Saturday, January 23, 2016

Style Evolution

When you look back at photos of me from 2010, you will see a woman who was forty pounds heavier, very unhealthy, very stressed out and very confused about my style.



I lost the very frumpy wardrobe and forty pounds in about six months. It took a few more years for me to settle into a style that reflects my personality better. 




Style is unspoken communication. For a few years after I lost weight, my style said, "I am dressing in what might be age appropriate, but It feels as if I am wearing my mother's clothes and shoes." Crepe sole, round toe shoes, make me feel ill. Boxy jackets and masculine-style-tailored slacks will never touch my body again!




One pop of color and one statement piece of jewelry (not three!) works much better for me. Wide lapels or heaven forbid, two wide lapels plus a scarf is not a good look for me. The muted golden brown tones of the scarf and the marled color of the too textured cardigan are entirely wrong for me.





Another what was I thinking moment! Up close and in person this jacket looked like a subtle animal print. In photos, it looks like an ode to Duck Dynasty. After I stopped buying prints, my closet became my happy place.





Other, more subtle changes helped me to relax into a look that feels more authentic to my personality. I let my hair grow out a bit, and it is now cut into a stacked angled bob that is side parted to be more flattering to my round face. My wonderful stylist, Myra added some very subtle lowlights underneath to give my gray more depth to softly frame my face. She also adds a chrome glaze to my hair and trims it every five or six weeks. I no longer blow dry it every day, so it is much healthier and fuller.
Hair that is too perfect is so not me.




In my most recent photos, you will see a woman who wears what feels comfortable. My wardrobe doesn't just physically fit my body; it now reflects my personality. 

I have ditched the trying too hard hair, too much jewelry, and bulk adding details.

Clean, simple lines, classic pieces in solid neutral colors, sleek, structured bags and shoes and slim fitting (not skinny) jeans are my staples. I can now get dressed appropriately and comfortably for any event in about five minutes.


I hope this post helps you to see what a difference subtle changes in your style can make. Please share how my style evolution has helped you!



Thank you for joining us on this incredible journey through midlife and beyond. The second fifty years are truly the best!


Susan Street is the President of VintageJewelrySupplies.com.

Represented by Talent Trek Agency in Knoxville TN.

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When companies supply products to me, I disclose that within the body of the post.
All opinions are my own.

37 comments:

Lynn Marsh said...

Thanks for sharing your changes. I like how you slowly found your style,as you got healthier. To me shows how we all can change, doesn't always happen overnight.

Babycakes said...

For all the women out there who are afraid of getting older, you are an inspiration. I will never wear elastic waist pants, stodgy shoes or go out without lipstick and mascara! Being able to show change is possible is a gift you've given to a lot of people. You look better than ever and most of all, you look happy!

Grande said...

I enjoyed your style revolution. It just shows we can all learn to dress more stylishly. I too use minimal jewelry. I love my scarfs, my diamond studs and a few simple necklaces and bracelets. I enjoy lots of colors, but few prints. You have reinforced my style direction as well as the courage to try new trends. I enjoy your blog. From a fan who is Over Sixty, but not Frumpy.

Mom said...

You look so much younger than your "before" pictures. I have had a very similar transformation and readjustment of style. It has been 3 1/2 years since my weight loss and change if lifestyle. I love reading about and seeing your gradual refinement of wardrobe and style. You have chosen well...you look terrific!

Karen Johnson said...

Thank you for sharing your style evolution. I also find myself dressing more youthfully than I did in my 30's. Gone are the dreaded "mom" jeans and cutesy printed turtlenecks in favor of chic skinnies and body-skimming tunic style tops.

Lynne in NC said...

Susan,
This posting speaks volumes to me. I can see where I need to tweak some things to completely toss the frump to the curb; round-toed shoes, for one. I love how you show the different stages of the evolution into the very stylish and confident person you are now. Especially because the befores and the nows are so helpful to see how one gradually changes one's personal style. It's not an overnight transformation, it's a journey. Thank you so much.
Cheers!

Sandra said...

Beautiful transformation of your authentic gorgeous self. What are your favorite slim jeans?

Lisa B said...

Hi Susan,
Thanks for sharing. Your style has definitely evolved into something much better. I'm having trouble with what style of pants to wear to work. I work in a hospital so I cannot wear jeans or anything too tight or short. Everything I have seems frumpy. Do you have any suggestions? Also, I am on my feet most of the day, running back and forth and up and down stairs, so my shoes need to be comfortable. Any help from you or your readers would be greatly appreciated.
Keep up the good work!

Andrea said...

Thanks for sharing! Your analysis of your different outfit and why certain elements aren't ideal is very helpful!

Rosebeme said...

You are an inspiration to me every day. Now when shopping I say to myself, WWSD (What Would Susan Do) 😊

Gina Bacon Kerr said...

Inspirational! I'm halfway through a similar evolution. So encouraged by your sharing!

coffeeontheporchwithme said...

Your transformation is so inspiring. One thing I have noticed in your photos is the use of more "classic" colours and neutrals. I wish I could wear the footwear you show, but I'd be in pain by the end of a workday. As well, we are knee deep in snow, so it's always boots outside. Do you ever feel deprived with your eating plan? -Jenn

Amy Kennedy said...

Love this! It really helps me think through what not only looks good on me, but what reflects me! Fantastic read!

ci said...

Great post that explains in detail about your transformation. Many of us know something needs to change, but aren't sure how to make it happen. Your goal to help others with their own journey is being reached as we can see the change in you. Thank you for opening your heart, your closet and your thoughts to all of us who follow your blog! It's like having a friend who is honest and knows how to be aware of just how much our appearance and health affect our daily lives! You rock!

Susan Street said...

Slim fitting pants of any fabrication are more flattering than shapeless baggy ones. Flat shoes that are sleek and structural as well as supportive look better and are better for your feet than those that have no support. I never feel as if I am missing anything in the food category, Jenn. After your cravings for sugar, fat and salt are conquered you will find that real food tastes wonderful. The smell of bacon makes me gag now.

Lori said...

Thank you so much for sharing this post! It is very useful to have visuals and of course, what your style has evolved to is just lovely. Thanks again!

Marissa Quiampang said...

I have wide feet, and I find it really hard to find shoes that look nice and still be comfortable... I feel like I'm wearing ronald macdonald shoes. I would love to find alternatives for wide feet. And where do you buy pants? any particular brand?

Unknown said...

How do you determine the correct length for pants like the ones you are wearing in today's picture? Thanks!

Susan Street said...

I buy pants according to how they fit me. Chico's, J.Jill and Fabrizio Gianni have my favorite styles. The ankle length seems to be the right length and proportion for me.

emmapeelDallas said...

I love this post, and I want to thank you for posting it. One of the things that I love most about your blog, and one of the things that's unique about your blog, is that you share your "before" pictures, including how your fashion sense evolved over time. That's invaluable to those of us who are just beginning this journey ourselves. Thank you, Susan!

Ann said...

Love everything about your new look!! I'd like to see a profile or back shot of your haircut...there are probably already some on your blog.

Babs R said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
knmkendall said...

Wow what a transformation! I love seeing the differences and you are so stunning now! I am trying to determine a more flattering, updated hairstyle. Could you give more details and close up pictures of your haircut? It looks gorgeous on you! Thank you.

JARuns said...

Thank you for sharing this information--it's inspiring and informative. Just one quibble--the more fashionable "after" shoes do not look more comfortable than the round toes "befores". Are they? Thanks again!

knmkendall said...

I would love that too! Your hair is perfect on you, Susan!

Susan Street said...

There is a full video on Facebook and also on a previous post on the blog showing my hair from all angles. As for the shoes, I am comfortable in all of my shoes after losing weight. My feet hurt in all shoes before.

Prairie Poulet said...

It's a process, and I will find my way. I'm glad to know it took time, because I'm not there yet. Through effort, it will be. Thx!

Lindy D. said...

Dear Susan,
Thank you for this interesting post. I also want to thank your dear Mr. Mickey for taking all these wonderful pictures. How lucky we are to have him contribute in this way. BTW, I notice that you say you like "structured" bags. Can you give us an example of what that means versus another type of bag. I'm trying to buy a new handbag but they all seems so big. Any guidelines would be helpful.
Best wishes,
Lindy

P.S. I have just been diagnosed with diabetes and am reading Joel Fuhrman's book "The End of Diabetes." I'm hoping I can make all of the changes he suggests. I've stop eating sugar as of January 1 and I feel so much better. Will take it one step at a time.

Susan Street said...

Lindy D visit this link to see the difference between structured and soft bags. http://www.polyvore.com/cgi/set?id=188660138

Pam @ over50feeling40 said...

You are such an inspiration for so many, Susan.

Jan Evridge said...

Thank you for the inspiration that we can improve at any age.

belinda said...

Susan, Your blog audience applauds your metamorphasis and appreciates how you encourage us. You sound like a friendly neighbor encouraging everyone along. Blessings!

50 is not old said...

I too am trying to eat healthier, you are an inspiration. You look fabulous and your hair is gorgeous. I like the longer length. You are in my neck of the woods, I am from Grundy. Maybe this summer we can meet up and talk blogs. Haha

http://50isnotold.com/

Donna said...

This post was most inspirational. I'm not sure I would have had the courage to post my frumpy years. Please don't misunderstand...I'm not saying you were frumpy (but I sure was!). You didn't look bad in any of your pictures as you are a lovely lady. It was very interesting to follow your transformation into the stylish woman you are now. The change I really like is your hairstyle. It's you...

Blog Name Here said...

This is a great post! Being new to the 50 club, you really inspire me. I am trying very very hard to stick with the solids, but I am really drawn to prints. I'm doing better and I agree 100% with your reasoning.
My real struggle is shoes that are both stylish AND comfortable. I'm 5'6, 120, and in good shape. I don't know why I struggle such with shoes. I will look killer....until you see my shoes. I prefer flats, and sees so many cute ones, but when I try them on they are not comfortable. Help!

Teresa Betsill said...

I have enjoyed watching your style evolve as I've gone back and looked at older posts. This has helped me realize that defining style is probably a process that takes time, at least for most of us. When I turned fifty, I bought myself a couple of sessions with a local image consultant (my family also took me to lovely Abingdon, Va. for my birthday weekend!). The sessions with the image consultant were fun and helpful. She confirmed my thoughts about my body shape (pear or triangle), and which colors make me look washed out. I also had a shopping session with her, which was also fun. But, I've come to understand that it takes time and effort on my part (and sometimes trial and error) to truly define my style and what works best for me, given my lifestyle and personality. You are a great example to follow.

K Jones said...

Susan, your blog never fails to cheer me. Your kindness and candor are as appealing as your style. I've learned so much and told many friends to tune in for new ideas. I adore your shoes and have always preferred 2.5-inch heels myself, but I recently broke my foot and ankle, so I'm facing new shoe challenges. Your readers who need lower heels, wider widths or other comforts may want to check out FootSmart.com. There is some frump there -- steer clear! -- but there are also some lovely stylish choices that are kind to problem feet. I'm hoping to get back into my cute booties by next fall!