Thursday, February 21, 2013

What a woman wants

Apparently what a woman wants is big undies. That’s what stylist Lisa O’Neill had to say at the pleasantly hilarious Farmers What a Woman Wants event last night. This is the second time I’ve been to see Lisa at a Farmers night and she’s still touting spanx as a girl’s best friend.
Lisa O’Neil is a housewife stylist. And I don’t mean that in any derogatory way. She’s accessible to ‘real Kiwi women’ in a way that other stylists I’ve worked with* proactively avoid. She’s not about over-complicated and out-of-reach fashion. She caters for the masses, providing advice about how to cover your bum or boobs or other bits you don’t like but are stuck with. There’s plenty of emphasis on the ‘you’re stuck with it’ bit, and she casually told us all to shut up and get on with it. “Rub it and love it,” she says.

She’s obviously on the payroll at Farmers but she’s a good salesperson and holds no shame in touting ‘you want it you buy it’ philosophy. Forget the capsule wardrobe. Lisa wants people to try different trends and change it up. Of course Farmers wants you to do that too, but my bulging wardrobe denies me any kind of elitist soapboxery about having the perfect 20 pieces that cover all bases.

Now, back to the big undies. The only thing I don’t agree with is the complete acceptance of size and shape. Maybe she’s talking more to the older ladies or those who, like her, have had ‘tenants’, but I don’t think shapewear is the only answer to jiggly bits. It’s not that hard to get up and do a bit of exercise. And even if you don’t’ do enough of it to lose weight, the statement “it’s easier to change your mind about your body than it is to change your body” stinks of bodily resignation. It’s not the message we need to be touting to our already overweight nation.
But she did have a few other gems up her sleeve, which I will share with you.

Anything with a line or belt on it will draw the eye in and give you a waist. “But if your boobs go below the line – you can’t have it.” Sound advice for a gravity-challenged bosom.
And then this, which I will take with me: “No one approaches you from side-on, so stop worrying about that dimension”. I’m terrible at trying clothes on, thinking I look pretty good, and then turning to check out the view from the side and noticing the cookie pouch. Well she’s right, impressions are made from the front (or sometimes the back), but no one ever crabs up to you offering full belly profile. That’s just silly. So I’ll just put on my control panties and think about how great everything looks from the front from now on.

And finally, “don’t save your best, because most of us have got nowhere to go.” While there’s a hint of the housewifely resignation in there I have to agree. I always dress to impress, whether it’s at work or just going to get the vegies on Sunday (although to different extents). So if you buy a lot of lovely things, just wear them. The perfect event doesn’t come along every week. And over-dressed beats spit-stained or cat-haired daggy pants any day.
*oh how I love that I can say I’ve ‘worked with’ stylists J

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