Calling all nervous travelers


OK guys, so tonight I get on a plane and go to Portugal, and it’s my first real vacation—and also the first one in which I do not bring my laptop—in quite some time. This leaves me super-excited, but also super-anxious—the latter of which is my default setting in the days before I leave home for a trip. Does anyone else out there get mildly nuts in anticipation of leaving town? What do you do to calm the jitters? I really need to know. Also, please share any any last-minute Lisbon, Alentejo, and Porto recommendations, and expect me back here May 1.

What are you on the verge of pulling the trigger on?


For me, it’s this this perfect pair of chinos with the just-exactly-right amount of stretch.

Week of requests: How to look good in pictures


“I’m curious about how to dress for photos,” writes commenter H,  “from head shots to dating app pictures. Your comments about holiday party tops make me think that there are some tricks beyond `blazers look professional.'” There are indeed tricks to looking good in pictures, H, but I only know one or two, so I outsourced this question to my brother Todd, who is a professional photographer (he took this lovely picture of Amy Tan). Todd shared the following, which includes tips on more than just how to dress:

  1. Anyone who takes selfies knows that the camera should always be above and never below your head.
  2. Unless you are a supermodel, your face is probably at least a little asymmetrical, and we each have a stronger side. Learn which is yours, and turn your head a little bit sideways, leaning into the camera on your best side.
  3. Create a little space between your upper and lower teeth, even if your mouth is closed; this elongates your jaw a little.
  4. Don’t smile too wide, because when you do your eyes tend to close. Todd likes to go for what he calls a “five-eighths smile.”
  5. If you’re taking a group picture, don’t lean in together; it’s too coy. Even in a solo shot, tilting your head can be a bit too cutesy. When you stand up straight, it looks stronger and more direct.
  6. As far as accessories go, less is more. They distract from you.
  7. Avoid clothes with tricky collars. Go for clean lines, and avoid prints.
  8. Everyone looks better in a black turtleneck.
  9. Avoid wearing anything too light or too bright, as those colors can be distracting.
  10. To look skinnier, turn slightly sideways, and put your hand on your hip.




Kim France

I was born in Houston, Texas in 1964 and have lived in New York City since 1988. I had a long career in magazines, working at Sassy, Elle, New York, and Spin, and in 2000, I founded Lucky magazine, which I edited for ten years.

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