Grooming, Clothing Maintenance, and Accessorizing
This lesson is about the icing on the cake. None of these things should take up a huge amount of time or effort once you make them a part of your routine. As for cost, they might take up a larger part of your budget than you are used to, but they are so worth it.
Truthfully, the most important part of grooming is good health. Eating well, exercising, and maintaining good posture are the cornerstones to looking good.
But let’s talk specifics:
Hair. Keep it trimmed. Budget for regular cuts, and you will have fewer bad hair days. You don’t need to spend a fortune on a haircut. With a little hunting, you might find a neighborhood stylist or barber who really “gets” your hair, its texture, and how it affects your face shape and features.
Skin. Get a magnifying mirror. Sometimes, especially as we age, we miss what other can see: the stray hair, skin issues, etc.
Hands and nails. If you are a painter, construction worker, or gardener, you get a pass on your hands and nails. Just keep them as clean as possible. Otherwise, keep your nails trimmed and even. Details matter.
A smart “lazy” person buys clothes that don’t need a lot of maintenance, except for keeping them clean. Many fabrics—including some cotton—require no ironing. Some newer natural/synthetic textiles look and wear very well over time. Good wool and cashmere should last many years. But get one of those handy sweater “shavers” that remove pilling. Just keep everything clean and pressed.
Shoes. I cannot emphasize how important good shoes are. Add a great pair of shoes to the most casual outfit and it instantly says, “chic,” “cool,” and “well-dressed.”
What makes a good pair of shoes? First of all, comfort. Hobbling in pain is not sexy, regardless how expensive the shoe. Whenever you buy shoes, walk over to a hard surface in the store. Do not try them on a carpeted floor, as that will not give you an accurate reading of their comfort level. If they require socks or stockings, wear those when you try them on. And then, wear them around the house for an hour (not outside) to be sure they fit. If not, return them. Yes, there are multiple ways to stretch shoes, but none work very well and they can distort the shape of the shoe.
Be willing to pay more for a higher quality shoe that goes with many things in your closet. And visit your shoemaker at the end of the season for repairs and new heels so they will be ready for next year.
Jewelry. Regardless of how much jewelry you have, invest in a signature piece: a ring, a simple necklace, etc. You really don’t need a treasure chest to look elegant. A few high-quality simple pieces will help you look effortlessly well dressed.
Bags. What you carry is as important as what is on your feet. A bag, briefcase, or backpack does not have to be black, tan, or navy; this is where your personality and style can shine through. But it should be well made and in proportion to your body. Remember: “You should wear it, it shouldn’t be wearing you.”
So, now you know how to look great without spending enormous amounts of time getting dressed. This process is what makes the difference between being lazy and being relaxed—and confident—about how you look. Simply know who you are and how you live, apply some discipline to your buying, create repeatable combinations, and you will keep them guessing: “How do they always look so effortlessly stylish?”
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