Ladies of Old

March 27, 2013 § Leave a comment

So I am in Beijing again this month. I think the city is growing on me. I don’t mind the super long commutes, the really tall people (not that I would mind them, I should say I am getting used to them, it’s actually kind of fun to be surrounded by tall Chinese people), the pollution (I’ve been wearing this intense mask for the past 2 days and I really like it! I usually don’t like wearing masks but this one is very roomy and allows me to take in deep breaths, which makes me sleepy, not so good, while I’m on the subway but I feel safe to breathe – a great thing!).

For the past few days I have been covering a trade show.. sigh, yes, another trade show… I wish I was covering this show with someone else (a partner maybe) because you see strange things at trade shows – especially trade shows in China – like moving/motorized mannequins (super scary), huge stands designed to look like a maze/secret garden all made of grass, walls and walls of grass (real grass!!) which was so nice but also so random.

Anyway, what I really wanted to write about today was fashion. I needed a warm up before I started… it’s been a while since I’ve posted something. You see, I’ve been watching Downton Abbey recently and I love their outfits just as much as I like the drama. So today, as I was riding the subway on my hour long commute to the trade show I started to notice what people were wearing and something my grandma said to me a few years ago came to mind, “You should always look presentable before going outside because it’s bad manners to look unbecoming or disheveled” (in Chinese of course). Even back then, I knew it was a true statement and very wise but I didn’t know what to do with that information – it seemed a little too old world and not relevant to me as a modern girl. However, as I was surveying the crowd of people in the subway next to me I realized my grandma was so right! I wasn’t being “judgmental” per se but I was looking at people very scientifically. What was it that made their clothes, hair, overall look appealing or not appealing? And it kind of made sense to me that we have so many options with materials and styles nowadays that people just get overwhelmed and choose not to care. I am not promoting vanity but there is something very good, honest and dignified about caring about the way you look and how you present yourself to the world. Both of my grandmas were very lovely and well put together. I was always proud of them. I was proud that my grandmas were so elegant and thought well of themselves to dress like Ladies. I think it was easier when our grandparents were young to know how to dress because there were fewer options and whatever you chose or bought would have to last you for a long time so it better fit/look decent on you. But today, clothes are cheap and so readily available that if something doesn’t fit anymore you can go out and buy 10 new things without thinking twice – scary. And most of them only look “okay” and you might only really like one of them. Haha, so as I was checking people out today, I caught a glimpse of myself in the reflection… which made me a bit insecure and I quickly started to re-do my hair.. haha, I was really not looking the part either. I used to pride myself on “not caring about the way I look” or looking totally whatever just because I could and “why should I worry about what other people think about me.” But as I said those things to myself today (to comfort myself) I realized that those little sayings were ways of combatting my insecurity of not looking good or good enough… Instead, I could just spend some time trying to find something that works for me. I don’t think this is vanity but self respect. I also realized that if I put a little more effort into making my appearance presentable in the morning, I wouldn’t have to worry all day about feeling unkempt… Haha, I have to admit that I don’t feel completely settled about this idea – I feel so vain! but meh, it is okay… I’ll live. It might take some time to get used to (to spend some extra time in the morning to put myself together) but it will make me more disciplined in the morning (I hope) and over time I think I will find what works and what doesn’t work for me. To be continued…

Suggestions/Note to self:

1. Wear a hat or do something with your hair. It really does make someone look fresh when their head is covered or their hair is made up nicely.

2. Shoes make a big difference. Cheap shoes are uncomfortable and not so pretty. If you have nice shoes, take care of them! Aka, shine/clean them every week.

3. It is okay to wear the same thing every day as long as the clothes fit your body well and you look clean, hehe. Why do you think uniforms are so becoming??

4. If you look in the mirror and the first thing you think is “sex” – then put it away. Hahaha, was that too real? But really, this is something I figured out recently. It is better to wear something you feel dignified in whether you want that or not – you will thank yourself later down the road, haha. I mean it!

5. Buying a whole set/outfit seems cheesy but it’s such a good idea! If you buy a hot pink printed set then maybe not a good idea but something you can add accessories to (to change up the look) will serve you well in the future. You won’t have to worry about matching and not matching.

haha, more to come.

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