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

notes on elegance #1

Elegance is usually confused with superficiality, fashion, lack of depth. This is a serious mistake: human beings need to have elegance in their actions and in their posture because this word is synonymous with good taste, amiability, equilibrium and harmony.

– Paul Coelho

hello everyone!

to follow up on my last blog post, i wanted to create a new series titled “notes on elegance”.

in today’s whirlwind of a world, it’s sometimes difficult to take a moment and evaluate your relationships and interactions with others.

i’ve always been a sensitive person, which as most of you may know, can be a very good or bad thing. i’ve noticed that i tend to get bothered easily if people are rude, aggressive, or hurtful, but also can feel extremely happy to find kindred spirits and see positive and generous actions.

i’ve also noticed that i haven’t been the best example. lately i’ve been focusing on trying to find balance in both my life and relationships. i’m learning to be patient, compassionate and loving with myself and others. it’s a hard process to go through, especially since people and society tend to be unforgiving and have high expectations.

since i love to make lists and categorise, i’ve come up with areas of my life that i feel need brushing up on:

– self-respect: faith, good diet habits, good sleep habits, exercising, positive self-image

– compassion towards others: improved listening skills, appropriate image (clothes, hair and makeup), openness when dealing with people with different philosophies

the paul coelho quote which opened this post seems to sum up these categories perfectly. the elegance which is associated with fashion and beauty may be part of an elegant image, but does not make a person elegant. i wish to be kind towards myself and others and in the future posts, i’ll be going the elements listed above and share how i am working on improving them.

i hope you can join me in this journey and please share your thoughts on the subject!

xoxo,

marie

on elegance and refinement

hello everyone! it’s been a while! hope you’re well and that you’re blessed with beautiful weather.

today i wanted to write about a subject that has been fascinating to me for a while now.

it’s not a surprise that in our day-to-day lives we encounter a lot of different people. that in itself is a wonderful thing, especially considering that it’s now possible to connect with people all over the world.

now, i don’t know about you, but i feel sometimes uneasy in social situations. i’ve always been one to always try to be as considerate to everyone, even if sometimes it’s difficult (telemarketers being a prime example). i found myself to be very critical towards strangers and people i know because i found them rude, inconsiderate, vulgar and even unhygienic. i didn’t like to see myself think and talk about people in that way. that’s not who i was brought up to be, and that’s not who i want to be.

i’ve decided to embark on a journey of personal refinement (like a lot of people). and i’ve encountered a few interesting observations along the way. and since i love lists, here are the top observations i’ve made about myself that i’d like to correct:

1. i talk loudly. and fast. and sometimes cut people off mid-sentence.

that’s something i’ve noticed seems to annoy quite a lot of people. especially when discussing something important. i’ve recently been in a difficult situation at work and found myself to be quite defensive. i noticed i did all of these and that i wasn’t being respectful towards the person i was talking to.

2. i don’t look and act as feminine as i feel.

i think that being overly feminine is somewhat looked down upon in certain social realms. i’m sure someone would have great fun writing an academic article on the subject! i don’t think it’s realistic for me to look “perfect” (ie. flawless hair, makeup and outfit) all the time, but i do notice that slouching, and some misshapen clothes make me feel not as good as i would want to.

3. i don’t always pay attention

whether it be with a chatty stranger or a good friend, i sometimes find myself not listening to people properly. when i realise someone is doing that to me, it makes me feel sad, and sometimes insecure. i hope to find a genuine interest towards people and be compassionate.

4. swearing

as a teenager, i swore all. the. time. my mother despised it, and i would sometimes slip up in front of people i wouldn’t want to swear in front of (a teacher or a cute guy would be good examples). i think i picked up swearing from my social group as a teen and now that i don’t see them anymore, it really doesn’t suit who i’ve become and how i want to be seen. this bad habit is nearly gone, i hardly ever swear. but when i do, i feel very disappointed, especially if it’s done casually without being mad or upset.

5. closing myself off from people

i realised how absent minded and closed off people looked on public transport. i try to limit mindless activities like checking my phone because i feel “bored”, listening to music on a portable device and crossing my arms. i also try to avoid doing any kind of personal grooming in public. i feel that i can take my own time later in the washroom and fix my hair, makeup or whatever else is wrong. being focused on oneself in public sends the message that you’re in your bubble and wished not to be disturbed. at least, it does to me. i love spontaneous conversation and i try to be in the moment as much as possibe.

i hope this post was interesting to you! do share your thoughts in the comments.

hugs,

marie