Style Reinvention Update – Who am I now?

Style Reinvention Update 2

Happy Tuesday, ladies!  Today is part two of my style reinvention update: who am I now?

 That has been the ultimate question for the last two years in a new time of life….who am I now?

I am working from home.  Life is active, but more relaxed. 

As I stated yesterday, my number one style goal has been CONFIDENCE.

Let’s look at that word closer: “Confidence is a state of being clear-headed either that a hypothesis or prediction is correct or that a chosen course of action is the best or most effective. Confidence comes from a Latin word ‘fidere’ which means “to trust”; therefore, having self-confidence is having trust in one’s self.”

Last year, my confidence level was a bit rattled as I struggled to take my new colors and style them into looks that said “This is Me”….I needed to trust my chosen course of action

 

STYLE REINVENTION UPDATE: THE PERSONALITIES

Style Reinvention update 

To refresh your knowledge of style personalities, please read  Style Personalities Part 1, Style Personalities Part 2.

Annie believed I should dress as the Bohemian/Romantic.  I made a pledge to everyone that I was going to see her advice through and see where it took me.

Style Reinvention

NEITHER OF THESE WORDS RESONATED WITH ME. And the word feminine had never been an adjective I strived for.

 However, I always desire to be teachable and try new things.  But, on that journey to interpret these two words for me…I became a little lost.  I acknowledge that my love of creativity does have a touch of bohemian to it, but many of the synonyms are not me at all.  Because I love words, I tend to get lost in studying them.

Style Reinvention

I have never really been a lace, flowers, romantic woman…however there are some elements of romantic style I have added to my wardrobe and liked.

My struggles began when I started to try on clothing and ask…is that bohemian, is it romantic…and stopped asking…is it Pamela?  Annie’s second question was ultimately the most important one.

  

STYLE REINVENTION UPDATE: BACK TO MY SYSTEM

Style Reinvention

This focus on these two words took me away from a system I created at the beginning of the blog and I know works!  So, I am returning to it and setting aside the focus on bohemian/romantic.

The Foundational Five Personal Style Building Blocks has always made sense to me and worked beautifully during my 50s.  In my 60s, I began to dress more for the professional world than me and that is when I started to lose sight of my Pam-style.  Then the Style Refresh happened last year.

Style ReinventionI firmly believe in this quote from Rachel Zoe…think about the “without having to speak” part…..

Our appearance immediately tells other people who we are.  It is the cover to our book.

When we control those messages, we begin to develop our own unique personal style. When I did this in my 50s every day, people would say…”I saw this outfit yesterday and knew it was for you, because I clearly know who you are and what you wear.”

So, if our choice of clothing sends messages about us then our clothing choices should be purposeful, no matter where we are headed that day. It is really all about the messages our clothing sends to others.  It occurred to me that the way for me to create my very own personal Pamela- style was to control (over and over again) the messages I desired my clothing to say to others about me. 

Style Reinvention

So, I created my own formula. I picked out five descriptive words which I desired to say with my clothing selections each time I left the house. Five seemed like the perfect combination. If I included more on my list, then I would not be focused with my messages or consistent with my style. I started taking my words with me every time I went in a dressing room or got dressed at home. If the outfit or the garment did not say these adjectives, then I did not wear them. This helped me to leave more clothing behind and not have a closet full of mistakes.

I called the five words MY FOUNDATIONAL FIVE and began to stay true to them in 2010.  It worked for a very long time.

It was perfectly understandable to tweak my adjectives in different stages of life.  But when I began to just focus on bohemian/romantic, I feel like I lost control and have often been confused.  Early on in the pandemic, I attempted to create an elegant woman.  I studied and studied my own interpretation of the word elegance.  However, traditional interpretations of the word were just not me and I never fully embraced it.  I guess I am too much of a bull in a china shop to ever fully be considered…elegant.  I also attempted to look at myself as “earthy.” It just never fit me.

Iris Apfel has said, “ It’s hard work getting to know yourself. The biggest fashion faux pas is to look in the mirror and see someone else.  You need to know your faults and your assets, you must learn who you are and dress to suit your personality.”

NEWS FLASH! I am returning to my Foundational Five.  I have worked and tweaked the adjectives for days, in order to decide which ones I want to communicate to the world about me now…as a communication professional…as a wife, mother, and grandmother…as a confident woman in her 60s.

I am setting aside the bohemian/romantic focus but believe I have learned much from the journey. Those who love the style personalities have a system that works for them.  I also have a system that works for me.

STYLE REINVENTION UPDATE: WHO AM I?

From now on, when I dress or shop, I will be asking about each outfit, does this say that Pamela is:

Joyfuldoes this look put a confident smile on my face?

Approachabledoes this look say to anyone, you can talk to me…I am not above you, I am here for you?

Creative (Artistic)does this look reflect my artistic, love of style either in the outfits or the accessories and that I love life?

Polished does this look communicate put together, purposeful, well thought out?

Currentdoes this look reflect I am young at heart, active, engaged in life?

The word polished is in there to reign me in from being too bohemian with my creative side. I like looking put together…purposeful.  I have done this before and I know that if I strive to communicate these adjectives about every outfit in my closet going forward that I will be true to me.

I believe in the first picture I am wearing a look that covers all five adjectives. In the picture which says NOT ME…I was merely looking for something Bohemian and it was too much and never felt right.  So the garment sits in my closet.

There are ways I can speak to both systems…like this….

Style Reinvention

We are all different …unique, beautiful creations with unique lifestyles and we will have our own unique Foundational Five. We all will want to speak different messages from our different places in life.

Your five might include words like simple, tailored, romantic, trendy, classic, refined, preppy, earthy, quirky, young, strong, dignified, elegant, relaxed…there are a plethora of words to compose the communications we are seeking with our own individual foundational five.  I would like to submit to you that if you shop with five adjectives in mind, then you will begin to define your own style. You will also take less clothing to thrift stores and return less to the stores and have fewer moments before a three -way mirror saying WHAT WAS I THINKING?

Style Reinvention Update

When I combine my best colors with this system, I know I will get to where I want to be with my personal style at this stage of my life.

My system has more room for me to be me and not attempt to be someone else’s version of me.

Many women turn to blogs with the goal of “I want to look like her,”  “How can I look like her?”

Ladies, I want you to look like you!  This Foundational Five system will help you get there if you can target what you want to say with your clothing.

 I hope you will join me and share with others what five adjectives you would like to communicate right now where you are.  Then, let’s have discussions of how I can help you get there.

As always…thank you for joining in for my Style Reinvention Update…please consider shopping with my SHOPPING LINKS to support the blog…and make sure whatever you are wearing that you

KEEP SMILING!

By Pamela Lutrell

NOTE:  The leggings I am wearing in the top picture are amazing…The Leonesa High Waisted Firm Compression Leggings...I highly recommend.

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Over 50 Feeling 40 in 2022

49 Comments

  1. Good for you! I’m so glad to see you going this direction. I could not become or adopt a certain style on someone’s recommendation, but the Foundational Five has been working for me for years now and has saved me a lot of money. Impulse shopping is far in my past and my closet contains things I actually use. It’s a great system. My current adjectives are: Classic (this one is always there because it’s so me), which to me means timeless; Feminine – decidedly female; Intelligent – a thinker, processor, deliberate, smart; Modern – adding an updated twist to classics; Polished – pulled together, finished, accessorized.
    I think this system is a definite winner, and I can understand why you came back to it. It’s about messaging, not trying to fit a particular type. Types probably work for some, but when you were going through this journey and posted those types, none seemed to really fit me and now I see why. If I deviate during a change in my lifestyle, I don’t want to go into a fashion tailspin. It’s much easier for me to tweak an adjective than to alter a whole style. I’m glad you are revisiting this topic!

    1. I am glad I tried something else, only because it does confirm how great using the Foundational Five is. I am glad to return to it. I know it works and am so happy it has worked for other women like you, Karen.

  2. Isn’t it great that we learn about ourselves even in our 60s. I agree wholeheartedly about what you have learned!

  3. Congrats on your journey of discovering what works for you. Btw, your “foundational 5” sounds similar to the “style words” method the late Brenda Kinsel taught. & she felt that you need to re-examine them every year or so, as we & our lives change over time.

    1. I like working with adjectives since it is about targeting messages. This works! Thanks for being here…Brenda is missed. She was fabulous!

  4. Oh my goodness, what a wonderful post! It makes so much sense 🙂 I am going to spend some time today, working on my 5 descriptive words and how they may translate into clothing: this is so exciting!

    I have had to shop from the ‘plus sizes’ for many years, and so between budget constraints and having a limited range to choose from (I am in New Zealand) it has meant buying what fitted, not what suited, me. But the range is increasing, I am losing weight slowly, and I am determined to start sewing some clothes again – so maybe I can do this!

  5. This post resonates with me to my core. I feel the personality types were very limiting, though when you did a “pared down” bohemian, I could see more of you, you wearing the clothes, not the clothes wearing you. I appreciate that you tried and learned what you needed to from that teachable moment. My three style words that I’m keeping are Confident (be it or fake it; luckily I seldom have to fake it, but it gets me through if I at least feel stylish); Aware (mindful of my effect/choices on myself and others); Interesting (my custom jewelry, now my rich colors). My two new words: Casual (this is helping me in the surprisingly hard process of stopping recreating professional work looks) and my most important: Vital (meaning active, but somehow more … seeking as a student, safeguarding my precious health, being present in the world). I find I’m veering more into a sporty style than ever in my life; it’s comfortable, but still a little “more” somehow (more vital) and not sloppy. Maybe you can tell by my post I’ve enjoyed this journey and feel more intrinsically “me” for my next stage of life. A lot of this is due to you, so take a bow!

    1. You made me smile, Linda! Women like you are really the reason I do this. I want all of us in the second half of life to see what masterpieces we are!! I am so glad you are discovering your Linda-style!

  6. Good for you for going with what works so well for you. That bohemian top that you proclaim Not Me, I think the pattern is positioned such that it draws all the attention to your midsection and none of us wants that.The other shot, celebrate yourself, is gorgeous on you and I look at your face, not as much the outfit first. When I read the colour of style, I wondered why I did not fit completely into the many style catagories, and this maks sense to me that I have little bits of others inclused that fit ME as a whole. I still am, and will always be the softer feminine base with a few dramatic touches once in a while. Love these posts.

    1. Thanks Diane. In the Not Me photo I was just going for Bohemian…it is just wrong and you are right, not flattering!

    2. I so agree with Diane B. I felt many of your bohemian pieces were wearing you instead of you wearing them. I believe when clothes are too overwhelming on someone, the eye of the beholder feels in that space and the person wearing the clothes looks so much heavier as Diane pointed out. To me, you look fabulous in the second photo versus the not me one.

  7. This is exactly why I follow you year after year! You are true to yourself and I never feel as if you are selling your reader a garment or product! Too much of a good thing doesn’t work in fashion, I believe. I have enjoyed your dive into bohemian; love the look but is it sustainable? As a recent retiree who relocated cross country to a warm climate I needed to reassess by wardrobe. I am definitely a classic borderline natural & every once in a while I dare to be diva but dramatic looks are usually one & done! Looking forward to your journey!

  8. Great post and good for you in figuring out what works for you, not a preconceived set of boxes to fit into! Makes perfect sense.

  9. Applause for thinking & working your way through to something that works for you! Romantic also means passionate. You have a passionate personality! You are romantic/passionate about history, family, faith, entertaining & style!

  10. I agree, you look so much more you in the 2nd photo. It’s still boho/rom but reigned in a bit. I think what works for me is when I try on an outfit I feel very confident in, I ask myself why? Then start to pick my style objectives from there.

  11. You look great in the Celebrate Yourelf photo! You have great personal style Pam!
    I like your topic of going back to the Foundational Five. I would use the five adjectives – polished, professional, lovely, happy and relaxed. That is how I want to look, not too severe but polished, I want relaxed clothing not tight-fitting or uncomfortable looking. I want happy colors, not all black all the time. Thanks for your great blog Pam!

  12. Hey there Pam. I have followed you for a very long time. Years. But I’m not one to comment.
    Something is going on with the blog, at least on iPad. The past 2 days I’ve had to refresh and scroll quickly down to get to where I was many times. Ads are popping up and covering your content. And it’s wonderful content so I don’t want to miss a thing. I’m curious if anyone else is having this difficulty.
    Thanks again for the blog. I initially began following you because well, TEXAS! I’m from Houston. And stuck with you even though your style I has been so different from my own. I have enjoyed your style refresh and have been amazed at the change. Working on my own too. Thank again.

    1. Hi April, You may have missed the post where I explained that I hired a company to redesign the blog and work out kinks I was experiencing. There may be some issues while we work through this during January, but I plan on the other side for everything to work well.
      I ask patience as I work with a company to make it better than ever. Thank you!

      1. Yes I knew you were having some IT work done for the blog. That’s why I wanted to let you know what I was seeing on my end. Thanks again for your work.

  13. Thank you for this, Pam. I have not been following you for very long;, and was trying to sort out the bohemian look. I too try a new look when I feel I “should”, but always go back to my core sense of self, which is Classic, Simple, and I’m not sure what else yet. It seems the retail world offers more of what I don’t associate with my age and identity. Seeing the pieces you and Leigh Ann try on is a great help – thank you!

    1. So glad we can help, Margaret. Think about it and see if you can add five more to your classic and simple. Keep them with you wherever you go. I love to have my five adjectives when I am thrift shopping!
      Enjoy putting Margaret-style together. And of course, Leigh and I will continue shopping for everyone!!

  14. I found your blog about six months ago. So enjoy your posts. Selecting my five descriptive words was fun. Will be interesting to see if I can translate them into my personal style. You are so cheery, bright and charming. I appreciate opening your blog each day to someone happy! Keep helping us learn what our personal style is please! Thank you Pamela!

    1. I am so glad you are having fun with it, Kathryn. We should love and enjoy our wardrobes. Thanks for being here.

  15. Bravo, Pam! You definitely look happier & confident in the photo that is you. I think your adjectives have served you well over the years. Yes, you have tweaked them as needed with changes that happened, but that is to be expected. Three of my adjectives have remained constant. They are simple because I don’t have the time or inclination to deal with fussy things, classic because it goes with dressing simply & doesn’t lend itself to overthinking & polished which to me is well groomed & accessorized. For the other two, I am giving them so thought. I am leaning toward thoughtful as one. This means I took some time to consider where I’m going, what I’m doing & didn’t just throw something on from the closet.

    1. I like thoughtful, Becky. I have never considered it with the five before, but the way you state it here, it would completely work for you. That is what I am going for adding “polished” to my list.

  16. The words that work best for me are “classic romantic”. I think this came from the Kibbe system. I like simplicity, but I am on the softer side of classic. I am curvy. What works for me is a kind of 1970s style — the real 1970s style as it was then, not the fantasy of it today. You know what I mean: the style women wore to work in an office, more Mary Tyler Moore than hippy at a Rock festival. I love A-line skirts, but don’t mind a long crocheted vest in a neutral color over flowy pants and a simple shirt. A bit MTM, a bit Maude, as portrayed by Bea Arthur. Maybe a tiny wee bit of Mrs. Roper from Three’s Company, toned down for fun, sans plastic costume jewelry.

    1. Style is about personality and lifestyle, not just body shape and coloring. That’s why it’s so hard to categorize. We have our life roles that decide a lot of of this. Does it work in real life, for the life we we live, or is it a fantasy? Do I want to fall down in a 90-kph wind because of a flowy maxi dress? How about high-heeled winter boots in a blizzard with -56 °C wind chill? No thanks. For the most part, pants work in this cold, windy place. On a good day, I can see the mountains from my home. I’ll take it.

  17. One of the things that constantly caught my eye was that your toppers were oversized. Making you appear larger than you are.

    Your last update Jan 11 the blouse fit your shoulders, what a difference it made to your appearance. The shirt hit at the bend of the hip, showing more of your leg.

    Dividing your body in 3rds, ensuring clothes fit at the shoulders and they are not over size goes a long way to making your clothes look better on you.

    Doesn’t matter whether they are a particular style but if they don’t fit they are not going to look good on you.

    I have narrow shoulders and spending the money to alter all styles of clothes make all the difference in the fit.

    1. Hi Carol, a lot of bohemian style is oversized. I still occasionally like a flowy topper, kimono, etc. I think I always will…that is a part of Pam-style!

  18. I also had some trouble finding myself in Annie’s style personalities. I very much like classic looks, but my lifestyle calls for something more natural and casual.

    Instead of using 5 adjectives, I look for things that feel classic, ladylike and usually very simple. ( Most days that means jeans with a comfortable blouse or T shirt, simple jewelry and flat shoes.. )

    Karen’s adjectives made made me wonder if her choices might look a lot like mine!

    1. Hi Bee, the adjectives really help…especially when shopping and pulling looks together. Karen is a long time follower of this theory. Thanks for sharing what you are doing.

  19. Hmm. Have to get to work on defining my current Foundational Five. I lost my job at the beginning of Covid. My employer was a large Conference Center in the Midwest that has not re-opened. No longer need my “work wardrobe” and have donated most of it. Spent a while in my closet today and so far am thinking: Current – Polished – Casual – Classic – Simple. So wonderful to hear how you have evolved. And continue to do so. You say you take your adjectives with you when you go thrifting. Would love to see how you’ve incorporated some thrifted items into your stylish outfits. I do remember a bracelet I admired that you wore which you thrifted from an accessory branch of Goodwill I think.

    1. Hi Deanna! Your adjectives are wonderful! I am sorry you lost your job as I did but hope you are enjoying your new life…as I am. I will show some thrifted items soon! Thank you for asking!

  20. I’m so glad that you’ve decided to let Bohemian/Romantic go and return to your Foundational Five. It’s such a great concept and has certainly worked well for me since you introduced me to the idea. My 5 are classy, confident, comfortable, casual, and creative.

  21. Whew! You’re back my friend. I felt so many of those bohemian looks were overwhelming your beauty and essence. Your foundational 5 are the smartest, most authentic way to go. Style personalities are so very limiting. I’m studying the David Kibbe system and already feel like rebelling from my “type” 🙂
    Xx

    1. We are all so unique. I am glad I tried the style personalities if only to reassure me of the success of the Foundational Five. I do not think any of us are one type…the adjectives open us how we can sharpen our style to be US. But my colors absolutely rock and are me!
      Thanks Jennifer.

  22. Great post! The “5 adjectives” approach is brilliant. The first picture looks polished and sophisticated. But, the overly busy prints seem to dominate an outfit. I vote for the flowing, neutral-color ruana over the warm, rust-color top with the gold necklace and black leggings. The outfit is perfect on you.

  23. I think that ‘artistic’ might be a better adjective, then – it still captures the Polished aspect that ‘artsy’ does not, yet skews away from the Hippie connotations of ‘bohemian’. Or at least, that’s what I tell myself 😉

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