And here we go with part four of the ‘How to plan a capsule wardrobe – women over 40’ series – I hope you’re enjoying it. It’s a short one today because I’m writing it in my London hotel room after a busy day. I’ve had seven meetings so my head’s spinning a bit! This post is another exercise and it involves aspirational thinking. It’s time to find your style icon – your dream look. It’s something I did when I very first started blogging and I use my icons every time I’m stuck. If I can’t think of an outfit for a particular occasion, I just ask myself “what would xxxx wear? – and it all comes clear.

Of course if you think you have your look completely nailed down, you can skip this stage but I think it’s worth doing anyway because even if you’re confident in your style, this often helps you to examine specific elements at a deeper level.

How to find your style icon

How does it work? Think of the women whose style you admire, the ones you study whenever you see them. So, for example, I know I could pull my dream looks together if I had the wardrobes of Inès de La Fressange and Gillian Anderson with a bit of Grace Kelly thrown in. This immediately tells me something about the silhouette I’m aiming for and also the level of ‘polish.’ When I set these women against my selfies of the outfits I love most, it all makes sense. I love Grace Kelly’s statement style – the structured midi-skirts, elegant shoes, nipped in waist and simple make-up. She’s a great guide for my event dressing and some of my statement outfits.

How to plan a capsule wardrobe - women over 40

Inès is great for smart casual and weekend casual – she has the Parisian insouciance that I love.


Image courtesy of Elle Magazine

Gillian Anderson always looks luxe and confident but in a very contemporary way. I like the way she contrasts fabrics – silk and flannel are a mainstay and she has a great balance of masculine/feminine so she often guides my professional wardrobe.

How to plan a capsule wardrobe - women over 40

Image courtesy of Winser London

So, I suggest you take a bit of time to define your celebrity style icons. Once you’ve decided on them, it’s a good idea to create a Pinterest board. It will help you to see what attracts you and you’ll also spot when they make mistakes, a good way of knowing what to avoid. Here’s a list to get you started but of course there are thousands of women that I won’t have thought of – and you may admire someone you know in real life. It’s down to you to think of the person who inspires you whenever you see them.

  • Coco Chanel
  • Frieda Kahlo
  • Katharine Hepburn
  • Lauren Bacall
  • Doris Day
  • Audrey Hepburn
  • Brigitte Bardot
  • Elizabeth Taylor
  • Grace Kelly
  • Sophia Lauren
  • Jackie O
  • Jane Birkin
  • Jean Shrimpton
  • Twiggy
  • Bianca Jagger
  • Debbie Harry
  • Farrah Fawcett
  • Diane Keaton
  • Madonna
  • Kate Moss
  • Alexa Chung
  • Sienna Miller
  • Inès de La Fressange 
  • Carine Roitfeld
  • Sarah Jessica Parker
  • Jenna Lyons
  • Kate Middleton
  • Meghan Markle
  • Queen Letizia
  • Anna Wintour
  • Juliette Binoche
  • Helen Mirren
  • Kristin Scott-Thomas
  • Victoria Beckham
  • Olivia Palermo
  • Gillian Anderson
  • Holly Willoughby
  • Tilda Swinton

Download list here

Balance Meals update

I’m not doing the Balance Meals plan this week because my days of meetings include lunches and dinners so instead, I’m just trying to make low calorie / small portion choices. The weight loss slowed a bit last week and I only managed to drop 1.5lbs but it isn’t surprising. I’m back in the zone that is a permanent struggle for me – I’m always battling over these 3lbs. It’ll be interesting to see if I can keep a steady weight this week though – I’ll let you know next Tuesday!

I must get ready for tomorrow’s meetings but here’s a quick outfit shot from Friday when I opened Instagram for the first time in ages to see a message asking if the reason for my absence was because I was having work done to my face. I couldn’t stop laughing but we thought we’d better stop the car and take a photo to post – at least something made me get back on there! So this is one of my ‘statement outfits’ and it feels like I’m over-egging it by calling it a statement but by that I just mean dressed for work. I’m mixing one of my ‘pops of colour’ with a key colour. (I should add that since Friday I’ve had a good laugh with the lady who messaged me – apparently keeping a low profile because you’re having work don in January is common practice in New York!)

Midlife chic

Jumper; Satin slip skirt; M&S velvet boots AW 17; chunky watch

Right I’m off – have a great week and I’ll be back on Friday.

Disclosure: ‘How to plan a capsule wardrobe – women over 40’ is not a sponsored post

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