63 never better. That’s my motto. Let me tell you how that train got started. In 2006, I turned 50. I had lived one half of a century! I felt this was an incredible accomplishment. That day I worked my shift as a Registered Nurse in a surgery center. It was a typical work day. However, in my heart I knew this was a milestone in life. I came home hoping for a celebration of my first 50 years. Instead my hubby, who I love dearly, said ‘Come on in. Let’s have a drink and talk about your birthday.’ I was extremely sad that there was no card, no gift, no festivities. I cried for 2 hours straight. When the tears dried up, I realized that I had made assumptions about my birthday. I was reminded what Don Miguel Ruiz said in his book ‘The Four Agreements’. Make NO assumptions in life, they will always let you down. My 50th birthday turned out to be an opportunity for me to learn this valuable lesson. It is my job to make myself happy, not anyone else’s. That day changed my life. I am grateful for that. I decided to make 50 Never Better my mantra going forward. Every year on my birthday I say ____ Never Better and I make my mantra come true for a whole year. 

Slowly it dawned on me that I had been living small. Settling for a mediocre version of myself. I had been hiding my true self, my desires and my love of fashion. I had always played it safe in life and in the clothes I wore. I knew that I was pretty but I did not know how to find my fashion sense. I wanted to be noticed. I wanted to be certain that my outfits reflected my stylish inner badass. Of course, this change did not come overnight. In fact, I’ve spent the last 13 years reinventing me. So if any of this rings true with you, take heart! I feel your pain. I understand.

In the first half century of my life, I had dressed as a hippie, a nurse, a girlfriend, a wife, a pregnant woman. And now I was a menopausal woman in her 50’s. Talk about life causing body changes. Throughout my lifetime I heard these messages from the fashion industry. Skinny is best. Gobs of money can create style. Youthfulness is paramount. Wrinkles are bad. They made it seem pretty easy to have a stylish wardrobe but that was not the case for me. I wanted solutions to my fashion frustration. I wanted to look and feel fabulous in my clothes. The answers had to be out there. I made it my mission to find them.

Magazine photos, movie stars and tv did not help me dress my body. I had my own set of challenges, just like everyone else. I felt flabby in the midsection. My boobs were droopy. I began to see those grandma arms. I wasn’t finding answers. The messaging from the beauty industry was honestly making me feel worse about myself. The difference between me (an everyday woman) and the models was that I did not have fashion experts telling me how to dress my body.

So where did I look for fashion advice? I did not trust those sources so I looked within. I didn’t know what I liked or what looked good on my body but I was damn sure going to find out. I started by cutting pictures out of magazines and gluing them in a sketchbook. I simply chose the pictures that resonated with me. I didn’t ask myself why they spoke to me I just trusted this process and my gut to tell me more. I started to see patterns. Polka dots. I guess I love polka dots! The color pink. I guess I love that, too. These pictures proved to be a mirror of what I might love to wear. I recognized what would look good on my body. My body shape became clear to me. I was able to see that there were women out there with similar shapes who were wearing clothes that I adored. I could choose pieces that fit me well.There was hope! I could teach myself how to put stylish outfits together. 

So fast forward to 2019. 63 Never Better. I feel empowered and strong. Fashionable and stylish. A fashionista of sorts. I started Styling With Sandi because I believe that self-confidence is tied to our clothing. If we don’t take the time to learn how to dress ourselves, we may fall short in our achievements. At 63 and Never Better, I choose every day to put myself first and to elevate my game through my wardrobe. I invite you to do the same. Regardless of age or size, we all deserve to feel beautiful in our clothing. We start by improving the way we dress.