What's Wrong with 80%? Looking Your Best, Within Reason.

 Chimala grey distressed ankle pants. Madewell. $483.

I once had a conversation with a supervisor who said to me, "you can't always do A work. Sometimes, you need to do B or even C work to get it all done." Recently, my husband received similar advice about setting the bar at 80% instead of 100% or, "you'll kill yourself trying." Well, there you have it. 

It's a funny thing about being a personal stylist, it means that people dress differently when they are going to see me. And, I'm pretty confident they expect that I'm going to be up to their standards, as well. I think I am, most of the time. With this new wave of advice, I'm going for 80%. 

Let's be honest. Life is busy, things come up and sometimes we wonder: is it really worth all the effort to put lipstick on before going to the store? 

I think it is. But, I also think rocking your personal style should not be one of the items haunting you on your to-do list. So, for those mornings when it just seems like that one extra step you can't pull together, I thought I'd offer some help. 

Tricks to Get You to 80% or Even 85%, When You Just Don't Think You Can Do It.

 Trish McEvoy High Volume Mascara Jet Black. $31.

1. A little makeup.

I know. You are late. You are tired. Everyone in the house would benefit if you could just get the kids out the door on time today. But, you'd be shocked at the difference between how you look and feel with a bit of makeup versus going without. I vote for mascara (Sara at Blue Mercury turned me onto this tubular option), lipstick/ gloss or tinted chapstick and powder. 2 minutes and a world of difference. Have 4 minutes? dab some concealer over the circles under your eyes (as long as the concealer will disappear under the powder) or add tinted moisturizer, too. Make sure something on your face (powder, moisturizer, foundation) has SPF to protect your skin. If you are on the Poplin email list, you'll also see some tips from Blue Mercury founder, Marla Malcolm Beck and her staff. 

 Kate Spade Lazy Loafer. Available in black, red. Saturday.com. $110.

2. A nicer shoe.

The same outfit with sneakers, Danskos or weathered shoes from last season can be transformed by a great pair of shoes. I'm not suggesting you add a heel (although, if you do, you'll be even happier), but go for colored flats, an edgy boot or something that communicates your personal style and transforms you from late night (exhausted) to early morning (energized). 

 Marimekko Kasida. Marimekko. $399.

3. A great coat.

Again, same outfit. This time, try it with your NorthFace parka. Look in the mirror. Now, take that off and put on your belted trench or your plaid parka. Seriously, you are an entirely different person. If this is a morning when you are simply running from place to place, not heading to the office. You may be able to rock that coat all day. Aren't you put together?

4. Accessories.

Just one, that's all I ask. A great handbag, a lovely scarf, a bracelet. The difference between a t-shirt, jeans and Tevas and a t-shirt with a bold necklace and fun flats cannot be understated.

 Zara necklace. Zara. $29.90.

That's it! Easy. You've added about 7 minutes to your routine and at least 10 smiles throughout the day. Who knows, you may even get a compliment or two. 100% is not achievable and in this hectic world, and it certainly doesn't help to highlight the 20% that we're missing. Focus on your victories and if you've completed the 4 steps above, you'll have one under your belt before you even leave the house. Congrats!


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