“She has a great look.” Don’t you hope someone has said this about you, preferably in the last week? How does one acquire a “look”, much less a great one? I think that as we get older, we get to know ourselves so much better and part of that sense of self should be expressed in the fact that we finally figure out how to dress our self the best way. Hence, having a Look. I like to think I have a Look and sometimes my little sister will say, “I saw this shirt and it was SO you,” and then I smile inwardly and tell myself it’s because I have a Look. I have a style that says JENNY and it’s working. (That’s on good days, on other days I’m convinced my Look is, “That girl with the dirty hair, bags under her eyes, and the same flip flops for 8 weeks straight.” But whatever, we ignore those days!) So let’s talk about finding your Look, then tweaking it into Your Great Look.
Great Look Finder 1: What do you like? For me, I’m kind of classic in shapes and styles. You don’t find a lot of bright colors in my closet, not a ton of patterns, and not a huge amount of uber-trendy flashy pieces (unless you’re in my Vegas section, but that section is not for the faint of heart). I tend to buy a lot of black and gray pieces, lots of dresses, and tons of jeans. This is me. My little sister has about a million sparkly high heels and is always covered in trendy styles. My best friend, Jenna, literally owns more pink and purple clothing than my second-grader niece. My other best friend, Tara, has the most super-cool vintage band t-shirt collection and many beat-up Cons Chuck Taylors. These are our styles. This is what we like. What do you see the most of in your closet? Are you realizing you own three hundred cardigan sweaters and plaid shirts? Is everything super girly and frilly? Is everything structured and business-looking? Take note of what you’re attracted to in styles and what you tend to buy the most, this is your style, and style is the first step in creating your Look.
Great Look #1: Audrey Hepburn. The saving grace of us skinny shapeless girls everywhere! All eyes, black clothes, and pixie gamine grace.
Great Look Finder 2: How can you turn your style into your Look? I didn’t realize I wore more dresses than anyone on Earth until a guy I was dating pointed out that he loved the fact that I was always in dresses. Truth be told, it was a convenience thing! Dresses are one piece of fabric that I can throw on and be done with, and they’re pretty so it’s a win-win. After he pointed it out, though, I started getting into it. If I’m going to always wear dresses, which is a pretty girly thing to do, then I’m going to start wearing flowers in my hair, and buying shoes that go with dresses. Pretty soon, I had a sort of Look going. The same goes with BFF Tara, as her rocker girl style progressed, she started dying her hair darker and cut straight-edge bangs. We sort of evolved our styles into Looks. If you are going to meet me for lunch, chances are I’m in a little dress, boots, and a flower in my hair. So take a look at your style. If you’re attracted to plaid shirts and jeans, play that up. Get big brown belts and fun flats. If you’re seeing a Gap-ish closet of classics, go with it. Keep your hair classic, your jewelry simple and maybe add on some little Tina Fey black-rimmed glasses. Do you see what I’m saying? Go further down the line of the styles you like.
Great Look #2: Grace Kelly. It’s one in a million that can make their Look be built around sheer genetic perfection. Pearls and that painfully perfect blonde hair!
Great Look Finder 3: Don’t mix genres. Now, I’m not saying you have to be this one person all the time. The way I look at work and the way I look in Las Vegas is light years apart, but you can bet I don’t bring many Vegas pieces into my Monday morning outfit. It would just look weird. If you look in the mirror and your shirt is trendy, your jewelry is old-world classic, and your shoes are from high school, we might have a problem. (Unless your look is “Schizo-Girl-Chic”) Keep your styles in line with each other on every point of your outfit. Classic jeans really do look best with a classic top. Trendy gold leggings are only going to work with some flash-dance looking hipster, oversized shirt from Forever 21. Your grandmother’s pearls will look best with a simple black dress. Just take a moment to look at what you have on and decide if you’re working a Look, or if you’re very tired and just grabbing the nearest soft fabrics in your closet.
Great Look #3: Jackie O. Those sunglasses are still the coolest accessory ever. What a classy broad she was!
Great Look Finder 4: Make sure it’s your Look. Audrey Hepburn had a definite Look. Simple black dresses, tons of eyeliner, hair to show off her pixie face, and skinny black cigarette pants. This was her Look because this is how she looked best. Do you think Marilyn Monroe would look as good in it? Of course not! Audrey was straight in every place Marilyn was curved. They couldn’t share a Look, they were different species! You need to look at yourself and decide what your best features are, and build your Look on what’s going to show you off best. Marilyn’s look was tight, soft fabrics, red lips, platinum hair, and anything that hugged those amazing detours around her figure. Grace Kelly was rarely seen without pearls, and I firmly believe her pajamas showed them off as well. Jackie O worked those sunglasses and pill box hats like no one else could, and she kept that going her entire life. Try finding one picture of Sofia Loren without winged out eyeliner and body parts overflowing from her skintight dresses, cigarette dangling, just oozing sexuality. It is their Look! And they’re all gorgeous! No one can compare a rose to a tulip to an orchid, and it’s the same with women. As much as I could covet a Marilyn sweater and plunging dress, it’s never going to look right on my very detour-challenged figure. Look at yourself, really look, and start highlighting those fantastic spots only you have. Don’t focus on your hated stomach, check out your sexy shoulders! Ignore your imperfect thighs and flaunt your perfect skin.
Great Look #4: Marilyn Monroe. Having a slammin’ body really is a Great Look. The red lips, the hair, the mole, flawless.
Lastly, when you combine your best assets with your unique sense of style and run with it, bam! Your Great Look is born. I’m so excited to see it! I’m picturing women all over town sauntering around so beautiful that all we can do is gape at one another. Look at her hair! Look at her dress! Look at her jeans! Look at her body! Look at her purse! Ahhhh it’s like a choir in perfect harmony!
Great Look #5: Sofia Loren. Sighhhh, if I could look like anyone, it’d be Ms. Loren. I couldn’t be genetically further from this, but my goodness, what a Look.