One of the first posts on my 50+ blog was titled “Time to purge the closet”.
I stand by this advice, it should be mandatory on everyone’s 50th birthday. And I did it. It was pretty easy and I cleaned out a lot.
The problem is that I didn’t wind up with much left and have been struggling ever since with how to build a new wardrobe. I have never been a fashion-ista. I don’t keep up with fashion trends, am lost when trying to “put together” an outfit and patterns scare the crap out of me. I’m the kind of shopper that says:
I’ll have exactly what the mannequin is wearing in a size “X”
This is how I ended up with a closet full of clothes that I don’t wear.
I tell myself that I don’t care but I do, at least a little.
I want to present myself well with a clean and classic look but I really don’t want to spend a lot of time thinking about it. I have so many other things to do, what to wear is just another decision I have to make and it’s not a priority.
So imagine my delight when I found an article about famous people who always dress(ed) exactly the same every day. People like Steve Jobs (Apple), Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Albert Einstein, Carrie Donovan (Vogue, Harpers Bazaar) and Barak Obama (US president).
The article talks about while some are consciously cutting down on the number of decisions they need to make in a day (brilliant!), others are practicing “personal branding”.
From the article:
William Arruda, a personal branding guru and author of Ditch. Dare. Do!, says this practice can be part of personal branding. “They wear what they wear because that’s what they feel comfortable wearing,” he says. “When you wear something that just feels right, you are confident. And it is also great to have a trademark look. It makes you memorable and distinctive.
Now this is a fashion trend I understand and can get behind!
I am comfortable in black and varying shades of black that include gray and white. These shades also fit my “I don’t want to think about it” view of clothing – no matching necessary. My favourite look for myself is black on the bottom, a t-shirt or tank in a bright colour (usually red) and jacket/sweater/overshirt in a shade of black.
To shake it up, sometimes the tee or tank is black and my jacket is red – oooh, don’t go too far out of the box babs!
When I try to break out of this style, I am uncomfortable and self-conscious. This article made me realize that I don’t have to break out. I can build a wardrobe with a signature look – a personal brand!
While my personal brand is black and white with a splash of bright colour (usually red because I love and look great in red), I can still have fun by adding a patterned scarf, some great jewellery or trendy boots. This suits me just fine because these are the items that I love to shop for.
With this new personal brand styling in mind, I am ready to get out there and look for new wardrobe pieces. I may only be looking for black bottoms but the selection is still there to make it exciting – a pencil skirt, riding pants, straight leg, boot cut, skinny, wide leg, denim . . . . Anything black or gray (no white bottoms in my world) that will work with a t-shirt, cami or tank. I already have a few jackets and sweaters so I can build these more slowly looking for quality pieces that will last.
I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off of me. I can have style
without the stress!
If you’re like me, I hope this way of looking at your personal fashion
will help you.
If you’re not like me and love to read about fashion, do not fret. I have found many resources online that specialize in fashion and style beyond 50 for men and women. So, instead of trying to pass myself off as an expert, I am going to post links to fashion ideas and information that I find by people that actually know what they’re talking about.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net