1. Find a space
Getting ready for a night out on the town is one of the simple pleasures in life. I say simple but I know it doesn't come easy to everyone. I've heard countless friends complain about the process and last Friday when I organised a party for a friend who's moving to Hong Kong, she was the last of the 20 guests to arrive as it took her 1.5 hrs longer to figure out what to wear! And so it became apparent that being an expert at getting glammed up I really ought to share some tips, learned through over a decade of partying. Starting with where to get ready. Sadly this is not my mirror though I dream for the day I can own a light up dressing table. I saw one in my local charity shop last week but they wouldn't sell it to me, insisting that as well as the mirror I had to have two chests of drawers and wardrobes too, which although I could fill, I just don't need! Everyone needs a place to get dressed whether it's the bathroom, living room or your bedroom, find a space that you adopt as 'the place' and have it as your private 'getting dolled up space.' You'll feel more comfortable, and because it's associated with looking stylish, you'll get better vibes and inspiration.
2. Think about your date
Whoever you're going out with is an important consideration. I have a sixth sense for this that I can't explain but 85% of the time I find myself co-ordinating with my date without even asking them what they are going to be wearing - see above where I'm out with my friends Bollywood Deewana and A Brand New Londoner we second guessed the blue theme. It's nice to compliment eachother with outfits. Give your dancefloor partners a call beforehand to check out what they intend to wear so you can be sure you'll look good together!
3. Consider the occasion
Ok, so it's more than likely you will not be getting ready for a night on the red carpet, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't dress appropriately. Always dress for the occasion and NEVER feel like you're over dressed. In my mind there is no such thing as over dressing. Infact the more flamboyant and out of the ordinary, the better. Nights out are about expressing the personality you can't unleash at work or home. It's also a chance to be someone else, an alter ego; there's no rules, just that you look amazing.
4. Choose accessories
Accessories complete an outfit and shouldn't just be thrown on at the last minute. Get to know your wardrobe and figure out what works together, this will save you time. Make a note that a certain necklace goes with a particular dress etc. Never under estimate the power of headwear either. So few people wear hats on a night out yet they are not just for weddings or going to the races. The added bonus is you don't need to worry about your hair and you'll stand out from the crowd. (A feather boa never hurts either.)
5. Get groomingEvery aspect of how you look matters from your eyebrows to your toe nails. For big nights out I can't resist a blow dry...the good news is they last a few days. In an ideal world I aspire to go for a blow dry every week (I have met women who do!!!) If your hair looks good, naturally the rest of you will too. Never test run new make-up or make-up ideas on the night out itself. Practice in advance, get feedback and learn to perfect it so that applying make-up becomes second nature. And don't forget your nails - fingers and peepers, ok so most people won't notice them but you will feel a million times more gorgeous knowing there's beauty in the finer details.
6. Statement handbag
This HamBag is the best Valentines present I've ever received (and ever will do, you simply cannot top a handbag that resembles a veggie burger!). Pick a bag that will get you attention...people will notice it, comment on it and are less likely to pinch it because everyone knows it's clearly yours. Keep your bag small and light and don't over fill it with too much, the most you'll need on the dancefloor is some cash and some chewing gum. Most loos are equipped with all the toiletries you'll need from hairspray to handcream and if you're planning on crashing around someone elses so want to take your toothbrush and other essentials, take an extra bag and leave it in the cloakroom.
7. Invite friends over (especially Sandra!)
In my first year at university in Brighton where there are more clubs per square metre than any where else in the UK (or some kind of crazy statistic like that) I went out on average three to four times a week, more then I showed up to study. The rest of the time was spent at the student radio station, attending dance classes, writing for the student paper and joining various clubs and societies. My friend Sandra lived on the floor below me and together we put a whole new spin on 'getting ready for a night out.' Our regime started at around 2pm, we'd try on eachother's clothes, generally mess around and gossip and then be ready to leave at 9pm. Sadly in the second year work suddenly mattered so nights out and time spent getting ready reduced but it resumed in the third year when I got a job as a door girl at my favourite nightclub giving me the excuse to put on my glad rags every Friday night.
Getting ready with friends is a great way to inject some fun into getting changed. You don't need to spend seven hours (though if you do have it spare, there are worse ways to while away time!). Invite them around a couple of hours before you need to leave and enjoy each other's company while the transformation takes place...once you're out you won't get to chat so freely and it's better to catch up this way than have to compete with loud speakers.
8. Enjoy some nibbles
Sometimes the excitement of going out stops you from eating but whether or not you're planning to drink you MUST EAT a proper meal. Otherwise you won't have the energy to last the night. If you're getting dolled up with friends then make sure you have some snacks to hand and encourage everyone to munch on them. No one wants to eat a huge plate of carbs (believe me I've had enough experiences of looking pregnant after a plate of pasta) but you should eat food that will give you an edge on the dancefloor. These bento snacks are perfect as are anything that involves bananas. And if you've got picky mates that refuse to eat bread, wait until they see these adorable bear buns....how can anyone say no???????
|Yummy sushi snacks|
|Bananas always do the trick!|
9. Perfect your pose
Whether you like it or not, at some point you will get your picture snapped either on someone's phone or by the paparazzi. After all your best efforts to look drop dead gorgeous don't let yourself down with a simple smile on camera - work it! Strike a pose, tuck in all wobbly bits and flash your teeth..no matter how goofy you think they are. You'll feel so much happier which will make you feel confident leading to a much more memorable night out.
10. Turn up the soundtrack
Everyone has favourite tracks for getting ready which should be blasted out at full volume. It will lift your spirits,make you feel good about yourself and if you have a full length mirror you can test out new dance floor moves in the comfort of your own home before making them public. My Life Story for me are the ultimate band to get ready to. They ooze glamour and seduction and are extremely singalongable to. Generally I listen to the style of music I'll be dancing to later whether that's drum & bass, Britpop or Bollywood. But I also have a playlist of my top 10 tracks to get ready to.
There's just something about them that gets me in the mood : )
1. Carolina Carol Bela DJ Marky, Stamina MC featuring LK, XRS
2. Cosmic Girl by Jamiroquai
3. Jailbird by Primal Scream
4. Culture Move by Asian Dub Foundation
5. Dhan Te Nan from the soundtrack to Kaminey
6. I'm So Horny by Mousse T Vs Hot 'n' Juicy
7. The Weekend by Michael Gray
8. Babies by Pulp
9. Soul Limbo (The BBC cricket theme!)
10 Pacific State 808 State
So know you have the tips, it's time to gather some mates and get going, the night is young!