Achieving a Polished Look
Hello and welcome back to the blog!
Today I wanted to share some quick thoughts about how we can complete a polished and elegant look.
I don't believe you need to spend thousands of dollars or have an incredible eye for fashion in order to accomplish a polished and attractive look. Pulling together an outfit is as simple as a few adjustments with your hair, your accessories, and how you maintain your clothes.
But as simple as it is to define, it can be complicated to actually pull off without experience or studying the experts.
I have spent years and YEARS studying the art of the polished woman. My mother was of course my main role model in this area growing up. I don't think I'll ever forget her putting on her rose tweed skirt suit, complete with pumps and tasteful jewelry to go conquer a day at the office. She never failed to have the right outfit for any occasion, no matter if she was attending a gala, a day on our boat, or even just cleaning the house: she always looked polished.
Even more, though, she would buy me large fashion books that highlighted the glamourous fashion greats from 1890 to 1990. I spent hours pouring over photos of Cindy Crawford, Grace Kelly, and Brigitte Bardot. These women just had that polished and flawless SPARKLE. From head to toe, no matter if it was a casual or fancy occasion, they just seemed so put-together, elegant, and well... POLISHED!
From head to toe, the look was complete. Every hair was in its proper place, every color magically complimented the next, and each accessory was tastefully chosen. The style of these women didn't matter so much as the overall intention of each outfit.
There was a clear emphasis on complimenting each woman's body shape, coloring, and personality, regardless of the style of the times. Audrey Hepburn's ingenue chic style might have looked out of place on Grace Kelly, but both women were equally elegant and polished. And that's what we must remember: your specific style does not matter insomuch as the method by which you present yourself.
Both are completely polished head to toe but are giving off totally different styles. This shows that it is possible to achieve elegance no matter your style.
I conclude that we must always choose outfits with care, looking to compliment our figures, our coloring, and our personalities, while paying special attention to accomplishing a complete head to toe combination.
While I am not going to be breaking down every single element that goes into a polished and elegant woman's look, I did want to share some basics with you today. Enjoy!
Foundation of Skincare.
Good skin is the foundation of any outfit, not just your makeup. It will polish off your overall image and help you look extra glowy and pretty in your outfit. In fact, you could have a relatively unflattering outfit on, but if your skin and face look nice, you can pull it off.
Eyes, lips, and blemishes.
I always ensure to line my eyes with mascara or a combination of liner and mascara. This helps them stand out on my face and makes me feel "finished." I also line and color in my lips, as I have noticed that that is one of the elements which really sets apart the girls from the women when it comes to the art of looking timeless and polished.
A finished off Grace Kelly lip is sometimes all you need to really enter into the next level with your look. And finally, I always make sure my blemishes are concealed. This too helps your look be much more polished as you are literally polishing up your face. A cute outfit with a ton of blemishes might not have the same star-power effect than if you had attempted to achieve a level of coverage.
I always wash my wedding band and ring with dish soap and make sure it's sparkling and ready for whatever event I'm headed to. You don't need a ton of jewelry, in fact, it can be most flattering to have minimal and tasteful jewelry, but if you ARE going to wear some, make sure it is clean and sparkling.
A cute outfit can be absolutely harpooned by a saggy bra, underwear lines, or a see-through skirt. Don't make the fashion mistake of failing to sculpt your figure. The clothing is just the adornment on top of the real treat: YOU. So make sure you are sculpting and shaping your figure as best you can underneath those adornments to really help your clothing look flattering. This could mean cheeky underwear to avoid panty lines, a sturdier bra, or even wearing a pair of Spanx.
Don't underestimate how many classic and elegant women make good use of shapewear. I will throw some on when I'm wearing a figure-hugging dress and follow MANY gorgeous women online who also make use of shapewear. Try your best to ensure that your chest is elevated and sturdy, and do make use of skirt slips underneath your dresses to avoid any accidents or peep shows. These extra little bits will help you get to that next level of "wow!" when it comes to how you look in clothing.
Honestly, I think if we all made a pact to throw out our masculine shoes, the world would be a prettier place for it. Masculine shoes might look chic on the model on Instagram, but when your average woman wears masculine shoes it tends to drag down her entire look. Have you ever noticed that most Russian women, (some of THE MOST polished and feminine women in the game) never wear masculine shoes? They make good use of pointed toes, feminine colors, and supple textures and heels to help their legs look long and their outfits look chic.
I encourage you to only wear masculine shoes for utility purposes like chores or work and to avoid them for everyday errands, dinner dates, or any formal occasion. Learn how to walk in a short heel (2-3 inches) and adopt some neutral pumps to go with your everyday clothing. If you're married to your Chacos, this advice is not for you, but if you want to look polished and chic, the right shoe might be all that's holding you back from greatness.
Say NO to Unflattering Loose Tops
Loose tops are a scourge on our society. They RARELY flatter and most often obscure our central marker of femininity: the beautiful place from our bust to our waist, down to our hips. That golden place must not be hidden from the world! It is what makes you a woman! I encourage you to adopt fitted tops into your wardrobe. Not tight, not super immodest or revealing, just fitted. You can make use of draping or ruching if you would like to disguise extra tummy fat, but I encourage you to avoid the temptation of just throwing on extremely baggy sacklike tops in an effort to obscure your shape.
I would have to add a caveat here that some tops that are loose are STILL flattering. So this is going to be a little bit of a journey, but in general, anything that makes you look top-heavy, or as if you are concealing a ton of extra weight is generally not flattering. Some blouses or dresses are intended to be loose and are also flattering, but just know that you are walking a VERY fine line with this. If in doubt, choose something fitted. ALSO, I doubt I need to say this but stop wearing those free t-shirts that people get at fundraisers or for volunteering! They're terrible and will never be part of a polished look. No! Just no!
This is a tricky subject as we all have different hair, however, my advice is to be as natural as possible. Extremely unrealistic extensions, wigs, or colors are probably the furthest away from a complete and polished look. But we must NOT go too natural either. A "just washed" look might be cute on a supermodel, but for us mere mortal women, it's best to at least pay some care and attention to your hair with styling, moisture, and volume.
Ensure you have some volume at the crown of your head, always make sure there are flattering pieces around your face, and avoid the trap of dead ends and frizzy hair shafts. Good hair takes time and effort: DAILY effort. It is not for the faint of heart. In general, the best thing you can do is get your hair to as healthy a state as humanly possible. In general, healthy hair will be much more manageable, flattering, and polished than damaged broken hair. It is up to you if you want to wear it in a sleek ponytail, or if you want to cut bangs, use hair rollers, or any type of styling under the sun. Just make sure that it looks natural, flattering, and healthy and you will be on your way to a complete "look."
Take your look to the next level with some extras. Wear earrings, have a nice pair of sunglasses pushed up on your head. Wear a fashion jacket, not a utility or sports jacket. Put on a dressier shoe, wear a watch, and carry a purse. These grown-up touches will help you look polished and put together. If you need inspiration for this, I encourage you to study the greats: Kate Middleton, Amal Clooney, Grace Kelley, Meghan Markle, Queen Rainia, and so many more polished high society women.
Alright, that is all I have for today, I hope this post inspires you to at the very least, put more care and intention into your look. Try setting your clothing out the night before, and always try things on if you are unsure if your outfit will go together. You won't regret it!