I grew up in the 90’s where the now familiar term “super model” was coined. The fashion model was not only an unattainable example of female physical beauty, but it was also a lifestyle that was coveted by many teenagers in my days. Travel, fashion, culture and a way for young women to make good money was the image the modeling world was trying to show off. We all know later on, that the truth of the industry was far from glamourous; a lot of exploitation, eating disorders and mental health horrors bestowed onto young women that were just barely finished childhood. The pressures of the beauty and fashion world combined to crush the souls of the small percentage of girls that fit the super thin, super tall, and not ethnic look and standard of the runway model.
The trauma of the model culture backlash has since subsided, I feel. Or it could be later in my life as a more experienced woman, I just don’t have the ability to see it as much. But I still remember the fairy tale glamour the modeling industry used to supply me. After two decades of being a mom and living in the biggest city in Canada, traveling and being creative, I feel cultured, educated and worldly. I didn’t have to be a model to get that achievement. As much as the dreams of being a model did charm me in the past, in a way I am glad I never did it. We can find everyday ways to channel our inner diva, our inner model.
One of the fascinating ideas and life styles that I want to adopt from fashion models is the look of when they have days off. Not on the runway. Where once glamourous modelled looks are only suggested by the bare bones look of effortless “cool”. Models on their off days I learned, often have to audition for jobs in what is called “go-sees”. That’s when models often are dressed very basically, very simply…and run around the city to go visit big designers to interview for jobs. In a way, models have to look like a blank canvas, fresh faced, and ready to represent/sell any campaign. They have a daily look that is still polished, but so pure. I like to achieve this look in various ways:
Don’t wear make-up. A made up face is a finished, polished product. I like to show my raw potential. So I don’t cover up with any make-up. Just show off a nicely hydrated face. Sunscreen is always flattering because it has a naturally dewy look
Have clean, un-styled hair. The reason for this is hair is also a form of expression. So having the hair natural shows texture, colour and potential for different ways of styling. It shows an ability for a range of looks. And that’s exciting.
Clothes for go sees are very basic. Tank top and jeans, a white fitted tee, jean skirts. They show off the silhouette of the body without speaking too loudly and distracting from the shapes and forms that already exist. They are casual, carefree clothing. Not sloppy, but not dressy.
I try to channel a youthful spirit with my “off duty model” look. I try to show off some humanity, some quirkiness. That’s because I believe even the most beautiful models in the world, are truly very ordinary people. Those that have the right to execute this mundanity in the purest, most effortless way. Daily life in the city as a common person can be very exotic if viewed by top model!
Getting ready for “date night” is a really basic beauty ritual that needs no explaining, in my opinion. We all do it, primp and preen and get our skin glowing for that special someone. But there is actually a lot more to it that flexing our vanity and grooming muscles. There is an order and logic to it. It’s a process, so let’s talk about that process. I will start by talking about my emotional state recently and how getting ready for this one date was so interesting to me.
So I do have a boyfriend. I guess that’s what he is, considering that it we’re monogamous and it’s pretty regular that we see each other. And it’s really difficult making time for each other with our busy adult lives. And the future is always uncertain, in terms of the longevity and meaning of the relationship. I recently feared a lot of things after some revealing text messages from my boyfriend. And I didn’t know how to deal with them. I am a hairstylist in Toronto; my day to day consists of taking care of the business of looking good, and not much else. So there it was–a wall of emotions that floored me and I didn’t know what to do for days. But as a date night with my beau approached, I did what I had to do. What I always knew how to do…prep and get ready. And believe it or not, the process of selfcare and beautification really made me feel more secure of myself and what I want and was therapy in a way.
The Ritual of Getting Ready:
Facial Pampering: I like to do this the night before a date, or the morning of. It’s exfoliating with a gentle face exfoliator. I used Deciem’s Lactic Acid. Then applying a mask. The exfoliating makes the skin cleaner by removing dead skin cells so that it can absorb the nutrients of a moisturizing mask and expel toxins trapped within. It’s also creating the ideal canvas for make-up application. Also the best time to do my nails is the night before!
Cleansing face, body and hair: I like to do this a few hours before the date: I do the whole enchilada; shampoo, condition my hair, shave, brush my teeth. After all the cleansing, don’t forget to moisturize with a nice light body lotion.
Blow Dry and Style hair. My hair style depends on the formality of the night. After being apart for a while from my beau, I needed to have a more carefree, low maintenance look. This was because I wanted to create a more relaxed vibe between us after the awkwardness of the previous week and the messages. So I opted for a tousled look without flat ironing or curling. It was very natural. To achieve this I just blow dry and add a bit of serum for shine and de frizzing.
Decide on outfit: Do this before putting make up on. Even if I don’t dress until right before the date, I still need to know what colors I’m working with. After choosing the appropriate outfit, for this one night I chose a lace turquoise body suit spaghetti strap tank and flare jeans. Casual but stylish attire to match my mood.
Make up time: I decided since few colours didn’t clash with turquoise I would wear a smokey beige shadow with a bit of shimmer. It was perfect. Subtle, but alluring none the less. Liquid line with a pen, my usual day to day make up. Blush, brows, and lots of mascara.
By the time I got picked up by him, I was looking fine. Not overdone…even with all the work and prep it took. I enjoy the process. By the end of out date, after a hard couple of weeks second guessing our relationship, it felt nice that at least I always knew how to put on a good show; even if the future is uncertain with my beau. And well…it’s who I am to put my best face forward.
So winter is upon us and well, after a few years of lockdown, I feel home clothes and pajamas can no longer be sloppy, ugly or unthoughtful. Wearing sweatpants and baggy t-shirts for home and sleep feels almost like a post-traumatic stress uniform. I don’t want to be reminded of the veggie like state that the quarantine had imposed on the world, and the void it put on fashion over the last few years. Isolation had made people unfit and uncaring about looking gorgeous, whether going out or staying home. Nobody cared about image, and it hurt the beauty and fashion industry for a long time.
So now comes the overcorrection; I find myself dying to look amazing even if it’s my day off and I am doing house chores at home. I ask myself why can’t I look cute for that? For answering work emails at home, or for working on social media content online? Wouldn’t it be more honest for me as a beauty professional to look good at home in real time while promoting my services online in the digital world? But on this same note, I don’t think I will be comfortable dressed to the nines at home while doing dishes and taking out the garbage. I can’t be decked in pearls when it’s evening and I want to sit in front of the tv. with a bowl of noodle soup and watch a scary movie. So, what to do?
How do I fix the gap between the stylishness of my outside/work wardrobe versus my home wardrobe? Time to do some shopping and revaluate what makes certain clothing functional and stylish for use at when being cozy at home is the mood:
Stylish Lounge or Pajama Wear Musts:
Be comfortable. Part of the main function of pjs and homewear is comfort. While at home, the formalities of the work world are far away, loose and boxy cuts can be embraced. But go too oversized and it’s sloppy. There is a fine line between relaxed and just plain messy. Focus on soft fabrics with stretch, breathable cotton and flannel. Imagine a cloud and how to dress if living on one!
Colour: I am not a fan of black for lounge wear. It seems depressing and can look sloppy, because it’s the colour that hides all stains. I like light colours because they are uplifting and remind me of sunny days. They also look fresh and clean and put together.
For the boyish styles: I find lounge wear can be very unisex. Boxer shorts on girls, show off long legs, and waffle henley tees that are fitted show off feminine curves in a rustic, earthy way. It’s a no frills pretty.
For the girly: Sleep dresses come in all styles, lengths and materials. The most casual would be a strappy tank dress style. But for more oh la la, add some lace and satin to the mix. I own a lot of satin/silk camis and find they are so girly while remaining a realistically functional item for sleep and loungewear layering
Stick to the basics: soft leggings, fitted t shirts, body suits, tank tops… if it looks like something American Apparel made, it’ll probably do the job.
Is there any loungewear articles or musts that I have forgotten? Let me know in the comments below and stay cozy and gorgeous at home!