The holiday season is upon us, with all the parties, concerts, theatre shows, family gatherings, end-of-the-year lunches and dinners, to say nothing of the actual celebrations. It’s a time of the year when we all want to be, feel and look our best.
As an elegant lady, you already know your style, what you want to wear and how to present yourself. However, in the end-of-the-year hustle of the coming weeks, it’s easy to put in the effort and then forget about some basics. I’ve been guilty more than once of each of the following, with unedifying results.
You might have been too …
Ten minutes of people watching, and you’ll get the point:
1.) Be aware of your posture. But instead of doing the “shoulders-back-bust-forward” thing that will make you look like a puppet soldier, imagine a string going from the base of your spine up through the middle of your head and upwards. Now imagine that you are being pulled up gently by this string and you’ll stand straight with everything shifting naturally into place. Repeat 100 times each day and you’ll have superb posture!
2.) Before you leave the house, always, always, always look at your backside. You look into the mirror every morning, of course. But do you actually check yourself from all angles? How do you look from the back? Shall I tell you the story how I walked in a beautiful dress on the Boulevard Saint Germain, unaware that one of my butt cheeks was showing?
3.) The most important garment you are going to wear this season is your bra. If you bra is saggy, the rest of you will look saggy too. Your bra will make or break your whole appearance. Let me ask you: the one you are wearing right this very moment – is it less than a year old? And did you buy it in a place where an experienced lingerie sales person helped you choose the right size? If it’s no and no, re-read the Ten Elegant Habits and go shopping right away. You’ll thank me later.
4.) Wear clothes for the body you have NOW. Most women are not quite happy with their weight and/or body shape. The result is often that
- they wear something ‘ample’, which invariably tends to look like a camouflage tent and will draw everyone’s attention exactly to what the wearer hopes to hide
- they force themselves into shape wear tighter than Scarlet O’Hara’s corset, and then squeeze themselves and their shape wear into a dress 2 sizes too small. Can you say ‘sausage’?
Repeat after me: the better your clothes fit, the better you’ll look. Elementary.
5.) Ever so often I see a woman trying valiantly to keep her balance on Paris’ cobble stones in vertiginous heels… Nothing is LESS elegant than a woman whose feet are screaming mercy. Some shoes were designed to look good on pictures and nothing else. Wear shoes you can actually do what you want to do in them.
6.) Cats and dogs and lint. My black cat used to roll herself with gusto on every light coloured surface. My white cat just l-u-r-v-e-s me when I wear a dark cashmere sweater. And is my house the only one where lint is flying through the airs faster than a magic bullet? Yes, it’s an ongoing battle, but really, how long does it take to roll yourself over with a lint roller before you leave the house?
7.) Are you naked or overloaded? (I’m talking about your jewellery, not what you just thought! Tsk!). If you forgo jewellery altogether, you’re renouncing of that little je ne sais quoi which would give you sparkle and allure (even if you wear not much else :). And if you look like a Las Vegas Christmas tree with jewellery hanging and dangling from head to toe, you might want to remember Mademoiselle Chanel: “Before leaving the house, a lady should look into the mirror and remove one accessory.”
Here’s to you sauntering elegantly into the Advent time,
PS: Speaking of which: I’ll share my Advent findings, Christmas in Paris pictures and what lights up my days at this time of the year in my upcoming Advent Calendar on Facebook and Instagram. If you ‘like’ my FB page or ‘follow’ me on IG, we’ll meet there every day from December 1rst onward!