A few years ago I picked up a darling little book on a whim.
A Guide to Elegance: for every woman who wants to be well and properly dressed on all occasions
by Genevieve Antoine Dariaux
It was first published in 1964 but the advice is still very much applicable to today's standard of fashion and living. My opinion is that more people ought to pay attention to what they wear and why. The world would be filled with happier individuals who feel good about the way they look.
The main purpose of the book is to educate readers on how to use appropriate clothing based on figure, situation, and personal taste to approach any of life's many circumstances with elegance.
What is Elegance? It is a sort of harmony that rather resembles beauty, with the difference that the latter is more often a gift of nature and the former the result of art.
There are some items I believe every woman ought to own. My favorite are pearls.
I have always loved pearls. When I was nine a sweet, grandmotherly lady in my ward gifted me with a single, perfect pearl on a silver chain. So much in awe of this generous gift, I hung it in my mother's room so as not to loose it accidentally. I don't remember exactly what happened to my little treasure, but it did end up missing and was never found.
When I was 18 my grandmother gifted me with a traditional white pearl set including a necklace, bracelet and earrings. They are smooth, milky, and perfect.
Last year I treated myself to a string of black pearls.
I now have several pieces with pearl accents and I love each one for a different reason.
Pearls are understated, not flashy, and seem to round out any ensemble with a nod to the elegance of past decades. They are timeless, perfect in their imperfections, and all together lovely.
Today I wore my black pearls and a spritz of perfume.
Today I walked probably four miles in three inch heels, engaged in plenty of heavy lifting, and crawled around on a dusty floor assembling shelving units for the pantry.
Today I felt elegant.
I am a work of art. Perfect in my imperfection.