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Think About Your Fashion Legacy

your fashion choices will stay with you long after you've passed onLast week I attended a funeral service for a woman I did not know. I am currently working for her son and daughter-in-law. Though we never met, I left the services so impressed by her and her life. I feel as though I do know her now through her adult grandchildren and her DIL, Nancy. They all spoke their remembrances.

“My grandmother taught me to be a woman of grace, yet, fierce,” said her granddaughter, now the mother of a daughter. This line stuck with me the most because I love the strength, dignity, intelligence, bravery, and poise all associated with that statement. I also learned that she was impeccable with her style and fashion, very elegant indeed.

This reminded me of a quote I found four years ago,

“It’s not very easy to grow up into a woman. We are always taught, almost bombarded, with ideals of what we should be at every age in our lives:

“This is what you should wear at age twenty.”

“This is what you must act like at age twenty-five.”

“This is what you should be doing when you are seventeen.”

But, amidst all the many voices that bark all these orders and set all of these ideals for girls today, there lacks the voice of assurance. There is no comfort and assurance. I want to be able to say, that there are four things admirable for a woman to be, at any age! Whether you are four or forty-four or nineteen! It’s always wonderful to be elegant; it’s always fashionable to have grace; it’s always glamorous to be brave; and it’s always important to own a delectable perfume! Yes, wearing a beautiful fragrance is in style at any age!”

– C. JoyBell C. 

The quote makes me smile. I was not taught poise and grace from my own mother and it has been something I have strived for later in life. To demonstrate these qualities with intelligence and diligence are important to me. These are qualities I hope to pass on to my own children and grandchildren. These are also the things that I think about when I dress. I desire my clothing to speak these things without me saying a word. This doesn’t mean that I don’t have fun or speak creativity occasionally, but it does mean my main message lies within the voice of strength, dignity, and an intense desire to be taken seriously.

Today, I would like to ask you this question. Do you ever consider the messages your clothing sends? If so, what are the most important messages to you? Because like it or not, what we wear – how we look – these things say something about us, and become a part of the legacy we leave our family. What are you saying to yourself, to the world, to your family and friends?

I feel thoughts of thanks to have experienced this sort of understanding and realization, for I, too, desire to be graceful; yet, fierce.

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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Sue Williams

Wednesday 25th of May 2016

I received the nicest compliment recently from one of my oldest friends. She was introducing me to someone she knew and she said of me "This is my dear friend, Sue. She always looks so nice and if you hug her you'll see she smells really good, too." Of course I had to hug not only the person I was meeting but my friend as well. I didn't always think about what I wore or the image I projected and used to be extremely casual. But over the past 10 years I have become increasingly aware of what I want people to remember me as...the gal in the jeans and t-shirt or the pulled together woman of which my friend said "she always looks so nice".


Tuesday 24th of May 2016

I like to look confident, approachable, and put together with ease. I want to look like I am too engaged to think much about what I have on and at the same time I look right for the occasion. I'm not sure if that make sense to you.

Pamela Lutrell

Wednesday 25th of May 2016

Makes perfect sense to me, Adela! I think that is the classic, effortless style many of us seek. You always look so nice when I have seen you....a great legacy for your family.


Tuesday 24th of May 2016

Thanks for sharing the story and the quote! I am reminded that I feel a bit "naked" right now because I'm out of perfume at the moment... :)

And, yes, we do send a message with the way we dress. I'm not very often dressed up like the woman on your blog anymore, but I think we should think about what we wear no matter where we go (and even when we go nowhere but are at home because we see ourselves whenever we pass a mirror!).

And, honestly, often not that much is required to go from sloppy (= I have given up) to put together. Switch out the ill-fitting jeans for dark washed ones that fit well, instead of a boxy, unflattering tee, wear one that drapes well (and isn't too big) in a nice fabric, and finally add a necklace, some fun shoes, and a nice bag.

I think when we dress well (which can be casual), we feel better about ourselves and others respond to us differently.

Andrea Andrea’s Wellness Notes

Pamela Lutrell

Wednesday 25th of May 2016

You are so right, Andrea. People do respond to us differently and often according to the way we are dressed. Thanks for stopping by.


Tuesday 24th of May 2016

Pam, this is a topic that wouldn't have occurred to me, but so valid. I travel a lot and by the looks of women in the airports, it appears as though many of them want to be remembered as sloppy... ready at a moment's notice to mow the yard. Brenda

Pamela Lutrell

Tuesday 24th of May 2016

This is why...even on the days I travel...I think about what I want to say to the world with my style that day! Thanks Brenda for the comment!


Tuesday 24th of May 2016

I got the same feeling when I saw the woman in the picture on the opening page. I think every day about the message I'm sending. I have switched things out if I feel the least bit unsure of that message. In order to feel confident day to day, I need to send the elegant, graceful, classy message. We can "say" this even with casual clothes. Like you, there are times the message might just say I want to have fun, but I'm speaking in general, "most often" terms here. This is a great post!

Pamela Lutrell

Tuesday 24th of May 2016

Thank you, Karen. I so hope my children remember the messages I sent later in life than mid-life! It took awhile before I thought about it, but I finally did.

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