Wednesday, 29 June 2016

30 chic days: day 18: is vintage chic relevant to today?


Are some of her hints relevant now?

Since starting to record Look Like A Million by Leslie Field, circa 1978, I have been on the look-out to see if the clothes advice applies to today. I left out things like stockings, Chanel bags, Gucci belt buckles & boots, because the market for these, doesn't apply to Ms Everywoman, today.

Leslie was focused on showing every woman how to look & feel great, & also, for those who could afford it, how to look ...expensive, by using a few well-chosen investment pieces, along with cheaper items. Not everyone wants to look expensive, but most of us do want to look our best.

Mostly, yes, I do think so

But I did feel that her advice was still good, for wardrobe building, whether you were a business person, or a woman who worked part-time, a new mum, an older lady. Yes, from what I have been seeing, it still all applies. Yesterday, I saw a friend dressed most originally, from an op shop...but she looked great in her jeans, patterned blouse (shirt!), scarf & jacket, each of which picked up one of the colours of her shirt.  I see women all the time, dressed in jeans with a tee, maybe a long sleeved one, ballerinas, long cardi. Today in the Inner City I saw a woman wearing black boots with black jeans tucked into them, a clear red 3/4 coat, a red & navy bright scarf tied most artfully, & a whitish, plain, tucked in, jumper. And a large plain leather hold all bag. She looked amazing. Casual, elegant, chic.

Her advice applied to those on budgets too

Leslie gave advice for those who had money, & for those who didn't. When I re read the suggestions, I could see that one could go to an op shop, el cheapo shop like KMart, markets, or a low cost import clothes shop, & get the basics. A pair or 2 of jeans last through the whole year. Black tights (3/4 & long), tees & tank tees, a skirt, a wee light weight summer cardi or a plain cotton shirt to wear as an extra layer, swimsuit or bikini, lavalava, jandals, an unusual cheap dress, long or short, these can see us right through summer. Even just a lavalava & a tank tee look great for casual times in the hot weather. If we had 1 nice plain pair of heels & 1 bag, this would do us most of the year. And in winter we could wear tights under our skirt, tees under wee jumpers. We could add a warm solid cardi like a cable knit, & also have a sloppy cardi. We could add knitted scarves with our jeans & layered tops. Then we add our own pizazz, the little extras that are just us. So yes, I do feel that it's still a great framework.

But it's not just the clothes

The thing is about's not just our clothes that matter. Other things are important too. About which Leslie had some great, still relevant, tips.

30 chic days: day 17: accessories & pizazz


                                     Australian Womans Weekly archives 1979

Know what to buy in sales

So we have looked at basic essentials for our chic wardrobe, based on still excellent advice from 1978: Look Like A Million, by Leslie Field. I have deliberately left out a few things, as, for most of us, they just aren't applicable. But here are the rest of the clothes hints:

Underwear: Stock up 2x a year in the sales. Nude coloured bras are the most versatile.

Shoes: Leslie liked to buy good shoes, in the sales. She also bought herself boots, to last a few years. She recommended black pumps which never seem to go out of style; a pair of gumboots (wellingtons); jandals; real ballet slippers to wear as slippers, & with tights; a pair of loafers, & Leslie's were black or brown Gucci ones. Each summer she bought a pair of cheap canvas espadrilles with a straw sole, & she would throw them out at the end of summer. Because I don't like espadrilles, I chose instead to buy cheap, black, canvas summer shoes, also thrown out at the end of summer.

Investment buys: these are things that we buy to last quite a while: coats, handbags, shoes, boots. Buy these at the sales too.

Make sure you keep dry in winter

Umbrellas: a necessity in this country. Have 2: a wee fold-up one, & a big one with an attractive print. I have a small navy floral fold-up one, which is over 10 years old, & a bright blue umbrella.

Nice, but not essential

Extras: For big occasion events, like an engagement party, especially your own, Leslie recommends to dress in something devastatingly simple. Meaning a simple yet stunning dress, short or long. And the 3 colours that are fabulous for big occasions, are: black, white, & red.

For dinner parties & other less formal events, buy little dresses, which can often be found in unusual places like lingerie, beachwear, younger people's, departments in big stores. Keep them & when you resurrect one, try wearing it differently, for example with a denim jacket, a shawl, tights.....try different things.

For ski & snowboard wear, use dark, solid colours which won't date quickly. In New Zealand, lots of people do these sports, & places like Kathmandu stores have incredible sales for snow gear, each year.

Accessories also add pizazz

Accessories: Leslie recommends never to throw any out, as they can come in useful. I can attest to that. Pick up bits & pieces at the sales.

Bags: if you only have one, make it a good one & make it black (or your dark neutral), & buy it in a sale. Evenings: use a simple, plain, cloth envelope purse. If you can get an antique purse/handbag, grab it! Some old ones with silver or golden links for the handle, & embroidery, are divine. Leslie used a straw mesh envelope for summer, & you can get very inexpensive flax polynesian bags & envelopes very cheap.  Leslie also used a big canvas tote for getting to & from work, with buses, the tube, walking, so that she could carry everything including a fold-up umbrella, with an envelope purse inside for her essentials. As this was in the new era of business briefcases, I think that it was most unpretentious. You could also pop a tote like this in your car as you sally forth each day.

Hats: if you're doing snowsports - you need appropriate headgear. In summer, get a plain straw one.

Belts: If you wear belts, & not all of us have the correct shape for them, collect them with interesting buckles, never throw them out.

Scarves: not everyone wears scarves, but the right colour can make a person look lovely. In winter, they are essential for some people. This is just me, but I know that only a couple of types of scarves look good on me, & sometimes, but not often, I'll wear a silky brightly patterned scarf tied as a man's tie.

Tights, woollen gloves, socks, etc: sales!!

Nightwear: some women wear large men's tees, others buy pjs, others wear nothing. Leslie does recommend a bath robe type dressing gown which is also prudent.

Jewellery: very personal. Basically we tend to either wear real, & expensive jewellery, or costume jewellery which can include antique pieces & crystals. A personal choice. And now that we are all using our cell phones as our clocks, many don't wear watches anymore.

The secret to a special touch

Trademarks: anything that you would wear so often over a year that you'd feel naked without it. Leslie had medium gold hoop earings, a gold Cartier rolling ring, 3 miniature antique children's rings worn on her little finger, & her leather strapped Cartier watch, one of the most expensive watches, ever. She wore them all, everyday. I thought about this. One of my friends sells & teaches about crystals, & always wears 2 long crystal necklaces & earrings, & although they may vary, she always wears whatever is appropriate to her that day, from her collection. Another friend always wears a series of tiny gold hoops along the sides of her ears, the same gold rings & bracelet. A trademark can also be an usual bag, or the type of shoes that you wear.

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

30 chic days: day 16: chic vintage dressing


                                   from Australian Womans Weekly Archives
More vintage hints: on wardrobe

Following on from yesterday's post about a 1978 book: Look Like A Million by Leslie Field. Some Leslie-isms from her book about building a basic, & affordable, wardrobe:

It often takes a little while to develop a strong personal fashion statement. Choose the look that suits you, & reflects your personality & taste. Never be a carbon copy of anyone, use your clothes to reflect your uniqueness.

How to keep it simple... and do-able

For a basic wardrobe, don't just buy, compose. There are some things that you can't do without, & these we buy first, but we also need a bit of pizazz, & we buy these as we can afford to. The more simple your clothes, the more stylish you will look. Mix several price ranges together.

Everything that Leslie wore could go from morning to dinner. Remember, she worked in a high-end magazine, in London. But we can do this in our own life, too. Her clothes were interchangeable, &, with bits added & subtracted, they could be worn anywhere & at anytime.

There are only 2 seasons, summer & winter, & summer clothes can, if necessary, take you through the coldest weather. The most elegant wardrobe can be built around skirts, a pair of trousers, a jacket, a raincoat, an assortment of shirts & pullovers, & 1 dressy dress or shirt.

Leslie's LBD was a skirt & shirt, & it should look good, anytime, anywhere.  Buy separates rather than dresses, to make your money go further.

Never throw a shirt away. (This is assuming, of course, that you buy clothes that don't date too quickly. A lot of clothes that are available today are trendy, meaning that we will only be wearing them for a short while). Shirts are where Leslie says  have lots of different colours. And, almost all of hers were bought at sales.

Put an eye-catching colour next to your face so as to focus attention there. To look long & lean, dress all in 1 colour. She recommended black as the main wardrobe neutral, but of course that might not be the colour that you have decided to use, as your basic neutral.

Basic items

For beachwear, have something to swim in, & Leslie recommends that it doesn't cost too much, & a lavalava to cover up with. A lavalava is about a metre long, & 2/3 metre wide, cotton piece of fabric. It can be worn tied: around the neck; on 1 shoulder; just above the bust; around the waist. Very popular in New Zealand as it is a very polynesian garment. An enormous men's tee is another cover-up option.

A trenchcoat design is the best for a coat. (These have been fashionable & flattering for decades. Tres chic) For evenings, you can wear a shawl. If you can only afford 1 jacket, buy a black (velvet) one.

It is perfectly feasible to have a wardrobe that will take you anywhere in the world, based on 3 skirts. At first I wasn't going to put this in, but as this was written for the times, 1978, & was for all women, I've included it. I simply thought about it & could see how it would still work today. Especially if you work in business. One black (or your main neutral), in the style that flatters you best, in the best fabric that you can afford. A floral print, with several different shades in it so that you can wear it with various coloured tops. In winter, you could wear it with a couple of layers of tops, tights & boots. In summer, for casual chic, we could have a coloured tee & jandals or sandals. Another different one, eg: tweed, patterned or printed, striped, or denim.

Sweaters: collect them over the years, in a wide range of colours. Polo & vee necks can go under another jumper or a shirt, or wear it on it's own. Leslie recommended Shetland jumpers, in neutrals: black, beige, white, grey & navy. These are warm jumpers that may have traditional british patterns on them, or may have an interesting knit style. Here, it could be like a warm jumper in an interesting stitch. Have a solid cardi, in a heavy cable stitch & a big sloppy shape. Another could have a lace or colour, pattern. And my own twist is that cardi styles do change, these days a lot of people wear a longish light weight sort of cardi, & there is always the little black semi fitted cardi.

Tees: the basis of any warm weather wardrobe. A cotton skirt, & a pair of jeans, can become a multitude of outfits based on different tees. Accumulate them in different colours & shapes over time. Leslie says to buy cheap ones, but I have done this & some are unwearable after the 1st wash, they just lose their shape.

Trousers: more often worn these days rather than skirts. If money is tight, wear jeans during the day & a perfectly fitted pair of trousers in black, or grey, navy or beige, for dressing up, & also to wear by day. Get a style of jean that won't date, & for many this is a straight leg look.

Old clothes for painting, gardening, a pair of old jeans & worn out tops.

Do it over time

This is how to systematically build a wardrobe, according to Leslie. Since finding this wee gem years ago in an op shop, I have taken much of her advice on board.

Sunday, 26 June 2016

30 chic days: day 15: vintage chic


My original vintage chic inspiration

I have a fantastic retro book written in 1978, called "Look Like A Million" ...a million dollars, by Leslie Field, who, at the time, was the editor of Tatler magazine. Tatler was, in those days, the magazine for the british peerage...Lord & Lady this & that; the Right Honorables; Master & Miss so & so..... & such. These days it now includes the nouveau riche. Times have changed.

The message of the book

The idea at the time of writing the book, was that you could look incredibly wealthy, with some expensive accessories, careful purchase & care of clothes, & looking after yourself. Because, in Ms Field's life, she did need to look the part, & she gave out some great info which fits perfectly into the chic life.

And how to do it

Leslie's hints: everything about how you look is directed to The First Impression, as we are judged at first sight. She recommends that we all make sure that we stand out. Are unforgettable. To stand out in a crowd, underwhelm people (with your appearance, by not being too fussily dressed)

If we care enough to look our very best, we will get better jobs, meet more attractive men, & have a better time. Do everything in your power to improve what you started with. Do the best with what you have.

It's not how much you spend: it's how much you care. Keep your hair clean, mend your clothes. One of the secrets to be able to be well-dressed (in our case, chic!), for little outlay, is to have your body in good shape, hair shiny, skin clear.

Discipline makes beauty routines automatic - do everything as quickly & simply as possible. Ironically, I had been thinking out what you are going to be doing for beauty & exercise maintenance...& of course, this often involves trial & error. Then do it. Quickly. Just get it done. It's not about heaps of fancy skin care products & tons of make-up, but rather, just do what we have to do, quickly & simply, to look good.

Look contemporary & up to date. Start today. Simplify everything in your life.

Find your own style, "borrow" bits & pieces from others to see how they work for you, & if they suit you...make them your own.

The most ageless clothes are those well-cut (classic) styles that appear to work together by chance, but in fact are carefully edited & always look marvellous. It's an air of throwaway chic that comes with experience.

Another wonderful tip, which I saw elsewhere, is that being chic comes from being organised (amongst other things!)

I love this little book, I read it at least once a year. Leslie was a woman who got to the top of her profession, in an era where it was much harder for women to do so. She worked for Glamour, Vogue, in Fleet St, as well, before becoming the editor of Tatler, without earning masses of money. Along the way, she developed style, confidence, happiness.

And although this is from a vintage book, many of Leslie's tips are still relevant today.

30 chic days: day 14: being true to oneself

A very quiet day today. Just being. And reflecting on the value of chic in the way that we live our life, as a carry on, really, from yesterday's post.

Chic is defined as: stylishness & elegance, typically of a specified kind.

So, we can be chic in many ways, not just our appearance. As an example, most of us have lives whereby we no longer decorate our homes in a stylish & olde world type of elegance. But we can have a home wuth another type of style & elegance, one which expresses our personality. A friend, for example, has a mixture of olde world shabby chic-type charm in her home, in a fusion with crystals & is very chic, &, her personality is similar: olde world charm whilst living in truth with her spiritual ethics.

As we express ourselves, on all levels, more & more with chic, our personality can be more easily expressed through not just our appearance, but also our manner. Someone who is always dour, whether life is good or not, does not reveal themselves as stylish & elegant in any way. For when we cannot see any beauty in life, we are not stylish, we are not elegant. We are not chic. We also do not look good, in our appearance, nor in our expression of personality, nor our values.

So to be truly chic, we need to have a stylish & elegant manner of expression, which arises from being true to oneself, via our inner convictions. Therefore, it helps to know which values & ethics matter to you. If it matters to be true to oneself.....from time to time we might need to redefine, for ourselves....what actually matters to us? What is our "bottom line"? What do we resolutely refuse to do...what do we aspire to do, to be, to act in accordance with? It is impossible to be chic when we are not able to live according to our inner stylishness & elegance. The outer expression of our values & ethics, in a stylish & elegant manner, could be called "charm". (or, in some cases, lack of charm.....) What is stylishness, elegance, & charm, in regards to the inner beliefs, to you? What elements of these do you want to take on board in your life? I know that I want, always, to be a person who can live according to my conscience. I don't want to harm others. I want to associate with decent people. I want to be a good person.

Apparently, chic is probably a french word from the mid 19th century, & it is believed to have derived from a german word, "schick", which means "skill". So, a chic person is being skilled in being stylish & elegant, both within, & also in our outer expression - home, food, clothes, manner, values, speech. We can become skilled in having a chic personality, we can become skilled in being true to ourselves.

Saturday, 25 June 2016

30 chic days: day 13. Chic Life

I was at a friend's place yesterday for a birthday party. Amazingly beautiful home, decorated by my friend, an extremely artistic woman, she is also very gracious & welcoming. And, being very (understatement!) artistic, I realised that, in her own way, she is also chic. Not expensive chic, nor elegant chic...but daringly, artistically, chic. Her sister & mother were there too, both more refined, somewhat elegant, chic, with quieter personalities.  I realised yesterday that the look of chic had nothing to do with looking, or being, just one way.

It was more about being chic in your own way. It was a red themed party, so my red was just a red tee in my outfit, but others had beautiful outfits, some dressy, mostly casual, yet dressed-up, chic. I could see how each of us had a style of dressing, of expressing our personality.

Chic-ness, I realised at that party, was also to do with manners. Manners also express our personality. Being friendly, interested, gracious, caring, embracing...these are all chic, too, & each person has their own way of expressing all this. Some quietly, some ...well...not so quietly.

Some of us live with hardship, or sorrow, in our life. Most of us, really, have something happen in our life that we learn to live with, whether death, ongoing family issues, health or financial issues, we all have our wee "cross to bear". And some have it more than others, no matter how it appears to be on the outside. And yet, strangely, this is where we often have people who are caring, generous, accepting....those who have lived a life more difficult.

A person can have money, yet ongoing sorrow, & often we would never know, because that person is so lovely. And the lovelier a person is, the more likely they are to do something about their difficulties. For example, if you have inherited a heart condition, & you watch your diet, & get up early to go for a long walk, you are then free to allow a freer expression of your personality, you are freer to live your life well. This is so chic, to me, whether one is male or female.

So it seems to me, that chic-ness can easily be revealed when we express our selves in our clothes, surroundings, & personality, & with how, & what, we do in our life. And surprisingly, I have also noticed that when we are drab in our appearance, we can also be drab, or even dour, in our life. For some, this is a passing phase, for others, sadly, it's a way of life.

When we look as good as we can in the present moment, we feel better about ourselves. When we feel good about ourselves, it is so much easier to be good to others. To allow our chic-ness to rub off on others. It's easier to have chic manners....not artificial chic, but warm, caring, chic. A big part of being chic is giving others an opportunity to feel good about themselves.

Friday, 24 June 2016

30 chic days: day 12: chic shopping

Today I went through yet another mall looking for a particular cardigan. I finally found it in the last shop ..... at about $170 cheaper than the shop where I spent 3/4 of an hour trying on cardis & woollen pseudo coats. I finally found a lovely light cardi with blue & black interwoven together to create a dark navy, in the shop where the young & chic shop, for cheaper clothes. Whilst I was there, I saw a woman, & thought, oh gosh, she is so was an old friend, & we spent a couple of hours over coffee & catching up.

So, when we have "our" colours that suit us, & we have decided on "our" neutrals & accent colours, we have also tried on so many clothes that we know what does & doesn't suit, we know the type of "look" that we are after, we know what sort of garment that we is way easier. Or not. It was easier in that I can get in & out of stores very quickly, by 1st scanning a shop to find the type of garment that I'm after, then the colour, then the size. But so much harder, also.......because I could not find anything in 2 malls that I liked, &/or, suited!

Today I was definitely unchic. No doubt about it. I felt as though I had "fallen off the wagon". But, as Scarlett O'Hara said: "tomorrow is another day"!

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

30 chic days: day 11; 10 minutes to a better life

In Ponsonby today to teach yoga, a few chores then home. I picked up a copy of Parisian Chic by Ines de la Fressange, & a book by an American, Lois Johnson, who has been a fashion editor for decades, plus a British magazine for those women who like to dress & live well. I did a close investigation of the fashions of all 3...& yes...there is a big difference between each country's dressing styles. I, of course, shall be following Ines's chic advice. The American advice was just not for me, & the British was too many clothes on at the same time. New Zealand is a fairly casual country, we are 2 islands, & our population is greatly influenced by the sea, because most of us live not too far from the ocean, & we also get outside a lot, & many do sports, so these do reflect in our living & dressing styles.

I also read an advert on a "french chic" blog site about signing up...for a price, of course, to discover the most important 10 minutes of your day, & what to do in those 10 minutes...5 in the morning, 5 at night, to greatly enhance your life & become the woman whom you wish to be. I, of course, shall not be signing up.

To unveil the you whom you would like to be: write it down on a card, with excitement, pride, feeling of accomplishment! Read it before bed & upon waking, with the exact same feelings, even if some days it's an effort to recreate those feelings. Find a photo of yourself, even if it was from years ago, look at it before or after the card, & have the same feelings mentioned. If you don't have a photo, go through magazines until you find a photo of how you would like to be.

We can use this same method for something we would like to do, in order to be the person we would like to be. It honestly makes us make wee changes. Effortlessly. It would take less than 5 minutes each morning & evening. can always expect changes to be greater than what we imagine, because it becomes a gradual process that gains momentum, & in turn creates like an energetic state. Which just keeps going, for as long as we keep doing it. It is now believed that change does take longer than 21 days of doing whatever we are trying to change. 66 days is the new suggested time frame. I have read books by Jon Gabriel who lost over 200lbs using visualisation. He visualised himself with the body of a teenager, & that it what he ended up with. Look at his website, it is amazing. But Jon has said that when he stopped doing his visualisation, he started not eating well, again, so he went back to the visualisation.

We can do the card & photo method to create the chic person we would like to be. What happens is, when we do these things, we create new "thought tracks" in our brain. Then each time that we do it, those tracks become stronger, until they over-ride the existing tracks that we have in our brain about oneself. Since starting Fiona Ferris's ( 30 chic days system, I have already noticed big changes, & others have made remarks about it too. It is not too late to join in! Look at Fiona's site & have a good read about it.

how to be chic: 30 chic days, day 10: memory habits

An at-home day, cleaning, after I had made myself look nice, of course! Early morning yoga. A guest, a sleep, then off to teach an evening class, followed by dinner with the students, who are also dear friends, which is always lovely to do. Of course.

I realised today one of the reasons why french people eat food in season. I had some papaya for breakfast. It would have been imported, & therefore, irradiated! What was I thinking? Memories of papaya for breakfast in Bali a few years ago had overshadowed good sense. It was horrible. I had a mandarin for afternoon tea, with cheese & crackers......that was delicious.

My focus on today was doing & recording some yoga routines...on paper, & catching up with people via messenger. Like any other job, there is always extra work to be done "behind the scenes", even for a yoga teacher. But I love it, all of it, & I do believe that it is tres chic to be doing what you love.

Tomorrow I am up before the birds, & off to teach again, in the dark. I have a routine of getting everything together for the next day, including anything I need to do, which I write in my diary, & I do it before bed. It saves time & reduces stress. I have done this for years, except when I know that I have a day of not working, & can sleep in...for an extra 30 minutes.

When I was quite young, I read that Einstein never remembered his phone number. He wrote it down, instead, as he felt that he had other more important things that he preferred to remember. I took it on board, & aim to write most things down, in my case, in my diary, or my book of yoga routines, rather than having to remember everything. And Paul McKenna, nlp practitioner & hypnotist, says that one of the ways to be smarter, is to always put things in the same place, which I was happy to read, as I have always done this. Mainly, I confess, so that I don't get crabby because of not being able to find things!

Apparently, & I learnt this tonight, there are 4 steps to remembering where we have put things. Unfortunately my friend could only remember 2 of them: when you put something down, reach across your body, for example reach over your body towards the left, with your right hand, then mentally "take a picture" of where you have put the object.

Another way is to make our brain more alert, & this is an easy way to do it: inhale through your nose, then exhale forcefully out of your mouth which you have made into a hard "bird's beak", going "shoo! shoo! shoo!" (that's what it sounds like) 3-6 times for one inhale. Do a few times, but never, ever, in the evening, as it really wakes up the brain & makes sleep impossible. In waking up the brain, it does make memory better.

These are just little ways to make life easier.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

30 chic days: day 9: food matters

Today was a good day in terms of chic food. And this was my personal focus for the day. I started off with 2 poached eggs on vogels roast.....couldn't get through more than 1 egg before I realised that I ate this breakfast because I felt that I "should". Because it is healthy. Because when we eat eggs for breakfast, we eat up to 400 calories less during that day. I wasn't enjoying my meal...& it is not chic to eat food that makes us I tossed it & picked up a lovely chai on my way to take a couple of classes. Later I had 1/2 of a banana to tide me over for a late lunch at my eldest daughters'.....provided by moi. Slivers of ham..not much, & a thin layer of chilli cream cheese on 1/2 a whole meal roti, then the other 1/2 folded over the top. I love rotis & am very good at making these, but today I bought them. I ate 3...but really, 2 would have been fine. At french cafes, the baguettes have a very thin layer of perhaps 2 fillings, so I emulated this. A percolated coffee, & for dessert, a wee demitasse cup filled with creamy mango yoghurt.

Dinner was a very small bowl of mince & vege, plus 1/2 a ciabatta roll, a sliver of blue vein cheese. By eating my 2 meals slowly, enjoying & focusing on them...I wasn't hungry. So this is my new regime: eat real food that is as frenchified as I can, preferably at home or with friends, eat slowly, enjoy the food. Small portions. Butter only at breakfast, if I'm having a roll or bread. More fruit & vege. Fruit or yoghurt for dessert, if I want a dessert. A pudding no more than once a week. Hot trim milk before bed....a great nightcap! Little things which I hope will bring big results.

If you want to improve your diet, I can heartily recommend that you read Fiona Ferris's chapter on Eat Real Food, in her new book: 30 Chic Days. You can download this on her website...which, incidentally is the most enjoyable blog site ever. Fiona tells how she changed her diet to be more healthy, & more chic. Effortlessly.

Exercise: yoga & meditation before taking 2 classes. Yoga in the morning is excellent for keeping our body supple & graceful, for keeping our back healthy, & also for stabilising blood's not necessary to do the hard stuff, just maybe 10-15 minutes of warm-up type stuff is fine. Standing: side to side, a dynamic twist, hip circles, backwards & forwards. Then do cat, cobra, mountain/downdog. child. Now onto your back for bridge, reclining spinal twist, bend knees to chest & clasp legs whilst you bring your head to your knees. Do everything 3 times, without straining, without getting tired, this really helps with blood sugar. Finish by lying down in reclined butterfly....legs wide apart, soles of feet touching. Be aware of the rise & fall of your abdomen as you relax with each exhale. All doable. When dealing with something that is inflammatory in the body, hard yoga poses are counterproductive. Do less instead, skip the fancy stuff, & this will encourage the body to slow down on the inflammatory stress responses. Much more chic, too!

I wore a slightly baggy pair of brown/black/white, patterned trousers; muted fuschia tee; black cardi; black ballerinas. I had 2 lovely compliments today about me looking really good: a boost to the eki (equilibrium!), for sure. proof that am slowly becoming more chic, perchance?

Monday, 20 June 2016

30 chic days: day 8 with Angelina Jolie.

Joining in on Fiona Ferris's 30 chic days. See all about it on fiona's lovely site: or look on her facebook page. You can also get the 1st 3 chapters of her latest book for free from her website.

Still queasy today so did barely anything that I had planned! I wore black slender, but fluid, trousers, black ballerinas....& pink slippers at, woollen, plain, armani, tee shirt that I got quite a few years ago from an op shop. It is proof that quality lasts, because I wear it a lot, & just toss it into the washing machine. A muted fuschia cardi. Just a wee bit of make-up. As usual.

I ate french bread for breakfast & have banned myself from buying any more! It is not chic to eat so much bread. A meal I'd frozen, for lunch. Just a stew & vegie thing with the very last bit of french bread. And a defiant meal of fish & chips. Hot milk before bed.

I have been thinking a lot about chic-ness. My home is probably more slightly quirky than chic. But that's just me, with a few treasured things here & there. I am also always getting rid of things, as I feel that clutter is not chic. Being pleasant, interested in others, these are chic. Being clean & tidy. Flowers. Nice smells.

I was chatting with a friend at the local cafe. My gosh....he is casual male-chic! I loved how he was dressed: stubble; a dark grey, tweedy overcoat; black teeshirt under a navy, v-neck, fitted jumper; dark denim jeans & brown belt; brown, lace-up, suede-look shoes. I was envious. I loved the look.

And I googled. Yet again. This time to make a serious study of Angelina Jolie's style. Angelina has always looked different from other actresses, & I often wonder if it's because she was brought up by her french mother. Angelina frequently embodies chic in her everyday life. Her working wardrobe is based on black, navy, grey & white. She has a uniform of a loose top, tee, or jumper, black fitted trousers. She often wears shawls. Her shoes are often black or nude, ballerinas, or plain pumps. Or sandals. Her wardrobe & shoes may be Yves Saint Laurent, but the style of them all can be duplicated quite easily & cheaply. Her hair is long & just looks nice. Plain black sunnies, plain bag. The main thing is: everything is simple, fitted, classy, & chic. I like it. I do often dress that way too. And Angelina has never been overweight...although she can be a bit too underweight. She says that she likes to keep moving, & that's why she doesn't enjoy yoga, because you have to slow down (chuckle. I am a yoga teacher)

Have worked out a nice eating routine & shall start it tomorrow. The main thing I am being very aware of is: when it's all written get to see what you are doing right...& the errors! But it is also inspiring.

Sunday, 19 June 2016

30 chic days: day 7

At the end of my 1st week, following Fiona Ferris's blog: Fiona has invited people to join onto her 30 days of chic, to commemorate the launch of her new booK; 30 Chic Days.

How have I fared? I am certainly feeling & looking more chic. And I have had some realisations too: a lot of my life is not chic. My home is messy 2 days a week what with tiredness & work & errands, so I want to change that. My diet: I have sincerely worked at being more organised & tried not to snack. Most days I did this, other days....I think that I may have had some snack amnesia. I don't eat enough fruit nor salads. I shall keep working on it & keep trying out this & that for more improvement...... chic improvement. I wear too much black. So I shall gradually work in, over a period of time, some navy. Navy & blues suit me. On the plus side, I have been dressing more chicly. And, working at being chic: it's fun!!! Another realisation, was that dressing's all in the little details. Little things like rolling my cardi sleeves back, just enough to show the colour of the tee or jumper underneath. I also have been walking very briskly, with longer strides, & just generally moving about more. I also realised that I am too reclusive so I have deliberately been getting out & about more. I haven't read much, due to being so busy.

Today I was doing readings, selling posters & kawakawa balms & oils, smudge sticks, & some really chic clothes that my youngest daughter was throwing out. At a market in a seaside village in West Auckland, Little Huia. I did some yoga poses, breathing & meditation before I left, as well as having a smoothie with spirulina, & an oil made up of 3 types of omegas. It was too rich, & I had a bad reaction with a headache & nausea, which lasted all day. So eating chic went out the window for the whole day.

I wore black jeggings; black leather-look, ankle boots like Converse, black cardi, red tee, & crystal necklaces & bracelets....looking the part of a stall holder. It was not the place to be overdressed so I hope that I wasn't. But I did want to look chic. I saw 1 woman there who was chic. In her late 40s, she oozed casual chic, yet somewhat elegant. And I thought how ironic that I was selling my chic daughter's clothes. And I wondered who to give my expensive spirulina & oil to.

I read some of Tish Jett's facebook & website. Tish is the author of Forever Chic, & I was pleased to see that she had some clothes combos with navy.

And whenever I wasn't selling, which was most of the time....I thought about ways to be more chic.

Saturday, 18 June 2016

30 chic days: day 6

Forgot to record what I wore yesterday: black silky trousers, black ballerinas. black poncho, teal merino jumper. I am now so aware that nearly everything that I wear is black! From doing the 30 chic days. So I popped into an op shop yesterday, which I now know can be chic, thanks to Ines de la Fressange, & found some antique looking (but not actually antique), dangling earings with a tiny bit of pink glass, some black patent leather high heels. Now I do know that black patent leather might not be chic, but I have always loved it. And a very nice apricot longish cardi in a lightweight fabric. Perfect! I have spent a long time today trying to figure out what to wear so that I am not in so much black. I went to a talk with Camellia. So it took me about 1 hour to decide what to wear! Blue distressed jeggings, muted royal blue jumper, black ballerinas just because no other shoes suited, & a very bright, old, tie dyed, red & pink, silky type scarf that I twirled into a thin shape first. I have had it for over 25 years. I went to a talk where people may, or may not, be dressed up. (as usual, it turned out that I was, actually, overdressed....)

Camellia has told me to use dark blue eyeliner when I'm wearing black, to soften how I look. I think that everyone needs a Camellia in their life.

I also dyed my hair: no 6, light ash brown, which was recommended by a hairdresser & also by a colour stylist (colour me beautiful type). Yesterday I also had a hair trim... a bit too much came off, unfortunately. My hair is straight, baby fine, & doesn't hold a blow dry, so the best that I can ever hope for is a decent cut. Last week Camellia did my eyebrows, blue black, & it does look nice. I wouldn't have coloured my hair that day, as I like to do small changes at a time, which I feel is not such a shock for one's dearest &'s a gradual change rather than a big one whereby you suddenly look different.

What I ate: small piece of baguette & coffee for breakfast, 1/2 a small banana a few hours later, lunch at a french cafe in Browns bay, Auckland. A small pastry thing with ham & scallops...not too much, & a bit of cheese sauce. Tea. It was amazing. Dinner was leftovers from last night - lamb, kumura, parsnip, carrot & curly cabbage from the garden. 3 yummy bran biscuits.

What I read: a few sites on facebook regarding french chic. A busy day, so not much spare time.

Movement: is racing at top speed across the countryside because you're late, movement? But I did yoga, breathing, meditation too.

My focus for the day was that I am quite set in my ways. As Raquel Welch says that she is....I feel that it's ok.  My focus was also on the talk by Dr Pooja that I was at this afternoon, on women & hormones, which was excellent. I ran into a former student there, which was so special. And I was focused on being chic. Of course.

Thursday, 16 June 2016

30 chic days: day 5: chic systems

I forgot to record my 30 minutes of yoga yesterday morning followed by 10 minutes of yoga pranayamas (breathing techniques!)

Had breakfast (latte, & porridge filled with chia seeds, cardamon, dried fruit) with a friend after I gave him a yoga class before the crack of dawn. We were talking about systems. I do so love it when someone is on the same wavelength as moi! Because I love systems. And we both agreed that you have a system to get things done in the best way for whatever that thing is. Then, you learn how to just do those things automatically. know how & when to skip bits of the system, or even the whole system, simply because you now know how to get the best result. And you end up doing this, without even having to think about it all.

I have systems for most things, & once I get it right, I either do it, or, in a pinch, I know how to do things differently. And I will try out different things to get a system going, until it's right for the situation. Often I'll make 5% changes, which I've frequently written about, in order to sort something out.

So, I've been working on sorting out my blood sugar due to needing to eat soon after I get up, & sometimes I was waiting for up to 5 hours to eat, what with travel & early morning teaching, showers & getting ready. Which has been a disaster. Sometimes I'll just have a piece of vogels toast & peanut butter, & a big coffee, before I go. However I've been getting suspiciously flemmy with my chest after & this is a sign of intolerance....gggrrrr....but it's ok because peanut butter is probably not chic!

I actually do best when I have a drink with at least 10 grams of protein, before I leave to teach, then eating after a class, & I'm intending to do it when I am having to eat a late dinner. Have a wee shot of this drink about 5pm & wait for the later meal. I use a vegan protein powder, but I have also used Red8 whey, in almond & coconut milk. But to be honest, I could just drink about 300 grams of milk, instead.

And, because I'm doing the 30 days of chic, I'm looking at other things that I do, to see how to chic-orise them.

So, awareness of how I'm doing things, to see how they could be improved, to be....well, to be chic, actually. And effective. My exercise was another brisk trot around the Ponsonby shops, & moving briskly during the day. Reading went out the window, what with taking an early class, Ponsonby shopping, laundromat, library, visitor, picking vege from my lovely garden, watching Lewis via youtube, doing my 3 blogs....a busy day.

Food: breakfast as above. A piece of french bread & a pain de chocolat, from ponsonby french bakery. 3 tiny bliss balls & a cuppa for afternoon tea.  Lamb shank, carrot, parsnip, kumura, onion, garlic & my homemade vegie stock, with a few pieces of the yummy bread.

30 chic days: day 4

                              Image result for walking in old ponsonby
                               Ponsonby, Auckland 1915

How to be chic: day 4

I have joined into Fiona Ferris's 30 chic days. Fiona has an amazing blog: How to be chic, & she is also on facebook. Feel free to look at her sites, & join in. She has a few recommendations of things to do each day, regarding being chic, & I must say that already I am feeling a big difference in myself regarding being chic, following these guidelines.

Off to le chic part of Auckland

I was up very early today, braving the city streets in the dark, to take a yoga class in Ponsonby, a tres chic Auckland suburb. Truly. Even a lot of the men there look chic. Afterwards, Maria from the class took me for a very brisk walk along the main road to a french bakery, where I bought a couple of french pies, bread, & Maria donated a dessert, to take to my grand daughter's, my next port of call. I now know of about three french bakeries within a twenty minute drive from home & I shall drop into them as I can. We also stopped at the most chic recycle shop, ever. It was here that I actually understood Ines's chic dressing advice, & was almost tempted to ask the chic ladies working there, if they were french. I shall return when I have time.

Focus for today

My grand daughter, who is such an amazing mother, her partner, & their wee 6 week old baby, Toby, have been my focus for most of the day. Of course. Wee Toby found it most worrying to have someone new talking to his mum. Lots of quivering lips, tears, anxious looks at mum, & generally worried about the scheme of things whenever I held him. So cute. I also was there for his Plunket visit, which also seemed to be very scary, so it wasn't just me. Ms plunket lady had lots of advice about the closest mum & baby groups, & places to go for new-mum advice. And I noticed that she looked quite chic. A far cry from Plunket ladies of decades ago. I was itching to ask her chic questions but restrained, seeing it was all about mum & baby.

What a lovely day. It's days like today that give warm memories.


What I ate: 

  • I have found that I do need something small 1st thing before taking a class so I had coffee with a slice of vogels bread & peanut butter
  • breakfast after the class at Maria's was a poached egg & a slice of Burgen toast with her yummy homemade marmalade
  • lunch was a cuppa & half of a small beef & mushroom cooked in port, pie. I have noticed that with french food, it's so fulfilling that you can't eat much
  • couple of shortbread biscuits for afternoon tea
  • tea was thrown together: baked sausage & carrot, steamed kale
  • hot milk for a good night's sleep. It really works, for me. 
  • I have noticed a distinct lack of fruit in my diet. I don't actually like fruit but as I have a laden mandarin tree, I shall be more grown up & eat more fruit.

My exercise: it was the Ponsonby walk, & walking around with wee m'sieur Toby.

What I wore

  • brown & black patterned slightly baggy trousers
  • a muted fuschia, long sleeved, fitted, tee
  • with a casual black cardi 
  • & black ballerinas

There is definitely a pattern emerging in how I dress! I am always making wee clothing & style tweeks, which I do think is a good way not to get stuck in a time warp.


I have been reading: Chic and Slim by Anne Barone, a very simply written story with lots of advice on how to not only eat like a french woman, but also how to lose weight eating like the french, & how to develop a sense of style. All of which she learnt decades ago living in France. Anne also lost 50 pounds, effortlessly, in one year, just by learning how to eat as a french woman does. A charming little book. And the book is not about dieting!

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

30 chic days: day 3: moving faster

                  Image result for jane seymour exercising

How to be chic: day 3

Up a bit later than usual today, due to my partaking of internet stalking last night, for hours, about Ines de la Fressange, which mysteriously morphed into stalking Jane Seymour's beauty, exercise & diet routines. 

I watched a few video clips & interviews of both of these ladies, & once I'd handled my beauty envy, I started to notice an interesting pattern. And I've noticed it with Elizabeth Hurley too. 

  • Jane is upfront about watching her diet, but not obsessively & does some exercise, but everything in moderation. 
  • Elizabeth does watch her weight & professes to do just a wee bit of running, which she loathes. Loathe is now my new word for things which I don't like. If you saw how Elizabeth says it, you would want to charismatically say it too.  She also does some bottom clenches & sit-ups. 
  • Ines does not exercise, & being so long (5 feet, 11 inches), she can probably chow down, albeit chicly, more food than a short person
  • and all three also do a lot of different things, within their life. They are all busy women who get results

How to be slim and chic

All three have stayed slim. How can one stay so slim as these ladies & not diet & exercise obsessively? I think it's something that all three have in common: 

  • they all talk very fast
  • & each professes to move fast in their daily lives
Ines talks & moves the fastest, using her whole face, body, & voice, expressively, as well as waving her hands all over the place, as she talks. Chicly of course.

It seems that non-stop movement burns up extra calories during the day. In the USA fitness scene, it is sometimes called fidgeting, & the point is that you frequently stop & do a stretch, or some callisthenics, or something aerobic for a couple of minutes, & have some water too, of course, throughout your waking hours. Moving throughout the day in this way is not actually chic, to me. And I have read, also, of fitness coaches of about 15 years ago, saying things like: "if you want to lose weight, move fast" And although this was pertaining to exercise, it does seem to be a feature in maintaining, & losing, weight.

New focus and what I am doing

So this is something I am emphasising these 30 chic days: moving faster throughout the day. If Ines does it, I am sure that it must be chic. This was my focus today.

What I'm doing is errands, blogging, dog-sitting, getting "stuff" ready for a village market that I'm taking part in this weekend, & teaching a yoga class tonight.


My whole routine went awry very quickly & unexpectedly, this morning. I suddenly left home before morning yoga (so that went by-the-by) & had to skip breakfast.

  • so I had brunch at home a bit later: coffee, a slice of meatloaf & an egg. The moderation here was actually not adding some toast
  • muffin for afternoon tea
  • a small roll with peanut butter a few hours later
  • & dinner was out, after the yoga class: salad, small piece each pumpkin, potato & kumura, a slice of bacon, an egg
  • dessert was 2 small, home cooked, shortbread.

What I wore

  • black, loose fitting, but not baggy, Amy Taylor trousers. I love them so much that I bought a 2nd pair
  • red long sleeved teeshirt, el cheapo from Pagani. It was the only red winter tee that I found in a colour that flattered me
  • black poncho 
  • black ballerinas


What I read: I didn't!! I was so behind with my day that it just did not happen. I did manage to read day 7 of howtobechic blog, 30 chic days, though. And ordered Parisian Chic by Ines, from the library. Ines, of course, being the epitome of parisian chic.

Monday, 13 June 2016

how to be chic: 30 chic days: day 2

                          Image result for vintage french woman shopping

How to be chic: day 2!

Tuesday: my busiest day of the week.

Morning and exercise

  • made bed, lit incense, made coffee & did a crossword...yes, I know, it's my busy day & I shouldn't have time for this!
  • exercise: a few warm-ups...arm swinging, side to side, pelvic tilts, hip circles, stomach lift, & some yoga sun salutes, four varieties, two times each. Bridge pose, reclining twist, reclining butterfly, cleansing then calming breaths followed by a very short meditation. It sounds a lot, but it takes no time at all. 
The sun was coming up, there is mist in the valley that I can see out of my window, birds, calmness yet busyness. Lovely. My fave time of the day. Followed by a short, brisk walk.


  • morning coffee - two! Smoothie - almond & coconut milk, vegan protein powder, banana, cinnamon & vanilla. I don't always have a smoothie, but my energy level is better when I do
  • I also put on some vegetable bits & pieces to make stock for soup & the crockpot
  • morning tea with a friend was a cuppa & three wee Scottish biscuits (cookies)
  • lunch was the curried lentils - again! They have turned into everlasting lentils. I have thrown the rest out plus vegetables; & two small rolls which I actually could have done without
  • tea was a slice of meatloaf which I bought from a butcher, plus I cooked another slice for lunches. Potato chips cooked in oven, more silverbeet
  • then 3 wee slices of shortbread. Naughty moi. The three small biscuits in the morning were ok. But the two rolls & three other bickies? non! not chic!

What I am doing, and focus

I usually teach two morning & one evening yoga classes, on Tuesdays. Sometimes I might just do two, but either way there's quite a bit of travel involved, & my focus for the day is mainly on the people who come to the classes. Sometimes I'll go somewhere on my way home from the morning classes, but only if it's on my way. And I endeavour to pace myself on Tuesdays so that I have even energy throughout the day & evening. I seem to have spent all afternoon sorting out washing & such, & doing some food shopping, which I tend to do quite often, Parisian style. Sort of, because today was just a village butcher & a wee supermarket.

What I wore

  • casual, patterned, black & white, slightly baggy pants
  • a royal blue long sleeved tee shirt
  • & black ballet shoes
  • a black pseudo-rib woollen poncho, which is so warm.

I received a lovely comment from Fiona which I can't figure out how to respond to, so I shall respond now: thanks Fiona. Love your How to be Chic blog.

Sunday, 12 June 2016

how to be chic: 30 chic days

                                   C'est Moi
                                           (Fiona Ferris)

Learning how to be chic

howtobechic is Fiona Ferris's blog on being chic, french-style. It is a lovely blog & I've been reading it faithfully for some years now.  Fiona does a 30 chic days series, & she is onto her 4th round. She has invited anyone who cares to join in, to record how they are getting on. Fiona is on her 6th day, so I'm going to be starting a bit late, but, as Fiona is a fellow kiwi (New Zealander), I thought it would be lovely to join in.
Fiona has some of her chic books already on sale, internationally, & you can clip onto the appropriate book to see. It really benefits Fiona if we click on from her blog page, so I recommend that. Now she has a bigger book out: "30 chic days" which promises to be a lovely read.

So in this 30 day challenge, there are 3 goals:

  • awareness of what we are doing each day
  • where we are placing our focus
  • remembering what we want to achieve

Plus:  recording what we 

  • ate
  • read
  • wore
  • how we moved our body
  • & our focus for the day

Here I go!

I woke up this morning realising that I am tired & getting "chesty", & not up to doing my morning sun salutes plus a few poses. I trotted off to our local wee group of shops, walking briskly, as I imagine a true Parisienne would do, to go to the laundromat & succumb to buying an over the counter remedy for loosening chest mucus, thereby, hopefully, preventing an infection. This may have been my most extreme movement today for I sense that I need a rest. So, I do realise that today is not the most auspicious day for me to start, but I also know that it's better to actually start, no matter what. I shall be doing a housework blitz later today.

Today I read, via m'sieur google. about Ines de la Fressange, who is the epitome of Parisianne chic. Ines is a still a french model, inspirer, author, mother, shop owner, but most of all, for me today, she gives out hints about how to be chic So:

  • I notice that her hair is chicly messy, so I washed my hair & ruffled it messy
  • patted on a touch of foundation (which Ines does use)
  • defined my eyes as my dear friend Camille taught me 
  • & wore some lipstick

I wore:

  • some really nice old-looking (yet weirdly expensive!) jeggings
  • a royal blue merino jumper
  • some ballet flats
  • & a chic wee black cardi from The House of G (Glassons)
Chic...n'est pa?

Plans and achievements

  • my focus for the day is rest & restore whilst being chic! 
  • what I want to achieve is a rest, & sticking to my chic plan
  • and maybe do a bit more Ines stalking


  • breakfast was about 1/2 cup of curried brown lentils on a slice of vogels with 1 poached egg, a couple of cups of coffee
  • lunch was not chic....a sandwich from a bakery which makes lovely bread
  • dinner is going to be a wee slice of bacon & egg pie, grated carrot, with a medley of mushroom, onion, courgette, silverbeet
  • any snacks will just be a small Gopals yoghurt
  • and a small mug of warm milk before bed

If anyone is interested in joining in, please let Fiona know, via her site, or facebook, how you are getting on. It will all be fun.......

Friday, 10 June 2016

beauty with Camellia Iordache

                                 Image result for camelia iordache

My dear friend Camellia Iordache (ee-or-dar-chay) came to see me recently. Camellia is a beautician, make-up artiste, masseuse, aromatherapist & skin care maven. 

I luxuriated in a facial with exfoliation, mask, eyebrow tidy-up, eyebrow & eyelash tinting, facial & scalp massage. Camellia uses natural products, & I have used one of her facial blends before, she tailors them to the individual. This time she gave me an jojoba & geranium blend in the face massage. Bliss personified. 

Honestly, I was in a very good brain-state by the time she had finished. Helped, no doubt, by the fact that she has healing hands. As a healer, I always recognise when someone else has such hands!

Camellia is most interesting. She asks what skin care etc one is already using. Last time that I saw her she gave me an eco sponge, which sadly has finished, but it was to wash my face with each morning, especially because I have oily skin. 

This time, she gave me a wee bottle of castor oil with a dropper, to dab on my eyelashes & eyebrows at nights, & to rub into my hair the night before I wash it, & an Italian natural moisturiser to try out, that would suit my skin. Other times she has said: use this, not that, when I've told her what skincare that I use. And told me why to use or not use things, pertinent to myself. Ever since Camellia recommended rosewater as a toner for me, I have used it.

Then Camellia went through my make-up. I have a face powder, 2 blushers, eyeshadows, & 2 lipsticks which I truly did not like, even though they had been "prescribed" for me. She was adamant that they were not for me (phew!). 

When she told me why, I was so impressed. Camellia is about people looking good (& yes, she does look great!), & she pointed out that some of the colours, although they had been matched to my skin tone....they also made me "disappear", which is ironic, because whenever I had worn them, I had felt my personality withdrawing, & had felt myself getting "down". 

She okayed another lipstick which brightened up my face, showed me how to properly apply a black pencil (as opposed to my other brown one) to flatter my eyes, gave me 2 samples of Radience foundations to see how I liked them: one was a CC cream, & it was lovely, the other is applied with a sponge, & she showed me how to use the sponge. Another time, she showed me how to  properly use an eyebrow pencil, & I'm still using the colour that she recommended.

So I was left with beautiful skin, feeling wonderful, & knowing how to use the products that she recommended. Lucky me. 

Camellia does for me what other make-up artists & beauticians have not done. She looks at what one already has, tells you what suits you, what to keep, & makes recommendations about what to use instead of things that aren't the best choice for us. She also explains why to keep using some things, & why not to use some of our other stuff.

And all this, I feel, is what we actually want: 

  • someone to look at us a person who just wants to look good
  • to enhance what we already have
  • respect what we have that already works
  • fill in the gaps where needed. 
I am amazed how much much Camellia has taught me.  She can be contacted through facebook if you would like some skin care or make-up guidance, massage, or yoga for pregnancy. I 100% recommend her.

Friday, 3 June 2016

looking great...even on a budget

                          Related image

History can show us what we love

I love history & have 2 fave fashion periods: the flapper era, which is around late 1910s & 1920s. And I love, love, love the bob haircuts from that era & have, at times, worn exactly the same cut.  With my black, dead straight, fine hair it was a perfect haircut. And the clothes! Those exquisite straight up & down dresses, often with beautiful lace, which I adore. I do not have curves, no matter what my weight, & I suit straight up & down clothes. And the shoes: mary janes, my fave ever shoe!

The other fashion period that I love is the world war 2 era. So glamorous, despite what was happening. I just love the way that Jerry Hall, model & actress, now almost 60, has emulated, most of her adult life, the "slightly slutty look", as she calls it, of that era of american film stars, & with her Veronica Lake hairdo, eyeliner, & lipstick.

                                       Image result for Jerry Hall aged 40

When times are harder, we can often care more about how we look

Why were women so concerned about their appearance in such hard times? It is a fact of life:

  • when money is harder to come by for society: we tend to dress more expensively/elegantly/etc
  • in those times, it was great for morale to dress up & go out when you weren't working in the factories
  • Winston Churchill encouraged it for morale reasons, as well as the motto: "keep calm & carry on"
  • after world war 2, The Red Cross did mass food drops over war ravaged Europe. They found that the women there wanted lipstick! 
  • and it has also been found, that as we start to feel better, after hardship, we want to look better

How does this matter to us?

There are points to the above stories: find a "look" that you love, as Jerry did, & take elements of it which appeal to you, into how you look. With the world war 2 story: I wasn't talking about people who were being bombed, starved, persecuted here, I was really thinking of the everyday "Allied" countries of America & Great Britain, although Great Britain was definitely bombed repeatedly, & food was scarce.

The other points I was making there were: when times are tough, we want to look, & thereby feel, better. When we start to come out of great difficulties, we start to make ourselves look better. And, if others in hardship, could adopt the motto of "keep calm & carry on"....then so can we. Even if it takes a while to get there.

Define who you are

How we want to look, this shows "who we are", & defines our personal style. It's not about money, & can be done without a lot of money. Have a look at magazines, the internet, to see what appeals. There will be a theme here. If you can't afford magazines & the internet, go to the public library. They are free there.

Now go & try those clothes, shoes, etc on. Some of these clothes might not be right for now, you might need to lose some weight, or tone up. They might not suit your body shape. I just love black lace full shirts, with velvety jackets in burgundy, purple or dark blue, ruffled blouses, & knee high, fitted, high heel, boots. And long curly hair. The Stevie Nicks look. That whole outfit, unfortunately, would look awful on me, I am the wrong shape for it. Sadly. But I could have a tailored velvety jacket, I could do some lace as a collar & cuffs. In other words, elements of things that I love. And anyone can do this: just take bits & add them, in a manner that suits you, to your clothes.

If you don't have much money, rummage around op-shops & recycle shops, try on similar clothes to the more expensive clothes that you like. Learn what suits you, by experience. Be fussy. Act as if every dollar has to count, as it's so easy to buy heaps of junk in these shops.

I have found that moving into how you really would like to look, & also finding out what makes us look our best, it all takes time. Once you start trying to find your own personal style, it will change over time, until you find your niche.

Warm weather food

Yes! The warmer weather has arrived. And with it, a few changes in le regime (my diet, aka what I eat). I really get miserable eating salads...