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Expensive hair & understated clothes. WTF is it?

280 replies

follyfeet · 04/10/2022 18:59

Was just reading an old S&B thread about 'looking well put together,' not flashy or designer, just everyday casual yet decent clothes. Apart from the stereotypical claptrap concerning Barbour jackets and dog hair, it was a fascinating read!

What I can't get my head around is 'expensive' hair. Wtf is it exactly? Most of us can't help the way our hair grows (thickness, texture, porosity) so how can one alter that? I always imagine this is all quite subjective anyway, but for the sake of sticking to the theme, my very own blonde version of Kate Bush or Helena Bonham Carter (a bit mad, kinky and wild) wouldn't make the cut, lol.

It's all fashion isn't it at the end of the day? Today's preferred expensive hair is most likely Kate Middleton's, but that wasn't always the sought after style.

So what is expensive hair, in your opinion?

And then there's the clothes! Where are these 'well put together' peeps MN'ers speak of buying their togs? I like the idea of understated, which is mentioned often, but no one ever mentions the actual shops. Where are these lovely exquisite chunky knits and other understated items hiding? Most of the higher end high street sucks imo.

Some comments mention wealth or class, but having been surrounded with well off arty types throughout my career I only noticed a lack of make up and a lot of frizz. No one seemed to care.

I am in my early 40's, work in art (painter) and science (geologist), and love yoga, theatre, hiking and architecture, and I dress quite boringly, I think. I spend £150 per year on my hair and buy most of my clothes from superdry or white company (i suit their colour scheme). I don't seem to have a clue about style tbh, but I would like to learn more. Clue me in Mumsnet! I can never find shops with nice things that aren't either country casuals or overpriced cheap rubbish.

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Raddix · 04/10/2022 19:02

Expensive hair is natural looking and not over styled. No colours that look obviously fake. No shaved bits or weird styles. Just plain healthy hair in your natural style. Think like the Princess of Wales.

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follyfeet · 04/10/2022 19:04

Raddix · 04/10/2022 19:02

Expensive hair is natural looking and not over styled. No colours that look obviously fake. No shaved bits or weird styles. Just plain healthy hair in your natural style. Think like the Princess of Wales.

She did have a very contemporary, fashionable cut for the times though. It was indeed a lovely colour.

My healthy natural style is more like Catherine Tate's 'Nan' Grin

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Raddix · 04/10/2022 19:07

For the times? The Princess of Wales is Catherine.

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HamHand · 04/10/2022 19:07

The hair to me is all in the styling. Most days I don’t have time and tbh can’t be arsed so I let my hair air dry. But when I actually take time to blow dry, my god the difference! I have a Dyson airwrap and it’s amazing. Put together is exactly how it makes me look. Clothes, it’s all about the fabric and cut. I don’t think it’s necessarily following fashion, but knowing what works for you. My figure is a sack of spuds, but if my clothes are cut well and made of good fabrics it makes a big big difference. I buy and sell second hand clothes as my job and the brands I’d really recommend are the ones which seem to be expensive for what they are. Not flashy, but well made. I see them having already been worn and the good brands really do stand up to repeated wear. Toast is a great one, not to everyone’s taste as it’s not at all flashy, but excellent fabrics and cut. Brora or any decent second hand cashmere. I also think the real key is confidence. Unfortunately you can’t buy that.

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Cheeselog · 04/10/2022 19:09

I would say expensive hair is sleek, glossy, healthy, no straggly ends. It looks like it's been well-cared for. Mine is frizzy because it's meant to be curly except I don't look after the curls properly so that makes it look more downmarket.

Understated clothes I would say is well-made stuff, good quality fabrics and manufacture but not obvious branding. White Company is quite understated but Superdry isn't because it's usually covered in their branding.

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Basilthymerosemary · 04/10/2022 19:10

Regular trim and dye job at the salon and stick to neutral colours (black, beige, tan, white and navy) for clothes and smart casual shoes/boots. A camel wool coat (just above knee or longer) always looks much more put together than a waterproof jacket.

That's my take on it though... although saying that... im currently living in a ratty waterproof jacket for walks/drop offs and a classic mum bun. So i cant really talk!!

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GrumpyPanda · 04/10/2022 19:12

Expensive hair, to me, means very very well cut hair. Not sure that really applies to the current Middleton-style long flowy locks since that's basically about constant elaborate blowdrying? No point getting a pricy cut if you have to spend half of your lifetime styling it..

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sideplates · 04/10/2022 19:13

Expensive hair too me is healthy looking, smooth, thick, well cut & coloured. Personally I prefer a mane but I don't love Kate Middletons hair, find it a but fussy with the ringlets etc. It should look effortless.

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Franklyfrost · 04/10/2022 19:13

Some hair looks super expensive. It’s not type or cut or colour, it just looks shiney and lush.I image it’s olapex type treatments, regular trims plus the time, knowledge and equipment to always dry and style it well.

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sideplates · 04/10/2022 19:14

I have expensive looking hair, luckily 😆 the rest not so much

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DuchessOfSausage · 04/10/2022 19:23

Kate, Princess of Wales has ringlets? She might naturally perhaps.

I would say good thick healthy hair that looks clean and shiny.

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CountFoscoslittlewhitemice · 04/10/2022 19:25

I think Carrie Johnson has expensive hair. It looks healthy and effortless, but it's beautifully cut, coloured and conditioned.

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Tickledpickled · 04/10/2022 19:43

Long, glossy and swishy

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declutteringmymind · 04/10/2022 19:46

Any hair that's clean and healthy and cut simply to suit, close to natural colour and tone.

Think children's hair that is shiny and highlighted by the sun, or a dog with a glossy shiny coat.

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sideplates · 04/10/2022 19:50

maybe not ringlets but fat sausage curls? I think it's very dated personally & more suited to an older lady.

Expensive hair & understated clothes. WTF is it?
Expensive hair & understated clothes. WTF is it?
Expensive hair & understated clothes. WTF is it?
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Floydthebarber · 04/10/2022 19:52

''Expensive' air is well looked after. I don't think the colour or texture matters; a good cut, tidy, if dyed then perfectly maintained. Tied up or not, it just has to look healthy.

Clothes I think definitely look better if someone knows what colour and style suits them, and the fit needs to be right. Also like hair, need to look cared for.

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justasking111 · 04/10/2022 19:54

Accessories. Bag, footwear, jewellery to complete the look

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follyfeet · 04/10/2022 20:02

I wonder, if those of a wealthy persuasion decided over night that frizz was to become covetable, everyone would suddenly consider it upmarket. It is odd to hear of one's own hair texture described as downmarket. It's all rather grim isn't it? I believe most desirable traits are often quite arbitrary, fickle. Health and good skin never goes out of fashion, but 'healthy' hair is something quite different to 'covetable' hair. Remember, frizz is a texture, it is not a sign of ill health or poor care. We have decided we don't like it!

Mine frizzes upon brushing, but later calms down to a nice enough shine. The worst it ever looked was after using GHD's.

I tend not to look at royalty or politicians for style ideas, there's something a little too conventional and conservative about it. Conformist? When I refer to wealth I usually think a little more creative, eccentric, perhaps more subtle (understated). In this group I have perceived more natural hair, from bushy grey to short and quiffed! Clothing much less conservative, flowing, handed down, etc.

Myself, I come from rural stock, I still cannot get my head around Dubarry boots as a fashion item Grin

I am trying to think of someone who has enviable hair....maybe Charlotte Gainsbourg in years gone by, but I do love a longish bob with waves, windswept, a bit less styled. I have no idea if this is wealthy hair though!

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follyfeet · 04/10/2022 20:03

The Kate M hair is lovely although it does remind me of Hollywood trends. I don't think it is timeless, iyswim?

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follyfeet · 04/10/2022 20:04

But also, what is 'well looked after hair'?
Is it conforming to current beauty ideals?
Or simple caring, as in washing and keeping clean?

Who decides?

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Cleopatra67 · 04/10/2022 20:04

@HamHand - any advice for a busty shortarse? I love Toast but their clothes are huge on me.

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Crazykatie · 04/10/2022 20:08

Expensive hair, understated clothes = old money

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Bestcatmum · 04/10/2022 20:11

I'm 60 and my very long hair has been looking awful. Dyed blond to hide the grey but it's gone really brassy and doesn't suit me so I blew £300 on a lovely ballyage colour that really suits my skin colouring and based on my natural hair colour. It's been trimmed perfectly and falls in glossy waves. It's never looked better. It was worth every penny and looks classy instead of brassy.

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LimeCheesecake · 04/10/2022 20:15

Yes, expensive hair is well conditioned, well cut hair. Healthy looking hair, if someone who has a good diet and money / time for hair maintenance. It doesn’t need to be thick hair like Kate M, but looked after.

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CrushedPistachios · 04/10/2022 20:16

I think colour can absolutely be a big part of what is ‘expensive looking hair’ particularly as a blonde. There’s a whole market of extremely high maintenance natural looking blondes, that realistically you have to be dropping a few hundred at the hair salon each 6/8 weeks.

Expensive hair & understated clothes. WTF is it?
Expensive hair & understated clothes. WTF is it?
Expensive hair & understated clothes. WTF is it?
Expensive hair & understated clothes. WTF is it?
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