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

 

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

 

Today is TWEED DAY

Yes, put away your gold lamé–because today is TWEED DAY!

TWEED DAY TALE

Posted on April 2, 2013 at 10:25 AM

APRIL 3rd IS TWEED DAY

By M-J de Mesterton

Our friend Steve Worthington, eminent storyboard artist and sculptor, has written and illustrated a tale for Tweed Day, which is today, the Third of April, 2013.

Click upon the miniature picture to see Steve Worthington’s scintillating Tweed Day tale, an action-story that includes cartoon-images of me and my husband, and highlights the desirability of tweed cloth*….

*Tweed is cloth, not “fabric”.

Read More at Classic, Elegant Dressing

Elegant, Modest Swimsuit by Stop Staring

Stop Staring Clothing has had a successful internet presence for thirteen years, purveying charming retro-styles of cocktail dresses, vintage-inspired swimsuits, and other sartorial necessities for women. Here is a swimming costume that I think is particularly figure-flattering. Read Stop Staring’s sizing chart for an accurate fit. There is additional elegant swimwear on offer there, so you may enjoy perusing the category.  Stop Staring has a very helpful staff on-hand for advice–we spoke with the knowledgeable Sarah, who informed us that Stop Staring is developing a custom-sizing system in which we will be able to choose cloth and fit-dimensions when ordering some of their dresses.
©M-J de Mesterton

CLA Game Fair in Warwickshire, 23rd-25th July

CLA Game Fair

The CLA Game Fair 2010 will be held at Ragley Hall, Alcester, Warwickshire, a new and exciting venue.

Friday 23 – Sunday 25 July
Ragley Hall is a well located  new venue for visitors coming from all directions. The M40, M5, M6 and M42 motorways are all located close to Alcester offering good access to the show.

The CLA Game Fair feature videos
Click here for the video player with previews of some of the features and key personalities.

Show preview interviews now available on line click here to listen!

Farlow’s of Pall Mall: Excellence in Country Pursuits since 1840

Modern-Day Nostradamus Gerald Celente Predicts Individualistic Elegance for 2010

The Elegant Survival theme, as I have promoted since 2006 here on the web, was noticed by reader Gerald Celente, who mentions it in his 2010 predictions on Fox News. The transcript is a bit muddled, so it is best to watch the video. On the George Noory Coast to Coast a.m. radio show, Mr. Celente predicted a return to making one’s own elegant clothing with retro patterns. Thanks for reading Elegant Survival, Gerald!

©M-J de Mesterton 2010

Prepared for the New Ice Age…


…In Elegant Tweed from Bookster U.K., washable leather gloves from France, O’Farrell
Custom Hat from Santa Fe, and Strong Walking Stick (a natural weapon) from England

M-J in Bookster Tweed Jacket and O'Farrell Hat

M-J de M. in Bookster Tweed Jacket and O’Farrell Hat

Prepared for the New Ice Age…


…In Elegant Tweed from Bookster U.K., washable leather gloves from France, O’Farrell
Custom Hat from Santa Fe, and Strong Walking Stick (a natural weapon) from England

M-J in Bookster Tweed Jacket and O'Farrell Hat

M-J de M. in Bookster Tweed Jacket and O’Farrell Hat

>Prepared for the New Ice Age…

>

…In Elegant Tweed from Bookster U.K., washable leather gloves from France, O’Farrell
Custom Hat from Santa Fe, and Strong Walking Stick (a natural weapon) from England

M-J in Bookster Tweed Jacket and O'Farrell Hat

M-J de M. in Bookster Tweed Jacket and O’Farrell Hat