I haven’t always shared my secrets but the longer I "Live and Learn" the more I'm willing to go-public with the shortcuts and savings I apply to my life.
For more than fifty years, I’ve cut and colored my hair. Not only has it saved me thousands of dollars but it allows me to be stress-free from the horrors of my childhood.
I was not-quite-two years old when my mother took me to a beauty shop for my first of twice-yearly permanent-waves. In those days, beauticians used a permanent wave machine and, trust me; it looked like a torture chamber from Hell.
I was permanently-traumatized when the beautician sat me under a "steel tree with long, flexible limbs” then applied steel rods that were hanging from the end of each "tree limb"-- to my
long and very thick hair. I was trapped, forced to sit under the “tree” for nearly one hour. I recall my fear, as I inhaled the heavy chemicals mixed with the smell of my burning hair.
Growing up, I experimented with my hair until I could cut and style it to suit me. Later, in my thirties when I was bombarded with early gray, I learned to color my hair. Gray is beautiful for some but... for those with very-white
skin... like me....gray hair made me look like a clown in "white-face." I experimented until I figured out how to blend a variety of colors to add depth to my hair while highlighting some of my gray. The mirror is my best critic so when it’s satisfied--I’m
And, I’ve learned to make frugality--fun. About the time I was divorced--when I had to work fulltime for a very small salary yet was still expected to have a complete “business
wardrobe”--I chanced upon a world of beautiful clothes, by accident. In search of an inexpensive lamp, I decided to “checkout” a Goodwill store just one block from my new job. Not only did I find the perfect lamp for two dollars, I
discovered Anne Klein cashmere sweaters with matching skirts; designer suits and coats for two dollars each; and leather dress shoes, by Andrew Geller, in exactly my size! I was shocked to see that most everything was marked—one or two dollars. From
that moment--where-ever I lived--I shopped Goodwill and other classy thrift stores…but I never shared my secret. I simply didn’t want other women mobbing my favorite shops and buying all the bargains!
Of course, each piece of clothing I purchased from a thrift store or consignment store was immediately dry cleaned or washed before it ever touched my body. It was surprising how many of my purchases were new, with designer labels,
and most still had their original price tags. I discovered when stores go bankrupt, close their doors, or have overstock goods…they usually donate their items to thrift stores and take tax write-offs.
Regardless of where clothes are purchased or how much they cost, it’s smart to purchase a classic look in everything, including jewelry, shoes, and bags. Trendy fashions change like the wind but classic never goes out-of-style. For
me, if there’s any doubt about what to wear…I’ll choose an all-black or all-white outfit and….add pearls. It’s amazing how a strand of pearls can add elegance to any outfit--at any age.
And, real ladies wear hose. I can't imagine any woman who wears a classic dress or suit; adds classic heels; displays elegant jewelry; adds the perfect hair—adds the perfect makeup--BUT leaves her legs--BARE.
Like underwear, Hose are vital to complete the CLASSIC LOOK.
My favorite hose were always sheer panty-hose and, for decades, I found them at JC Penney. My perfect color was called "BARE”and
they went with everything. Naked Legs contradict a woman's wish to look classically-complete. I still have several pair of panty hose from my “working days”-- washed and ready to wear when it’s time to play “dress up”.
Now, you know more of my secrets. But clothes can only do so-much for your appearance. You must be a complete package--from head to toe. I'll always believe that what you carry in your heart--and
share with others-- matters most.