What Is Your “After 50” Personal Style?
BY PAMELA LUTRELL
She moved with purpose and joy, the ultimate hostess welcoming everyone into her perfectly decorated home. At ten years of age, I had never seen such beautiful china and mesmerizing paintings, or heard music played on a baby grand piano. Mrs. L.T. Burns of Wichita Falls, Texas was a legend and I was in her home.
In 1954, the Burns began placing lights and displays on their lawn at Christmas. Every year it grew bigger. Some years Mrs. Burns would join Santa and hand out candy canes to the children. I remember her smiles and lovely coats, which my mother coveted annually. One year, my church choir was caroling in front of the house when Mrs. Burns invited us in for cookies. I soaked in each decoration and each kind word spoken. The music played accompaniment as the queen of our town greeted each person in the room. Her Christmas legacy was ultimately donated to the local college, Midwestern University, and is called the “MSU-Burns Fantasy of Lights,” where her memory lives on each holiday season.
Mrs. Burns’ left behind an impeccable personal style noted by joy, compassion, and generosity. So many women balk at the phrase “personal style.” Perhaps they are only thinking of models in Vogue, rather than the legacy left behind, but our style has everything to do with our legacy. In The Power of Style by Annette Tapert and Diana Edkins (Copyright 1994), ten women are profiled for “transforming their existence into a living work of art.” They selected women who lived with discipline, a sense of humor, resourcefulness, originality, verve, fearlessness, and intelligence.
The authors remind readers it is less important to have money than to have purpose and style is so often birthed from resilience over heritage. Women like these dress for every occasion…every time they leave the house… simply because they dress for themselves and no one else. They have an appreciation for the unexpected and do not fear what lies ahead.
Our style has everything to do with our legacy
I did not begin to care about my personal style until after age 50. Now, I consider how I will be remembered. Each daily encounter is a part of my style. The messages I communicate with my dress and my words are part of my style. It’s important to note style is just as much about our insides as what we show on the outside with what we wear and our home décor. An excitement for each day and decisions about how to impact others are components of style. We all have a style whether we know it or not. Perhaps now is the time to consider your current style. If it transforms into a living work of art, what do the brush strokes say?
Stylist and television personality, Stacy London, writes, “Style is transformative.” I know this to be true. At 50, I transformed from a depressed, dowdy, uninspired woman to a joyful, driven, diligent, purposeful one who hopes to leave a legacy of smiles just as Mrs. Burns did. A 10-year-old girl may be watching, and I know my three grandchildren, Luke, Mathias, and Kinsley will be. I have studied fashion and myself so much over the last 12 years, I developed my own formula for a personal style. I know one thing for sure…it is never too late to begin to leave a purposeful legacy full of fun.
“At 50, I transformed from a depressed, dowdy, uninspired woman to a joyful, driven, diligent, purposeful one who hopes to leave a legacy of smiles.”
Author bio – Pamela Lutrell
Since 2010, Pamela Lutrell has been a voice of encouragement and information for women 50+ through her blog www.over50feeling40.com and as a style writer for several websites.
A Driver’s License renewal picture at age 50 set her on a journey of reinvention which has completely transformed her second half of life and she shares the journey daily in order to inspire others. The blog opened many doors for Lutrell, including the job she holds now, editor for San Antonio Woman Magazine and 78209 Magazine. A resident of San Antonio for more than thirty years, a wife, mother, grandmother, writer, professional blogger, and public speaker, she is one woman celebrating women of strength, confidence, and head-turning personal style!