Getting ready for any occasion

First published: 02-02-2015

Before any occasion, big or small, there is the joyful experience of getting ready. This can seem like quite a daunting task to many people, but it really needn't be just keep in mind the few key steps you should stick to when planning for your big date!


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The best strategy for getting ready is to start at the top and work your way down, so before anything else, turn your attention to your hair. If you're going for something particularly tricky, wear a button-down cardigan or zip-up hoodie while you do this, so you don't spoil all that hard work by pulling your top off over your fresh hairdo! It is always a good idea to try out a hairstyle a night or two before the big event, just to avoid any panics on the day itself. Make sure you're stocked up on gels, mousses and any other products you're going to use. Hopefully, this part of the process will be easy as pie. Surround yourself with mirrors if possible so you can spot any stray hairs that haven't stayed in place and remedy them with ease.


Close-up of a mature man shaving Next step: Face. This might mean getting rid of that stubble or plucking your eyebrows whatever you want to tweak before the big event, now is your chance. To give yourself an extra glow, it's also a good idea to moisturise before anything else goes on your face, keeping your skin looking and feeling healthy. If you're putting on any makeup, make sure you are in a really well-lit room bathrooms are usually great for this and you're most likely to get a really honest view of how your face is looking once the makeup has been applied. Only half-do your mascara at this point leave a second coating until a bit later on. Generally, to ensure you stay on the right side of glamourous, you should pick one facial feature you want to emphasise. So, if you know you are going for a really dramatic, smoky eye, try balancing things with a nude lip. To keep this just-done look throughout the night, hairspray is key! Make sure you only use this on your locks, as any contact with your face may cause a little mild irritation and might also undo all the hard work you've put into applying all those fabulous cosmetics.


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Before you get your glad rags on, make sure you triple-check what the dress code is it's no good turning up to a relaxed night with friends in black-tie gear! Satisfied you've got it right, give everything that needs it a quick iron and then cast your eye all over everything just to ensure there are no pesky marks or holes. Tights are an absolute nightmare for this, since ladders can appear out of absolutely nowhere. A little trick is to wear some wafer-thin gloves while you handle your tights, since this will stop your fingernails poking any holes through while you're putting them on. Keep a spare pair in your bag too, just in case of an emergency! Make sure you pay attention to the smallest details if any undergarments are going to be on show (bra straps, we're looking at you), maybe try to match it all up. A black bra strap under a black dress won't look so out of place as other colours might. Socks, too, should be considered carefully; black is usually best, but if you're hoping to make some kind of statement by wearing those jazzy polka-dot aquamarine ones, then wear them with pride! When it comes to your outfit, give it a check over from all angles before you move onto something else. Know what it looks like from the front, back and side and fix any minor imperfections there and then. For instance, make sure your shirt is tucked in smoothly at the back, or that the hem of your skirt is lying evenly. If you find this a bit tricky, maybe ask an eagle-eyed friend to do this for you.


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Sometimes, it's the accessories that can really make an outfit. From earrings to braces, make sure that everything works well as an ensemble, but don't be afraid to have something really eye-catching. For instance, a watch can be a stand-out feature of your look. This can either be achieved by having something bold and flashy or a timepiece which is elegant and classic. Colour scheme is important to bear in mind if your cufflinks are silver, you might not want to pair them up with a gold watch but a splash of colour in your watch might really complement a subtle, neutrally-toned outfit. This Olivia Burton ladies' watch here has a really sophisticated and understated design, so is sure to work with outfits ranging from smart-casual to black-tie. It is delicate, with a narrow case and minimalist look, while the slender, unstitched strap means it will blend in beautifully with any ensemble.
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For gents, this Royal London model here balances a rich gold case and strap with a mother of pearl face. The Roman numerals give the watch a classic and timeless feel, meaning it is bound to be just as versatile in the years to come as it now, matching a wide range of outfits. Accessories can work well to create a sense of continuity through your look. For instance, if your watch has a leather strap, try to match the colour of the leather with that of your shoes. Also, if you have a bold colour of lipstick like red, for example pick an accessory that is the same colour to accentuate this, like a belt or bag. Pearl earrings will match a pearly bracelet and a pocket square that has the same pattern as your tie will look really dynamic. Pick your accessories carefully and this can take your outfit from 'pretty awesome' to 'absolute knock-out'.

Final check

Image 6 The great matriarch of style, Coco Chanel, once said ìbefore you leave the house, look in the mirror and remove one accessory. Now, this advice may or may not work for you, but we can't emphasise enough the importance of that final check before you head off. With your jacket and shoes on, does the whole look still work? Your confidence is important here, so if you feel good when you take that last look at yourself, then you're bound to stay that way all night. (Just make sure you've got the essentials with you in case of an emergency a pack of tissues doesn't go amiss and if there's room in your pocket or bag for a safety pin, you might just save yourself from disaster!) Run a lint-roller over your clothes before you head out and do one last check for your keys, wallet and phone. Most importantly, have fun! This is all just your preparation the real fun begins once you're ready. Get yourself feeling a million dollars before you leave and you can set yourself up for the time of your life.


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