Reader Question: “For the last 20 years (since retirement) I have attended a theatrical production several times a week and I wore long flowing dresses, hats and heels. now due to age and tripping, I am restricted to runners and pants. I’m very petite with long torso, a bit of a belly, and very short legs. What suggestions do you have for generating a new ‘signature style'”
Redefining your style because of age, weight, medical, lifestyle, or location changes is something many of us have to do multiple times over our lives. This question seems specific, but really, there is something you can learn from the process of redefining your signature style whatever the reasons you need to.
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There is no reason you have to abandon everything when things change in your life, instead you can explore options to incorporate aspects of your previous look while adapting to new circumstances. Let’s look at some ways to do this:
1. Embrace Your Current Body and Lifestyle
When working on your new signature style, it’s crucial to consider your current body shape and size. If you’re not sure what your current body shape is, do my free body shape calculator quiz here (or if you’d like my professional opinion, you can get it as part of my 7 Steps to Style program).
• If you’re petite you may want to avoid excess fabric and long dresses that might have been part of your old signature style as they swamp you. Instead, look for styles that you love that work with your current body (details for which your best styles are in my free body shape bibles).
• Always consider your body proportions, if you have short legs, knee-length dresses can be more flattering than longer ones. Proportions tell you where to end hems, and are just as important as body shape guidelines when choosing clothes. You can find out how to measure your body proportions here.
• Comfortable and fashionable sneakers or dressy sneakers can replace heels, making them an ideal option for everyday wear. Alternatively, there are lots of other shoe styles you can try – from ballet flats to bedazzled flat sandals to ankle boots or knee-high riding boot styles. All can be both comfortable and stylish. Here are some great ideas for a stylish flat shoe wardrobe.
2. Discover Your Aesthetic and Signature Prints
As you define your new signature style, think about what truly resonates with you. Look around and notice what you are attracted to, whether it’s in interiors, nature or art, you can learn about your aesthetic from anywhere.
• To define your new signature style, think about what truly resonates with you. Maybe you love flowing lines so incorporate them into your outfits.
• Consider any specific prints or patterns you adored in your previous style. These elements can serve as the foundation of your new aesthetic. Do you love florals, stripes, animal print or any other kinds of prints? Prints and patterns are a great way to add interest and detail into a garment.
• For inspiration, look at successful examples, like Jill Chivers, who made leopard print her signature style. It’s about finding what makes you happy and incorporating it into your outfits.
3. Try My Visualise Your Style Program
For those feeling stuck with body image concerns that you’re having trouble seeing past or are just in need of a fresh perspective on their aesthetic, my Visualise Your Style Program is a helpful tool (it also comes as a bonus witih my 7 Steps to Style program if you want the complete education in colour and style). It provides a simple mood board approach to explore your unique signature style, that gently walks you through a simple process and helps you truly see what your style is today.
• By stepping away from your body concerns, you can focus on elements of clothing and aesthetics that truly resonate with you.
4. Adapt Your Style to Your Current Lifestyle
Take your current lifestyle and activities into account when crafting your new signature style. Look at how you spend your time and what kinds of clothes you need in your wardrobe.
• Be mindful of your current lifestyle and activities when creating your new signature style, look at your diary, and note down how you spend your time each week, month and then the average year. Notice what kinds of activities you do and what kinds of clothes you really need to own so that you feel appropriately dressed at all times.
• If comfort is a key driver for you and thanks to advancements in fabric technologies, there are plenty of stylish and comfortable options available. Head into your wardrobe to your current favourite, most comfortable clothes, check the labels and notice what fibres they are made from. Then use this information as a guide when purchasing new clothing.
5. Embrace Change and Personal Expression
Remember that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to signature style. It’s a personal journey that allows you to express yourself. Embrace changes in your life as opportunities to redefine your style in a way that still feels authentic and true to yourself.
• Instead of seeing changes as limits, embrace them as opportunities to redefine your style in a way that still feels authentic and true to yourself. Life would be boring if it was always the same from birth to death! Find the silver lining and embrace these changes as they symbolise a new and improved you!
Finding a new signature style can be an exciting adventure. Embrace changes in your life and use them as a springboard to unleash your creativity and express yourself through fashion. Define what makes you feel confident, comfortable, and elegant. Remember, it’s your unique personality and tastes that will shape your new signature style. Enjoy this process, and most importantly, have fun with your new wardrobe and all the possibilities it holds.