Rediscovering Your Personal Style

By Brenna Kehew Sculley

by ELYSIAN Magazine

Trying to stay hip, I downloaded TikTok in 2020 – before the pandemic, so you know I’m really cutting-edge.

A year and some lockdowns later I found myself scrolling, and I heard a distinct Australian accent stating, “I’m Amelia. I’m 42, and I’ve misplaced my personal style.

Her straightforwardness struck a chord in my brain. Can style be misplaced? I think I had always thought that someone was either inherently stylish … or not. I was always more likely leaning toward the “not” category, and currently as a mother who works from home, I think I would firmly fall into the “not” end of the stylish spectrum.

Over the course of the last year-and-a-half, I’ve watched Amelia, a random woman I don’t know from across the world, work through her wardrobe. Trying on things she owned, new purchases, and soliciting opinions from the commenting masses.

COVID-fashion rebirth is not an isolated incident, as many people turned to their closets and the internet for entertainment. And while I was a casual viewer, it sparked something that has had me rethinking my own wardrobe choices, looking toward a style rebirth.

As far as I’m concerned, there is no such thing as “dressing your age,” and it is empowering for women of any age or size to wear whatever they want. But it is undeniable that your preferences change, and I wouldn’t be caught dead in the mini-dresses and colorful patterns of my twenties. Your coloring can change, and finding colors that suit you and make you beautiful requires you to embrace whatever palette fits your color season — another big TikTok trend.

Whether you’re finally headed back into the office and need to resurrect a business wardrobe you’ve left askew, or you have to adapt to a different body post-COVID or kids, changing your style can be fun. Maybe you’re an empty-nester with no college bills at your feet, ready to lean into the luxury that your soccer-mom-Lululemon days denied you.

Every spring I attempt to turn my closet into a proper capsule wardrobe — and you guessed it: another TikTok trend. The idea that every piece of clothing in my closet works harmoniously with every other piece is appealing for a busy mother. The Steve Jobs-inspired idea is that simplifying your wardrobe reduces decision fatigue, leaving room in your brain for more “important” problems.

As nice as a capsule sounds, I simply cannot get rid of the sentimental garments that give me joy to see in my closet, and the fun pieces I wear rarely, but memorably, and could never eliminate. But, reflecting each spring on what my style is, what I wear everyday, and what pieces I need to invest in to round out my ideal look is a challenging yet fulfilling exercise I highly recommend.

It’s never too late to reinvent yourself, and it’s always a good time to wear something that helps you feel comfortable in your own skin.

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