Poetry and musings of a zany Mormon girl who is very proud of her Erda roots.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Elegance, Black Pearls, Hard Work

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.


  1. Love it. I'll be honest, I've been remiss in my elegance of late. Esp. REALLY lately, because I packed my jewelry box up a couple weeks ago, and I don't get to move and unpack it until next week. I miss my earrings. :-( I do try to at least wear some kind of fun earrings all the time to make me feel good. I've found (in case anyone ever tries to lie to you about this), you CAN wear them with young children as long as you make sure to LET them examine them and teach them just to touch, not pull. My nearly 3 year old son tells me on a regular basis, "Mommy, I like your (descriptive term) earrings."

  2. That is so great, Heather! I've had small children tug on things that shouldn't be tugged on and it can be painful and/or scary when they almost/do break things off of you.

    As Madame Dariaux says in her book, elegance is really more than just what you put on -- it's the manner in which you hold yourself and use what you have to the best advantage.

    Remember that picture, Migrant Mother, from the Great Depression?
    Dorothea Lange literally had nothing -- didn't know how to feed her children -- but in the moment of the photograph, she is elegance personafied. No make up, no jewelry, no perfume. Yet she is striking because of her composure.