STYLISH YOU AT ANY AGE
Yes, I am one of those annoying people that take lots of photos and home videos. To the frustration of my family (mainly my children) as I endeavour to capture every moment of their lives to savour each flash of their childhood. And although I have over 30,000 images saved on my iPhone, I do struggle getting that perfect family "everyone is smiling" shot. But recently my phone is sending me; these incredible mini montages of my 'photo memories', edited together like a video clip or short film. Genius I thought, that my phone automatically does this for me - but as my husband explained it's just a new feature offering an edited, movie-montage version of my smartphone-snapped life. Today, I was sent a new "memory" that kind of shocked me. Who could have imagined my phone could do such a thing as identify all the images of my fashion moments over the past six years and group them together under the heading “Fashionable Friends”. I watched fascinated at the evolution of my fashion sense and it also made me realise just how fast time is going by.
Apart from a few bad hair colour choices, putting weight on and off and on again, and the odd weird outfit combination, I was actually surprised how this forced trip down fashion memory lane made me feel. And I am pleased to announce, I think I look better now than I did six years ago! No, no trust me, I am not being vain at all, but as I get older, when reflecting on the former me, pre children, pre stress and pre 40's, I always assumed I was much cooler, skinnier, prettier and younger looking before. Although in reality, yes the wrinkles are beginning to show, and ahhhh a few grey hairs have appeared, what has stayed consistent is my personal style. I am still wearing some of the same pieces or an updated version and using the same tricks to update the seasonality of my looks. So I am beginning to wonder, maybe there is truth in the saying "ageless style"?
I have to admit, the term 'ageless style' kind of freaks me out - as I immediately think 'I'M OLD'! So without ever using that term again, maybe we now just refer to it as 'timeless style'. And I do work with many clients that come to me freaking out that they have 'given up' dressing because they aren't 20 anymore so therefore can't dress or ever look good in clothes. I just have to stress to everyone, you don't need to be 20 to look good! In fact, most of my muses and style icons are in there 30's, 40's and 50's! And this is because, when women are confident and know who they are, this speaks louder to the world than showing off your 20 year old abs in a crop top.
There are a few simple rules to remember to ensure you don't give up on your dress sense as your birthday comes around each year. And I learnt these lessons from my mum Suzie (hi mum) when I used to watch her dress and shop as a child. These rules I didn't even know I followed until I reflected today after seeing images of myself flashed before me. It has been subliminally impregnated, and I am happy to pass it over to you.
- Understand and accept your body changes. For better or worse, it is what it is, and we really need to not be so hard on ourselves because of it. For me, I have noticed the most, my skin has changed....like around my elbows! What's with that?! Ha ha. I am not saying you should give up and not exercise or not eat healthily, but stop using the changes to your body as an excuse not to put effort in.
- Forget your age as a number. Dress how you want to feel and stop telling yourself 'you can't'. You can tweak your style, so while still wearing clothes that used to make you feel good, they can evolve into who you are now. One of my muses Victoria Beckham says. “I’m staggered when I look back at how uncomfortable some of the clothes I wore were. But I dressed to be a certain kind of sexy. Now that I’m 43, my idea of sexy has evolved. I feel more confident because I feel fulfilled creatively. I don’t feel I have to show it all off in a tight dress. Maybe that way of dressing was a reflection of how insecure I felt."
- Consider words to describes your style - classic, modern, boho, sporty, feminine, corporate, sophisticated, edgy, rock etc. This will help you when you go shopping and you won't be confused by wearing trends because everyone else is following them. My style is a variation of a few themes - "classic with a fashion twist, and luxe boho in summer".
- Stick to your favourite brands but be open to finding new ones. Once you remind yourself what your style is, shop the same way you always have but be open to discovering new stores and designers. Don't be fixated on brands you always wear as sometimes designers loose their edge or can go 'too safe' and this in turn effects you. Explore different price points (designer isn't the answer to having style) and be inspired by how people/muses wear things. Always keep your eyes open and allow yourself to mimic other people, if you think they look good.
- Style your mind. Remove the negativity about getting older or the changes you are noticing about yourself. Never stop experimenting, although follow the retrictions of knowing what works with your shape, personality and lifestyle.
- Define a uniform for your life. Being well dressed is a talent and can take a lifetime to perfect. But your 'style uniform' is the holy grail of modern dressing. I have learnt this after my personal love affair with clothes while making a living out of loving clothes.
- Be sure to add an injection of fashion and your personality. And good fashion choices are not a question of cost per wear but happiness per wear.
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