Today, I'm having Candi Randolph, an over 60 fashion and lifestyle blogger from Inspire My Style, share her philosophy on aging naturally as well as practical and easy-to-follow tips to rediscovering your personal style in midlife. Enjoy!
I don’t consider myself to be an ‘older woman’. When I look in the mirror it is painfully apparent that I’m no longer a young woman with firm, smooth, wrinkle-free skin. No, my friends, the mirror does not lie.
But, I don’t think and act like an older person even though I’m pushing 66. I made the decision years ago, after having my second child at the age of 30, that I was going to take care of my body, treat it with respect, maintain a sense of style, and commit to aging well.
Aging naturally is important to me, too, so I don’t put anything into my face to plump or smooth it in any way. No scalpels, needles, or the like will touch my face or anywhere else. Making that decision was both budget and philosophically derived, and I’ve worked very hard to keep what God has given me in the best shape that I can.
Along with that philosophy is an overall healthy approach to my day-to-day life, including exercise (aerobic and strength training), and nutrition. I strive to eat clean, prepare most of the food that I eat, and limit the sweets. Except for cookies. 🙂
What does all of this have to do with my approach to style as a woman over 60? Everything, really. What we do...the decisions we make every day... affect how we feel, inside and out. When I feel good about myself, when my body is functioning well, when my energy level is strong, I am confident and comfortable in my own skin.
It sounds simple and obvious, but it’s not. As the founder of InspireMyStyle.com, I ask readers what their biggest challenges are as they age. So often it is a lack of confidence that they did not struggle with when younger.
The changes that occur naturally in our bodies as we age can have devastating effects on our self image and self confidence if we let them. Those insecurities are reflected in a number of ways, and one of the most visible is with style and how we approach fashion as women in midlife.
In fact, so many women have shared with me their challenges with self confidence, body image, and style, I have written a number of articles and created an email series course that addresses the issue of confidence and style after the age of 50.
My approach to rediscovering our personal style after 50 is not difficult, and anyone at any age can go through the simple steps. It’s kind of fun, really. It is a 3-step process that goes something like this:
Rediscovering Your Personal Style in Midlife
1 | Document what appeals to you by creating Pinterest boards or a literal scrapbook with photos and images of outfits, separates, colors, fabrics, patterns, accessories, etc. that you like. It doesn’t matter why you like them, just create your board, list, book, etc.
You’ll begin to see a pattern emerge. It could be a particular color, a style of pant, the accessories, the textures. But, there will be a pattern.
Document what you see emerging from this collection. Put it into words, on paper.
2 | Take everything out of your closet, piece by piece. Yes, really. It could be quite a project if you have a lot of clothes, so break it down realistically.
But, as you remove each piece, evaluate it in terms of how it makes you feel. Do you feel good when you wear it? Confident? Do you love it? Usually your first response is the best one. If you have to agonize over something, it is probably a no.
The goal is to only put back into the closet the clothes that you actually love and wear.
Then, ponder those items that didn’t make the cut so you understand why. As women over 50, we’ll have clothes that looked great on us last year, or even last season, but now they don’t fit as well on our shape-shifting bodies.
Note the reasons for eliminating the colors, fabrics, lengths, or styles, so you don’t go out and buy the same type of clothing again.
You’ll probably find a correlation between that Pinterest collection/journal/scrapbook that you made in Step 1 and the clothes that are now hanging in your closet after completing Step 2.
3 | Notice what stands out to you in the clothes and accessories you now have in the closet as well as the collection you gathered. There is something that is uniquely you, your Signature Style, that will become evident:
- A predominant color or color combination
- A particular type of print
- An accessory, like shoes, or earrings, or watches, or belts, or scarves
- An outfit combination, such as ankle length pants with a tunic style top
You might study your collection and your closet, however, and think, “wow, nothing really stands out. Does that mean I’m boring and uninteresting?” Not at all! Your signature style might be understated and neutral. There’s nothing wrong with that, my friend.
This is my signature style: Understated, casual and relaxed, with denim, black, simple jewelry and sandals/slip-ons (or black boots in cold weather) as my go-to fashion choices.
My style is simple, it is not trendy, I don’t stand out in a crowd, I don’t attract attention like a beacon when I walk into a room. But that is me. That is my style. I’m confident and comfortable with it.
I’ve tweaked it as I’ve gotten older. No more tank tops in public, the shorts have gotten a couple of inches longer, and I seem to have acquired more tunic tops than I had in the past.
But it’s me, inside and out, top to bottom. And I’m grateful for every day that the Lord gives me to enjoy.
So, how about you? Whether you’re a woman in midlife or at any age, embrace your stage of life and wear your personal style with confidence!
Candi Randolph is a woman in midlife who writes about the experiences that women have as they go through this unique phase of their life, with topics like natural aging, healthy eating, fitness, casual fashion, home, and family. She lives daily by faith and a strong cup of coffee.
You can find her on Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and her blog.
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