The Cosmic Babe's Guide to Chic
Chic people are living compositions of style, body language, grooming, & decorum. Chic happens when you're right on point with your presentation, where people sit up & notice you. They want you at their parties, want to do business with you, & can't help themselves from lurking on your social media feeds.
Chic is having a higher awareness about presentation; a conscientiousness about how your presentation contributes to others’ & your own experience.
And as every cosmic babe knows, experience is everything.
Chic cosmic babes aren't just fashionable. Chic cosmic babes are deluxe sorceresses of charm, entering rooms with a sweep of glitter & the tinkling of wind chimes. They're stylish minxes who activate people. They're the babes other people will hoot & say, "She's out of this world!" versus "She's a little... out there."
How do you become a radically magical example of cosmic chic? I'm sure if you're reading this, you've got the cosmic part down pat, but I have a few ideas for boosting your chic quotient. I definitely don’t fit all my own criteria, but aspire to it.
(FYI: This is a lengthy read--my goal was to flatten the learning curve.)
May these guidelines inspire you to raise HELLA high vibe experiences wherever you go!
The foundation of all chic: chic habits. Looking polished, cool, & on-point is NEVER an accident. @@Prepare today for the starshine you want to feel tomorrow.@@
I like this blog series from Fiona Ferris, How To Be Chic: 30 Chic Days. (The series just wrapped up it's FOURTH go-around last summer.) For 30 days, Fiona documents her daily opportunities to think, feel, & act elegant, because she knows it will instill the habit. (It takes about 28 days for a habit to become automatic.)
There's an app Gabby Bernstein used to help kick her sugar habit: the Streaks app. You can only select 6 daily habits (too many would be oppressive), but Streaks reminds you when to follow-through & calendars your progress. Why not use Streaks (or any other habit-tracking application) to track "chic-ness"?
Right after your daily meditation or energy detox, introduce a chic habit. Maybe that's setting the table for an elegant meal (even if you're on your own), coordinating your outfits the night before for 30 days in a row, or picking a different chic habit to experiment with.
LET YOUR REPUTATION PRECEDE YOU.
Reputation = Your Actions + What Others Say About You.
@@How can you control what others say about you? By acting with good integrity.@@
Good integrity starts with doing the "right thing", no matter how insignificant it may seem. Like, putting a dollar in the barista's tip jar, even while his back is turned, or making sure to reply to ALL your emails / text messages, or remembering to post thank you notes after the holidays.
The more consistently you practice "doing the right thing"--whether that means following up, following through, over-delivering, or practicing simple courtesy--the more rock solid others will think of you. They'll treat you in kind--by always following up, following through, over-delivering, & practicing courtesy towards you.
Not sure how solid others think of you? Check out Danielle's exercise for "tracking integrity."
Along with doing the right thing, release your fear of the faux pas. Having a good reputation doesn't mean being perfect & definitely doesn't mean obsessing about what others may think of you. Just focus on setting high expectations for yourself. As long as you meet your own expectations, your reputation will be solid.
However, when you do commit a serious faux pas, know how to do a little damage control. Here's an article directed at entrepreneurs about repairing a tarnished reputation, but you can apply the 3 principles to any scenario.
TREAT YOUR APPEARANCE AS A STATEMENT... BUT ALSO ATTIRE YOURSELF PROPERLY FOR THE OCCASION.
First impressions are critical. Bad attire can give the impression that you're childish, lack the wherewithal to handle the context you're in, or suffer a total lack of self-awareness.
More than likely NOT the case!
Chic style starts with knowing how to attire yourself, which means understanding how much fringe, glitter, or galaxy-patterned leggings the occasion could actually bear before you start turning off potential friends & opportunities.
(FYI--I get into crafting your style at the end of this post. Let's just start with the basics though.)
So, learn a little about building a smart, versatile wardrobe. Here's an article about 14 timeless wardrobe staples to start you off. For experts, here's Refinery29's ENTIRE article compendium on wardrobe basics--for every season, occasion, & budget.
For understanding what's "proper" for the context, check out this article about decoding dress codes. (Published by the Art Institute, so you know they've written it with artistic license in mind!)
If you want a little cosmic babe inspo for building a new wardrobe, pay a visit to Star Sign Style, which databases celebrity looks according to their astrological birth charts. This is a good way to fish around for style icons to help you craft a look. Just click on your sun sign to get started. (You can also search for fashion / decor tips that would complement your moon & venus signs!)
DON'T LEAVE OFF THE ICING.
In The Doors of Perception, Aldous Huxley says the world unveils itself to visionaries as glowing & jewel-like.
I think that even without knowing what Huxley wrote, cosmic babes already see the world as jewel-like! Accessorizing with jewels, stones, & gems is a no-brainer, so trust your cosmic aesthetic.
Besides crystals, carry talismans charged on your altar. BohoMoon is one of my fav retailers for totemic accessories. (I lovvve the Eye of Horus-shaped pendant I scored from one of their goodie bags! I wear it with a thumb ring carved out of hematite.) I also love the moon rings over at ZennedOut!
Sometimes, instead of hardware, I wear flash tattoos, henna, or paint my skin with secret invocations. (I love these flash tattoos from Danielle LaPorte.)
I should be cliche & repeat Coco Chanel's advice about never leaving home without removing 1 accessory from your outfit. But I honestly think good accessories can raise your vibes more than the outfit itself. If you've charmed your charms to help project a quality you need, then keep your gems donned.
But if you do feel like wearing LOTS of beaded necklaces, silver rings, plus a flower crown, probably balance it out with a very neutral outfit, right?
POISE, DARLING. POISE.
Dr. Amy Cuddy laid out the research showing that body language doesn’t just affect how other people perceive us…. it also affects self-perception. When you’re shuffling, hunched over, or crumpled in your seat, we know: you don’t feel super great about yourself.
And this isn't just about having good posture & it definitely isn't about looking rigid. Poise expresses fluidity, balance, & inner-stability. Having poise signals confidence, integrity, & easy grace.
Amy Cuddy presents a few tips for "hacking" more confident posture, so visit the link above to get you some.
Along with that, start a physical training regimen that builds your physique--not just climbing treadmills or swinging kettle bells. That's "mechanistic" exercise. Find a physique-sculpting activity that challenges you in a way where your mind synchs up with the action. Experiment with belly dancing, pilates, or pole dancing. Join an adults class for ballet or gymnastics. Rebuild your body top to bottom & see just how you start carrying yourself.
CHARM THE PANTS OFF ANYBODY.
The secret to successful magic rituals? Presence.
The secret to charming ANYBODY, from rowdy little children to sourpuss geriatrics? Also presence.
@@Truly charming people make other people feel magical. Nothing is more addictive than having someone's undivided attention.@@ Their phone is out of sight. They never ask you to repeat your name. They ask follow-up questions, stay in the moment with you, & connect what you're saying back to things you mentioned earlier.
How you focus within any present moment can radically shift reality. Your presence can shatter another person's expectations--about you, about themselves, about the potential they figured this meeting would bring.
Need a deeper study of charm? Check out these 10 genuine ways to be exceptionally charming. Also explore the blog & PodCast for The Art of Charm. (It's all very 'bro advice, but I've found much of it effective! I've linked you to the charm school toolbox for women.)
What I've found: @@Staying present arises from deciding that every moment is a significant experience.@@ The simple decisions (the choice) to always meet another person's gaze & to commit their name to memory go a long, long way. Treat every person as if they're special & just about every person will think you're special.
HAVE EXQUISITE MANNERS.
As an expat of white trash hell, I'm very keen on proper etiquette. I love the confidence that comes from knowing what's appropriate for whatever situation I'm in. I like knowing what's expected of me & what I am allowed to expect from others.
And what I've learned about proper etiquette?
Good manners EMPOWER you. Have you ever watched someone with the simple, powerful ability to diffuse a volatile situation with a few choice words & an artful segue?
What about how a person with good manners puts you instantly at ease? Because she's treating you with respect & appreciation.
I love that there's an ENTIRE INSTITUTE on manners--with plenty of blog posts to guide you through the gray areas of etiquette & life.
When you're totally unsure of the proper etiquette for the occasion, transparency goes a long way. Just admit when you're out of your element & ask for guidance! People respect transparency & recoil away from putting on airs or indignation.
And--trust me on this--protesting against using good manners will never, ever make you look avant garde. It simply makes you look like an insecure white trash girl with too much pride to admit she doesn't know what's expected of her.
Graciousness is... transcendent.
I want to make 2 special points about the relationship between grace & the Law of Attraction:
First, do not refuse gifts. No, it's never "too much." Gifts don't mean you owe the giver anything or that you have to make a big show of modesty.
When you receive a gift, just say "thank you."
Why? Because the universe is listening. Nevermind how embarrassed or annoyed your modesty makes the giver feel, think about what you're broadcasting. When you get all weirdsies about receiving a gift, you broadcast that your heart is closed to love.
Accept the gift. Then send something special in return. Many etiquette guides suggest nothing less than posting a handwritten thank you note. I think that's perfectly chic, but if you want to add to add some starshine, invite the giver to enjoy the gift with you!
Second, GIVE gifts. Spontaneously & with gusto. Post handwritten notes when someone is on your mind. The next time you're shopping on Amazon, send the exact same item you're buying to a friend. (If you know they'd totally love it, but probably wouldn't buy it for themselves anytime soon.)
When you're appreciative & giving, your heart chakra BURSTS open! I think this goes beyond what's expected as basic courtesy. When your Anahata-zone blooms like that, you start receiving HELLA boons to give your life ease & splendor. (Click here for more about healing the Anahata chakra.)
And when you have ease & splendor, you're empowered to give the gift of TRUE, epic grace... the kind that totally elevates other peoples' lives.
Omg, remember that scene in Les Misérables when the bishop pretends he'd given Valjean the stolen silver, so the soldiers wouldn't arrest him?
And then actually gives him the silver?
@@Graciousness elevates you AND the people around you. Try it.@@
Imagine a friend showing up at your door in true need of good counsel. Picture she’s just been hit with horrid news, survived an attack or traffic collision, or needs to quickly make a totally life altering & irrevocable decision. Maybe her clothes are ruined, she hasn't eaten all day, or she's a ball of nerves, anger, or weeping misery.
You know you have to make her comfortable. You have to soothe her before she can open up. You have to find a way to remind her who she is so she can talk to you with clarity about what's brought her to your home.
How smashing would it feel to offer your friend a bottle of Perrier or a crudité plate you’ve already stocked in the fridge? If her clothes were ruined, wouldn't it make you feel like a superhero handing over neatly folded clothes?
I know. I make it sound like the only people who show up at my house are refugees. But growing up in a dirty house (our carpet looked & smelt like an outdoor ash tray), I always treasured going into tidy, welcoming, fragrant homes where there was always a little sumpin-sumpin' on hand to offer.
The point is: hospitality starts with creating a nourishing space... for you. Whether you planned on entertaining or a rando refugee actually does show up, the space is prepared to nestle you both.
You can offer so many simple things to make people feel good in your home, & it can happen with a little preparation. (Remember: the first rule of chic? Get proactive.) The next few occasions you're running errands, grab extra toiletries (little soaps, new toothbrushes, pretty washcloths), plus snacks / refreshments to keep on reserve. When the refreshments are close to expiring, invite a friend over to enjoy them!
Here's a tip I learned from my early years living on my own: if you're rocking the studio suite, stow all your hospitality items in a little basket, which can either be artfully displayed or cleverly hidden. (You can score a large-ish & less expensive one at any secondhand shop.)
KNOW HOW TO TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF.
Learn to cook a few real meals, even if you choose to mostly dine out. Put your bills on auto-pay. Learn basic first aid. Enroll in AAA if you can’t change a tire.
How is any of this chic?
Because chic cosmic babes are DRAMA-FREE ZONES. And the time will come where you will need to count on yourself. Nothing punts you so quickly into a low-vibe cul de sac like feeling frustrated, helpless, or confused.
We ALL need help in this area. I'm sure you already know what you need to work on for your life to have more flow & ease. Decide how much you're ready to invest into one area you need help with (a cooking class, a consultation with a financial planner, a maid service if you need a jumpstart on keeping your apartment tidy).
Remember, the key to chic is being proactive, so prepare now to avoid drama later. Here's an article that will help you really understand the difference between reactive versus proactive thinking, so you can start considering what areas of life you need to flip the switch. Also, for when life throws you curveballs you couldn't plan for, here are 10 tips for learning to flip that switch on the spot.
PURSUE HIGH QUALITY EXPERIENCES.
A chic cosmic babe will drive across the city for fine croissants & brewed coffee. She will visit gourmet markets for imported ingredients to throw in her primavera pasta. She invests in high quality under garments, bed linens, or bath elixirs.
The quickest hack to chic living is to wear, do, speak, & treat yourself in ways that make you feel spacious, timeless, & rich. @@Chic means quality; cosmic chic means quality of experience.@@
The first step in inviting more quality into your life: stop confusing having MORE with having VALUE. Sure, you may get more store-brand ice cream for less money, but you get better ingredients & flavor with the pint-sized upscale brand.
Next step, is creating toe-curling splendorous occasions to enjoy fresh, high quality fare.
For example, the next time you wanna binge on ice cream, choose a pint of gourmet gelato. Take a luxurious bath with scented oils. Ditch the hoodie sweatshirt you planned on wearing into bed & slip into the pretty night dress you save for when your BF sleeps over. Light a beeswax candle & curl up with a book.
OR sit on the balcony with Spotify, a glass of champagne, & watch the traffic lights change.
OR hang fairy lights around your TV & put on a movie you love, but can't get anyone else to watch with you. (For me, it's Cloud Atlas.)
When you start treating yourself to (what you consider) the finer things, your personal standards skyrocket.
BE INTERESTING. (a.k.a. Stay on a Netflix diet).
Being an interesting person takes energy + time + attention.
What I've found in my own life: wherever I think I don't have enough energy, time, or attention, there's plenty to take from TV & movies.
NOTE: I am absolutely NOT telling you to cancel your Netflix subscription. (NEVER, never never never!!)
But you do need positive constraints on your freedom to Netflix. You'll be glad to have such constraints, when you have news to share with your friends; more than just your reactions to what you watched on your last few Netflix sessions.
Okay, but what can you do to become more interesting?
At the start of every season, create a "bucket list" of special activities. Grab a pen + paper, then braindump everything that comes to mind: people you'd like to call up, parts of the city you've never explored, rumored cafe openings, gallery visits, a closet cleanse, getting your car professionally waxed, weekend getaways. List everything that interests you, even if there's no way you'd have enough cash, time, or whatevs to actually do it. (Set a timer, so your ideas can just stream.)
Afterwards, cull away the stuff that's just chores or upcoming obligations you happened to have in mind. Highlight or put little stickers next to what perks you up. As in, That'd be HELLA SICK to look forward to! Allow yourself to feel this before deciding why you wouldn't be able to do it.
Next, events. Bookmark any sites with calendars for upcoming events. (The city chamber of commerce, local flyers, the county library, etc.) Peruse the coming months & highlight anything that sounds cool. Add it to your must-do list.
Create another list of books you want to read & films you want to catch while they're in theaters. List the friends & acquaintances you want to plan a special engagement with (maybe knocking off a few items off your meta-bucket list together).
Create one final list of the daily habits you want to start & finish the season with.
Store these lists in your grimoire / planner or calendar them into your phone. Find an accountability-buddy if you respond better to social cues.
Make "being interesting" a game: set a time of day when you'll update your social feeds, which becomes your deadline to update about the book you're reading, the project you're making progress on, etc.
This all may seem trivial, but I promise you, one Netflix junkie to another: this list of Daydreamy Things To Do will re-inspire you. You probably won't make it through your whole list, but it will be the perfect guide for making your life more beautiful.
And keep you busy away from Netflix.
The Piéce de Resistance: CRAFT YOUR SIGNATURE STYLE.
Style is how you live your life. Cosmic babes style their lives with sparkle, glee, & transcendent experiences.
Signature style is a quality other people notice about you. It's your je ne sais qoui.
Most importantly? @@Signature style is styling yourself according to the type of experience you want to have.@@
I have a close friend who’s a metaphysical poet. (Like, that’s her job.) At dinner parties, she shows up with glittering pale eyes, matte-colored lips, & tiny, barely-noticeable star-shaped stickers pasted just below her eyelashes. In candlelight, she glistens. She remembers to gift the host (usually with a copy of a magazine she was just published in or a book she guessed the host would appreciate). She recites poetry before eating her meal. She's the PRO at soothing a weird, inflammatory comment made by another rude guest, & the first to suggest dancing or a field trip when the evening's mood starts to turn.
People invite my poet friend to parties & events (even when they only know her through a friend of a friend--like me), because they can count on her to arrive with style, act with grace, & help create an extraordinary experience. She makes the people around her feel glow-y & ethereal, because that's how she feels...
...And she wants us to feel it, too.
So, what are YOUR signatures? What are the things that truly express who you are? Hint: your signatures will be the things that you feel so confidently about, that you feel express who you are so neatly, you never feel like you have to explain it. Ainsley never has to explain why she's wearing stickers on her face when it's not festival-season: it just vibes with her presentation.
For instance, EYE could arrive at the dinner party with stickers on my face, but it just wouldn't vibe with the rest of my presentation. I'm unlikely to recite poetry before digging into the meal & am more likely to hurl the inflammatory comment that Ainsley will expertly soothe.
But that's why I'm invited to parties: I'm a provocateur. I wear dramatic eyeliner & metallic flash tattoos & am expert at prompting lively discussion. I love when the evening takes an unexpected turn--we all clamor into the host's hatchback in to toast champagne on the beach or to dance in the 7 Eleven parking lot in our evening wear. That's the experience I want, so I help create it.
Consider things that are complementary to who you are & what simply delights your senses. Every occasion presents a new opportunity to blend your signatures & personal delights into an experience--for you to enjoy with others.
So, be the best at accessorizing formal wear with metallic flash tattoos. Color your hair a pastel rainbow & perfect wearing it in a chignon. Pull all the particulars together into its own aesthetic--starting with how you want to feel.
Ask yourself, "How do I want to feel when I walk into a room?" Like a gypsy queen, a glamorous artist, a sparkling hipster Lolita? Whatever vibe you prefer to ride, that's the feel you want your apparel to project--not just for others, but for yourself.
Start with how you want to make people feel. Inventory your own experiences of when you felt that way: the season, the time of day, the scents, textures, the people, the music. Start doing more of what inspires that feeling in you. Surround yourself with items & people that make you feel exquisite.
Because, if you're feelin' it, you're transmitting it.
And that's the basis of cosmic chic.
Well, how cosmic chic are you? Where could you use some inspiration or better tutelage?
Because I actually am trying to boost my etiquette & style, I might find more resources to help you! Pay me a visit over @ Twitter & let me know where you feel dismal OR share some recommendations!
Let's help each other cosmify!
Kicking off my Netflix diet TODAY,