Unlock New Radiance As You Age

body image change+transition confidence fashion midlife style Jun 21, 2023

It's no secret that we live in a society that values youth, and as we get older, it can be hard to feel like we're living up to the expectations of that world - let alone what we want for ourselves.

We change so much as we age - our bodies and roles change too. We may go through menopause, become empty nesters, or reach higher leadership roles in our careers or businesses, all demanding that we shift to meet all the changes. It can be exhausting trying to juggle them all.

And the world around us changes, too—our friends and family change course, new trends emerge, and technology advances at a dizzying pace. And all of these changes make up this messy mash-up of life that makes it hard to know who we are in the swirl of it all.

And then you're supposed to get up and dressed with intention? HA! I know many women say to me, "Michele, I can't even deal with that one more thing 'to do' on my plate. It's just one more chore."

I get it. Except you're seeing it all backward.

You are the center of your life in all the change which means how you show up for it - with power and intention - can be a secret weapon for how you take it all on!

It's not just about getting new clothes—it's an investment in confident self-expression of who you are doing in life!

If you want to look and feel your best at every stage of life, embracing who you are and redefining yourself for each phase is key.

To look and feel your best as you age means committing to aligning every way someone experiences you, heart and mind, head to toe, with how you see yourself at your stage in your life.

It means matching your set of values, your purpose and your definition of success to your appearance (including your style), how you treat yourself and others, how you communicate your value, how you show up online, and how you take care of your self-esteem wellness over times - all of that is what I call image-confidence. (And it becomes vitally important to find fulfillment in life from the age of 40 and up.)

So how do you do it?

Start by changing how you see yourself in the mirror. A mirror is a powerful tool for self-criticism or self-affirmation. Make it your mission to transform it into an affirming power in your days and new radiance at your stage of life will emerge!

Do these to begin the process:

Embrace your new body.

Believe it or not; however your body has changed, there is a way to flatter it. Most women get hung up on what they "used to be" and try to fit in, creating visual imbalances that crush their confidence. This is when you put on the top that you used to love, and suddenly, it makes you look five months pregnant. That's a classic clue that your shape and proportions need a new strategy.

Redefine what "stylish" means for you.

Toss out the tips and tricks all over social media and focus on finding and using tailored, not generic, frameworks. Generic advice works for the person sharing it, but you'll likely spend time, effort, frustration and maybe even money trying to get it to work for you when you could save all that output by knowing what works for you.

Align yourself with a style that makes you feel powerful, not just "comfortable."

"Comfortable" is not a style. It's a function of a garment. I know that when a woman says she wants to be comfortable in her clothes, she's gone through a transition and hasn't resolved changes in her life. "Comfortable" always presents to the world as an unfocused image - including sloppiness, mismatched messaging, wearing all black or dark colors, or wearing clothes that are too big or too frumpy as they try to hide insecurity.

Advance your practice of dressing. 

Every woman has a time in her life when she said, "I could wear whatever I wanted," and be aware that this statement is more than just fashion-related; it is linked to Enclothed Cognition (dressing psychology). What you mean when you say this is that you felt bold, thin, and self-assured enough to pick something and put it on.  When change occurs, and transitions follow, it is easy to lose your way in that boldness to try and get it back; you try to lean on the old techniques, colors, styles or fashion buzz-words you used to employ. This is the worst thing you can do since it keeps you stuck looking backward at a self-sabotaging dressing practice.

The solution is to advance your practice of dressing by using it as mindset-shifting psychology - with intention, new knowledge and practice.  Stop pretending that putting on any blue will "calm" you and seek out the 3-4 meanings of "your blue" to help you add to your mood.  Replace your old Pinterest ideas of "Classic" and be open to defining what that looks like in your closet.  This is evolution.  The more you can care about how you define what you see in the mirror and add symbolism to what you see, the stronger your confidence in becoming the woman who can take on anything becomes. 

Seek out an expert.

Just because you are a woman doesn't mean you "should" know how to express your image, build a visual personal brand around it and dress in a way that makes you feel powerful. Dressing psychology is an art and science around a habit that we women do every day - and for every habit you do, there is expert advice to help you maximize it, master it and enjoy it.

I'm the expert that helps you connect how you see yourself in the mirror with how you present yourself to the world at every age and stage. Especially for aging women, hitting midlife and all its transitions, this is when you need tailored advice, support, solutions and care to feel your best and most confident and move forward with new purpose, intention and the thing that powers it all - courage.

Radiance, as you age, lives in the courage to be your most confident. Perhaps this is your season to claim both!
Love this post? Tune into this episode of the Confidence Shift podcast and learn more from me, then subscribe on your favorite platform to binge-listen to them all!