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How You Dress Impacts How You Feel


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Since I began blogging I often read books, attend movies, and watch television in order to understand how communicators are portraying women in the second half of life. This is why I recently took time to check out Kim Catrall in an American re-make of a popular British show called Sensitive Skin.

It is one woman’s story of aging.  Her character, Davina, is a former model and actress struggling with a new place and hungry for joy as she grieves leaving her past. I do not know if she will ever find it, because I turned it off in the middle of episode three. It was so depressing and, honestly, difficult to watch. At one point I was concerned a show like this would cause someone serious mental harm, because there is no hope presented…only the sadness and the struggles.

I am not minimizing those feelings. I think at times we all grieve the wrinkles, sagging, fatigue, hot flashes, or regrets from past decisions. However, there comes a time when we must choose if we are going to live in sadness or joy. Are we to focus on the problems or the possibilities? I am often reminded of the brevity of life and how quickly each day goes by. I look at every morning and wonder, How will I spend this gift I have been given today?

There are many things I do in order to hang on to joy. Of course, one of them is to dress in a way which makes me smile when I look in the mirror. Dress Happy! I am not talking about the Ringling Brothers-clown-happy; but talking about the I-look-great-fierce-and-strong kind of happy.

In the glory days of What Not to Wear, Stacy London and Clinton Kelly taught women in order to have the perfect, happy look, it needed to be a combination of color, texture, pattern, and shine (C, T, P, and S). When each outfit combines these elements in an interesting, personal way, the wearer usually scores something special.

For example, I know what messages I desire for my clothing to send, so in order to achieve those communications, I might apply color, texture, pattern, and shine this way:

  1. Dark denim jeans (Texture)
  2. A tweed jacket (texture and pattern)
  3. A simple blouse underneath which picks up a subtle color in the tweed (color)
  4. A fun statement necklace (shine)

Most times I find myself adding C, T, P, S with the use of accessories. I have built strong foundations, so in order to make them interesting and Pam-style, I purposefully select accessories to take advantage of C, T, P, and S. I want to look in the mirror each day, smile and mentally say, “Let’s go capture this day!”

I know clothing does not heal all wounds. I know it does not take years away. I know it does not solve problems. But, I also know that looking my best helps me smile, feel joyful, empowered, and helps me to face difficulties with confidence. These are choices we make in order to capture and enjoy these days which fly by so quickly.

Choose joy. And do the things which make you smile.

How do you find ways to feel better when you are feeling older?

See you next week in The Joy Boutique.

Pamela Lutrell

Pamela Lutrell began her blog, over50feeling40, July 2010 with a desire to encourage women over 50 to walk in strength, confidence and joy. Of course, head turning style makes each day fun!

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Monday 8th of February 2016

It really does make a difference, yoga pants and a tank are great when I'm curling up with a cup of tea and a book but even if I'm alone in my home office what I'm wearing affects my mood. Love CTPS!

Pamela Lutrell

Monday 8th of February 2016

Thanks Cathy! I have decided that I want to dress up more when the weather is warmer...and stay cozy when it is cold.! But it does make such a difference in my productivity when I dress for the day. Thanks for your comment.


Tuesday 2nd of February 2016

Great message today. Thanks for the encouragement.

Pamela Lutrell

Tuesday 2nd of February 2016

Thank you Susan...I am glad you received encouragement from it! Have a great week!


Tuesday 2nd of February 2016

I am not bothered by getting older. It is what it is and I have accepted my age. I am careful with my appearance and have my own style. It is like you said, it won't erase grief and heartache, but it helps to know who you are and to be kind to yourself.

Pamela Lutrell

Tuesday 2nd of February 2016

Self care and respect is so important. Thanks for commenting Karen!


Tuesday 2nd of February 2016

I'm going to keep CTPS in mind from now on Pam because what you wear definitely enhances your mood and who wouldn't choose JOY?!

Pamela Lutrell

Tuesday 2nd of February 2016

CTPS does make a difference and give us some good took me awhile to choose JOY, but I once I did...there is no going back! Thanks Leanne.


Tuesday 2nd of February 2016

I remember going to my first bereaved parents conference and seeing women with matching clothes and make-up and I was in awe - how did they do it. They reassured me that it did not happen overnight, but it was okay to invest in ourselves. It is really hard. But it is true, when I have pulled together an outfit, it is a feeling of strength and courage. It does not heal things, I love what you wrote about that - but it is empowering. Child loss and grief is dis-empowering, we feel so helpless.

You always look so beautiful and pulled together Pam, I love your style.

Pamela Lutrell

Tuesday 2nd of February 2016

Terri, thank you for sharing. I cannot imagine how difficult it is to walk through this, but I do agree that self-care would make a difference and help you to see light again. Thank you for your kind words. You are special.

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