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Aging with Attitude: Daring to Be Different After 50

By Penelope Jane Whiteley January 20, 2017 Mindset

Many years ago, when I turned 50, I came to the realization that there are two distinct approaches to the aging process. In fact, they were so obvious and so disparate, that I chose to call my company Aging Disgracefully.

Ask yourself, and be honest, do you have an aging Attitude or an Aging attitude… and do you know the difference?

Now in my sixties, teetering on the brink of my seventies, I like to think an aging Attitude is about taking the world head-on, with a combination of irreverence and humor. It involves a total disregard for political correctness, and dressing as though you mean it.

The traditional Aging attitude is the reverse. It is about looking in the mirror and feeling depressed, disgruntled and dissatisfied. It is dressing like Granny and all your friends, and generally becoming old before your time.

Why is this interesting? Because the only thing you can really control in your life is your attitude!

Grow an Attitude with a Capital A

One of the greatest things you can do for yourself to develop Attitude with a capital A, is to dress as though you mean it. This does not mean being so eccentric that you embarrass the family, but stylish enough to make you feel fabulous when you look in the mirror. And it would be nice if your family and friends rejoice in having a woman in their lives with so much Attitude.

We often hear about being disruptive in business; how wonderful to be disruptive as we age, simply (simply?) by changing our Attitude, like I wrote about in an article on that topic.

It is true that many women become morose as they age. They look in the mirror and what they see reflected is not the 18-year-old they long to see, but a woman who has lost the knack of creating an image, can’t find a thing to wear and is drab because she neglects her hair and make-up.

One of the most important things to remember at any age, but especially once we become sexagenarians – what a great word… only exceeded in excellence by septuagenarian! – is that style is not about fashion and that you no longer want to be fashionable. You want to develop your own style… with flair and pizazz!

Style, Aging and Attitude After 50

If your body shape has changed to something you don’t recognize, then it is time to re-assess your clothing; and it’s always good to start with a wardrobe workout.

So many women experience low self-esteem and lack of self-worth at a certain time in their lives. Always remember, your Attitude comes from within, and your style is the outer representation of what’s within. You can read about it here.

The next step of course is to analyze your new shape and decide which category you fit… an Apple, a Pear, a Rectangle or an Hourglass.

It’s time to take stock of your appearance and decide where you want to go and how you want to look while travelling… literally or metaphorically. Leave fashion where it belongs and just use those pieces of fashion – perhaps an on-trend scarf or bag or even jewelry – that work for you and that will update your outfit.

Hair and Attitude

Remember to choose a hair style and color that will make you feel more youthful and to adopt the less is more approach to your make-up; both of these things will help you grow your Attitude.

None of this has anything to do with other people of course; this is about you feeling sensational when you look in the mirror. Your self-confidence and zest for life will go through the roof!

Be Daring, Be Different, be Eccentric

Don’t be afraid to try something new. Be daring and be different. Express yourself through your own take on fashion, and what is on-trend. If you can’t do it now, you will never be able to do it, and that would be a terrible waste of your very own flair and panache. Not to mention your new-found Attitude.

How do you express yourself at your current age: in the way you dress, the colors you use, a new approach to make-up, a new hairstyle? Any or all of these? Or do you ignore style and just do what you want? Do you have an Attitude? We look forward to your comments.

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The Author

Penelope Jane Whiteley is the self-appointed Queen of Aging Disgracefully. A writer, international speaker, clothes designer, stylist and traveller, she helps other women to live their lives on their own terms. Her courses include “Lose 10 pounds in 10 minutes,” “The Reboot,” “Just Write the Damn Book.” Find her on, Twitter, and Facebook.

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