I'm currently re-reading Lessons from Madame Chic by Jennifer L. Scott.
I've read this book often, & I love it. It's about an american student, Jennifer, who stays in Paris with a family whom she calls "famille chic". The whole family are...well, they are all chic, & it's their lifestyle, habits, that make them so. In particular, the mother, Madame Chic. It is by example that Madame Chic teaches Jennifer how to look good, eat well, stay fit, be charming. & like herself.
Madame Chic only used a small wardrobe of 10 pieces, not including her coat, scarf, shoes, etc. And this 10 piece wardrobe has inspired countless bloggers worldwide, including moi. So today I've been looking at my new 10 piece wardrobe for weather that currently veers from cold & rainy, to hot & summery. Actually only about 2 new pieces are going to be added as I already have the basics. As I am currently wanting to downsize, I'm really happy to have a "new" 10 piece wardrobe.
I already have 4 pairs of pants. Soft, lightly baggy, tapering at the ankle. These pants have somehow morphed into being my current "look". Which I'm ok with, for now. 3 of these pants have patterns, 1 is black. I have a black, loose top which goes with all the pants, a royal blue tee with swirly arms which goes with 2 of the pants, & a black cotton top with some white embroidery which also goes with the same 2 pairs of pants. I'm on the hunt now for a red v-necked tee to wear with all the pants, & 1 will get another top.....haven't decided what it will be. I have a black cardi which I can use & I just might "make it do" until summer. Voila! 10 pieces.
When the heat of summer emerges, I'll do a bit of a revamp, so that I'm wearing more weather- appropriate clothes. Most if my life I have only had just a few clothes, & I like it that way. This was inspired by my own "Madame Chic", my grandmother. She was a total inspiration on all levels. She taught me how to make life nice, no matter what else was happening around me. To be nice, look nice. And she was adamant that I did not need many clothes. Nanna was right, no-one needs a lot of anything. Nanna only had a small wardrobe & she looked so glamorous.
I like to wear cheap, black, canvas slip-ons in summer, as a casual, everyday shoe, & the best cut & fit I've found, is at K-mart. These shoes just never go out of style. I've worn them for years, & I know younger people who do, too. I find many sandals date very quickly, & to me, they are just plain uncomfortable. I'm thinking that a new sunhat is also in order. My old black one from Amazon now has tons of flowers pasted to it, for when I do markets......not exactly chic for everyday. When I wore it one day, one of my kids looked at me & said, in horror: oh....my....god....., so I just braved the sun instead that day. I've got some sunglasses, & I already have a lovely brown bag that I got for Xmas last year.
Madame Chic kept life simple, & I like this. It actually makes life easier. I may change doing the 10 piece routine but for now, I like it. It suits my casual lifestyle.
The other noticeable thing about Madame Chic's appearance is that she had a hairdo....le french bob, which was easy to do & flattering. She had good skin. She kept her figure nice with lots of everyday walking, & housework. And she was well-groomed. My Nanna was big on grooming, in a subtle way, & I absorbed it. Well-groomed means that our clothes are clean & mended, & they are flattering. Our shoes are clean. Our nails are shaped, & this doesn't necessarily mean that they have nail polish. Our skin looks good, with minimal make-up. Our hair moves & is cut in a flattering style. To be chic also means that the whole look is effortless.....one just happens to look this way.
Chicness.....I like it. For now, I am endeavouring to be effortlessly, a bit casually, chic.
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