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Depression and Our Wardrobes…How They Relate

There she sat slumped down in her desk chair so grieved to have been given a verdict…full blown diabetes.  She understood pain and rejection from divorce had taken its toll.  She just wanted to feel good again…wear a pretty dress…and a daily smile.  Though she had requested information on my current diet plan, I knew all of battles going on inside because I have been there. 

fashion over 50, fashion for midlife women, flattering clothes, finding your style, midlife, midlife women

Last week was tough.  Most of America felt a deep sense of sadness over the loss of actor Robin Williams.  Many blogs and news outlets carried information about depression.  Dr. Phil told Inside Edition the signs to watch, then mentioned lack of grooming first.  In other interviews, one of the symptoms for women included either eating too much or too little.

For so many reasons, I took a nose dive in my forties into despondency.  Rejection and criticism from family members had a lot to do with it…(I recommend you NEVER move in with both mothers in a marriage, all in the same house, if at all possible…especially, if both have critical spirits.)  The more I was criticized the more I ate, and the less I cared about my appearance.  As many readers know at age 50, I had a wake- up call and came out of the dark.

I started my blog and joined in with Midlife Boulevard for one reason….to encourage and inspire other women.  Life is just too short to sit in a chair and watch it go by.   The woman I wrote of in the beginning is exactly the type of woman I want to help.  She will be fine…her wake- up call came from a doctor and she is ready to turn things around.  She is tired of allowing the rejection to rule her life.  Now, I realize there are some who need more help than inspiration can give.  I am so glad that help exists for those with clinical depression.

However, I have met many who just needed a helping hand to engage in life once again.  Part of that journey includes taking control of your health and your appearance and sometimes new vision for a career or calling.  Once I accepted myself again and stopped listening to the naysayers, then I could accept my body where I was at that moment and dress it to look in such a way to assist me to feel more confident and strong.  Just as the woman above wants to wear a pretty dress, I feel better when I leave the house with a smile on my face and confidence gained by what I see in the mirror.  I desire to communicate all of this new joy through my style.

My blog is about bringing women information and options to encourage them in all areas of this walk during midlife and beyond.    It does have a heavy focus on fashion, style, and beauty; because I do want to assist all of us in that journey.  I know it builds confidence and joy.   I work with both thrift shops and high end luxury.  Why?  There are readers who live in those worlds.   Hopefully, all of us have reached maturity levels where we put comparisons on the shelf.  When I meet ladies who are still walking in the high school hallways and feeling judged by the “pretty girls,” I know there is something deeper going on.

During the last four years, I have made amazing friends in the fashion industry as I report these stories.  Some of them are incredible, creative minds and some are in the industry because they love empowering and helping women.  No industry is perfect…of course the fashion world has its problems and quirks.   I do love it for the creativity.  That is why most Art Institutes include fashion design as a major…and, why Project Runway has been a top reality show for years.  And I love it for its variety…women can look tailored to flamboyant…whatever is YOU and brings enjoyment in life.

It is not overall plastic, or superficial, or wrong to engage in conversations about fashion and style.  Many women love and need the information.  I was hiding from life in oversized men’s tee shirts and even wearing my mother-in-laws frumpy denim shorts.  I was hurting.  However, there are some women who wear the same outfit and feel great…they are strong, confident and secure in who they are. Bravo!  I hope they rejoice in that and not criticize the entire fashion industry or the journalists who cover it.  Because sometimes the industry truly helps other women to dig out of a hole.

Of course, the number one accessory we wear every day is a smile!

Trend warning! …next week, I am going to discuss what we learn from trends…so before you say you hate them, stop by for points to consider!

I hope to see you around our virtual table in the Joy Boutique…for a little fashion, style, and fun!

Have a great week, everyone!

midlife boulevard, columnist, midlife women, middle-age, midlife crisis

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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Wednesday 20th of August 2014

I need to go back to the beginning of your blog to see the origins, reading this post made me feel like a bit of a kindred spirit. I didn't let anyone critically motivated live with me, instead I moved away to avoid that type of mean behavior. I've struggled with how my parent treats and feels about me over the years, I don't understand the motivation behind the behavior..

I do love dressing up and feeling good about myself however.

Hélène Dallison

Wednesday 20th of August 2014

Thank you for your posts, I always enjoy your statements, your pictures... Your encouragements to feel good for oneself are very important and uplifting. I am in a rural corner of France so pictures of San Antonio, outings in your area, your school are all very interesting to me. I like to feel that connection with women who are so far away. I am very happy to have found you!


Tuesday 19th of August 2014

My wake up came a little later than you but do agree a smile is the number 1 accessory. I do read your blog daily and you have helped me with my wardrobe. Great post!


Tuesday 19th of August 2014

Very good post Pam. I think there is a direct correlation between the way we feel inside and how we project on the outside i.e.. clothes, make-up etc. When I was working as a beautician and image consultant I worked one day a week in a large private psychiatric hospital in South London. My job was to help women with their skincare and make up and encourage them to look the best they could. It was amazing to see the transformation in some of the women as they began to get better and many of them were very grateful for the service.


Tuesday 19th of August 2014

I've got the smile! We'll build from there!

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