Friday, July 1, 2011
Wendy from Canada wrote and asked me -
"How do you regain your chicness when you have "fallen off the wagon"? For example, last Fall I bought some new clothes, improved my hair and makeup, lost a few pounds and had been doing a lot of interesting reading about the chic lifestyle. I felt really good!
Now I am feeling blah- don't feel chic at all. Just received some recent photos of myself from a family dinner where I look terrible (of course my sister circulated them widely.)
Does this happen to you? How do you get the chic feeling back?
How do the French gals keep feeling chic consistently? Constantly buying new things and treatments is not an option for me.
I think this question is such a great one. I know exactly what you mean about things being blah. I highly doubt French girls buy new things and have treatments to feel better. They don't throw away their money like we (I) do (used to).
In your family photos do you mean you look unchic because you have gained weight and your clothes don't look as good as you imagined? I usually find this is the main thing - I have been slack with my chic eating and kilos sneak on. Well they don't sneak on, but I ignore them for a while. Or sometimes the way I've done my hair is not flattering (usually from doing the least I can get away with - terrible!).
Just as you have listed what you did last year - buying some new clothes, improving hair and makeup, watching what you eat and becoming a bit slimmer in the process and keeping up with your reading, I think you may have answered your own question. You probably won't need to spend any money though - you already have the new clothes, it's just a matter of fitting better into them.
I think for me I get all enthused at a change and after a while it becomes routine, but rather than let it stay as my new 'French-inspired regime' I slip back to old habits. We have to remind ourselves constantly, and re-remember what it was that inspired us - go back to the books or websites you read.
Anne Barone is where my initial excitement for the French life came from and I still get a thrill picking up one of her books. It brings back to me that magical feeling that I had from discovering something new and fun.
Printouts I have kept, magazine articles I have torn out and books I have in my home library all remind me and re-excite me too. Can you remember where it was first that you heard about chic French women, the European way of life, being chic and slim? Try going back there.
And of course, maybe you are just tired out and a bit overwhelmed if you have a lot on your plate. It’s amazing how fast good intentions of chic changes fly out the window when life happens. In that case it’s a matter of dealing with what you have to and making the most of what little energy you have left. Keeping up with the basics of self-care is a good goal during busy times.
Making lists of how I want to be is a great inspirer too. I make lists of the attributes that my most elegant self possesses, my ideal Paris girl wardrobe, how my dream home looks and functions, just to name a few. Reading through them helps me want to be that way and resist temptation or make the extra effort. At the very least I can daydream.
Think of yourself as a project and advise yourself accordingly as if you were a wise, older (probably French) girlfriend. What would you say? It is so easy to give others advice, and it is quite effective to view yourself from without. I always come up with really good ideas for myself (whether I take them on is another matter altogether).
Even at the end of the day it’s not too late to start afresh. If your day has been frazzled and stressful, why not choose an early night over opening a kingsize bar of chocolate and reality tv. How much more nicer (and infinitely more chic) would it be to wash your face and then read in your tidied-up bedroom with soft music playing.
And then, there is always the option of being realistic. It’s quite a relief to think ‘I don’t have to be anyone other than who I am. I can make the most of what I have and be happy with that.’ After all, what is more attractive than a big smile and healthy self-confidence about a person. Sometimes when I’m sure people are looking at me thinking ‘who does she think she is’ (and I am feeling suitably intimidated), how are we to know they are not thinking the exact same thing?
Wendy, I hope these ideas have been helpful. I would also ask my lovely readers if they have any suggestions for Wendy and the rest of us. How do you get that chic feeling back when you are feeling less than motivated?
Image from Paris Daily Photo