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In a most peculiar time, what’s a girl to do? Pandemic-wise, unknown unknowns lurk around every corner. What we need is a bucket bag of practical short-cuts to navigate this bounty of uncertainty. Heuristics are imperfect and not always rational, but they often get the job done. The “job” here is getting up in the morning and getting down the stairs. Fashion doyenne Diana Vreeland decreed it was style to the rescue. Well, let’s find out how well these fashion heuristics hold up in our harrowing times.

A woman’s hands are her calling card. Her neck is her passport, her bust is her passport for travelling abroad. – Coco Chanel

Yeah, the calling card could use some work. Frequent hot-water washing has left my pale hands bone dry. I pick my nails. When my dog broke my ring finger, that sealed the deal. No wonder I get so few calls. Over to you, neck and bust. By the way, what’s a passport?

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It is always better to be slightly underdressed. – Coco Chanel

My grey cotton dhoti pants, in heavy rotation since the Ides of March, are now dotted with mysterious food stains. (Okay, salsa.) I wear whichever T-shirt is on top of my dresser. I’m pleased to report that following Chanel’s dictum works. I am slightly underdressed – and it is better.

Sweatpants are a sign of defeat. – Karl Lagerfeld

COVID-cakes? Quarantinis? Just say “yes.” You know you’re going to wear elastic waist pants one day, so why not start now? Zoom can’t see your stomach bloat.

Like white teeth, white eyes matter. Use Visine. – Tom Ford

COVID riddle: If you smile your wondrous white smile under a N95 mask, does anybody care? Save the tooth bleach – you’ll need it for disinfecting doorknobs. Pandemic beauty tip No. 1: Let your eyes do the talking, ergo extra lashings of mascara. And, yes, Visine. You’ll need it after bingeing on Netflix every night.

Be a caterpillar by day and a butterfly at night. – Coco Chanel

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Why not view the pandemic through the Glass of Goop and see it as a gift of self-renewal? You’ve already transformed your work and your social life. Why stop there? Take your reinvention deeper – into an entirely different species! (Humanity is getting played out, no?) I hear pangolins are trending.

Think pink but don’t wear it. – Karl Lagerfeld

Cherry blossoms don’t care it’s a pandemic. Pink it up. Get in the pink – and stay in the pink. Damn skippy!

When putting on accessories, take off the last thing you’ve put on. – Coco Chanel

Personal protective equipment is not just any old accessory, darling. It’s the must-have of the season! And, when it comes to PPE, more is more. Why not also throw on a pair of dazzling eye goggles in case you encounter a moist jogger or spit talker on your way to the bodega for some oat milk? Now, strut it out, Mary.

Everyone has different hair with different issues. Try to avoid major things that will stop your hair from being healthy. – Diane Von Furstenberg

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I used to spend so much cognitive energy on the big question. Not, “Is there a God?” but, “Would I ever find a stylist who truly, madly, deeply understood my hair’s potential for greatness?” Now, like an invasive species, brown/grey – or is it grey/brown – frizz is on the march, inexorably snuffing out the glorious artifice that was. My hair has never been healthier – nor more proletarian.

A handbag is the best investment. – Everyone

Forget gold bullion, a designer handbag is the true universal currency. Talk about frictionless transactions. At the grocers, I simply waved my Gucci Soho Disco near the sales terminal and, the tub of vegan coconut yogurt was like, snap, mine. Next, I’ll flounce my Chanel 19 fanny pack at the growing pile of utility and cable bills. After which I’ll mesmerize my landlord by swinging my Prada Bucket bag in fast figure eights. Sky’s the limit!

If you are sad, add more lipstick and attack. – Coco Chanel

You have been such a diligent saver and deferred oh so many lattes and now this. Your RRSP was parabolic, now it’s shambolic. (Don’t look.) Carpe diem it and spring for the full 24-piece collection of Hermes’ lipsticks – the Mecca of maquillage – with hues inspired by places you can no longer visit like Morocco and Rajasthan. Guaranteed to last until herd immunity or the virus wins – whichever comes first!

Make sure you have a moment of solitude.Diane Von Furstenberg

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Done.

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