Cultivating Everyday Elegance: a 5-month review

Pamela Lutrell on everyday elegance

In June, I began a journey to learn ways to cultivate (grow) everyday elegance into my life over 50.  

Though posture is important, we have learned from other women, book authors, and each other that elegance is much more than walking with books on our heads!

Cultivating Elegance on Over 50 Feeling 40

Many of you and women profiled have shared your very insightful definitions of the word “elegance,” and agreed that it can be learned.  My own definition includes these components and practices:

Dignity – Peaceful strength grounded in wisdom

Grace – unearned, empathetic acceptance; loving to all

Style –   a confident understanding of me and ways I communicate it

Elegance – self- assured poise

I have been purposefully working on these areas:

  1. Pause– I now wait a moment to consider what is before me. This is contrary to the woman I have been in the past….the one who forges ahead, listens to her gut , and goes with it. I often either react too quickly to something or over-react. The elegant woman brings awareness to everything and every moment.  For me, this means to pause before going forward or reacting.
  2. Ponder – Does it require research?  Does it require seeking counsel?  Does it require new budgetary consideration? What are the pros and cons?  Does it require a purposeful consideration of others? Does It require a time of prayer or meditation? By looking at whatever the decision is, will it enhance the outcome if I think of it differently?
  3. Proceed – Now that I have stopped, waited, thought it over, what direction is giving me true peace? Then, with courage, proceed that way.

So many of you agree, that true elegance comes from the inside and not necessarily the outside.  

I believe in evaluating my own behavior over the past five months that I have done well in the pause, ponder, and proceed area.  I have used it with decision making …particularly in regards to this blog. social media and my new life! 


Elegant Women on over 50 Feeling 40

In these five months, I have introduced you to eight women who all have very distinct personal styles, but none fall into a mold for all women who desire to look elegant every day.

They have a confident understanding of how they desire to look, and what they want their wardrobes to say about them. Each is different and unique in their own way.

When I look at the eight, I see that they portray confidence, strength, dignity, intelligence, and their own je ne sais quoi, (a component unique to each one and a little unexplainable by others).

I point all of this out to say that each of us will have our own personal style in our journey to be everyday elegant…we do not have to fall into a mold of attempting to look like someone else. 

Of course, there are many women from Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis to Audrey Hepburn who are known to be the epitome of elegance with their poise, grace, and simple on target styles.

But, ladies, we can be elegant without looking like these women.  I hope the past 5 months have proven that.  All you need to do, is decide what you want to say about you and stick to it with each clothing selection.


Leigh Anne on Every day Elegance

This is my friend Leigh Ann.  One reason I want you to know her is that she is assisting me with the blog…and her help has been invaluable.  

Leigh Anne is an elegant, over 60, hard working, grandmother, mother of three, and we share much in common.

I honestly have known Leigh Ann more in athletic wear…since we worked out together for several years.  

But, she rocks her own great style…like she is wearing here.  

Her necklace was worn in honor of her mother’s birthday…and she wears it every year on that day to honor the memory of her mother. (A very elegant thing to do)

One note:  Reader Michele, wanted to know where Leigh Ann got these pants.  She originally bought them at The Loft but it was several years ago.  Her belt is a wonderful Patricia Nash find for $20!! during a Dillard’s sale. 


I believe over the past five months we have seen all of us agree that true everyday elegance requires KINDNESS as an attribute.

For those joining me to vote “in person” for the American election, please also join me in practicing kindness to all those around us.

Standing in line for a long period of time is a great way to get to know some interesting people…even while social distancing and under a mask. 


Now, ladies, I would like to hear from you…

  1. Would You Like to see the elegance series continue? or are you done with it?
  2. Would you like for me to profile more women?
  3. Have you learned valuable information about living everyday elegance?
  4. Does the word elegance turn you off and have no value for your life?

I would love to hear from everyone!!!  You can find all of the posts about elegance by clicking CULTIVATING ELEGANCE at the top of the page!



Land’s End Friends & Family

Talbot’s Sale 40% off through October 18

Kirkland’s Anniversary Sale

Chico’s 40% Off Through October 18

J Crew




Nordstrom Rack

Home Depot


Bed Bath & Beyond

Best Buy





Williams & Sonoma

Cost Plus World Market



Rack Room Shoes




Taking Juice Plus+ for seven years on Over 50 Feeling 40

There are several ways that I generate income through this blog in order to cover business expenses and give myself much needed income.  Purchases through the slideshow links is one way, ads on the page is one way and a new way is through ordering or re-ordering Juice Plus+ whole food capsules.  Please read my story and information HERE.



GOLI on over 50 Feeling 40

For everyone who agrees with me that Apple Cider Vinegar is great for the metabolism and other health benefits, then order your GOLI today.  Just go to my page at GOLI HERE.  




  1. This whole journey has been delightful, Pamela, & has made me look at some of my biases & ideas about “elegance” more closely — with some surprising insights & results. I’d love to see it continue, but only if it gives you plenty of room to fully engage in the things that bring YOU joy! I especially love your interview series, btw. You’ve introduced me to an array of delightful women & each has in her own way done HER bit to bring me more clarity about what I want my retirement to look like (which is what started me on this adventure in the first place). Turns out I’m not really looking for as much change as I thought I was (except for letting my hair go grey which makes me grin every time I catch sight of it in a mirror), I actually just want to upgrade what’s already there a bit, especially as it applies to my closet: still very casual but a little dramatic, still plenty of black & white & red, but now with more silver & bold winter shades. I still dislike the terms “ladylike” & “age appropriate” (who gets to determine that, exactly??) & consider them unpleasantly redolent of attitudes about women that should have been left behind decades ago, but my antipathy toward the word “elegant” has vanished under a new appreciation that it doesn’t have to be the straitjacket of ages past 🙂 See what you’ve done, Pamela?? 🙂

  2. Pamela,
    I would love for you to continue the elegance series and the profiles of women who are elegant. I thought elegance was something you either had, or you didn’t have. It is so hopeful to discover that elegance is something that can be learned. I have been retired for almost two years and it was a huge adjustment! I love following your path to working from home. It is so relevant to me and to many other women.

  3. I’d like it to continue, because I don’t think it is a “one and done” type of thing. It is evolving and adapting to new circumstances. Under your “proceed” point today, you added something that particularly stood out to me where you said “…what direction is giving me true peace? Then, with courage, proceed that way.” I wrote that down because it’s something I’ve been doing regarding a move. It’s the “courage” part that is a sticking point! That really helped me today. An occasional “elegance” feature would be something I’d really enjoy, not necessarily a person, though that’s great, but what YOU are finding out and how YOU are practicing elegance in your life.

  4. I too would love you to continue the elegance series. It not only has been very helpful, but your honesty and insightfulness in dealing with such a topic inspires me to try my own “elegant” way daily. Thank you Pam!

  5. Your series on elegance has most informative and encouraging. I would like to read more profiles and continue the discussion. When one is learning something new or changing one’s habits, it is helpful to reinforce the goal. Love the 3 P’s! Pause, Ponder, Proceed! An elegant lady is never rushed.

  6. I most want to read Authentic posts, what is coming from your heart about your journey. If you decide it’s elegance, I’m interested but if you no longer feel it, that’s Ok too. I love it when you mix it up, a tried and true simple but delicious recipe like the beef stew the other day, a peek in your closet or even your storage room maybe, your discoveries about yourself as your grow into this new phase of life, a great book, maybe a peek in a reader’s closet, a bit of home decor. The theme of elegance can run through all those things. I am trying to live with more intention, choosing to live with that which is pleasing to my eye and soul and and filling my day with meaning rather than just floating and flitting through the hours. . I’d be interested in helps for doing that,

  7. Please continue highlighting women who define elegance. I enjoy seeing other women and how they pull themselves together. Leigh Anne looks great! Her smile is absolutely beautiful. After retiring 2.5 years ago I was struggling to define my fashion look and reading your blog with your journey has truly been helpful..

  8. I would love for you to continue discussing elegance. I have learned so much but know that I still have more to learn. Thank you for helping me learn through a new stage of my life .
    I use your three P’s often and now my husband will ask me to refresh his memory of the 3P’s when we are going to be with our son and daughter-in-law, a situation that can be fraught with pitfalls but better managed when we remember the 3P’s.
    Thank you

  9. I look forward each week to your elegance stories. I do hope you continue. This is definitely something we should teach our daughters and granddaughters. It doesn’t have to be style or fashion, but how we carry ourselves and the way we act. To me the beginning of elegance is being caring, courteous and uplifting to others, even someone you pass in the grocery aisle.

  10. I agree with Sue’s comments. I enjoy reading on a variety of topics here. Nice to see you feature your dear friend today. Also hoping everything went well with the arrival of your latest grandbaby. Will be excited to see pics and share in your joy. 💖

  11. Yes, Pamela, both enjoyable and valuable to continue this subject of “elegance” and the focus on different (role) models; getting to see the diversity, especially. Maybe expanding on the subject…i.e., what was learned from going through a difficult time and how one changed for the better because of it. Do continue…((: )

  12. Yes! Please continue with the reminders of being elegant
    The suggestion to “Ponder” is such a good reminder.
    I have enjoyed meeting other bloggers through you,
    I do enjoy your blog and you beautiful smile 😊

  13. If you have more to share Pamela, I certainly have more to learn. The pause and ponder part come easily to me but coming up with too many ways to proceed is where I get stuck. How does one choose?

  14. Please continue your focus on Cultivating Elegance. It is very helpful. I’ve the personal challenge of transitioning from the corporate world to styles that build confidence and match the image I want to present in retirement. From you, I was introduced to kimono. I love them. Delighted with the mix of ladies you’ve showcased to model the way. Especially pleased you have a woman of color as the colors she wears are helpful. The corporate world had me in funeral colors. One of her styles had black, but with a bright green long organza duster. A blush one is, now, in my wardrobe as a result. It’s much better than my corporate dinner suit. Would appreciate the addition of a plus size lady as well as one focused on accessories. I’ve fine jewelry worn to work I’d still like to continue to wear in this chapter of my life. But, how?

    1. I have throughly enjoyed “Cultivating Elegance”. We definitely need reminders on this topic so I hope you will continue. The ladies you have interviewed were great. It is nice to hear how one interprets elegance. Thank you for your time in writing these articles. You are a blessing,

  15. Yes, I would be happy to follow along with more on elegance. I must keep reminding myself of the 3 Ps . It took a lifetime to get into the wrong habits, so will take a bit longer to slow down the response time. The ladies that you have introduced to us have been fantastic so if you follow that path for a few more, that would be great, but it is fun to follow along with your discoveries with fashion and lifestyle as well. I will be here no matter what.

  16. I enjoy your blogs on elegance. It used to be I defined elegance as something concrete or visual, something material, a completed task or an event. I now see it as an evolution, a growth, an appreciation of life that comes from within. I also realize that I have been elegant in many ways and continue to grow with that lovely attribute. I not only strive to be more elegant throughout my life but also at times serene as well.

  17. I thoroughly have enjoyed the series as feel, elegance must come within one’s self with the first stepping stone being; ‘to thine own self be true’. -Brenda-
    Footnote: Congratulations on the anticipated new arrival into your family with best wishes to both baby and Mommy as well.

  18. I enjoyed reading the elegance posts but didn’t think they affected me that much until I was in a friend’s retail clothing boutique this past week and realized how reading your posts has dramatically changed how I shop. I ended up getting a timeless, easy to wash and wear, black blouse for travel, It is great for sightseeing all day and then heading straight into any high end dining room.

    I analyzed the piece for a bit before purchasing as you have suggested we do — it’s fabric is modal which I don’t usually like — and tried it on even though I didn’t want to bother my friend to have to clean the room after me. But once I put it on, and calculated that its mark down price would be $34, my ‘Pamela’ analysis said ‘buy this because it will travel well, is an elegant and flexible piece, and if your luggage gets lost, you will still feel badly but it won’t be an expensive tragedy.’

    So thank you from this reader. You are definitively influencing me!

  19. I look forward to your posts on elegance & hope you will continue with this topic, as there is much to learn. I am one of those who chooses a word for the year & am contemplating choosing “elegance” as my word for 2021. I chose “fresh” as my 2020 word, & considering how this year has been, that was not a good choice.

  20. I have really enjoyed this series as it has made me ponder what it means to be a woman of elegance. It even inspired me to write a blog post about it myself! I have especially enjoyed the profiles of other women and would definitely like to see more of those!

  21. I have really enjoyed your elegance posts … whether it’s introducing us to other women of elegance bloggers, or your posts on what elegance means to you. It has really given me lots to think about with my personal style.

    I’m still working, but the pandemic has certainly put a more casual spin on what I wear to the workplace. I want to be comfortable but still stylish … and I like the thought of being elegant as well. In many senses of the word.

    Thank you Pam!

  22. I have enjoyed and learned from the “elegance” series and would like to see it continue. I also think seeing how you work ideas like pause-ponder-proceed into other areas of your life and other posts. I would really like to see the full reading list including the ideas from others (maybe it is here somewhere but I could not find it) as I have been slowly reading through and learning from some of the the books. I am a few years behind you, with retirement likely in 5 years, but it doesn’t feel too soon to think about the transition and I appreciate having role models for this upcoming stage. I’ve also had to modify my clothing during the pandemic so seeing how you are moving to more casual but pulled together looks has been very useful. In sum, I appreciate the series and would like to see it continue in any way that seems right to you.

    1. Hi Shelley! Look at the top of the blog page and you will see a line of topics. Click on the one that says Cultivating Elegance. All of the elegance posts are under that tab. On Friday, I will also repost some of the basics like the reading list. Thanks for being here!

  23. I do enjoy this series and especially when you introduce us to other women. It has me pondering how I wish to grow and define myself as an older woman. Please continue this series.

    1. Hi Mimi…you are in the majority, so YES the posts about elegance on Fridays will continue! Thanks so much for the feedback!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.