Thursday, July 14, 2011

"And the Army goes Rolling Along!"

Before I begin, let me just no attention to the man crossing the street.  You can tell he's obviously RUSHING to get in the picture, but I just didn't think he put enough thought into his outfit!  Seriously, I didn't even notice him until I just started to type!  Hey, I'm doing good just to get an outside picture to begin with.  I had someone ask me how many pictures I took to get the ones that I will post.  Honestly, for most all of my posts, I take no more than 2 pictures and hope that I can make them work for the blog.  My main requirement is that the outfit is clearly seen and I look presentable.  I'm battin' it outta the park, eh?

Terri of Rags Against the Machine (I don't think there's anyone reading this that doesn't know and love Terri!  This woman is someone who I would love to just sit and chat with for an entire afternoon of coffee and goodies!), asked me yesterday if I learned any grooming tips from being in the Army.  I got out of the Army in 1990, so I've been out 21 years!  Even as I type this, I can hardly believe it!  The military taught me alot, actually; and yes, even some grooming tips.  So, "AT EASE!" and see if you can use (or already use) any of these:

Nail Polish - A really nice female sergeant told me one time that nail polish needed to be all on or all off.  If it starts chipping, it needs to come off immediately.  Chipped nail polish looks neglectful and can detract from an otherwise polished look.  This has stayed with me, and I get really antsy if my polish starts chipping!

Ironing - To be honest, I've never minded ironing.  When I was a little girl visiting my mom, one of my favorite pastimes was to iron.  I would iron pillow cases, shirts, and even underwear when there was nothing left.  It seemed like magic to me to be able to "erase" the wrinkles!  So when I joined the military, ironing was not a foreign or dreaded concept.  Wrinkles DON'T look good.  EVER.  And if your uniform wasn't pressed you would possibly get gigged, OR you just weren't regarded as seriously as a soldier.

Look Sharp - Fair or not fair, appearances matter. How we groom ourselves speaks volumes.   When I went before the promotion board, they looked to see if I was put together.  If I took care with my appearance.  It mattered to the officers on the promotion board because it reflected on the kind of soldier that I was.  I still believe the care I take to put myself together reflects on the respect I have for myself and others.

Attention to Detail - In the military, there is a certain way that everything is to be worn.  When a badge or hat was askew, we would hear, "ATTENTION TO DETAIL, PRIVATE!!!"  In grooming as a civilian, this is still true.... a missing button, an unmended tear or rip, pockets that bulge and the list goes on.  These seemingly small imperfections actually seem to draw EVERYONE'S eye and spoil an overall look.  It casts a shadow on a great look.  The Army taught me to pay attention to the details of my grooming.

Posture - This is such a big one and one that I STILL work on to this day.  You can pull off almost any look if you push those shoulders back, lift that chin and look people in the eye.  Contrarily, slouching and shuffling tends to make everything look unkempt.  Hetty King in Adventures of Avonlea (did you guys ever read or watch Anne of Green Gables?!  I love the books and movies!)  used to have her students chant:
"Head up!
Shoulders Back! 
Purpose Firm!
Never Slack"
and as hokey and old fashioned as that may be, it's a GREAT way to carry yourself!

The Army was something I didn't appreciate until I was already out.  But I continue to surprise myself with so many things that have just stuck, even after 21 years!


  1. This skirt is gorgeous!! You need to do the Every Body Every Wear Thrifting Day next Thursday!! I know you will have trouble making a decision since you have such great choices.
    Wow...I never would have thought such great grooming advice would come from the military...but it does make since...especially the part about important. Terri always asks the best questions...this turned out to be an excellent post!!

  2. Interesting what you learnt from the army on grooming - so with you on posture - nothing ruins a look more than slouching and it takes inches off your waist standing straight. LOVE that skirt!

  3. Oh, it's the little things that drive me nuts...chipped polish, a missing button, etc. Love your post!

  4. This skirt is amazing - it's perfect on you.

    And I agree with you (and the Army) about posture. It's SO important.

  5. Great outfit, as usual. The skirt is really cute.

  6. I think it is the attention to detail that I notice in former soldiers. I'd like to get together and visit for an afternoon as well...did the service have requirements about how you wore your hair, the length.

    I'm amazed by that crisp white shirt--that is one item that is very difficult to thrift.

  7. That is a beautiful skirt, Serene. Thanks for the army tips - I am bad about letting my nail polish (clear) chip; it feels "undone". I totally agree about posture, it's the quickest, cheapest thing we can do to look better : >

    Oh hey, can I join you and Terri for an afternoon? That would be too wonderful.

  8. You look amazing and your confidence just shines through in your beautiful smile Serene! Love reading the things that you learned in the army and still use in daily life...posture is a big one for me...I so rarely think about it yet know it is essential!

    I love that you have a FB page by the way, I joined up as soon as I saw it!!:)

  9. You look terrific. The blue of that skirt is wonderful on you.

  10. I love all these 'life lesson' and style tips you got from the army! I totally agree with all of them. My pet peeve is chipping nailpolish (just can't STAND it, all off or all on is totally right!) and I try to maintain good posture. It makes such a difference!


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  12. Great post. I feel the same way.
    By the way, you look fantastic in a pencil skirt!

  13. U look fab!
    Im glad i found u, imintrigued by army life! New follower

  14. I also had no idea that you've been in the army and I was surprised. I find you so sensitive and feminine for being in the army but then again probably all these things are preconceptions.Anyway your tips are useful!

  15. Leave it to Terri to ask a thoughtful question--how does she do it on soooo many blogs too?? She is a miracle.
    I would have never thought that the army would have taught great grooming tips but there they are! The nail one I agree totally with--and I make that mistake all the time. The wrinkle one--I dont care about wrinkles. And I dont think they look that slopppy. I love natural fibers that's why--so got to live with the wrinkles.
    Love that skirt, btw! Must dish soon--miss you!

  16. Those are good rules for everyone to live by!!

    And that skirt is FABULOUS! It's a beautiful color!

  17. I completely agree with you. Posture can SELL any look!

    That skirt is gorgeous! I'm so excited to have found another blogger that appreciates a good thrift. :)


  18. Hi there! I'm a lover of all things vintage, especially thrifted items! I'm so happy to have found your blog. That skirt is gorgeous.

    Stop by and take a vintage fashion survey for a chance to win a $70 makeup giveaway! Click here!

  19. You're the queen of skirts!! This one is fabulous!


  20. The skirt is so beautiful... and sharp! Very vintage looking outfit... you look like you came from a WWII poster!

  21. That skirt is fantabulous! Yes ma'am it is :)) Your tips are ones that I follow all the time. I value how I look because I want my students to see that I take pride in coming to be with them daily. I'd like to print this out and put it in a few colleagues mailbox next month, lol.


Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! ~Serene