Charlotte Livingston runs Style with Charlotte, where she helps clients, primarily women in their 5th and 6th decade of life, transition from the corporate world to entrepreneurship and live their best life in the second act. Enhance your style through changing your attitude. Change your attitude, change your life. Follow her: @stylewithcharlotte

It is said that style is forever and fashion is a constantly changing sequence of trends. You can see how lines are blurred, as using these two words seems synonymous when speaking about our expression of self through clothes. Style isn’t subject to changing on a whim in the way that fashion is. Style is an attitude and your attitude creates your life.

Having arrived at the second act of my life, I know I don’t do things on a whim. I want to engage in the moment and fully live in the present. My life experience has brought me to a place of relishing who I am. I am proud to feel that “I’ve still got it”.

The “it”? It is my style. Where did my style begin to take shape? A fond childhood memory is my Mattel Twiggy doll. I spent my allowance on her tiny dresses and tall boots. Colours and sparkles galore. I dreamt of wearing her gold sequin dress (with boots to match) on stage. My dream did come true at age 50.

Another chapter of developing style through fashion was learning to sew with Butterick and Simplicity patterns when I was 11 or 12. My mother had made gorgeous Barbie doll clothes for my sister one Christmas. I began to realize the potential of wearing unique and beautiful clothes; which made dressing more personal while mimicking high-end designer clothing at a fraction of the cost. One meaningful experience I had, was when a traveling fashion show came to junior high school so that the school girls had the opportunity to wear the Butterick clothes.

In my early 20s, I studied at The Fashion Institute of Canada and received my fashion merchandising diploma with honours. I did some fitting model work for a bridal wear manufacturer for my co-op work semester. The company had been recently started by three women who had worked for a major Canadian dress manufacturer for many years. This was the early 80s and I became the sales rep for eastern Canada. The designer was very forward thinking. She included jumpsuits in the bridal collection and expanded into maternity bridal wear that was featured in Canada’s major newspaper. When I was 7 months pregnant I was photographed for the shoot to accompany the story.

In the book Women in Clothes, a conversation is created about the subject of clothing, and how the garments we put on everyday dene and shape our lives. A main point included in the book is the following, “Even our most basic clothing choices can give us confidence, show the connection between our appearance and our habits of mind, express our values and our politics, bond us with our friends, or function as armor or disguise.”

Being bold about most things in my life, I took up motorcycling in my fourth decade of life, and found that my riding gear, that matched my bike, became a visual statement to easily distinguish that I was a woman rider. How we show up in life depends on our attitude. Style expression is attitude.


• We can use our daily ritual of dressing to reinvent ourselves.

• Style is an attitude. Change your style, change your life.

• Ageism is never in style.

The only thing that ever needs to be changed is your attitude and how you view yourself.

We invite you to join the conversation by submitting a comment below.

Charlotte Livingston