I’m often asked for good sources of information about improving or cultivating personal style. I never recommend anything without reading it first, so I can say with full sincerity that “How to Look Expensive: A Beauty Editor’s Secrets to Getting Gorgeous Without Breaking the Bank” is a worthwhile and easy read. (Sidenote: I can also say that my pursuit of this book led me to get my first library card in about 15 years. Libraries – they’re still loaning out books totally free. Look into it, people.)
The author is the former Beauty Editor at Glamour magazine. The book is mostly her sharing all the tricks of the trade that she learned over the years from those who are in charge of making sure that celebrities and models always look their best. It is stressed that idea is to look expensive – not “rich” or “loaded”. Expensive is the notion of looking polished, poised, and understated – your personal best. Not, flashy, or showing off – an important distinction.
Looking the part is part of getting the job, getting the promotion, getting the guy, having your best life.
The overall point of this book isn’t vanity – it’s to emphasize that the way you look has a direct correlation to how you feel, and as I say time and time again, when you look good, you feel good, and that will reflect in all aspects of your life. Lustig says, “I’ve always believed that improving your looks is a way to improve your life. Looking the part is part of getting the job, getting the promotion, getting the guy, having your best life.” I couldn’t have said it any better myself.
Some of her best insights are about the products that are worth their price, and if they aren’t, what to buy instead. While most of the book is focused on the beauty aspect of style, she does touch on wardrobe choices, and how to look chic without over-drafting your checking account. As a personal stylist, her fashion tips echo my own:
- Use a tailor
- Buy clothes the proper size
- Mix high and low end pieces
A few suggestions come as no surprise. Using salon-grade shampoo and conditioner (as opposed to whatever is on sale at the drugstore) isn’t just a luxury, it’s an investment in protecting your hair – and common sense if you’re already shelling out decent dough for your cut and color. This one hit home, as my hair dresser recently read me the riot act after finding out which shampoo I was using. I’ve since converted to the salon stuff, and I have to admit, my hair is looking much shinier and glossy than before.
When you look good, you feel good. And when you feel good, you’ll radiate an aura of beauty confidence that will attract attention and help you get…whatever it is that makes you feel content and complete.
So, go ahead and pick up “How to Look Expensive.” It’s a great resource for elevating your overall look, and will give you plenty of ideas for self-improvement. “When you look good, you feel good. And when you feel good, you’ll radiate an aura of beauty confidence that will attract attention, and help you get what you want out of life, be it a promotion, a better job, a loving relationship, or whatever it is that makes you feel content and complete.”
Colleen Bayus is a personal wardrobe stylist in the Washington, D.C. area. Her company, Styling by Bayus, provides personal shopping, wardrobe consulting, and closet editing & organization services. Like on Facebook, Follow on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Contact her with questions.