MintStyle

MintStyle with Rachel Weingarten: Getting Older, Letting Go, and Updating Your Personal Style

Piles of clothes

This week actor Rupert Grint, the redheaded moppet of Harry Potter fame, will turn 24. Donnie Wahlberg, once best known as being one of the New Kid(s) on the Block will face his 43rd, while former ‘80s pop idol Rick Springfield welcomes his 63rd year.

While we’re on the subject of birthdays, kitchen vixen Giada De Laurentiis hits 42 and Tori Amos meets her 49th (I know. I was surprised, too). Oh, and the preternaturally youthful Barbara Eden of I Dream of Jeannie Fame? She’ll be 78.

What do all of these famous folks have in common?

We came to know them at specific points during their lives and careers and, for better or worse, identify them in one particular way. Donnie Walberg? He’s resident bad boy of NKOTB. Rick Springfield? He’s got a thing for Jessie’s girl. And Barbara Eden? She’s Jeannie in the little pink and red number, of course.

For most people though, life brings periods of experimentation and change. We’ve all had our style highs and lows, but fortunately, ours weren’t broadcast to millions of people around the world.

Age Can Mean Change (for the better)

We live in a time when getting older doesn’t necessarily mean getting old. We also live in a time when each life stage doesn’t come with a specific role and accompanying wardrobe, which can make things simultaneously easier and decidedly more confusing.

Even the centuries-old vampires on TV’s True Blood sometimes express angst at having to update their wardrobes and personas as the generations pass.

Starting Over (and over again)

There’s something about autumn that makes most people want to start fresh in some way, or at least reevaluate their wardrobes. It’s a great time to not only check for frayed hems or worn down heels, but to take a long, hard look at the style you’ve been cultivating or inadvertently developing.

Now might be the perfect time to ask, “Is it time for a style upgrade?”

  • If you’re brave enough to face yourself in the mirror (or enlist the aid of a trusted friend), consider these important personal style questions:
  • What does your current look say about you? Does it express who you are now, or is it just the way you have been dressing for years?
  • Would you hire you? Would you hang out with you? Would you start talking to you at a party? (Put the existential and confusing issues aside).
  • How long have you looked this way and why? Are you opting for the easy way out? Are you stuck in a post-college/first job/I bought this and now I’m never taking it off again rut?
  • What are your best style features? How did you develop those particular traits, hallmarks or quirks? How about the worst ones?
  • Are you overdoing your grooming or beauty routine or have you grown sloppy about presenting your best self?

Letting Go

We all know people who hang onto long expired fashion ideals and, for better or worse, we sometimes think less of them for still sporting baby blue eye shadow or poofy hair.

As with most things, going cold turkey can feel too traumatic. It can be easier on both your ego and wallet to ease into a new way of dressing and get rid of some bad habits.

Even Wonder Woman has updated her look over the decades while still keeping true to her fearless, saving the world ethos. And you can, too.

Over the next few months, I’ll tackle issues of updating your look while still staying true to yourself.

Rachel Weingarten had an asymmetrical haircut at one point during the ‘80s. It was easy for her to let that one go. She’s a style expert, marketing strategist & personal brand consultant for CEOs, politicians and celebrities and the creator of MintStyle. Rachel is the award-winning author of Career and Corporate Cool®  and Hello Gorgeous! Beauty Products in America ‘40s-‘60s, and a regularly featured expert on TV shows including Good Morning America and The Today Show. Visit her online at http://racheletc.com or on Twitter @rachelcw Write to her at mintstylerachel@gmail.com with your burning style questions.