I don’t know about you, but I don’t have gobs of money that I can spend on luxury goods so that people will think I’m glamorous. But, as our mentor Virginia Postrel reminds us in The Power of Glamour, true glamour is simply “a life devoid of mediocrity.” Luckily for us, we don’t need to spend gobs of money to project a glamorous image. We just have to avoid “settling” into mediocrity.
Here are five strategies you can do right now to seem more glamorous. Most of them are free. All will elevate your level of confidence–which will make you seem more glamorous.
- Stand up straight –– Yes, pay attention to your posture (especially if you are a bit busty). Midcentury modeling agency and schools icon John Robert Powers tells us in his book, Secrets of Poise, Personality, and Model Beauty, “posture can make or break beauty.”
- Sit like a model — I’ve been practicing sitting like a model for the past several weeks but the real test came last week when I was sitting for hours in a workshop and then sitting for hours in an airport and then sitting for several hours on a plane. I was surprised by how comfortable it is to sit with my legs to the side. I was worried about this position because my feet don’t normally reach the floor when I sit so I end up slouching in the chair. Sitting with my legs to the side, however, enabled me to reach the floor without any problems. And the best part is that I had the added confidence of knowing that I wasn’t accidentally showing off “my good china” for the rest of the world to see.
- Do a few minutes of stretching-type exercises every day — Not only will it help with your posture but it will help with your balance and coordination, too. When your body is limber, you move more gracefully. And you are less likely to, say, fall down a short flight of stairs and end up with a Purple Frodo Foot (trust me, hobbling around on crutches with a swollen foot that is purple from the bruising is not glamour inducing). If you are a member of Amazon Prime, you have an amazing variety of stretching workouts available to you as part of your membership. Or, check out a bunch of DVDs from your library until you find one that is perfect for your level of flexibility.
- Only wear beautiful clothes –– or clothes that make you feel beautiful. Note that this advice isn’t to only wear clothes that are comfortable. Tim Gunn’s Fashion Bible notes the fear of being uncomfortable has been the source of American frumpiness. He proclaims that “the baggy cargo capri is the single worst item of clothing in America today.” Here’s what I have found: I am usually much more comfortable when I’m wearing clothes that make me feel fabulous than I am when I’m wearing “comfort clothes.” It’s a psychological thing. And besides, who says that beautiful clothes are necessarily uncomfortable? It’s time to let go of the myth that beautiful clothes are going to be uncomfortable. As our family friend Mindy says, “Well made and well fitted clothes are more comfortable than baggy clothes. Give me 15 minutes and a tape measurer and I can prove it!!”
- Dress monochromatically whenever possible— If you think about it, Audrey, Grace, Jackie, and Marilyn are dressed in a single color in most of their iconic images. I happen to like black or navy because they showcase my fair skin and blonde hair but many iconic images of Jackie show her wearing bright colors and Grace wore a green suit (with a white blouse) in Rear Window. As long as the color makes you feel beautiful, it doesn’t matter what it is.
Remember, a glamorous life does not require spending a lot of money. It simply means refusing to give in to mediocrity.