Recently, one of my clients once came to me with the sudden realization that her work team was starting to overlook her.
“I feel as if I have become less important!” she exclaimed, and finally looked at me and said:
“I don’t want to be invisible.”
I recently had the privilege of being a guest on a podcast with the dynamic team from The Style That Binds Us (click here for the link to the entire podcast), Delia Folk and Alison Bruhn. During our conversation, we discuss how common this thought actually is among women over 40 and our solutions for feeling “visible”. In case you missed the podcast, here are my tips on how to NOT feel invisible after the age of 40.
Many of you know that I worked at Vogue for 15 years, and this is where I truly learned the importance of editing and curating. As an image consultant, when I present too many options to my client, they get overwhelmed. Below find some helpful ideas to feeling a part of the conversation and being heard:
1) Understanding your optimal shape and know your size- Clothes that don’t fit you take away from your personal presentation.
2) Be consistent in wearing the colors that suit you and keep these as part of capsule collection in your closet.
3) Think strategically about your goals for a meeting or event when you want a role that is dominate and think about patterns or shapes that provide a commanding or approachable look
4) The way we communicate is much more that what we say or how we sound. Consider the messages you want to convey in not just your appearance but your listening skills, social media, texting, email and body language. 38% of our presentation is our voice and 55% is how we communicate.
5) Build rapport by finding common ground, making eye contact, demonstrating empathy, and asking about others interests.
Perfecting your style after 40 is not more necessary than any other time in your life. If you feel like a polished, well-presented version of yourself, perfection doesn’t matter, and it’s critical to understand that this is not the goal when it comes to fashion or even personal style. Instead of setting the daunting (and also impossible) goal to be “perfect,” focus on making yourself memorable, approachable, and human. People will notice if you make the effort, even if it’s as simple as deciding to wear a new color lipstick or eyeliner.
If you’re worried about keeping up with trends, remember that no one is judging you as trendy or not. Having image integrity is the key ingredient to looking like yourself. Image integrity is when every element of your personal presentation is pulled together including accessories, hairstyle, makeup, color, and fit. When you see trends you like, think about how to translate those styles to your own personal style. For example, if you’re very into a color that is trending, like hot pink was for a while, consider getting some accessories in that color that you can coordinate with the rest of your wardrobe staples.
As I discuss on the podcast, it is a real struggle to find classic, modern and appropriate brands for women over 40 today. I’ve found that shopping early in the season provides an opportunity to find a larger array of options that best match your shape and color. Think about 1-2 key investment pieces that may be more expensive but will last forever. These are the items that will help you maintain your visibility and voice, especially over 40. It is easier to mix and match expensive clothing with your current wardrobe as these anchor items will be the foundation of your “capsule collection”. In the podcast, you can hear my recommendations for brands that are accessible, high end, staples for the over 40 set.
Fashion trends come and go, but in the end, your visibility depends on how you make people feel. As Pauline Brown notes in her book Aesthetic Intelligence “True style takes time to cultivate. It’s not a problem to be solved but a passage to be explored ” ✨
Some Brands I Love 👗❤️
In the podcast, I discuss some brands that help me feel chic and vibrant, they include:
Cos – Timeless, functional, modern, yet minimalist clothing
Francis Valentine – Lots of personality. Modern, colorful, boxy apparel.
Theory – Classic
Peter Do – Tailored clothing
Another Tomorrow – Expensive but pretty
Me + Em – Whimsical and approachable
Apparis – All vegan outerwear
La Linge –Timeless, high-quality basics.
The Fold –Unique twists on office classics. Modern, professional workwear.
Extra Links to Explore!