Our teens and twenties may be seen as the life stages most filled with change, but midlife and beyond is full of meaningful milestones too - turning 50, getting divorced, facing up to retirement.
And these major life events mean one thing: a major image overhaul.
In fact, a recent survey commissioned by Kaleidoscope showed that over half of women said a big life event had inspired an image overhaul, with 86% saying their confidence was significantly boosted as a result.
Updating their wardrobe was reported as the best makeover method, but many (31%) said a new haircut or colour worked too.
Celebs also play their role; 67% of women surveyed confessed the likes of Helen Mirren, Victoria Beckham and Carole Middleton would inspire their new looks.
This may sound like superficial fluff, and of course, there’s no rule saying you ‘have’ to get a new do or outfit, but ‘milestone makeovers’ actually go far deeper than just keeping up with the trends or splashing out on shopping trips.
“Midlife is a time of reinvention and therefore transition,” says award-winning life coach Jenny Garrett, author of Rocking Your Role “To transition, you must let go of things: a job title, a marriage, a way of thinking, and experiment with new habits. Changing your hairstyle, clothing, your address is a signal to yourself and the rest of the world that things are different.”
Here are the top three triggers for that change…
Relationship counsellors Relate highlight that people born between 1946 and 1964 - those in their fifties and sixties now – will be the first generation for whom living alone in old age might be the norm due to increased divorce rates.
“You may be single, embarking on the world of online dating, or just wanting to meet likeminded and interesting people,” says Garrett.
This can feel like a momentous step, especially for those who haven’t been single for decades; not only are you tasked with putting yourself out there, but it takes time to rediscover your identity beyond the relationship that’s ended.
An image overhaul can help you face that challenge – as well as making you feel a little bit fabulous before that scary first date.
The big birthdays
You probably thought turning 30 was a shocker at the time, but turning 40, 50, 60 and even 70 or 80, well that’s a whole other kettle of fish – but in great, as well as frightening, ways.
To some degree, most of us feel anxious about ageing and that’s normal, but these milestone birthdays are also a fantastic excuse to celebrate being alive, and a makeover can remind you how good it feels to look in the mirror and see a fresh, exciting, smiling reflection, and to get dressed up for the party.
“As mothers and wives, we often put ourselves down the bottom of the list in treating ourselves,” says Rickman.
“Doing so is a confidence-booster, as we tend to feel better if we’ve shown ourselves some self-love!”
Finally, all that time for gardening, golf or just lounging at home doing nothing… But while retirement can seem marvellous, the end of your working life also represents a monumental identity shift for many people.
Chances are your job’s been a part of who you are, and how you structure your life, for as long as you can remember. Suddenly having lots of time on your hands can mean too much time to think too.
A makeover can be a useful part in the process of accepting that one era has ended, and another’s begun. And a fresh look, or brighter wardrobe is a great way of reminding yourself that ageing can be very fun.