Lucky (Magazine) is seeking a new Lifestyle Contributor, and I thought to go ahead and enter the competition. (If you reeeeeeally feel as if you need to vote, go here.) It was a bit of a challenge, admittedly, and I know that I won't get the position. However, I did enjoy writing the article and, as I told the boyfriend, "The least I'll get out of it is a blog post."
So here we are...
I came across a photo of my seven-year-old self last week. In it, I’m wearing a silk hairpiece and a circa-1960s dress that had once been my mother’s. It was summer, then, and I remember that the comforter had been refreshingly smooth against my skin. But it wasn’t the dress, or the bedspread or the yellowing of the photograph that kept me staring.
Unblemished by my mother’s ninja-photography skills, my face stares at the camera, confident in myself (and in my love for The Lion King).
When I found the photograph, I could not stop touching the bent edges of it; I loved it. I loved it so much that I showed it to my boyfriend, who took it, rhythmically ran his thumb over it and said, “If we have a daughter, I want her to look like this.”
I smiled, and remembered wardrobes of the past: purple leopard-print pants I wore on my first day of seventh grade, citrus-colored shorts that would rival this year’s Prabal Gurung show. All those years playing dress-up—playing with costumes and hair and accessories—taught me not only the importance of hair, makeup and outfit transformation, but also enhancement. And, as an informal half-hippie, I’m going to present my lessons in the form of a five-song playlist.
No. 1 “Jerk It Out” by Caesars
Remember the old iPod commercial? You need to do the same thing (no, not dance like gorilla). No, you need to be confident. Find things that make you feel good, whether it’s orange nail polish or Diane von Furstenberg’s Penn Boots. Personally, I like to wear things that accentuate my 36” inseam. I find that heels make me stand taller, straighter and prouder, and I believe that every woman needs a wardrobe that warrants the same result. Whatever it is—a pair of strappy wedges, a striped trench coat, hell, even primate dance moves—get it and be a bold, confident gal because—and the boyfriend will attest to this—the guys want one.
No. 2 “Porcelain” by Moby
For my brother’s wedding, I managed to find a vintage bridesmaid dress for in-astronomical price of $18. It fit me well, too. That is, it fit me until my tailor fashioned it into a corset. I still loved the dress … only, I couldn’t breathe. I wasn’t comfortable. Simply put, comfortableness leads to confidence. Wear clothes that fit, and don’t regret wearing them. Don’t buy things that seem costume-y to you. And although new clothes can seem risky (like a silk Duro Olowu dress), focus on why you purchased it in the first place: did it make your waist look small? Did it showcase your dark hair?
No. 3 “Bad Moon Rising” by Creedence Clearwater Revival
Don’t overdo things (it’s bound to take your life). For Lent, I gave up using beautification products. Nothing led me to believe I was more attractive than the forty days I spent without makeup! As a result, my routine is simple: a swipe of mascara, rosy blush and C.O. Bigelow’s Moisturizing Lip Shine in Golden Peach. Keeping it simple allows me to make a va-va-voom appearance at special occasions. At my brother’s wedding, I used Covergirl’s Black Lash Exact mascara to showcase my smoky eyes. I topped it off with a dreamingly smooth Rosebud lipstick by Sonia Kashuk.
No. 4 “Everyday” by Vetiver
Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. We all know the superstition, so why not fashionably translate it? For something old, try a vintage button-down with lacy cuffs. It can be tucked into a pencil skirt for work, but unbuttoned at night to showcase a sexy cami underneath. Mix and match vintage pieces with animal prints or stacked heel boots hot off the runway. As for borrowing, check out street fashion blogs and “borrow” another person’s style (I admire What Would a Nerd Wear.) And, lastly, include a hint of color, blue or otherwise!
No. 5 “What You Know” by Two Door Cinema Club
Have fun. Be yourself. Laugh. Take silly pictures of yourself because you never know if, one day, you’ll run your thumb back and forth over your captured, fashionable confidence.