Style and Grooming Lessons from My Godmother

Once in a while, I wake up and feel like putting on my “fat pants” and sweatshirt and call it a day. I imagine we all have these days… When I have those days, I end up dressing extra well and looking extra good, because I imagine running into my godmother Dominique in that “fat pants” outfit. And I imagine her disapproving look. After all, she is the one who taught me so much about style… Here are my favorite style and grooming lessons from her, the ones I cherish and refer to on a daily basis.

Once in a while, I wake up and feel like putting on my “fat pants” and sweatshirt and call it a day. I imagine we all have these days… When I have those days, I end up dressing extra well and looking extra good, because I imagine running into my godmother Dominique in that “fat pants” outfit. And I imagine her disapproving look. After all, she is the one who taught me so much about style… Here are my favorite style and grooming lessons from her, the ones I cherish and refer to on a daily basis.

  1. Perfect manners are the most elegant accessory any woman can have.
  2. Great posture gives any woman class, elegance and a slimmer look.
  3. Leaving things to the imagination is more elegant than putting it all out there. Think backless dresses rather than low-cut dresses.
  4. There is no excuse for imperfect grooming.
  5. Nails (hands): The most elegant nail length is short; the most elegant shape is a slightly square oval; the most elegant polish color is clear; and there is nothing French about a “French manicure.”
  6. Feet: take care of them daily with a good moisturizer in the evening; but no socks in bed, please.
  7. Groomed eyebrows make any face look more elegant; overly-groomed eyebrows will age you.
  8. Don’t save your jewelry for special occasions. Wear your diamonds, pearls, chunky necklaces to celebrate the fact that it is Tuesday.
  9. You always look more elegant holding a champagne glass than a beer mug or a shot glass.
  10. You never look elegant smoking (no matter that Audrey Hepburn might disagree).
  11. You never sound elegant swearing.
  12. Drink water. Lots of it. Ideally, Contrex.
  13. It’s hard to look elegant in cheap fabrics. It is much easier to look (and feel) elegant in fabrics such as linen or cashmere. Buy less, but better quality.
  14. It’s hard to look elegant in an outfit that doesn’t fit; fit is everything; find (and be kind to) a seamstress you love.
  15. Elegance is not about trendy outfits; it’s about finding styles, shapes, fabrics and colors that work for you and sticking to those.
  16. If you find the perfect pair of pants, buy three.
  17. If you find the perfect pair of heels, buy two.
  18. On the shoe note, don’t walk around in heels that need TLC or shoes that need polishing.
  19. Pay attention to your weight and don’t let pounds creep up on you.
  20. It is always elegant to smile and be kind.

Closet Resolutions

Last week, Roxane wrote about the liberating effect of cleaning out her closet. 

I am proud to say that my closet is quite edited, and quite minimalist. However, her blog post, and my friend Erin’s commitment to look as fabulous as ever during her radiation treatments, made me think. I do have some work do to in terms of my clothes and accessories. I have a few things to purchase, and I own a few things I never wear that I should wear.

Last week, Roxane wrote about the liberating effect of cleaning out her closet.

I am proud to say that my closet is quite edited, and quite minimalist. However, her blog post, and my friend Erin’s commitment to look as fabulous as ever during her radiation treatments, made me think. I do have some work do to in terms of my clothes and accessories. I have a few things to purchase, and I own a few things I never wear that I should wear.

So that you can hold me accountable, here are my closet resolutions for the rest of the year.

Items to purchase:

  • Two pairs of skinny black pants. I own two, but they are 5+ years old and now more grey than black.
  • A full (tulle-ish) skirt. I am not sure I will dare to wear it, but I really want it!
  • Two three-quarter sleeve tops, in black. Nothing is more elegant than three-quarter sleeves.
  • A beautiful belt with a chunky buckle. Believe it or not, I don’t own one.

Items I own I need to wear:

  • My black Hermes cuff. It feels so showy… but it’s too gorgeous not to wear.
  • My long pearl necklace, one of my favorite gifts from Mom.
  • My white button downs. I own two (from Suistudio), and somehow I never quite know what to pair them with. But apparently, these go with anything.
  • My black jeans with holes. Holes…
  • My Chloe boots. They are greenish-gray… not my color. I will have them colored black and will wear them all fall long.

What are your closet resolutions?