Just returned from a lunch meeting with a group of my colleagues. This particular group of ladies are very impressive on their worst day. They range in age from new mothers to mature, sophisticated women (I fall somewhere towards the end of the mature, sophisticated spectrum). I knew that today meant I would have to wear heels, a jacket and maybe put on some makeup in this 100+ degree weather. But it felt good. Today, we were "ladies who lunch." You know, "well dressed women who meet for lunch socially..." (thanks Wikipedia). It reminded me that, for the most part, women dress for other women. I laugh at men who believe that we are "dressing" to please them. Luckily, my husband is well aware of this and doesn't harbor any misguided belief that I take 2 hours to get ready to make him happy. I do it to make myself feel good and to look good because I know that other women are making mental notes. There is nothing wrong or catty about this. We need other women to be standard-bearers so to speak. Otherwise, we might all fall into the t-shirt/sweatpants black hole. I live by Billy Crystal's quote impersonating Fernando Lamas, "It is better to look good than to feel good." But the truth is, that looking good will make you feel good. I don't mean spending hours getting ready on a daily basis because most of us don't have that kind of time. But there is something to be said for slapping on some lip gloss, mascara (I have a friend who never leaves the house without her "eyes") and a decent outfit. Again, no sweatpants please! It doesn't take much effort, really, it doesn't. So, here are some tips that will you help get that "casual but pulled together" look that we all want:
1) Cherry chapstick works great as a moisturizer and tint
2) Clear mascara to put on in the car at a stoplight and if you miss, no black smudges around your eyes
3) If you wear flip flops on a routine basis, which is fine, make sure your toes are pedicured
4) Wear a clean (yes, sometimes it has to be said out loud), fitted T-shirt or button down shirt w/ capri's (very Mary Tyler Moore) instead of jeans and your husband's T-shirt
5) If you can't do your hair, pull your hair back in a nice ponytail or if you can't make a ponytail, wear a cute headband.
Obviously, we can't pull off the "Ladies Who Lunch" look 24/7 (and really, do we want to?) but for me, I was very happy to have to dress up today and remind myself that indeed it is better to look good than to feel good but it's truly the best when you look good and it makes you feel good.