August 14, 2020
These are tough times for lots of us; bloggers are no exception! So we’re banding together to try to give a boost to our friends and fellow writers. Today, I have the unalloyed pleasure of bringing Pam Lutrell and her blog – Over 50, Feeling 40 – to your life (if you haven’t already found her!).
I met Pam a few years ago when she visited Chicago, and she’s just as lovely in person as she is on her blog! (She’s actually prettier in person, which seems almost impossible…)
Thus, with no further blahblahblah from me, let’s hear from Pam!
“In 2005, I went through a major wake-up call on my 50th Birthday when I finally realized that as a mom and high school journalism teacher, I had completely neglected myself and placed my needs at the bottom of my own priority list. My appearance and health had suffered as a result of this and it took a Driver’s License Renewal photo to get my attention. I saw someone in that photo much older than 50, tired and uninspired.
So, a huge reinvention began and five years later, in 2010, my closest friend suggested I share all that I was learning in a blog. That was the birth of Over 50 Feeling 40. My genuine desire is to share information and inspiration to help women over 50 look and feel their absolute best each and every day.
I have also learned that life past 50 presents to us several defining moments of reinvention and each moment has inspired me to reach higher, do more and enjoy life. Today at age 67, I feel as engaged and vibrant as ever and the blog is now entering its 10th year. Yes, I am out of my fifties, but the blog name is a statement for women later in life feeling their best.
Though I love to talk fashion and beauty, the changing times have taken Over 50 Feeling 40 in more of a lifestyle direction in order to deal with all that is before the audience today. There are posts about attitude, optimism, DIY projects, and affordable fashion in order to meet the needs of the women whose budgets and attitudes have taken a hit in 2020.
I recently was included in a large layoff due to the pandemic at the four -year university where I worked as an Associate Director of Communications. So, for the first time since the blog began, I am now dedicated to blogging and freelance writing full time…and loving it! I have always worked on the blog in addition to working professional jobs, but now I can do this and pursue dreams of writing books all day long!
My personal style goal at this stage of life is to build a legacy for my children and grandchildren. I want to be remembered as a woman of elegance, but that requires learning more about everyday elegance. The series Cultivating Everyday Elegance has been an interesting one for me personally as I discover the many misconceptions and controversies around the word, elegance. I still believe though that any woman of any age of any lifestyle of any income can learn to be elegant if she desires to be. I am charting the journey on the blog on Fridays and I know I get a little closer to my goal each week.
Pamela Lutrell has been in the communications industry for over 40 years. She is a wife, mother of three, and grandmother of six (one on the way) and they have given her a favorite name of Gigi. She is born and bred Texan and located in the multicultural community of San Antonio, Texas. One of her favorite trips since the blog began was to Chicago and spending time with Janice Riggs.
miss agnes says
Thank you for sharing. I have added Pam’s blog to my feed, looking forward to getting to know her and read her blog.
Thank you for adding me to your feed. I look forward to reading your comments!
Lovely to meet you Pam!
Best wishes with writing those book. You’re an inspiration!
I appreciate what you mean about turning 50 being a game changer. My mother passed away suddenly at 58 and that hit me strongly when I turned 50. I’ve been on a health and fitness journey for the past year and have upped by styling game, so I’ve added your blog to my must read.
Thank you, Elizabeth…I look forward to getting to know you…we have a great community of women on the blog!
Upon first reading the blog name I wasn’t very interested, as I haven’t seen either of those ages for quite some time. But I trust Janice, so off I went. Turns out it is very interesting, and Pam addresses so much more. I will return.
She should update the name.
I was thinking the same. I have always passed on that blog because of the name. One, because it made think that this is someone who hasn’t come to terms with her own age and two, personally, forty was a crazy time for me ( a three year old and another to come at 42!) I felt tired and rundown….my forties are def something I do NOT want to revisit! I am looking 65 in the face later this month and yeah, enough with the ‘younger is better’ theory. Pam’s blog is very interesting though and I am glad Janice pointed me toward it! Time for a name upgrade!
I named the blog when I first went through my reinvention at age 50…I wanted something that said I was feeling younger than my age. I haven’t re-named it because (though I am well over 50 at 67) I am over 50, and believe the statement “feeling 40” still says I am feeling great.
It is difficult to change a name after branding has occurred, but you have made me think!
Thanks so much for dropping by!
Was Pam in a commercial for Depends? She looks familiar
Yes I was…years ago! It is funny…I have been asked to work for several incontinence products. I am happy to get the word out to ladies who suffer with the issue. But, my family does tease me about it!
beth b says
I’ve been following Pam for several years now. She is such a refreshing voice for women of all ages, especially those over 50! Pam is so positive which is reflected in her beautiful smile!
I am already a follower of Pams blog. I am amazed at how interesting she keeps it. A bit of this, a bit about the grandchildren. It’s lovely to see a woman of my age to whom one can relate – yes, getting older and things changing, but still interested in lots of things, and especially fashion. She looks lovely in that brown/black jacket by the way.
Joanne Long says
I’ve been enjoying Pam’s blog for years. I especially like the Would You Wear This? features that she writes with Jennifer Connelly. Most women over 60 need to be aware of their appearance (I think) so they don’t fall in the “blah trap”.
Janice…thank you so much for featuring me today! I welcome and love to hear from your readers. I hope everyone knows what a fan I am of Janice. She does great work.
Thank you, Elizabeth…I look forward to getting to know you…we have a great community of women on the blog!
At just about the same time in life I had gone from being a fashionable professional to a SAHM so dispirited that all I had in my closet were sweat pants, cotton turtlenecks, free XXL tshirts which I layered over them, and no bra because I’d put on weight and we “couldn’t afford” the expense. Meanwhile spouse had fully kitted himself in paraphernalia for Civil War reenacting, and had plenty of our money to travel to them. At 55 I “came to”, went back to school, got a professional certification, and discovered that the only piece of professional clothing I still had was a navy linen suit with giant shoulder pads. I’ve read the Vivienne files nearly every day, just about from the start. And I can give living testimony that you CAN change your life.
That is what I am all about, Danielle. It is so true…thanks for sharing that with others.
Beth T says
I found myself in the same place in my mid-30’s in the late 1990’s/early 2000’s after my kids were born.
I had always dressed smartly, even when just being with friends. In my 20’s I was comfortable with my style. I rarely wore trousers because I couldn’t find any that fitted and very few shops sold petite length. Likewise t-shirts were often baggy and round necked. To me trousers (rugby-style cords) and t-shirts were reserved for hiking.
As a SAHM, I had hardly any suitable clothes when you spend most of your day on the floor playing with your kids or mopping up after them. I ended up wearing my hiking clothes and found some awful elasticated jeans. After my son was born, my body changed shape and none of my previous smart clothes fitted. I felt frumpy and had no confidence.
The rules of women’s dress were bizarre. Nothing make sense. I was very uncomfortable and lost my style confidence. I returned to work but didn’t know what to wear. The ‘smart-casual’ style had dawned and I hadn’t got a clue what that meant other than it seemed that people wore smart clothes with trainers and jeans and tees could be worn with smart jackets. It seemed to me to be an excuse not to bother with your appearance and permission to look scruffy.
I made an appointment with a personal shopper at a department store to fathom out smart-casual style but the style consultant spent the entire time picking out her favoured choices in black, olive and stripes, when my favoured choices are blue, purple and floral. I came away none the wiser.
I became an avid watcher of fashion and trend shows on TV and read all I could in fashion mags but I could never replicate these looks for myself. So I spent 15 years in style limbo and had a wardrobe of clothes but ‘nothing to wear’ because I didnt know how to put outfits together that suited me.
I eventually found that wide leg trousers was a style suited me. I wore those with blouses to work with flats or brogues. This seemed to be a neutral uniform. I rarely wore dresses or skirts unless it was to church or a legitimately smart occasion like a wedding. Wearing a jacket for ordinary wear was deemed ‘too smart’ and I felt frumpy in a cardigan.
I was once told (by a male work colleague) that I was overdressed because I was wearing a jacket over a dress and proper shoes to a work garden party where we were meeting our supporters. His wife was wearing a loose shirt over leggings and to me looked under-dressed.
The ‘fashion police’ then changed their tune and in the mid-2000’s it was ‘anything goes’ and be ‘true to yourself’. So suddenly, I could wear jackets again but could I? Fashion and style shows on TV moved away from one style fits all to know your body shape and the colours that suit you (I had at least worked that out). However every outfit now had to have ‘an edge’ or accent colours. I was more confused than ever.
By the the 2010’s my daughter was getting into fashion and going through a whole myriad of styles. She had bags of confidence and her attitude was – “If you dont like my style, that’s your problem’. She gave me the encouragement to recreate my style by degrees. She suggested that i create a Pinterest board and pin my style. I was an avid Polyvore pinner because, I could see how different outfits could be created. I also like articles in magazines where they take one item and style it different ways.
To be honest ‘my style’ was the same as it had always been but it had been hidden. I learnt how to tweak it. I now get compliments from men and women about my style and accessories, particularly the latter. I still don’t wear dresses and skirts very often because finding appropriate footwear has always been a challenge as I have very wide and problem feet. Ankle boots with heels, ‘leisure’ shoes or sandals are my relaxed look with dresses and skirts. Trainers are for the gym.
It was through Pinterest that I found the Vivienne Files and Janice in 2018. It was a revelation. Working through her wise words, decluttering tips, wardrobe templates and informative and visually appealing blogs, I have regained my mojo and sorted out my wardrobe. I’m now confident in my style in my late 50’s. And if I want to wear a jacket, i will!
So pleased to meet you, Pamela! We are the same age and Janice is one of my favorite people too. What a treat to find you :-)
Beth T says
You’re as young as you feel. People have always thought that I’m 8-10 years younger than I am. If I have to give my age (57), I wonder how I got to be that old ? I think of myself as being in my forties.
Pamela – you’re looking great. Thanks Janice for introducing Pamela. I’ll have a look at her blog.
I was not a blog reader until I found the Vivienne Files. I found many bloggers blathered on without saying anything interesting until the end – particularly recipe bloggers – I want the recipe not a diatribe! Other fashion bloggers think that all you need to do is to show pictures of a few items, make some smart or smug comments and leave the rest to the imagination. You come away feeling short-changed or worse inferior and the clothes are often outlandish and/or very expensive.
However, Janice captures your attention with the object of the day and the first couple of sentences of the heroine’s story. After that everything is clear and useful, particularly the outfit suggestions. I often learn something.
I’ve just had a quick look at your blog Pamela and articularly like your changing room assessments. Its really helpful the way you assess with good reasons whether a garment suits you before rejecting it. That’s a very thoughtful process.
Earlier this year, I found a blouse in a material that I really liked at an inexpensive store but I had to try on every one in my size before I found one that lay flat. My daughter, who makes her own clothes, said that it had been cut on the bias to save on material and where it looked straight, the material curved. I wouldn’t have considered that but would have ruefully rejected them all with the thought, “Well what do you expect from buying cheap’.
However, I applaud you Pamela, for hunting out good quality garments in thrift stores (charity shops in the UK). I buy a lot of tops in charity shops where you can find good quality and even designer makes. Hunting for purple garments is very good in charity shops. It is my favourite colour and so hard to find, even when it’s supposed to be in vogue. Charity shops in the UK are very choosy about the quality and standard of goods they put out. They have to look almost nearly new and sometimes they are.
I also enjoyed reading Pamela’s interview of Janice. So thank you Janice and Pamela for today’s blog.
I’m adding your blog to my Feedly now. You’re just down the road from me [I’m in Austin]. So, howdy neighbor!
Nancy Lipham says
When I saw your photo I thought I wouldn’t be interested in your blog because you looked so young. After I read your information I realized you’re slightly older than I am. Women in our age group are redefining “senior” citizens. Is that exciting, or what???
I greatly enjoyed the interview with Janice at O50F40. Good advice!
Thanks, Janice! A wonderful blogger from whom we may learn a lot about “over 50”.
My husband. Great guy. Beautiful publishing of books. If you have a book you need published, check him out.
Stay strong, Ladies.
I have been reading Pam’s style blog for years now. Does everyone in this style universe know each other? ;)
A few of us that are near in age (Pam, Susan at Une Femme, Tish at A Femme) do indeed all know each other! It’s a small world… and most of us are terribly hospitable when someone visits our home city!