Know yourselfis the rallying call of coaches, preachers, style writers and image consultants.
These two words are great. It is what the experts add after those two words that can inspire or deflate you. Most often they are negative words.
Know your body faults and read on for how to minimise or hide them is a common theme of many fashion articles.
Not this one.
I believe we women need to know ourselves in a positive way. It is more pleasurable and satisfying to concentrate on our strengths. Then our so-called negatives fade into insignificance and we present as comfortable in our skin and confident in our attitude to dressing and life.
Here are the three essential fashion tools that I believe every baby boomer woman needs so that you can know yourself positively.
A Pair of Scissors
Why scissors? Scissors are obviously useful for cutting off price tags. Then you need them for cutting off annoying or prickly tags; those coat hanger straps that can dangle out your armhole; any buttons, bows or added decoration that are not your style; untrimmed stitching on seams and that loose hem thread. We have all been in a hurry and pulled the loose thread. Suddenly the whole hem falls down. Your impatience and mine too leads to Plan B dressing.
If you have basic sewing skills, scissors are also great for cutting off the extra length on clothes or cutting extra pieces to add to too-short items.
A Tape Measure
I am not talking about measuring your bust, waist and hips. These may change over the years. Once you have grown to your full height (and that was probably a long time ago), it is your best lengths that are important. Get these right for you and you present a consistent and modern impression to everyone you meet.
These are the lengths I measure, record and refer to all the time. When I try on a new item, I know where these vital measurements are on my body so that I or my professional alteration person can adjust it to that length. I have found and measured my best short sleeve length, my best three-quarter sleeve length and my best long sleeve length. I also record my most flattering top and skirt lengths. Add to this my inside leg measurements for shorts, jeans and dress pants and it is always easy to look smart.