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Style & Beauty

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.

OP posts:
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antelopevalley · 05/10/2022 11:15

So yes a very racist concept, although I do think this is how hair is widely viewed in Britain.

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ChilliPB · 05/10/2022 11:26

antelopevalley · 05/10/2022 11:15

So yes a very racist concept, although I do think this is how hair is widely viewed in Britain.

@antelopevalley i was thinking the same. These threads always show that MN thinks a certain type of (mainly Caucasian) beauty is what is needed to look expensive.

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MurderAtTheBeautyPageant · 05/10/2022 11:30

Cheeselog · 05/10/2022 11:11

For a non-white example I would say Priyanka Chopra has expensive hair.

I think most South Asian women are blessed in the hair department.

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Floydthebarber · 05/10/2022 11:32

I think hair is also knowing how to look after and style your natural texture. If I think of Nicky Minaj when she has dead straight, bleached hair, it might cost a lot but it doesn't look 'expensive.' The woman in the picture has expensive looking hair as it looks healthy and natural.

Expensive hair & understated clothes. WTF is it?
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LemonsOnSaleAgain · 05/10/2022 11:35

I blame Jerry Hall. Wink

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LemonsOnSaleAgain · 05/10/2022 11:36

(For the hair)

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Redfrangipani · 05/10/2022 11:42

@PeloFondo Then for 24 hours you have really great hair style. Looks wonderful.

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Cheeselog · 05/10/2022 11:45

antelopevalley · 05/10/2022 11:14

So straight black hair is fine, but presumably not afro-textured hair? That presumably is always cheap hair?

It’s a Hollywood problem because I’ve been struggling to think of examples of famous people who have kept their Afro textured hair. Nathalie Emmanuel and Viola Davis have expensive Afro hair. It looks healthy and well cared-for.

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antelopevalley · 05/10/2022 11:53

@Floydthebarber That hair is anything but natural.

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antelopevalley · 05/10/2022 11:56

Viola Davies has had a range of hairstyles from natural hair to straightened hair. Straightened afro-textured hair is only achieved through very harsh treatment of the hair that can be very damaging.
There is a very caucasian idea of beauty in Britain, so it is not surprising this is so apparent on style and beauty boards.

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Floydthebarber · 05/10/2022 12:00

@antelopevalley No, it isn't completely natural but neither are the blow dried, honey blonde dyed examples of Caucasian hair above. It's styled but in a beautiful way that suits her.

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PeloFondo · 05/10/2022 12:04

Redfrangipani · 05/10/2022 11:42

@PeloFondo Then for 24 hours you have really great hair style. Looks wonderful.

Yeah the next 3 days it's a fuzzy ponytail/bun Grin
It's in good condition, and I've tried every single bloody styling product but it likes to be fluffy/frizzy

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antelopevalley · 05/10/2022 12:11

@Floydthebarber It has not simply been cut, washed and blow-dried though. It is very heavily styled to make it not look natural.

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Cheeselog · 05/10/2022 12:24

antelopevalley · 05/10/2022 11:56

Viola Davies has had a range of hairstyles from natural hair to straightened hair. Straightened afro-textured hair is only achieved through very harsh treatment of the hair that can be very damaging.
There is a very caucasian idea of beauty in Britain, so it is not surprising this is so apparent on style and beauty boards.

Her natural hair is clearly what I was referring to. This photo for example looks expensive. I think it usually looks better to work with one’s natural hair texture and care for that properly (with appropriate products and styles) than relax it and damage it. Likewise colour and avoiding bleach.

Expensive hair & understated clothes. WTF is it?
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EdmontinaDonsAutumnalHues · 05/10/2022 12:30

I am often baffled as no one ever mentions where, or how.

I think @ZealAndArdour ‘s fantastically well thought out and articulated post answered your question, OP. Understanding and being open to looking for the best everywhere will help anyone to look ‘well dressed’.

I don’t personally perceive ‘understated’ as a more worthy or enviable style than any other. But if you care to resurrect the Monty Don thread I’ll race back there … Grin

Won’t comment on the hair thing, for reasons adequately expressed by @antelopevalley and @ChilliPB .

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DuchessOfSausage · 05/10/2022 12:32

@antelopevalley , Princess Kate and EIIR's clothes and hair hardly looked cheap.
A lot of the posts do not suggest that you need caucasian looks to look expensive.

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antelopevalley · 05/10/2022 12:37

@DuchessOfSausage I know they do not look cheap, they are clearly expensive. But my point was they do not meet the criteria often trotted out by some MNers about what makes someone look expensive.
We have to disagree about the caucascian.

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JenniferWooley · 05/10/2022 12:38

200degrees · 05/10/2022 01:16

Posted too early. I don’t think any of the hair posted here looks expensive.

This is my idea of expensive hair, it just elevates her look. most of her posts are reels instagram.com/lilliegracep?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=

I have hair like this (albeit ginger) but I can't be arsed faffing about blow drying & styling it every day to get it to look like that! I do it for going out etc or sometimes if I just fancy it & have time but wouldn't do it to go to work or nip to Tesco.

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RoseyPalm · 05/10/2022 12:38

I keep being surprised at how MN correspondents manage to get anti monarchy remarks into a thread mainly about hair.

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antelopevalley · 05/10/2022 12:46

Anti monarchy? You think replying to someone who uses Kate as an example of what she is saying is anti monarchy?
Bloody hell. Are we supposed to only say - oh they look so marvellous. Every single thing they wear looks amazing and their hair looks fantastic.
This is style and beauty. I like som of what different Royal family members wear and I do not like other things.
I think Camilla tends to dress very well. Kate is a bit more hit and miss, sometimes great sometimes not so great. For example that large necklace at the Queens funeral was not a good style touch.
But it is hardly pro or anti monarchy.

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Livinginanotherworld · 05/10/2022 12:49

Expensive hair is exactly that, expensive to maintain, frequent trips to high end salons who have the pick of the top stylists, expensive products. Professionally styled for every social occasion, not just a wash and blow at home.
Understated clothes….expensive tailoring, luxury fabrics, classic high quality, but not showy. Labels yes, but discreet not emblazoned all over clothes and bags.

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DuchessOfSausage · 05/10/2022 12:51

antelopevalley · 05/10/2022 12:37

@DuchessOfSausage I know they do not look cheap, they are clearly expensive. But my point was they do not meet the criteria often trotted out by some MNers about what makes someone look expensive.
We have to disagree about the caucascian.

@antelopevalley , I thought that they generally liked thick, straightened, dyed, styled, glossy hair. Meghan's hair would fit this, as would Beyonce's

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MurderAtTheBeautyPageant · 05/10/2022 12:52

RoseyPalm · 05/10/2022 12:38

I keep being surprised at how MN correspondents manage to get anti monarchy remarks into a thread mainly about hair.

Well seeing as Kate Middleton is always held up as an example of Good Hair it can hardly be all that surprising to you that people respond to that? Positively and negatively.

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GonnaGetGoingReturns · 05/10/2022 12:53

For me a neutral palette only works well if it suits you, if you know how to style those colours. I look ridiculous in most of them apart from black. Beige/white etc just wash me out.

My SIL looks better in them as she has a different colouring to me.

My hair as well. It's below shoulder length and highlighted, but well. Yes, I could look better if I blow dried it but it's had damage in the past so I don't. My hairdresser did say I could have highlights more often than I do (every 10-12 weeks or 3 months) but that takes time as well as money and damages my hair.

When I had my natural colour (more of a mouse) rather than blonde, I'm sure it looked more expensive but I was so bored of it and it felt 'dull'. Funnily enough in my 20s I embraced my natural colour more and had copper semi permanent or autumn tones high/low lights. I think it did look expensive back then.

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darisdet · 05/10/2022 12:55

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.

This, except for the 'Princess of Wales' part.

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