Effortlessly Casual

Last night I was going to the movies, so I wanted to look casual, but pretty—effortless and natural. However, some days looking effortlessly casual is a lot of work.  

I decided to straighten my hair—something I used to do daily, but have gotten away from because hot humid days and wavy/frizzy hair are BFFs and I hate to break up their romance. Today, though, I didn’t have the kids so I decided to go the extra yard and spend time on my hair. It looked amazing. It was full and lush and everything I ever wanted my hair to be.

Then I accidentally put on too much eyeshadow, and that meant instead of looking fresh-faced and natural I now looked like I was trying, but not trying hard enough to wear mascara, because I planned on wearing mascara tomorrow and my eyes are too sensitive to wear it two days in a row.

It was cooler out, but since it is summer I didn’t want to wear jeans, so I decided my rarely-worn medium-length denim skirt would be perfect, except I’ve lost weight and it somehow bulked up around my hips and simultaneously managed to make my hips look bigger than they actually are while flattening my ass. I tried on five different shirts, and three different skirts, and since I was just going to the movies, I realized the only combinations I liked were way too fancy for the evening, so I was going to have to go with the frumpish slightly-large ass-flattening skirt. Suck it up, Buttercup. I used to wear drapey tops to hide my stomach, but since I lost that 10 pounds—some of which came from my boobs—I now looked shapeless and pregnant in what used to be my go-to always perfect shirts. Finally, I remembered a not to fancy T-shirt with interesting sleeves, which was great except it was slightly wrinkled.

Now, personally, I avoid ironing like the plague. I am a huge fan of wrinkle release fabric spray, so I sprayed down my not-too-fancy-shirt and put it on. It technically required a strapless bra, except there was no way that I was going to sit for hours in a movie theatre in a strapless bra—that was just dumb (unless you are on a first date, in which case, sacrificing comfort for fashion is completely the right move). However, I remembered my mother’s trick of safety pinning shirt straps to bra straps and I actually had some tiny safety pins. I very carefully secured my straps and praised myself for managing to successfully hid the pins as well—but then I noticed that the wrinkle release spray had not dewrinkled my shirt, but instead caused it to dry with some weird poufy places.

On my way to find the iron, I happened to look in the mirror, and my perfectly straightened hair was now curling up at the ends and slightly frizzed out. This is why is best to stop looking in the mirror once you feel good about your hair. Nothing good can come of repeated glances.

I found the iron and plugged it in, but I was not going to unpin my perfectly pinned bra straps to iron my shirt. I used to be quite adept at ironing while wearing clothes, and this time it occurred to me that the added step of placing a towel between my stomach and my T-shirt would make thing easier. I tucked a handtowel under the bottom of my bra and  became a vertical, breathing ironing board. The shirt was saved and I didn’t have to unpin anything. I didn’t even lightly scorch myself. Winning. 

As I ran out the door, I happened to notice a pair of wedge sandals that perfectly coordinated with my outfit, which would draw attention away from my slightly-frizzed-out hair. I looked effortless. Casual. Like I just threw on the first thing I saw. 

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Copyright © 2024 Lara Lillibridge

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