One of my all time favorite pastimes is people-watching, and ever since I moved to New York I couldn't be happier. It's like being part of a giant fashion show and the sidewalk is the runway. Every street, every block, every neighborhood has another real life model strutting her stuff in this great metropolis.
Then I started to look a little closer...
To my dismay, not all was what it seemed. Not all of you were paying attention! Not all were taking the time to pull it together! When I looked a little closer, things were good from afar, but far from good. My rose-colored glasses are cracked and some of you are skipping whole steps -- things you forgot to do. You think no one notices or you simply couldn't be bothered.
THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE, LADIES!
This needs to be addressed because you're getting on my nerves when I know you're just being lazy or you've put yourself so far down the list of priorities--job... kids... boyfriends/girlfriends... whatever! You're accessorizing and paying attention to your fall looks like I told you, but missing the minor KEY details.
I forgot to mention: NO MATTER HOW FAB THE COAT, THE BAG, THE SHOE - if you've got three inch roots, Frida Kahlo's brows, and you're walking on the nails of your stilettos -- it does not work! Ladies, repeat after me: IT'S ALL IN THE DETAILS!
Let me give you an example of two women: one who paid attention to the deets and one who did not. I was at a NY charity event last week. The invitation called for cocktail attire. I arrived early to people-watch and two ladies walked in. Both had on LBDs. (For the last time -- Little Black Dresses). Both had on strappy shoes. THAT'S where the similarities ended. One was MUCH more pulled together than the other. The girl who had it together -- let's call her Sally -- her dress fit perfectly -- it was the right length and hugged her in all the right places, her shoes fit well, her fingers and toes were manicured, her hair pulled back in a simple chignon, perfect clutch, makeup flawless and appropriate. She looked stylish and polished and was exuding confidence. She would have a good evening. Her friend, let's call her Gerty...dress? Not so well fitted (a bit baggy) with a saggy hem, swimming in her shoes (foot sliding down past the front of the shoe ends), chipped nail polish and 2 toes missing color (obviously in a hurry), hair -- at least 2 inches should have been cut off because it was beyond dead, and make-up -- lets just say if you do use cover up -- for heavens sake do your neck! What did I say about new mascara? Spider eyes are a no-go. She looked hurried, flustered and NOT confident. I'm sure she had a very different evening.
It does not take much to make allll the difference in the world. Here are a few simple deets:
Feet : Toes should be done. Winter is no excuse. You might be sleeping with somebody and if you are, they don't want to see gnarly toes. Would you?! It doesn't give you an excuse not to shave either. Your shoes should ALWAYS fit and be well-maintained. Do not borrow your friends shoes, do not squeeze into shoes that are to small or, for that matter, buy shoes that are too big - EVER. Clown shoes were never in vogue.
Moisturize: Elbows, Ankles, Knees and Toes. You know the song. Also everywhere else in between. It doesn't have to be expensive, anything by Nivea will do. A dear friend of mine who is a plastic surgeon, Shirley Madhere, won't even do a lift unless the skin is highly moisturized. Your DNA skin samples flaking off at various events, leaving a trail is never a good look...this is not an episode CSI or Forensic Files.
Undergarments: A HUGE DETAIL. Stained bras, panties, slips, cami's, stockings with holes, things with broken elastic and anything held together with a safety pin must be thrown away - immediately! Just because you can't see it doesn't mean it's not there. Once it is discovered (by accident or by circumstance) you'll thank me for the lack of embarrassment you won't have to suffer through. Didn't your mom always say make sure you had on clean undies in case you got into an accident? So PLEASE make sure all of your underpinnings FIT CORRECTLY! Most women are wearing the wrong size bra. If you have back fat, you may not be fat! You just might have on the wrong bra. Lastly, SPANX under everything! This is the equivalent of liposuction without the surgery.
Makeup: If you had your colors done no less than five years ago, get them done AGAIN! Skin changes. Your freckles pop, moles show, you gain and lose tans. You need to be reassessed just like everything else. Your makeup needs to be clean. You want to know why you have bad skin? You've been brushing yourself with that tool that has survived colds, breakups, and infection. My gosh. Help yourself. It's ugly and unsanitary. You'll thank me. Great skin beats a new designer bag - ANYDAY.
Hair: This is a very sensitive subject so I'll make it short and sweet. Whatever your hairstyle, make sure it is maintained -- we're talking color and cut. You know those crazy commercials where people are swinging their hair and loving it -- it could be you. It's no joke. I have a few beautiful friends in LA with that kind of hair. They didn't always have that hair, but a great hairdresser is worth a million bucks!
At the end of the day you can say life is more important than looking good. That may be true, but I do know this. When we look good, we feel great. When we feel great, wonderful things can happen. Start with one deet and see how you feel!
Always remember, never forget: First impressions are forever.
This was originally published in December 2007.