April 12, 2011

A Girl's Guide

My Delicious Fleurs Tea

I do my best thinking over tea or during long walks... Over tea at Le Goûter Bernardaud I was thinking about the elements that contribute to my personal style. My style essentials are the little things that keep me looking my best and feeling elegant. 

They are essentials because I realize how dependent I am on all of the services below when I travel. Finding each of these establishments is a priority wherever I am living. I guess this would also be the time for me to mention that I'm extremely high maintenance. I love the idea of an easy laid back style, but I'm not ashamed to say that I require a fair amount of effort getting there. 


Alterations- Due to my diminutive size I have to alter everything. There's no getting around it, It pains me and my tailor to alter designer clothing because it devalues it, but it's extremely rare that items purchased off the rack will fit me properly. A skilled tailor can make the right adjustments to truly enhance any figure. What I enjoy most about working with a great tailor is that it is a collaboration. I'll bring in a piece with an idea of what needs to be adjusted and we'll work together to make the proper changes. 

Dry Cleaning- I believe in investing in my wardrobe and dry cleaning goes in tandem with that. A good dry cleaner doesn't just clean clothing, but they are on top of reinforcing buttons, repairing linings, or removing loose threads without you having to ask.

Eyebrow Grooming- Eyebrows truly frame your face. It's amazing how eyebrows can enhance the proportions of your face. Well groomed eyebrows make your entire face seem more awake and fresh. I adore the natural shape of my eyebrows and have always been told not to let anyone mess with this shape, so I'm extremely picky about who touches them. Finding someone who knows how to enhance what's already there is a rare.

Hair Salon- I'm beholden to doing my hair. I frequent the hair salon often (every 1-2 weeks or more if I have an event to attend). Very few people touch my hair. I can count the number of hair stylists I have had in my life on one hand. 

Shoe Repair- I walk everywhere so a talented cobbler is important. If you are going to invest in Isabel Marants, Louboutins or Manolos, then you need a good shoe repair shop. These shoes require extra special care and it never hurts to ask the boutiques who they recommend using. It's important to weatherproof and replace the heels before wearing, which I often don't do because I get overzealous to wear my new purchase. I wish I could say that a good cobbler had extolled the virtues of shoe trees and shoe horns, but it was actually my dad who taught me the importance of these things. Yes, even dads can have sartorial prowess (smile). 

Makeup Studio- For events and benefits (especially ones that I know will be immortalized in photographs and video) I rely on having my makeup done by professionals. There is something liberating about knowing what is best left to professionals. Professional makeup application is a luxurious and calming way to relax before an important event. I like to look and feel like myself for a big night only a little more radiant and confident, so I'm always thankful for the lovely ladies at Bobbi Brown Studio

Spa- Manicures and pedicures are essentials. I can't stand when I look down at the computer and my nails are not perfect  and don't get me started on having toes out without a pedicure. It drives me crazy. In New York there are nail salons everywhere, but I prefer to have my nails done at a spa. I'll admit that I'm a bit germ phobic and in addition to wanting my nails to look immaculate I enjoy the relaxation time. It's one of the few chances I get to relax and not multitask, which I love. 

Voila! My essentials. I'm actually looking forward to heading home and visiting my favorite places. Do you have establishments that you consider essential?


  1. Alterations and shoe repair are important. I don't like altering designer things either because it "devalues" it but then I remind myself I buy my clothes for me not with the intention of re-selling it. So my things really don't have value to anyone but me.

  2. One of the best things about being back in India is access to real eyebrow experts. It makes all the difference to one's face. I also rely on my dermatologist. Good hair and clear skin are priceless. Although I love splurging on good shoes and beautiful clothes, I think being well groomed is my top priority.

  3. Prêt à Porter P- Alterations and shoe repair are so important! You're right, I don't re-sell any of my clothing either, so it truly only has value for me. I try not to think about the alterations that have been made to collectors pieces. Although, I constantly think about passing clothing and especially jewelry down to a future daughter or niece.

    Ammu- I am so jealous of the eyebrow experts you have access to in India. There is nothing like it. I think having groomed eyebrows makes all the difference in one's face. Dermatologists are so great. There is nothing like having really great dewy skin. I agree with you being immaculately groomed is my top priority too.

  4. You've got your s&*# together! I need to follow your advice!

  5. t h e l i n e s h e e t - Thank you! You're far to kind.

  6. I also agree about shoe maintenance and tailoring. I see my shoes and clothing as investment pieces and expect them to be around for the long term! I look after everything with the same care, no matter where it has come from. I would argue that tailoring enhances the value because the piece then fits me perfectly (and I have no intention of letting them go)!

  7. Alice Olive- It's so important to look after your clothing with care. I couldn't have said it better. At this point I want pieces that will last.