There are people who glide through life with poise. You know the ones – always saying the right thing, and in such an eloquent way. They always look polished and neat. They look so in control of everything all the time.
I watch these people with intrigue. ‘What must it be like, to be that person?’ I ask myself. I study them, trying to work out what is going through their mind and what plans they put in place each evening and each morning, to look so sleek and on top of life.
Instead, I feel like I’m slightly chaotic in manner and appearance. If I look groomed, it’s been a huge effort. I always seem to say the wrong thing at the wrong time. I blurt things out before I’ve thought it through. When making small talk, my mind goes blank and I can’t think of anything to say at all.
Take something which happened last week, as an example. While at an industry event – lots of glossy hair and men in sharp suits, you know the kind of thing – I sat down to have lunch and proceeded to spill some ratatouille onto my jeans, leaving a lovely red splodge stain. So for the rest of the afternoon, I had to carry my bag in an awkward way to hide it. Sleek, huh?
The following day, while freelancing in the office of a super stylish magazine (the girls have swishy hair and perfect eyeliner flicks, the boys have beards and cool glasses) I sat down at my desk, took my heels out of my bag (I wish I could walk distances in heels… I’m not that kind of girl either) and a plaster fell out of one shoe. A plaster that had clearly been on my foot, the last time I’d been wearing the shoes. A used plaster. Luckily, the girl sitting next to me was a friendly intern from Newcastle and not someone likely to be phased by a plaster. If anything, my faux-pas probably reassured her that not all magazine writers are practically perfect… so I was, er, doing her a favour, right?
That day, I was wearing dressy joggers (fashion speak for baggy trousers you can wear with heels – basically my idea of heaven). I’d made a silly choice of underwear however, opting for a slightly loose fitting pair of pants. The loose-fitting nature of said pants, paired with the loose-fitted nature of the joggers was a match made in hell.
As I walked back from lunch (in a sushi bar, darling) I could feel my pants slide down my bottom. Unable to have a fiddle or a yank in broad daylight on a busy London street, I simply carried on walking. By the time I got back to the office, my pants were fully gathered around the top of my thighs and I had to dash to the loo (walking through the office to get there) to adjust myself. I mean, that kind of thing just doesn’t happen to those glossy, poised people does it?
So I’ve realised that I’m just not destined to be practically perfect in every way.
But I can fake it. how to fake confidence
Here are my top 5 ways of making it look like you totally WIN at life
- Smile. A big friendly smile in most situations will make people think you have poise. And that you’re friendly, which is a bonus.
- Wear red lipstick. Or pink. Or orange. But basically, wearing lippy automatically makes you look more groomed. Even if I’m wearing ripped jeans and a striped t-shirt, adding lipstick turns it into a ‘look’ rather than a just-threw-this-on-outfit.
- Pause and think before you speak. Yes, easier said than done in my case, but on the occasions I’ve managed it, what has come out of my mouth is articulate and sensible. (Even if in my head, I’m a wibbly mess.)
- Walk slowly and with your head held high. Too often, I scurry around without making eye contact, but if you study those people who are in control of life, they walk slowly, confidently, head up and shoulders down. Try it, it really works!
- Plan ahead where you can – whether it’s deciding on an outfit, doing research before a meeting or buying a birthday present for that kids’ party next week, spend a few minutes each day thinking about what you might need to plan for the next. I’m pretty sure that’s the secret to being bloody amazing.
What about YOU? Are you that person (tell me how you do it!) or do you have tips on faking it?
You have literally just described me. Having scary, messy, curly hair doesn’t help much either as it never looks groomed, no matter how hard I try. Also having verbal diarrhoea does me no favours either…. But slap a smile on your face and it helps a bit, or develop a thick skin and accept you’ll never look glossy or sleek, but that you’ll always have fun and be able to laugh at yourself and your (many) faux pas!
Yes a thick skin definitely helps Sophie! Funnily enough, though, having met you a couple of times, I’d have put you down as a groomed, articulate sort…!
Was it my onesie that gave you that impression?!? Totally ungroomed, un-smooth, tripping over my own feet, spilling food down my white top, that’s me 😉
Oh my godfathers I love this so much! I’m a bumbling idiot who thought that all this poised malarkey would just come with age but at 37 I’m still waiting! Ha! For the record though, you must be very good at faking it because when I met you, I so had you down as being *that* person 🙂
Yes! This makes me happy. I’m clearly better at faking it than I thought 😉
I bet these perfectly groomed people don’t have your warmth and humour though. And you always look very glam in your pics anyway. To make you feel better about the plaster, the other day I pulled out a piece of hot cross bun from a black work blazer. Nice. Someone also once pointed out I was wearing a horse hologram sticker on my leather jacket. Oh and then there was the time I was standing at the station and a man told me I had a Double Decker wrapper stuck to my hat. You’re not alone. I promise you x
Ahhh Amy, you’re very sweet and yes your hot cross bun/sticker/Double Decker tales made me feel better – only because I can identify!!
I am the person who came out of the bathroom with their skirt in their pants! At school – in front of every bitchy girl you can imagine! – hence why I live in trousers! completely paranoid I’ll do it again! Poise and elegance is over rated anyway and so last year! Definitely the new look is slightly scruffy ad shambling – and I’m going to keep saying that until everyone believes me!
Oh no!!! That is my worst nightmare. You poor thing. Love your theory that poise and elegance are so last year. Might start telling people that…. 😉
Yes! I love this Alison! I completely relate, I’m always committing social faux pas – getting too drunk, lipstick on my teeth while trying to schmooze and talking way too much or not enough. I’m still waiting to feel like a proper ‘got it all together’ grown up. xx