8 Tips on Adapting Your Style as Your Rules Change


What is your process for morphing your style rules change – such as body shape, colouring or lifestyle changes that happen to us all over time?

Change happens to us all and how we deal with it is something can be tricky for many of us.

In this video with Jill Chivers of Shop Your Wardrobe  we discuss some strategies on how you can adapt your style rules to your current lifestyle, colouring or body.



7 Tips on Adapting Your Style as Your Rules Change

1. Give it Time

Change can be tricky and it takes time to get used to something different, particularly if you’ve been dressing a certain way for a long time.  I know for myself it took over a year to get used to being blonde, having been a deep brunette the other 45+ years of my life.  This changed not only the colours that flattered me but also my contrast levels, and I can tell you it took a long time to get my head around the new colouring.  When I had my breast reduction surgery this changed my body shape too and how I needed to dress and again, it was something that took a long time for my brain to come to grips with.  Any radical change takes time – and for some of us, that can be quite a long time.  I’ve met many women over the years who have lost vast amounts of weight who still dress like they are much heavier, everything is way too baggy and sloppy on them as their brains haven’t adjusted to the new body and what works.

How to adapt your style rules as your colouring or body shape change2. Take Baby Steps

A little bit at a time ends up having you make a big change over time.   Start to weed out things that are no longer working, just a little bit at a time.  The transition of new things into your wardrobe is ideally done in an incremental way.  There will be a transitional period that keeps you both safe but still moving in your new direction.

3. Don’t Throw It All Out At Once

Put aside anything that you think is no longer right for you in a place, you may only need to put it away for short time (as Jill does) or for a longer time (like some other people, or if it’s not relevant to your current season).  Ask yourself the right questions about whether it should go or stay (find out what to ask here). Once it’s out of sight it will usually go out of mind as well and then if you don’t miss it, you can more easily know it’s not right and let it go.  Alternatively, sometimes it calls you back after time and you realise that it has a place in your wardrobe.

4. Make Alterations

Overdye the old colour into the new, tweak the shape or style with an alteration – there are lots of ways you can adapt clothes so they continue to work for you, just the new you not the old.

8 tips on adapting your style as your rules change5. Learn Your New Rules

Having learned your old rules or guidelines to style or colour, they have become something you don’t need to think about and habitual, as you’ve been using them for a long time.  Now that something has changed, there are new rules that you need to apply to your dressing and it takes time, patience and energy to build the new neural pathways that will take that new information and cement it in your style DNA.  Remember that the brain is plastic and you can learn new, it just takes some time and a bit of concentration and energy to learn that new skill or information or concept and cement it into your style.  Discover your new body shape rules with my body shape quiz and bible and start to play with them, if that’s what has changed for you!

6. Keep a Foot in Both Territories

Sometimes we may keep a foot in the old territory as we advance with the other foot into the new territory.  Jill is currently moving from my Zesty (light, bright, warm) colour swatch into Spicy (light, toasted, warm) swatch, currently managing her transition from one palette to another, she shares how some days she will wear a Zesty yellow with a more toasted paprika so that the whole outfit isn’t overwhelming her with its brightness.  It takes time to morph between colour directions, very few of us are rich enough to be able to throw out an entire wardrobe and start again!  Most of us need to slowly acquire the new colours as we let go of the old.    If it’s a change of lifestyle, think about how you can make your old clothes work for your new life – it could be like Jill you’re dressing too formally for your new retired lifestyle – think about how to dress some of those clothes down so the outfit is overall more casual.

7. Try New Things and Experiment

Yes, this can feel uncomfortable at times, but a little experimentation will help you discover new ways of dressing, new colour combinations and new flattering silhouettes.  It’s OK to get things not right or perfect (I don’t believe in perfection as no human is perfect).  Give yourself a break and be gentle and kind to yourself as you go through this change!   You may need to lower your expectations if you tend towards an expectation of perfection!

8. Don’t Set Yourself Up for Failure

When your life is changing this can make you feel unstable, and when you are feeling that instability, you want to cling to what you know to give you stability.   If there are other changes going on in your life you need to take some time to look after yourself, and you’re going to want to hang onto what you know.  When that settles down then it’s time to make more changes in your style or wardrobe.  Make your style a rewarding part of the change- add in as much positivity and fun as you can to this change.

We have a need for variety – this is why fashions change – it fulfils our human need for variety and change.  When we have stability in other parts of our life, we embrace variety.  When life feels unstable as too much change is going on at one time, we cling to what we know as that’s what feels stable for us.

Out with the Old and in With the New

As you can see, there is no magic formula, and sadly I can’t wave a magic wand or sprinkle some fairy dust over you and make this any faster or easier for you, but I do know from watching my 7 Steps to Style program members do all these steps, that they result in amazing and glorious changes over time that foster a new positive spirit and style and that the effort is definitely worth it!

Further Tips on Improving Your Style as You Change

How to Train Your Eye To Create Stylish Outfits

How to Find Your Ultimate Colour Contrast – Your Three Step Process

Your Colouring and The Ageing Process

How to Choose a Hair Colour as You Age

Before You Throw It All Out for a Minimalist Wardrobe Read This

7 Reasons Why You Have a Wardrobe Full of Clothes But Nothing To Wear and What You Can Do About It

Everything You Need to Know to Overdye Your Clothes at Home and Get a Brilliant Result

Which are the Easy Alterations

Understanding Where You Sit on the Fashion Continuum



I'm not sure if it's for you but how would you feel if you learned all about the colours and styles of clothing that suit your individual personality, shape and style? Just imagine what it would be like when you can open your wardrobe and pull together fabulous outfits that make you look and feel amazing every day? If you'd like to stop wasting money on the wrong clothes and accessories plus join an amazing bunch of very special women also on their style journey - then my 7 Steps to Style program is right for you. Find out more here.

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  • Excellent topic and terrific video. You have provided many wonderful tips on how to incorporate the many changes and challenges we all have as our lives develop. I think your advice on how to slowly incorporate needed changes as we maintain our security base is wonderful. Jill’s comments on being your own best friend and embracing change as a positive non-threatening force is very helpful. Thank you both!

  • Jill, I was interested to hear that you’re changing your palette bc my first thought when I saw you in the video was, “Jill looks great! Beautiful tawny glow.”

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