Getting the Full Picture:
March 23rd, 2013 | Permalink | Blog archive
choosing a full-length mirror
I've been wary of full length mirrors since I stopped twirling in front of them in my party dresses aged about 9. In fact, I don't think I've lived in the same house as one for getting on for 20 years. But as my Journey to Style begins to gain pace, there was no denying that a full length mirror is pretty much indispensable, and hence I needed to acquire one.
Having faced up to that fact, the first issue was: free-standing or wall mounted?
Wall mirrors are usually the cheaper option and simply require a well-lit area of wall space (or failing that, the back of a bedroom or wardrobe door). Fixing one at the optimal height for you, however, may make it tricky to use for those taller or shorter. And of course, you'll need to be handy with a drill - or know someone who is!
Ikea has a decent selection of wall mirrors, including a number of full length ones ranging from this very simple one to more substantial framed versions.
And then there's the wavy edged KRABB mirror:
This is apparently a worldwide bestseller. Personally I think they (yes, they come in a 2-pack for maximum effect!) would give me vertigo each morning, but it's been an Ikea staple for 17 years!
For maximum viewpoints - and that all important rear view - you might want to splash our and buy three
wall mirrors and use hinges to attach them together like this:
Three of Ikea's STAVE mirrors hung together to give multiple views
I love this idea in principle! However, it would require a fair bit of wall space to make it work well, plus small children (mine at least!) would doubtless be oh so tempted to swing on the mirrors, bat them to and fro etc. etc.…
Anyway, not something that really works for me at the moment. And of course you can get a similar multi-view effect by using a handheld mirror in combination with your standard full length mirror.
Naturally, a free-standing mirror will take up more space than a wall mounted one, also but offers more flexibility - it can be turned to catch the best (most flattering!) light, moved from room to room, and cheval versions (where the mirror swings between two posts) can be tilted at different angles to suit different people.
Considering how many styles of wall mirror Ikea sell, it's odd that they appear to offer only one free-standing mirror (the ISFJORDEN), although they do have various mirror cabinets, interesting mirror and storage combos, and of course wardrobes with mirror doors.
ISFJORDEN free standing mirror from Ikea
Of course, there are loads of free-standing mirrors available from all the usual furniture and catalogue stores. But unless you're willing to pay well over £50, those on offer look pretty flimsy. An honourable exception may be these fabulously kitsch lipstick mirrors from Febland:
Lipstick Mirrors, 1.57m high, from Febland Group Ltd.
Love them or loath them (my husband certainly wouldn't want to give one house space), at least there's no danger of them collapsing or splintering, or of you tripping over the frame in the middle of the night!
So, having failed to fine a suitably sturdy free-standing mirror in my rather meagre price bracket, I did what I always do in these situations and turned to Ebay and search for mirrors available as 'collection only' (which always tends to keep prices down). Like me, you may have to bide your time, but sooner or later something just right will come up in your neighbourhood (search for full length mirror or cheval mirror and then sort the results according to 'Distance: nearest first'). And when it does, it's likely to be a bargain!
So here's my find - a sturdy solid oak mirror (it's very heavy!), nice and big, with the tilt adjustable to two positions:
While it hasn't revolutionised the way I get dressed (yet), it has
made me so much more aware of how I really look (as opposed to how I imagine
I look) from head to toe, how my clothes work together, my skirt lengths and hemlines, and how shoes make - or break - a look.
It's a learning curve, but one on which I can definitely say that my full length mirror is an indispensable companion.
Do you use a full length mirror? And if not, how do you manage?
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