Sunday, 26 June 2016

30 chic days: day 15: vintage chic


My original vintage chic inspiration

I have a fantastic retro book written in 1978, called "Look Like A Million" ...a million dollars, by Leslie Field, who, at the time, was the editor of Tatler magazine. Tatler was, in those days, the magazine for the british peerage...Lord & Lady this & that; the Right Honorables; Master & Miss so & so, & such. These days it now includes the nouveau riche. Times have changed.

The message of the book

The idea at the time of writing the book, was that you could look incredibly wealthy, with:

  • some expensive accessories
  • careful purchase & care of clothes
  • looking after yourself. 

Because, in Ms Field's life, she did need to look the part, & she gave out some great info which fits perfectly into the chic life.

And how to do it

Leslie's hints: 

  • everything about how you look is directed to The First Impression, as we are judged at first sight. She recommends that we all make sure that we stand out. Are unforgettable. To stand out in a crowd, underwhelm people (with your appearance, by not being too fussily dressed)
  • if we care enough to look our very best, we will get better jobs, meet more attractive men, & have a better time
  • do everything in your power to improve what you started with
  • do the best with what you have
  • it's not how much you spend: it's how much you care
  • keep your hair clean, mend your clothes
  • one of the secrets to be able to be well-dressed (in our case, chic!), for little outlay, is to have your body in good shape, hair shiny, skin clear.

Discipline makes beauty routines automatic - do everything as quickly & simply as possible. Ironically, I had been thinking this. Work out what you are going to be doing for beauty & exercise maintenance. And of course, this often involves trial & error. Then do it. Quickly. Just get it done. It's not about heaps of fancy skin care products & tons of make-up, but rather, just do what we have to do, quickly & simply, to look good.

  • look contemporary & up to date. 
  • start today
  • simplify everything in your life
  • find your own style
  • "borrow" bits & pieces from others to see how they work for you, & if they suit you, make them your own

Extra hints

The most ageless clothes are those well-cut (classic) styles that appear to work together by chance, but in fact are carefully edited & always look marvellous. It's an air of throwaway chic that comes with experience.

Another wonderful tip, which I saw elsewhere, is that being chic comes from being organised (amongst other things!)

I love this little book, I read it at least once a year. Leslie was a woman who got to the top of her profession, in an era where it was much harder for women to do so. She worked for Glamour, Vogue, in Fleet St, as well, before becoming the editor of Tatler, without earning masses of money. Along the way, she developed style, confidence, happiness.

And although this is from a vintage book, many of Leslie's tips are still relevant today.

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