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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Personal Luxe: Revisited

 So since I started thinking about luxe and luxury this past week, I did some scrounging around online and came up with a few quintessential luxury items.  You know me, I’m not springing for the luxury price tag – nope I’m looking for luxury on a shoestring. 
1.    Pearls – I don’t care if it makes me seem like an old lady ---(It doesn’t) pearls are a girls best friend.  They’re way more affordable than diamonds.  Faux pearls look far more real than faux diamonds.  They look gorgeous with all kinds of things.  I saw a young woman in the grocery store the other day wearing a simple buttoned up sweater (1950’s style) in pale pink, a black pencil skirt and a mass of faux pearls.  Do I even need to tell you how fantastic she looked?
2.    A croc purse:  Again, faux croc looks just fabulous.  And a croc purse always looks luxe.  I look for big statement type bags --- in subdued colors (none  of this neon or flashy stuff, thank you).  It always comes off as classy and elegant and it looks like it costs way more than it really does. 
3.    Good leather shoes:  I do the cheapie Walmart shoes for cute and fun shoes, but for serious leather shoes, I hunt the sale racks at Lord and Taylor.  I want good leather shoes that will hold up over time.  Its subtle, but it shows. 

I’m also looking for luxury in my private space.  I want to feel luxuriously pampered and indulged ---
1.    cashmere socks – nothing is so soft on the tootsies – and warm, warm warm. 
2.    A silk slip --- yes, yes, I know – slips are so not “in” anymore.  Don’t’ believe me?? Try finding a slip.  It takes some doing.  You don’t just walk into a department store and buy a slip anymore.  So finding and wearing a silk slip is a personal bit of luxury.  It feels great against the skin and it makes your dresses look better on the outside.
3.    A terrific white t shirt:  these are hard to find. Its easy to find a cheap, ill fitting white t shirt – just buy a bag of men’s underwear.  But to find a super great t shirt that fits right without spending an arm and a leg – that’s rare.  If you find one that does wonders for your body – buy a dozen!!  I had a terrific one from Target a few years back – I bought 3 or 4 at the time.  I’m down to just one that’s still in good condition.  I might cry when I have to go shopping for a new one, because I know its not going to be fun.

Monday, September 28, 2009

My Personal Luxe

I was playing a vocabulary game with my students the other day and we came across the word “luxe”.  It got me thinking.  I have a few very inexpensive “luxe” items that make me happy.  Some of them get me lots of compliments
1.    a  pair of terrific equestrian style boots.  Mine are almost flat and super comfortable.  They come up high on the leg – almost to the knee.  They have a tiny bit of understated detailing at the ankle that gives them a little classy edge.  Oh, and they’re brown, not black
2.    Leather gloves:  I seriously collect these.  I hunt all the time at TJMaxx, Marshalls, Loehmans, and the clearance tables at department stores.  I love good leather gloves.  I look for superb details and a good fit.  As soon as the weather turns cold (its starting to) I’ll be wearing them every day.  They always look terrific and they kick up a bargain basement outfit any time.
3.    A faux fur vest;  I can’t tell you how many compliments this has gotten me.  It’s a cheap clearance item from Dress Barn from quite a few years back, but it looks fantastic.  I’ve had women stop me on the street and inquire about the tailor who cut down my coat for me (its hard not to snicker).  All fall long, this looks terrific.  Its just warm enough.  A pair of jeans and a button down shirt suddenly become elegant with this over them. 
4.    Serious sunglasses:  I am prone to migraines if I’m out in bright sunshine without dark glasses, so I’ve taken to the Jackie O look with the big dark sunglasses.  I love them and they always garner compliments. 
5.    Ooh-La-La Undergarments:  These garner lots of compliments too – but only from one person.  There is something about wearing elegant undies that makes you feel fantastic.  And it shows --- your undies aren’t what shows – the terrific feeling is what shows.  It gives you a certain “je nais se quois” that makes everything a little more chic and elegant.  

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Company for the Weekend

We’re having company again this weekend --- which got me to thinking about the attention to little details that really seem to make a difference for guests. 
The first thing that comes to mind is clearing off the porch.  We’ve been using the porch like crazy in a last desperate attempt to savor the end of summer.  So there’s a blanket still draped over the rocker where I was snuggled up with my book.  The dog’s extra leash is out there from a quick trip out the other night.  And the beginnings of the falling leaves (just one or two) have blown in against the house. 
Its not a terrible mess, by any means.  But it certainly doesn’t scream welcome – we’re glad you came. 
So for starters --- we’ll be cleaning all of that up.  I’ll be checking that both of the lightbulbs in the porch fixtures work (we don’t want to end up looking like some spooky Halloween house) and checking for cobwebs in the corner (the Halloween reference reminded me to do that)
Then, I’ll make use of the Garden Club coupon from Home Depot to add a couple of potted mums on either side of the door.  That should look nice – and will definitely say Welcome. 
Its good to have guests ---- its even better when they feel that way too.