Middle-Age Charm School

OK, I confess; I am middle-aged.

The birthdays just keep coming every year, and my mind sometimes has a hard time wrapping around the age thing!

I keep going back to Coco Chanel’s quotes.  She has some pretty good ones regarding age that we should all consider.  I love the fact that she was active, interested and “alive” until her death at age 88.  She seemed to have an active love-life as well.

“Anyone past the age of twenty who looks into the mirror to be pleased is a fool.  You see the flaws, not the beauty.  Beauty is charm.”

Charm is such an old-fashioned concept these days.  Anyone remember Charm School?  It is the art of being interested in others, attracting, delighting.  Who doesn’t want to be around a charming person?  It’s something we all can work on…and it’s cheaper than Botox!

“A woman’s unhappiness is to rely on her youth.  Youth must be replaced by mystery.”

Yes, and what happened to a bit of mystery?  Does everyone need to know everything?  What is wrong with having a few secrets?  I say bring back the mysteriousness of life.

“After fifty you have to deserve your face.  Fashion changes – style remains.”

I for one,  love to see an expression-filled face, lines and all.  It shows you have a genuine life, happy and comfortable with yourself.   I am all for preventative care and living healthily.  Your body and spirit will reflect the attention you pay to it.

“I would never weigh heavier than a bird on the man I loved”

All right Coco – you got me!  I will admit that I am heavier than a bird! 8)


Laundry Day, The Old-Fashioned Way

I’ve always been a pretty frugal person, so I’m slightly amused that a lot of people are jumping on the “Frugal Bandwagon” now that costs of pretty much everything are skyrocketing!  My 22 year old Toyota is looking good to some people now because of its 30 MPG/City!

I haven’t had to change much to decrease costs, but I recently tried a “new” way to do laundry.  I now wash all my clothes in cold water and hang them to dry.  Now that summer is here, I’ve been hanging them out on the line…winter/rainy weather has me hanging them on dryer racks inside the house.

I hang my shirts and tops on hangers and clip them to the line.  It’s amazing that they dry almost wrinkle free!  I hang my jeans and pants on a clip pants hanger, and they too, dry crisp and wrinkle free.  There is nothing like the smell of fresh air-dried clothes.  No laundry detergent or dryer sheet can come close to replicating its smell, despite their claims of “Fresh Scent”.

I’m saving a lot in electricity too!  My clothes will also last longer being air-dried….do you notice the amount of lint that is generated after each dryer use?  The lint is fiber coming off your clothes, wearing them out much faster.

Now my dream is to own one of those old-fashioned clotheslines.  The kind with the metal pole and a square of lines around it.   When I was a kid, I remember almost every house having one in the yard.  Clothes flapping on the line was such a cheery sight!  I don’t know when dryers took over as “the” way to dry clothes exclusively…probably the 60s.

Off to dream of a new clothesline! 😀


The Hermès Mystique

I don’t know what it is about Hermès that just makes me weak in the knees…and I know I’m not the only one!

I just finished reading a new book “Bringing Home the Birkin” by Michael Tonello. I just drank in the book! It is about an eBay seller who starts out selling Hermès scarves and graduates to obtaining and selling the “unattainable” Hermès Birkin bags. Just a fascinating read about the inside world of Hermès and Mr. Tonello’s tenacity to get to those oh-so-wanted bags!

I’ve never run across a Hermès bag in my quests. I’ve never even been in a Hermès store. But amazingly I have picked up several vintage Hermès scarves, a pair of vintage “H” logo shoes, and just last week a vintage Hermès blazer jacket! It is such a shock (to me) to see that fabulous vintage 70s Hermès Paris label peering out, so dignified and bold!

I have the jacket posed so I can look at the label. I just like looking at it! I don’t know if I can bear to give it up, even though it is far too tiny for me. I guess it’s the thought that vintage Hermès is so scarce and I most likely will never run into the same thing again. So I cling, and try to absorb some of the mystique.

…ah, the Hermès vintage faerie…thanks for visiting me now and then!


A Date With Destiny? Wise Words From Coco!

I love quotes, and this is one of my favorites regarding one’s personal appearance:

“I can’t understand how a woman can leave the house without fixing herself up a little, if only out of politeness.  And then, you never know, maybe that’s the day she has a date with destiny and it’s best to be as pretty as possible for destiny” – Coco Chanel

Coco was oh-so-wise, and judging from her many male suitors she had no problem of lack of dates with destiny!  I think it’s also wise that she says that fixing yourself up is a polite thing to do.  I, for one, quite frankly get tired of seeing a sea of sweats, baseball caps and either too baggy or too tight clothes on everyone. Men, women, children, old and young have all seemed to have adopted a universal uniform of blandness.  Gray, navy and beige reign supreme.  Blah, dull and sloppy are paramount.

I really, really try to “fix myself up a little” each day.  I like to mix vintage pieces with contemporary and add some cool accessories.  I try to wear COLOR! each day.  I love wearing textured “tactile” clothing such as cashmere, angora, linen, and silk.

I sheepishly admit that I haven’t had many “dates with destiny” lately…but as Coco says…maybe today will be the day.  I try to be ready for any possibilities. 😉


A Boring Marimekko?

I love Marimekko designs!  I love the brightly-colored printed fabrics and simple styles.  Being half-Finnish, I’m always interested in what my Finnish kinsmen are designing and I’m always excited to run across something made in Finland.

Marimekko was started in Finland in 1951 by Armi & Viljo Ratia.   They had artists apply their graphic designs to textiles and the rest was history!  Jackie Kennedy brought Marimekko to the forefront in 1960 by wearing several different Marimekko dresses during the 1960 Presidential campaign.

Marimekko designs flourished in the 1960s and ’70s.  Bold, bright and graphic!

I’ve never run across a Marimekko garment before, but I found one the other day.  Uh, dare I say, boring?  Not exactly the exciting color explosion I was expecting.  It is a linen jacket in a pale oyster gray.   Superb design and construction…very simple and spare.  It reminds me of what the Finnish landscape must look like in winter.

I shall keep and wear it despite its plainness.  I keep anything that I find that’s made in Finland.   I have a Finnish black wool hand-woven cape and a moth-bitten Finnish reindeer sweater that I wear.   Finnish designs are rare and hard to find.  I like to keep a little of my heritage, even if it’s boring.  😉


The Chanel Faerie Visited Me Twice Today!

I am an unabashed, unapologetic Chanel freak! Anything Chanel is on my list of holy-grails, and I’m always in search of those ever-so-elusive authentic Chanel items. Sometimes I just forget about actively seeking them, going back to finding “realistic” items because Chanels are so few and far between. That is, until today! 😆

I was on the hunt for angora sweaters. I was searching high and low in the store and none were to be found. I walked around the entire store twice and just before leaving, decided to look at the jackets. What do I see but a gorgeous jacket with a large Chanel Boutique label!!!! The original handwritten size and material tag was still attached. Amazing navy blue wool tweed, huge gold “woven” buttons, longer in length and form-fitting. I almost wept with joy. Size 40, so it is too small for me…some lucky buyer will get it on ebay…that is, after I sit and admire it for a spell (I like to be in the presence of Chanel, at least for awhile.)

Okay, I was really, really happy! I decided to continue my search for angora sweaters at another store. I’m going through the sweaters and what do I see? No, it cannot be! YES! Another Chanel! A beautiful blue, white and gold sweater. I look at the tag…yep…cashmere!!! Again, too small for me so it will eventually join the jacket on ebay.

Sometimes the Chanel Faerie decides to pay a visit when I least expect it…now, is it too much to ask for the Hermès Faerie to pay a visit? 😀