Tuesday, June 21, 2016

{Chic habits} 30 Chic Days – The Fourth Series: Day 14

I had a thought, that ‘what if I was elegant in everything I did?’  If I chose to be elegant no matter what?  Over time it would come to feel completely natural, and I would become an elegant woman just like other elegant women I admire.

Anticipating the feeling of embodying elegance at all times immediately gave me a sense of fun, excitement and happiness.  I will be elegant in:

What I wear
What I eat
What I read
How I behave
How I speak
How I move
The words I use
How I dress
What movies or tv programmes I watch
How I keep my house
How I conduct myself at work, with customers, suppliers and how I do my admin tasks
How I am groomed
The boundaries I put up
The people I let into my life and how I let them behave (boundaries as above)
How I uphold boundaries around my own behaviour
The kind of people I look to for guidance (both in my real life and ones I don’t know such as celebrities and personalities)

Embodying elegance at all times will benefit me in so many ways and I don’t have to be stuffy about it either.  I used to equate being an elegant person with staid out-of-touchness and having no fun, but I don’t now.  I don’t know what has changed, but I know now that choosing elegance will elevate everything about my experience at the same time as me still being who I am, enjoying myself, and being relatable.

Ways in which embodying elegance at all times will benefit me and those around me:

I will be the same whether I am at home by myself or spending time with others
I will feel at home wherever I am
I will feel better about myself – no remorse or harsh words to myself
It feels lovely – even just thinking about living an elegant life fills me with such joy and pleasure
The more I embody it on the inside, the more it shows up on the outside and vice versa
It is a very feminine way to be
Being this way makes me feel happy, light and carefree

I know my husband will enjoy this too.  Every so often he’ll say things out of the blue like ‘I love that you are so feminine’ or ‘I’m so lucky'.  It’s nice to hear, and I love that he appreciates the things I do – but I equally love that I do them because I enjoy them and do them for my own pleasure, not just for him.

Do you find elegance easy to embody?  Do you have any tips to share on how you maintain elegance – either of the mind or physically?  When you think of the word elegant, who is the first celebrity that comes to mind for you – female or male?  I'm going to choose Andie MacDowell; I love the way she talks, moves, dresses, talks and looks in movies and on tv.  I'm watching season 2 of Cedar Cove currently - it has such a lovely, gentle, small-town perfectness about it.  I also loved Andie in Green Card, and Four Weddings and a Funeral.  Aah, yes, I am a fan!


  1. The more we strive for elegance/chic-ness, the more easy it will become, I'm sure. I'm in my 8th decade now but still I try and be as elegant as I can be, even when wearing jeans and in the garden or doing the housework. There is absolutely no need these days, whatever the work in hand, to be scruffy. We are now going out to lunch with friends, and I'm wearing a navy jersey Per Una striped dress in mainly nave with some white and some red stripes, sheer tights, red patent flats, a red bag, red bangle and red nail polish. My perfume: O de Lancome. We are going to a French-style restaurant and I like to feel appropriately dressed - not over dressed, but not any-old-how, either. I once met a friend for coffee and she turned up looking something like a bag lady while I'd made an effort to look nice - not over-dressed, that's not my style - but as my mother would've said "nicely turned out."

    I have bitten the bullet and ordered your book, Fiona. I tried to leave a comment yesterday, but it wouldn't 'stick' and I used some very un-chic language! I think with such language you save it for such occasions, you don't use it all the time and when you do use it, you do it with flourish (the upper classes don't mind a bit of 'language', it's only the lower classes that are upset by it. Well, here in the UK - but of course so many people use bad language now, and that really isn't my style at all!)
    Margaret P

    1. Margaret thank you for your encouraging post! At 58 I've sometimes wondered if I'm past my prime. You reaffirm that a woman us NEVER past her prime!

  2. elegance sounds lovely, Fiona. I was brought up in my teen years by a truly elegant woman, my grandmother, & she is the reason that I so love french chic, because it seems to include elegance. Plus, a big thank-you for the gracious comments that you made on my you-are unique blog.

  3. I think Margaret P is my new role model :)

    Someone once said (I don't remember who) that it takes as much effort to put on a nice pair of pants as it does to put on a pair of stretched out sweatpants. I always try to remember that.

    Thanks, Fiona, for today's inspirational post. I'll be heading out today more aware of my behavior and how I present myself to those I come in contact today.


  4. Michele Denise RothrockJune 22, 2016 at 12:53 AM

    Oh Fiona! You continually raise the bar for me. I haven't thought about a role model in real life or fiction that could embody what I'm striving for- a feminine, elegant way of life. That's a great goal though and I'll get back to you if I may. I LOVE that your husband appreciates you and expresses it verbally. After 36 yrs of marriage I've lost sight of my femininity and mystery. That's one of the reasons I signed up for Tonya's SCS class, I need to rediscover that woman.

  5. Fiona, YOU are one of the most elegant bloggers out there! My favorite too. I'm appreciating your daily posting so much; it's great fun to sit down to my computer in the morning and open your blog first thing. However, I also like your normal once weekly post; it's very disciplined.

    I'm so interested in the new direction you've taken with your blog in the last year; it's different. Much more bold, and full of sharing. Photos, videos, links. Courageous. Of course you are an author proper now! Warm congrats on your new book. I ordered the sample to my Kindle right away, and loved it. Four chapters! Lush. Do authors decide how long samples will be? One more "technical" question: I don't mind the links and ads at all on your site, but do you have a say about what shows up? I always click through to Amazon; hopefully that benefits you. But at Dairy Queen Funnel Cake I must draw the line! Pas chic du tout. ;-)

    I will purchase your book when I'm done with my current budget diet. Thank you so much for all the effort you put into this friendly, inspirational, and just fun place on the web.

    Warmest regards,

  6. Hi Fiona, My mother immediately comes to mind when I think of an elegant role model. She has never had a lot of money, but she is always appropriately dressed, well groomed, respectful of herself and others. Her wardrobe is basically all from thrift stores. Sometimes she takes it too far though with not wanting to leave the house unless she is dressed well, and her hair and makeup is done (by the way she is 90) but overall her example and the way she behaves is inspirational.

    My husband has also commented to me about how I never cuss, but instead will use funny replacement words when I get upset. He appreciates it, even though he will let out an expletive every now and then, for instance after stubbing a toe :)

    One celebrity I've heard of that has been called a "man's man" is George Hamilton. He is supposedly very gracious and is at home around all types of people. I find this very elegant, to be able to be accepting of the diverse personalities of people around us. I, myself, get impatient with people that are a bit rough around the edges. I'm working on this one!


  7. I have to agree, Margaret P is hilarious! I'm going to join in on becoming my most elegant self! I will report on all of my elegant doings lol! I don't have a blog so I will do it here. Thank you for the motivation!

  8. First, to Anonymous, I've never thought of myself as a role model, but hey, why not at 71!!! I have blossomed late, har, har! And Carla, I've never been described as hilarious, but that's fun, too! Once, a colleague of my husband's (when he was working) referred to me as "formidable" but I think he was muddling me with another Margaret, the late Lady Thatcher, UK's first (and as yet only prime minister.)

    On an elegance level, I've really been 'caught napping' (literally as it happens) this afternoon. Husband and I went out to lunch with friends, me in my glad rags, make-up, O de Lancombe perfume, and snappy red shoes. I felt chic. When we arrived home - after a super lunch and then a cup of tea at our friend's home - I decided to remove the glad rags and chill out (awful phrase, but it will have to suffice) on the sofa with my book. And then the door bell rang ... the painter had arrived to give the end wall of our house a 2nd coat of paint! And there was me, in the middle of the afternoon in my dressing gown. Yes, it's smart, but not quite what a lady should be wearing on an afternoon to greet someone at the door! Egg-on-face time!

    But I've not changed. It's my decision to have a nap (and be caught napping!), which I think is chic!

    Margaret P

  9. Hi Fiona: I have been reading your blog for a couple of years. There are so many wonderful ideas on your blog. Today's entry is just what I needed to read. What a great idea it is to strive for elegance at all times. I am going to have this as my daily goal. So grateful for you blog. Thank you. Wendy

  10. Margaret, I love the sound of your outfit; red shoes definitely compliment navy. Red accessories are as easy to wear as more neutral colours to me, and add a good zing too. Thanks so much for ordering my book, I really hope you enjoy it!

    Ratnamurti, I love this background story to your love of French Chic.

    Deborah, it's a wise statement, for sure! That's why I try to weed out clothing that is past its best (as hard as it can be sometimes when an item is really comfortable) because then I won't be tempted to wear it.

    Michele, I'm sure you haven't lost your femininity and mystery, it's still there, you just have to coax it a little bit, or maybe relax into it. Channel someone until it starts to feel natural for you!

    Erina, thanks so much for your lovely words :) With the Kindle sample, no, authors don't decide how long samples are. I think I read somewhere that a sample is 10% of the length of the book. My book is 308 pages long, so the sample would be 30 or 31 pages if that was tru, I haven't looked to see if it is.

    And no, I don't have a say in what ads show up either. Haha, the Dairy Queen Funnel Cake, that is funny. When I'm on my blog, I get New Zealand ads, so the ads are different for every person and they are based on other places you've been to, it's the same for ads on other websites too I've noticed. Say if I've looked at Birkenstock sandals on a website, the next four blogs I go to will all have Birkenstock ads. Spooky! And some ads are random too, because it doesn't sound like you are a funnel cake customer :)

    Anonymous, your mother sounds fabulous! From what I know and have seen of George Hamilton, he is definitely a good male example of elegance. He holds himself tall, dresses well and has cultivated his own style (he owns that perma-tan!) I love hearing that he is a kind person as well.

    Carla, yay for elegance :)

    Margaret, that is a hilarious story, and I'm glad you're owning your decision :) I truly think you need to start a blog, it would be beyond good. If you can write an email and post a comment, you can blog, it's that easy. You'd be world famous in a short amount of time I'm sure :) And I'm not kidding about the blog either, the world needs more of the wisdom of Margaret P!

    Michele, totally true that a woman is never past her prime. In France, older women are revered and still considered sexy and attractive, both in themselves and by others. Now that's something I can believe in :) It's also why I love watching French movies, the lead actress can be older yet still play a very 'daring' role. I watched Swimming Pool with Charlotte Rampling recently, cor!

    Wendy, thank you! And you're welcome :)

  11. Oooh may I please join the Margaret P fan club, too ?????

    My late grandmother was the epitome of chic. Despite never having much money and raising a horde of children -and grandchildren - she always had a tablecloth on the kitchen table, always wore stockings and her necklace always matched her (non pierced) earrings. She died aged 90 and I never heard her yell at any of us (and I'm sure she wanted to on many occasions) or swear. One of my heroes.

  12. I'm saving this post! I adore what you have written and am so inspired by you Fiona. You never cease bringing us thought provoking and exciting posts and I want to thank you for that. I'm going to have fun with this today.

    Andy McDowell is a great example. Whenever I watch Cedar Cove, I think of when you mention Hawks Bay and how you describe it. In my minds eye, they are both charming peaceful places.

  13. I am overwhelmed by such confidence in me, that I'd have a fan base (all of two or three, har, har!) willing to read "the wisdom of Margaret P"! I shall give this some serious thought.
    Fiona, I'm glad you liked my little (true) story of being 'caught' in my dressing gown (pale blue and white narrow stripes, a cotton wrap style, one that matches a nightdress) in the middle of the afternoon. But perhaps the necklace which I'd left on and my scarlet nails smacked of chic ...that, or a 'madam' in a house of ill repute!
    And I must echo Stephanie's comment when she said that you never cease bringing your readers some thought provoking and exciting posts.
    Margaret P (Devon, England, UK)

  14. I'm watching Cedar Cove Season 3 and I love how they dress. It isn't french chic, but I can't help but love how well put together the women look. Their outfits are full of color and are fully accessorized. It kind of makes me want to add more color to my wardrobe too. It's cheerful and they look health and alive. I just wondered if you noticed it on the show too and how you feel about all the color they wear.

  15. Lara, thanks for sharing memories of your grandmother, she sounds lovely and a great role model :)

    Stephanie, my pleasure and thanks for your nice words. I think of my hometown too when I watch Cedar Cove, although it's not quite as small as that. A recent character in season 2 - an assistant district attorney who was in 1 or 2 episodes - said she couldn't believe that anyone would want to live in such a small place that had only one traffic light. It made me think of Havelock North and I don't even think there is one traffic light there, just a million roundabouts, hehe. Who WOULDN'T want to live someone easy, peaceful and soothing I ask?

    Margaret, your fan club is growing in leaps and bounds by the day :)

    Anonymous, I've got season 3 in my Amazon cart ready to order soon. I too love to see how the ladies dress on Cedar Cove and like you, I enjoy seeing the colours they wear which makes me want to embrace colour more because they look so good. The only character's wardrobe I don't understand is Andie MacDowell's daughter on the show - they dress her so dowdy and it ages her.

  16. I love all of your books. You inspire me to live more elegant and focus on what is beautiful. Fresh cut flowers make me feel elegant. I love beautiful linens and simple details such as beautiful China. Maintaining elegance can be done with simplicity.

  17. Thank you Susan, for your lovely comment. I love this: 'Maintaining elegance can be done with simplicity' - beautiful!


Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

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