PERSONAL STYLE … and why it matters ?
As we age, finding clothes that suit our changing shape, skin texture and lifestyle can be very challenging!
Sometimes it can feel like nothing suits you anymore . . . and you end up wearing a ‘uniform’ of black pants and polos (or leggings and a jumper!) and you then panic buy for occasions just to have something new to wear - but end up not really feeling like yourself!
A solution is to take some time to discover, or perhaps re-visit, your own personal style - your unique fashion personality.
Once you work out what really suits your unique personality, age, lifestyle, budget and shape - it is YOUR key to both looking your personal best and feeling really good about yourself as you age.
What worked for me in my 20’s and 30’s - really didn’t make me either look or feel good in my 40’s, so I had to go on a journey to re-invent myself to suit my changing body and mind. I made HUGE MISTAKES and it was so hard to find information and advice as the whole fashion industry is largely aimed at a younger woman. I encountered some prejudices and attitudes (mutton dressed as lamb) - but mostly I discovered that being true to myself and my instinct of what suited me (not what was in fashion) - ultimately worked.
Today, we are all under increased pressure to look good - and this can cause us a lot of unnecessary stress and in some cases make us depressed and not want to go out. I meet some many women who tell me they don’t want to go to events because they perceive they won’t feel appropriately dressed or ‘fit in’. This is madness! Women have fought long and hard to be equal in society - so if fashion isolates us from each other - or socialising - this is wrong. It’s important that we focus on being the very best version of ourselves - not someone else!
SO WHAT IS PERSONAL STYLE ? … (my own definition :}
Personal Style - is a visual expression of YOURSELF. It’s using what you wear and how you wear it - to express yourself and be yourself. It is more than CLOTHES.
IMPORTANTLY REMEMBER - It’s everything - from head to toe - including how you ‘hold’ yourself - deportment & posture. So hold your head high !
Your own style can be Classical (timeless), Romantic (feminine) or Creative (Edgy) - and sometimes it is a mix of all these and your mood!
Can you broadly identify your own personal style ?
What is your shape ? Remember this is NOT YOUR DRESS SIZE !
There are lots of useful articles online to help you correctly ID your shape - and essentially it is to do with proportion and where you deposit body fat. Menopause also will change your shape.
Do you know your shape?
MY TOP TIPS
* Identify your own style and what makes you feel comfortable & looks good on you
* Identify your shape and dress for it . . . and REMEMBER shape is different to your dress size. It’s mostly genetic and decides where you deposit fat (on your hips, tummy, bum etc).
* Build a Capsule wardrobe of basics - a foundation to your look. Buy basics well as they will last - essentials include a black pants, black skirt, white blouse, white top, black and cream / nude shoes, camel and black coat, simple black clutch … (you get the idea )
* COLOUR - wear colour - to brighten your mood and look. Did you know our favourite colour is BLUE (because there are so many shades from sky blue to midnight) - but if you want to stand out wear RED.
* Trends - buy high street (for example Leopard print).
* Key Pieces - buy well ! You never go out to buy key pieces - they find you. Once when you see them, buy them. Let your own personality guide you. Good examples are statement neckpiece, tartan trousers, tulle skirts, prints
* What is underneath counts ! ‘Good underwear’ / shape-wear - is essential. It makes a dramatic difference to both how you look and your confidence. I would recommend Atir - Irish made and it WORKS ! (www.atir.ie)
* Arms! Many of us don’t like our arms. Canopi sleeves are the answer ! These ingenious removable sleeves allow you to easily re-work dresses, jumpsuits and tops you thought you would never wear again !
* Wear tights. Fake tan is a not a substitute for a good pair of tights ! It may be old school - but tights are more elegant and flattering. Dunnes Stores Highlight Tights (tan) are in my opinion the best on the market and are €5 for two pairs !
* Accessories - are there to make statement - use them !
* Try everything on ! Don't just assume that something won't or will suit you.
* Buy Local - most boutiques buy with you in mind and can assist in styling you.
* Don’t give up ! Fashion is there to be your armour to the world. Use it to both re-invent yourself and enjoy yourself.
Please PM me if you have any queries on @orladiffily on IG or FB . I give personal style and personal brand related presentations to both private and corporate groups. Please email me directly for more information
(Photo credit: Ciara O’Donnell)