Do you think you live a glamorous life?

What do you think glamour is? Is it designer clothes and the latest IT bag? Is it sleeping on satin sheets and eating smoked salmon for breakfast? Is it wearing diamonds and heels to the supermarket?

I’m quite devoted to bringing a bit of glamour into my life every single day, not just on special occasions. Whether I’m sweaty after 3 hours at Roller Derby practice or drinking bubbly from a plastic cup in the park, I think glamorous people are people who live life to the full, make the most of any situation and appreciate the little things.

Glamorous women eat pot noodles off of vintage plates if that’s all there is to eat and drink Lambrini from crystal glasses when they can’t afford Champagne. Glamorous women don’t stay home feeling sorry for themselves because they have nothing to wear, they out on their lipstick and head out to be the life and soul of the party.

Photo by David Blackwell

Glamour is what turns an afternoon in front of the TV into a party and a party into a night to remember. Glamour isn’t about money, you can be poor as church mouse in a really poor parish and still be glamorous, or rich as a chocolate pudding and be superbly dull.

One of the most glamorous nights I’ve had was last year. At The Secret Thing there was an awful lot of planning involved by our lovely chaps, but at it’s heart the evening involved eating burgers and drinking rum out of plastic cups while sat on cushions in the garden. However, I was with some of the most enthusiastic and glamorous people I know, with twinkling candles and plenty of rum, there’s not a 5* hotel in the world that could have beaten that back garden for glamour that night.

girls

A glamorous woman doesn’t turn up her nose at the wine selection in an out of the way pub, she leaps over the bar and starts making cocktails for everyone.

I really do try and live my life this way. I try to appreciate the little things, make the best of situations and not spend too much time dwelling on things that go wrong, or make me feel bad or that I wish I had. We all have bad days, and it’s good to be ambitious and want more from life, but not to the detriment of making the most of what you’ve already got.

So, if glamour isn’t as simple as putting on some sequins and lipstick, or buying a new handbag, how do you get it? In my humble opinion, these 5 rules are a good place to start.

1. Get Involved

The glamorous woman is the woman people remember. She’s not the one at the bar on her own looking snooty. The glamour in the room is where the action is. Serious social anxiety issues aside, if you’ve made the effort to go out to an event, get involved and make the most of the evening! Get up and dance, badly,Β  get involved in games or help choose the music. A start is to make yourself talk to at least one new person, even if it’s just to say “I like your dress”.

I find this terribly hard sometimes when I’m with groups of people I don’t know. Sometimes I drink too much because I’m nervous and spend the whole of the next day anxious and upset, convinced that I was a drunken idiot. So far, however, I’ve made some great new friends, and (as far as I know) there’s no one who’s spoken to me and is hoping I never cross their path again.

Of course, this applies to all areas of your life. Not just the ones you spend around a bar. At work when they ask for people to go on that Charity Walk, do it. You never know where opportunities will lead you and who you might meet. Get out there and take part in life, don’t let it just happen around you.

2. Don’t save things for “best”

Saving things for “best” suggests that you and the people you’re with right now aren’t worth the special china or your best knickers! If the Queen pops round unexpectedly I’m sure she’ll understand if your best tea service is a little worn, so make sure you use it when your friend pops round for tea as well.

Are you worried that things might wear out?

Imagine you are lying on a hospital bed in your 80s, or even in 5 years time. Would you rather be telling the Nurse in detail about the party you went to and the beautiful, beautiful dress you wore and how you felt like the belle of the ball, or would you rather be telling her about the beautiful dress that’s in your wardrobe and the occasion never quite came up to wear?

To steal a phrase from the kids, YOLO (do they still say that or is it over now?). Drink your breakfast orange juice from crystal glasses and wear your nicest lingerie to the corner shop because no occasion will ever be as special as today.

Photo by Esther Spektor

3. Be Solution Focused

Well, that’s sounds horribly businessy doesn’t it! It’s the sort of thing business people say, but glamorous people use in all areas of their lives. Don’t be the person who’s always throwing up problems or “issues” be the person who makes it better, the person who makes things HAPPEN.

I’ve arrived, late at night and tired, in some awful, bland, souless, and occasionally grubby hotel rooms in my time. I’ve draped pashminas over beds to make them look nicer and bought 99p begonias from petrol stations to make them less depressing to be in. Doesn’t turn them into the Ritz, but it’s better than complaining about how awful it is and writing a whingey Trip Advisor review (though I might do that too, I love Trip Advisor!).

When people remember you, do you want them to remember the person who spent all evening complaining about the price of the drinks, or the person who organised a late night trip to the local off licence and an after party in their hotel room?

4.Β  Celebrate the Small Things

Celebrations don’t have to mean a big party. You got engaged, married, graduated? Throw a party! Today your boss told you that your work was the best in the department. Celebrate! Have a big bubble bath and treat yourself to a bunch of carnations.

But don’t just celebrate your own small things, make sure you make the time to celebrate other people’s too. Imagine yourself chatting to a stranger in a bar, I know, weird, this is the sort of thing that only happens in American movies, but go with it. You say to the stranger “today I finished paying off my student loan, it feels great not to have to pay that every month”. Does the stranger say (a) “lucky you, I’ve still got about 5 years left to go on mine, I feel like I’ll never finish paying it off” or do they say (b) “That’s amazing! What an achievement! Lets have another drink to celebrate! I can’t wait to finish paying mine off, maybe I’ll throw a student loan party!”

Honestly, I’m not sure why you’re discussing your student loan with strangers in bars, but if you were, then you’d remember the stranger who said (b) more than (a). Glamorous people make other people feel good about themselves and like they’ve had the time of their lives when all they’re doing is mysteriously enjoying a drink in a bar with a total stranger.

5. Be Yourself

Last, but DEFINITELY not least. Be Yourself. Being a cut price version of someone else, or a half hearted attempt to be some vision of what “glamorous” is just isn’t going to cut it. You have to be yourself, but the best you, you can be. You might be a naturally quiet person, not that person who’s at the centre of the huge group at the party, but that doesn’t mean “getting involved” is out of your reach.

So you don’t want to wearΒ  pencil skirts and high heels because it’s just not you? Katharine Hepburn was famous for her masculine wardrobe, but she had her own brand of glamour.

hepburntux

If all that unending positivity really isn’t you and you’re all about the scathing cynicism, then go with it, just remember, there’s a difference between scathing cynicism and being a snarky and unpleasant person to be around.

Remember, rules are made to be broken, and truly glamorous people aren’t afraid to follow their own path.