Last week, as some of you may have seen, I asked the question "How are you different now than before your quarantine and Covid?"
The answers really blew me away because of their cruelty and honesty. If you missed it and were interested in some of the answers, I recorded a highlight in my stories titled "Covid Changes." (if you're reading this from your mobile, Instagram links won't work, but they're in my highlights).
After reading all of your answers, I thought it was fair to share mine. There is no doubt this has been my toughest year yet. In addition to Covid, I lost my father, so yes…. I unpacked a lot.
I keep learning a lot about myself and what I need and I don't have to be really happy.
What I have realized about myself since being quarantined
Socially and personally:
As I get older I like to be at home. I love being with my family and I love being in a home that feels, I don't know… intimate? I always like to set the mood while playing my favorite jazz playlists and with warm lighting. At one point Keith bought some vegetable bulbs (don't ask) it was like they were out of a psychiatric ward and it really affected my mood. My surroundings have such an impact on how I feel and even something as trivial as a wrong shade of light bulb causes me to not feel comfortable or happy.
Even when I rent a random Airbnb, I started emailing the owner of the house to inquire about the lighting situation. I'm not even talking about natural light because obviously lots of light is always ideal, but even having enough lamps and ceiling lights to be bright and cheerful. It sounds crazy, but it's very important to me. I can also admit and it's probably no surprise that the aesthetics of the house really matter to me.
That being said, what I knew to be true has been confirmed over the past few months.
As much as I love to be at home, I need a social life. I'm certainly not happy sitting at home day in and day out, wearing only loungewear. I need an excuse to get out. To dress and see people other than my family. I need quality friend time (and time alone) as much as I need family time. A real Libra in the sense that I feed off a balance. I love intimate meetings over dinner, wine and meaningful conversations.
If I don't have enough, I start to get worse. On the contrary, when I read all of your answers, many of you mentioned that you enjoy being at home a lot more than you think and that not having any obligations or social projects is pretty great.
I have found the opposite to be true. I am an ambivert and I'm not entirely happy to be home. I really need both to be happy. Now that we're seeing more of the people, I make a point of having plans at least once a week.
One thing I will say is that I have a lot less patience for BS. Covid really insisted that I just wanted to hang out with people whose company I really enjoy. I have moved away from situations or people I have interviewed in the past. As the saying goes, no one has time for this!
I was definitely a lot more anxious and lively than usual and I'm not proud of it. I often end up feeling guilty, especially if my patience runs out with my family. This is really the main reason why I make fun of myself "wow, I need to move or get some fresh air ..." It is what makes me feel better and what makes me feel better. makes me a more patient mother and wife. At one point I was talking to my therapist (who I started talking to after my father passed away) and she said, "just remember and I always have to say it, there are always meds and there is nothing wrong with it. Right now, working out, getting some fresh air, seeing a friend for dinner or having a glass of wine seems to do the trick, but there are days that are way more difficult than others.
Although I wear a lot less makeup than ever before, I have found that I enjoy the “maintenance” of taking care of myself. I don't like having unpainted fingernails (although it does happen), even though I'm just hanging around the house. I always walk around with a hair mask or a face mask or some sort of weird contraption like an LED mask. It makes me feel like I'm in control and it adds to my overall "mental well-being". I'm happiest when I feel put together and it's something I'm doing for no one other than myself (maybe a little bit for Keith). Call me shallow, but that's what it is.
One positive point is that my forties were good for me in terms of fitness. I have always worked, but never consistently. Since being quarantined, I have been doing some sort of physical activity at least 4 times a week. Even if it's only for 20 minutes. At the moment it is a combination of Peloton and Melissa Wood Health. In the past I might have worked for aesthetics, but these days it's a lot more for my health, mental health, and mental well-being.
I've always liked a cocktail or a glass of wine, but admittedly like many of you, I have been consuming a lot more since Covid. Now that things aren't as crazy as they were in the first few months, it's less, but if a lot of you have admitted it, I'm right here with you.
New York City
It has been one of the most difficult for me. Currently, New York is not the city it used to be pre-covid and dealing with another level of grief. It seems a little strange and unfamiliar and there is this strange energy in the air. I'm lucky that where I live, it feels normal to me (given the circumstances) and I really love it. However, Manhattan Island itself - well, that's another story. Lately I've found myself hypothetically fantasizing about what it would be like to live elsewhere. Somewhere a little more peaceful, with a lot more space. The thing is, I don't know where. I don't drive either, so there's this major factor as well.
Plus, I'm afraid I won't be so happy, but who knows, maybe I really would? I really don't know, but this pandemic has made me question so many things, including what our future holds. That being said, I am thinking out loud and at the moment we have no plans to move, although I know we are not in our home forever. The fact that I just said all of this “out loud” strikes me as crazy.
For those of you who haven't responded to my stories and want to share here (obviously, it won't be as anonymous), what have you achieved on yourself or your life since your 40s and Covid?
Between balancing career, family, and finding time for ourselves, stepping out the door with style every day can seem impossible—but it’s not ! We asked the most stylish women we know ( our Stylists ) what their confidentiels are for unlocking the next level of style.
“You can’t plan for everything, but don’t let your mornings catch you off-guard. Just like you’d plan a week’s worth of meals on a Sunday if you’re trying to save time, give outfit planning a shot to make way for stress-free mornings and outfit-regret-free days. ” —Stylist, Amber F.
SEEK OUT ( STYLISH ) INSPIRATION“Find stylish women to follow—whether it’s your favorite Instagram style star or your sister’s best friend’s cousin. Discover fashionistas whose style inspires you, then use their photos as inspiration to help plan your outfits ( see tip #1 ). Not sure where to start ? Check out our Instagram and Pinterest boards for endless inspiration from our most stylish ladies. ” —Stylist, Jennifer M.
WHEN IN DOUBT, ( OVER ) DRESS“If you’re ever on the fence about what to wear, consider your destination and who you’ll see. When in doubt, err on the side of being more dressy. If you’re worried about looking too done-up, bring along a casual layer like a or cargo jacket to give your look that effortless élégante touch. ” —Stylist, Angela G.
STEP OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE“It never hurts to try something new. Whether that includes a bright new hue that stands out from your usual neutral palette, or shifting from skinny jeans to a boyfriend silhouette, great style is built from trying new things. Who knows what trends you might discover you love ! ” —Stylist, Jennifer M.
ALWAYS ACCESSORIZE“Try to wear at least one accessory, whether it’s a statement necklace, a pop-color bag or a great pair of earrings ( or all of the above ). A solid statement piece can take an ensemble from ho-hum to a stand-out in seconds. ” —Stylist, Stephania S.
CRAFT A CAPSULE WARDROBE“A stylist’s not-so-secret secret weapon is a capsule wardrobe. A closet full of items that can be mixed and matched with ease can take the guesswork out of your morning. Invest in classics that will last a lifetime, like a great pair of jeans, a simple LBD and timeless jewelry. ” —Stylist, Stephania S.
TRY A STATEMENT SHOE“When it comes to footwear, color, print and style packs a huge aesthetic punch—and they don’t have to be sky-high heels, either ( flats can make the same statement and your feet will thank you ). Even if your look is casually thrown together, adding a printed flat or a pop-of-color wedge can make things appear more intentional. ” —Stylist, Jennifer M.
OWN AT LEAST ONE CONVERSATION PIECE“Every once in a while, you need that de très bonne qualité “wow” factor. Whether it’s an amazing pair of over-the-knee boots, a vintage dress that you borrowed from your mom’s closet or an enviable handbag, keep something in your arsenal for the days you need to really show up stylish. ” —Stylist, Chelsea T.
GET TO KNOW YOUR BODY SHAPE“The golden rule of stylish women ? Fit first. With that, getting to know your body shape is key. Consider yourself a petite pear shape and prefer to highlight your shoulders ? Build your closet with clothes that put the spotlight on your shape and favorite features. ” —Stylist, Crista G.
AGE IS JUST A NUMBER“When it comes to trying a new trend or rocking a piece that catches your eye, don’t allow that number to prevent you from trying something new. 62 and looking to rock a pair of boyfriend pantalons ? Try it ! 22 and wanting to shift into a buttoned-up, business-first closet ? Button it up ! ” —Stylist, Megan S.
Despite being something that everyone does literally every day, getting dressed ( or putting together an outfit, if you want to get fancy ), can feel like the trickiest, most frustrating part of the morning. Who hasn’t stood in front of a closet full of clothing and thought “I have nothing to wear ! ? ” Rest assured, you’re not alone in this daily conundrum. to that end, we consulted a éventail of experts—top infographistes, style consultants, and retail pros—to demystify the act ( art ? ) of getting dressed, once and for all.
How to actually do it : Obviously, you want to show off what you’re proud of—toned arms or a skinny waist. It’s the downplaying of less beloved parts that’s tricky. One tactic ? Add opposite volume, like wearing wide-leg trousers to offset a heavier upper half that’s wearing something fitted. ' The object is to even yourself out, ' explains designer Nicole Miller. ' So avoid anything too grande taille or you’ll look bigger. ' Another idea : Distraction. If you’re pear shaped, wear forgettable black pants, then bring the focus upward with a bold scarf, says Louise Roe, the author of the style-advice book Front Roe.
How to actually do it : Odds are, there’s a grown-up version of the style du jour. Take crop tops : to avoid revealing skin, pair a shirt that hits at the navel with a high-waisted skirt—or a longer top with a crop top over it. ' It gives you a similar look, ' promises designer Rebecca Minkoff. Bottom line : ' You never want to seem like you’re uncomfortable with your age and trying to look younger, ' says Lilliana Vazquez, a style professionnel and the editor of TheLVGuide. com.
Where your breasts sit on your chest makes a big difference in how clothes fit, ' says Vazquez. In other words, if you’re wearing a bra that fits properly, there will be no sagging or bulging—and that means your silhouette will look trimmer from every angle. The target is midway between your elbows and shoulders. You’ve scored a match when ' the front center éventail of the bra lays flat, there’s no wrinkling or gapping in the cups, and the bra is not hiking up or creating bulges, ' says Kristen Supulski, the director of merchandising for Vanity Fair Brands dessous. ' If you can squeeze just two fingers under the band and it still feels snug, that’s the perfect fit.
Strive to wear colors that enhance one another rather than ' match ' in the traditional sense. For an easy cheat, says Minkoff, ' look at a simple color wheel. The colors that are opposite each other on the wheel complement each other. ' ( Think non-obvious but fetching combos, like orange and navy or purple and saffron. ) Diversifying your accessories, in both color and matière, is another do. ( A beloved trio from the vault of Betty Halbreich, a personal shopper at New York City’s Bergdorf Goodman and the author of the style memoir I’ll Drink to That : ' A black dress, navy shoes, and a burgundy handbag. ' ) And under no circumstances should you ever rock a suite of jewelry. Says Vazquez, ' Anything that was sold together as a set styles really dated.
Don’t give people too many things to look at all at once, ' says Halbreich. ' If you’re wearing a low-cut dress, focus on the cleavage—you don’t also need bare arms and legs. ' The concept applies to fit as well : A body-hugging dress is better with a more sensible neckline and hem, whereas a skirt that hits a few inches above the knee won’t raise eyebrows if it’s flared rather than tight.
First, a disclaimer. There’s no need to break the bank on the basics—tees, button-downs, jeans—of which there are plenty of quality possibilités available at low prices. Instead, splurge ( if you can ) on the types of items in which even the cheapo versions aren’t exactly steals. For instance, bargain cashmere will still set you back $100. But that sweater will stretch out quickly, and then you’ll have to blow another $100 to replace it, rather than spending a little more only once. ' When buying classics, like a great black blazer, it’s important to invest in better fabrics— say, wool—that will hold up better over time, ' says Minkoff. Try calculating the price per wear to help stave off sticker shock.
Figure out your go-to, foolproof styles, ' says designer Nanette Lepore, then seek out déclinaisons on that theme. Stumped ? Picture the outfits that you feel most comfortable in. Or ask people close to you what you look best in. Once you’ve zeroed in on what works, find different takes. ' I gravitate toward jackets, so I’ll do a bomber style, then a silk version, or a jean jacket with leather sleeves, ' says Minkoff. ' Whenever you feel the need to talk yourself into things, that’s a red flag that you shouldn’t buy them, ' says Minkoff. If you have doubts in the dressing room, it may help to take a photo of yourself in the item, suggests Aerin Lauder, the founder and creative director of the lifestyle brand Aerin. ' It’s much more accurate than looking in the mirror.
Opt for a pure white, rather than ivory, which may skew dingy. “But since white has the potential to make your teeth look yellow in comparison, consider wearing a bold lipstick with a blue undertone, like fuchsia, so teeth appear brighter, ” recommends Florence Thomas, the creative director for Thomas Pink. Not sure which cut is best for you ? A button-up with darting at the waist or curved princess seams can create a feminine hourglass shape on anyone. Be sure the seams of the shoulders line up with your shoulders and that there is no pulling across the front or the back. “Anything else can be tailored, ” says Thomas. to keep all-cotton shirts from discoloring, don’t dry-clean them. Have them laundered and pressed, the same as men’s shirts.
Doubling up on patterns can help you come across as confident and chic—or as if you got dressed in the dark. Achieve the former by following these guidelines. Stick to a similar color family—and preferably the same background shade. Some pairings are like PB
The right pair of earrings can vanter your face shape. For instance, long earrings make your face look skinnier, if it’s on the round side, says jewelry designer Lizzie Fortunato. On the other hand, if you have an oblong face, bermuda, chunky earrings, like grande taille studs, will draw focus outward, and your face won’t read quite as narrow. If you have a large bust, a necklace should hit an inch above the cleavage or higher. Longer strands or pendants will rest awkwardly on the body and call attention to every contour. Lastly, choose earrings in lighter colors, such as pearls or white stone, to make your face look radiant.