I have just been reading in the the Sunday Times Style magazine about Joan Burstein who is the founder of Browns boutique and who, at the age of 90, has no intention of slowing down. I have to salute this lady from the bottom of my (retired) heart. She was one of the first fashion scouts in the industry and with her eye for what constitutes style quickly became successful.
In the magazine she gives her guide to "looking fabulous at 90". Most of her tips are commonsense but my favourite is "avoid mirrors". Now that, dear readers, is something I would dearly like to be able to do. Who hasn't bought a wonderful dress and gloated over it as it hung in the wardrobe only to put it on for that very special occasion and then catch sight of oneself in an honest mirror. I say honest mirror because I reckon the ones in fitting rooms are not. Of course, if you have the ideal body (which I have not) then you will look great in most clothes - that old t-shirt, those skinny jeans, that beautiful black dress. So the best thing to do is not to look - "avoid mirrors" as Joan Burstein so wisely says. I once had a work colleague who would sometimes say "that's a beautiful dress - I know a girl who would look good in that." Endearing kind of guy you might think but actually he was OK just a teeny bit insensitive. I used to laugh but then I'd catch myself checking it out in a full-length mirror and reluctantly admitting that maybe this wasn't right for me. It took me many years to realise how silly this was and develop a thick skin (as opposed to developing the body of a catwalk model).
Nowadays I buy and wear what I feel like. I've made a few - quite a few - bad purchases, if you can call them that, and have accordingly traipsed around to the charity shops to donate them, so I reckon somebody gets the benefit. Let's face it, it's not the end of the world if what you're wearing would look better on a clothes-shop dummy. People who are interested in you will look at your face, watch your eyes. Would you prefer somebody to be pleased to see you or pleased that you're wearing Dior?? Gaylord Hauser I think it was who wrote that everyone is beautiful when they smile. Not a bad motto - "Here's looking at you, kid."