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What (else) makes you happy?

audrey hepburn

As you consider this question, many familiar themes will emerge: family, friends, good health… Yes, those things are certainly integral to a happy life.

If we stipulate the obvious, though, what else makes you happy? What makes your heart sing, gives you a lift, makes you walk a little taller?

For some, collecting exquisite fashion pieces, to wear and treasure, connects us to the heritage and glory of established brands. And, brands count on that connection to justify their astronomical prices! Of course the pieces are expertly made, of luxurious fabrics and fine finishings. But there’s something about the connection to the brand’s heritage.

I love history. Wandering through Saks Fifth Avenue in New York, I feel like a society lady cafe sfaof the 1940s or 50s, wishing I could pull off a fabulous hat and white gloves. I feel connected to a past I’ve never known. It’s not about purchasing high ticket items. Rather, it’s about feeling a part of an interesting time in history, which is why I always lunch at the restaurant on the 8th floor, just a society ladies did decades ago.

When we were in Paris, it was thrilling to step into 31 Rue Cambon. Not because it houses every luxurious Chanel item in the world, but because I imagined Coco herself wandering through the shop, checking the 31 rue cambonmerchandise and display, greeting customers and ensuring her high standards were met.

As a student of both fashion and history, what a thrill to walk through the shop where Coco spent her most famous days. I get lost in the connection between history and the luxuriousness of today. I bought a Chanel scarf – a modest purchase, but an exquisite ‘souvenir’ of my visit.

I view my wardrobe as a collection of the best clothing I can afford. I own a mix of high-low (with ‘low’ outnumbering the ‘high’ to be sure), but each piece is selected with care. I believe that we should feel confident every day, and what we wear is a big part of that.

I counsel women to do the same. If you’re interested, please click here for details on personal style consultations or my in-person or online course.

Here’s to whatever makes you happy in 2016!

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DIY Makeover

before and afterWe all love to watch makeovers on TV shows. Any fashionista will tell you how much they loved TLC’s What Not to Wear, although you don’t need to be a complete fashion disaster to consider a makeover.

Why not create your own makeover? Take your own before-and-after photos so you can see the difference.

Let’s start with fashion. The three most important things you should consider when choosing a wardrobe are: your lifestyle, your body type and your style personality.

  • Do a lifestyle analysis – where do you spend your time? Your wardrobe should woman-workout-run-gymproportionately represent your activities. Spend 70% of your time at work? Then 70% of your wardrobe should be work appropriate.

 

 

  • Check my post about how to understand your body type. There are easy tips to making the most of your shape. Choose only those styles that flatter your body type and learn how to accent your attributes.chicos beige sweater
  • Consider your style personality, also described in a previous post.  What you wear should match who you are as an individual.Knowing your style personality makes it easier for you to be bien dans votre peau.

Next, you’ll want to update your hair style. I had the chance to meet and speak with Ted Gibson, stylist on What Not to Wear. His advice is to change up your hairstyle. Nothing is more aging than having the same hairstyle for 10 years. Go short, go long, change colour – do something!

  • If you have a stylist you trust, ask him/her for advice on a new look.
  • Check outChoppy-Razor-Bob-Hair hairstyle magazines – there are plenty of them! The only caution is that many styles showcased are not easy to maintain, so bear that in mind.
  • If you see a hairstyle you’d like to try, ask the person who does their hair. It’s a wonderful compliment, and you’ll get access to a stylist who can successfully create the look.

 

Finally, your makeup is the finishing touch. Many of us learned how to apply makeup when we were teenagers and have never really strayed from that approach. Mature women have to wear more subtle looks than their younger counterparts.

  • Keep it natural. Gone are the days of wearing bright blue or green eyeshadow. Strong colours tend to settle into wrinkles, thereby making them look even bigger.mature_skin_makeup
  • Go easy on foundation. Liquid makeup can be heavy and create a pasty face. Instead, try a tinted moisturizer or BB cream. These tend to blend well, and many offer other benefits such as sunscreen.
  • Go easy on blush. Many mature women have rosacea or tiny webs of blood vessels on their cheeks. This already creates a reddish look, so there is no need to add a lot of blush. Instead, tone down the redness with a tinted moisturizer or BB cream and sweep on a light dusting of peach blush for a fresh look.

Experiment until you find the right combination. It’s a fun weekend activity that will get you ready to launch your new look come Monday morning!