the present and take on hobbies that bring me joy, even if some might think they're outdated, my closet has aged, too. A grandma enthusiast, I often pair laced vintage dresses with a classic deep-red lipstick and a golden clasp bag. From my vintage style and my nostalgic playlists to the classic perfume I wear and the traditional meals I’m eagerly learning to make, I’m tracing back to romantic memories of my grandmothers. Through incorporating a bit of their señora energy into my day-to-day, I feel like I’ve truly found my sense of personal style and a balanced lifestyle. Aesthetically, here’s how I achieve it.
Personal style can change, and it takes trial and error to fully define it. Currently, I say my style is vintage-inspired with a connection to historical garments or styles I remember seeing in my grandmother’s closet. Thrifting has become a great source for new pieces and inspiration, especially Latine shops like Poorly Curated and AIDA. At boutiques like these, I can often find la batita, those stunning dresses our moms wore during hot days in the house. I like taking this simple, oversized frock and dressing it up into an outfit. It’s comfortable, and its linen fabric makes it perfect for warm days. Also, I always have my eyes out for closet staples like lace, eyelets, a puffed sleeve, or a dramatic collar. These little details add something special to any basic, elevating the simplest of looks.
Wear gold statement jewelry.
As señoras, we love our gangarrias, especially fine jewelry that will last for generations. We’ve been rocking earrings and necklaces since we were newborns, so it’s no wonder we love a jewelry stack. With my earrings, I love playing with asymmetry. I start with some classic gold hoops as my main pair and often add a dangling pearl, a pearl hoop, or a simple stud on my other piercings. For my fingers, I wear five-to-six gold rings with at least one statement piece. This summer, my go-to is the Rotonda Ring from Muns. I’m obsessed with this Puerto Rican brand. Whenever I’m back on the archipelago, I stop by. The brand has perfect everyday basics to match any outfit.
Add some fringe to your hairdo.
In high school, I almost alway sported a French bob as a way to stand out against the sea of long hair. I always wanted something a little different. So now that so many people have chopped their hair, I’ve decided to grow it out. For the past couple of years, my hair has reached longer lengths than ever before — and I love it. Using hair products from brands like Ceremonia, like its Aceite de Moska and Mascarilla de Babassu, I maintain growth and a healthy wave, which I need to achieve the classic Victorian long hair with fringe that I’m going for.
Always wear a red lipstick.
As a kid, I remember watching the women in my family spend hours getting ready for any celebration, no matter the size. They’d dance in my grandmother’s bedroom while spraying a mixture of hairspray and Chanel Mademoiselle in the air. I love these memories. In fact, watching them get dolled up is why I still wear the most timeless accessory they’ve ever given me: a red lip. Currently, I love wearing Bésame Cosmetics’s Blood Red Lipstick. Its deep-red color and warm undertones make this 1922 shade a forever favorite. I also love Bésame’s vintage-inspired packaging; it has become part of my decor, making my dresser feel like a boudoir.
Make it a lifestyle.
My señora era is about more than how I adorn myself; it’s a lifestyle. There are a few essentials that have helped me start this señora life. The main one: reconnecting with music I grew up with. I’ve always associated old-school salsa songs by Cheo Feliciano and boleros by Beny Moré with the generations before me. Now, I enjoy them, drifting into nostalgia with each track. As a Puerto Rican in New York, nothing can beat listening to El Gran Combo’s “Un Verano en Nueva York” or a little Juan Luis Guerra merengue during a Sunday reset. Whether I’m listening while drinking a cafecito or allowing the rhythms to lift me up from my chair to dance freestyle, the señora life is about listening to your body and going with the flow — no hay prisa.