The mirror is not always enough. And the simple question "How do I look?" is intended to prompt a thoughtful response.
Style Network's popular "How Do I Look?" - airing Saturdays - answers this question for people who seem to live without mirrors and often without a clue. The upbeat host, Jeannie Mai, describes her look as "overdressed to impress. I love the average, everyday events. We have to celebrate life, whether a birthday party or going to work or going to someone's house.
Any event of life is worth celebrating, and that gives me a reason to overdress.
"I love business professional," she continues. "I just recently had a meeting with NBC and Comcast and our network. It was a breakfast meeting at 7 a.m., and I wore sequined harem pants and a white buttoned up collar shirt."
(To see this outfit, check: iheartjeanniemai.com/special-blogger-breakfast-in-nyc/).
"I know it sounds crazy," Mai says. "But when you put it together, it is very polished and professional."
A makeup artist, Mai is a huge fan of what she calls "glips" - glittery lips. She begins with the saturated red lipstick Ruby Woo from Mac. Then, using a brush, she applies Ben Nye Aqua Glitter.
Mai credits her mother for inspiring her fashion sense.
"My mom taught me from a very young age that with the millions of people surrounding us, and the different things that take place in life and cause us to forget our identity and worry about status, fashion is the one thing you can use to keep you in your bubble," she says. "I am worth it. I am here as long as I see a reflection in the mirror. The 15 minutes I took to get ready is worth it."
Not surprisingly, Mai aims for fabulousness even when just running errands.
"I always manage to be smashing in fashion," she says. "I love flats, jeans and a baseball cap. I don't dress to hide. I dress to celebrate. If I am going to get a cup of coffee, I throw on blue sneakers and a T-shirt."
Her sneakers are bright blue Pumas, which she threads with neon yellow laces.
Though petite, Mai says no matter what size anyone is, it's best to not disappear into clothes. She advises women get fitted for the right size bra.
"If you don't have fit, you won't have fashion," she says.
Mai's also a big fan of accessories.
"I am tired of women who waste their waist," she says. "Belts are inexpensive. Add over cardigans, high-waisted skirts. Replace your trench coat belt."
She recommends Forever 21 for inexpensive belts.
Besides signature lip color and a defined waist, Mai loves heels, especially from Shoedazzle.
"It's the one way you immediately hoist up a woman's confidence," she says. "Heels call for good posture. I don't know anybody who slouches in heels."