I really believe that we are living in times that necessitate a reminder of a very famous quote from one of the odes of Horace: ‘CARPE DIEM, QUAM MINIMUM CREDULA POSTERO’. In other words, ‘seize the day, trusting as little as possible in the future’. Don’t worry, I wouldn’t know what any of this means if I hadn’t watched ‘Dead Poets Society’ either, but I have to admit that quotes that resonate with me have a positive result; I generally do read more of their work. Why this quote and why do we need to hear it now? Believe it or not, it is the 60s-inspired dresses and floral flowy skirts that brought it to the forefront of my mind! We have all become so stuck in our ways, heads down, lack of energy, moaning and groaning and the list goes on and on… What we need is a revolution in fashion and a revolution of the mind, that’s it in a nutshell.
You must admit that ‘happy’ music has the knock-on effect of ‘picking you up’ or ‘lifting your spirits’, so it should be no surprise to you that ‘happy’ clothes can and do lift your spirits. Stress will ‘rob the life and soul’ out of you, stress kills and while most stressers cannot be taken away immediately (especially with the state the economy is in) how we deal with the stress in our lives is under our control and very definitely can make a gargantuan difference. So from this moment on, make yourself a promise that you will be wholly engaged in ‘SEIZING THE DAY’.
We all dress according to our humour, don’t we? Days that you feel on top of the world are sure to have you taking extra time in dressing and creating your signature style whereas ‘those other days’ will leave you disinterested, most women just grab and throw on whatever is easiest so that you are reminded all day long how ‘crappy’ you feel when you look in the mirror. The answer is to fill your wardrobe with HAPPY clothes so no matter what you throw on, even in a hurry and on one of ‘those’ days, you stay open to feeling better because you will see someone looking really well staring back at you in the mirror.
This is not the first time that you will have heard me say this and I cannot express how profoundly important it is…Never go shopping if you are sad, overly tired, with someone who is a lot thinner than you or when you have to trudge around in one downpour after another. What happens when you do, is that you end up ‘settling’ for something that might just about fall into the ‘OK’ category when you could have found a sensational outfit that showed off your best assets and made you feel ‘HAPPY’.
‘The very purpose of our life is to seek happiness’. Dalai Lama XIV
Every one of you knows exactly what colours look great on you and what colours to avoid. I call your ‘best’ colours your ‘HAPPY’ colours and this is the very start of building a ‘HAPPY’ wardrobe. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you only have one or two happy colours. Is a happy colour a bright colour? Well, yes of course, but it doesn’t have to be ‘siren’ bright and your wardrobe can still be compiled of lots of black, brown, navy, grey and tan. Learn to complement the darker shades in your wardrobe with a splash of colour, but don’t go overboard — head to toe in bright orange or bright pink can leave you looking ‘tacky’.
I love the 60s dresses that are short, slightly A-line and topped off with a white collar, better still if it comes in a floral pattern — ultimate ‘HAPPY’ dress. Of course a floral pattern will show off your fun side, that’s exactly what is needed right now and you’re never too old to wear a fun floral pattern. Print trousers are really big right now and the variety is endless. If you are worried that wearing them will make your thighs or bum look bigger, choose a small pattern and stay safe with monochrome. I found a pair with ‘pugs’ on them, how appropriate and they are definitely the front-runner in my ‘happy’ wardrobe right now. They have a ‘rub-off-happy-effect’ too because I was sitting waiting to go into an appointment and when two people sat down either side of me they both smiled and stayed smiling. It just dawned on me that maybe they unanimously decided that I was mad! Whatever, do I care? I like to think that when someone points the finger at you and says that you are mad or strange it is because they don’t have the courage to do or say what you do or wear what you wear. Doesn’t that make so much more sense?
Lace is definitely a feel-good, look-good, happy and sexy fabric to wear and it is no surprise that it is overflowing in the shops because you can never have enough lace bits in your wardrobe. While it can be very delicate and feminine, it is also very free-ing and powerful, what a combination. A well fitting or snug lace dress will carry you through any formal event, just make sure that accessories are kept to a minimum and are non-intrusive. Luckily we don’t have to save ‘lace’ for formal times only, you can wear lace underwear anytime — definitely a happy wardrobe winner. You wouldn’t believe the number of women that I come across who save their ‘beautiful’ underwear for sometime special…If you ask me, wearing beautiful lace underwear is what creates those ‘special times’. Get them out, get them on and seize the day as if there were no other days to follow, otherwise they are wasted! If you are not a full on lace dress type of girl, there is something for everyone this season; a top with a little lace or a lace blouse or even a jacket with lace-effect lapels — beautiful.
When it comes to lips and nails, Orchid is definitely the way to go, powerful, bright, fun, strong and very chic. While it might take a bit of experimenting with on the lips, it is a winner on finger and toenails and is called this season’s ‘Purple Reign’. It’s a gorgeous colour and works well with just about every other colour, quirky with blue, striking with yellow or orange, a statement with black and very daring with red and above all else an ultimate ‘happy’ colour. So get cracking on your wardrobe and colour it up.
I found the most incredible documentary online recently about Bill Cunningham, a New York Times photographer. I remember looking at his work in the Times when I lived there, but having watched his story it means a hell of a lot more now. Bill had an entire page devoted to fashion called ‘On the Streets’ and he also photographed the ‘WHO’S WHO’ at events. His passion is ‘street photography’. He looked to everyday people on the streets of New York to set fashion trends and once these photos were printed the trend soon followed. He devoted his entire life to seeing the beauty in ‘regular Joe soaps’ and how they dressed. He caught people at their most vulnerable yet most beautiful and happiest, nothing staged, no second takes! He cycled his bicycle through the streets and lots of pictures were taken on the move so he didn’t even get the persons name but they were forever immortalised in the annals of the New York Times.
That’s how I see you. I could sit for hours watching street style. I learn so much from women who think that they don’t have any style because they actually do. What I would love to see is more ‘happy’ women wearing extra-ordinarily ‘happy’ clothes. Be brave, be daring — just don’t ever be afraid to be yourself!