I love old episodes of What not to Wear, though it is a little dated now. I’m a sucker for before and after shows, they are the only reality TV I’ll watch as I know there is usually a happy ending. For those of you who haven’t seen it, hosts Stacey London and Clinton Kelly would pounce on unsuspecting style challenged women who were nominated by their friends and family (part helpful/part your worst nightmare scenario) to have a fashion reboot. Armed with a team of stylists behind the scene (no one creates an entire new wardrobe in two days of shopping, even if they are in New York) the women would end up looking and feeling great, by their own definition. Many of London and Kelly’s style “rules” are designed to be of use to every woman and still make sense – adding visual interest (which I advocate for) and defining your body shape in a flattering way (which I also celebrate). They didn’t focus on in depth individual Style Statements as I do, but they did try to take into account the guest’s personality.
I came across a You Tube video a few days ago featuring Stacey London who has rebelled against her own show – and she said a few things that made my heart sing. She’s about to turn 50 and she’s embracing a whole new attitude to style.
“…accept new versions of yourself.”
I often work with women who are pivoting in life, in their career and in their relationships. We evolve. Don’t get stuck in who you were, take the best bits with you and move forward to the woman you want to be. You’re awesome right now. Embrace who you are at this point in your life. You’ve worked hard to get here.
…the nicest thing about personal style is that no one gets to tell you what is and what isn’t beautiful..”
So true! Define what is meaningful to you, what resonates, what lights you up. That can be a rainbow caftan, a diamante tiara, a pair of Jimmy Choos, a fitted suit, a pair of espadrilles, a tree, a paddle board, a vase, a song, a poem, a piece of fruit, bamboo straws. All these things give you clues as to your inner closet and guide you in how to express your personal, one of a kind style. They also lead you to your values – another important factor in choosing your clothing.
“I have to have a little sparkle or the day doesn’t work out for me.”
What’s your “sparkle”? For me, it’s coffee in bed, looking out at my view of the lake or lying in the neighbors hammock or walking the dog in the forest. Or rocking a head to toe patterned suit with ruffled hems and sleeves. Strutting in my silver sandals, my black patent leather AGL brogues that are super comfortable to walk in, my 60’s romper, 70’s flared pants, little black body con dress, summer A line floral frock…what clothes in your wardrobe add “sparkle” to your day?
“I think the more open I am, the more exciting style becomes.”
Next time you’re in a store, try something on that scares you. Alone in the dressing room, give it a whirl. Take a photo. Let it grow on you. Believe it or not it took me a while to get used to skinny jeans fifteen years ago. I’m not actually an early adopter – I don’t follow trends. I pick clothes that fit, flatter and suit my Style Statement but I’ve gotten more and more confident as I’ve tried clothing on and that’s what I want for you. Right now I’m seeing the fun in wide legged and cropped again. I’m getting bolder with my choices. Start a little outside your comfort zone if you want, or try things on at home, but don’t dismiss them immediately because they aren’t what you’re used to. Never worn a fitted dress? Your body is perfect. Give it a go. Try bright colors if you’ve only wore black. Life is short.
“I can feel beautiful because I like look damn hot in an outfit that I put together and I’m so proud of that.”
That’s what I want you to be able to say!
“Beauty is about love and confidence and contentment..”
Why yes, yes it is. But I’ll add it’s also about acceptance of your glorious self and letting your inner closet shine through. So wear something that truly expresses yourself today. Because you’re awesome.
…Find your reflection in the eyes of the people who love you..”
Sometimes, we need to step away from the mirror and the camera and see ourselves through the eyes of someone who knows we are beautiful. Call me, I’ll reflect that back to you.
Image from Google