Thursday, July 28, 2016

My Eureka Style Moment

A reader wrote last week to ask if I could remember my aha or eureka moment that brought about a pivotal change in my style. 


The photo below was taken before my aha moment. My style took a nosedive after I turned fifty-five and lost more than forty pounds. I had no idea how to dress anymore and going shopping was a total nightmare. I didn't like all those bright colors and patterns, but that was what I saw on the other women in my social circle and in every store I visited. It didn't feel right for me, but I kept telling myself that's how women my age dressed, so I kept buying those pieces that weren't reflective of my personality. I wanted to dress age appropriate without having a clear picture of what that meant.


Taken in 2013

(While this look might be OK for some women, it isn't me. My hair is too short and too fixed. I am wearing too many accessories. My pants are too short to be worn with a jacket.)


I do indeed remember my eureka moment! It was during the summer of 2014. I was creating a new board on Pinterest when I saw my first photos of Emmanuelle Alt and the other women who are styling editors of Vogue Paris. I was captivated! 


These women looked so effortlessly fabulous and timeless. I was inspired to study their way of dressing in solids with simple accessories and understated hair and makeup. The less is more way of putting yourself together for the day feels so right for me.



Taken in 2016
(I am wearing a Covered Perfectly Simple V Tunic with Jag Jeans above. The shoes, bag and belt are all old.)


The very next time I shopped for shoes or clothes, it was so easy to block out the clutter of prints and bright colors. I was able to rid my closet of those patterns and bright colors and hone in on the colors and shapes that fit well with my personality.



Each time I pack for a trip or get dressed for the day, I am thankful that I found my style formula. I feel much more confident in clothes that fit not just my body but my personality as well.



The only reason I shop now is to replace something that is starting to look worn, but I am so much happier with my wardrobe. Both my budget and time are more abundant, allowing me to go out and enjoy my life. That's why I share my personal style evolution. I wish the same freedom and confidence for you.


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

All words, styling, and creative direction are my own.
I no longer accept products in exchange for reviews.

20 comments:

Anne M said...

Great post Susan. I think you still look ok in your 'before' photo but you look absolutely fabulous in your after photo.

Anne

Naomi Krokowski said...

I love how open you are about things that didn't work for you. This reminds me to get more pictures made, and see what things truly look like on me. Thanks again for sharing your journey with us 😍

Genuine Edge said...

You look younger and fresher these days. I love your longer hair. xo

Yvonne said...

I have really enjoyed seeing your style evolve over the last few years Susan, and can relate to what you went through.
I had a year or two of questioning what a 60 year old woman who no longer goes to an office everyday should be wearing. After a number of bad choices, I rediscovered my style (a lot quite similar to yours) and now know immediately when I try something on if it feels like me. My style is back to what I have always been drawn to, some of it adapted to any aging body, but classic with a bit dramatic or edgy thrown in is my style... and with a lot of black and white! :)

Susan Roberts said...

This seems to be where I am now. So appreciate your willingness to share the things you've learned along the way.

Sylvia Cadena said...

They say shorter hair makes a woman look younger. Well they got it wrong. You look so much younger with your hair longer. Beautiful lady.

une femme said...

Susan, what a great illustration of finding your personal style! The difference between the two outfits is dramatic, and you look so much more aligned and comfortable in the second.

Prairie Poulet said...

In the first photo, you were already bookending your outfits, and had the statement necklace and clutch. It's a matter of saying no to trends that don't work for you by the time you made the evolution to the second photo.

I have found that I made wardrobe mistakes from "desperation shopping" -- those times when I found myself preoccupied with life issues, and ended up needing clothes suddenly, because nothing fit, or everything was too faded and worn for a holiday or special occasion. Life has a way of getting ahead of you sometimes. A turning point for me was a city holiday with friends, who took time every day to browse the stores for specific wardrobe pieces. They made a point of this city holiday every year during sales season for a cultural event and the shopping. Lesson learned. My wardrobe was "busy mom who forgot the world". Not my image now, I hope, just a bit better!

Summer H. said...

THANK YOU for sharing your style evolution with the rest of us! You've spared me a vast amount of trial and error (i.e. time & money!) with the wonderful tips you share. Dressing with confidence in items that feel both flattering and comfortable just makes me happy :-) Be blessed!

Sylvia Sutton said...

Wow, very interesting post. While the first pick is good, the second is fabulous and you look so much younger!!

RK said...

I found this a really articulate explanation and the photos really illustrate your point. It helps me as I review what is in my own closet and what to consider as I shop (or don't!)

Kathy said...

I don't like the crop pants on any woman our age. Unless a person's calves are quite thin, they simply emphasize the heavies part of the lower leg. Full length or ankle length seem much better, IMO. I'm really enjoying these posts about how your style evolved and how you put together basics to create different outfits.

Joanne B. said...

I have two questions and I am not sure if you will answer either, and of course, this is your blog and you can address the topic you choose to. First question is- and I ask this with the greatest sincerity because I genuinely DO enjoy your blog and have gotten some great ideas for validating what I know (now) was always my style Anyway- here goes! First question: have you had any "cosmetic work" done? Second question is, what are your thoughts on having "work" done? I have noticed myself that you HAVE been looking younger lately and now I am noticing your readers are commenting the same! Thanks for sharing and please don't think I am judging you, because if I could, I would get a "little help from my friends" too! You re a class act and thanks for sharing your zest for looking great after 60 with us!

Susan Street said...

Joanne B, thanks for the compliment but no, I have not had any work done. It must be the distance from where the photos are taken plus I am very happy these days. I am not opposed to having work done, but I am not considering anything at all. I'm too much of a scaredy cat. What if I look worse afterward?!

Sherrie said...

I think my aha moment came reading your blog. I have found that basics with added accessories looks much better on me than prints.

Lynn Marsh said...

Thanks Susan, I'm glad your aha moment has led to mine. I really enjoy your blog. And between it and alot of the comments I read here, it's given me the courage to try new things and know ots never too late.

Jen said...

I'm not always sure what looks good on me. I know I "settle" much too often, because I'm not seeing something I love. I've read somewhere lately to go through your closet and get rid of anything you don't love....well let's just say I wouldn't have much left in there! lol

Jeannette

Anonymous said...

I guess a lot of women go through some evolution in style as they reach a certain age. Mine came 5 years ago when I stopped coloring my hair and let it go to its natural "snow white". I had a style I liked then, but felt I had to change to match my hair. Granted, there were certain colors that I suddenly looked horrible in, such as khaki and yellow, Khaki had been one of my staple colors when dying my hair a golden blond hue. I went out and bought tons of black because I thought that I could finally wear it. NOT! When I started wearing black near the face, I just didn't feel comfortable at all and still looked so washed out. ( I wear black pants ) My build is considered a slim hourglass and atheletic so what I wear is often different than what you show. However, I get so much from the basic concepts.,such as wearing solids. I have so enjoyed your evolution, along side my own. And I love blue and white, as you often wear!

Sunni said...

Susan, I wanted to ask about this lower slung belt. I know that look first became popular in about 2005 (?) and Chicos was selling a range of those that slid in the back and hooked in the front. I still have a couple but do not see people wearing them anymore. I see younger women wearing them at the waist and primarily over button-down shirts or cardigans. I have worried that it was dated or that it drew emphasis to the wrong areas or made my bust look larger. I'm curious about your thoughts. Have you done a blog post about "how to, or if you should, wear a belt"?

Susan Street said...

Sunni, I should not wear a belt at my natural waistline because I have a high/short waist. I do not follow trends, rather I wear what looks good on me. I have mentioned wearing or not wearing a belt and why several times but I haven't done a blog post all about wearing belts. Thank you for the suggestion.