Personal style is simply your unique way of going about your life.
It’s the way you wear clothes. Or decorate your home. Or wrap a package. It’s the colors you choose. The shapes and textures you are drawn to. It’s the fragrances you like, the movies that touch you, the things that make you laugh.
It’s how you go about your days and spend your time – enjoying your home and family, being with your friends, navigating relationships, being normal, being fun, being weird, working, playing, making mistakes and bouncing back.
It isn’t about being fancy or perfect.
It’s your unique way of loving, and learning, and living every day.
This is your basic personal style.
Some people choose their style consciously and others don’t – they let it develop on its own. Either way, you’ve got personal style.
Everyone has it, whether they mean to or not.
The difference is that powerful personal style is the natural result of aligning your inside with your outside.
This kind of personal style makes you feel brave and free.
It is confident and comfortable – without being self-conscious or trying too hard. It just comes naturally when you have done the work of making sure you feel on the inside the way you want to be seen on the outside.
This takes a bit of focus and intention – but it is worth it.
By mid-life, there have been a lot of competing pulls on us for many years. Kids, relationships, parents, friends, bosses.
Sort of like the Velveteen Rabbit, our sense of personal style may have been smushed, damaged, pushed, pulled, edited, adjusted, or ignored for years.
Often, our preferences have taken a back seat to the needs of others.
We may have forgotten who we are in some ways and lost some of the power we once felt, but that doesn’t have to be the end of the story. This can be a new chapter.
This seems to be an age where my friends and I are taking a look around,
adjusting to the changing needs of our families,
coming to terms with aging,
wondering if we will ever sleep through the night again,
considering what is next,
worrying about what is next,
and regrouping to head in a direction that feels right.
I swear, perimenopause is the new puberty. (Complete with body awkwardness and pimples.) The changes can be quite disconcerting and make us feel out of control and vulnerable.
Give these questions some thought if you are going through unsettling changes and want to feel more in charge. They will help you identify where your inside and outside might be out of alignment.
Is my style an accurate representation of who I am?
Do I like the way I spend my time?
Does it feel good to be around the people in my life?
Do I like the way I look and feel?
Is my home an authentic expression of my values?
Am I doing what I want to be doing with my time?
What’s really important to me anyway?
Click below to get a downloadable, expanded version of these
To me, midlife is a precious time to focus on consciously styling our lives to make them more of what we want them to be going forward.
You deserve to feel powerful, brave, and free again.
Many of us are staring down the road at the second-half of our lives and we can make these the best years yet.
Noticing which aspects of your life feel like an enthusiastic “yes!” is a great place to start.
It may not be time to make changes right now – the kids have to get through high school, parents need our help, or you might need to keep your day job – but you can become aware of the places that feel like a “yes!!!” and notice the places that make you go “meh.”
And you can let yourself dream of a life filled with “yes!!!”
The vision you hold of yourself has a way of gaining traction and becoming real when it is given some air to breathe, and become, and grow, and expand into possibility.
Your personal style is defined by the way you feel inside, and the way you are seen on the outside, and the way you live your life –
and it becomes powerful when all of that lines up in a way that feels right and natural to you.
Please share your thoughts…
Which aspects of your life feel like a true expression of yourself and which no longer fit?
Are you getting back to things you used to like or looking for new ways to express your personal style?
Are you moving toward what you want?
The picture is of a scupture I bought many years ago – it is called “Man Reaching Deep Inside Himself” by Jeff Gallegher. I still love it!