Monday, September 11, 2006

Autumn Checklist

Lovely and esteemed pigeons, it's back-to-school time. Many of us have had a light summer schedule, and some of us haven't, but all of us have the opportunity to make a fresh start with the new season.

A few tips to put your most beautiful autumn pastoral foot forward:

1. Launder all your winter hats and scarves in Woolite now and set them out to dry in the sun. When they're dry, place them neatly in a sachet-scented drawer or box so you won't have to scramble for them when it starts getting cold. Find your gloves and clean and press as necessary, and take your winter coat to the dry cleaner. Find a fabulous big pin to wear with it, and then put it away for what I hope is a long time. Won't it be nice NOT to scramble on that first really cold morning? In the same vein, buy a new umbrella. Buy a few. Keep one in the car, one at church, and one at home. Totes makes excellent and reliable retractable ones for a reasonable price.

2. Shine your shoes and get them re-soled or re-heeled as necessary. A professional clean and shine costs about $5.00. Put away all your white shoes. Yes, all of them. You shouldn't be wearing white sneakers to work, anyway, and no one gets a pass on that. NO white shoes unless you're a nurse.

3. Mend the garments that need mending now instead of the morning you'll want to wear them: buttons on shirts, sagging hems, burst seams. Throw out stained garments. Don't think no one will notice the stains. Replace white and black t-shirts as needed; they lose their shape and color after a couple of seasons anyway, and should always look fresh even if you're wearing them (as you should be) underneath other clothes.

3. Check your key wardrobe staples for sizing and fit. Put things on, button them, and watch yourself walk from behind. If necessary, purchase appropriate undergarments to control jiggle or to reign in errant yantitas.* Note gaps in the fronts of blouses and suit jackets that don't close. You should be able to button your jackets and blazers even if you choose not to.
Gentlemen, no pulling your pants down under your paunch so that they look like they're falling off your tushie. They should FIT. Buy the correct size and for heaven's sake, don't fear the tailor! He is your friend! Likewise, if you have lost a considerable amount of weight, don't make the Ladies League fear that your pants or skirt will fall down any minute and reveal you in your skivvies. Get them taken in.

Guys and gals, if you have any doubt as to whether or not a garment is too small and snug, sit down in it and look at yourself in the mirror. Are you a festival of yantitas? Does the garment strain and threaten to burst? Do your thighs look like they're trying to escape from a garbardine prison? If so, my dears, I'm afraid you'll have to go a size up. Not three sizes too big; one or two sizes up to whatever fits you well and nicely. Remember, no matter what your size, your clothes should fit -- not obscure-- you.

4. Give yourself a nice facial or have it done professionally to slough off that sun-deadened summer skin. If you've been fake tanning, you can stop now.
A dusting of bronzer and a nice blush can help you fake the glow awhile longer.

5. Re-assess your make-up and clothing colors. Now is not the time for shimmery pink lipsticks and lime green headbands. Move into deeper tones, consider the change in the light based on where you live on the planet, and take advantage of the beautiful, rich colors that are in fashion for the fall. Get your hair colored a shade richer than you do in the summer, and consider low-lighting sun-bleached hair. Have it trimmed, at least, and/or or deep condition it with a product like Garnier Fructis Deep Conditioning Masque (about $4.00 available at any drugstore).

6. Gals, stock up now on pantyhose and opaque tights. You'll be glad you did. You need nude, off-black sheer, and opaque black tights. If you're young and have great legs, subtly textured tights are VERY big, but make sure you wear them with a skirt of modest length. Fellas, it's you who's supposed to be holy, not your socks. Toss the tattered ones and get some new ones already! P.S. Don't let PeaceBang catch you wearing blue socks with black shoes, or vicey versy.

7. Go through the medicine cabinet and toss expired medications. When you catch a cold in December you're not going to want to take that Sudafed from 2002.
Similarly, spend some time making self-care goals: how and when will you make time for you? Schedule a check-up and a tooth cleaning now for January. Better yet, schedule a vacation for some time in the winter, and commit to going on it. If money is an issue, consider a house swap with a friend. The aim is peace and quiet and renewal, and that can happen anywhere the phone's ringing and it's not for you!

8. If you haven't replaced your mascara or cleaned your cosmetic brushes since the spring, it's time to do it. Everyone, get yourself a new toothbrush too, while you're at it.

9. Have one perfect suit pressed and ready to go for funerals and weddings. Take it out of the dry cleaner's plastic, as it needs to breathe. Keep it hanging somewhere that it doesn't get crushed; preferably in a generally unused closet.

10. Shine your jewelry. Gentlemen, you too. Clean up and replace watch batteries and cufflinks, and keep them wear you'll be able to find them in a mad rush.

Extra Bonus Tip:
Install a full length mirror in your church office. Make sure you have a hairbrush, a lipstick or gloss, an extra pair of pantyhose (nude), Shouts stain remover or stick, Kleenex, anti-static spray, dental floss, breath mints, hand sanitizer and moisturizer in a drawer. In addition to keeping your hands smooth, moisturizer can tame frizzies (rub a tiny bit on your hands and run through your hair).

And now let us say AMEN to the Great Pumpkin.

* yantitas = rolls of fat, Mexican slang

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Blogger boyinthebands said...

If you do not polish your own shoes, you can sometimes save money and take them to your local cobbler to have them polished off your feet.

12:32 AM  
Blogger Pink Shoes said...

I just took my favorite pair of black heels to the shoe repair guy to be re-heeled. I felt very resourceful and excited, as this was something I've been saying I need to do for awhile, and hadn't! Of course I also felt properly chastised as he clucked at me when I handed them over; I'd worn them absolutely down to the posts in the heels!
If you love your shoes (and your feet!), don't wait as long as I did!

2:48 AM  
Blogger Siobhan said...

Good reminders all-- however, as a knitter, I take issue with the recommendation of using Woolite to wash your (woolen) winter hats and things). Most knitters stay away from Woolite-- it really doesn't treat wool gently. Use Ivory liquid, or baby shampoo for woolens-- if you have lots of woolies, invest in a special wash such as Eucalan or Kookaburra-- your woolies will love you for it! That said, I continue to use Woolite (or other such liquids) for other hand washables.

10:34 AM  

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