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 one nice plain pair of heels & one 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 twice 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 two: a wee fold-up one, and a big one with an attractive print. I have a small navy floral fold-up one, which is over ten 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 and 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.


  • 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!!

Sleepwear: 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 two 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
  • one 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 one 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, & 2/3rds metre wide, cotton piece of fabric. It can be worn tied: around the neck; on one 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. 
1) One black (or your main neutral), in the style that flatters you best, in the best fabric that you can afford. 
2) 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. 
3) 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 first 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 this. Work out what you are going to be doing for beauty & exercise maintenance. And 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

Extra hints

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

                           Image result for vintage chic woman magazine

What is chic?

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 with 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 & chakras. It 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.

Chic and 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

Chic is a skill

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

                          Image result for vintage chic woman magazine

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, and 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

                            Image result for vintage chic woman shopping magazine

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 chic. It 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 want, shopping is way easier. Or not. It was easier in that I can get in & out of stores very quickly, by first 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 two 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

                             Related image

It is looking as though Chic differs in each country

I was in tres chic Ponsonby today to teach yoga, do a few chores then went home. I picked up a copy of Parisian Chic by Ines de la Fressange, and 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 and live well. I did a close investigation of the fashions of all three. 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, and the British had too many clothes on at the same time. New Zealand is a fairly casual country, we are two islands, and 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, and many do sports, so these do reflect in our living & dressing styles.

Let's look at how to enhance our life

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

This is my own system. Free. 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 and 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 reading the card, and 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

This method has many uses

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 five minutes each morning and evening.

But, we can always expect changes to be greater than what we imagine, because it becomes a gradual process that gains momentum. This 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 twenty-one days of doing whatever we are trying to change. sixty-six 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, and that is 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 and 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, and others have made remarks about it too. It is not too late to join in! Look at Fiona's site and have a good read about it.

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

                   Image result for einstein quote on memory

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, and therefore, irradiated, nuked. 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 and recording some yoga routines on paper, and 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, and 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, and I do it before bed. It saves time as well as 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.

How to have a better memory

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 this important bit of information on board, and aim to write most things down. In my case, in my diary, or my book of yoga routines, rather than having to remember everything. 

Paul McKenna, NLP practitioner and 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, and I learnt this tonight, there are four steps to remembering where we have put things. Unfortunately my friend could only remember two 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.

How to be more awake

Another way is to make our brain more alert, and 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 this 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

It's all about The Food Thing

                             Image result for egg on toast

Today was a good day in terms of chic food. And this was my personal focus for the day. 

I started off with two poached eggs on vogels roast. I couldn't get through more than one 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 four hundred calories less during that day. I wasn't enjoying my meal. It is not chic to eat food that makes us miserable. So I tossed it and picked up a lovely chai on my way to take a couple of classes. 

Later I had half of a banana to tide me over for a late lunch at my eldest daughters', which was provided by moi. Slivers of ham, not much, and a thin layer of chilli cream cheese on half of a whole meal roti, then the other half folded over the top. I love rotis and am very good at making these, but today I bought them. I ate three. But really, two would have been fine. At french cafes, the baguettes have a very thin layer of perhaps two fillings, so I emulated this. A percolated coffee, and for dessert, a wee demitasse cup filled with creamy mango yoghurt.

Dinner was a very small bowl of mince & vegies, plus half of a ciabatta roll, with a sliver of blue vein cheese. By eating my two 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 & vegetables
  • fruit or yoghurt for dessert, if I want a dessert
  • a pudding no more than once a week
  • hot trim milk before bed, which is 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, and more chic. Effortlessly.

Exercise: yoga and meditation before taking two classes. Yoga in the morning is excellent for:

  • keeping our body supple and graceful
  • keeping our back healthy
  • for stabilising blood sugar  
                      Image result for yoga standing sequence side bends backwards forwards          

It's not necessary to do the hard stuff, just maybe ten to fifteen minutes of warm-up type stuff is fine. Such as:

  • standing: side to side, a dynamic twist, hip circles, then bend 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
                                 Image result for cat pose

All doable. When dealing with something that is inflammatory in the body, hard yoga poses are counterproductive. Do less instead, skip the fancy stuff, and 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 two lovely compliments today about me looking really good: a boost to the eki (equilibrium!), for sure. Proof that am slowly becoming more chic, perchance?

the chic files

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