About 15 years ago I had the “brilliant” idea to become a personal shopper. It was not a brilliant idea. I do love to shop, that is true, but not for other people.
I would meet with a client and review their wardrobe. Did they have a pair of fantastic black pants? White shirts? A pair of loafers? Once they realized they needed everything off we would go. I’ll tell you this: People cannot make up their minds. It was very hard on my nerves.
Looking back I now realize that when I took inventory of their closets I forgot to take inventory of their attitudes. Nothing looks good if you’re mopey, sullen or feel the need to apologize for being you.
Feeling confident, upbeat, and positive is how you look fabulous. And those feelings are the foundation for a timeless style.
“Guaranteed Good Chat” or GCC. GGC is shorthand when I’m making an introduction by email or text. A GGC is bright and delightful. Well-informed but not haughty.
It takes work to be a GGC. You have to be a talented listener and conversationalist. You have to brim with high and positive energy. You have to be emotionally accessible so we feel as if we’re being heard.
There are many ways to describe someone extraordinary but GGC does just fine.
I was just about to do it, too.
I’m talking about buying something on sale. Don’t get me wrong — I love a bargain. But buying on sale is tricky. It’s easy to fall into “but it was on sale” rationalization.
There’s only one question to ask yourself when you’re about to grab that shirt that’s 30% off. Would you have purchased it when it was full price?
If “yes” it’s a true score. Otherwise…well, you know what to do.
I consider myself direct or rather clear.
A friend had called. She was a research assistant for a network television anchor. The job had cachet but there was no room for growth. She started a job hunt and was hired to teach journalism at a university in Boston. She went to her “board of directors” (i.e. wisest friends) for advice.
They waffled. “It sounds interesting.” “Are you sure you’ll be happy in Boston?”
She asked me if she should take the job. After hearing the backstory of the lack of opportunities at ABC News I told her “why not try it.”
“Thank you,” she said. “I needed that.” She took the job and I never heard from her again. (Unfortunately, she forgot to close the loop.)
Moral of story: When someone wants your input, give it to them straight. And if they don’t want your input, just listen.
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…enclosed with a check. Why? Isn’t a payment for services enough?
I don’t think so.
I rack my brain looking for ideas to project fabulous and enclosing a personal note along with a check is perfect. It tells someone you’re appreciative of their work and you don’t operate from the vantage point that everything is all business. Everything is not all business.
The check minus the personal note sums up all the other things we’re missing — relationships, good manners, and making people feel good about themselves. It also says “I see you.”
“I see you.” I love it.
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I have mentored a few friends who were tempted to go grey. This is no small matter. It takes courage, flair and a non-apologetic attitude about aging. Some thoughts:
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“Ageless women” have a few things in common:
#1. Ageless women’s brains are filled with (delightful) but useless information. (The tabloid website DAILY MAIL is their must-read.)
#2. Ageless women defriend jackets with sequined padded shoulders.
#3. Ageless women try to use both thumbs when typing an email or a text.
#4. Ageless women are confident they’re fabulous.
#5. Ageless women do not discuss their gum surgery.
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I have a friend who has wonderful attributes. He’s smart, warm and clever. If only he could be happy for other people’s professional success.
I enjoy listening to a “how I got here” story. You know…how someone started out in a menial position, out-worked the competition, projected an upbeat attitude and saw a roadblock as a challenge (and not a defeat).
I wish my friend wasn’t sucked into the “he’s up so I must be down.” That thinking will undermine your confidence and corrode your soul.
If you know someone who is keeping score, there’s very little you can do to dissuade them. The minute they start counting I strongly urge you to start counting the black pants in your closet.
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A male friend bumped into one of my frenemies (a frenemy is someone who says she’s your friend and then takes every opportunity to undermine you.)
“She is really beautiful for 63,” he said. (What’s shocking about being beautiful at 63? I may have to rethink my relationship with him.)
I said good-bye to this woman a few years ago. She verbally spanked me. She belittled my dreams. She used all the best beauty products but she wasn’t beautiful on the inside where it really matters.
Please keep that in mind when someone suggests a lip balm that costs $70.
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My phone has an app for “Mindfulness.” I have no idea why I have that app. More Mindfulness and I’ll never get out of the house.
According to my app, Mindfulness will quiet your mind, relax your body, and be in the moment. That sums up my morning routine.
Upon waking, I quiet my mind with a happy vision of wearing one of my wacky costume brooches at the nape of my boxy white shirt. I’m relaxed when I see the long swingy black skirt (perfection with the brooch and shirt) is spotless (I thought I spilled salad dressing on it.) And when I contemplate the chic factor of metallic flats versus suede heels, trust me. I am totally in the moment.