i wish that i knew what i know now (fashion confidence)

if i could go back and give my younger self some advice, it would be this:  be bold, be strong, and don’t be afraid to step outside the mainstream and make your own rules.   after all, how much time did we spend in our youths feeling insecure?  afraid to speak up and voice our opinions?  how many of us were paralyzed by the potentiality of being wrong? struck by the fear of articulating an unpopular position?  how many of us have daughters or granddaughters that are currently struggling with these insecurities?  so let’s all throw on a fall glen plaid jacket and a pair of suede pumps and remember, “be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid.”  

as any woman of a certain age will tell you, age begets wisdom, and wisdom begets confidence.  it’s one of the perks of getting older, really.  and as any woman of a certain age will tell you, none of this can be rushed.  a 42 year old can’t transfer to a 22 year old the wisdom and knowledge a successful, mid-life career change brings with it.  a 64 year old can’t make a 34 year old understand the tears of pain and joy raising three children brings with it. 

but what we—the older generation—can do is this:  we can tell our daughters—our granddaughters— it’s OK to be bold.  it’s OK to be confident.  it’s OK to take risks.  it’s OK to make your own rules in this crazy, mixed up world.  because—and here’s the secret—everyone is makes up their own rules.   and if we, as woman with wisdom, are not afraid to instill confidence in our children, then conversations like this will become the norm.  

you want to leave your job as a lawyer and open up an apothecary?  do it!  

you want to forego college for an apprenticeship as a chef?  i’m behind you 100%!

you think your team at work could improve if they just tried this?  tell them!  

when i was younger & now that i’m stronger

last week, we talked about self-expression through style.  a lot of you reached out to me over my various social channels and told me how over the years you’ve gained the confidence to take fashion risks.  so inspiring!   and as you all know, we’re no strangers to those sorts of risk over here on the blog.  yesterday, we showcased flared jeans, last week a skirt and knee-highs, and a few weeks ago, wide-legged jeans.   

blazer (Ann Taylor)sweater (Everlane) | similar denim (J.Crew) 

 

but today, i’m showcasing my go-to style:  modern preppy.  it’s a fashion sense i’ve developed over 50 years.  and to me, nothing says “bold” and “confident” more than a blazer and a clean pair of denim.  whether i’m headed to a meeting or just grabbing drinks with my daughter-in-law after work, i trust in the style i’ve worked my entire life to develop.

breaking all the rules & suede pumps

oftentimes, when we think of “breaking the rules”, we think of societal rules imposed on us either implicitly or explicitly.  but sometimes those rules are self-imposed.  whether they be fashion rules, or professional rules, or general how-i-live-my-life rules, it’s always good to step back and reevaluate how and why we do what we do. 

shoes | shoes (similar Ann Talyor) | handbag 1handbag 2 | handbag 3 (similar)

 

what fashion rules do you live by?  and are they worth breaking? 

fashion confidence with age 

depending on the year; depending on where i’m living; and depending on who i’m with, modern preppy may be “in” or it may be totally “out”.  doesn’t matter to me, though.  it’s my go-to, and i’m sticking to it.  i might spice up my style with frayed denim, a pair of suede pumps (but see also) and a statement bag (but also here and here).  but i’ve been shopping at Ann Taylor and J.Crew for years.

blazer (Ann Taylor)sweater (Everlane) | similar denim (J.Crew) 

 

alright, gang!  the week is in full swing.  i hope you played hooky yesterday and are fully rejuvenated.  we’re gonna need it, as we’re heading into the holiday season.  now, before you go, let me know in the comment section one piece of advice you’d give to your younger self.  i’m not a big believer in regrets.  but i am a believer in learning, growing, and evolving through the ages.  what words of wisdom do you have for the next generation of women?  

 
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29 Comments

  1. Cathy Cunningham wrote:

    Love the whole look. You look smashing.I would wear everything that you have put together. ❤️

    Posted 10.15.19
  2. Cathy Cunningham wrote:

    I loved your whole ensemble. I would wear it just as you have shown. Thanks. ❤️

    Posted 10.15.19
  3. Joanie wrote:

    Follow your heart. Be your authentic self. Wear clothing and colors that you like as an expression of your own unique personality whether it is currently on trend or not. Smile.
    Great outfit, Beth!

    Posted 10.15.19
  4. Kim wrote:

    Beautiful look, beautiful outlook. Ooh-la-la indeed!

    Posted 10.15.19
  5. Julie Mycock wrote:

    Hi Beth, I love your whole outfit, as you know I’ve mentioned before that you inspired me to think outside the box.
    Wisdom does come with age I agree and how many times have I said to myself as countless others have the same words
    ” I wish I knew then what I know now ”
    Happy Tuesday xoxo

    Posted 10.15.19
  6. Karen wrote:

    Love yourself and put yourself first. Say no when you need to. You are so talented, follow your dreams! Your looks are unique, celebrate them, don’t hate them! Get help when you need it!

    Posted 10.15.19
  7. Marcia Fishman wrote:

    I look forward to your blogs everyday! If you r short are the wide leg jeans good to wear

    Posted 10.15.19
  8. Karen Johnson wrote:

    Hey Beth. I’ve been following you for quite a while now as I love your fashion sense. We really gravitate toward the same styling.
    Question. I want to get a fun pearl necklace similar to what you are wearing. The challenge is getting something cleverly designed w/o breaking the budget. Any suggestions?

    Posted 10.15.19
  9. Kerry Rutledge wrote:

    Hi Beth
    My advice would be to focus on the journey not on the destination. Do NOT wish your life away always looking forward to the next chapter!

    Posted 10.15.19
  10. Babs wrote:

    I was preppy until I retired and then got swept into the look of leggings with a tunic top . After looking at your denim and blazer photos, l have now decided to get out the wool slacks, cashmere sweaters, and blazers! I love preppy! It is such a classic WOW look!

    Posted 10.15.19
  11. Treasure Morgan wrote:

    I love modern preppy too – thanks for showcasing this style that is so classic!
    I’m 52 now, recently switched careers and am loving my new path. I would say to younger women – you can have it all, just not all at the same time. Decide who/what is really important to you and put those people/things first. The rest will shake out in the end. And above all, be kind to and love yourself whether you are experiencing great success, a painful failure or just average, ordinary days.

    Posted 10.15.19
  12. Rozanne Woodling wrote:

    My favorite look is wearing a scarf with a necklace or a couple of necklaces. Rules are meant to be broken. I worked in a boutique for 5 years many moons ago and learned so much from the owner and gained a lot of self-confidence from her. She only sold solid colored clothing and beaucoup accessories. We were trained to change up accessories and could wear the same solid color clothing everyday if we desired to do so….but, of course, no gal in her right mind wanted that. I learned so much from her wisdom.

    Posted 10.15.19
  13. Yvonne wrote:

    i am in love with that beautiful blazer! You look gorgeous! Your advice is so true, I always wish wisdom was transferrable, as I’m sure every mother and grandmother wishes. Staying bold is my motto.

    Posted 10.15.19
  14. Pam wrote:

    Beth, my dad always told me “don’t waste your time worrying ” and he was so right. A wonderful post and outfit.

    Posted 10.15.19
  15. Jo-Ann Mazliach wrote:

    Wonderful post today! My piece of advice is that laughter IS and Always will be a GOOD Thing! We need to find joy every day.
    Beth you look fantastic in the blazer outfit.

    Posted 10.15.19
  16. Kathy wrote:

    I would tell my younger self to stop trying to be perfect and worrying so much! I would repeat loudly and clearly “you are beautiful because God made you.” As a much older and more self aware 63 year old, I realize nobody was worried about my hair or outfit except me….everyone was focusing on themselves! I’ve spent so much time being critical of myself, I’m amazed that my reflection isn’t permanently frowning!

    Posted 10.15.19
  17. Christa wrote:

    Love your looks and just turned 50 and trying to make career decisions and it is difficult and I worry too much about what others will think. Thank you for your wisdom.

    Posted 10.15.19
  18. lorena wrote:

    Loved the video Beth ! you are certaintly rocking it.

    Posted 10.15.19
  19. Great outfit, and not just because I have one like it. Except I think of it with black jeans. Really like the blue! And like someone else…interested in the pearl necklace. But you didn’t put it or one like it in the shopping post. Which reminds me…I’ve meant to ask if you have ever done a post on wearing fine jewelry (real pearls, gold coin necklaces, dinner rings etc) with a casual outfit. The Talbots trunk show stylists assure us we can do it. But I’d love some examples.

    Posted 10.15.19
  20. Madeleine wrote:

    Had a HUGE discussion with the younger set about nude hose…so “out” they say…in MN in the middle of winter when black tights are not appropriate (looking like a nun) what is one to do???

    Posted 10.15.19
  21. Carol C wrote:

    I would tell my younger self to wear what you love, what makes feel good, and maybe makes you laugh!

    Posted 10.15.19
  22. Frances wrote:

    I to love a good blazer and jeans worn together. I too have been a J Crew shopper for years. I would tell my younger self not to worry so much about what other people will think. If you like a paisley print skirt worn with a stripped t shirt, then wear and feel good about.

    Posted 10.15.19
  23. Suzanne M Smith wrote:

    Nice jacket! This is a great look. As for advice to my younger self–hmmmmm…I guess when I was very young, I worried all the time as a single parent. Now, I’d tell myself to just trust my instincts because somehow it all does work out and we were just fine. Easier said than done at a young age, though!

    Posted 10.15.19
  24. Lynn Randar wrote:

    You look terrific!
    My go to advice for my younger self – “Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today”. It’s important to grab life by the horns and make it your own today not someday

    Posted 10.16.19
  25. Laura wrote:

    I would tell my younger self to forget those “5 pounds” because your body is fabulous just the way it is and to stop drinking carbonated beverages because the bloat is what is making you look “fat.”

    Posted 10.16.19
  26. Jeanmarie wrote:

    I would say, “When you find yourself fretting or feeling constrained, “Pan out.” (waaaaayyyyy out, keep going, going, going…) Now look back…recognize your very special place in the tapestry of life, and behold the limitless possibilities that surround you.

    Thank you for your beauty and inspiration, Beth, and may God grace your family with peace, healing, and every joy.

    Posted 10.16.19
  27. Stephanie S Blee wrote:

    Love your blog but wish you would also incorporate hi end plus sized info. Am in my late 70s but still love fine handbags, shoes & clothes.

    Posted 10.16.19
  28. cynthia wrote:

    “Smile at people and they will smile back. Strike up conversations with strangers. You will find out they are nice people with interesting stories. “

    Posted 10.17.19
  29. Janie Nichols wrote:

    I would tell my younger self to not worry so much about what others were doing or wearing — discover what you like and go with it and be confident. I would also tell my younger self to be picky when buying clothes — a few great pieces are better than trends that don’t suit your style, look great on your body, or make you feel great! I love your style formula of incorporating a blazer as a third layer and have recently beefed up my wardrobe with blazers!

    Posted 10.19.19

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