Personal Style: Dare to be you!

dare to be you

Happy Wednesday!  Today, I am covering an important topic I believe needs addressing now…Personal Style: Dare to be you!

There are not enough new angles on news articles this week for me to share a full Today’s News post with you, and because we have been discussing our style the issue of courage in respect to style has come up.

There are some of you who need encouragement to dare to be you with personal style.

A wonderful woman sent an email after Sunday’s post to tell me she felt like a duck in a pond full of geese.

She said her style adjectives are selected to help her embrace style with lots of jewelry and boldness.

She loves her bold accessories so much.

However, she spends time with friends who wear more classic, minimal styles…smaller jewelry etc.

She feels like a “duck in a goose pond” and has considered changing her own style to be more like her friends. 

At the time she first contacted me, she was not going to include “bold” in her style adjectives…but she wanted to.

No matter our age, I believe all of us have gone through times of thinking we needed to conform to look like someone else, in order to gain acceptance.

For most of our lives, as women, we have gone through this…at all ages…the lunchroom at elementary school, the sorority in college, the hallways of a professional world…and now, for some, in retirement.

Even for me, there are times as a blogger that I compare myself to others and think that my differences are too great for blogging.  I will wonder, “Should I make changes to look like other bloggers my age?”

 It is so easy to fall into these traps.

Ultimately this will steal your joy.



dare to be you

After I posted this outfit on Facebook, a lady commented, “Lose the necklace.”

I very easily could’ve fallen into the trap and think, “OK, I will lose the necklace and not wear it with that outfit again.”  But I have come a long way, ladies.

I commented back, “Love the necklace!”

Because I do love it, and I think it looks awesome with the jacket.  It speaks my style adjectives and says I am uniquely me.  I do not want to look like the woman who commented or anyone else.  Just be the best me. 

The times I have been most confident in my life are when I dare to be me….no matter if that is different from anyone else in the room.

dare to be you

Here are important points to remember:

  1. Life is short…we are older…time has long passed to live it for other girls.
  2. Confidence and joy are big rewards of communicating our own style and being comfortable in your own skin.
  3. God has created a diverse, beautiful world. Nothing on this planet is designed to be the same.  Think of how boring life would be if all people were the same…all birds the same…all plants the same…all butterflies the same. We are all beautiful.
  4. Conformity leads to a despondency which can permeate your spirit and rob your joy. When you know that you have not dared to be you, it sinks deep inside.
  1. If you are hanging out with ladies who all dress the same and you dress like them because that is your unique style, then great. Congratulations! But if you dress like them to feel accepted by them…take a step back and rethink what you are doing.  Ultimately, that can lead to depression.
  2. Yes, for some this will take courage.


dare to be you

Daring to be you takes courage and consistency.

I submit to you that if you follow your style adjectives every day when you get dressed that they become such a part of who you are, that you always feel confident leaving the house.

You eventually don’t worry about standing out or being self-conscious.

Your look is part of who you are.  The people in your world accept who you are and what you are saying with your style choices.

You also begin to understand that people in your life love you for you and are not really thinking about if you look like them or not.

You will stand out with a bright smile and strong confidence from wearing your unique, individual style.

And everyone loves to be around that person.

 It really is empowering.

dare to be you

 I want to be clear that I am not advocating for all of us to be Iris Apfel. 

There are some of you who are more minimal, classic and neutral whose friends are more flamboyant, and you question if you should take more risks.

Whatever the scenario that makes you doubt… dare to be you!

When we select our five style adjectives and stick to them to build a unique personal powerful style, you will feel liberated because you dare to be you.

I am pleased to report that the reader who inspired today’s post put BOLD back in her style adjectives.

But she would love to know if anyone else has experienced the same feelings…even to the point of doubting your own style because it is not like their friends.

Please share if you have or if you have experienced overcoming these feelings.

One of the advantages of aging is wisdom and courage to put old scenarios behind us.  We no longer must worry about the “cool girl’s table.” 

Dare to be you.  Embrace it.  Rejoice in who you are created to be.

You are beautiful.

And that will help you to…..


Note:  Today’s News for Women Over 50 will return next Wednesday!

By Pamela Lutrell

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dare to be you




  1. I LOVE your statement necklaces! They complete your outfits. Are they me? Nope. But that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate them when somebody else wears them.

  2. Thank you. I appreciate the support, but today’s post is to encourage others to be you and not be who you think others want you to be.

  3. Im seeing myself as a neutral classic coastal person even before coastal became a well published adjective. Trouble (?) is I go through phases where I break out of that mold and do tend to buy and wear quite a few colorful tops at my beloved Anthropologie not far from my house. (Their pants and jeans tend to be a bit narrow for me, ill fitting my frame. ). I do wear their scarves and other accessories. So when I go a little off center I feel happy and maybe a bit silly but it’s me! Another version of me. Just not every day!

  4. It never ceases to amaze me how some people feel it is their right to make negative comments via social media. I am often the odd “duck” and have been told my look is too dressed up. I usually reply, it is just a skirt and top, same as if it was jeans and a top, so same time getting dressed. I LIKE to dress for me and never feel the need to dress down with a sloppy look. I am so glad you were able to convince your reader to add bold to her mix. It does not have to be all the time, but when she feels it, she should be it. I have learned to accept the fact that my daughter in law does not dress like me and feels the need to tell me when she does not like something but it will not stop me from being me. I do have a group of friend who dress to please themselves and it is great to have such a bunch of unique opinions.

  5. Isn’t Anthropologie fun? They have items for all ages. Glad you are staying true to you!

  6. Good for you, Diane! I hope to always dress up no matter the occasion! I am with you there.

  7. I have looked at your posts and never thought ‘over the top’! I think ‘That is Pam. She does it well’! You provide an excellent lesson. I do appreciate your style confidence. I enjoy standing out, perhaps in a different way; but I do like being noticed as a tad different from my friends whether it is a mix of unusual color, an odd pair of shoes, an unusual piece of jewelry. When I taught school, it was quite evident which students had confidence and which needed to develop it. A colleague and I ran a ‘craft club’ but it was so much more than that. While working, we discussed with them topics like etiquette, modesty, style, and yes, confidence to be themselves. I used to wear jean jackets with my little dressy dresses, cowboy boots with my suits. The students would comment and we would have discussions about non-conformity in ways that were acceptable, not rebellious. I know many woman carry with them what they developed at a younger age – the urge to just want to blend. I think that most of your readers take advantage of your guidance of joyful living and continue to try new ideas. Life should be exciting and experimenting is fun. I don’t believe in giving advice unless asked. I hope you weren’t put off by the comment. You showed us how to handle it. Don’t you just love Iris Apfel and the ladies and gents of Advanced Age? C’est la vie!

  8. Thank you for this post. Lately, I have been thinking about “living for today” and what that means. I have another birthday coming soon so its on my mind frequently. I love your encouragement to be yourself, whatever that means to you. For me, I make jewelry and love to wear my creations. I may wear more than would be accepted but I really don’t care what other people think. I spent many hours working on a single or multiple pieces, so I will put them on and show them off. Its part of my joy. In my opinion, the “cool girl’s table” has got too small for all the original ladies out there. Let’s make our own tables and decorate them to make us smile.

  9. I am appalled that someone would be critical of what you wear, knowing how often you encourage your readers to know, and follow their individual style adjectives. If she did not like your beads, as our mothers so often said, “ If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything.”. And the lady who felt like a duck among geese, my first thought was “ Geese…geese are nasty birds! Glad she didn’t feel like a goose!”. But I do identify with her thoughts. I too have that streak of bold or what I think of as “ unique or interesting” trend in what I wear, but long ago quit worrying what others thought about it. Others may think me odd in my dress, but I’m old enough that this no longer bothers me. I want to look nice, as I’m sure “ Mrs. Duck” does, but I would not change my style to fit others. I think it very refreshing to be a duck among geese. You continue to be you, Mrs. Duck…you are a beautiful duck!

  10. I wasn’t put off by the comment. I love how you approached your craft club, Deborah. I miss working with young people. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Yes! Love decorating our own tables to celebrate who we are. If I was a jewelry designer, I would wear it every day. Congratulations!

  12. Thanks for encouraging her, Celia! These days on social media were never taught that wisdom from their mothers…or anyone else!

  13. I’m way past caring about what other people think and the comparison trap. I’m the more minimal, neutral, classic and when I’m with a friend whose style is completely different, I tell her how great she looks and don’t make comparisons. Like you said, we’re all different. I like to see women celebrating their own style. I very recently decided to let my hair grow out to my natural gray and I know the comments are coming, but I don’t care. I’m excited about it and believe it’s going to be beautiful and unique. Let’s just be who we are and be happy doing it!

  14. I agree…and support one another and our differences like you have said here, Karen! It is time .. more than ever..for kindness and support!

  15. todays post was great, I see alot of women wearing neutrals and dressing classic and they look great in their style but for me I feel my best in color and prints , I have tried many times to change and have a closet full of clothes I do not wear because I’m not comfortable in them and I have finally realized its ok to be me and to wear what makes me feel good and happy

  16. There is one orthodoxy which I have never seen questioned in fashion blogs : in the ’80s it was “Colour me Beautiful” . The name has changed and the price has gone up but you MUST still adhere to this . Some of us (perhaps because we are not white/European ?) do not fit these categories . Eg I am tired of being told I must wear yellow (Autumn) . It reflects off my skin and I look really ill . I am Eurasian , my mother cannot wear it either but many Asians can – these things are highly individual . Yes I have been trained in colour via my years in Art School but does not everyone have eyes ? It used to be said that a colour ‘suited’ you . Apparently this is no longer the case .
    So ok I agree that I will be me and not represent a predetermined ‘palette’ decided by others .

  17. Excellent post today!! At 64 I’m trying so hard to wear what I like , not what my age is “supposed” to wear!
    I love clothes, had my “colors” done and let my hair go gray. I’m loving my hair!! A few people have said they would never go gray…. Each to their own…. Life is short:)

  18. Your encouragement and reminder to be our own selves was right on point!
    “Life is short…we are older..time has long passed to live it for other girls.”
    This post reminds me of my sister. She was very creative and an artistic person. She dressed to please herself and she always made me smile.

  19. Glad you realized it Janet…selecting style adjectives will help those achieve their own style faster than experimentation. Thanks for sharing your journey.

  20. I never think about what my age is suppose to wear…I only think about my style adjectives and if I am communicating them each day. Life is short and we have to go with what we believe is right for us. I am not ready for gray hair yet…but have many friends who are.

  21. Great discussion today, Pam. (I really liked your necklace with the jacket–more is more!). I recently had a conversation with a friend about toning down my own style (not that I really want to) and she assured me I wouldn’t be “me” w/o it. We all need friends like that!

  22. I really liked this post. I think as we grow older we should feel free to be ourselves. If we don’t do it then, when will we ever do it? We may be a “neutralist” or a “colorist.” We may be both depending on the day. Have fun. I love my friends for who they are, not for their clothes.

  23. I love the necklace, it makes the outfit! And I love your message. Thank you for your blog.

  24. Really interresting post. It’s funny how many grown women still worry about fitting in. The comment about your necklace says more about the commenter than it does about your look. One of my best friends and I have similar clothing styles but lack one choice in common when it comes to home furnishings. Funny right?

  25. We are all different in so many ways. We must embrace the differences and love them as we love to see them in nature! Thanks Maeve

  26. I love your necklaces on you. You have great style. I am still working on mine. I am down to earth, blue jean girl, classic styles, and comfortable. When I was working, I was dressed classic but I was a blue jean girl at heart. I guess I never put a name to how I dressed but as I was writing this, the words just came to me. I admire women who are comfortable in their style like you are.

  27. I do the same. Anthropology is fun, but sometimes I wear a shirt that is so bold I fear the looks! Same with Johnny Was, one day a friend had one of his less colorful, heavily patterned shirts on and second friend said, ‘who is that?’ ‘Johnny Was’. ‘his usually has too much color and pattern.’ I thought it was an interesting conversation and made me realize how much we do judge and question others’ choices. Now when I wear plain expensive Eileen Fisher and look simple and duller I don’t get any comments. I don’t care, I am 79 and dress the way I want to . I guess I don’t like people judging any one else…did you ask your reader to tell you what was right or wrong with your necklace. I sometimes forget and make poorly thought out comments but I am learning.

  28. Hi Sue, I became comfortable with my style after I began to stick to my style adjectives with every look…every time I leave the house. It eventually become YOU and you don’t think about it and feel confident in it.
    I encourage you to select five adjectives you want to say with your style every day. Words like classic, comfortable, relaxed, approachable, minimal…or pick others. But ones you select them…then stick to them…live with them daily using them to put together each outfit and decide what to purchase when you shop. Then you will be a woman who is comfortable in her style.

  29. No I did not ask her…because what is right for me, is obviously not right for her. The point of this whole post…to be YOU. The goal is not comments from any one else. The goal is to be confident with who you are.

  30. I tend to lean a bit classic and a bit dressier even for every day. My friends comment on the fact that I wear dresses most of the time. I totally understand the duck comment. You sort of feel over/under dressed with friends that are not your style. My BFF is very casual. I have tried to emulate her because she is tall and thin with ebony hair. Me, a short, overweight redhead. I felt and looked ridiculous. I would encourage all of us to embrace our uniqueness.
    BTW, Erica Bunker gave you a shout out about this particular post. She is discovering her best self as she embraces her 50’s. She is also totally stylish and she makes almost all of it.

  31. Thanks for sharing about Erica, Mari. I have such respect for women who sew and design. I wish I had allowed my mom to teach me and not fought her when she tried. It is for sure a regret. That is so kind of her to share the post.

  32. I look at several blogs, and the thing that I like about yours is that you are wholesome, moderate and “think outside the box”. You give reasonable suggestions that seem to work for everyone. Thank you!

  33. I give you a lot of credit for putting yourself out there everyday to that relentless drumbeat of petty criticism. While I consider myself a very confident person, I think it would get me down sometimes. I have felt a lot of pressure to conform, especially regarding the large, elaborate beaded jewelry I make. In my one year at an elementary school, I caught people gossiping about my choices a few times. So we took a field trip to the art museum, and the docents were crowding around me praising it. The teacher who witnessed the excited exchange said something after about maybe they (the teachers) just didn’t understand the art of it. It’s the reason I don’t sell my jewelry, instead making it for myself or giving it as gifts. I don’t want to try to please the market, tainting what gives me great joy. I feel the same about fashion… obviously, you should not wear inappropriate clothing. But beyond that, fashion is a way of self-expression that should, first and foremost, please the person wearing it. I know that’s not all there is to it, it’s not just “wear what you want,” but if you are not pleasing yourself, you are not respecting yourself, and self-respect is the most important respect of all.

  34. Years ago, my granddaughter had a t-shirt that said, “Always be yourself, unless you can be Batman then be Batman.” That sort of sums things up nicely. My sweet mother-in-law had an over-the-top personality, & her style reflected that & looked great on her. On more than one occasion, she tried to convince my husband to buy something for me that was more her than me, like a sweater with a huge fur collar. My husband was rarely swayed by this because he knew me well. We are all different shapes & sizes & personalities, so we should always be true to ourselves.

  35. I’m around very conservative women who sometimes don’t even believe in getting your ears pierced or wearing make-up!!! No V-necks…I wear them not very low of course but I’ve actually had things said to me!!! I wear bigger earrings when I want and I wear make-up!!! Plus perfume!!! Gold jewelry!! I don’t believe you have to be frumpy to be modest!! I do wear long skirts that some women would say is frumpy but I personally don’t feel modest without. This is my convection!! I believe we should work on acceptance not judgementalism!!!

  36. Pam, thank you for your positive post. I am working on my style objectives and may include “courageous”. I want to have the courage to dress to please myself and to have the courage to forgive my past mistakes relating to style choices.

  37. Your necklaces sound amazing, Linda. I respect your choice not to sell them…but I know there are many women who love that style. Keep expressing yourself with your art!

  38. Thanks for sharing this! I actually love gift cards for gifts from family because then I can get what I know is me. Many times in the past it did not work.

  39. I am so sorry you have had to endure comments made to you, Natalie about who you are. Just stay true to you and love your friends through it.

  40. We all have to forgive ourselves for so many decisions in the past, Virginia. But, do it and move forward with joy. It serves not purpose at all to hang on to those past decisions.

  41. Love this reminder to be true to ourselves and not to let anyone dim our light . Not another woman , not a man , it even our adult children .. we should dress and wear what makes us happy ans confident while not trying to look like a teenager or an old frumpy lady either .. don’t be afraid to wear a bold color , skinny jeans , boots , a pretty dress or earrings that dangle because someone said you are too old or too daring. Be you . Glorious you . Thank you Pam

  42. Love this reminder to be true to ourselves and not to let anyone dim our light . Not another woman , not a man , it even our adult children .. we should dress and wear what makes us happy ans confident while not trying to look like a teenager or an old frumpy lady either .. don’t be afraid to wear a bold color , skinny jeans , boots , a pretty dress or earrings that dangle because someone said you are too old or too daring. Be you . Glorious you . Thank you Pam

  43. Sometimes when I would be attending an event or party I would try to dress like everyone else. My style is classic, refined and colorful. Every time I did this I was so uncomfortable. Lesson learned. Now I dress for myself!

  44. As a person who lacks self-confidence, I greatly appreciate your inspirational message. I recently turned 60 and have found myself caring less about what others think and enjoying the freedom of just being me!

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