Mar. 6, 2019

A "SILVER POLISH" SECRET.

I haven’t always enjoyed sharing my secrets but the longer I live….and learn…the more I want to “go public” with all the “shortcuts” and “savings” I’ve applied to my life.

For more than fifty years, I’ve cut and colored my hair. Not only has it saved me thousands of dollars but it’s also allowed me to be stress-free from the horrors of my childhood.

I was not-quite-two years old when my mother took me to a beauty shop for my first of twice-yearly permanent-waves.  In those days, beauticians used a permanent wave machine and, trust me; it looked like a torture chamber from Hell.

 I was permanently traumatized when the beautician sat me under a steel “tree with long, flexible limbs” and attached steel rods from the end of each "tree" limb to my thick, long hair.   I was forced to sit under the “tree” for nearly one hour.  I recall my fear as I inhaled the heavy chemicals mixed with the smell of my burning hair.

Growing up, I experimented with my hair until I could cut and style it to suit me.  Later, in my thirties when I was bombarded with gray, I learned to color my hair.  Gray is beautiful for some but for others like me.... with very-white skin….gray hair made me look like a clown in "white-face."  I experimented until I figured out how to blend a variety of colors to add depth to my hair while highlighting some of my gray. The mirror is my best critic so when it’s satisfied--I’m satisfied.

And, I’ve learned to make frugality…fun. About the time I was divorced….when I had to work fulltime for a very small salary yet was still expected to have a complete “business wardrobe”…I chanced upon a world of beautiful clothes…by accident.  In search of an inexpensive lamp, I decided to “checkout” a Goodwill store just one block from my new job. Not only did I find the perfect lamp for two dollars, I discovered Anne Klein cashmere sweaters with matching skirts; designer suits and coats for two dollars each; and leather dress shoes, by Andrew Geller, in exactly my size! I was shocked to see that most everything was marked—one or two dollars. From that moment…..where-ever I lived….I shopped Goodwill and other classy thrift stores….but I never shared my secret. I wasn’t ashamed…I just didn’t want other women mobbing my favorite shops and getting all the bargains!

Of course, each piece of clothing I purchased from a thrift store or consignment store was immediately dry cleaned or washed before it ever touched my body. It was surprising how many of my purchases were new, with designer labels,  and most still had their original price tags. I discovered when stores go bankrupt, close their doors, or have overstock goods…they usually donate their items to thrift stores and take tax write-offs.

Regardless of where clothes are purchased or how much they cost, it’s smart to purchase a classic look in everything, including jewelry, shoes, and bags. Trendy fashions change like the wind but classic never goes out-of-style. For me, if there’s any doubt about what to wear…I’ll choose an all-black or all-white outfit and….add pearls.  It’s amazing how a strand of pearls can add elegance to any outfit…at any age.

And, real ladies wear hose. I can't imagine any woman who wears  a classic dress or suit; adds classic heels; displays elegant jewelry; adds the perfect hair and stunning makeup... yet leaves her legs... BARE. Hose, just like underwear,  are vital to complete the CLASSIC LOOK. Naked legs contradict a woman's wish to look classic.

Now, you know one of my best secrets. But, I trust you to know that clothes can only do so-much for your appearance. What you carry in your heart and share with others…. matters most.