How to Begin A New Style Story

It is probably way past time for a style re-fresh, and to establish at new style story at this stage of my life.  As I said in THIS POST last Friday, it has only been recently that I realized my original reinvention time was about 15 years ago.  Time does fly when you are having fun!

The way I turned things around then was to understand that my choice of clothing sent messages to the world about me.  When I controlled the messages and kept them consistent, then I developed a personal, uniquely- Pam, style.  However, in the past four years, I ceased to do the “mirror check” as I became busier through two jobs, and added grandchildren.  Before that, I would look in the mirror each day and ask if my outfit communicated my five chosen adjectives.  If it did not, then I went back to the closet.

So, I am returning to the mirror check, and a developing new way to look at my adjectives, which will keep me uniquely Pam.  I have learned so much about myself in the past 15 years and I finally began to understand why I like some garments, and why I do not like others.

I first developed my Foundational Five Adjectives to help me develop a personal style, the adjectives were this way.

  1. Strong…Does the piece give me a feeling of strength…in charge…professional success? Strength to me means Intelligence and confidence.
  2. Chic…Do I feel chic, dignified, elegant, respected?
  3. Dramatic…Is there a creative touch to what I am doing that is unique to my artsy side and joyful fun? 
  4. Current…Do I feel “young at heart” in an appropriate manner?
  5.   Savvy….Will I be taken seriously and look intelligent

 I have learned that the order I place them in is now important.  Strength was at the top because my professional life was  so important.  It still is, but over the years I have learned that my creative side is what I love the most.  So, here is the new plan with a bit of tweaking….

  1. Creative: Is my creative, dramatic touch communicated in what I am wearing
  2. Current: Do I feel “young at heart” in an appropriate manner?
  3. Approachable: Does my style communicate friendliness in a down to earth manner
  4. Chic: Do I communicate respect for myself and others, and dignity
  5. Strong: Does my outfit say that I am an intelligent strong woman

So, there it is for now my CCACS plan.  You can see by today’s outfit that creativity does not have to be “in your face.” When I combine creativity with the other adjectives, it becomes communicated in quiet strength.  The creativity here is displayed by the fun sleeves on the top, the colorful glass blown beads, the check on the pant, and the cuff on the pant.  Those are creative details.  Yet, I will have many outfits which will be louder in the creative department, and I am going to step out of my comfort zone and wear some of those to work.  I want to put my traditional professional style to bed…unless a critical meeting pops up where I believe a suit is called for.

I like what Joanna Gaines recently said, “I finally believed it was actually a beautiful thing to be unique and to be different.”  Yes, it is…one of the joys of our world,  all the different people…birds…butterflies…sunsets…flowers…etc., etc.  Your unique style messages will not be mine.  But if you will select five and check your outfits daily to see if you are communicating those five adjectives, then you will develop your own unique style and become known for it.  I have friends and family give me gifts that are spot on, because they know clearly what I like from what I wear.

You can hone in on a new style and develop it in retirement.  You only need to decide what you want to say to the world about you at this stage of your life.   I cannot wait to hear from some of the 50 who sent for the 8 Steps to Reinvented Style in the past few days…please share your adjectives with the rest of us.

Looking forward to sharing outfits with you that I have styled with the new adjective direction in mind!

What do you want your clothing to say about you today…where you are right now?  I hope some of you will share.




  1. Please send me your steps to reinvention. And thank you so much for the inspiration to be my best.

  2. Hi Sue, I will send it to you later today! And thank you for the encouragement!! I hope we always strive to be our best!

  3. I like your idea of the Five Foundational Adjectives, Pam. I want to try this. I feel like since I have retired I have been working to redefine my style and it can be a challenge because there are so many “voices” and “opinions” in blog land. Your approach is so clear cut and makes sense to me because it gives me the freedom to redefine my style within my own guidelines. May I quote you and link to this post when I do my next “Style Tips” post? Always, like your style!

  4. You know you best… and know what you want your clothing to tell others about you! Know one else can do this for you! Of course, share the links! I hope these posts will help and inspire others. Thanks so much.

  5. I love the simplicity of your look today. Your personality shines through with style, confidence and strength. I also feel better with just a few pieces that show my individual uniqueness,

  6. Thank you! There will be days like this, but I do have louder days as well. Thanks for being here.

  7. I have finally found someone that has a plan that works for who I am. I want to dress appropriately and stylish for my age, my lifestyle and fit in to the region I live in. You are giving what I have been looking for. Thank you, thank you. Please send me the steps to reinvent.

  8. Your comment got me so excited, Donna! I am happy to send it to you later today!

  9. I’d never realized before that I am drawn to some jewelry, fabric and styles because of my creativity…I just would snatch them up because they “winked” at me!

  10. Love your outfit today and am ready to reinvent my style. I find I keep looking at things from a past life and not where I am today. Would you please send me the information on reinventing my style.

    Thanks so much!

  11. Great column today. All the thoughts are inspiring and make me want to use your plan in a more systematic way. Thanks.

  12. thank you for the great hints to developing a retirement style. I was a high school teacher, and my dressing/ appearance were dictated by the image I needed then. I now need a readjustment. After I have read this post as well as the steps you sent me, I have come to the conclusion that I totally agree with the 5 adjectives you have chosen.. They describe me too. So when I look in the mirror I will think of the Creative, Approachable, Chic, Current and Strong me!! thank you so much.

  13. Pam, how do you decide what color shoe to wear? I notice that with black or dark pants you sometimes wear black shoes but at other times something different. How does this work for those of us, like me, who are not very creative?

  14. Hi Jill, the choice of shoes always depends on the outfit. Sometimes I go with a dark shoe at the end of a dark pant to elongate my look; sometimes the shoes will compliment the rest of the outfit or pick up a color in the top; and sometimes it might be a metallic shoe that goes with the jewelry. I wish I could give you an easy formula, but it is different with each outfit. Maybe that gave you some ideas!

  15. What an Ah-Ha you’ve supplied us with today Pam. Defining our personal style by the adjectives we wish to convey has got me filled with energy and excitement about building a personal framework for fashion. I imagine it is so much easier to go shopping knowing what those guiding adjectives are. So exciting! I too would so appreciate your guide on re-inventing ones style. Thank you for your inspiration.

  16. I’m late responding, very hectic day, but want to say that I have used the foundational five since I started reading your blog years ago. It really works, and the mirror check is so important, both when shopping as well as when selecting what to wear. I have mentioned before that I revisit my foundational five periodically to make sure I’m staying true to myself and mindful of where I am in life. I have my five adjectives and the corresponding questions laminated on cards that I carry along with my best colors (sample swatches on cards) that I keep in my purse. Shopping intentionally has helped too, noting wardrobe gaps on a memo on my phone, and this helps to prevent impulse purchases that I’d end up regretting. Your foundational five has truly changed the way I shop and dress. It’s a brilliant concept, and it works!!

  17. Hi Carol, because of my adjectives I have returned less and walked away from mistakes in the dressing room. I always look for them when trying on clothes. Thanks for sharing.

  18. Thanks Karen! You are an awesome testimony that this works for someone besides me!

  19. Hi Pam, thank you for your blog! I find myself anxiously waiting for the next post. I too have felt I must wear suits but would like to be me. Would you be so kind as to send your steps to reinvention? Can’t wait to start this journey!!

  20. So glad you are here, Kimberly and I hope my journey will help! I will send it in a few minutes.

  21. A little late, but I also would enjoy a copy of your steps to reinvent. I’ve been retired for 5 years now and could use the help. I struggle with trying to look put-together and at the same time comfortable for my retired lifestyle. Even though you’re not retired, could you include some style tips and looks in upcoming blog posts. Thank you

Comments are closed.