Firstly fashion is more than just the sum of clothes in our wardrobes.
As Meryl Streep’s Miranda Priestley in the 2006 film The Devil Wears Prada, says to Anne Hathaway’s fashion skeptic character: “You think this has nothing to do with you. You go to your closet and you select . . . that lumpy blue sweater because you’re trying to tell the world that you take yourself too seriously to care about what you put on your back . . . but that blue represents millions of dollars and countless jobs . . . You’re wearing a sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room from a pile of stuff.”
I’ve never forgotten that line or the derision in which it was said. Miranda (in my head she’s the boss I’d have love to train under) didn’t subscribe to the notion that age should make a woman invisible; in fact, in the movie, she shows us again and again how we can show up and be heard through the choices we make with what we wear.
Ok, so maybe we can never afford Prada. And yet even without big budgets I don’t believe that at 40 plus, our lives should halt like a car speeding toward a traffic light that suddenly turns red, with an instruction to stop exploring life, love, ambition and our wardrobes.
I continue to love fashion. I follow fashion bloggers. I read women’s fashion magazines. I watch women in public to see how they are combing texture, colour, hemlines and my heart sings when I see those not constrained by the passage of time.
Of course, that passage may at times may come with reason. We reduce our clothes count, we care more about quality. We streamline. We refine. But experimenting, we should never stop that as long as our hearts beat and we enjoy fashion for what it brings: confidence, a way of connecting with others and communicating our true selves. A moment of beauty in an increasingly bleak world.
Here are ways you can continue to reinvent your style.
COMBINE YOUR CLOTHES IN DIFFERENT WAYS
Hopefully, you have a de-cluttered wardrobe that allows you to see exactly what you have but also figure out innovative ways to combine what you already possess. These are some questions you can ask: What colours work well together? Do today’s trendy sneakers look good with your mid-length skirt? How can you mix prints? How can today’s trend be added to some of your already classic pieces to make your wardrobe more modern?
EXPERIMENT AND THEN DO IT AGAIN
You have to find out what you don’t like in order to discover what you like. I’d recommend walking into a store and trying on things, even those you think won’t work or are outside your comfort zone. Colourful and bold to monochrome and muted, explore shapes, trends, classics, really, there are no limits but when you do, listen, because the garments will speak to you. Go ahead and get the ones that make you feel good, confident and most of all make you feel 100% Y O U.
Hate going to the store. That’s fine. You can start inspiration boards on Pinterest or Instagram
PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT’S HAPPENING ONLINE
Start paying more attention to what the bloggers and influencers are wearing, and how the pieces fit together. Over time you’ll start to recognize images that you love, are curious about or go over and over again. Notice all of these because you’re actually rediscovering your style.
CONSULT A STYLIST/ DESIGNER
I believe that if you can’t figure things out, you should get help and yes, this applies to fashion as well.