Thursday, March 31, 2011

Posture Matters - My Experience

Today is one of those days. You feel like you have the weight of the world on your shoulders. To add to that, the great hair day I had suffered catastrophic failure due to weather conditions.

Looking in the mirror in the bathroom, it took until 2pm to figure out why the outfit wasn't looking correct. It's a new shirt and when I tried it on in the store it was fabulous, or I wouldn't have purchase it. But now it looks like a potato sack with a satin detail. I tried to readjust it, thought maybe the jacket I had on was causing the issue. Then it hit me, DUH Astor, It's not the shirt it's you! Now, that might not be the best thing to hear when you not in the best of moods but it actually made me laugh. DUH is right. I felt like the world was on my shoulders and my posture showed it. When I stood with good posture, a "miracle", the shirt magically transformed into this "fab" Tahari find.

Point being, I felt bad so I looked bad. By standing up with confidence and elegance everything looked 100% better. Well, not everything, my posture had no effect on the hair. Glad I have a hat to wear home.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

My new favorite word


"The rehearsed spontaneity, studied carelessness, and well-practiced naturalness that underlies persuasive discourse"

Coined by Baldassare Castiglione in The Book of the Courtier (1528): "[T]o avoid affectation in every way possible . . . and (to pronounce a new word perhaps) to practice in all things a certain Sprezzatura [nonchalance], so as to conceal all art and make whatever is done or said appear to be without effort and almost without any thought about it."


Not synonyms but they are see also - glamor and style

Great word - if you look around the internet there are quiet a few different takes on this word and how you can apply it into your life. Some pages, to be honest had me contemplating a wish that I could push the one writing the page from a high window in my building or at least from my head, because of how hard and studied you needed to be to achieve true and great sprezzatura.

That is why I write Elegance: Redefined, Elegance isn't heavy, you shouldn't feel that you'll never achieve it. It is a work in progress,fun work in progress. Remember those diets we all tried; no this, no that, no this, no that. After a week all you could do was think of the horrific things you could inflict on the writer of the book.

I think the greatest point of the definition is: "To Avoid Affectation in every way possible..."

Great another look at

Affectation: "an effort to appear to have a quality not really or fully possessed; the pretense of actual possession:"

So we have "fake it till you make it" vs. "never let them see you sweat".

When you start on the road to elegance there are times you'll be acting in an affectatious way, but as you go it will become your nature, Sprezzatura.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Beautiful Dame Elizabeth Taylor

What can you say about Elizabeth Taylor?

I've been thinking what I could say but there is just so much to say about Ms. Taylor, but my words can not do her justice. I'll just let these pictures do the 'talking'.

This is an amazing picture, it's not been touched-up. You can see her scar from her tracheotomy. What a strong women, how many times was she near death and survived? How's that for having Tiger Blood Charlie?

She can not be replaced and we shouldn't ever think of comparing another women to her.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Business, cells phones and dinner

Business travel can be dull and uneventful, defiantly not glamorous. Sure it would be if I had a personal assistant to pack and unpack for me, a driver to get me to the hottest places in town. But I am not a rock start or a Rockefeller, so travel is what it is.

Yesterday was different and very pleasant. I had two tour guides. A client and her BF offered to show me the town. I considered it and even asked if it would be appropriate. After getting the go ahead from my firm, I had a most enjoyable evening.

There was one thing, other than the extreme kindness, that I noticed. These people are both high up in the company, VP and director. But, never once did either of them excuse themselves from the dinner table to take a phone call. I now the BF got at least 3 calls during the evening. He let them go to vmail. That was stunning to me. It would have been fine with me if he had excused himself and took the calls but he and my client spent the evening with me. They gave up their evening to show me their city. They made me feel that I was the most important event at that time. Now, that is one classy couple.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

A Place For Proper Attire

I had to go to court earlier this week. As a citizen, it was my right, and duty, to go even thought it was a waste of my time. I got up early in the morning. Showered and got all dressed up in very nice attire. Traveled for an hour to the courthouse on the opposite side of the county.

I walked into the court room and sat down. I was one of the first ones there. I observed the prosecuting attorney in a nice pant suit with make up well done. After a while, a lawyer came in and sat down. Though not a full matching suit, he was dressed with what I think is proper attire for the building that he was in.

As the time for the morning session to start, people started to file in. The attire that I observed was deplorable! Anything from dirty sneakers and ripped jeans to hats on sideways (which were removed to the judges demand for three different people). Is this really respect for the officials and to the building that these people are in?

Quite frankly, I felt rather uncomfortable sitting there in my suit in the court of law.

Later at home I observed on the news video of people going into job fair. And strangely, these people were better dressed than those pleading there case in court for child custody, traffic tickets and fraud. I understand that you want to impress a potential employer in this economy with how you look since many times you are judged immediately visually, than verbally.

I have also observed this undignified attire for those going to church. Yes, your god may know who you are as a spiritual person. Why not show this outwardly. Not just roll out of bed into pants that are conveniently on the floor. Let alone these flannel PJ looking bottoms. Show to us that you respect the places you are in!

What's the deal here? Is this not out of respect in a court of law, job opportunity or place of worship to be well dress? I understand that you may not be able to afford a suit. Have good looking chinos and a button up shirt. They are not expensive. At the very least, jeans that have no holes and properly belted and a shirt tucked in. Even the prisoners that were led in were better dressed in there city blue jumpsuits or county orange jumpsuits.

Is not being elegant part of properly and respectfully dressing for the occasion?

Friday, March 4, 2011

A tale of two shows

Who is more elegant Larry the Cable Guy or Real Housewife of Miami the publisher of Venue magazine).

My vote it Larry the Cable Guy!

WHAT!? I think I heard the collective gasp!

I was wondering how I would blog about Larry the cable guy. He has a new show 'Made in America". I was very impressed that he actually went to Emily Post's institute or headquarters.He met with her family. He is a comedian but he didn't belittle them or manners. He made fun of himself. I was very impressed that he hasn't made fun of anyone during his show at any of the places that he visited. To see him dealing with manners and a makeover - imagine jeans and a shirt with sleeves. He was, as always, Larry the comedian. Emily Post's family were very gracious to Larry, they were kind and laughed at his jokes. They seemed to me to be stuffy, but that might happen to anyone sharing a screen with Larry they would come off 'dull' or stuffy.

A comment I heard on the next show sent me into orbit. I was so incensed. Brooks had to warn me not to type so hard,( I was using Brooks' computer! ) to write my notes for the blog. RHoM (Real Housewives of Miami) is that latest offering of the franchise from Bravo.

The publisher of Venue had the.. (I cant even think of the appropriate word that wouldn't make me sound like a sailor...)to call her readers "lower people" OMG! This "lady" if it wasn't for the "lower people" reading and spending their hard earned money you wouldn't have any a magazine. I am so upset to hear this women make that comment how horrible, just how horrible. Listen lady, you need to kiss the feet of these "lower people" because they are the reason you have this "high life". But that comment honey is forever. Unless you do something to prove that isn't the real you, you will forever be that sick women!

This women is less than a women and less elegant then Larry the Cable Guy. I bet you couldn't even figure out how he is a better human being then you. Why, because he doesn't see "lower people" he is better than I am right now. You sicken me - "lower people". How are they lower? You produce a magazine to show them they life that they will never have, that you wouldn't let them into if they weren't wearing the 'it' designer. He would never say that about anyone. He has a sense of humor of who he is, but on his show he's never said something horrid as Alexa. He might look like a field hand but he understands people, graciousness and kindness. He wouldn't judge people based on having money or not having money.Money doesn't really matter, let's remember though, Larry is a millionaire.

The above two paragraphs we composed in the heat of the moment. I would like edit them, but I can't. I feel this deeply. Women and ladies would never say what Alexa did about a group of people. Especially since those people are who have given you the life you lead. Could she have misspoken. Yes, we can give her that benefit of the doubt. I would like to give her the benefit of the doubt but I am having such a hard time doing that.

Could it be?

Is it possible that the First Lady of France had a fashion miss?
What do you think?

Thanks to coco perez for the first posting

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Three Cheers for Holly Madison

More women need to take a stand like Holly. She cares for herself and her look but we are more then any numbers other people put on us. Being comfortable with yourself is the first step to confidence which is the foundation to elegance.

Can you see the "extra" 15 lbs? She looks great.


I was watching Joe in the Morning on MSNBC. The only reason I think I torture myself by doing this is to get my blood boiling to get me up and out of bed.

They had Sarah Brokaw on promoting her new book "Foutytude: Making the Next Decades the Best Years of Your life -- through 40s, 50s and Beyond". PHEW, Now that is a title.

You would think that from Mika Brzezinski after you hit forty, your life is over. Such a simpleton. It's easy to blame your age for the fact you didn't get the promotion. It's easy to blame your age that you're not getting the looks you did when you were 26. It's just too easy and too limiting.

Not getting the looks or attention you did at 26? Have you taken a long hard look in the mirror? Sorry, but crocs aren't sexy and neither is nagging. Worry about your life, let others live theirs. Your life needs your attention right about now.

Lets analyze this, you didn't get the promotion and the younger women did. How much new education do you have? Did you have the feeling of entitlement? Are you hard to get along with? Are you angry? Mika, that is aimed directly at you. People dont want to be around angry, entitled women who have 'let themselves go" and no Mika I don't think you've let yourself go.

It's much harder to look at yourself, to take hold of your life and move forward then it is to blame your age or that everyone around you is ageist.

You think the younger women got the promotion because she is young and beautiful. It might be that way. So, what are you going to do? Look for a better job? Start your own business? Go and get more education? Get a makeover? Look inside yourself and that hurts. Bitter ugly women don't succeed. Life isn't fair. But you are in control of your life or you should be.

Some women I see that are turning 40, they have lost themselves. They spent so much time at their job and raising the family that they forgot they were human and not machines. When life starts settling down around 40ish they can take a breath and they look around and they ask 'what happened to my life, this isn't what I thought it would be. Look at me - I'm old" and now they are super sensitive to being 40 something.

The biggest issue is you. You listen the culture and let the culture tell you how to behave. You let yourself go. You settled into a life - you didn't make a life. It's you, but that is the hardest point. YOU

The most amazing women I know are over 40. They are fabulous. Some are mothers and business owners other are in entertainment. But they work at being themselves. They see its their life and they are going to live their life not someone else life. Women in the 20's might be nice to look at, but try holding a conversation. They arn't fully baked yet. They have interesting view points, I'm not belittling them and we need young women in our lives for a full life experience.

Ask most women over 40 would they want to 26 again? No, being older has its benefits.

Don't limit yourself. Age is a number not an indicator of vitality. Youthfulness is a mindset not a number.

Go into your closet get that pencil skirt, those heels, get your mascara and your lipstick on, now walk with your shoulders back head high -fake it till you make it. You want attention that will get you attention, especially if trip going up the stairs - no really, men like to look at pretty things, just like women like to look at pretty things so why not be a pretty thing. Show the world you care about you just as you care about the world. Give the world something pretty to look at, give it some color from the grey drab world we live in.

40, is not the end, it's not the beginning, thank God, I dont want to do it all over again, I like my experiences but I want more so "Here's to Life!"

You are in control and it's a process not a destination.