This is the second post in a series I am writing for the new site, Generation Fabulous . The first post, HERE, discussed our attitudes. I hope you will be able to spend some time with the amazing women of Generation Fabulous!!
Hopefully, we all agree YOU ARE FABULOUS! No matter your age, size, income levels, or political affiliation….whatever….YOU ARE FABULOUS! We started with our attitudes, and I know something which helps my attitude is to look and feel my absolute best!
When I decided to perform a personal makeover at age 50, there were many things to consider. I watched makeover television shows…I read magazines and blogs…I spoke with other women…and I walked the malls and shops. I was taking me from a frumpy- mom-typical-old-teacher look to a more stylish-in-charge-strong- middle aged-professional woman! The question was …How to do this and still be me?
In reading one style book, this quote jumped off the page:
“Appearance can be a powerful and useful tool in controlling the kinds of message you send to others about who you are, your age, and how you view your age. If you get the response you want, your style fits: If you do not get the response you want, consider making some changes.” -Alison Vaughn
After reading this, I began to think about the messages I desired to send with my style. I wanted messages which were true to me. This is where personal style becomes very unique and individual. We are all different right down to the fingerprints, so why should we all look the same. The only way I can decide how a trend or new garments fits me is to have a formula. This is why I developed the over50feeling40 Foundational Five.
WHAT DO I WANT TO COMMUNICATE WITH MY STYLE?
Every time we get dressed, we are sending messages. As I entered age 50, I was communicating the message I DO NOT CARE ABOUT PAM. My looks said, I AM TIRED and LEAVE ME ALONE. When I did dress up, I often went to a “wacky” extreme which said I NEED ATTENTION, NOW! My wacky style said I DO NOT KNOW WHAT TO DO. I KNOW I NEED A CHANGE, SO I WILL JUST TRY EVERYTHING AT ONCE!
I now understand why sales people were not particularly helpful and why my children and husband made comments about how I looked. I also had a closet full of misfit pieces…lots of garments handed down from my own mother and mother-in-law and cheap, cheap, unflattering clothes.
After a process of waking up and seeking guidance, I finally decided the best way to define my messages was to selective the adjectives which described the messages I wanted to send. I narrowed them to five, because if I focus on more than five then my style lacks direction and definition. After testing this process with friends and readers of my blog, it has proven to be very successful.
So, the Foundation Five is simple. Select five adjectives you want to communicate with your clothing. Take those five shopping with you. Any garment you purchase MUST meet all five adjectives. If not, put it back. Make sure they are displayed in your closet. Any style you put together, must meet all five or don’t go out. Following these five will eventually develop a personal style for you and may even open new doors.
All of us will have different five adjectives…because we are all gloriously and wonderfully unique. Your fabulous five might include words like simple, tailored, romantic, trendy, preppy, bohemian, approachable, minimal…there are a plethora of words to compose the communication you are seeking with your style. Of course, you can change and refine them as you grow and go. But, only you can decide what the messages will be…the more consistent your messages are, the people will understand who you are. Infamous designer, Coco Chanel, once said, “The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. ALOUD.”
Here are my five:
- Strong. Does the piece or outfit give me a feeling of strength…in charge…professional woman?
- Chic. Does the piece or outfit help me to feel chic, classy, dignified?
- Creative. Does the piece or outfit say that I am a creative, artsy person?
- Youthful. Does the piece or outfit communicate a vibrant, youthful, age appropriate message?
- Fit. Does the piece or outfit fit and flatter my body in a fabulous, appropriate way?
I have made fewer mistakes since I began to shop with my formula. I donate less clothing to Goodwill. I take time and am more thoughtful in the dressing room. There are fewer moments when I say, WHAT WAS I THINKING? And more moments when I say, “Oh Yeah…this is fabulous!” Salespeople take me seriously now, because I look better when I go out, even to run errands. Parents and students approach me differently. The ultimate bonus? Smiles. Smiles to wear with my new style!
Please let me know if I can help in any way...just send an email to
Wednesday I will announce the winner of the Soft Surroundings
topper and make sure you register to win one of three tunics to be
gifted to readers from Foxcroft. NOTICE...there is a new way to
enter that does not involve Facebook!!
enter that does not involve Facebook!!
Have a terrific Tuesday all!!