Does anyone remember (and MISS as much as I do?!) the TLC show, “What Not To Wear?” I loved that show; the premise being that someone who badly needed a makeover (and a boost to their self-confidence) gets one.
The lucky winner was offered $5,000 dollars to go to New York and let Stacy London and Clinton Kelly help find her own personal style. However, the terms of spending the money was based on Stacy and Clinton going through the all winner’s “regular” clothing.
This always meant that every single item went right into the trashcan, along with many snarky-but-truthful comments on style, fit, etc.
Not only did the lucky woman get to shop in fabulous stores in New York city; her hair and makeup were also updated. The winner always looked wonderful afterwards, and would go home to surprise family and friends with her new look.
If I had a dime for each time I sighed, ‘oh, if only I could have Stacy and Clinton dress me!’ I would be swimming in dimes. However, I finally found my own style by myself, and here’s how I did it, one step at a time:
Step 1: I took a long, hard look at my body, and made this assessment: I am “apple-shaped,” which means that I carry my extra weight in my stomach and hips. The tops I wear are either tunics (love the “shark bite” ones) that end mid-thigh, or tops that stop at mid-hip and disguise the width at hips and cover the stomach. For me, it creates the illusion of thinness.
Step 2: I learned to wear the colors that look great on me. Does anyone remember “*Color Me Beautiful?” It goes on the premise that our coloring defines us as Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. I am a “winter,” which means that I look best in bright white, black, and jewel tones; red, purple, turquoise, cobalt, lime, etc.
Step 3: I stopped worrying about what the current fashion trends were; now I wear what I love, not what is necessarily “in fashion.” I lean toward leggings, drape-y tops, kimono jackets, long scarves or pashminas, and loads of jewelry. I like my clothes to be more “costume-y” than current.
Step 4: I don’t wear anything that makes me feel uncomfortable. Period. I gave up high heels decades ago. These days I buy shoes and boots with low heels that work with my orthotics.
What I have learned over time is this: beauty and style are illusions. Very few of us are born perfectly and permanently beautiful. Looking good is finding what works for you and your own shape and style.
One more thing, as we grow older, our makeup needs to change. The makeup I used to wear stopped working for me, so I set up a makeover appointment with the experts at Sephora. I learned to use a more subtle, gentle look that fits my age and style. I found that less truly is more.
If you should tell yourself that this is a luxury you can’t afford, tell yourself to shut up. Just do it; you are worth it!
*Check out http://www.colormebeautiful.com/seasons/findyourseason.html. A simple online quiz can show you what your best colors are.