Updating Your Personal Style Over 50

A new year is often the time we think about making a fresh start. But you may also be entering a new season of your life. If you are turning 50, or have already, there are some enforced changes (and this is relevant to you if you have gone through those in your forties too) that the menopause brings on. Most of them are not changes we welcome, for instance a changing body shape, greying hair, problematic skin and your own internal furnace. Many of us have a dip in our confidence too, because we just don't feel like ourselves any more. We may look in the mirror and wonder who that is or perhaps even see our mother!

When I turned 50, I actually felt pretty good. I had lost weight, got my hair just how I wanted it and I wondered what all the fuss was about. However, by the time I reached 52 everything had changed. The weight had gone back on, my hourglass shape had got rounder and I was battling keeping the grey at bay. (By the way, I have nothing against grey hair because I think it can look stunning, but I wasn't ready to swap my deep, warm wardrobe to cool colours) With other symptoms kicking in as well my confidence took a knock.

The good news is, you can use this as an opportunity to update your personal style and discover a new confidence, which is exactly what I did. As a personal stylist, I used the tricks I had been teaching my clients and created a new wardrobe that works for me whatever the occasion. It takes really understanding who you are and what you love to dress confidently, whatever your age or size.

I realised that while this came easily to me, because I had been doing it for so long for my clients, most women will look to others for guidance. And sometimes the advice they get might not be right for them. How often have you heard someone say "my husband loves me in this colour?" But do they love themselves in it? Or (my personal bugbear) "I had my colours done and I'm not allowed to wear bright pink" or "I'm pear shaped so I have to wear shoulder pads". Ask yourself who is "allowing" you or telling you, you can't? Surely it is your body and your confidence, so why do we let someone else dictate what we are allowed to or should wear?

I appreciate that if you have no idea which colours suit you, you may need a starting point for guidance. But I would ask you to rethink colour analysis and start to think about what you love and what makes you feel good. In the same way don't be a slave to what your body shape means you "should" wear. I would encourage you to wear what gives you confidence.

So if you want to update your personal style and gain new confidence here is a little exercise for you to begin with. Go to your wardrobe and move everything you absolutely love (don't think about whether you have been told it suits you or not) to one end of the wardrobe. Move everything you really don't like out and temporarily store it elsewhere (it might not go back) and everything you quite like or think you would like if it had the right shoes or accessories or was a few inches shorter, to the other end of the wardrobe.

For the next week wear only the items from the end you love and notice how you feel each day. See if you can feed in some pieces from the other end by wearing them with the pieces you love as well. This will give you a quick start in understanding what makes you feel good. Then you can start to rethink your wardrobe in terms of confidence and feel good rather than shoulds and shouldn'ts.

If this has struck a cord with you, you will love my video on creating outfits that ooze confidence. It's about an hour long and explains all about the system I use to create a wardrobe you love that works for all occasions. 



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