28 June 2011

Cheerleader Heaven

I first became obsessed with bows as a cheerleader in university.  That was also when I began to affix them to my luggage, backpacks and handbags.


Mind Your Manners

My mother and I have been flipping through John Morgan’s Debrett’s New Guide to Etiquette & Modern Manners.  

Here are some of our favorite excerpts:

“A bride’s going-away outfit, like her wedding dress, must not disappoint,” (Morgan 68).

“The wedding ring is the most important wedding present,” (68).

“Dress for a wedding is never stipulated on the invitation, but is passed by word of mouth and follows the lead of the bride’s parents.  At traditional church weddings in Britain, it is still expected that men wear a black morning coat (grey is somewhat less acceptable than previously), with striped or checkered grey wool trousers and waistcoat which can be either double- or single-breasted and in plain or patterned cloth,” (67).

“Wing collars have no place at a wedding, and are quite inappropriate,” (67).

“Rules about departure before The Queen are less stringent than at one time, when to stir before the Sovereign left was positively unforgivable.  Nowadays, should there be good and sensible reason for going early, it is acceptable, if not in good manners, to ask the household politely in advance,” (136).

No formal dinner is complete without the passing of the port…it is always passed to the left.  Should you miss the port on its relentless clockwise progression…then it is bad form to ask for the decanter to be returned to you, as is would mean – horror of horrors – that it would need to travel the wrong way.  Instead, pass your empty glass to the left until it catches up with the decanter, where it is filled by the diner currently in possession of it,” (144).

“Written invitation (never refer to them as ‘invites’) remain the form for many social occasions,” (148).

“Of all spoken solecisms, toilet remains the worst crime. Lavatory and loo are the acceptable alternatives.  Second prize goes to lounge, which is always inappropriate. Drawing room or sitting room are preferred. In these rooms you might find comfortable sofas but not comfy couches or settees,” (185).

“Whereas personal cards are an increasing rarity, business cards proliferate like wire hangers in a wardrobe,” (311).

“Some individuals, particularly workaholics, appear to make little distinction between the business lunch and dinner,” (315).


Donna Ball’s Keys to the Castle has become one of my favorite reads.  The author sweeps readers away to the French Loire Valley and lodges him/her in a castle in desperate need of restoration.  Ball’s opulent details keep me coming back.  “Far beyond the crystal chandelier, the domed ceiling was painted a Renaissance blue, its panels edged in gold.  The white marble floor beneath her feet shone like glass,” (Ball 54).

How to be a Hepburn in a Hilton World will resound with classy 21st century women everywhere.  With chapter titles like Keep  Your Chin Up and Your Skirt Down, Dress to Impress and Let Him Come Calling, Jordan Christy addresses why no respectable man would bring a desperate, sloppy, stupid girl home to mama. “Through hard work and high standards, we can become class acts that outshine the cheap stars,” (Christy 14).

“One of the fastest ways to gain (or loose) respect is with your image.  Think about it: when Mariah Carey tries to squeeze everything into that double-zero miniskirt from seventh grade, words like classy and admirable don’t usually spring to mind.  But when Jessica Alba dons an elegant, floor-length golden number that successfully covers all controversial body parts at the Academy Awards, she positively commands attention,” (18).

“I love what Eleanor Roosevelt said about lighting one small candle rather than cursing the darkness.  The truth is, it’s easy to sit around and criticize Paris, Britney, and Lindsay all day, but until we get out and make a change ourselves, complaining won’t do us, or anyone else, a bit of good,” (195).


22 June 2011

Disney Blues

As a child, I loved exploring home improvement stores.  I still do.  There are so many colors. I came across these paint sample cards by Disney.  With paint names like Bother Free Blue, Star Command Blue and Blue Adventure, I couldn't resist. 


16 June 2011

Style My Shirtdress

I have never worn a shirtdress without any accessories.  This style of dress may be stunning when worn sans accessories, by a leggy supermodel, especially when extended to ankle length.  However I prefer to add a few extra elements to this easily adaptable classic piece.

I cinch nearly all of my dresses at the waist with a belt, sometime to prevent the illusion of a circus tent that can be caused by a voluminous skirt.  I find that pairing a shirtdress with a classic leather belt (preferably a shade on the brown spectrum) prompts me to envision past POLO Ralph Lauren collections.  Wearing a polo shirt under the dress to obtain a double collar is also very POLO appropriate.

For a more contemporary juxtaposition, a skirt may be worn over the shirtdress and may be adjusted to either hide or conceal the bottom hem of the dress, according to the wearer's preference. I do recommend that when layering a skirt upon the bottom half of a shirtdress that the wearer opt for a dress of shorter length so as not to be weighed down by yards of skirt.

Revert the shirtdress back to its original stomping grounds by wearing it as a long shirt or tunic.  It may be hiked up and tucked into shorts or even a pair of jeans in a variety of ways. I prefer to gather the dress at the bottom and tuck one side into a frayed pair of jean shorts.


15 June 2011

Grand Salon of the Château de Draveil


10 June 2011

Please Don't Steal: A Follow Up

On May 23, 2011 I published a post entitled Please Don’t Steal, addressing the fact that some of my photos were circulated around the internet without being linked back to my website.  I am pleased to announce that since then, the content has been linked back to this blog. Thank you gypsysoul.  Here is one more Love Letter especially for you. 


06 June 2011

Bows at the Baggage Claim

Bows are one of my favorite decorating details.  Any excuse to don one on my person is an acceptable one.  Lately I’ve been incorporating them into my wardrobe by affixing pink ribbon to my handbags to give them an updated look.   Of course my DVF luggage was not left out of the equation.  Travel safely this summer (or winter if you are in Australia).


01 June 2011

Welcome June



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