How to take personal style adjectives and turn them into confidence


Pamela Lutrell discusses her style adjectives

I thought we would get into the nitty-gritty (do people still say that?) about how to wear the style adjectives you want to communicate.  I have shared often that when I look in the mirror, I want to say that I am intelligent, strong, approachable, current, and creative.  Notice, I did not include the word confident.  The reason is when I am true to those five adjectives, I feel confident and go out with a smile on my face and my head held high.

Over 50 Feeling 40 combines classic and creative

Many of you know that I am still in the professional world five days a week, and because of that I do want to communicate that I am intelligent and strong.  That means that I want to look put together, and have a foundation of classics.  Solid neutrals to build upon with foundational pieces such as blazers, pants, dark wash denim and a couple of skirts.  But, I am not a banker…I am in the communications/creative industry so I can be true to my creative bent and take classics to a different level.

Pamela Lutrell in a creative classic style

For example, in the image above I have added a print and a double breasted blazer to add that touch of creativity to a classic, professional style.  By saying that I am classic as well as creative, it keeps my creativity in check…do you know what I mean?  With these five adjectives, I do not have the license to be as loud as I want…or then I would leave the classic realm.  Ways I show my creativity are with prints, colors, accessories, and current designs or a new take on a classic.

Pamela Lutrell ads current designs to a classic wardrobe

Staying current with our wardrobes is important if we want to be youthful and stylish….which communicating that when I am older in the workforce is very important (more about that tomorrow).  Above I am wearing one of my favorite jackets from Macys which has a touch of edge with the faux leather.  This meets every one of my style adjectives.  I found it a few years back and it is a favorite…especially with my leather Rockport boots.  This is truly Pam-style.

over 50 feeling 40 in current leopard trend

Now, I can say that I am approachable when I am smiling and confident.  I do not want to wear clothing that communicates that I am above everyone else, but a confident, joyful, intelligent woman.  I think anyone radiating joy and confidence becomes approachable.  So, when I look in my mirror, I ask am I saying these five things to the world…that I am intelligent, strong, approachable, current and creative.  If I am, I say…LET’S GO HAVE A GREAT DAY! 

Over 50 Feeling 40 in a creative classic

I cannot tell you how much this has helped my wardrobe, closet, and purchasing decisions.  I know when I walk into my closet, I am going to find classics with creative options.  My adjectives may change once I retire, but we will see.  I have sharpened my personal style over the years, so I do not know that I would change it much when I leave the professional environment.  But, I do not feel any anxiety when I walk into my closet because I know what I will find there and what it says.  If garments that I try on at the store do not say these things about me, then they stay there.  I have read so many books about personal style and how to figure out who you are and what you want to be, but this is the only method that made sense to me and it works.

Interpreting Your Own Adjectives

I hope this will help you to “flesh out” your own adjectives.  It has been so much fun to read the ones sent to me and so often I think…wow, that is a great way to say what you want.  It has also been a challenge at times to put your grouping together, but a fun one.  I appreciate it so much when I hear back from you after producing your slideshow…meant to inspire you.  

Today, we are looking at Jean’s adjectives.  Jean desires to communicate that she is presentable, pleasant, strong, connected and encouraging.  You sound like such a sweet lady, Jean.  So, here is a slideshow for Jean and women like her.




By Pamela Lutrell



  1. Love your looks today, especially the first one….the gold jacket is stunning! Great to hear your explanation of your style and how it works for you.

  2. I think we are all drawn to the outfit we would wear as well as what looks fantastic on you. I love the cool tone animal print with the straight leg jeans. Everything about that jacket is fun, the fitted waist, the length and the sleeves. But then this is not to everyone’s taste, so wear it with creative and approachable fun. These posts are really informative.

  3. Love you in both the leather trimmed jacket and the shorter animal print one. To me they convey an image of a woman who knows how to put her own stamp on a classic look, “Classic with a twist!” It implies creativity, effort and engagement in life. I don’t know quite know how to find my own descriptors. Others have described my style as, “smart.” I think that is a seldom used term today. But what are the descriptors behind that look? I really struggle with figuring this out. I appreciate your reminder today to be clear about our style so we make wise purchases.

    1. Hi Sue, just read your comment and first, thanks for the kind words. Second, if you are described as smart would it be correct to say you are a classic, chic, current, put together woman? Is that your main direction?

      1. This is helpful. Thank you. Isn’t “put together” a strange term. Hard to define but we all know it when we see it.

  4. Loved all the looks. Solid colored blazers are great pieces to have in any wardrobe. They can be dressed up for work or down for casual weekend wear. I have my eye on the navy tweed blazer from Chicos in the slideshow. Thank you for the photos and slideshow.

    1. I bought it at Chico’s a couple of years ago but if I ever see something similar, I will post it!! It’s fun.

  5. I am a jeans and T-shirt kind of girl. I live in the country and I do not work outside the home. But, that does not mean that I don’t want to look put together in them. Here’s the dilemma, almost all of looks I see shown include that third piece. Almost all of them have a jacket. I live in Texas as you do, and the third piece would just be so hot. And I certainly wouldn’t wear the jacket inside the house. What do you do here? I wear jeans and a V neck t shirt most days. I have great jewelry, so that is nice. But stylish? I don’t really think so. I am always clean and neat. Hair and nails done etc. I would love to step up the style game, but not by wearing a jacket or topper. Any reader advice or obviously from Pam would be appreciated. Oh, I also wear sneakers most days. But I buy fun ones.

    1. Hi Mari,
      Whenever I retire, I will not wear the third piece as often … though I love jackets with jeans. In the warmer months, I wear a lot of tops and pants with fun accessories…or lighter jackets or cotton vests. One of my favorite looks is with a white blouse, denim and ballet flats. Believe it or not, fun sneakers are in style for all types of occasions. I bet you are more instyle than you think! Stick around here as the weather heats up and we will see what happens. Keep in mind, this post was how I interrupt these adjectives for me…in an effort to get you to interrupt your personal adjectives for you and your lifestyle. I hope it will help. ?

      1. I live in Houston and it is indeed challenging to add that third piece. Winter is great for me because I love my cardigans and lightweight hoodies. A Blazer? Just too heavy for me. So. When things start heating up my second layer is a colorful scarf to dress up my t shirt and jeans/shorts/skirt. And fun shoes. Sandals or tennies.
        But eventually, even the scarves get removed. It would be a great help to receive ideas for making that simple type of outfit look more put together for a climate that makes you think you’ll just melt into a puddle when July and August come around.

  6. Love all your looks! You stay true to yourself and project confidence! You look happy, stylish and comfortable as well as creative.

  7. I love the soft pink blazer in the first photo. I often use your looks as inspiration. It’s not about wanting to be a duplicate of someone, but about taking your photos & making them work for my life & style. That might mean a different color or a cardigan instead of a blazer. You give a chance to rethink things that I have worn the same way.

    1. I found that blazer on Nordstrom Rack, Becky. And it makes me smile to think I offer you inspiration! Thanks so much…

  8. I do not wear clothes with logos. I wish solid companies like L.L. Bean and Eddie Bauer would stop putting their logos on their products. The same goes for handbags. Does anybody else have a problem with this?

    1. It’s good for the retailers to know how you feel, Jill. You should message them on their Facebook or Instagram page.

    2. Hi Jill, I don’t do free advertising! I hate branded clothing and accessories. I have seen so many nice handbags but the logo is the reason I don’t buy it. I have the same problem with eyeglasses — the rhinestone logos are not for me.

  9. I truly like every one of these featured outfits. They are all flattering and definitely communicate your message. It does make a difference which industry you work in. Mine was very formal and I loved it! I kept a lot of my clothes from work, and I do wear the dresses and skirts to church and still get enjoyment from them. Like Jill said above, I don’t wear clothes with logos. It takes me awhile to find quality handbags that don’t have logos on them, but I do find them. I’m sure I’ve said this before, but when I go shopping I take my Foundational Five adjectives on a laminated card, with a brief explanation of how I interpret these adjectives. In the same little bag (fits in my purse) I keep color samples that work for me. It really makes it easier to keep my adjectives in mind and really cuts down on the impulse purchases.

  10. Would you do a segment on shoes? I love heels but don’t have much occasion to wear them any more. I never know what style of shoe/boot go with what style pant. I love the new styles of sneakers but don’t know how to wear them. I appreciate your suggestions. Thanks

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