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28 September 2007

How to: Own the Sidewalk


Alright ladies! It is Friday and I am feeling inspired to write! I don't know what came over me yesterday, but as I exited the subway into the bright sunny street I felt the need to STRUT MY STUFF. It got me thinking, every girl should learn how to own the sidewalk, or at least feel like she does. There is just something about walking with attitude that puts me in a great mood. So, today I present 10 tips to help any girl strut the sidewalk like she's Agyness Deyn up there on the catwalk.

Tip 1: Have an excellent soundtrack. Nothing makes a girl feel hotter than hot music. It gives you a great beat to time your strut. It helps lift your mood if you are feeling down. Sometimes it just makes you want to dance in the middle of the street! Yesterday when I was strutting my stuff down the street I was listening to "The Girl's Attractive" by Diamond Nights. I challenge you to listen to that song and not feel inspired to strut your stuff. It is important to decide if you feel you can strut while wearing headphones and sporting a music player. If you have a sexy, sassy little iPod nano, it is not going to get in your way, but larger players and bulky headphones can be problematic. There is nothing wrong with playing your soundtrack in your head, "marching to the beat of your own drummer" as it may be. Just make sure you don't start mouthing the words...that might ruin the effect.

Tip 2: Wear proper eye wear. I think sunglasses are essential for walking down a city street, much less strutting down one. They act as a shield between you and the crushing swell of humanity around you. It is not necessary to channel Jackie or Audrey and wear glasses that mask half your face, although that is my personal preference. Your choice of eye wear should reflect your personal style. I find sunglasses especially useful for politely ignoring those pesky Green Peace street teams, especially in combination with headphones. Yes, I want to save the environment! No, I don't want to stop and talk to you about it! It is 8 am and I'm not yet fully human...I'm on a mission to get a latte and if you get in my way I will probably bite your hand off!

Tip 3: DO NOT wear a treky looking blue tooth earpiece, unless you are strutting through a Star Trek convention. On several occasions I thought someone talking on a blue tooth phone was either talking to me or insane. Those around you will likely be so distracted pondering these same questions about you, that they will not admire you fully.

Tip 4: Consider your footwear. Every girl knows that something magic happens when you put on the right pair of high heels. It doesn't matter how many hours you spend on that stair master, nothing beats the slimming, elongating, toning effect of heels. BUT, this look can be seriously compromised by various conditions. First, before going with heels you must consider walking distance. Do you walk a mile from the bus to your office? Have you done enough breaking in and training to walk that kind of distance in a pair of killer heels? Hobbling the last quarter mile looking like Quasimodo is not the look you are shooting for. Second, one must consider surface. Unless you are superbly talented, heels do not work in grass or really on bricks. So, what other options do you have? For the purposes of strutting, I would avoid athletic shoes like the plague, unless you are in fact running. I would consider going for a chic little pair of flats, or perhaps a kitten heel. While kitten heels can still have the above problems, I find that they are somewhat less complicated.

Tip 5: Have an accessory that you can toss or twirl. Are you approaching a hot guy and thinking you need to make some sort of extra effort to emphasize your fabulousness? How about a little toss of the hair? Or if it is winter, and your hair is neatly tucked under a winter hat, how about tossing that long luxurious scarf back over your shoulder. Playing gamely with a long necklace might also do the trick!

Tip 6: Dress the part. Personally, I am never going to feel like strutting on one of those days were I was so unbothered with presentation that I threw on my husbands jeans, an old t-shirt and a baseball cap. Some men might find this look kind of sexy, but it is doubtful that you will ever feel sexy in such a look. On strutting days you will likely be wearing your favorite jeans or a fabulous pencil skirt.

Tip 7: "A true lady travels unencumbered." I think this is one of my favorite quotes from my collection of etiquette and styling books, and I don't even remember who said it! If you want to look truly stunning, carry only a small bag. A big ticket fashion purse, which can carry your life, might attract the notice of other women, but a killer unencumbered strut will attractive the attention of men, women, children and possibly even small animals. The less you carry, the more erect your carriage will naturally be, and you will be much more free to strut, sway and blow kisses to your many admirers.

Tip 8: Practice appropriate facial expressions. When you strut is your face blank like an Olsen twin, who is trying to discourage the photogs? Do you looks somewhat miffed at the presence of so many mere mortals like Posh Spice? Do you have a sly, secretive smile that makes everyone around you wonder what you've been up to?

Tip 9: Strut with purpose. A brand new mother strutting out with her baby for the very first time is magnificent, and she is strutting to show off her baby. She is hardly able to follow the "unencumbered" tip, but she has the best accessory ever. A newly engaged woman struts to show off her new rock and her brand new fiance. This is best accomplished by dressing your man in his studliest duds, and walking with your left arm linked through his and your engagement ring displayed on the front of his bicep or forearm. There is also the woman who is just strutting for no real reason: the sun is shining, she has on some great jeans and a fabulous song just came up on her ipod.

Tip 10: Have a sense of humor. Murphy's Law dictates that you will do something super nerdy during the course of your strutting. You must try to recover with grace, this often requires a sense of humor. For example, during my recent strut I walked into a local cafe, feeling like hot stuff to order my lunch, rocking out to "The Girl's Attractive." I was taken by surprise to look up and notice that the cashier looked an awful lot like my grade school crush. He asked me what was playing on my iPod, and I got really flustered mostly because in my neck of the woods cashiers are normally surly, grunting to acknowledge a placed order. I felt like I would be a huge nerd if I said "The Girl's Attractive" from the Smallville soundtrack and it also seemed like it would be very flirtatious, which just weired me out. I felt like I needed to flash my wedding band, by oh-so-subtly scratching my nose or something just for thinking about saying the song title out loud. This is what happens when you've only been married a short time. I am sure in a few years I'll be like "woo hoo, some guy who looks like someone I had a crush on for seven years is kind of flirting with me (or maybe just being nice)." SOOO..I skipped to the next song on my iPod and it was a song by Minnie Driver, which is what I ultimately had to say I was listening to. Who admits to listening to Minnie Driver try to sing? (to be fair, she is actually not that bad) I stumbled back out onto the street with my food and was temporarily distracted by the sheer horror of an otherwise conservative looking woman wearing fluorescent green fishnet stockings. After a few sips of my latte I recovered, and skipped back to my strutting soundtrack as I continued on my way!

Image sources on flickr


Kori said...

Tip 10 made me laugh. It really is important, though.

Tres Poshe Preppy said...


Jessie Cacciola said...

never thought about #7, but it's so true...luv this post - it's adorable, uplifting, and universal!
- Jessie -

Anonymous said...

Fantastic list! The only issue I have is that of footwear--I can strut my stuff with the best of them, but am cursed with old lady feet, so my footwear is restricted to sneakers only. It's so frustrating to see beautiful shoes that I can never wear, and to have others think that I'm not making my best effort, when really, I'm just trying not to hobble myself, and waiting for surgery.

Julianne said...

Brilliant list! It is true about the super-nerdy always happening whilst attempting to strut. Once I left my photo at the library and strutted away, only to have a panic later.

WendyB said...

Great list! And I've always loved the photo of Jackie O.

WendyB said...

P.S. I would say avoid smiles! Every time I couldn't help smiling to myself, it drew hordes of guys saying, "Hey, baby!" They can't resist a smiler. :-D

Anna said...

love this....!
posting a link to this artcile on my blog