I keep thinking and talking and writing lately about how much more confident and comfortable in my skin I am than I was 20 years ago. As a 40-something woman with a history of self-doubt and mild social anxiety, I am proud and happy that this is the case. Gone are the days when I'd freak out about my outfits or make trendy hair choices that did not at all suit me - I finally know what I like and don't care much what anyone thinks about it. Progress!
Nonetheless, even though I've lost the self-consciousness that plagued me when I was younger, I occasionally wonder if I'm not doing a great job at presenting myself lately. While I've stopped worrying about what everyone else thinks about my appearance, I care about my appearance, and don't want to walk around looking like a What Not to Wear candidate. Thank goodness, then, for the proliferation of blogs advising what looks good on me at my age and where to get it. One of my new favorites, Girls of a Certain Age (1), was started by one of the founders of Lucky, and has a great, not-too-irreverent take on style, fashion and design. It was a lifesaver during my recent summer dress crisis. I also love The Mom Edit (2), which is, duh, targeted at moms, meaning women with young children. While I'm a bit older than their target audience, the sophisticated style advice and low-key makeups tips for busy women are right up my alley and guided me through my am-I-too-old-to-wear-cutoffs quandary.
When I look good I feel confident, and I find that my confidence extends to all areas of my life, even to sex. It seems silly that what I wear makes me feel better about wearing nothing at all, but it's true - having found my style and winnowed down my closet to what makes me feel great helps me to feel great all of the time. I think my husband has noticed this, too. I've opened up a lot in the bedroom and stopped trying to hide my body all the time. And my better sense of my own style has helped me in the lingerie department, too. I have to say, I devoted a fair amount of time in my 30s to worrying about aging, and a decade or so later, it's safe to say I've never felt or looked better.