Since the beginning of 2019, I have been pondering my style. Last week’s illness provided me a time of intense self-evaluation. Most of you know in 2003, I went through a complete reinvention which was empowering and life changing. (ask me to send you 8 Steps to Reinvented Style if you have not heard this story…no worries, it is a free PDF. I will need your email though.)
I was shocked before Christmas when I realized that was 15 years ago…stunner, time does fly so quickly. When I first made me over, I was teaching high school journalism and I had fun with the new me. I was encouraged by friends and students to take steps out of my comfort zone and my BFF, art teacher Gail, also loved creative clothing. She appeared on the blog often and we had so much fun. I began to develop the five adjectives at that time that I wanted to communicate with my clothing. I would later call these the Foundational Five.
A series of events in 2015, forced me to decide (after 16 years) that it was time for me to leave teaching and return to corporate America. My first job was editor of a local women’s magazine. I decided at that time, I needed to be more professional, than creative, and began to tone down the creativity. (Taking off accessories rather than adding) We would attend women’s business luncheons where many were in suits and dresses, so I began to go the business route. I began a new routine of rising at 4:05, going to the gym from 5-6, and then quickly dressing and running to join the throngs of people in morning traffic. This is where my grab n go bad habits with my clothing began. I still looked nice, but did not take the time as I had done before when teaching. We did not live far from the school, and I never knew traffic while there.
Another series of events, and I chose to leave the magazine (too much stress too little pay) and join the management team of a major public university on their communications staff. Way, way more traffic…perhaps he highest traffic hub in the seventh largest city of the country. So, grab n go amped up. I have almost been here a year, and for this first year I have really chosen to go the professional route most of the time, but after evaluation, I do not think I need to do that.
As I left teaching and entered this new professional life (which I left in my 30s), I began to compare myself more to others. As a teacher and when the blog was new, I had accepted my body and was dressing it for slimming, rather than hiding it. But, in the professional world where the pressure and comparisons run rampant, I began to hide it more often. Also, I toned down my creativity rather than ramp it up. I miss the woman once called the Accessory Lady by readers, and the Scarf Lady by students. One advantage to blogging is that I have tons of pictures to look over and evaluate….not everything hits the blog. There were many grab n go days that are super boring….and there are some (though far less) which are over the top, trying too hard creativity.
It has been good to reflect where I was, where I went to, and at age 65+ where I want to be. I know my style and my likes and dislikes…perhaps better than most. But, it takes time and those looks must be put together before 5AM. I know how to dress my body in flattering ways and just need to return to the courage to do it.
My desire is still the same…I want each day whether Monday or Saturday to be an experience, an occasion. I want to dress in ways that put confidence and a smile on my face and help me to enjoy completely that day and time I have been blessed with. I want to feel and look my very best whether running errands or attending a meeting. I want to return to the fun I was having with fashion when I was teaching and shopping with my friend Gail. This attitude and declaration are what keep me “feeling 40” and smiling on. Above all, I want to enjoy this time of life as ME…no more comparisons and trying to be like the other professional ladies. Back to being me with no fears of standing out! My new refresh has included a change with my hair…which I am loving. It also includes time to think through what I want to wear each day, more fun with accessories, and no hiding. I also am reviewing all I learned from What Not To Wear in the beginning. Stacy and Clinton taught me so much and I was quick to apply it 15 years ago.
The recent Ming Wang posts reflected my desire to add some fun, chic, pieces into my wardrobe. There is more ahead. I hope my office is ready…I am returning to the more creative Pam, and the less corporate one!!
The outfit I am wearing at the top of the page was styled with this new direction in mind. (I guess it is actually returning to my old direction!) This is a spring transition look with a bold statement necklace from Chico’s. Everything is 40% off at Chico’s right now (45% off for Passport Members)… I have some options in the slide show below. My purple silk topper, cream blouse and, necklace are all from Chico’s past and present. The khaki pants are JJill. The necklace I am wearing is the first one in the slide show…love the green color with the khaki pants!
Has anyone else re-evaluated your clothing lately? What did you learn about yourself in the process??
STAY TUNED AND KEEP SMILING!!