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M-J in Fair Isle Waistcoat by Wendy Keith

M-J de Mesterton in Fair Isle by Wendy Keith Designs, U.K.

M-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 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

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Casual Winter Dressing at Home

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©M-J de Mesterton 2011-2017

Elegant Dressing Mature Woman · elegant living on a shoestring · Elegantly Dressed Man

Elegant Western Dressing

 

Tom_Mix_Elegant_Western_Dressing

Actor 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

 

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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

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Elegant Dressing for Fall and Winter: Tweed Suit

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

Rugged, traditional, natural 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.
©M-J de Mesterton

Elegant Dressing · Elegant Dressing for Men · Elegant Dressing Mature Woman · Elegant Winter Attire · Elegant Winter Clothing · Elegant Winter Coat · Elegant Winter Dressing · Elegant Woman Jacket · Elegant Woman Tweed Jacket · Elegant Women's Clothing

Elegant Tweed for Autumn and Winter

ELEGANT SURVIVAL RECOMMENDS BOOKSTER for ALL YOUR OUTFITTING NEEDS

Create Your Own Individual Jackets, Separates or Suits
Made to Order from a Wide Range of Cloths and Options

http://www.tweed-jacket.com/

Elegant Dressing Mature Woman · Elegant Holiday Dressing

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 without heat most of the time.