Growing up, I did not have an easy time with style and fashion. I always knew exactly what I liked, and which trends were appealing. However, puberty was not so kind to me: My body, face, hair (and attitude) went through many phases and changes (most of which were not too attractive). It was about fitting in, in a place and time when my body and taste in clothes was in flux (not to mention those pesky teenage hormones).
So now, as an adult, I’d like to think that I have picked up a new approach to fashion. I refuse to be stressed about what doesn’t look good and I am determined to abide by my own rules for what works. I can look at magazines (and I do), and I can write about the amazing purchases that stars make. But, I know that my time — especially in my closet and in front of a mirror — is limited (unless I want my three children with me). I decided long ago to stick with what works for me. Here are my top ten rules for a smooth routine and stress-free attitude about fashion.
- Wide leg pants may look amazing on Rachel Zoe and Gwyneth Paltrow. I love the sophisticated, yet casual look. However, as with any trend, I have to be realistic. If it’s not right for my petite, pear-shaped body, then it’s not a style for me. I may fall head over heels for a certain look, but after many disappointing shopping trips, I have learned to move on. My amazing tailor can’t make them look good and a short version won’t work either.
- Exercise gear and yoga clothes can be worn for just about any activity. I’m not a failure or an imposter if I wear the clothes and don’t do the activity! (Confession: I know many people love yoga, but I can’t think of anything that is more boring). I do, however, love yoga clothes. The stretchy fabrics are always versatile and comfortable. Whether I find myself at Barnes and Noble on the floor reading a book, or at a lunch date with my mom, I still know that my trustworthy yoga look can be dressed up or dressed down. Bonus: If I ever do make it into a yoga class, I’ll be prepared.
- My mom has always carried an extra pair of comfortable, flat sandals with her wherever she goes. I used to get mad because she put the shoes in an old CVS bag. (I wanted her to at least carry the shoes in a Longchamp or Prada bag). Now, my days are unpredictable, and I often end up being out with the kids for longer than I anticipated. I have taken a page from my mom’s book and I keep an extra pair of shoes with me (albeit in my Lululemmon bag). Certain errands and activities call for comfortable shoes, especially in Florida, where sand and humidity are never too far away.
- No matter how little desire I have to attend the birthday party, lunch or meeting that I’ve committed to, I convince myself to at least apply lip gloss and mascara. That’s it. If I’m feeling up to the whole nine-step moisturizer-and-foundation process, great. But, I learned awhile ago, that this “all or nothing” school of thought doesn’t work for me. A little mascara and some blush and/or lip gloss goes a long way. It helps me feel more comfortable knowing I look good and that I didn’t spend all morning getting ready.
- I have always liked the monochromatic, simple look (some people may call it boring). I love to admire the accessories that women put together. But, for me, my diamond earrings and a plain necklace is the way to go. I don’t have to worry about which bracelet matches the earrings. The few times that I have attempted to accessorize have been a disaster. A cute pair of small hoop earrings left me with an infection, and nothing is more embarrassing than a finger that is stained from a silver ring. While the boys love to pull and play with my accessories as though they were tethers and Frisbees, I must say “no thank you” to big, bold accessories.
- My mom will be proud of me for this: I truly believe that you should always have a sweater at hand. I like to have a black cardigan or a blazer to ensure that I’m never cold, and that if needed, I can look a bit more dressed up if necessary. Worst-case scenario, I can leave the sweater around my shoulders or drape it over the back of a chair.
- When in doubt, I have learned that it is always better to err on the side of caution. If I think the dress, pants or top are see-through, then they probably are. Nothing is more embarrassing than realizing my whole extended family and everyone at the restaurant knows exactly what I’m wearing (or not wearing) under my clothes.
- No matter how good I want to look, or how badly I want to wear a certain outfit, nothing is worth my sanity (and comfort). Shoes that cause blisters, or dresses that don’t really feel “me”, aren’t worth it. At the end of the night I want to remember what I did and the lively conversations I had, not the dress that kept riding up.
- Nothing makes me happier than finding a two-for-one, like concealer that is also a corrector or lip gloss which promises to plump up my pout. Who knows if it actually works? But, honestly, I don’t care. If I believe it works, then I put it on and wear it with confidence. Truthfully, half the battle is believing. So, wear what you want and have faith in your choices.
- Last but not least, do what makes you feel good. If I feel comfortable, chances are I will smile and be a more pleasant person. A smile is no fad or passing trend. Look the part, play the part and if it’s genuine, you are sure to stress less and smile more.