So you want to start wearing dresses

wearing dressesSome ladies wear skirts all the time but are new to wearing dresses. Skirts are lovely and very easy to combine. Of course we need to combine skirts with a top so we tend to buy them with this in mind. We tend to buy dresses to wear on their own. But to be honest, a dress can also be worn in a variety of ways. I’ve picked two tea dresses, an LBD and two cocktail dresses.

 

DaytimeThese two outfits are lovely during the daytime'; having lunch with friends, going on dates, meeting his parents and even for work, if you need not dress too formal. The shoes and bags are simple and the outfits contain some neutral colours as well as bright ones. The jewelry is subtle.

LBDHere are a few ways to wear a Little Black Dress. Left is a work look in all neutrals, very subtle and practical but still elegant.  In the center a brighter look that goes both ways. The shoes are more evening style, but don’t look out-of-place in the afternoon. The purse is bright and fun. Swapping the jacket for a sparkly shrug and the silk scarf for a fascinator is all you need to transform for dinner. On the right, you can see how festive and chic a LBD can look. So if you only own one dress, a flattering black one should be it.

CocktailParties are amazing, especially if you have a party dress you love. The floral silk number is great for a wedding or jubilee. A good girl look with a bright cardi takes you from the afternoon to the evening. An A-line skirt tends to make a dress more good girl and more daytime because it hides some of your shape, but they are also very feminine and floaty.
Straight skirts show the most of your hips and tend to be the sexiest, yet they also look sleek, professional and grown up.

The red dress is more sexy; I’d love to wear this outfit on a dinner and dancing party; or a date that involves dancing.  The skirt is fitted at the curves, but swings out in a circle at the knee, so the bias adds movement as you dance.  Circle skirts, which contain bias sides and bias cut flared skirts are also good for dancing; you want dresses that dance with you.

If you want to look mysterious; look no further than a black dress with black heels.  You can look like a film star, a writer, a seductress or a gallery owner.  You look very sexy, yet also like our mind has even more to offer than your body. Wear it with the evening purse, red lipstick and a statement piece of jewelry, a piece that draws attention to your best feature. A bracelet if you have elegant hands, a necklace if you have a lovely chest or neck. Not something subtle, but something that people will ask about.

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Self care

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Just like you need to take care of your house, your car and your pets in order to keep them in good condition, you need to take care of yourself.

Your Self consist of several parts; your physical body, your mental body, your emotional body and your spiritual body.

Taking care of your physical body is something most women are familiar with. We try to eat healthy, exercise and use lotions and potions to keep our bodies clean and pretty, This is all fantastic, however… Many women take care of their physical body while neglecting mental, emotional and spiritual self-care.

If you are spending all your time reading beauty magazines, shopping and clubbing, it does nothing for your mental body. You become dull and vapid. You could also create some synergy by watching a film with lovely costumes and a good storyline; like ‘The Great Gatsby’, by learning to make jewelry or taking a sewing class and learn to look pretty while also learning about literature or developing your creativity. You’ll be beautiful and interesting at once, and more importantly, you feel more complete when you are a well-rounded person. You are much less likely to accept a man who only appreciates your body as you know you have much more to offer.

If you are dieting yourself sick and beating yourself up over cellulite and pimples, you lack self compassion and neglect your emotional self. When you care for your heart, you realise you and others need not be perfect to be deserving of love and acceptance. You judge less and love more. You will not accept men who judge you and mistreat you, because you know you are worthy of love as you are. When you then care for your beauty, you need not achieve perfection and you learn to enjoy the process. You cook a tasty vegetable curry or some heart warming soup. You take a relaxing bath that gives you pretty skin, and don’t expect it to remove every blemish. You put on that face and hair mask, not as a chore but as an expression of self-love.

If your mind if filled with worries and to-do’s, you lack space for your spiritual self. Your spirit lives inside your mind. It is what’s there when you are in the here and now, when you are relaxed and alert. It is the self that sees, hears, feels the experiences in the here and now. Take the time to clear the clutter in your mind. For some that means yoga or meditation, for others gardening or going to the gym. Another way to nourish the spirit is by beautiful experiences. Nature, especially impressive nature forces you into the here ad now. Art can have the same effect. When you care for your spirit, you are not just doing, but also being. You are present. You are you.

Take care!

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The rainbow

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Love is a single force that is expressed in many facets, just as a rainbow is a single light that is expressed in a myriad of colours. When we hear the word love, we often think of being in love, of passionate love, of romantic love. This is a beautiful and vivid expression of love. But all love strengthens the soul and awakens the heart.

Hope is a form of love that enables us to try what we are not sure we can. Hope awakens and supports courage, (The word courage comes from “coeur”, which is french for heart) the strengthening of the heart to rise to the occasion and discover how amazing we really are. We see this as fast, revolutionary growth, but we could also see it as discovering parts of us that have previously been hidden to us, but been there all along in the shadows. As we let our light shine upon the shadows, we realise we are not small and unimportant. As we enlighten the hidden parts of ourselves, we stretch our perceived self to meet the challenge.

Friendship is a gentle form of love. To share the joys with a friend and celebrate together doubles the positive feelings in the heart. To share the pains with a friend, find comfort and acceptance, allows us to move through the pain and heal. We feel supported, understood and appreciated. When a friend shares his feelings with us, we feel and learn from experiences other than our own. Friendship is light reflected in a person we empathize with, whose feeelings are mirrored by our own. We learn to see others as feeling, loving and loveable creatures as we put our heart out there I the world.

Passion is love set aflame. It naturally contains a little madness, as it is the opposite of the cool, collected, calculated part of us; The mind. Unless rules are broken, it is not passion. This part of the heart is the rebel, the revolutionary that breaks free from the authority of mind. When we feel passion, we melt the rigid structures of convictions and conventions. Passion is suffering, in fact, tears have the same structure dissolving function. When we break down and cry, part of our mind litterally breaks. We drop our duties and surrender to the heart.

“Melior de cinere surgo”

But structure is meant to be broken down and rebuilt once in a while. Sometimes old convictions and conventions are obsolete, and breaking them simply liberates us. Other times old convictions and conventions are just as relevant in this time and place. A transgression may be just the thing to remind us why. Then, something magical happens. When we no longer carry duty on the sheer willpower of our spine, and we feel an inner calling to carry out this duty, we find that we bear it on our heart. And what would have been backbreaking to rigid structure, is a precious load that only lightens the heart…

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Attention

 

Paying attention to your self allows you to calm down, look inwards so that you may heal and improve yourself. It also helps you get to know yourself, so that you can take care of yourself more effectively and also be more aware of what you want in relation to others. Then you can say no to what harms you and yes to what helps you flourish and become happier, healthier and more wholesome. You take responsibility for and fulfill many of your own needs.

Paying attention to others allows you to listen, nurture, understand and welcome. It makes you kind, thoughtful, charming and gracious. Others will want to spend time with you, please you and dote on you. You attract attention and others willingly help you to meet your needs, because they enjoy seeing you happy.

When you give attention to yourself and others, you need not demand attention agressively, your needs are not ignored or ridiculed. Much of the less attractive behaviours in women happen when there is fear around unmet needs. Preventing this state, by doing yoga, making a healthy snack, resting and generally taking time for yourself, ensures you behave in more attractive ways. Be selfish this afternoon so that you may be unselfish tonight :-)

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Natural beauty and feminine bravery.

 

 

When a girl who makes no effort to look to look attractive, men assume she is not enthusiastically in the market for dating. She may be surprised by an admirer, but it is quite rare. The sexless role is safe because it does not put the girl out there. Another source of comfort is the thought that she might attract her favourite if only she made more of an effort. This comfort is equal to that of the underachiever. Along with any very alternative styles that make a woman actively look less feminine, it acts as a shield to the girl. Her essence is defensive.

When a girl dresses very sexy and wears enough makeup that her individual look is smothered, she appeals to the fiery sexual drive that is near universal in men. Especially if she offers sex, she will rarely be rejected. The sexbomb knows the outcome. Sex will be offered, which she can accept or reject. Or a date (with the man expecting sex soon) is offered by a more devious guy. She is in control and once she has accepted the role of the hottie, it is a very safe one. Her essence is agressive.

Natural beauty is so attractive exactly because it is vulnerable in essence. When you have clearly put in the effort to look your best, yet also accept that you have your individual beauty, you may or may not attract a specific man. You accept that men have their individual tastes, which may or may not include your type, but when a man is into your type, it is clear to him that you are in the market for dating. When she goes out, she may or may not be asked out by a guy she likes, the outcome is not in her control. This is scary and takes courage. Yet it is the vulnerable essence itself that marks the height of attractiveness, and tells you when you are wearing neither too much nor too little makeup, and showing just the right amount of skin. More than a pimple left unpowdered, the “I can’t be bothered” shield is unattractive. More than the too bleached hair, the sword of “So sexy you cannot refuse” keeps him from calling you back. Either attitude makes a man feel unimportant, insignificant or unmanly. Men are more attracted when they feel good, manly and important. Looking naturally pretty and radiating a soft, feminine essence help him feel this way.

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Love

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Often, we believe love is about meeting a person, a very special person, who is just right for you and will make you happily ever after. A kind of saviour. We tend to focus on where to meet such a man. And yes, in love you do meet a very special person, he will be right for you and you will be happy together. But there is a nuance. Love comes from within. It is an attitude that is part of you even before you meet. From a perspective of love, you love men and you see the good in manhood. This helps you see the good men and to see the good in them.

Until you are right for yourself and accept and love yourself unconditionally, you will meet men who see you in that same light. If they are decent men, they keep some distance from women who lack self love. He may feel sorry and try to help, but something will be missing and after a few dates it’s done. If he is less decent, he may want to spend a lot of time with a woman who lacks self love, but this is not a nice kind of dating. The men have their own journey, and if you are out of key with love, dating is difficult. They cannot be Mr. Right for you, they cannot save you or make you happy. Only you can be your saviour.

Now, when you love yourself first, things just fall into place. You are on the same wavelength as men who are ready for a love relationship, and the ones who are not only last a few dates. When you meet a man who is decent, attractive and compatible, see how special and right for you he is. You respond in ways that elicit his loving behaviour and awaken his feelings for you. You have enough mental and emotional peace to weather a normal storm, and enough dignity to let the wrong men go. One cannot stand a tornado, one avoids it. Love brings you in tune with your natural intuition, which leads you to a loving life. This means friends who accept you as you are, work that is meaningful, compassion for others and a happy, harmonious love relationship.

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Meeting men

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Now, I just told you that meeting the love of your life is a matter of attitude before location, but the latter still matters. Few women meet a wonderful man while staying at home baking cookies or reading in the back yard or in a female dominated line of work. Yet, you need not spend your all free time in sports bars, in toolshops and at investment seminars either.

No matter what your interests are, it helps to be friendly with lots of people of your own age and station in life. Men, especially attractive men rarely get introduced by the older generation. So while it is good to be friendly with your aunties and your dad’s friends; spend most of your free time with young people who are single or still have single friends. It is healthiest to interact with both men and women. Male close friends can be like brothers and help you learn about how men think. Casual male friends, such as colleagues and classmates can be dates for you or will have friends who can date you. Sometimes a total stranger may ask for your number, but for most women, this is not the most effective way to meet men. Most guys are a bit reserved, and a stranger has only your looks to go by. If a woman is pretty enough to motivate him to walk up to her, she is pretty enough to intimidate him.

Going for drinks in a group that includes men makes it easy for a regular guy, who experiences a hint of shyness. Not for a stranger, but for a friend of a colleague it is fairly easy to strike up a conversation and, after a fun chat, ask you out. Let your male colleagues and friends take you to the bars they like, that is where the men are. The places need not be hip, as long as they aren’t seedy. Do bring at least one other woman, so that the group is a mixed group, which gives a better dynamic. Avoid being one of the guys, but dress ladylike, be moderate with drink and go home before things get rowdy. This means you will also be in bed by midnight, getting your beauty sleep. A woman who looks professional and feminine, interacting freely, joyfully and decently with men just like him is very approachable to a good, normal man. Do make sure you study, work and sport at places with men who are dating material to you, for when you go out with them you will meet more of the same.

When you go out as a group of women, you may also meet the friends and brothers of your girlfriends. But, even better to stay at home with them. Not to hide from men, but to throw dinner parties and invite your male friends. Let them bring the drinks while you show off your cooking skills. If you happen to bake good cookies; this is your time to shine. Any celebration is good; birthdays, graduations, promotions or bank holidays. If you have no occasion, play a board game in winter or a sport with a picnick in summer. In such a setting, the men will take the time to get to know all of the girls present. Girls who are plain looking, but dressed attractively and girls who are shy, but warm up later need men taking the time.

These tips will be effective for all age groups, but do adjust them to your situation. If you are a 24yo PhD student, go to graduation and promotion parties, conferences, bars and play sports at the university. If you are a nurse in your forties, you will need to make more of an effort to have single friends your age to have dinner parties with and go to parties for singles over 40. Most of your colleagues will be women, so you need to meet male friends through a hobby. Make a point of having a drink afterwards as a group, so you get to know them and their single friends. Also socialise with women who have many male friends.

If you are over 30, it is a great idea to do online dating and speed dating. As more people your age are coupled, you need places where there is a concentration of singles. The boon is that men in their thirties who are actively looking to date, are often doing so because they have a career they are happy about, are ready for love and hoping to meet that special woman. Where men in their 20’s may often use it as a means to sex, men over 30 who date online expect to go on fun dates together and start a serious relationship. They can easily afford to take you out properly and often do. If you date online, try a serious site for a month and if you are happy with the kind of men you meet, stay for a few more months. If you are not happy with the audience, for example the religions and education levels in the group, go to another site. Regardless of your age, consider relocating if the demographics in your town are not in your favour. Some places are disprotortionally affected by social ills, while others have more than their share of upstanding citizens. Make your live in a positive place, and socialise in positive circles. Not just to meet men but to be happy and healthy too.

 

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Sweetness

 

Of all the lovely qualities you can posses, sweetness is the most universally moving one. A sweet smile draws others closer to you and a sweet nature will help you be a blessing and a treasure to the world. The secret of sweetness is that inner sweetness and outer sweetness draw upon each other.

It is fairly easy to say something kind once in a while, and most of us succeed in this. More difficult is holding your tongue when you feel the urge to say something unkind. This requires a lot of discipline, as we all get cross once in a while. To keep yourself from saying hurtful things when annoyed and regretting it later, much discipline is needed. You can practice this by keeping a calm mind in everyday life. Whatever fault you still notice in others, make a habit of correcting it in yourself, if needed. We need to work on ourselves first, it is not our task to improve others unless they ask for guidance. If your date has bad table manners, take the opportunity to polish your own.  If your mother wears clothing two sizes too small, check if your own wardrobe could be more flattering. If a girl on the train is frowning, relax your own forehead. Who is the most important person to help transform and on whom will your work be most succesful? You, and you.

Once you have achieved this, you can improve further by making it a habit to look at the positive behaviours of a person. This will help you appreciate him more. What is even better is that it will give you a soft, sweet expression that make up cannot create. The look of sweetness says more than a thousand kind words. Bless the world with it whenever you can.

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Serenity

To cultivate inner beauty, we need a calm mind and a soft heart.

Avoid unneeded and excessive emotional disturbance. Reading few a calmly worded articles about unpleasant things that take place in the world help keep one informed. But ask yourself if you need start each day with a newspaper with loud, angering headlines that exaggerate injustices and controversies to rile a reader up? Do you need to watch half an hour of mayhem as you come home from work? Comparing products on the internet and viewing a few advertisements can help you when you need to make a purchase, but do you really benefit from listening to loud, repetitive commercials? Do you need to view sales messages that play on your insecurities? Is there any reason to commit five evenings a week to watching soap operas and viewing a lot of adultery, backstabbing and intrigue with hardly any though provoking content to balance it? A more mindful use of the traditional media; as in choosing a few programmes and periodicals and consuming them in a disciplined way, goes a very long way in keeping a calm mind.

A lot of younger women have transitioned towards the more self directed on-line media. On the positive side; this gives more freedom to avoid commercials with noise and refrain from being ruled by the programming schedule. On the negative side; this opens you up to exposing yourself to obnoxious messages 24/7. Another possible source of mental garbage are negative people on social media. Constant complaints about their own lives and attempts to control your behaviour towards negativity are signs they need to be blocked and unfriended. You cannot save people who persist in misery, and even if you could, why not save yourself first and show the world an inspiring example? Them when others seek your guidance, you have far greater chances of making an impact. What goes for online ‘friends’ naturally also goes for offline ones.

A final source of disruption are our responses to negative feelings that arise in our hearts. It is perfectly normal to feel darker emotions, such as sadness, frustration, anger and envy. We cannot help their appearance, but we can help out reaction to them. When we are sad, we can swallow our tears in bitter thoughts and hard drink, or we can be vulnerable, admit our pain to ourselves and cry. When frustrated or angry, we can succumb to ugly curses, rudeness and screaming or we can take a walk, think about what needs are not being met and find a way to get them met. When we feel envious, we can lower our self to gossip, competing or even only to resentment or we can recognise our desire to have what another has. A beautiful, self loving and sensible response awakens us to our inner needs, wishes and desires.

Choose clarity over clutter.

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Unleash your inner rebel

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Sugar spice and all things nice can get cloysome if they don’t have a twist of wickedness lurking beneath the surface. That may be a surprise coming from me, as most of my articles focus on how to be a good, sensible girl and a lady. However, there is a big difference between being a good, ladylike woman, and being a repressed, too nice girl. Knowing the rules adds to your charm, being too fearful to break them detracts from it.

Here are a few ways to unleash this power:

Don’t play nice when you really don’t want to, don’t set your own desires aside. because it would only breed resentment. Anger can be sexy, but resentment never is. Resentments plays at a sense of obligation, and whatever one should or ought is never seductive. Far more alluring is to let out dissatisfaction quickly and charmingly. Be the girl who looks cute when she is cross or passionately furious.

Do something dangerous or be a danger to someone. Danger raises the hormone levels and thus physically excites people.  We admire people who take risks, because without them, things would simply stay as they are. Risk takers sometimes lose, but when they win, they will big and revolutionize the world. Still water may look safe, but it becomes putrid when it remains still for too long. Rock the boat.

Do something frivolous and feckless. It also puts people at ease to know that you are not always perfect and sensible. They feel inferior and uneasy in front of those who are too mature, too sensible. Do not assume too many rules, but rather do as you please when something is not explicitly forbidden. Ask forgiveness rather than permission

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