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The Search for Personal Style: Style Icons Help!

Last week,  a reader said she believed “personal style is innate and cannot be taught.”  To a certain extent, I might agree with her…however, low self- esteem often robs women of our confidence, and confidence is a huge component of understanding our own unique personal style. 

When I decided ten years ago to return to life as Pam (not mom, teacher or anyone else), I was perplexed as to what had become of Pam.  She was lost…gone…and I needed to rediscover her again.

style, personal style, fashion, fashion after 50, being stylish, midlife, midlife women

The search for my style began at 50….to say it was innate would have further confused and discouraged me.   I needed help and I found it in a variety of places.  I learned how to search for a wardrobe representing my personality, and through the search, I re-discovered the confident, strong woman from my twenties.  Something which helped me immensely was to look at other women…in media, on the blogs, in magazines, and around my own world in Texas.  By studying others, I started to understand what attracted me and sent the specific messages I was aiming for with my wardrobe.

Now, I realize our current society is off-the-charts celebrity focused.  I will be the first annoyed if a newscast includes an update on Kim Kardashian, Miley Cyrus, or Dancing with the Stars (I am still amazed when news outlets report who was voted off in the top headlines of the day!)…. However, here’s the but…it does help me to observe women I admire for their style, and these observations provide ideas which are completely doable for my own looks.

Sometimes, it is the actual woman…sometimes, a character she portrayed…sometimes it is a politician or businesswoman.  For those years, I watched, I searched, and kept pictures in a notebook.  Then I would experiment with my closet or in dressing rooms and see which versions worked for me.  My notebook includes pictures of Diane Keaton, Meryl Streep, Ines de la Fressange, Deborah Messing, and Kelly Bishop.  In the past year, I have added favorite bloggers to this list and sometimes they appear in my personal Style Hall of Fame.  Women seem to balk at admitting to style icons, because somehow they believe it is celebrity worship or lame….

Come on, admit it…. We all look around at what women wear…no matter who those women are!

There is nothing wrong with admiring someone for their wardrobe selections (though admittedly, those selections might be made by a salaried stylist!)

As I did this, plus learning some basic wardrobe rules about fit and color, I began to develop a wearable style which worked for me and my life.  I really try not to leave the house until I look in the mirror and say, “Oh Yeah…there I am and I look fabulous!”  Remember, ladies, confidence is attractive!  Smiles, peace, joy, confidence.. are all healthy!

Everyone can use a little help to discover or re-discover the innate style hidden inside!  Have you ever said:

  “I do not know who this woman is in midlife…but I want to know.”

Begin to look around and make note of what you see on others…what attracts you…ask yourself why?  We learn from each other…even if that person owns an Oscar or Golden Globe.  Next week, I will bring you some advice from stylists, and eventually, tie all of this into personal branding.  Like it or not…the way you look communicates something to the world…what are you saying?

Would anyone like to admit who your style icons might be?

Thanks for stopping by The Joy Boutique…have a safe, warm week!

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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Anne Parris

Tuesday 14th of January 2014

I love Audrey Hepburn--clean lines, simple elegance. Always classy!

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