Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Project 100 - attitude

There really is no point in giving up or compromising one's style when hard times are threatening but with limited funds at the ready some basics need to be in place to work that wardrobe harder.

This is were attitude comes into play. You need a lot of it to pull everything off. I was reminded by a great giveaway on the Shop Curious blog that neither glamour nor grooming is to be forsaken. Get these two basics right and everything else will be a breeze.

1. Good grooming - I should just direct you to Faux Fuchsia for a lesson in good grooming! FF takes attitude and uses it to good effects. Grooming doesn't mean big hair dos and a brazilian. The essence of good grooming is well cut and washed hair, and clean nails. You can varnish your nails - Coco Chanel never used nail varnish on her hands. She thought colour on nails vulgar! I adore nail varnish, although for years I abstained with my superior Chanel knowledge and kept varnish purely for my toe nails and only red or orange at that. However times have changed and you can't go wrong with a white tee shirt, jeans and painted nails.

2. DIY beauty - save pennies and pounds by setting aside a couple of hours a week to undertake your own personal beauty salon regime. I put on a hair mask (usually a John Frieda on or a freebie), soak my feet in a bowl with lemon in the warm water and a splash of olive oil. Then I undertake pedicure and paint toe nails. I tidy my eyebrows and like a lie down with tea bags or cucumber on my eyes. I finish with a manicure. The manicure never lasts when you do it yourself so be prepared to carry the varnish around with you to top up any chips. When I can afford it I use Barielle products when I can't Nivea creme is my default. As for hair removal well I managed with Veet bikini wax strips for tidiness and use men's shaving products for legs and armpits - I prefer them.
You can have one defining item that is your beauty staple like Sister Wolf who is a red lipstick devotee!

3. Accessories - Choose well. I think you can use costume jewellery to great effect but equally a well chosen piece can add drama to your look. This summer I'm making do with a my lovely Hermes leather bracelet from Mr MDS and a pair of old pearl earrings. I would if I had the money buy a pair of the lovely Wendy Brandes Cleopatra earrings, which you can win on her Polyvore challenge I think they are very glamorous and no wonder they ended up on the ears of Samantha for SATC2. It is an item like this that adds the Martini factor to a look. Another item is this necklace from By Marlene Birger at my-wardrobe


4. The Martini purchase - I can make do with all my clothes this summer. I have no problem with wearing things until they die on me. But I firmly believe you need one wow item that makes you feel fabulous or gives you that Martini moment. For me, this season, it is the jumpsuit. I bought one for work so I had one item that was current and now I would like a few more! I never knew jumpsuits were so much fun. This season the high street has some great ones from Topshop, French Connection, Reiss and Next to provide a selection to think about. You will have the one item that you love - add it to your wardrobe and work it.


5. Get Creative - Charity shops, car boot sales and swishing events all offer opportunities to inject something new or provide retail therapy for a few pounds. Sharon Rose Vintage is the queen of thrifting and is a wonderful example to all for bargain hunting yet staying on trend and stylish. Your personal style is your own and you can find things to bring you joy by searching. I often reorganise my wardrobe to make me look at what I have with fresh eyes and create looks.
One reader asked me about swishing and if they could do it themselves. I would say so! Just invite a group of friends to come around, make it fun by assigning them drink or nibbles to bring too. Each item gets a ticket and then you have a browse period before the grabbing or negotiating starts.

The basic premise of Project 100 is to choose glamour first and find the practical way to deliver without throwing money at it - that's where attitude comes in.

19 comments:

  1. Interesting post. Informative and a lot of common sense.

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  2. Great post, I agree with you on the wardrobe sorting it makes you aware of all the options you already have and re find old favourites and different ways to wear them.
    I also shave and prefer it, I waxed for years salon and home, but I much prefer the regular option of shaving and no ingrowing hairs or itchy legs they are what drove me mad the itching as they grew back. There is a lot to be said for home grooming xx

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  3. What a fantastic post!
    There's some great tips there which I shall be taking on board and I must say, I'm loving your jumpsuit.
    Vix
    xxx

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  4. Great post. I must start to set aside a bit more time for pampering, especially as I've started to swim again and all that chlorine is playing merry havoc with my skin.

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  5. I'm still learning how to pamper myself, but always have been into diy and vintage shopping. Sharon Rose definitely shows us how to do it.

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  6. A great post. You can be wearing the most expensive, glam stuff on your body but if you've got split ends, rough skin, dirty nails and hairy legs then nothing's going to make you feel good. And all those things are cheaply fixed, and you won't crave the expensive clothes so much (in my experience. Shopping when you're down is the worst thing ever, for your bank account).

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  7. This is spot on. We need less fierce and Balmain and more confidence. I'm thinking more anti fashion.

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  8. Hi there-I enjoyed this post very much indeed-thanks so much for the shoutout too! Just love your black jumpsuit, certainly a really fab investment buy and you look gorgeous in it!

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  9. Excellent advice. I put all my summer clothes away for winter and vice versa. This way when you take out the old season wardrobe it looks new...OK, I don't always make do, but I do try. Today for example I went out and bought three shirts for work (offer on T M Lewins - a planned purchase), a lovely, lovely ruffle dress and two t-shirts from H of Fraser (they had 20% off) and a pair of jeans at GAP (reduced to a third of price) and a pair of chinos from GAP also. Phew, that felt like a confessional. Feel so much better now.

    Helena xx

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  10. Great post, I'm definitely going to re-assess my wardrobe and to take the plunge and arrange a swishing event with some of my friends.

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  11. You are SO right, Kate. And I almost bought a jump suit in America earlier this week (so much do I love yours).

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  12. That's an interesting info... Coco Chanel hates nail varnish? Wow, now I can say that I'm following Coco's lead. I don't color my fingernails. I keep my nails short and clean... that's it. I only color my toe nails when it's sandals season. xoxo

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  13. I love this post. Tell me, do you think that the Barielle foot cream is MUCH better than the Nivea?

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  14. I too am a bargain bunny and am lucky I live near a fantastic second hand designer shop, today it's a Marc Jacobs cardi (still had the tag on!) with a Marc Jacobs denim skirt and a Margret Howell linen shirt all for £90!!!

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  15. secondo mano in Islington...go love share!!

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  16. Thank you so much for your advice. I need to keep it on little cards in my handbag.

    Meanwhile, I bought a new nail polish today in jade green and I'm oing to change my whole life by putting it on tonight. xo

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