ootd, style
Comments 41

Choose To Dress Happy


I wear what makes me smile

Puts a swing in my strut


As I get older, I realise I tend to be far more apologetic than I used to be.  What on earth do I mean, you ask?  Well, I often find myself guilty of being somewhat tremulous in the way I approach life and others, particularly those with whom I’m not so well acquainted.  As though I’m apologising for existing, even.

I realise how at odds that sounds with the way I’m perceived.  How I look.  How I dress.  I also realise how idiotic I am to even remotely feel that way and that it’s utterly unfounded.  But then again, most concerns and fears veer on the side of irrational, and clearly, mine is no different.


So I sat me down and gave myself a pep talk.

I shall spare you the details but suffice to say, I emerged victorious. Ha.  But I do want to spend a little time talking about those things which matter.  Things which happen to all of us as we age, no matter how well preserved we appear to be.  No matter how fabulous our genes are.  I’m talking about when things no longer defy gravity.  When rolling out of bed is actually more like slowly sitting up, stretching and shuffling to our feet.  That moment when we recognise smile lines for what they really are, crow’s feet #shudder

Please, I’m not in the least bit downplaying those feelings and how they affect us. We all mourn the winkles, the sagging, the fatigue, the inability to recover quite as quickly as we used to.  But, you know, there comes a time when we must consciously decide whether we intend to live nostalgically and sadly, or in the moment with joy.


That’s the summarised conclusion of me vs me.  Fearless. Not the sort of fearless which incites drawing sartorial inspiration from circus clowns and drag queens on a bad day out. No, not that. Fearless along the lines of living my life as fiercely and kickass-y as I possibly can. Fearless, footloose and fancy free.


At this juncture, some of you are probably thinking I’m being superficial and merely scratching the surface of the issue.  Well, wait one moment.  I’m fully aware that clothes, even as they aid in trimming a few extra inches and taking several years off, do not heal our wounds.  But they most certainly do work wonders in boosting our ego.

Wearing what I like makes me HAPPY.

And when I feel happy, I feel strong, and confident, and empowered.



I feel amazing.  I walk with a springy bounce in my step.  A lilt in my gait.  And my entire demeanour takes on a completely different persona.

And that’s why I choose to wear whatever the #@*% I feel like.  Always.  If it makes me happy, it’ll be a part of my wardrobe.  No matter what others think.  No matter if it’s perceived as being age inappropriate (pish posh).  As I was telling Suzanne recently, the key here is to own it.  Confidence makes for everything.  Should you be a tad short on that, fake it until you make it.




What do you do when you feel as though days are fleeting, time’s a-flying and, oh I don’t know, a wee bit more tired than usual?

Love, Sheela

p/s photos by Sofia Touassa

See where I link up here.


  1. Of course I couldn’t agree more with your attitude of owning it and being happy despite the naysayers.

    No one would mess with you in this look. This is a kiss ass outfit.

    Aging isn’t fun but I don’t care much for the alternative.

    I try to be aware daily that my time is limited and I need to appreciate everything I have. Gratitude is happiness.



    • My daughter calls it my Asian Mafia look. I can deal with that🙂 I can also deal with ageing but I’d rather do so due to natural circumstances and not because I’m bitter, feeling deprived because I listened to pundits, you know? I remember that growing up (and even now, I suppose), I would assume a kickass expression because it was my armour. My wall, if you like, I was such an introvert. I still am actually LOL

      You’re right. Carpe diem. Always xoxo


  2. Thanks for your honesty! I think it can be happen that we tend to apologise too much … but I think also we really should ask ourselves if this is necessary. I think you reflected this in an impressing way. And I understand why you feel so good in your look – you look indeed fantastic and I like the coolness of your outfit!
    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena


    • Thank YOU for understanding why I wrote what I did, Rena, I struggled with it for the longest time. With whether I ought to write this post or not but apparently, getting things off one’s chest DOES indeed work wonders for the soul and mind🙂

      Much love from Houston to you in Bavaria, Rena xoxo


  3. You are spot on Sheela!
    When I feel puffy eyed, wrinkly, old, tired and generally Bleugh I ALWAYS reach for something I love.
    Whether it is my multicoloured fur coat, favourite boots, bright lippy or all 3!
    Dressing how I want always makes me feel better.
    Anyway, being miserable is aging.
    I would rather crows feet (from smiling and laughing) than jowls any day!!
    P.S Clutch envy!!


    • Yes!!! Nothing ages one more (and faster) than feeling miserable, and moping around!!! Hahaha yes, crow’s feet over jowls any day xoxo

      p/s I had to get a marble clutch, I simply had to!!


  4. If I may quote you, I am exactly the same: “Wearing what I like makes me HAPPY. And when I feel happy, I feel strong, and confident, and empowered.” I couldn’t agree with you more.

    It’s actually so painful (like physically painful) to get out of bed, so if getting dressed is the candy bar, I’ll eat it so to speak! Also, those lines on my face. Well, ugh to those. I just bought foundation for the first time in my life at the NARS counter this week. I have what is called perinasal dermitis. Ick!!

    Oh, and Sheela, those shoes! Are you kidding me!!

    Love this post.

    Love, Ann from Kremb de la Kremb


    • I know. I am so sad. I can’t simply roll out of the bed anymore. I have to move slowly. Then stretch. Get the blood flowing. Gingerly stand up. Then shuffle my way to the kitchen to fix breakfast and make school lunches hahahaha so sad!!!

      I suppose I am blessed, for now, that my skin is being fairly anti-wrinkles. It’s all about putting on the bitch face, remember??? Oh wow, foundation. We’re moving up in the world🙂 I don’t even own one myself. I much prefer loose powder, doesn’t clog the pores as much. Do cleanse thoroughly, ‘kay? And tone. Must tone.

      My shoes are a long forgotten 5.25″ pair with Swarovski crystals dotting side bows. They’re velvet and positively smashing!!!! A poshmark score🙂


      • I finally bought the toner! I likee. Also, at the derm yesterday she gave me something for the perinasal dermatitis around my nose, AND she said she didn’t think that was what it was, so I think that’s good. Although she called it a fungus, so that can’t be any better! But!! There’s a cream to fix it so maybe it will work. *fingers crossed*

        Sheela, thanks for coming over and linking up. I see your linky is up now too, so I must get to it!

        Love, Annie


  5. I always enjoy your writing Sheela, very introspective. Although I might look like someone could kick my a**, that is where things may be deceiving. haha! Im just kidding. I can be passive agressive. As of late, I always feel that memories are most important in life. I used to wear all black all of the time when I first was diagnosed with EDS, but something as simple as clothes felt like it dragged me down/ I do find it joyful to wear what I want and clothing can help one’s confidence I choose to wear color as it makes me feel good. I love the jacket and your edgy boots too.


    • OMG I am precisely the same, Jess. When I was diagnosed with Lupus and everything else seemed to fall apart, I would wear black all the time, which back then, wasn’t out of the norm for me. But I would wear black in the shapeless items of clothing possible. I was attempting to hide myself. So no one could see me. It was only around last November, I think, when I began wearing colours again and the power of colour therapy is so true xoxo


  6. jennie1969 says

    Thanks for sharing such inspirational words. We should all wear what makes us happy and the older I get the less I care about other’s thoughts on the matter.


    • Me too, Jennie. I don’t give a rat’s ass what people think anymore (and even when I do, I tell myself I don’t until I believe it GRIN) xoxo


  7. Confidence is the key. You’re so right! If we love it, we should wear it. Accessories and clothes can be very powerful confidence boosters. I earned every smile line and wrinkle the easy way, living a full life with gusto and not worrying what someone else thinks I should do or wear! If it makes me feel good, it’s right for me, not anyor every one else.


    • “I earned every smile line and wrinkle the easy way, living a full life with gusto and not worrying what someone else thinks I should do or wear!” I love what you wrote here, Jennifer. So apt.


  8. I completely agree. Getting dressed in whatever I choose to wear always makes me happy! Though the clothes usually give me more confidence than I actually have which helps me a lot. Especially those days when it’s hard to get out of bed, which seem to be more and more lately. I love your outfit and your beautiful writing! Those sunglasses are amazing!!


    • That’s precisely it, Lili, clothes are meant to empower and embolden, to give us that little added boost if we so need them to🙂 not be a source of worry nor consternation. Thank you so much!!! xoxo


  9. I think you are such a beautiful person, and your style is really really great! I love that you choose to dress fearlessly, dress to make yourself happy, and that is what fashion is for. This look is amazing, and your sunnies are super cute!

    Hope you have a great week ahead Sheela!

    -Lily from With Love Lily Rose


  10. happinessatmidlife says

    I always LOVE your attitude in dressing and I feel the same way as I get older and wiser🙂 Love your floral cape.

    Thank you for being a part of TBT Fashion link up and hope to see you soon!



    • Thank you SO much, Alice. The love is exceedingly mutual, I swear. I adore how you’re so good at putting fresh spins on preppy and classic, things I’d never ever attempt on my own🙂 xoxo


    • Thank you loads and loads, Monica. I sort of write for a living so it’s something I feel very passionate about🙂 MUACK xoxo


    • Hahahaha it was such a find, in the bargain basement bin of the Zara website🙂 and it’s exceedingly comfy too. Thanks so much for stopping by, Jane xoxo


  11. Pru Yeo says

    Well said Sheela, I definitely agree that we should wear whatever make us feel happy without the need of approval from others! Love your chic graphic text tee and that marble print bag is gorgeous!



    • Exactly, Pru, well said!! No external approval required🙂 and yes, I’m so into marbled exteriors now. Arrrggh. It’s an addiction. Resistance is futile.


  12. What a fabulous post…I love your view on aging ..I am 51 and feel the same way about things! Age is just number, and you can feel great and be happy at every stage of life!

    Your outfit is so cute…love the t shirt and the booties!!



    • You’re beautiful, Valerie, and look the furthest possible from being 51🙂 in fact, if you hadn’t told me, I would’ve thought you were at least 10 years younger. The epitome of what you wrote xoxo


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