Friday, January 14, 2011

I Think I'm Having a Midlife Crisis

I'm a pretty unassuming person. As a child I was painfully shy. I had friends, but the other person had to make the first move. I don't like making phone calls if I don't know the person on the other end. I've never been one to wear anything too colorful or flashy, because the last thing I want to do is attract attention to myself.

But guess what. This month I will turn 40. Forty! Now I know that for a bunch of you, your mental image of me just got a lot older. To that I say, just you wait. When you hit 40 (and it will happen faster than you can imagine), you will wonder how it was that you ever thought 40 was old. I don't "feel" 40, and neither will you.

So, where am I going with all this? As I get older (notice I didn't say "old"...even a baby is "getting older") I'm getting tired of being drab. Do I suddenly want everyone to look at me? No. But if they happen to see me, I want to look good.

Currently, I carry a plain brown purse. No more!  I'm going to be on the lookout for a red one, or maybe something even further out of my comfort zone, like yellow (both of these are from Target).

I put on makeup nearly every single day, but I use a very light hand.  This is me in full daytime makeup, and you can hardly even tell, except for the fact that I would look like I had no eyelashes without mascara.

Other than mascara, the only other eye makeup I use is a little liner.  I haven't used eye shadow in years.  But why not?  I think I'll experiment with a bit of a daytime smoky eye, like Leighton Meester is wearing here.  She still looks fresh and natural, just with a little extra oomph.

The jewelry I wear on a daily basis are my wedding rings and a pair of my small selection of pretty tame earrings.  Occasionally I will wear a thin chain necklace with a small pendant.  Perhaps I'll start making more of a statement with my jewelry.  Maybe not quite so many pieces at once as this Silpada model, but even twice as much and twice as big as I wear now would be branching out for me.

Shoes.  Again, it's mostly brown or black.  Last year, I did get some cute pairs from Kmart, but the only ones I wear regularly, in warmer weather,  are the animal print (the orange and green ones turned out to be not that comfy).  I love the cheetah print ones, but they're not going to last forever.

For me to be able to wear heels would take some major balance training and perhaps some physical therapy.  Maybe I should make that a goal this year.  Meanwhile, I could find something cute, like these purple linen or red ballet flats (though I certainly would not wear the red ones and carry the red bag at the same time--I do watch What Not to Wear!).

Maybe I need to try different accessories, like scarves.

Any tips for me on how to up my style quotient without getting too wild?  Keep in mind where I'm starting from.

FYI:  Monday's Tips party will be for any kind of tips or tricks, not just money-saving.  Pretty much anything goes.  Please join us!


erin said...

Ha! No, I'm not sure it's a midlife crisis... unless I'm going through one too (and I'm 27!) I think we all just go through stages. I am currently 34 weeks pregnant with baby #2 and I've been thinking a lot about how different life is going to be after baby is born. Because change stresses me out, I've decided to look at shoes and handbags instead and try not to think about sleep deprivation and 4 am feedings.

Richella said...

Good for you, Holly!

Sorry. . . you're not old enough to have a midlife crisis. For that, you've gotta be middle-aged, you know? And there's no way 40 can be middle-aged! Or else what would I be here at age 47?!?

Anonymous said...

No advice for you, but I'm turning 40 this year, too - so I feel your pain!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday month! :-) All these new things seem like great changes that will give you a little extra oomph in your step! :-) Take care!

The Cannary's, est. 1984 said...

Holly, I think you already know the answers to this question - you are on the right track adding color and jazzing up your style. 40 is only a number, blah blah blah...I know. I'm 50. And I feel like the Molly Shannon character who can kick, stretch, and kick! Branch out and you will learn new things about what you love to wear!

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

1. You look wonderful, but I know I always feel better about myself when I have a cute bag or some cute jewelry on.
2. Love that yellow bag...that's fun!
3. I think choosing one cute accessory that's out of the norm (ie. a bright bag, fun shoes, a cool bracelet) would help a lot. I don't like to pile on the jewelry either.

hawkeyejlp said...

I felt the same way at 40--and I'd just started a new job with elementary students, so I've been adding color and fun to my boring wardrobe for the last year or so. But I'm also frugal. I've made some of these:
You're right--shoes and scarves and purses add "pop" but also consider little things like tank tops under cardigans and--don't laugh--but heading out to the big sale at VS this month and picking up some new pretty panties goes a long way for a self esteem boost that no one has to see. I've also found fun costume jewelry at yard/estate sales. Have fun!!

stephaniegiese said...

Congratulations on your upcoming moment!! I'm not at that life stage yet, but I did go through something similar when I had my kids & all of the sudden I was dressing blah everyday. I think it's really hard to be cute & trendy & still mom-appropriate. I've decided that the secret might just be jewelry, like you were describing. I'm trying to branch out that way too. My friend sells Cookie Lee and I'm finding that their jewelry is really affordable, trendy, & mommy friendly. It really dresses up a tee shirt & jeans. :)

Mary Joy said...

Happy birthday soon!!! 40 is nothing! I am 43 my friend and don't feel a day older than 30!!! LOL You look adorable just the way you are...but it is always fun to find a pop of color to boost your spirits! Love the new purse idea. I may try that one myself this spring! :D Just remember...we all love you for who you are...dress to have fun and love who you are too. 40 is not midlife me...I am 43 with a two year old! LOL

Have fun with whatever you do!! And remember to be yourself!

Building Home with Him,

Mary Joy

Ellyn Schaffner said...

Not crisis at all! Mid-life joy to something that brings celebrates how wonderful you feel about all things you - express it and dress it up!


Happy Cottage Quilter said...

Ha! Just wait 10 more years! They fly by faster then you can even imagine. I am much like you, I've always been reserved, and very conservative in dress. But I have noticed in the last couple of years that I've been drawn to wearing more red (!) and I think what has promoted that is I am always complimented when I wear something red (!). I've never wanted to wear bright colors but there are so many shades of red that I think it just started with a deep red jacket. And my 29 year old daughter is always wearing those long dangly earrings, so I bought a conservative pair, and I've enjoyed wearing them on occasion. Enjoy yourself. I think as we mature we become more sure of ourselves and it doesn't matter so much what other people think.


Shannon @ The House Creative said...

You look fab with such little makeup. I go through these little funks, and I feel like I need a complete overhaul; New makeup, clothes, shoes, hairstyle etc. Accessories can make a big impact. Earings, and necklaces can dress up any teeshirt and jean look. Hope you have a great weekend!

Iris @ Treasuring the Journey said...

I LOVE eyeshadow and have two to recommend to you - they can go either dramatic or great for daytime wear: Maybelline #50 Sunlit Bronze (quad pack of colors) and CoverGirl #110 Shimmering Sands (3-pack of colors). And a lady can never go wrong with a great pair of earrings and cute purse! :-) You deserve it!

Country Dreaming said...

You can make changes without going "over the top," little pops of color here and there are good for the soul.
One change at a time and then you'll get comfy with things.
This advise from a 49 year old that can't believe she's that age.
By the way you look GREAT!

Have a great weekend.


audreygeddes said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on aging and your ideas on ramping up your style :}. You look great at 40! I just got a hair foil with subtle highlights and it wasn't over the top, but gave my style an little umph. You might also want to check out Sondra Wright's book on positive aging called, 40+ and Fabulous: Moving Forward Fierce, Focused, and Full of Life! Sondra includes in her book women our age who are positive midlife role models. I highly recommend this one.

Mykell said...

Happy Birthday!!! I think I am having a midlife crisis too, and I am only 25!! But I am like you very plain Jane, but I have been feeling like getting out of my comfort zone too, I am going to buy that yellow purse!!!

The Thrifty Designer said...

Oh my word, I feel your pain. I can dress my kids so cute, but I think I've lost all sense of my own personal style. And I'm totally with you on the heels...anyway, they make super cute flats now, so who needs the torture of the heels?
Oh, I'm 35, by the way. I think it may have less to do with age and more to do with motherhood, but that's just my guess.

Beverly @ The Buzz said...

Yea for you! I tend to lean toward the "safe" side, too, but last year I broke out of that rut a bit. I bought a bright pink patent leather purse! And then a purple one--with purple snake skin accents! I always wear lots of rings and bracelets, but usually just one or two necklaces depending on the outfit. Rarely do I wear earrings--especially with necklaces. Scarves are a great way to go! You can dress them up or down and tie them in so many ways. Good luck and have fun. BTW, I'm 52!

Sophie said...

You are a kindred spirit. I too am on the shy side, don't like to phone people even if I know them. I, like you wear barley there make up. And feel to flashy if I wear trendy things that say look at me. I'm a wee bit older than you, and personally I loved turning 40. I was in good shape, and felt good.
Now I am turning 48, and I'm slowley getting intouch with my more fun side, mostley because I realize that I am getting older and don't want to feel or look older. Call it getting my sexy back. The more fun cloths and shoes I wear the more comfy and confident I am about wearing them. I know exactly where you are, and I know exactly where you can go with it. My aha moment, Hiking Angels Landing in Zion's this past fall. I learned I am capable, and confident, and there is no shame in faking capable and confident til you feel capable and confident. Good luck. Can't wait to hear about or see the fun things you try.

Sarah @ Modern Country Style said...

Holly, just so you know.....


It's good to always be re-evaluating, I think. Especially in busy parts of life, it can be easy to get side-tracked.


FrouFrouBritches said...

Girl, you know I feel your pain! I am so much like you in that I used to want to disappear into the woodwork. Not anymore! I've found myself wanting to stand out a little. I got the purple faux croc purse from Target and I love it. I don't wear makeup everyday though. But, I have started dressing a little cuter lately - skinny jeans, sweaters, tall boots instead of jeans and a sweatshirt. I say you should totally go for it! You're just gorgeous. You deserve to be noticed!!!!