“Carelessness in dressing is moral suicide.” – Honore de Balzac
Welcome to the new home of Ronnie Rambles On! For those of you who just started following me from this site, I know you have no idea what I’m talking about, but for those of you who just followed me over from my former home, you know I’ve been on a short break while I’ve switched hosting sites. It’s taken me a little longer than I’d hoped to finally get a new post to you, but at this point I’m just thankful to finally be up and running! If any of you find something – a link or whatever – that isn’t working correctly, or you feel is just not user-friendly, please feel free to message me. I’m sure there are still kinks to be worked out! Thanks for you patience and for hanging in there with me!
Recently I had the privilege of reading, and participating in the conversation it inspired, a great blog post by my dear blogger friend Jodie at Jtouchofstyle titled Is It Important to Dress Appropriately? It was a great article concerning whether or not there are times and places to dress a certain way – have we become too casual as a society? The post was very well written and inspired you to really think and consider the idea. What’s more it really brought out some wonderful conversation among the readers in the comment section. Everyone had their own take and viewpoint. And even those who had similar lines of thought had their own individual edge to how they looked at things. It really was so interesting to read. If you have a moment, I really encourage you to pop over to Jodie’s site and read the article.
Those of you who know me, or who have read along with me for any length of time, I’m sure have gathered my thoughts on this subject. Yes, I firmly believe there is a place for appropriate dressing. There are places, occasions and people who should be shown respect by the way we present ourselves. As Tom Ford once said (and I have stolen from him many times) “Dressing well is a form of good manners.” It shows respect for the those around us. But, I don’t believe we should force this upon people, like some sort of dress code, it needs to come from within us! Because more so than dressing well shows respect and honor to others, it shows respect, honor and pride in ourselves.
So, getting back to the article conversation, one thing that really caught my attention in several comments, and in the comments of others that I’ve spoken to, is that there seems to be a disconnect between the idea of “dressing well” or “looking stylish” – however you choose to phrase it – and being comfortable. They seem to think they are mutually exclusive, you have to choose between one or another. This could not be further from the truth! Though I am all for wearing dresses and skirts and heels waaaay more often than you see the average person wearing them – and I do – it’s not at all necessary to boost your look and go from looking like “the people of Wal-mart” to someone who respects themselves and dresses with intention.
Looking stylish and well put together isn’t about spending big bucks, always being in stilettos or spending hours in front of the mirror. There are little touches that we can do to visually elevate our look and send a message that we are someone who respects ourselves and those around us by the presentation we make. I’d like to share with you some of my own little “style elevating” tips that I use pretty much everyday – some I’ve learned on my own, some I’ve learned from other stylists. They are small things, but they can make a big impact. I hope you’ll find something here that is helpful to you, as well.
1. Wear Lipstick Every Day
Think this seems like a small thing or not worth it? Think again. Check out this quote from a Huffington Post article by Rebecca Adams, “When “Today Show” style editor Bobbie Thomas began working in a rape crisis facility, she noticed how lipstick could lift a woman’s spirits, as she watched a survivor testing out a new tube of lip color. “I realized the power of lipstick,” Thomas said. “It validated her — I could see the spark in her face. She felt worthy of self-care.”
In a study conducted at Western Australia’s Edith Cowan University, out of 300 female lipstick users, 85% reported that they felt “very confident” when wearing lipstick, and 82% said lipstick made them feel “really good about themselves.”
In a 2011 study by Procter & Gamble, researchers from Harvard and Boston University found that women felt more confident while wearing makeup, which included lipstick. What’s more, they found that people wearing color cosmetics were perceived as more competent and reliable.
So, whether you pull out something as luscious as a tube of Chanel or as inexpensive as an $.88 Wet ‘n Wild (I like their Retro Pink shade), find your favorite shade and don’t leave home without it. I never do!
2. Never Underestimate the Power of Cute Shoes!
Fashion blogger John Marine said of shoes, “Of all garments, I consider footwear to be the most important to any outfit. The entire character of an outfit can be solidified or tarnished thanks to whatever shoes one is wearing. Shoes play a huge role in how an entire outfit is ultimately perceived.”
Can you imagine how the simple addition of these pink pom-pom shoes to your average jeans/t-shirt look could up the ante of the outfit? It doesn’t always have to be a stiletto to be a great shoe! Let’s face it, some of us just can’t do that anymore – or never could in the first place. And it doesn’t have to be a $200 shoe to make a difference. But we can replace a plain sneaker with a floral one, or one with some lace or a metallic one. Replace plain black and brown loafers with something a little colorful, playful or feminine. Maybe add a print like leopard. A simple color, texture or pattern switch can add immediate interest and style to whatever you’re wearing.
3. Live a Colorful Life!
Know your colors! I hate to say something has been “life-changing” when it comes to style, because in the big scheme of things style is still just clothes and it doesn’t affect our heart and soul, but to an extent, it does because we know how looking good can affect our confidence and spirit. So, to that extent, knowing my colors has been life-changing. Yes, I’m talking about the whole knowing whether you’re a Spring/Summer/Winter or Fall. I know that as years have advanced there have been groups that have expanded the initial four seasons and, I believe, they go as high as 12 categories in some organizations now. I, personally, and this is just me, have found that to be unnecessarily complicated. The basic four works great for me. I keep a small swatch pad of my colors with me in my purse (though I know mine pretty well at this point) and I use it when I’m shopping. It really alleviates any unnecessary purchases. I know I’m always going to buy something that is going to look great against my skin and highlight my eyes and hair. It gives me an immediate “leg-up” in the stylish/looking good department.
There are many people who perform this service. Some in person. Some online. If you live near me, I can help you with this. There are also many books on the market to help you “do it yourself”.
4. It Don’t Mean a Thing If You Ain’t Got That Bling! (Otherwise known as: Accessorize, Accessorize, Accessorize!
Accessories are really the way you create your own style – the way you put your personal touch on a look. They’re also a great way to create balance in your look – to draw attention to an area of your body you like, and, thus away from an area you may be a little more self-conscious.
A little sparkle, a little shine goes a long way to taking your look up another level. You can be wearing plain jeans and a plain white tee, but as soon as you put on, say some earrings and a statement necklace with them, you’ve gone from “ho-hum” to chic instantly, with barely any effort and no less comfort!
Accessory Tip: Try to stick to the “10 ft. Rule”. The average person sees you from 10 feet away, thus your accessories need to be able to be seen from that distance. (Save the delicate jewelry pieces for intimate dinners with your significant other.)
5. Incorporate Something Unexpected Every Day (This is my favorite and to me, the most valuable tip, that I was ever taught)
Go against the grain, against the norm, and do the opposite of what would match or be traditionally expected. This comes across as more youthful, sophisticated and modern. For instance, wear an “opposite” (complimentary) color as your jewelry or accessory instead of a “matching” one. Wear pearls or rhinestone/diamonds with a t-shirt and jeans. Have a signature pair of shoes in some outrageous color that you wear with everything. Wear work boots with a tulle skirt. You don’t have to go insane with your whole look because then you just look – well, insane – just add that one totally unexpected element and take your look to a whole new level.
You don’t have to give up your comfort to look well put together. These tips take little to no effort – or $$$ – to implement – and can be just as easily used with jeans and tees as they can with pencil skirts and pumps. If 5 tips make you nervous – just try adding one a month. Who knows, by the start of the New Year a new fashionista may emerge, as well!
Until We Meet Again!