Happy 2008! The start of the New Year is a great time to review your personal style needs. I know, I know – you’re up to the eye balls with resolutions and must do’s/do not’s. I promise you, the following is not a fashion revolution, but a shortlist of easy ideas that add no more than a minute or two to your daily routine, can save you time in the long run, cost very little or nothing at all, and, most importantly, will enhance how you look and feel this year.
At the Style File, we normally focus on clothes and accessories. But there’s no point puchasing the latest and greatest unless you have the foundations in place. And YOU are the foundations. So, once the kids are settled back at school and you’re used to your daily routine once again, resolve to take stock of your style starting with you. Here we go from the top:
1. Hair – do you love your style? Is it up-to-date? Does it work for your hair type, face and features and lifestyle? If you answer yes to all these – that’s great, move on! If you’ve answered no to any of these, it’s time to review your crowning glory with your hair stylist (or even, take the plunge and move to a new hair professional.)
2. Skin is in – our skin changes over time and with the seasons, and often after we become moms. Next time you’re at the drugstore, take a few minutes to review your needs with the instore beauty expert (most large drugstore chains have these specialists at their locations these days.) Great new products are on the shelves, such as those with built in double duty advantages, for example, tinted moisturizers for face and body.
3. Smile – it might sound corny, but a great smile is the best accessory. Multiple recent reports reinforce not only the cosmetic, but health benefits of flossing, so if you’ve fallen off the flossing wagon, do try to get back on (it also sets a great example to your kids.) And, if you want to try getting those pearly whites even whiter, check out the new at home teeth whitening products. Enhancements in this line mean that results can be achieved in as few as three days.
4. Make-up – as with your hair, when was the last time you updated your look? If you think you’re out of step with current looks and products, or for non make-up wearers, feel that it’s all too scary or too much effort, simply pick-up a magazine (when you’re at the hairstylist – see #1 above), review the beauty pages and give something new a try. So many applications are natural-looking and designed for our fast paced lives. Once you get the hang of it, a couple of minutes in the morning can leave you feeling and looking more refreshed all day.
5. Posture – Yes, posture! I don’t mean to sound like your grade 5 dance teacher, but do make a conscious effort to think about how you sit and stand. I would argue that good posture is one of the simplest ways for anyone (no matter their height/weight) to look better and for free! So, ladies – no slouching, chests out, tummies in, shoulders back (ooops, I think I just sounded like Miss Prim.) Of course, it goes without saying that overall healthy eating and staying fit go hand in hand with looking and feeling your best. Check out Susan’s Mom Fitness posts for expert advice.
6. Underwear – I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – no piece of clothing will look it’s best unless you’re wearing the right undergarments. So take a look at yours and be honest. If you’re not getting smooth lines, good support and comfort, you have to invest.
7. The basics – it’s tough to put any outfit together without enough of the basics – camis and T’s for layering and to wear under jackets, shirts and sweaters, and for this time of year, turtle necks that dress up or down with office wear and jeans. If you find you’re often rummaging through the laundry to find the few you have, save yourself the hassle and purchase a few extra – you know you’ll be wearing them.
8. Closet cleanup – O.K. I confess, this one can require the investment of a chunk of time , but once done, will save precious minutes each morning. So, if you’re up for it, take a look back at our Wardrobe Workout segment as part of the Schick Intuition video series from last summer, take in the tips and get your wardrobe working for you this year.
With the above in place you’ll be ready for the new trends 2008 is about to send our way. Get ready for the three P’s this year – patterns, preppy and primary colours. More in our next Style File post, but in the meantime, here’s a preview of what’s in store or about to be in store/online this Spring from The Gap, J. Crew and Old Navy.
CONTEST! With saving time as a recurring theme above, share your time saving style tips in the comments section below, and you could win a Timex Mary Jane timepiece, complete with up-to-the minute mesh band and the useful Indiglo night light. We’ll announce the winner in two weeks (on January 23). Remember! If you submit your entry in the comments, you MUST include your email address (when composing the comment) or we will not be able to get in touch with you if you are the winner! Or send an email to email@example.com.
THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED – We’re thrilled to announce the winner:
We asked you for your time saving style tips and, boy, did you ever share your ideas and tricks. Thanks to everyone who provided a mom-approved idea to save time towards getting great style, and in all other aspects of their lives.
All the entries were reviewed by Katie from the urbanmoms.ca Style File and we are pleased to announce that the winner of the Timex Mary-Jane timepiece is Jennifer, mom of 3, fromToronto. Heres her fabulous style tip:
I always keep a "go-to" outfit in my closet; a forgiving black outfit that manages to look right for anything. It’s usually once I’m dressed and I’m running around like crazy in the morning, making sure my sons have homework, swimming stuff, lunches, and that my husband’s shirt is ironed and my daughter’s eaten her breakfast, that I discover the oatmeal on my shoulder/button missing from my blouse/hole in my tights. Having my "go-to" outfit clean and ready saves me from the millions of outfit changes I’d have to undergo (or from the embarrassment of whatever I’d expose with that missing button!)
Great idea Jennifer!
Katie is host of the urbanmoms.ca Style File. As a public relations professional and a student of style and design, she has helped many retail and fashion clients promote their brands. She is mom to two boys (the best anti-shopping devices on the market) and now indulges her love of fashion by conducting wardrobe consultations, personal shopping expeditions and by participating in media interviews, providing advice on everything from wardrobe must-haves to accessories and footwear. Katie firmly believes that high style does not have come with a high price tag and her shopping philosophy is based on saving both time and money.
For more style musings, visit Katie at Real Canadian Style www.realcanadianstyle.blogspot.com