This blog topic is probably aimed at individuals of a specific age group—formerly labelled or sometimes still referred to as “middle-aged”—wherein those seeking change might be unfairly labelled as experiencing a mid-life crisis.

You might be reading this, and although you are much younger, feel that you too need to shake things up, to make changes in your life. Great…read on.

When clients discuss significant changes with me, authenticity often emerges as a key concern. They express a desire to stay true to themselves while navigating transformations. It’s understandable—we recognise areas in our lives that require change, but we still wish to remain true to ourselves.

Now, I’m not talking about “you can be whoever/whatever you want to be” – the mantra of many life coaches. I’m talking about when you reach certain stages in your life and think “Actually, this no longer serves me, I’d like to try something different.”

Looking and feeling different.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve experimented with many fashion styles throughout my life. I’ve sported the Princess Di haircut. I’ve shaved my hair off in the style of Sinead O’Connor. I even went down the fishnet tights and Dr Marten boots road (I hasten to add, I did wear other clothes as well) – all of which have suited that particular time in my life.

When did we stop being brave about fashion?

You might not have noticed it yourself, but from discussions with clients and friends, it appears that as we reach our 40s and 50s, we become somewhat less eager to explore new experiences. Is it perhaps due to a fear of seeming foolish, or maybe we’re concerned about not embarrassing our children? Is it because our lifestyles have changed and therefore our clothing has changed to match it – it doesn’t need to be a negative reason either.

Re-invention or reinstating your vibe?

I LOVE fashion. I know that over the last few years, I have settled for less fashionable clothing, probably because the seaside town where I live is somewhat conservative in its clothing approach and I don’t think I wanted to stand out.

How did that happen? I’ve never worried about standing out so I decided to jumpstart my style, to reinstate my vibe, to stop apologising for not fitting in and to wear more of what I love.

The jumpstart.

I know it’s not just me that feel this way, I talk to people about it all the time so here are some simple actions to start the process.

  1. Have a wardrobe de-clutter – It sounds obvious but really look at what you have in your wardrobe. Do your clothes bring you joy? Are you hanging onto things from a previous life that now need to go. Make space for new or updated.
  2. Create vision boards/Pinterest boards – Browse other people’s styles and identify elements you admire. Consider how you can incorporate those ideas into your own visual identity. What ideas could you use for you? Have fun creating a new image or updating your existing one.
  3. Look back at old photos – Are there pictures of you where you LOVED your style? What did you love about it and why? Can you use any of those old style ideas now?
  4. People watch – Get out! Go to places where you know there will be lots of different styles. What do you love and why? Feel the energy of people loving what they’re wearing.
  5. Be brave – Try a new item, whether it’s a pair of shoes, a different coat, a funky handbag. Start with something that brings you joy but isn’t too scary and work on your overall look. It’s a fabulous feeling.

The red shoes.

Red is my colour – I love it. I’m known for wearing it, but it too has made a quiet, but noticeable, retreat from my wardrobe. So, when in London recently, strolling around Soho and people watching (one of my favourite things to do) I spotted bright red patent Mary Jane shoes. They were absolutely GORGEOUS.

My younger self would have just tried them on, loved them and bought them. 55-year-old Kate asked herself if she really needed them, if she could afford them, if she would have enough occasions to wear them?

ENOUGH……  “F**k it” I thought! Life is too short NOT to have delicious red patent shoes and so I bought them. I might not wear them very often, but they bring me joy and more importantly, they are a timely reminder as to who I am and I needed to be reminded of that.