As we journey through life, our bodies and circumstances change, and sometimes so does our sense of style. I recently had the privilege of hearing from a woman who shared her story of struggle and transformation.
A retired former administrator found herself facing the daunting task of rediscovering her style after battling breast cancer and body changes along with the natural aging process. Her story is one that many of us can relate to (even when you haven’t had to battle cancer) – there is a the challenge of embracing a new chapter while staying true to our identity. Watch the video below now.
Reassessing Your Wardrobe: Dressing for the Body You Have Today
This reader’s journey speaks to the heart of a common issue—our bodies evolve over time, and what once worked may no longer flatter us. It’s essential to reassess our wardrobe and identify what works for our current selves.
Menopause, illness, and medications can really change body shape, so the guidelines you’ve spent your life using to create stylish outfits may no longer work and you can feel lost as you don’t know what to wear.
If you put weight on through your tummy and torso but not your hips and thighs, I highly recommend this trick, and that’s exploring the maternity section when struggling with fitting jeans or trousers. Maternity wear has evolved significantly over the years, offering comfort and style, especially for those with a softer rounder belly. Don’t be fooled by the term ‘maternity’; today’s options provide a flattering fit that can make you feel confident and comfortable in your skin. I once had a client who had medical issues that meant she had developed a tummy, but hips and thighs were slim. She had been wearing size 22 pants, when shopping with her I took her to the maternity section and she went down to a size 16 in jeans and pants and they were so much more flattering on as she no longer had sagging bagging fabric at her thighs, and the jeans were comfortable around her stomach. Because of that saggy baggy pant thigh, she felt she had to wear long tops to cover up the excess fabric, afterwards she didn’t. So everything in her outfits improved just by trying maternity pants even though she wasn’t pregnant.
Here are some maternity jeans options from Amazon – you can see how much more stylish the options are now compared to what they were 20 or so years ago. Some go under your tummy, some over, choose the style that feels most comfortable to you.
If you’re not sure of your current shape and the silhouettes and cuts of clothes that create harmony with it that you should be looking for, you can take my free body shape calculator quiz and download your body shape bible. If you want my professional opinion, you can get that inside my I’ve trained some amazing ones from all around the world)
Rediscovering Your Style Identity: Reflecting Who You Are Now
Retirement isn’t just a milestone; it’s a significant shift in lifestyle and self-perception. It’s a time to embrace the freedom of exploring new passions, hobbies, and, of course, rediscovering your sense of style. As many individuals enter this phase, they often find themselves at a crossroads, uncertain about how to express their evolving identity through their clothing. But fear not, because this transitional period is also an exciting opportunity for self-discovery and reinvention.
Here are some thought-provoking ideas, inspiration, and activities to guide you on this transformative style journey:
- Reflecting on Past Style Triumphs: Take a nostalgic trip down memory lane. Look back at moments when you felt the most confident and stylish in your wardrobe. What were you wearing during those memorable occasions? Reflecting on your past style triumphs can provide valuable insights into your fashion preferences and help you reconnect with elements of your authentic self. Now fashions change so you most likely don’t want to be copying what you wore, but maybe there was something about those outfits that made you feel really great – was it that it felt smart and powerful? Then add blazers and jackets into your retirement wardrobe. Alternatively, maybe it was a particular sort of pattern that you were wearing (florals, stripes, animal print, abstracts, the list goes on) and you’ve stopped wearing them and have got stuck in solid colours and are feeling bored. Why not look for some prints and patterns that you really love that will add interest to your wardrobe?If you are a fan of sharp, professional looks, consider incorporating modern blazers or structured jackets into your casual wardrobe. Denim jackets come in a myriad of colours (the ones below actually come in so many colours – click here to discover all the colours) with added stretch, offering a perfect blend of comfort and sophistication, allowing you to maintain that sharp edge while embracing a relaxed style as a coloured denim jacket works great worn with denim jeans.
A jacket is a great third piece to add style and also as a great way to cover up and add interest to your outfits (particularly when your body has changed and you may want an additional garment to disguise some lumps and bumps).
You may have jackets and blazers left over from your old work wardrobe that you can experiment with wearing with your jeans or casual clothes. Alternatively, you may find that you can dress down your old dress pants with a knit tee or top. Why not dress up jeans with a blouse or a shirt you used to wear to work. I always think you shouldn’t throw out your old work wardrobe as soon as you retire, instead to experiment with wearing garments in new ways and new combinations that make use of them but still can work for your new lifestyle. Take some time to do this and start assessing what gets worn and what is no longer relevant to your lifestyle and what you can let go of and donate to make space in your wardrobe for clothing that does work for your new lifestyle.
- If your body shape has changed and nothing fits or no longer flatters, it’s time to release what you can’t wear (it’s messing with your head and making you feel bad), and it’s time to figure out what’s right for you, your body, and your current lifestyle and start creating a shopping list for garments that will work for you. This will help you plan your shopping trips and build a new wardrobe for the new you and your new lifestyle.
- Explore New Fashion Horizons: Retirement is the perfect time to experiment with different styles and trends. Consider exploring fashion magazines, online platforms like Pinterest, and social media for style inspiration. Look for influencers or celebrities whose style resonates with you and draw inspiration from their outfits. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try something different. Who knows, you might discover a whole new side of yourself that you never knew existed!
- Engage in Wardrobe Revamping Activities: Turn your wardrobe into a creative sanctuary. Dedicate a day to organizing and revamping your closet. Clear out items that no longer reflect your current style or no longer fit your body. Create space for new pieces that align with your evolving taste. Consider trying different combinations of outfits, mix and match various accessories, and play with colors and textures to see what makes you feel the most confident and comfortable.
- Personal Style Mood Board: Create a personal style mood board to visually articulate your style aspirations. Pinterest is a great resource to do this where you can pin images from online sources that resonate with your fashion vision and create a digital collage. This visual representation will serve as a guiding light when making future clothing choices and help you stay focused on your unique style identity. If you want a step-by-step guided process to do this – my Visualise Your Style program is the perfect solution.
- Join Fashion and Style Communities: Engage with like-minded individuals who share your passion for fashion and style. Join online communities, participate in fashion forums, or attend local fashion events and workshops. Connecting with others who are also navigating their style journeys can provide a sense of camaraderie and support. Share your experiences, seek advice, and learn from the diverse perspectives within these communities.
- Sustainable Fashion Exploration: Consider exploring sustainable and ethical fashion options. Embrace a more conscious approach to your wardrobe by investing in timeless, high-quality pieces that align with your style preferences and values. Learn about sustainable fashion brands and initiatives that resonate with your beliefs. Embracing sustainability in your fashion choices can add a meaningful layer to your style identity and reflect your commitment to a more responsible lifestyle.
- Personal Styling Workshops and Consultations: Attend personal styling workshops or seek guidance from professional stylists (I’ve trained some amazing ones from all around the world). Participating in these sessions can offer valuable insights into dressing for your body type, understanding color palettes that complement your skin tone, and learning about styling techniques that accentuate your best features. These workshops can be an excellent opportunity to receive personalized advice and gain the confidence to curate a wardrobe that truly reflects your unique style identity.
The Power of Style Education: Making Informed Wardrobe Choices
When embarking on a style transformation, having the right knowledge is paramount. Understanding your colors, body shape, and personal preferences can significantly streamline your shopping experience and prevent costly fashion mistakes. This is specifically important when your body and colouring has changed. That’s why I encourage exploring programs like my ‘7 Steps to Style’ program, and it includes my Visualise Your Style program as a bonus! This comprehensive educational resource provides you with the necessary tools and feedback from expert stylists to build a wardrobe that truly reflects who you are today. With monthly Q&A sessions and personalized guidance, you’ll feel empowered to curate a wardrobe that not only looks good but also makes you feel fantastic every day.
Embrace Your Style Journey: You Deserve to Feel Great Every Day
Your wardrobe should be an expression of your unique self, bringing you joy and confidence. By investing in your style education and understanding what works for you now, you can build a wardrobe that aligns with your lifestyle and personality. Embrace the power of knowledge and let your style journey be one of self-discovery and empowerment. Remember, you deserve to feel great every day, and your clothes can play a significant role in making that happen.
For more guidance and support on your style journey, explore my ‘7 Steps to Style’ program and discover the transformative impact of dressing with confidence and flair.
Remember, your style is an extension of who you are, so make it truly yours!