Build Beauty on a Strong Foundation

Fish and Cars
(Trench Coat – Burberry, Watch – Michele, Black Skirt – Theory, Basic T-Shirt – American Vintage, Denim –  7 For All Mankind, White Dress Shirt – Vero Moda, Khaki Pants – Lauren by Ralph Lauren, Pearl Necklace – Brooks Brothers, Pearl Studs – Astley Clarke, Little Black Dress – Nicole Miller, Black Blazer – Theory, Black Trousers – Theory)

“Better keep yourself clean and bright; you are the window through which you must see the world.” George Bernard Shaw.

Outer Beauty

A strong foundation begins with classic pieces that serve as building blocks for your personal style. They are essential and timeless pieces in your wardrobe; therefore, invest in them. Purchase quality and they will last for years to come. And you will shine!

You will look sharp in a black suit. Ensure that the black blazer has at least two buttons. I love black blazers that emphasize my waist as it gives definition to my body. Also, I prefer my black pants to be slim or straight legged. If you are petite, a pair of black pants looks best without pleats, which tends to swallow you. In anticipation for meetings or interviews where a skirt would be more respectful to be worn than a pair of pants, I usually purchase a matching skirt. And I love suits in quality materials – It immediately transforms a person!

A white dress shirt is also an essential classic. You could wear it with your black suit or you could wear it casually with a pair of jeans or shorts. I love shirts with a little stretch in it as they are more form fitting, feel better on the skin and easier to iron. And I cannot live without t-shirts, because they are versatile. Personally, I prefer V-necks and t-shirts made of thin, stretchy and comfortable material.

In addition to a pair of good fitting jeans and khaki pants, a strong foundation would be lacking without a black dress. You could wear your little black dress to any event. To dress up the black dress, I usually wear a strand of pearls with a pair of pearl studs – and a trench coat.  You will look classy.  To dress down the black dress, I may use a colored belt or wear a pair of fashionable sneakers.

Be creative with your classic pieces and shine!

Inner Beauty

“Integrity” stems from the Latin word “integer” which means “whole” or “complete.” In other words, if you have integrity, you are whole, sound and complete in your inner world because you are honest and congruent. I strongly believe that a person who has integrity has a strong foundation to being beautiful within.

1. Be branded. Have (and adjust from time to time) a set of moral values and principles that you will live by. Think of what values you stand for, what you want to be known as, what characteristics you want to work toward. Brand yourself. Your own set of values and principles will provide you with self-confidence, help you set boundaries and attract people with similar values to you.

Here are some of my own personal moral values and principles: I am responsible for my own education. I work very hard to further the best interest of the company I work for and do not take any short cuts. I am open, honest and loyal to the man I am with and do not cheat. I do not steal any of my girlfriends’ interest(s). I only keep friends I could trust (I use a 3 strikes policy for people who lie). I will not leave when my nephew fails to do an activity – only after he accomplishes it (to teach him not to quit and to build positive associations). I strive to do the right thing, even when it is difficult.

2. Be honest. Besides telling the truth to others, I believe it is important to be honest with yourself, to be personally accountable. Without honesty, I find that it is very challenging to grow because it is easier to lie to ourselves or point the finger at someone else.  For example, if you obtained a C on a calculus examination instead of your goal of an A, be honest about the mistakes you have made and the efforts you could have put into studying instead of blaming the test (It’s unfair!), the teacher (She sucks!), the school (If only I go to Harvard!) or the system (Discrimination!).

If your attitude is one that stems from the fact that you have the internal locus of control – you will thrive! For instance, if you say to yourself “I am responsible for earning a C because I incorrectly applied the fundamental theorem of calculus” and learn the correct application of the fundamental theorem of calculus thereafter, then you will earn an A.

The truth will make you whole – and you will become a better person!

3. Be congruent. To obtain and maintain consistency in your character, act accordingly to your own values and principles. Be congruent in your thoughts, words and actions. When I was in Tahiti last year, I was reading Brene Brown’s book “Daring Greatly” on having integrity and being consistent with the people who look up to you (in other words, watch out for hypocrisy!). When you find an unpaid item in your shopping cart, go back and pay for it! When I checked out of the hotel in Tahiti, I noticed that the hotel did not charge me for the delicious dinner I had, so I immediately requested the hotel to make the adjustment. Since I am the kind of person who would pay for a movie, go out of the theater and then pay for another movie, this did not present a challenge.

What is challenging to me is showing service professionals respect by not being glued to technology.  Thus, my phone is in my purse when I am in line ordering food. Incidentally, I spoke with a taxi driver today who thought that people in New York are rude because they do not say hello and are always on their phone, which reminds me – time to sign off and spend quality time with my nephew!

Have a beautiful day! – And let your inner beauty shine!

© 2013, Fish and Cars. All Rights Reserved.

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