5.16.2011

Looking Presentable Always – An Anecdote


I have to admit, I am finding ‘looking presentable always’ a bit of a challenge now that I have a 10 month old baby. As my precious baby grows, so do her needs and I have less time in the morning to get ready. But never one to give up, I have simply modified what ‘looking presentable always’ means for me.

As I have mentioned before, looking presentable does not mean, looking perfect, nor does it mean looking ‘high maintenance’. It simply means looking the best you can in your given circumstances. Good grooming, great wardrobe choices, and a positive smile will get you very far in a day.

I am writing this at night and earlier in the day I had an experience that reminded me exactly why I advocate looking presentable always.

This morning was particularly busy. I spent a long time making baby food, cleaning the kitchen, feeding my daughter, taking the dog out, working on my book and finally putting the baby down for her first nap. By the time this was all over It was nearly noon and I hadn’t gotten ready yet for the day. I showered and dressed quickly. I picked an outfit out of my capsule wardrobe- black skinny jeans paired with a lavender sweater and ballet flats. I put my hair back in a quick ponytail. The only makeup I had time for was under eye concealer, tinted moisturizer and lip balm. This is what I mean by looking the best you can in your given circumstances. That was about all I could muster today.

After the baby woke up and we had lunch I took her and Gatsby on a long walk. We walked down to the independent cinema to see what movies were showing (not that we were going to go in, I just like to see what’s playing for future reference). On the way back we passed by a preschool that I had heard a lot of great things about around town. Even though my baby is only 10 months old, in Santa Monica the preschools are quite competitive and parents submit applications when their children are still young babies. I lingered outside of the school and looked around. As I did so a woman was getting out of her car and asked if she could help me. I explained I’d heard so much about this preschool and was planning on submitting an application for my daughter. The woman was so kind, she offered to give me an impromptu tour of the school right then and there! So Gatsby, the baby and I went in and had a tour.

I thanked the woman for her kindness in showing me around and then we were all on our way again. Walking home I was so grateful that I had put an effort into my appearance that day. I could easily have kitted up in sweats and flip flops and decided to take the day off from looking presentable. I bet if I had been shoddily dressed the woman wouldn’t have offered me a tour.

There was one funny note, however. Before stopping by the preschool I had been sampling several perfumes for the search for my new signature scent. So at one point when the lady and I were standing in one of the classrooms I became painfully aware that I smelled like the perfume counter at Bloomingdales! She didn’t seem to notice though (and if she did, she didn’t let on!)

The kind woman and I have since remained in contact and I plan on submitting an application for my daughter very soon. What a great reminder for looking presentable always- you never know where your day will take you!

I would love to know… what is your status on looking presentable always?

Be sure to check out this week’s video on Le No Makeup Look, where I show you one of my basic everyday makeup applications. To find out what brands, shades and brushes I use, be sure to read the information bar under the video. You can see the video by clicking here , looking in the sidebar of this post or by visiting www.youtube.com/TheDailyConnoisseur

Jewelry and ornaments from Ancient Greece and Rome are pictured above. They can be found at the Getty Villa in Malibu, California.

18 comments:

Karena said...

I know just what you mean and as Bobbie Brown says it does not take that long to look great. Always start with eyes and then if not a moisturizing foundation, a nice blush, a low key mat or lip gloss depending on your style!

xoxo
Karena
Art by Karena

Come and enter my New Giveaway from Serena & Lily! You will love it!

Anonymous said...

Hey, Jennifer! Well, my simplified weekend/day-off ensemble consists of an oversized v-neck cashmere sweater and cotton "Dream" pants from JCrew. I love, love, love this look as it's comfortable & presentable. Have many of both items, as they are my favorite next to JCREW's jeans; the pair of earrings I wear - always - unless I want something dressy, are my classic french clip creamy pearl earrings. They're the only jewelry I wear besides my ring; then my le no makeup look of Bobbi Brown products are her Even Finish compact foundation for only the trouble spots of possible late nite dark circles and monthly blemishes, matte finish powder blush, black no-smudge mascara, and a slick of Bonnie Bell's chocolate Hershey lip gloss (yum!). And since we don't wear shoes in our home OPI's silvered Birthday Babe on the toe nails. If we're venturing out, my Uggs. I have an easy care bob, with slightly curly hair that I simply run a comb through and voila'. But I'm not perfect either, so on those days when I don't have ANY plans I take a make-up break, and my pores thank me!
Plus tard, Laura Kafka

M.Lane said...

What a fine and useful post for all parents, not just for mothers!

But isn't it a lovely Rubicon to have crossed?

ML
mlanesepic.blogspot.com

the gardener's cottage said...

i always had a basic look when i had 3 little kiddos. everyday i put on mascara and red lipstick and fixed my hair. i could do this in under 1 minute. then usually jeans and a cute top and ballet flats. that's it and it served me well for prob 20 yrs. now i spend about 2 minutes to do basically do the same thing!

hostess of the humble bungalow said...

I always fixed my face and put on a fresh tee and jeans...I wore my hair long and a ponytail was so easy to action.

Scent back then was MY SIN by LANVIN
...a glam and luxe treat for my mothering days!

I registered both my kids for preschool when they were born...such a long wait list!

Merveilleux said...

Ever since I've had my daughter 3 years ago, I've made a point to wake up early enough to shower and do my hair and makeup. I haven't skipped a single day! If I were to wait until my day already started it would probably be harder but since I wake up earlier, specifically to get myself ready, it's easy.
You never know where your day will lead you!

Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Jennifer:
There is much of very sound advice in what you say here. Perfection is all too stressful an ambition, in our view, in almost any area of life which one could name. Far, far better to make the best of the time available, or indeed, the time one is prepared to devote to a particular activity.

We never leave the house without 'getting ourselves together' in order not to frighten small children!!

Jennifer Leigh said...

this is very good advice, it seems that any time I decide to 'take the day off' and leave the house in sweats and no makeup I pay the price. will see someone or I will be in an otherwise embarassing situation where I feel like I don't belong, Taking the extra time to actually dry my hair and put on a little makeup would have saved any embarassment later. I think hair is where I am the slacker, I dont enjoy or feel confident styling my hair so most days I let it airdry and just hang, which never looks good.I know if I spend less time on the computer in the morning and use that time to style my hair I will feel more confident at work and it will be worth it.

Alyssa said...

I know what you mean about looking presentable. I just finished up my junior year in college, but my freshmen year I regularly wore sweatpants to class and didn't take very much consideration into my appearance. I was tired all the time and I never felt very motivated. I decided to make "no sweatpants to class" rule for myself and for some reason that made all the difference. I felt motivated and ready to get things done. Plus, it's always nice to be welldressed.

kathy peck said...

I have a feeling you live near me and that perhaps you were walking on Montana Ave? About 28 years ago, when my daughter was a baby, that was where I took her on walks, pushing the stroller and and saying hi to the shopkeepers. The street has changed so much, but I still love it, and now we walk our dogs there.
Curious where you were sampling perfumes on the street though?

LR said...

Love this post! Glad to see that you've made a new contact! I've been caught a few times when I decided to slack off and didn't dress my best, only to run into people later on whom I haven't seen in awhile, or I've had to meet with clients at work when they show up unannounced without an appointment. Talk about embarrassing! lol

So now if I'm having a lazy day or short on time, I try to at least do a 5 minute makeup face, dress up in a no-fail dress or pants/skirt & a top with a scarf/necklace and ballerina flats/tall boots. Some kind of basic "uniform" that I can dress up without a lot of effort!

Hair rollers are a lifesaver too. I'm not the greatest with a curling iron, so I use hot rollers instead. So much easier to use with hardly any fuss! I bought myself a travel set to take on vacations as well.

sunny said...

Just watched the video. It's so pretty - the music, the pale background, your gestures - all work together perfectly.

The makeup is nice too :)

I never want to leave the house unless I'm at least presentable and more preferably - feeling pretty. I have easy hair (it's really pale with natural curls so I don't have to do much to it now that it's long), I do my make up in one minute: some clinique liquid foundation, a pale eye shadow, some mascara and a tinted lip gloss.

I select something from my pared down wardrobe - and my daily uniform consists (like others) of a dress and light cardi (for the cool office temps) or a skirt, shirt and cardi, or denim trousers and a shirt. I'm rarely without a scarf and a statement ring.

Now I'm off to watch every one of your videos!

Pug1 said...

For me lipstick and earrings! CHEERS! Michele xo

Anonymous said...

The only time I do not wear makeup is at home, dropping books at the library early (before it opens) or walking dog (early morning too) in my community. It usually takes me 30 minutes to put on makeup and I don't mind. It takes practice (&learning) to enhence my features and look natural. Eye liner, eye brows, mascara are a must for me; high spf foundation(shiseido for the summer), cream blush and lip product. If I remeber, I'll then put on perfume (chole).

Rose said...

you are right it is always good to make *some* effort. My default is hair in a ballerina bun, skinny jeans, plain coloured top and ballet flats.

You seem to get so much done with a baby too!

Kristi said...

I'm the same as Merveilleux -- I do it right away. I'm always put together at the kid's bus stop and ready for the day and whatever it may hold. If I didn't do it first thing, I don't know when it would happen. Plus a long hot shower is one of my small pleasures in life. When my children were babies, I would either put them in the bouncy chair in the bathroom with me, or stick them in their cribs with some toys.
labellafigura.net

The Daily Connoisseur said...

Karena- Love Bobbi Brown- the saying is so true too! xx

Laura- Your weekend/ off day ensemble sounds so chic! Love how you stay presentable... Thanks for sharing it with us! xx

M. Lane- It is indeed :) And yes this post is not just for women but men too- I always appreciate when I see a man who has put an effort into his appearance...

Janet- Love the red lipstick. And love that now that your kids are grown you've only added a minute to your routine! xx

Hostess- Glad to know I am not alone re: registering early for preschool. Love your presentable look xx

Merveilleux- Love your motivation. It is so true- you never know where your day will take you- best to be prepared and look presentable always xx

Lance and Jane Hattatt- Haha! Yes best not to scare the small children :) I also want to look presentable every day because my daughter will start looking up to me! Must set a good example xx

Jennifer- I know what you mean about the hair. Whenever I am having a bad hair day I always put it back in a ballerina bun. I think Rose commented on the same thing below! I actually have a video coming our shortly with my bad hair day tutorial :)

Alyssa- Congrats on finishing the junior year! That was my favorite year of college :) I used to schlep to class in sweat pants too (I can't believe it!) But as the years went on I started to dress up more for class. Also you never know when you will meet a cute boy ha! xx

Kathy- it sounds like we do live close to each other- I am always on Montana Ave. But this particular day I wasn't- I was in downtown Santa Monica... Sampling scents at Bloomies :) Isn't Santa Monica wonderful?

LR- Love your presentable look! Hair rollers are something I have been experimenting with a lot lately. Namely because I want to emulate the Veronica Lake look. I figured out I needed to use a styling cream and have found just the right one. Am doing a future post or video on it. Thanks for sharing your look xx

Sunny- Thank you! So glad you liked the video :) And I love your look- it sounds so chic xx

Michele- lipstick and earrings- perfect! I recently got some earrings for my anniversary- love them and am wearing them everywhere :) xx

Chole- Love it. If you have the time why not take it? I would spend much more time getting ready if I had it. I just went to the Paris Life & Luxury exhibit at the Getty and read with astonishment that ladies back in Marie Antoinette's day would take 5 hours to get ready! xx

Rose- Me too! I default to a ballerina bun when the hair is being unruly. Why I just sported one today... xx

Kristi- A hot shower is a delight indeed. Mine is a hot bath. Such a luxury xx

Thea said...

I totally agree and though it takes some time for me to look presentable, putting effort isn't a waste

 
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