If at some point you are looking in the mirror thinking that "I could look better than this", if your children always look good but you never do, if people are surprised when they first meet you that your more interesting than you look, if family members are asking you, "You're not wearing that are you?" then maybe it's time to reassess a few things.
If you are determined to notch up your style then here are some simple "always" you should follow.
Have make up that you can be consistent with. You might not like or
need a full face of make up but to look well groomed all the time takes
effort. Some foundation to even out your skin tones and mascara to high
light your eyes takes only moments to put on in the morning. A famous
make up artist once stated that you can tell the year a woman graduated
from high school by the way she does her make up. If nothing has
changed in your make up routine in the last 5 years you need an up-
date. Especially if you have done the big jumps, you've finished your
education and are now working or you've celebrated a milestone
birthday. Skin tones change over time so colours that might have looked
great on you now might be too harsh. Ask for advise from the make up
counters at drugstores and department store, but if you don't like the
way the person who is giving you the advice does their own make up,
Your eyebrows are the frame of your eyes so they
should always be in control. Eyebrows often thin out as a woman
gets older especially if she has
over plucked in her youth. You might need to invest in a eyebrow
pencil. Unkempt eyebrows do not look natural, they look like you need
to pluck them. If you have never plucked your eyebrows then go on line
and Google information on how to do it and how to shape them. You don't
have to be extreme and will look better if you don't over pluck. You
can take it gradually just make sure that what you do to one eyebrow
you do to the other so you don't get a lopsided look.
stick is always a woman's best friend, for a every day lipstick chose a
colour that is the same tone but deeper than your natural lip
colour. Pull your bottom lip out and check to see what colour your lip
is on the inside of your mouth, this is often the perfect colour for
lipstick. Have one stunning red lipstick for special occasions or for
when you are feeling wicked.
Study the way women of your own age in the media do their make-up.
Anchor women tend to have a classic look without seeming to be too made
up. People who are in the public eye pay thousands of dollars to
stylist to make sure that they look good. Some politicians,
politicians' wives and senior executive women having amazing style as
they are always in the media. Celebrities also have interesting
style but tend to be more on the cutting edge as they can discard
styles and looks very easily.
Have a hair style that you
can be consistent with. If you dye your hair
you have to be willing to do the upkeep. Nothing in the world looks
worse than a woman with three inches of gown out hair. The same thing
for make up applies for hair styles, have you been holding onto the
same style and colour for way too long? The "higher the hair the nearer
to god' might have looked amazing on you in your late teens and
twenties but it doesn't make you look younger now, just dated. If you
have always had a classic hair cut you just might need to tweak it a
little bit as the classics are always in style but need slight updates
to keep them modern. If you never bother fixing your hair when you go
out and just tie it back in a messy bun you need a simpler style, a
wash and run style that you can manage every day. Wash your hair, no
seriously, wash your hair, you might think that you can get away for
one more day with out washing it but you can't. Stay on top of getting
your hair trimmed regularly as it always gives your hair more lift and
general grooming should be impeccable. This means you should be clean
and neat, your fingernails, your toe nails and your hair (for nail care
see our article, Natural Beauty for Nails in our Health and Beauty Catagory). Stay on top of keeping your legs,
underarms and bikini area smooth. There are many options in removing
unwanted hair from shaving to waxing. You should be at a point where
you are so well groomed that there is not an outfit you can't wear in
your wardrobe when ever you want. That means that you don't have to
wear pants the day you wanted to wear a skirt because you didn't have
time to wax, that you can wear a sleeveless dress because your
underarms are in good shape and you can slip on a pair of sandals at
any time since your feet look so good. A surprise invitation out should
not have you scurrying into the washroom for hours to do a major
cleaning, waxing, filing and buffing.
Even more than your clothes your posture can age you or make you look sloppy and unkempt. No matter what your age you should be able to stand straight and tall if you have no underlying health problems. If you find it hard to stand for any length of time or always are bent over, slouching, putting weight on one leg your muscles in your legs and torso might be very weak and you need to strengthen them. This is something that should be dealt with as soon as possible before it leads to permanent problems. Stretching exercises, balance exercises and strength training will all help but if you think you have already done damage you should see your doctor as there might be some underlying problems or they might suggest a chiropractor or you might need to see a podiatrist. Your footwear might be contributing to your bad posture. If you have shoes that are very worn especially in the heel it might be affecting how you stand and how you walk. Cheap shoes are not a bargain if they are affecting your health. Running shoes were designed to run in, they have no style, do nothing for your posture and are not more comfortable that shoes. Plastic foamy shoes are a crime against style.Always make sure that your footwear is in the best condition. Wear leather as much as possible since leather shoes are better for your feet, they let them breath and are more supple then plastic. Leather can be kept in good condition by cleaning and polishing. If you do happen to get caught in the rain with your leather boots or shoes wipe them down to get off any dirt or salt and then let them dry out slowly, don't put them on a heat register . When dry clean and polish them as normal. Don't let the heels wear down, make friends with a good shoe repair shop and use them often. Comfortable shoes are not ugly shoes. Good quality leather shoes with a heal can be the most comfortable thing you have ever put your feet into. A low heeled walking shoe can look cute, casual or sporty and a high heel can look elegant and sophisticated and they all can be comfortable. That said if you know you will be walking for hours at a time it would be more sensible to stick to the lower heel. Never, ever, ever, wear shoes that are too small for your feet, it looks ridiculous, it's painful and it will lead to foot problems.
Wear the correct hosiery with your shoes. If you want to look pulled together you have to consider your socks and nylons. Colourful fun socks are really only meant for children and young teens, they don't really look cute even when your wearing canvas runners and casual jeans, just odd. You are better off wear plain socks that match either your pants or footwear. (in dressier occasions your socks would always match your pants to give a leaner look). The dressier the shoe the finer quality the sock should be so if you are wearing dressy black shoes black cotton socks wouldn't cut it, you should be wearing a black dress sock or nylons. Knee high nylons with skirts or dresses don't look good or stylish. If you have to wear a nylon because of the shoe then look into nylon sockettes or footies that will hide discreetly in the shoe, if you have to wear nylons because of a dress code don't think you are fooling anyone with your knee highs, wear full nylons, if your nylons are not comfortable because of size then look for specialty shops that deal with different sizes.
The biggest problem with most women's purses is not how they look but with all the nonsense that is stuffed into them. To many women carry around objects "just in case". Why do you have a pair of pliers in your purse? Just in case. How about the 10,000 coupons even though your not grocery shopping? Just in case. The cork screw....? Well. You need to clear out your purse at the end of every day, yes, at the end of every day. Get rid of scraps of lists, file you receipts, throw out used tissues, candy wrappers, tickets, and recharge your cell phone. If you have been carrying around something in your purse that you have not used in the last month then obviously it doesn't belong in there. You have a manicure kit in there you have never used? an all purpose screwdriver set? a compass? They might have ended up in there because you did need them for one day or during a weekend but they didn't need to stay there. Don't try to use your purse as a baby bag when you need a separate baby bag and don't use your purse as a brief case when you need a separate brief case. A over weight purse is difficult to carry, hard on you shoulder and wears out your purse faster. Your everyday bag should be a good quality leather bag. It is the purse every one will see and it will be the purse you will get the most mileage out of. There is no reason to drag around a ratty, tatty purse. A mid sized purse in a dark natural leather or black might be your best bet.
A great pair of sunglasses make women into fashion icons. Think Jackie O. Oversize sunglasses have been the style the last few season but keep an eye on fashion.There are numerous price points that you can buy sunglasses at but if you are they type that loses them constantly look for them at clear out sales and buy as cheaply as you can. Test done on UV protection showed that expensive sunglasses don't always provide even adequate UV protection even if they are marked that they do. Cheap sunglasses might scratch a little easier but unfortunately price does not indicate quality, an expensive pair of sunglasses might just be expensive because they have a name attached to it. Keep your eyes open for sunglasses that are marked UV protection, have great style and are on sale.
When most books and magazines start giving advice on building a wardrobe and style the always talk about getting a suit as the basis of their wardrobe, the thing is that so many women never wear suits and never need suits. What you need to invest your money in is the clothes that you wear 75% of the time. If you are a stay at home mom who wears pants all the time then you need pairs of perfectly fitted pants and some stylish tops for when you are running errands and meeting other moms for the kids play dates. With your glossy hair, mascara and lip stick, great leather shoes and well tended hands you will be the epitome of the stylish mother in control. Put on you sunglasses and with your purse over your shoulder you'll be turning heads as you run your errands.
You might have some great clothes in your closet or you might not. That perfect A line skirt that you've been wearing for the last several years might still be perfect or might be just old and out of date. If you really can't tell have someone you love and trust help you out as you go through your closet. Sometimes just having someone standing beside you while you are both in front of a mirror will help. It gives you something to judge against.
It doesn't matter if you are working in an office, in a store or working out in the field, the same advice applies, with a great hair cut and grooming you can wear simpler clothes and look more stylish. This isn't about having a lot of clothes, this is about having clothes you know that you look good in. You need to think through what the clothes that you wear most often are and concentrate on getting those clothes in good quality, great style and of course on sale.
Photography and Content
Copyright Ingrid Talpak 2009