Written by Miss January 2014, Whitney Sutherland
Back in September, I hit a milestone birthday. The big 3-5…yikes! Luckily I didn’t experience any of the emotional symptoms that can sometimes accompany milestone birthdays. Instead, something in me changed and I felt like it was time to START looking how I thought a woman my age should look. Since graduating college, I hadn’t really changed my routine; I was still fond of a cardigan and my makeup choices were still as simple as then even with my newfound wrinkles and gray hairs! For a long time, I felt like other women looked more put together and polished with cute outfits and perfect makeup. I won’t lie; it definitely impacted my confidence in some settings.
I slowly started to play with fashion and was inspired by a fellow Arkansas Women Blogger, Kelly of Delta Moxie. She rocked a fun outfit at this year’s Arkansas Women Bloggers Unplugged conference (stripes, polka dots, big accessories, and cowboy boots…oh my!) She made it look so simple and accessible compared to what you see in fashion magazines. The week following AWBU, I got startedand I tried to stay with patterns in the same color palette for my first forays into mixing patterns. I’m still developing this new facet to my style but I’m finding myself looking outside my normal box and putting together new looks with some of my trusty old cardigans! As a side note, Kelly wrote a great blog sharing how she developed her personal style with a little help too.
A few weeks after AWBU, I made an offhand comment to one of my close friends about how awesome her eye makeup looked and how I wished that I could do my eyes like that. I wassurprised when she called me the next week and scheduled a trip to Ulta with me. I was not prepared for the colors that she directed me towards…they were much richer than what was currently in my makeup bag. We took my purchases and did a makeover lesson. I had the right technique but had spent my adult life buying eye makeup colors that were the same as my skin tone…no wonder you couldn’t tell I was wearing any makeup.
The next morning after our makeup lesson, I spent extra time working on my makeup and trying not to be scared by the color that I wasn’t used to having on my eyes. I was surprised when coworkers noticed and complimented me. More surprising than getting compliments, was the change in how I felt with my new makeup and fashion choices. Almost immediately, I felt more professional and like my outside appearance matched how I felt on the inside.
I have always heard that you’ll ask for help when you are ready and I guess that’s true for me. I finally felt ready for my style and appearance to match my age. Don’t get me wrong…35 is a great age but my style and makeup weren’t conveying the personal image that I felt on the inside. This year my birthday happened to be the wakeup call that I needed to start looking like the Whitney that I felt like on the inside. I’m so grateful to the ladies who helped me START the change process. It’s really never too late to develop your personal style!