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Elegant Winter Dressing with M-J

m-j_de_mesterton_elegant_dressing_white_fox_hat2010-001

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.

painter-m-j_de_mesterton_dec_2016_elegant_winter_dressing

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_barely_clothed

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

fair_isle_austrian_skirt_m-j_de_mesterton

 

Caring for Your Clothing · Classic Clothing · Clothing Care · Clothing Guide · Clothing Protection · Elegant Clothing · Elegant English Clothing · elegant living on a shoestring · Elegant Women's Clothing · English Clothing · Men's Classic Clothing · Men's Clothing · Protecting Your Clothing Investment

Clothing Care Tips: Protect Your Investment

 
Elegant Clothing Can Last for Decades If You Care for It Properly
My silk Sulka dressing gown was purchased on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue at their shop in the 1980s. It has always been protected from moths and bright sunlight, and thus is in excellent condition. Learn to enhance the longevity of your precious clothing. Here are some tips from our friend, eminent tailor Monsieur François:

 CLOTHING CARE TIPS

Implementing some of the following procedures will go a long way in helping you protect and extend the life of your garments: 

Dry clean your garments sparingly. Frequent cleanings can actually cause your garments to prematurely wear because of the solvents and heat that are used in the dry cleaning process. Consider dry cleaning only when necessary or, at the end of the season before storing. After cleaning, garments should be removed from the plastic bags and aired. 

Limit the use of fabric softeners. They contain additives that stick to your clothing to make them feel softer. Unfortunately, frequent usage of these softeners will also compromise the fabric’s absorbency and make them less breathable. 

Use padded or shaped hangers as they are more gentle on your garments than wire ones. Uncoated wire hangers may also rust and stain your clothes.

 Avoid hanging your coats and jackets on racks or hooks, which may cause the neck areas to stretch out of shape. 

Give your wool garments a day’s rest between wearings, allowing them to shed wrinkles and return to their original shape. 

Fold knitted garments instead of hanging them, to prevent distortion or stretching. 

Brush your garments regularly and thoroughly to refresh  them, removing any soil, hair, etc. Use a slightly damp sponge or cloth on knits and finer fabrics. 

Always read the label on your garment for specific washing-instructions. 

Allow deodorants and antiperspirants to thoroughly dry before you dress. Also, consider using dress-shields to your garments to protect them against excessive perspiration, which can weaken certain fabrics. 

All garments should be either laundered or dry cleaned prior to storage. This step is not only essential, but will prevent attracting moths. 

Never store your jackets or garments in plastic bags. They create limited air flow which may trap moisture and cause mildew to form. Plastic bags may even cause leathers and suedes to dry out. Use canvas or cloth bags instead. 

Select a storage area carefully, avoiding those with high temperatures and/or high humidity. 

To revive your clothes when you have removed them from storage: first air out the garments thoroughly and then either brush them and/or lightly pass a garment steamer over them to remove any wrinkles or creases and to perk them up. Air the clothes thoroughly after these procedures, and before putting them into your closet.

~~Monsieur François (the late Frank Blaeser), Townline Tailors of Vancouver, British Columbia

 

Clothes-Line · Clothesline · Clothing Care · Clothing Guide · Clothing Protection · Dressing Elegantly · Drying Clothes Naturally · Drying Clothes on Line · Drying Clothes Outdoors · elegant survival · Elegant Survival Blog · elegant survival clothing

Drying Clothes Naturally

Clothes and Towels Sunbathing on the Clothesline

Washing and Drying Your Shirts

A well-made shirt can cost $100.00 or more. That is an investment to protect. Your shirts will last much longer if they are washed by hand and hung to dry. Don’t use so much detergent that it takes a rinsing marathon to remove it. “A little dab’ll do ya”, as the old Brylcreem jingle said. Ideally, one would hang shirts on a clothesline, upside down, with clothes-pins or pegs. This keeps pinch-marks off the important areas of your shirts. The sun will dry them in no time. Alternatively, one could hang them indoors, perhaps out-of-sight behind the the shower curtain, on hangers. A sturdy spring-rod, placed inside the shower area for the purpose of hanging clothes to dry will not interfere with your existing shower-rod. If you don’t want to get hanger-marks on the shoulders, just put wash-cloths under them, over the ends of your hanger. The worst thing to do, even if you wash your shirts in cold water in the gentle cycle, is to dry them in a machine–doing so will quickly degrade your shirt, which will die an angry death before its time. My husband and I have shirts from France and England that are more than twenty years old, and in perfect condition.

An electric, energy-consuming dryer is an enemy to high-quality clothing. In fact, dryers shrink clothes and wear them out quickly; lint is composed of fibres that a machine robs from your clothes. You’d be surprised at how swiftly shirts dry naturally, and when they are just a wee bit damp, they’re easy to iron. In cases of stubborn collar and cuff soil, when hand-scrubbing fails, you can still wash your white shirts in hot water, soap, and a little bleach, as long as they are rinsed well, and then hung to dry. (Bleach alternative may be a better choice, if you can get it to work on stubborn stains. I sometimes use hydrogen peroxide and/or vinegar.) The sun will do some natural bleaching of white cotton. Save costly energy and your shirts by hand-washing and sun-drying them.

Giving your precious shirts to a dry-cleaner or other laundry service is wasteful. They crush buttons and machine-dry the poor things. Do clothes hanging on a line outdoors conjure up bad images for you? Too bad, because it is one of life’s simple luxuries to be able to dry a beautiful, well-made shirt in the sun–some of the best people do it. Believe me, it’s not remotely infradig to care for your own shirts. After all, who cares for them more than you do?
~~Copyright M-J de Mesterton, May 2008-2012

Preserving Your Clothing

Clothes dryers are energy-wasters, and will ruin your clothes as well, through fibre-loss and shrinkage. Hand-washing and line-drying your shirts will extend their lives. I use Zote soap and a small microfibre cloth to rub dirt out of cuffs and collars. Underarms need special attention, too. The reason for using a microfibre cloth instead of a brush is that it is more gentle on the fabric, but is strong enough to grab what I like to call “café crud” from cuffs. You don’t need a fancy contraption for clothes-drying; a nylon line from a variety store, and a packet of wooden clothes-pins or pegs for three dollars or a couple of pounds will do just fine.

When travelling, pack a small piece of Octagon, Zote or similar bar of laundry soap for hand-washing dainties and shirts in your quarters. The shower is a nice place to hang them; they will likely dry overnight, and probably not need ironing.  You might pack a couple of clothes-pegs as well.

The sun acts as  a fabric brightener, and your clothes will have a clean, fresh scent if treated to a sun-bath.

~~Copyright M-J de Mesterton, 2009-2012

Clothing Guide · Elegant Dressing · Location Waist · Style Editorial · Waist Guide · Where Is the Waist

Where Is the Waist? Editorial

By M-J de Mesterton

Where is the waist? That’s what I wonder every time I look at photos of the newest “fashions.” What is new about the same old tragic clothing-concepts bobbing up again, masquerading as innovative?




For the past ten years, pants and skirts have consistently been manufactured without even coming close to the waist, yet they are touted as the “latest.” To paraphrase General Honoré of Louisiana, someone’s “stuck on stupid.” I thought last spring that the tide of bad clothes was turning, but having perused some catalogues this month, it is apparent that clothing designers  are still denying their customers ample fabric to cover their “plumber’s cracks.”

Snide cracks about “mom jeans” and thoroughly ignorant comments calling anything that indeed does come just up to the natural waist “high-waisted” are still being heard  and read by those of us who actually remember where the waist is located on the human corpus: the place for belts, sashes, snaps and buttons is an inch or two above the navel, depending upon one’s height. The designer of the human body gave us the waist as an elegant way of keeping our pants, skirts  and trousers from falling down; also to enhance our corporeal proportions. The true waist never comes below the navel, and it certainly cannot be found two inches above one’s crotch. Garments are falling down from where they rest on the hips, and the fashion world has insisted on staying down in the gutter after what seems to be a devastating, permanent fall from elegant, figure-enhancing style.

Fashion-victims are afraid now to go against the hideous dictum that you must wear your clothes no higher than the hip. This is a big mistake, because if one follows the lines of his or her body, they will see that clothes descending from the waist lengthen the legs, while clothes that only come up to the hips turn even the slimmest among us into pot-bellied, short and sloppy-looking people who would have been laughed-at throughout the previous decades and centuries.

Wearing six-inch heels to compensate for the bad deeds done to your figure by stingy clothing manufacturers and designers does nothing but make one look even sillier. Extra-high heels will damage both your feet and back, and will not give back the height robbed from you by idiotic torso-stretching trousers and skirts. For men, extra-long trousers do not visually lengthen your legs; rather, they make you look dumpy.

The fail-safe, time-tested method of developing real glamour and style is to dress in natural, luxurious cloths and fabrics from the waist-down; wear two-to-three inch heels if you are a woman, and keep your trousers from heaping into a puddle on top of your shoes if you are a man. And don’t forget the stockings and socks. No one will notice that you are not blindly and self-destructively following bad fashion. But, they will wonder why on earth you look so good, while their trousers are slipping into the mire together with all sense of style.


Now, there is the waist, our anchoring feature of elegant style. Pants, trousers and skirts constructed without it are a waste!

© Copyright M-J de Mesterton; September 14th, 2010
See also: Low-Rise Clothes: Time for an Uprising, by M-J de Mesterton, 2009

Waist-to-Height Ratio and Your Health: an easy-to-use page that tells you how to find your waist, recommends its ideal measurement for your height, gender and age, calculates your body-mass index and displays one’s optimum daily caloric-intake.

Clothing Guide · Elegant Dressing · Location Waist · Style Editorial · Waist Guide · Where Is the Waist

Where Is the Waist? Editorial

By M-J de Mesterton

Where is the waist? That’s what I wonder every time I look at photos of the newest “fashions.” What is new about the same old tragic clothing-concepts bobbing up again, masquerading as innovative?




For the past ten years, pants and skirts have consistently been manufactured without even coming close to the waist, yet they are touted as the “latest.” To paraphrase General Honoré of Louisiana, someone’s “stuck on stupid.” I thought last spring that the tide of bad clothes was turning, but having perused some catalogues this month, it is apparent that clothing designers  are still denying their customers ample fabric to cover their “plumber’s cracks.”

Snide cracks about “mom jeans” and thoroughly ignorant comments calling anything that indeed does come just up to the natural waist “high-waisted” are still being heard  and read by those of us who actually remember where the waist is located on the human corpus: the place for belts, sashes, snaps and buttons is an inch or two above the navel, depending upon one’s height. The designer of the human body gave us the waist as an elegant way of keeping our pants, skirts  and trousers from falling down; also to enhance our corporeal proportions. The true waist never comes below the navel, and it certainly cannot be found two inches above one’s crotch. Garments are falling down from where they rest on the hips, and the fashion world has insisted on staying down in the gutter after what seems to be a devastating, permanent fall from elegant, figure-enhancing style.

Fashion-victims are afraid now to go against the hideous dictum that you must wear your clothes no higher than the hip. This is a big mistake, because if one follows the lines of his or her body, they will see that clothes descending from the waist lengthen the legs, while clothes that only come up to the hips turn even the slimmest among us into pot-bellied, short and sloppy-looking people who would have been laughed-at throughout the previous decades and centuries.

Wearing six-inch heels to compensate for the bad deeds done to your figure by stingy clothing manufacturers and designers does nothing but make one look even sillier. Extra-high heels will damage both your feet and back, and will not give back the height robbed from you by idiotic torso-stretching trousers and skirts. For men, extra-long trousers do not visually lengthen your legs; rather, they make you look dumpy.

The fail-safe, time-tested method of developing real glamour and style is to dress in natural, luxurious cloths and fabrics from the waist-down; wear two-to-three inch heels if you are a woman, and keep your trousers from heaping into a puddle on top of your shoes if you are a man. And don’t forget the stockings and socks. No one will notice that you are not blindly and self-destructively following bad fashion. But, they will wonder why on earth you look so good, while their trousers are slipping into the mire together with all sense of style.


Now, there is the waist, our anchoring feature of elegant style. Pants, trousers and skirts constructed without it are a waste!

© Copyright M-J de Mesterton; September 14th, 2010
See also: Low-Rise Clothes: Time for an Uprising, by M-J de Mesterton, 2009

Waist-to-Height Ratio and Your Health: an easy-to-use page that tells you how to find your waist, recommends its ideal measurement for your height, gender and age, calculates your body-mass index and displays one’s optimum daily caloric-intake.

Clothing Guide · Elegant Dressing · Location Waist · Style Editorial · Waist Guide · Where Is the Waist

Where Is the Waist? Editorial

By M-J de Mesterton

Where is the waist? That’s what I wonder every time I look at photos of the newest “fashions.” What is new about the same old tragic clothing-concepts bobbing up again, masquerading as innovative?




For the past ten years, pants and skirts have consistently been manufactured without even coming close to the waist, yet they are touted as the “latest.” To paraphrase General Honoré of Louisiana, someone’s “stuck on stupid.” I thought last spring that the tide of bad clothes was turning, but having perused some catalogues this month, it is apparent that clothing designers  are still denying their customers ample fabric to cover their “plumber’s cracks.”

Snide cracks about “mom jeans” and thoroughly ignorant comments calling anything that indeed does come just up to the natural waist “high-waisted” are still being heard  and read by those of us who actually remember where the waist is located on the human corpus: the place for belts, sashes, snaps and buttons is an inch or two above the navel, depending upon one’s height. The designer of the human body gave us the waist as an elegant way of keeping our pants, skirts  and trousers from falling down; also to enhance our corporeal proportions. The true waist never comes below the navel, and it certainly cannot be found two inches above one’s crotch. Garments are falling down from where they rest on the hips, and the fashion world has insisted on staying down in the gutter after what seems to be a devastating, permanent fall from elegant, figure-enhancing style.

Fashion-victims are afraid now to go against the hideous dictum that you must wear your clothes no higher than the hip. This is a big mistake, because if one follows the lines of his or her body, they will see that clothes descending from the waist lengthen the legs, while clothes that only come up to the hips turn even the slimmest among us into pot-bellied, short and sloppy-looking people who would have been laughed-at throughout the previous decades and centuries.

Wearing six-inch heels to compensate for the bad deeds done to your figure by stingy clothing manufacturers and designers does nothing but make one look even sillier. Extra-high heels will damage both your feet and back, and will not give back the height robbed from you by idiotic torso-stretching trousers and skirts. For men, extra-long trousers do not visually lengthen your legs; rather, they make you look dumpy.

The fail-safe, time-tested method of developing real glamour and style is to dress in natural, luxurious cloths and fabrics from the waist-down; wear two-to-three inch heels if you are a woman, and keep your trousers from heaping into a puddle on top of your shoes if you are a man. And don’t forget the stockings and socks. No one will notice that you are not blindly and self-destructively following bad fashion. But, they will wonder why on earth you look so good, while their trousers are slipping into the mire together with all sense of style.


Now, there is the waist, our anchoring feature of elegant style. Pants, trousers and skirts constructed without it are a waste!

© Copyright M-J de Mesterton; September 14th, 2010
See also: Low-Rise Clothes: Time for an Uprising, by M-J de Mesterton, 2009

Waist-to-Height Ratio and Your Health: an easy-to-use page that tells you how to find your waist, recommends its ideal measurement for your height, gender and age, calculates your body-mass index and displays one’s optimum daily caloric-intake.

Clothing Guide · Elegant Dressing · Location Waist · Style Editorial · Waist Guide · Where Is the Waist

Where Is the Waist? Editorial by M-J

By M-J de Mesterton, Copyright ©2010

Where is the waist? That’s what I wonder every time I look at photos of the newest “fashions.” What is new about the same old tragic clothing-concepts bobbing up again, masquerading as innovative?

For the past ten years, trousers, pants and skirts have consistently been manufactured without even coming close to the waist, yet they are touted as the “latest.” To paraphrase General Honoré of Louisiana, someone’s “stuck on stupid.” I thought last spring that the tide of bad clothes was turning, but having perused some catalogues this month, it is apparent that clothing designers  are still denying their customers ample fabric to cover their “plumber’s cracks.”
 
Snide cracks about “mom jeans” and thoroughly ignorant comments calling anything that indeed does come just up to the natural waist “high-waisted” are still being heard  and read by those of us who actually remember where the waist is located on the human corpus: the place for belts, sashes, snaps and buttons is an inch or two above the navel, depending upon one’s height. The designer of the human body gave us the waist as an elegant way of keeping our pants, skirts  and trousers from falling down; also to enhance our corporeal proportions. The true waist never comes below the navel, and it certainly cannot be found two inches above one’s crotch. Garments are falling down from where they rest on the hips, and the fashion world has insisted on staying down in the gutter after what seems to be a devastating, permanent fall from elegant, figure-enhancing style.
 
Fashion-victims are afraid now to go against the hideous dictum that you must wear your clothes no higher than the hip. This is a big mistake, because if one follows the lines of his or her body, they will see that clothes descending from the waist lengthen the legs, while clothes that only come up to the hips turn even the slimmest among us into pot-bellied, short and sloppy-looking people who would have been laughed-at throughout the previous decades and centuries.
 
Wearing six-inch heels to compensate for the bad deeds done to your figure by stingy clothing manufacturers and designers does nothing but make one look even sillier. Extra-high heels will damage both your feet and back, and will not give back the height robbed from you by idiotic torso-stretching trousers and skirts. For men, extra-long trousers do not visually lengthen your legs; rather, they make you look dumpy.
 
The fail-safe, time-tested method of developing real glamour and style is to dress in natural, luxurious cloths and fabrics from the waist-down; wear two-to-three inch heels if you are a woman, and keep your trousers from heaping into a puddle on top of your shoes if you are a man. And don’t forget the stockings and socks. No one will notice that you are not blindly and self-destructively following bad fashion. But, they will wonder why on earth you look so good, while their trousers are slipping into the mire together with all sense of style.
 Courtesy of M-J de Mesterton
Now, there is the waist, our anchoring feature of elegant style. Jeans, trousers and skirts constructed without it are a waste! See below for disfiguring clothes.
Idiotic Fashion
Muffin-Toppped Menaces

Montage of Misshapen Muffin-Topped Maidens Montage of Misshapen Muffin-Topped Maidens

 
© Copyright M-J de Mesterton; September 14th, 2010
See also: Low-Rise Clothes: Time for an Uprising, by M-J de Mesterton, 2009
 
Clothing Guide · Elegant Dressing · Location Waist · Style Editorial · Waist Guide · Where Is the Waist

Where Is the Waist? Editorial

By M-J de Mesterton

Where is the waist? That’s what I wonder every time I look at photos of the newest “fashions.” What is new about the same old tragic clothing-concepts bobbing up again, masquerading as innovative?




For the past ten years, pants and skirts have consistently been manufactured without even coming close to the waist, yet they are touted as the “latest.” To paraphrase General Honoré of Louisiana, someone’s “stuck on stupid.” I thought last spring that the tide of bad clothes was turning, but having perused some catalogues this month, it is apparent that clothing designers  are still denying their customers ample fabric to cover their “plumber’s cracks.”

Snide cracks about “mom jeans” and thoroughly ignorant comments calling anything that indeed does come just up to the natural waist “high-waisted” are still being heard  and read by those of us who actually remember where the waist is located on the human corpus: the place for belts, sashes, snaps and buttons is an inch or two above the navel, depending upon one’s height. The designer of the human body gave us the waist as an elegant way of keeping our pants, skirts  and trousers from falling down; also to enhance our corporeal proportions. The true waist never comes below the navel, and it certainly cannot be found two inches above one’s crotch. Garments are falling down from where they rest on the hips, and the fashion world has insisted on staying down in the gutter after what seems to be a devastating, permanent fall from elegant, figure-enhancing style.

Fashion-victims are afraid now to go against the hideous dictum that you must wear your clothes no higher than the hip. This is a big mistake, because if one follows the lines of his or her body, they will see that clothes descending from the waist lengthen the legs, while clothes that only come up to the hips turn even the slimmest among us into pot-bellied, short and sloppy-looking people who would have been laughed-at throughout the previous decades and centuries.

Wearing six-inch heels to compensate for the bad deeds done to your figure by stingy clothing manufacturers and designers does nothing but make one look even sillier. Extra-high heels will damage both your feet and back, and will not give back the height robbed from you by idiotic torso-stretching trousers and skirts. For men, extra-long trousers do not visually lengthen your legs; rather, they make you look dumpy.

The fail-safe, time-tested method of developing real glamour and style is to dress in natural, luxurious cloths and fabrics from the waist-down; wear two-to-three inch heels if you are a woman, and keep your trousers from heaping into a puddle on top of your shoes if you are a man. And don’t forget the stockings and socks. No one will notice that you are not blindly and self-destructively following bad fashion. But, they will wonder why on earth you look so good, while their trousers are slipping into the mire together with all sense of style.


Now, there is the waist, our anchoring feature of elegant style. Pants, trousers and skirts constructed without it are a waste!

© Copyright M-J de Mesterton; September 14th, 2010
See also: Low-Rise Clothes: Time for an Uprising, by M-J de Mesterton, 2009

Waist-to-Height Ratio and Your Health: an easy-to-use page that tells you how to find your waist, recommends its ideal measurement for your height, gender and age, calculates your body-mass index and displays one’s optimum daily caloric-intake.