Protect Yourself by Wearing Elegant Gloves

Since 2006, I have been writing about the benefits of wearing gloves. Now, there is more justification than ever for my admonitions and recommendations on the topic. Currently plaguing Americans and the rest of the world are norovirus and MRSA; the deadly ebola virus is rampant in Africa, and other antibiotic-resistant diseases are proliferating. Most of these viruses are spread by surface-contact. Wearing gloves while out in public, especially while shopping, and disinfecting them when you get home can save your life. And hospital-acquired diseases are now common, so do your best to avoid hospitals and other heath-clinics.


Hospital-acquired infections can be caused by viruses, bacteria, fungi or parasites; they are spread by touching contaminated surfaces, clothing and implements, or skin-contact with infected people. Viruses may be contracted from surgical procedures, catheters, or by inhaling airborne pathogens.

Common hospital infections are MRSA and C Difficile. These micro-organisms may already exist dormant in the patient’s body or be contracted from the air, contaminated surfaces and hospital equipment, healthcare workers or other patients. Hospitals must employ pre-screening for MRSA or C-Difficile prior to surgery.

These infections and viruses are often resistant to antibiotics, and the lack of effective therapies may necessitate amputation of fingers or limbs. If you find yourself having to be in the hospital as a patient or visitor, wear disposable gloves before touching any surface, tool, item of clothing or person.

Relying on antibacterial gels and liquids is no longer adequate for self-protection against dangerous germs. Wearing gloves can not only enhance your elegance, but you will be more confident about your safety and survival.

©M-J de Mesterton 


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


Today is TWEED DAY

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


Posted on April 2, 2013 at 10:25 AM


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

“Being Well-Dressed…

…is like being in love.”

“Simplicity is perfection.”

“Clothing is an envelope for the body.”

“The American Cowboy is the best dressed man.”

Count Oleg Cassini, Clothing Designer

Count Oleg Cassini, Fashion Designer and Inventor of Evolutionary Fur
Count Oleg Cassini, 1952
(Photo Courtesy of Encyclopedia Brittanica)

Elegant, Strong White’s Boots for Men and Women


White’s Boots for Men: Elegant and Tough (Photo Copyright M-J de Mesterton)

What has Jimmy Choo ever done for you? Can you kick a criminal to the kerb? No, you’ll fall flat on your face in those six-inch high, toeless travesties. If you want real protection from the elements and power to get things done, White’s Lady Packers are number one! Form and function combine to create a beautiful, strong woman’s boot. Made in Spokane, Washington, USA.

©M-J de Mesterton, 2009

Elegant Dressing

See examples of how to dress elegantly, by the writer who brought Classic, Elegant Dressing to you in 2006.  In her latest Elegant Dressing blog, M-J de Mesterton gives explanations of style, instructive photographs, and recommendations for accessories, directing tasteful readers to currently-available, elegant clothes.


Elegant Western Dressing

Elegant Western Dressing

Tom Mix Publicity Photo

In the days when the American west was being settled, men and women wore tweeds from Scotland, British-inspired suits, long, luxurious skirts, long-sleeved blouses, shirts, and waistcoats made of durable, thick fabrics. Naked knees, elbows and plumbers’ cracks were rare sights. Combined with rugged yet elegant cowboy boots and hats, these tasteful clothes served two functions, affording both ladies and gentlemen dignified self-esteem out on the range, and protection from the elements.

~~Copyright M-J de Mesterton 2008

“The American Cowboy is the best-dressed man.” –Count Oleg Cassini, Clothing Designer

Bookster Tweed

O’Farrell Hats in Santa Fe

Western Emporium Clothing

Beautiful Evening Skirt at Western Emporium

Boot Barn: Inexpensive Cowboy Boots

Justin Redwood Mallorca Ladies’ Boots: They Look Like My Lucchese Cowgirl Boots, and are Very High Quality, but Cost Less. Made in Texas, U.S.A. Wear cowgirl boots with skirts or trousers.

Low-Rise Clothes: Time for an Uprising

Choosing Clothes that Flatter the Human Corpus

So, you are possessed of a perfectly shaped body and decide to go shopping. There is nothing available but low-rise pants and skirts that rest on the hip. The fashion industry and its manufacturers are saving big bucks on your back. You decide that to go against what seem to be the demands of current fashion is pointless, so you buy whatever looks prettiest on the hanger. Once it goes onto your well-toned corpus, something sinister happens: your legs now look a mere foot long, and your tight “abs” sit above the low-rise top of your skirt or slacks, looking for all the world like a beer-gut. What’s happening here? The fashion industry is sabotaging your looks while saving themselves money on yardage. It’s now impossible to find a pair of pants, tights, or a skirt that comes up to the natural waist; anything that does is derisively and incorrectly labeled “high-waisted”.

Photo: Trousers with a Proper Waist, Available to the Elegant Man at

If you must have your clothes made for you in order to avoid this sick, disfiguring fashion regime, there are ways to do it without breaking the bank. A well-constructed pair of corduroy, moleskin or tweed trousers will get you through the depression in style, last for many years, and what’s most appealing about them is that they will make you look taller than everyone else (unfortunate fashion-victims that they are). Even a well-shaped jacket can be sabotaged by slacks, skirts, or trousers that hang below it. Last night’s Academy Awards brought out a cavalcade of men whose crotches landed below the bottom edge of their jackets–poor misguided fellows, yet rich enough to get it right. Overly long slacks creating a puddle of fabric on top of men’s shoes do not lengthen their legs visually–they just look wretchedly tailored.

A tasteful and reliable source for elegant, durable tweed jackets and trousers is Bookster U.K. They will guide you through the ordering process, and see to it that your clothes have an actual waist, so that your investment isn’t a waste. The clothes are made by Bookster in England. There are plenty of British and American companies that copy the traditional English styles, but have them made inexpensively in China. Yet, these clothes are crafted the old-fashioned way, close to where the fabrics are milled in the United Kingdom. It may take a couple of months to have a great pair of trousers or elegant jackets made, but you just might be wearing them for a lifetime. Bookster U.K. is a small operation with a huge reputation for customer service and fine clothing. They specialize in equestrian and tweed clothes, which are perfect for town and country.

Don’t let hip-hop fashion and cheap clothing manufacturers dictate your style. It is time for an uprising against the tyranny of low-rise clothing.

~~Copyright M-J de Mesterton; February 23rd, 2009

Elegant Survival Recommends Berkeley Hat Company

Berkeley Hat Company,

the largest hat store in California, has traditional hats for men and women, novelty hats, and Tilley Endurables for traveling. Their on-line shop accepts PayPal and credit cards. Prices are reasonable.   It’s smart, in more ways than one, to cover your head during all seasons of the year. At Berkeley Hat Company, you can acquire a hat wardrobe for a song. Even if you aren’t looking for a topper, you’ll enjoy looking at the selection of hats at Berkeley Hat Company.

Elegant Survival Recommends

Click to enlarge

Our traditional Basque Berets offer the style, comfort and warmth expected by those looking for the finest quality berets . All of our Basque Berets are still made in Basque territory–the Hoquy Beret de Luxe comes from southern France. Black Berets remain the most popular. These satin lined wool berets are fitted with a quality sweat band for optimal comfort and durability. We also carry cotton berets, leather berets and wool berets from other parts of the world. Shipping $6.50 + $1.44 for each piece more than one per order.

2510 Telegraph Avenue
Berkeley, CA   94704
tel. 510 549-2955

Elegant Survival Household Tips

New Additions, November 29th, 2007:
Microwave Safety
Always cook with glass dishes when using a microwave oven. Even if your crockery was made after the lead-poisoning alert, it could still be produced by a manufacturer whose products have slipped past the inspections/standards process. Pyrex and Corningware are safe, as are inexpensive glass dishes and cups made by Arcoroc of France. I have one glass mug in which I reheat my coffee.
Speaking of Coffee…
I’ve found that Douwe Egberts is my favourite brand of coffee in Europe, and I am also very fond of their Senseo pods which are used in the eponymous brewing system. I liked it so well that I bought them for two of my friends. However, the pods can be punitively expensive if one wants to have five or six cups a day of Senseo coffee. In my Utopian vision of a perfect world, that is what I would do. But, I’m loath to be so self-indulgent, and only use the Senseo brewer when I have guests. For daily coffee in the U.S., I recommend Yuban. You can purchase a two-and-a quarter pound can of Yuban Original Colombian Coffee for about $5.00 US. It smells heavenly–even more so than Chock-Full-O’Nuts in New York claims to do. I like to percolate it in a stainless steel coffee pot. It tastes wonderful, for those who don’t like their coffee beans blackened beyond recognition Starbucks-style. Speaking of coffees available in the U.S.A., I subscribed to Gevalia Swedish coffees for twelve years until I sensed that their quality had gone down–that was just before I discovered the Senseo system. If you use powdered, non-dairy creamers, avoid Coffee-Mate. It contains aluminum (see my health section). Brands that don’t are offered at Sam’s and Wal*Mart; anywhere else, you only have to read the ingredients and see that your choice doesn’t include aluminates (popular flow-agents) of any kind.
Thursday, August 23, 2007

Ironing a Man’s Shirt
My Swedish grandmother taught me how to iron men’s shirts. Like Scandinavians of all social strata, she adored being at the ironing board. I don’t know how other people do it, but here is our system:
Flattening and folding the yoke (found under the collar at the back of shirt) at its bottom seam, iron it. You can iron-out the resultant crease later, when ironing the whole of the back.Iron the underside of the collar, then its topside, then iron a crease at the seam where it meets the shirt.
Iron the insides and outsides of the cuffs, before doing the two sleeves. Then you are ready to execute the easy parts: the two front sides and the back.
Hint: keep a spray bottle of water nearby to mist the shirt’s stubborn wrinkles, even if you have a steam iron. Spraying with water is generally safer than using the shot-of-steam feature on your iron. If do you use steam, empty the iron, refill it, and test-run for rusty water which can be difficult to remove once it is on the shirt. Do not use the highest temperature setting: crispy brown edges are for tortes, not chemises!
Besides the great feeling of accomplishment one gets finishing each shirt, it saves money which one may have spent having a cleaning outfit doing the work. There is dignity in ironing; don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise.
UPDATE: The very best iron that I have ever owned is this one from Panasonic. I have owned irons from Germany that cost three times as much, and each one ruined my silk clothes by dripping on them. This one is totally reliable, and costs about $30.00 US. I choose the the Japanese over the Germans here, and if given the same choice in cars, I would do the same.
Washing Your Shirts
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. Wet the grimy, sweaty and stained spots and rub them with a bar of Zote Soap (in the absence of Zote, a bar of Octagon will do). Soak them overnight in a small tub of water, then agitate and rinse by hand, preferably. Hang to dry. If you don’t want to get hanger-marks on the shoulders, just put wash-cloths under them, over the ends of your hanger. My husband has been treating his shirts this way for decades, and some of them have lasted for twenty years. 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’s fibers. You’d be surprised at how swiftly they dry naturally, and when they are just a wee bit damp, shirts are easy to iron. Sending your expensive or custom-made shirts to the cleaners may seem luxurious, but will sound an early death-knell for them. Getting up-close and personal with your shirts will ensure that they enjoy the good, long life that their maker intended.
~~Copyright M-J de Mesterton; August, 2007

Because Swiffer-type cloths are expensive, and not re-usable after a certain point, I now use large microfiber cloths for dusting furniture and floors. They pick up just as much dust and hair as the aforementioned product. Large microfiber cloths are available in bulk at Sam’s Club, in blue, yellow, chartreuse and orange. At our last purchase, they were 15 USD for 25 of them. They’re soft and washable. Here is what I devised today for dusting floors and cars–it leaves those disposable electrostatic gadgets in the dust:

M-Jeanne’s Home-Made Microfiber Dust-Mop

Take three large microfiber cloths and lay them on top of each other, at varying angles. Center your stack of cloths over the end of an old broom/mop stick, and then, a couple of inches from the end of stick, strap them on with a tightly-pulled, heavy-duty plastic cinch (available at Sam’s and office-supply stores–alternatively, you may use a rubber band). Invert this and run it around your floor, under furniture, or over your car. Clean the mop by shaking it outdoors. You could even use a lint-brush on the cloth, then when you have enough dirty ones, wash them together in the machine. Repeat construction process after they are dry, using a fresh cinch (I use multipurpose ties/cinchos by Thomas Betts). Attach the Cloths to the Broomstick; Invert and Use Dust-Mop

Microfibre Dust-Mop and Photos Copyright M-J de Mesterton 2007

Update: I have found that a microfibre rag will adhere to a sponge-mop. Tie the ends and you will be ready to clean and polish a smooth floor with very little moisture. Fill a one-litre spray bottle with water, leaving room to add a third-cup of white vinegar and one teaspoon of lavender oil. Shake it. This is my preferred cleaning fluid. Mist the floor with it, and go over it with the dry microfibre mop until it is dry and shiny. This cleaning mist can be used on sinks and fixtures, mirrors, microwave ovens, jugs, anything that needs cleaning and shining about the house. It is also a deodorant. The scent of the lavender overpowers that of the vinegar. Careful–this method of cleaning is so easy that you may be cleaning as a hobby if you don’t temper your enthusiasm!

M-J’s Miscellaneous Hints

Keep newly-polished silver free of tarnish by storing it with a piece of aluminum foil (one of the safer uses for aluminum).

Omit the fabric-softener when washing and drying towels. It leaves a coating which reduces their absorbency. I prefer a sun-dried white cotton towel, which is excellent for an invigorating rub. Lightweight cotton towels for the kitchen and bath can all be washed in a solution of detergent and a little bleach. They dry much faster than coloured velour ones, and lend a look of sparkling cleanliness. Lightweight, white cotton towels may be bought in bulk at wholesale stores like Sam’s Club in the U.S.

To keep rarely-used garlic fresh, peel it and store it in a jar in the freezer.

Use salt in your wash-water to help remove stains.

To rid old books of odors, dust the pages with talcum powder, and let them sit for a day. Brush out the powder.

To make cake rise higher, add a half-teaspoon of white vinegar to the batter.

Use old-fashioned wooden clothespins to close bread and chip-bags. They’re cute, easier to manipulate than twist-ties, and are cheaper than chip-clips.

To remove red and burgundy wines from tablecloths after dinner parties, wash them immediately afterwards in the machine, with the laundry detergent of your choice, in hot water with the addition of a half-cup of white vinegar and perhaps some table salt. This routine has always worked for me.

Conserving Candle Wax
I have noticed a jump in candle-prices. Many candles are unusable before their wax disappears. Then, you may have a considerable amount of unused candle wax which could go to waste. I save old candle wax, scented or plain, and when I have enough of it, I melt it in an old pan and pour it into a container into which I have put a standing wick. Then I have a new candle. The wicks can be purchased at crafts stores.
Keep defunct candles in a plastic bag until you have enough to melt. A plain metal pot is best, and I recommend melting wax together from similarly colored candles. Shown are stubs from beeswax tapers and a yellow pillar candle. Old wicks and metal anchors for them are not a problem; just use a metal ladle to transfer hot wax, omitting the debris. Caution: don’t melt used candles in a microwave oven–there will likely be a metal wick or anchor in it.

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