If you were to ask me to think of times when my mother has looked most beautiful, I would tell you quite easily:
- My wedding day
- Her 30th anniversary
I have these two days in mind not because she was wearing fancy clothes or perfect make-up. Nope, she looked lovely but not so different than normal. The reason these days stand out is because she was radiating happiness. Her smile lit up her face, and she was positively glowing with good feelings.
Ask yourself this question about the people in your life. When do they look beautiful to you? I think part of style and fashion goes beyond what we wear.
Reality check from George Carlin:
‘Trying to be happy by accumulating possessions is like trying to satisfy hunger by taping sandwiches all over your body.’
Fashion is fun. We can express our individuality and play with different looks. But always remember that the surface is just one layer of what you’re expressing to the world.
Feel good, look good. It’s as simple as that.
My husband is not a minimalist, and he really lets his laundry pile up. When he is finally forced to wash his clothing, he ends up having to do four loads! It takes 30 min. for a wash and 1 hour for a dryer cycle: that’s 6 hours if he wants to finish it all in one go! INSANE!
Alternatively, he could be a little more like me, and keep a minimalist/capsule wardrobe. I do not have enough pairs of socks and underwear to last more than a week and a half. I am forced to do my laundry, and it is always just one load. It is amazing.
People often talk about the perks of a capsule wardrobe:
- Save money (buy less clothing)
- Save time (less decisions to make)
- Save space (less clutter)
But they don’t always highlight what a dream it is to do small loads of laundry as opposed to four colossal loads. I love having a capsule wardrobe and I will never go back to having piles of options. It simply is not for me.
My last job was in a downtown shopping mall. The lunch hour would bring in parades of gorgeous people who had escaped their high-powered jobs for a few minutes of blissful shopping. They looked great, and very done. Hair done, nails done, make-up done. Even the men looked perfectly coiffed.
Now, I work at a non-profit in a small town. The attitude towards dress and style could not be any more different. People are dressed for comfort, designer labels are simply not seen, and everyone has a more natural look about them. Less make-up, less hair dye, and less keeping-up-with-the-Joneses. It’s a very refreshing change.
When I worked at the mall, I’d delight in wearing statement necklaces and bold lipstick. It was fun! And I do still enjoy dressing up. But my style is adapting to my new environment, and I’m finding that I’m wearing MUCH less make-up.
What I used to wear:
- Under-eye concealer
- Cover-up with SPF
- Pencil eyeliner (bottom lash line)
- Liquid eyeliner (upper lash line)
What I wear now:
- Tinted lip balm or very neutral lipstick
- [Upper lash line eyeliner if I’m feeling fancy]
- [Neutral eyeshadow if I’m feeling REALLY fancy]
I am saving time each morning, and developing more confidence in how I look without make-up. TRUST ME, if people are used to seeing you in “full make-up” all the time, the one day you go clean-faced you may be asked if you’re feeling ok. It’s a sad truth, but who can blame people?
I’ll admit – I used to agree with the infamous quote: “There are no ugly women, only lazy ones.” (Helena Rubinstein) But I now see less make-up as a sign of confidence and self-acceptance. I’m really enjoying this make-under. It’s definitely a good way to love your natural self, spend less money on make-up, and have more room in your make-up bag.
What about you? Do you wear a lot of make-up, or a little? None? Comment below!
Some link love for ya today:
I simply adore The Gypsy Love Blog: Facing my shopping addiction one post at a time.
I have no idea why it’s called that “The Gypsy Love Blog”. But it’s great. What an honest and revealing account of a shopping addiction. I’ve enjoyed following her journey and I feel like by paying witness to her progression, it’s like I’m showing support and helping her face new challenges. Or maybe I’m just spying. Either way, definitely check out the blog.
I’m 5’9″ with a long torso. I need a very specific type of jeans in order to feel happy. And they need a good amount of stretch or my calves will cry out in pain. Finally, (thanks to my fashion consultant), I found a style that works for me:
The 721 High-Rise Skinny. Yay Levi’s! I hope I can just keep buying this style for years to come because it sucks to keep getting it wrong. And of course you only find out after you’ve bought them.
But I digress. The point is, I got two pairs (a black and a dark blue) for only $100 total because I went to an outlet. I strongly recommend going to a Levi’s outlet if you’re trying these, because they often have a “buy two for $100 deal”. Woohoo!
I think for more expensive purchases it can be a good idea to let them mark a special occasion. Save it for a moment in time that you’d like to always remember or celebrate. Then when you look at that piece it will take you back to those good feelings!
I bought this necklace, the Senhoa Chantrea, when I paid off my student loans. It perfectly fits the style I’m working towards. It was a celebratory gift to myself and I love it! It was also a 2-for-1, because I ended up removing quite a few of the chains and turning them into a second necklace. It was just too heavy before.
For me it has the physical presence of Holly Golightly’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s necklace, but with a punk rock edge to it.
Senhoa jewellery is special because:
Senhoa jewelry pieces are individually handcrafted by survivors of human trafficking or young women vulnerable to sexual exploitation.
100% of Senhoa jewelry profits go directly to the rehabilitation and education of young women who are vulnerable to or survivors of human trafficking in Southeast Asia.
I think Audrey Hepburn would totally be down with philanthropic fashion! Talk about a feel-good necklace! And I always get tons of compliments on it when I wear it. Really a special piece.
I think there can be a lot of pressure when you’re striving to build the perfect wardrobe. Even more so when you’re working with a capsule wardrobe: there are must-have lists, and gaps you need to fill. Sometimes I get quite caught up in the notion that my wardrobe needs something and if I don’t have it, it feels like a big void that MUST be filled.
Example: I bought a pair of Frye ankle boots that were on sale for $185 (regular $500!) and they were great aside from the fact that they were half a size too small for me. Foolishly, I planned on getting them stretched and living happily ever after. I took them to two different cobblers, had them stretched twice, and they still hurt my poor little fit. What a waste of money! Oh well, time to move on. I have removed the ankle boots from my wardrobe because they hurt, and I believe in wearing things that honour my body.
So now I had this big ominous gap: no ankle boots! I had shoes, sandles, and boots with a high upper, but no ankle boots! What a dilemma! I immediately set out to buy a new perfect pair of ankle boots… but then I realized: what if I didn’t? What if I just made do with the footwear options I owned? Would that be so bad? I’ve looked at must-have lists like this one which is actually quite good, but now I’m abandoning the idea completely. I don’t HAVE to have ANYTHING. I can just enjoy what I own. That’s the true minimalist wardrobe: get rid of everything that hurts, looks bad, and doesn’t fit. Presto, minimalism! Done!
I think living in North American has taken me far away from the idea of making do with what I already own. Living in such a comfortable and rich country makes it far to easy to collect and check off the list of things I am supposed to have. But I’m going to try and do things a little differently. Embrace the gaps. Abolish the must-have list. Because everything I already own, really is enough.