THE BASICS OF OLD LADY CHIC
Chic is a French word that defines a quality of style- elegant, sophisticated, aesthetic. It isn’t about money. Affluence can be displayed in a way most vulgar and unattractive. It’s not about being on trend which can be lovely or disgusting depending on the particular fad. For me at 70, chic is a quest to create my own style that is flattering to me and serves my daily routine.
Chic is timeless. The world is still in love with Audry Hepburn, the epitome of chic. And chic can be cultivated. It’s not genetic!
MY CHIC HERITAGE
My grandmother, Gordie Elsie Martz, was a farmer’s daughter, born in 1888, who grew up to be the wife of a successful and prominent businessman. Her early life demanded that she be skilled in calling the hogs and planting potatoes. Her one room schoolhouse teacher saw the potential in this curious and determined young girl and secured for her a place in town as a housekeeper so that she could continue her schooling. In that affluent, home, she realized her ignorance of the world beyond the white farmhouse, and she worked arduously to learn every nuance of the culture of the upper classes of the late 19th Century. My mother loved to repeat the stories that my grandmother told me of her early faux pas. At the first luncheon she hosted, one of her guests gently told her that you should use candles only at night and they should be lighted. It was not considered proper to have unlit candles and of course, you don’t have candles glowing during the day. My grandmother quickly and quietly stashed the candles. Over a century later, Granddaughter never displays flameless candles and I must admit to looking down my nose at those who do!
My farmer great-grandfather, Benjamin Franklin Martz, always wore 2 pairs of pants but my grandmother learned the grooming and fashion required of a woman of social standing and drilled these rules and their importance into my mother, My grandfather was a generous and elegant man and provided his family with beautiful wardrobes. They sat for a portrait in 1923. The boys were dressed as miniature men and my grandmother wore cut velvet. I still have the little silk dress that my mother wore in that photo taken 95 years ago.
My grandmother’s lessons on chic, as filtered through my mothered, are the guidelines I still follow today. The basics haven’t changed in over a century.
- Buy the best quality you can afford.
- Wear clothes that fit, not just your size, but garments that are cut for your figure.
- Make sure your clothing is clean and pressed.
- Practice good hygiene and grooming- hair, nails, skin, teeth.
- Stand tall. Good posture makes your clothing fit better and benefits your general health.
- Stay fit and healthy. Your clothes will look more expensive on a toned body!
- Wear make-up that flatters and is natural looking, especially in the daylight. No make-up is fine too!
- Wear clothing appropriate to the time of day, place and occasion.
- Edit your accessories. After you have put on all your jewelry, scarves, bag, etc. and think you look perfect, remove one piece. Or add 10 more!
- Admire the beauty in others. There is no-one more chic than a loving and generous woman.
Disclaimer- I’m a rule breaker extraordinaire so read my articles that elucidate each point. Once you know the rules, breaking them can be fun and fabulously chic!!!!