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Louise Roe Headshot

How Not to Be a Plain Jane

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Plain Jane is a new summer reality series which I hosted. Each of the six episodes featured a new "Jane" searching for the change of a lifetime. The "Jane" of the week received a head-to-toe style transformation, including a new wardrobe and confidence-building exercises.

The show went beyond outward appearances to give all women the chance to make her romantic dreams come true. Once the transformation was complete, "Jane" surprised her unsuspecting crush with her new look and revealed her true feelings to him. A love connection is -- or isn't -- made.

My tips...
  1. Believe in your best bits. 'Plain Jane' is not about changing people or telling them they're rubbish. It's a positive message, which involves accentuating and tweaking assets - and we've all got at least one. So whether it's your legs, your laugh, or your intricate knowledge of old movies, celebrate that thing and push it out there for all to see. Don't be shy.
  2. Look in the mirror naked. To dress your body, you need to know your body, and few of us are aware what specific shape we are. Are you top heavy? Apple? Pear? Column or hourglass? Wherever your flesh goes in and out, there are garments in the mall designed to specifically suit your shape. 'Will it work on my figure,' should be your first thought when shopping, as opposed to being distracted trend, color, price, fabric or which celebrity last wore it in the gossip magazines.
  3. Buy the boy a drink. Women rarely buy the first drink, and chances are he'll be flattered. Don't be an aggressive cougar about it, but casually offering a beer to the guy you've got your eye on is a refreshing change from the usual motion of waiting for him to make the first move.
  4. Enjoy yourself. As simple as that sounds, many of us worry so much about how we look, what we should be saying, and what everyone thinks of us that we look staged or uptight and forget to enjoy the moment. Fashion and dates are supposed to be fun, they're not life-threatening diseases, so just relax and have a laugh. You've only got one life, time to live it.
  5. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. One part of the show involves me making each 'Jane' tell her crush how she truly feels about him. Sometimes there's a lot at stake - like 6 years of friendship or having to share an office with him afterwards. But not one girl regretted doing it. It was like a weight off their shoulders, a terrible fear finally conquered, and in some cases, the beginning of a blossoming romance. And it you're a bumbling blunderer when you're nervous, like some of the girls on the show were, don't forget to rehearse your words!
  6. Learn to walk in high heels. Practice makes perfect, and platforms or wedges are the easiest to balance in. Heels make you stand up straighter, they're slimming, and they really make a difference to the silhouette and attitude you give off when entering a room, trust me!
  7. Buy a red dress. If you're single. You're statistically more likely to be chatted up if you're in red. I'd go for a one-shoulder shape, it's elegant and chic and shows just enough skin to tickle a boy's fancy...
  8. Re-organize your closet. We only wear about a quarter of the clothes we own, mainly because our wardrobes are such a mess. Most things are lost and ignored in a messy bundle at the back. So get everything out on the bed, be objective about whether that decade-old little black dress could be updated with some new accessories or by a nip and tuck from the tailor. Color-coordinate the rest of your clothes and split everything into winter and summer, too.
  9. Get your adrenaline pumping. Pick the most daring item on your bucket list and just do it. On Plain Jane we've been bungee-jumping, sky-diving and swimming with sharks. Don't under-estimate how liberating facing a fear or pushing the envelope is. Stepping outside your comfort zone can help you see life with a whole new perspective, not to mention give you a little more faith in your own capabilities.
  10. Invest in some color. Like it or not, your outfit speaks for you. Fact: we judge strangers on appearance within 8 seconds of meeting them. So you had better make your entrance count, whether it's a job interview, a first date or a family gathering. So many - in fact, TOO many people - wear black, grey or brown, and allow themselves to fade into the background. Make a statement and be noticed in bright colors; it will certainly lift your mood, too.

The season finale of Plain Jane airs September 1 at 9pm on the CW.