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M-J’s Old Classic Sweater by Red and Blue of Milan

M-J’s 15-year-Old Classic Sweater by Red and Blue of Milan, Bought at an Italian Tailor Shop: Sir Roger Moore Wore the “Same” Sweater Several Times in His 1970s Series, “The Persuaders”, with Tony Curtis

This elegant, double-breasted classic sweater by Red and Blue of Milan looks superb on all sides! It has brass buttons on its cuffs and front. The sweater is versatile charcoal grey and rib-knitted, just like Sir Roger’s. It even has double vents in the back.


Take good care of your clothes,

and they will serve you well for decades!

©M-J de Mesterton

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M-J in Fair Isle Waistcoat by Wendy Keith

painter_m-j_de_mesterton_2017_fair_isle_vest_loden_skirt-2M-J’s elegant winter ensemble for daytime includes a hand-knitted waistcoat by Wendy Keith and a classic Austrian Loden skirt. Sensible, versatile shoes are by Clarks, collection 2013. Stockings by National. Oil paintings are by M-J de Mesterton, 1974-2014.


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Elegant Dressing for Evening


Above: a proper evening gown, full-length and low-cut at the bodice; this dress is more appropriate for an evening with dinner and dancing than for cocktail parties. (See below.)

Below: “Your Editor”, Painter M-J de Mesterton wears a lacy, cotton-lined dress that can be worn at afternoon tea, or at cocktails/drinks parties year-round. Also, it is suitable for less formal dinners and nightclubs. Long sleeves that leave space for bracelets make this knee-length gown very elegant, and the round neckline accommodates big pearls. Amazon.com has similar dresses for as little as 39.00. Blue suede shoes with comfortable three-inch wedge-heels are by Clarks.


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Elegant Winter Dressing with M-J


Above: M-J de Mesterton in a Tibbett Duffel Coat of Elysian Wool, Insulated Aigle Boots from France; a Mongolian Cashmere Scarf by Johnstons of Elgin, Scotland; a White Fox Hat Made in Helsinki; a Plaid Tweed Skirt, Black Leather Cashmere-Lined Gloves from Italy, and a Walking Stick Made of Scotch Broom

Wear warm clothes when it’s cold outside and inside. The days of women showing their bare arms year-round just because an occupant of the White House does it to show off her biceps are coming to a close in about three weeks.  The current president has, since 2009, kept the oval office at a balmy 85° year-round, as though he were in Hawai’i, while instructing the citizenry to “tighten your belts”. The rest of us, if we have heat at all, keep our places at 68° or even cooler, thanks to the punitive cost of fuel.


Above: on Christmas Day, I’m wearing a turtleneck under a round-necked dress, nylon stockings, a silk & cashmere pashmina, and faux-fur-lined tall leather boots. Most winter days, I’d be wearing tweed and sweaters.

Elegant Dressing for Autumn: Classic Tweed Travelling Suit
M-J de Mesterton in Aquascutum Tweed Suit, Her Perennial Favourite

Rugged, traditional, and elegant tweed made from Scottish wool is the best material for fall and winter dressing. Easily covered with a trench-coat or embellished with a pashmina or long wool scarves, tweed will keep you warm and dry. Tweed suits, skirts, trousers and jackets are always fashionable.

My husband and I found it odd, if not historically-incorrect, to see the inhabitants of Downton Abbey wearing sleeveless flapper dresses all over the huge, inevitably cold and difficult-to-heat house, at all hours, without wraps or sweaters. Those dresses were made to be worn at nightclubs while dancing the Charleston, where  hyper-activity and body-heat of the crowd made it possible to stay warm while baring arms.


Dining at Downton: thanks to cocktails, aperitifs and wines, scantily-clad ladies there could abide the evening without shivering. Or maybe not; Ralph Lauren designed wardrobes for the series, and may have just assumed that women dressed like flappers in most situations because it was the Roaring Twenties. I doubt that 1920s women were so silly, but there have always been nonsensical followers of fashion, like the ones who are now wearing peep-toed shoes without stockings all winter long in cold climates. My grandmother, who was born in the Victorian Age, told me that to be beautiful, one must suffer–I know that freezing’s not what she meant. Even body-heat from large groups at table does not take the chill off England’s grand country houses for most months of the year; shoulders are usually covered with something at dinner, such as a little fur garment or shawl that could be removed later in the evening for dancing. And no self-respecting woman would be standing about the house during winter in just a sleeveless gown.

Speaking of winter dressing and silly followers of fashion, here is a post that I made here at Elegant Survival News in December, 2011:

Talking Heads Clad Badly and Barely-Shod

Summer Dress and Peep-Toe Shoes in December?!

Why is the anchorwoman wearing a sleeveless summer dress in cold NYC on December 6th? Are biceps something that female talking heads suddenly find a crying need to bare, even in freezing temperatures? Are they using too much energy, in an effort to keep tropically warm indoors? Is it seasonally appropriate to wear bare-toed shoes on wintry days, as the woman in red is doing, or sandals (the first lady wore sandals at a Kennedy Center gala last weekend) in December? I don’t think so. These women are on a national television show, displaying their irresponsible, energy-inefficient lifestyles before the public, as if to say that a size XXX carbon-footprint is desirable. The rest of us are wearing wool and tweed, living in homes with little-or-no  heat most of the time.

In an Alpine Climate, January: Dressing in Furry Boots, a Scottish Hand-Made Fair Isle Sweater, and an Austrian Wool Skirt



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Herringbone Tweed Skirt Suit for the Elegant Woman


A Classic, Elegant Tweed Skirt Suit

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Shapely Wool Suit for an Elegant Woman

An exquisite, face-and-figure-flattering classic woman’s suit in Islay tweed wool, offered by our sterling friend Peter in Herefordshire. 
This is a three-season, light wool ladies’ suit that has an elegantly-tapered, back-slit, knee-length skirt and a jacket which will lend an hour-glass shape to its wearer. This is the height of daytime elegance for a woman who attends luncheons and/or business meetings. I would wear a white, ruffled blouse underneath the suit-jacket or a turtleneck, depending upon the season.
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Elegant Ranch-Style Salad

For an elegant salad design, dress the lettuce first and then decorate with tomatoes and peppers (capsicums).
I make a tradional western ranch-style dressing with the following ingredients, and never from an over-priced packaged mix:
Sour Cream
Onion Powder
a dash or two of D.L. Jardine’s Texas Five-Star Ranch Rub (or Lawry’s Seasoning Salt)
A squeeze of lemon and a bit of freshly-ground green or white peppercorn
©M-J de Mesterton

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Classic, Elegant Dressing

Remember normal-sized clothing for women, before the fashion industry started distorting sizing in order to flatter the anorexia cult? Standard sizing no longer exists, as a dress with a 36-inch bust is now labelled as anything between size 4 and size 14, depending upon whom the maker is targeting. And yesterday’s size 12 is now disrespected by some by being labelled “plus” for the purpose of  charging more for it.  Some of the styles offered by Bergdorf Goodman in 1948 started at size 12, and went up to size 20. Originally, “plus sizes” were anything above size twenty. In 1948, this black silk dress was offered at Bergdorf Goodman in sizes 10–20. If a woman wanted something smaller, she had to shop in the children’s section.
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Classic Pumps: Elegant Ladies’ Shoes

Clarks offers elegant shoes for ladies with good taste, in comfortable, classic styles. After years of women’s shoes with closed toes being all but extinct elsewhere on the shoe-shopping landscape, Clarks Indigo and Diamond lines persist in showing more style than skin.

Classic Pumps by Clarks, for the Elegant Woman
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Elegant Evening Dress

I’m wearing a diaphanous black silk blouse with abalone buttons, a Burgundy and black changeant taffeta skirt, and elegant, sensible shoes by Clarks–a perfectly respectable ensemble for a July evening. My husband once sat next to Princess Grace of Monaco at dinner, who was wearing this sort of blouse. It is strictly for evening-wear.

©M-J de Mesterton July 2011

To the Pinterest Poster, Mr Courts: Please Remove My Picture from Your Raunchy Board, or I SHALL Launch a COPYRIGHT LAWSUIT!

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Elegant Summer Evening Dress

M-J de Mesterton wears a knee-length full skirt by George Davies, a T.M. Lewin blouse, a patent leather belt at the waist, shoes by Clarks, and a plaid made from her family tartan. Nude-coloured stockings are by National. The skirt is given body with an old-fashioned petticoat.
©M-J de Mesterton, Photo Copyright Jacques de Mesterton June 2011

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Fresh Plaid Linen Blazer for the Elegant Woman