notes on elegance #4: soft confidence

hi everyone! hope you’re doing well.

today’s topic is one that we’ve probably all struggled with at some point in our lives. confidence is a word we’re taught young. self-confidence is valued by many but also fragile.

i’ve always thought i was a confident person. however, lately, i’ve found that i might have projected that image but deep down, i’ve had many moments of uncertainty.

to me, self-confidence is not to be able to speak eloquently, win arguments or have an impeccable physical appearance. to me, confidence isn’t harsh, it isn’t pushy and it is not selfish.

i’ve worked on my self-confidence mainly through faith. if spirituality is your thing, i highly encourage that you explore your own faith and even branch out to other faiths/philosophies.

so far, i’ve learned that self-confidence is soft. it is patient, it is loving. it goes hand in hand with compassion and a love for others. i’ve often heard that you must love yourself in order to love others. however, rather than endlessly focusing on taking care of the self, i try to be compassionate towards others and apply the same compassion towards myself.

to me, to be softly confident means:

1. patience: it’s ok if you’re not like others and if others don’t agree with you. be patient, what you truly seek will come to you in due time.

2. kindness: towards others and towards yourself. treat others with respect and treat yourself the same way. everyone is incredible in their own unique way, and so are you. be as healthy as you can and take care of the ones you love.

3. optimism: learn to have a positive outlook. frustration and sadness may block the way to feeling happy about our current situations. count your blessings and make the most of what you have.

4. be in the moment: enjoy to simply be. if a situation is difficult, work through it with the energy you have and be as considerate as possible.

5. love: to be in love does not mean to be in a romantic relationship. to be in love is to be thankful, to be caring and to be in the moment. single friends, don’t despair. if you’re in love with your life and your relationships, your true love will find you quickly.

i hope you enjoyed this post on self-confidence. as a closing reminder: be patient, be kind and be in love.

xoxo

marie

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notes on elegance #2: style

hello all!

it’s been a sunny couple of days in my little corner of the world and i’ve been reflecting a lot on style and elegance.

in the previous post, i made sure to disassociate elegance as simply being tied to fashion and beauty. what i would rather like to explore in this blog post is how compassion towards others, ourselves and our environment leads to an elegant style.

now, i don’t know about you, but i have spent far too many minutes standing in front of my wardrobe in the morning saying to myself “goodness, i don’t have anything to wear!” while staring blankly at a closet full of clothes.

it’s no question today’s fast-paced world has brought a lot of needs to our attention. with online shopping, anything can be sent over to your door.¬† it’s a blessing to be able to discover new products and technologies but it can also lead you to spending money blindly towards things that you don’t really love and appreciate.

recently i’ve been in the process of streamlining my closet. it’s a hard process because i’m finding myself attached to things i no longer wear or that no longer fit my style. this realisation leads me to my next point:

1. define your style

a personal style, for me, is a summary of adjectives that describe an overall feeling of how you want to visually project yourself. for me, at the moment, my style would be sweet and classic. i like small and clean details and like to feel put together without feeling too formal. the sweet element of my style would incorporate light and airy colours, lace, light cotton, silk, linen, polka dots, flower prints and small details like buttons, bows or embroidery. my jewellery is also very understated. i wear short teardrop-shaped gold earrings, dainty rings and a lightweight necklace.

classic elements would include neutral colours such as tan, brown, grey, white, ivory and classic pieces such as button downs, fitted jeans and leather handbangs in neutral colours. i tend to stick to classic shoes and currently only wear black leather ballet flats and flat black sandals.

by defining my style, i feel more comfortable in my clothes and how i present myself. when i branch out, i try to indulge in true luxuries that aren’t noticeable to others but make me feel special. accessories tend to be perfect for this purpose as well as wearing a pop of colour or a special fabric that’s extra-soft.

wear what’s comfortable for you in the way that you feel the most presentable. presentation is just the pretty cover on the wonderful content of a person. it’s undeniably important and tied to elegance of the mind and heart.

2. streamline!

by defining your style, you can then move on to edit your wardrobe and keep what matters most and what makes you feel extra special.

i recommend reading A Guide to Elegance by Geneviève A. Dariaux and Lessons from Madame Chic by Jennifer L. Scott. A Guide to Elegance gives interesting insight to 1960s fashion as well as haute couture standards. it may not be realistic for 21st century shoppers, but the general advice is still extremely relevant.

Jennifer L. Scott’s book is a fun read. she explores life in Paris through the eyes of an American college student. the realisations she lived through resonate deeply with observations i make in my daily life. her video on getting started on a 10-Item wardrobe sums up the corresponding chapter of her book.

let me know your thoughts on style, fashion and consumption. i feel it’s a hot topic at the moment and would love to hear your thoughts!

until next time,

marie