This morning I got a little inspiration from the archives in the form of an article about Anna Karina. She was held up as an icon of New Wave style and I love the simplicity of her look.
Less is more, everybody… well, less effort is more suitable for my lifestyle. In fact, that’s probably true of all of us.
Despite the numerous devices which are supposed to save time and effort in our lives, we’re still under constant pressure.
We’re working, spending time with friends, navigating packed supermarkets, bringing up children and trying to budget time and money for everything at the same time.
I know people who wake up every morning and do all the things that I save for date night. Seriously, these women shave past the knee every single time. In winter – when we need to keep warm.
They have nails painted in bright colours – the ones where every chip will show – and eyebrows that Joan Crawford would have killed for. Seriously, Joanie would snarl at them.
These are the women who wear heels every single day. Don’t be fooled by a wedge trainer. They aren’t trainers – they are heels. Their parkas require dry cleaning.
Now, let me make something absolutely clear – I am not down on women who are ‘high maintenance’. I was ‘high maintenance’ and I still love clothes and makeup and accessories.
I hate the term ‘high maintenance’ – it’s patronising and usually used in the pejorative.
It’s also bullshit. So what if women like to use makeup and buy expensive clothes? Fashion is a multi billion dollar industry – and it’s amazingly resilient in the face of the vagaries of economics.
My life and personality juxtapose. Seriously, I want to be soignée and elegant but I’m usually broke, tired and lazy. I require practical solutions to my life – in all respects.
The most valuable things I have are my laptop and my car. They’re absolutely necessary and they’re reliable. Neither of them were particularly expensive because I am a careful consumer. I need the same things when it comes to style.
So I reject the expectations that society places on me. I do the best I can. Sorry but I don’t want to weight train my eyelids by wearing false lashes. I have a decent, long lasting mascara and a half decent lash batting technique, thank you so very much.
That said, I like looking nice. I do it for me. I like look well rested – I would prefer to actually be well rested but I have about sixteen years to go before both of my daughters leave home.
I like to look like my skin has been touched by sunshine – instead of just the meteorological misery that the Liverpool micro climate serves up for 275 days of the year.
I like to look sleek and smart and together. Without a little bit of effort, I’m kind of messy looking. That isn’t going to get me any jobs. Somehow, changing my clothes flicks a little switch from ‘domestic torpor’ to ‘professionally stimulating’.
That said, my inspiration is very low key. I favour simplicity.
I don’t have time for anything more complicated than that. I have things to do – and so do you, dear readers. It took me a long time to realise that I didn’t have to worry about not looking perfect all the time. I don’t have to be done up. I just have to do something to keep myself ‘up’. As my dear Aunt told me, ‘You don’t have to be good all the time. You have to be good enough’.
I am. I’m good enough for me, I’m good enough for the life I choose to lead and for the people I love. It turns out that there are lots of people like me out there. This piece is full of pictures of others.
We can turn up the glamour when we need to but we’re happy to be pared down too.
Society will just have to get used to us.
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