Changing roles after the kids are launched can be a tricky business when it comes to fashion.  If your closet is filled with school logos and sweatshirts, it’s time to come up with a game plan to refresh your style and feel confident embarking on a new phase. 

With a simple plan in mind, you can curate a look that flatters and breathes fresh life into your style.

If my kids’ fashion history could be stratified, it would look something like this: a thick swath of Target, a sliver of AeroPostale and a jagged layer of Pac Sun, covered with a crust of online retail sites.

I remember waiting outside the dressing rooms of all those stores, crossing my fingers and rubbing my lucky penny in hopes that we could find something that covered all the necessary body parts and fell in our price range. 

Hypnotized by the images of carefree teens frolicking through life, I even found myself purchasing an item or two- only to snap out of my trance when I got home and realized my body looked nothing like the 18-year-old wind surfer pictured in the store.

By focusing on a simple plan for creating an updated and individual look, we can step confidently forward feeling our best and avoiding comparing our current bodies to our younger selves.  Let’s start by breaking our style into 3 categories.

Some of my product favs for makeup and nails

Hair and Nails

Changes in these two areas can give the biggest bang for your buck.  If you’ve been sporting the same ‘do for the past 5 years, it’s probably time for a change.  Since your hands are the body part that most comes in contact with others, paying a bit of attention to their appearance can up your game in a big way.


Whether you err on the side of fearful or flamboyant, begin by consulting with a trusted hair stylist.  Don’t have one?  Step one is sleuthing your friend group to find a salon and stylist worth the money.  Remember, a great cut and style will require less upkeep and fewer visits, making your investment a long-term payoff.

Make a well-thought decision on hair color.  If you’re embracing grey or white hair and it makes you look and feel your best, then go for it!  Remember to scout out hair products with naturally aging hair in mind for a silky texture and body.

I long ago made a commitment to highlights, and consequently may never again know my true hair color.   There are so many options now for coloring hair without fear of those dreaded two-tone roots every two weeks.


Choose a fingernail length and shape you can maintain without weekly visits to the salon.  If you enjoy a little color on your nails, curate 3 to 5 classic polish colors and change them out with the seasons.  Invest in polish that won’t chip or peel the day after you put it on, or just go with a beautiful clear or nude shade that’s more forgiving.

Protect and rejuvinate your skin with these goodies

Skincare and Makeup

Perhaps, like me, you have some catching up to do in the area of skincare.  These years are pivotal; both in turning back the clock on skin damage, and slowing it’s process going forward.


You’ll specifically want to focus on a system or individual products that include the following list.  No need to plunk down your hard earned cash all at once.  Most companies offer products in sample sizes to determine if they are for you.  Take your time and have some fun!

  • gentle cleanser
  • daytime facial moisture with sunscreen
  • nighttime moisture
  • mask
  • serum
  • under eye treatment
  • body lotion with a little color if you choose


The world is now our oyster as far as makeup products go.  There are almost infinite options for makeup appealing the to over 40 woman, as well as a plethora of resources for how to use them.  The key is choosing a streamlined makeup routine that brings out your best features and feels easy and natural for you.

Look for the following and begin by identifying your best feature and investing in it.

  • Foundation that matches your skin tone and brings luminosity
  • Concealer
  • Mascara
  • Eyeliner
  • Brow shaping
  • Eye shadow or crème color
  • Blush or bronzer
  • Lip color
Choose accessories that can transition from workday to weekend.

Clothing and Undergarments

Gone are the days when we can skip a few meals and shed 5 pounds, so why do we keep fooling ourselves into thinking we’ll fit into clothes we’ve long since outgrown?  Instead of wishing for the past, an updated look embraces our body AS IS and curates a collection of mix and match items that makes us look amazing.


Begin with some tough love for your closet.  Donation time?  Probably.  I find this step is tough to start but quickly turns infectious.  Suddenly your closet will become light and fun again.  You’ll also quickly notice which areas are lacking.

When you’re ready to fill in those blanks, keep these categories in mind:

  • Work clothing, including some classy jeans if you have an informal day at your workplace
  • Casual clothing, including flattering shorts, solid colored T-shirts with some style and casual shoes not meant for the gym
  • Accessories that can be mixed and matched from workday to weekend
  • Formalwear, whether this means a church dress or a ball gown


Under garments are the foot soldiers of our wardrobe and seldom get the attention they deserve.  Shape wear has revolutionized the modern clothing market and has been updated to keep you tucked in and comfortable.  At the very least, say thank you and goodbye to worn out panties and bras and update these with under garments that help fight gravity and without ugly lines.

Above all, don’t be overwhelmed if you feel you have some work ahead to bring your look into the present.  Remember- you get to decide your short and long term goals for updating your style and take them one simple step at a time.  Start today by identifying your 3 steps forward.  Don’t forget to leave me a comment when you’ve decided what they will be!