Happy Wednesday everyone…welcome to my birthday post discussing lessons learned through two style reinventions.
Today, I am a whopping 68 years old and feelin’ good!
Eleven years ago I named this blog over 50 feeling 40, because I was in my 50s and feeling my best after going through Reinvention #1.
I haven’t changed the name mainly because I am branded under that name…but you know, the rest of my life I will literally be over 50, and I hope beyond hope, will be feeling great!
Today, I am reflecting over what I have learned looking back at both of the big reinventions in my life….which happened within an 18 year span.
LESSON #1: REINVENTIONS HAPPEN AT KEY MOMENTS
The first reinvention happened when I turned fifty years old and actually looked at myself for the first time in years. I had been a working mom and placed me at the bottom of my priority list.
Upon seeing a picture of myself, my eyes were opened and changes needed to occur. It was amazing when I acted to turn my style and health around and move me up on the priority chain.
The second one has happened recently after leaving the professional office world, to work at home and begin a new lifestyle…without business clothing!
When we reach these benchmarks during key time passages in our lives, sometimes it requires a reevaluation…which will give us a shot in the arm of enthusiasm and joy for life.
I have learned when I look in the mirror and see the best possible me, that it can (and usually will) change how I look at life.
I like this quote: “Caring about fashion can be vanity. Caring about style is opportunity!.” PONDER that one!
LESSON #2: I HAD TO BE THE ONE TO ACT
I could’ve stayed despondent and literally sat around feeling sorry for myself both times, but reinventions require courageous action by US…no one else.
I confess that each time I had to give myself big motivational talks to do something significant, but my love of learning and researching kicked in and I became a student of myself and advocate for ME.
You see, it is true that a style reinvention begins in your brain and not on your body!
LESSON #3: REINVENTIONS REQUIRE ACCEPTING CERTAIN REALITIES
Sit down with me here at the phenomenal Hotel Emma in San Antonio, in this special little bohemian nook and let’s talk reality.
I have learned that in order to have a successful reinvention, I must accept my current lifestyle (including economic situation) as is; my current body shape as is; my current age as is; and any body challenges I currently have.
I look at any challenges I have and not allow them to shut me down, but find a way to turn them into positives.
If I wait to change my style until I am rich, skinny, unwrinkled, and practically perfect in every way…well, it won’t happen.
Does this mean I stop working on some of the areas? No…not at all. I am always working on good health and proper skincare, and discussing some of my challenges with doctors.
As of right now, I have elected not to have surgery on my hammer toes…so I just wear cute comfort shoes and sandals and have regular pedicures.
I fixed a torn ear once and it tore again. Occasionally I wear clip on earrings, but usually just let my necklaces and bracelets speak for my accessories.
I want to be the best me I can be today…and not try to be someone else. Let me say here that it is vitally important NOT TO COMPARE YOURSELF WITH OTHERS!
LESSON #4: REINVENTIONS REQUIRE A TEACHABLE HUMBLE SPIRIT
For both reinventions, I needed help and I knew I needed help. I needed to be willing to listen, research and apply what I was being told.
For the first reinvention, my stylists were Stacy London and Clinton Kelly on What Not to Wear.
I never met them, but I studied what they said and applied it to me. I did not get offended by what they said, because I knew I looked like many of the women on their show and required help.
That program and later Stacy London’s book (The Truth about Style) helped me so much.
Most of you know that Annie Castano has been my catalyst with Reinvention #2, which is really still very much a work in progress.
I believe working with Annie and getting to know her has been an answer to prayer. I never would have imagined that someone with her expertise would be working directly with me as an online stylist.
She is funny, creative, personable and so helpful. I am still experimenting with the bohemian/romantic personality, but I love, love, love my new autumn color palette!
And, strange as it is, I do not miss black….which last year I would have told you I would never change. Teachability and humility open all kinds of doors…and fun!
Also, it helps to have someone who will keep us focused. If we try to be every style personality and wear every color, it will not work for us to be our confident best.
MY BIRTHDAY REINVENTED STYLE
I found this Johnny Was tunic at our recent consignment shopping trip at a great price. It is a beautiful purple and floral garment.
I also love the sleeves! And I wore it with past Chico’s jewelry pieces…I recently re-discovered the orange and gold bracelet when I cleaned out my jewelry.
I wanted to take today’s pictures at this location, because this old Pearl Brewery was reinvented into something special which is a must visit when you are in San Antonio.
Style reinvention can be incredible on many levels…whether personal or commercial.
I have no idea what lies ahead for me, but both of these reinventions came at important times and motivated me to do more with life.
I will not say that I will never again dramatically change things up…you never know. Later in life I may choose to be Iris Apfel!
But what I want most is to be confident, fun-loving Pamela who speaks hope and joy into the lives of others, and is a Gigi who leaves a legacy of style behind.
Thank you for allowing me to reflect on lessons learned today….I hope it will help and encourage some of you…feel free to ask any questions…and make sure you always…
By Pamela Lutrell
Photography by Leigh Ann Cecil