Lessons learned through two style reinventions

Lessons learned through two style reinventions

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.


Lessons learned through two style reinventions

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!


Lessons learned through two reinventions

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!


Lessons learned through two reinventions


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!


Lessons Learned through two reinventions

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.


Lessons Learned through two reinventions

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. 

Lessons learned through two reinventions

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



  1. First of all, a very happy birthday to you Pam! You look fabulous in your birthday pictures (that Johnny Was top is gorgeous!!) I hope your day is a special celebration of you. These lessons are so interesting to ponder and I will be doing just that. We can think we know ourselves pretty well, but need to check in now and then to be sure we’re still sending the messages we want to send, and following along with you has been valuable. Lesson 3 really jumped out to me and I want to spend more time on that one in particular, which also pulls in Lesson 4! I’m glad you took the time to walk us through these points because there is so much packed in here. I’m definitely going to spend some time pondering! Again, wishes for the happiest of birthdays are coming your way!!

    1. Thank you so much, Karen! I love starting my birthday morning with you. I do hope today’s post is helpful!

    2. Happy birthday Pam. I just turned 77, and I’m doing a reinvention! Proof that you can do it at any age, I think. I’m Nordic walking to lose 30 lbs that I’ve gained in the last 3 years when we quit ballroom dancing. I also went silver in the hair department which did make me access my color choices. Turns out I need more saturated color in my palette, even though I’m still an autumn. And yes, I did have 20 pairs or more of black pants, including my dance clothes and my sweats. I’m gradually “weaning” myself from black…on the top anyway! It’s a painful process!

  2. Dear Pamela, Big birthday wishes from Melbourne, Australia. I just started reading your blog recently (through an Annie Castano link), and have loved watching the second reinvention. Warmest congratulations on your birthday pics – the top and accessories are perfect for you. You are nailing it. Enjoy your special day. Cheers, Kathryn

    1. Thank you, Kathryn! I am so glad to have you join in from Australia and really appreciate the encouragement!!

  3. Happy birthday Pamela! Wishing you a birthday that brings you as much joy as you bring all of your readers. I am an everyday follower of your blog. I so enjoy and deeply appreciate your thoughtful writing about style; and even more, your upbeat spirit which is a daily inspiration. Wishing you all good things in the year to come.
    PS That Johnny Was tunic was made for you!

    1. I so agree with everything Laurel wrote!! Happy Birthday!!
      You inspire me daily is so many ways!! Thank you !!

  4. Happiest of Birthdays Pam!! So thankful for your post and knowing you! Much “food for thought” here; I am going through a style change at the moment too and often look to you and what you are doing for inspiration and advice. That Johnny Was top is so beautiful on you. Enjoy this special day!

    1. Thank you, Francesca! Have fun with your changes… stay motivated and don’t get discouraged! Enjoy the journey!

  5. Happy birthday Pamela! I look forward to your blog each day and am enjoying your style transformation immensely! I love that you are down-to-earth and open. You make 68 look great!

  6. Happy Birthday Pam! I enjoy your blog so much and your honesty, openness and genuine good spirit! I hope your journey and today is filled with happiness,

  7. Happiest of birthdays! Love this post and am so enjoying your most recent style journey. Your honesty about YOU is so refreshing. May this be your best year ever! You, along with Annie, have been the inspiration I’ve needed to really look at and refine my style and colors. Hugs to you!!

  8. Happy birthday to you, Pam! Thank you for sharing the details of your “reinventions”, and providing encouragement for others (“over 50”) to embrace this time in our lives! This stage of life can be a time of renewal and rejuvenation, but it can also be frightening as we navigate all the huge changes that often accompany aging, retirement, etc. Enjoy a fabulous birthday celebration, and know that your blog is a wonderful gift to those of us who follow you!

  9. I send you my warmest wishes and hopes that you have a most happy birthday celebration, and that you flourish in your newly found reinvention. When you talk about reinventing ones self, I give you full credit for making a big difference in my life, and health. About six weeks ago you recommended the weight loss and fitness program called “Weight loss for women over 50”. Since reading your suggestion, and following the program, I have lost about five pounds. But more importantly, I now follow Pahla’s exercise program daily, and additionally try to walk about a mile every day. This exercise has helped reduce the pain of arthritis in my knees, and bursitis in my hips. I have much less pain, and can sleep most nights without hurting. I would not have known about this program without your recommendation so I’m very grateful for YOUR help in my reaching one of My goals. I feel you are such a loving, giving person, and I for one appreciate your contributions to my daily life. Thank you. ❤️

    1. Wow, Celia…this is awesome! I am so glad the program has helped you and your story here means the world. Keep at it…I am now walking three miles at least 3-4 times a week. You can get there too. Thanks for sharing and for being here.

  10. Happy Birthday Pam! You have inspired me to do some reinvention and I am so happy! Turns out my color and style are opposite of yours, but I learn from you with every new blog. Thank you for all your words of encouragement. Wishing you a fantastic birthday!

    1. Thanks so much, Mary Ann. I am trying to write in such a way as anyone…any color palette or style personality can learn from my experiences. So I appreciate your comment so much.

  11. A very happy birthday to you Pamela. You look absolutely stunning in your pictures at the hotel. As each stage evolved, I am sure you felt revived and your best, but this has to be the best one yet, your true self. Stacey is still on my bookshelves with the others, and she has some fabulous advice, and add Annie to that and you have some very good mentors. You are just 2 years ahead of me, and I find it fascinating that we are, at this age still finding ourselves and working on the best version. I think this is something that will go on for the next stage as well. Fashion is something that I hope to never lose my passion for and it is fun to follow along with your journey. Thank you for sharing. Have a wonderful day.

    1. Thank you for sharing, Diane. As I say…I am always a work in progress…so I agree that each day I work to approve and be my best self. So glad to have you here.

  12. Happy birthday Pam and many more!
    Thanks for your post today. I enjoy seeing you changing style and it looks great for you. The best always

  13. Happy birthday Pamela! Wishing you all the very best from Canada! I am 48 and love your blog, regardless of my age or your age! You are so authentic and have helped me on my style journey as well. I appreciate you helping us with wearing our best colors. Love the hotel as a background. Look forward to traveling and our border opening up with the USA in August.

    1. I know we all are looking forward to that, Lana. Thank you so much for your words and I am really glad to hear that I have helped you in your forties! I agree that many of the lessons I have been taught transcend age.

  14. You look the best I have ever seen you! Love the hair and softer looking clothing. Together it helps you glow.

    1. Thanks Dell Ann! This new style journey has been so much fun and I feel like I am back to being me!

  15. Happy, happy Birthday Pam!! You look stunning. That top was the find of the century. Thank you for inspiring me and all women to be the best they can. Sending love my friend. Xx

    1. Thank you, Jennifer! Have a wonderful time on your road trip and thank you for taking time to leave a comment!

  16. Happy Birthday, Pam!

    Another resource for figuring out your style are Brenda Kinsel’s books. They are available used quite inexpensively. Her Fashion Makeover is a 1 month (or longer if that fits better) series of exercises to find your style, work on your wardrobe, etc. Her blog is also still available.

    1. Thanks for sharing. Brenda was a great inspiration for many of us and I am glad to see her work is still honored.

  17. Happy birthday and many, many thanks for giving so much of yourself and helping your devoted readers!

  18. Happy Birthday, Pam! You are looking beautiful, happy, and confident at 68! I am enjoying reading about your journey and am learning along with you. Thank you for sharing with us!

  19. Happy Birthday, Pamela! 🎂 You are such an inspiration and look radiant in your purple top and all of your new autumn colors.! I have really enjoyed your journey. I hope your birthday is fabulous!

    1. So true! And Annie would remind me that Iris is a Gamine style personality and I am not! Thanks Binky!

  20. Happy happy birthday, Pam! You share a birthday with my sister. You look absolutely radiant. I really enjoy your blog . I love your willingness to keep learning about you while accepting what can and can’t change.

    I also love your promotion of Goodwill! Have a fabulous birthday.

    1. Tell your sister, Happy Birthday, Tina! Our local San Antonio Goodwill is amazing and does so much for the community. I am proud to represent them as an ambassador.

  21. Happy Birthday Pamela! You write with such authenticity and joy. I really love the big dose of positive thoughts you put into your daily blog. And you look like you have definitely found your groove. What a great message you put out there for us “over 50’s”!

    1. Thank you Janet…life is too short to be any other way and I want everyone to wear a smile each and every day.

      1. Hi Pamela, Happy Birthday and I hope you are having a wonderful day. My husband turned 68 a few days ago and because of your blog, which I read faithfully everyday, I’m figuring out how to reinvent myself! Have a blessed day and the Johnny Was top is an awesome find and looks great on you. I’m still trying to figure out my personality type and since I love that top, I always thought I might have some bohemian in me?……….again happy Birthday! Betty

  22. Happy birthday. What a great birthday present, to find a -purple- designer top in your palette and style at a consignment store! You look great. I think a subset of lesson 3 is to not just accept your reality (the hardest lesson of all for me), but instead, to embrace it. Your wavy hair comes to mind. You have allowed it to be what it wants to be, and it’s so gorgeous. I’m beginning to wonder if the sweet spot of style isn’t right there: accepting our reality (ourselves), and turning our unique qualities into assets that fit us as a whole, vibrant woman.

    1. Great observation, Linda and full of so much wisdom. You are right that my wavy hair would be an example…one I fought for a long time! Thanks for sharing this.

  23. 🎂 Happy Birthday 🎂 Sending you a big virtual hug this morning from lovely Leavenworth, Washington where we are vacationing. You look amazing in the pictures today, and really radiate a contentment and confidence that is beautiful. I follow you with my own birthday next week, turning 58, and will look to renew my commitments to myself going forward, as you have reminded me again today that it is okay to make time for a little focus on self. Thank you for all the inspiration!

    1. Thanks Connie…so glad you are enjoying a little vacation….and Happy Birthday early…love July girls! Yes, it is important for us to take time for ourselves…when we do that, we can actually do more for others.

  24. Happy birthday, Pamela! You look fabulous in your purple top! It’s so you! Your new autumn color palette is so flattering. I’ve enjoyed following your journey. I hope you have a fantastic birthday, and many more!

  25. Happy Birthday. May your day be as special as you are. You look so pretty and happy in your birthday outfit and an inspiration to so many of us. Happy Day!.

  26. Hi Pamela,
    I so enjoyed everything you shared about your life journey. You are so delightful, and honest with such keen insight about what you need to do to take care of yourself.
    Sometimes it’s easier said than done. You are “all over it.”
    Your Johnny Was top is such a find, good for you. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the top on you, it’s so
    you. The detail is so special.
    Wishing you way too much happy on your birthday.

  27. Happy Birthday and thank you for sharing the journey: the joy, the missteps, the whole shebang! Hope it is your best, healthiest and most stylish year ever!

  28. Big birthday wishes to You from me in little Rhode Island! ! ❤️ I’ve just re-read your re- invention story and haveto say WOW. What you’ve done is remarkable a real inspiration! I’m working on myself slowly and surely as a newbie SUMMER and still can’t figure out the “pixie” personality but I will ! Thank you for being YOU and moving us to improve our lives.

  29. Happy Birthday from another 68 year old/ young woman. I love your new style and colors. You inspire so much of us every day!

  30. Birthday greetings from Ohio, Pam! Wishing you a wonderful day and all the very best for your year ahead.

    Today’s post really captured what is so great about your blog –helpful, fun, upbeat and positive!!

    I’m a long time follower and try to read your blog nearly every day!! Thank you for being here for us!

  31. Happy Birthday, Pamela! I hope your day is filled with joy. You are a great example of why we should never stop evolving & growing, no matter our age. While I am never going to be 30 again, that doesn’t mean that my glory days are gone. It just means that they look different. I was asked a question a few weeks ago by my financial planner that I have been pondering. After we reviewed the money matters, she asked me what my future plans were for me & what I was doing for myself. I really didn’t have an answer for her, so I am thinking about that & finding some surprising answers.

  32. Happy birthday, Pamela! I love this post – it is so positive and uplifting! And I absolutely love your look today! I hope you enjoy your special day!

  33. “I have no idea what lies ahead for me” is what really resonates with me after reading this thoughtful and generous post. It is never to late to reassess, rejuvenate, recreate, begin a new journey. I enjoy your journey and am always veering off my path and creating new ones for myself. I am the same age and I am constantly thinking what next! I love your attitude. And your authenticity as well as your open mindedness. You are a ray of sunshine all the way from Texas to the coast of Maine. Happy birthday!

  34. Whoop! Happy birthday, Pamela! Hope you have something wonderful planned & that it includes cake! Here’s to an abundance of love, friendship, wonder & joy & everything that makes you smile.

  35. Happy Birthday to you!! (I’m singing to you!!) I hope you have had a wonderful birthday!
    Confetti and sprinkles on ice cream and a big slice of birthday cake! We love you!

  36. Happy Birthday Pamela! Love, love, love your outfit and jewelry in this post! You sure seem to be on the correct path for colors and style! But it’s your smile that makes the outfits!
    Hope you have a wonderful day at 68 years young!

  37. Happy birthday, Pamela! I love your new reinvention. Thank you for reminding me that I must stay within my budget. Buying more expensive things will not help my wrinkles, my shape or my frame of mind. Humility is acceptance of where I am, and contentment follows.

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