Elegant Survival

Stylish Living on a Shoestring
Since 2006

Elegant Survival: Stylish Living on a Shoestring, Since 2006

Author of Elegant Survival

M-J de Mesterton has been an editor, art restorer and instructor, publicity writer, three-term historic preservation officer in Ivy League Princeton, English-Speaking Union board member, photographer's model, painter, the host of hundreds of elegant parties, a resident of New York City, France... 

See M-J's Exquisite Paintings On-Line at http://www.artgallerylv.com

M-J's Mission

The goal of Elegant Survival: Stylish Living on a Shoestring is to provide resources and suggestions on how to live elegantly, safely and comfortably without depending on expensive products, while encouraging readers to avoid participation in wasteful and embarrassing popular trends. Elegance is not to be confused with extravagance. Elegance is an economy of streamlined beauty, tasteful simplicity and sufficiency, rather than an embarrassment of riches.

When I founded Elegant Survival in 2oo6, the economy was in the process of becoming a shambles, and the word, "elegant" had fallen into disuse. Eleven years later, it's everywhere. But, we are still waiting for times to improve; it's even more important in early 2017 to spend what little money we have wisely; because drastic changes have been implemented worldwide, such as in Europe, where there are rogue entities threatening civilization every day. Elegant Survival pages have always included "Survival Tools", where preparation advice has been collected over the years. By now, you know that storing water and food is paramount, as are having warm, rugged footwear, tweed, sweaters, blankets and parkas, and generally turning your abode into a secure bulwark the best you can. Disposable income is hard to come by after the population has been subjected to eight years of paying a steep "health" tax that only benefited insurance companies and politicians who were collecting bribes to enable them. Fortunately, in-depth, instructive websites on basic survival skills have burgeoned during the past ten years, many of which offer both traditional and innovative ideas that cost less money than elbow-grease--ingenuity and dogged determination are required rather than large financial investment.

Elegance is simplicity and good taste. Elegant Survival emphasizes functional clothing, ideas and recipes for stylish living on a shoestring. Rugged individualism and self-sufficiency in all facets of life are a major emphasis at Elegant Survival. By the way, I was unaware of the scientific term, "elegant survival" when I founded this website, and years later I did a test-search for my site on Google, and discovered a musical band of academics who perform by the same  name in  Boulder Colorado, where my husband had been a popular speaker at the Conference on  World Affairs in the 1990s.

The survival of elegance is very important when times are hard. Paring down one's wardrobe to include only those items which have longevity in terms of style and durability will save money and increase one's confidence going forward. The same philosophy applies to household contents: extraneous items that aren't fulfilling a function only serve to clutter space while confusing and occupying real estate in the mind. Tips on low-cost, elegant entertaining from a seasoned hostess can help you continue the good life in reduced circumstances. Elegant Survival is an innovative web-site that has extensions on the internet in order to be of assistance to as many people as possible.

~~M-J de Mesterton, author of Elegant Survival: Stylish Living on a Shoestring, since 2006 


ElegantSurvival.net is no longer fully editable, thanks to changes in the company with whom I have done business for twelve years on seven websites. Some of the material here, such as links, may be a bit outdated, but can serve as a historical record in a small way; the lion's share of my writing will remain relevant. All Elegant Survival chapters are listed at the top and top-right drop-down menu on each page of the site. Thank you for visiting Elegant Survival.

Current posts are located at http://elegantsurvival.wordpress.com


M-J de Mesterton

Rocks and Gems: the Epitome of Elegant Survival

 Oil on Canvas 8" X 10", Painting Copyright M-J de Mesterton 2009 

(Courtesy of the Havsudden Foundation) 

M-J Recommends Wearing Gloves for Health and Beauty

2017: M-J de Mesterton in a Carolina Herrera Wool Suit that She Bought in 2003, Wearing Gloves Made of Leather and Lace


Posted on April 2, 2013 at 10:25 AM


Our friend Steve Worthington, eminent storyboard artist and sculptor, has written and illustrated a tale for Tweed Day. It's a clever little tale that contains caricatures of me and my husband. 

Click upon the miniature picture to see the scintillating Tweed Day tale, an action-story that highlights the desirability of tweed....

M-J's Random Elegant Survival Photos 

The Need for TWEED


Posted on April 2, 2013 at 10:25 AM 


Above: M-J de Mesterton in a Tweed Skirt-Suit by Aquascutum, Her Perennial Winter Favourite

Our friend Steve Worthington, eminent storyboard artist and sculptor, has written and illustrated a tale about Tweed Cloth.  See Steve Worthington's scintillating Tweed tale, an action-story that highlights the desirability of tweed cloth. My husband and I, who wear tweed eight months a year, and have done so for most of our lives, make an appearance in this cartoon--and no, we are not offended by the caricatures--quite the contrary. Tweed rocks!


Above: M-J de Mesterton at the Delano 


Click the Photo to Visit M-J's Classic, Elegant Dressing Page

History Bytes

This tapestry depicts my Swedish ancestor, Birger Jarl 

 Elegant Culture Page

For M-J's Inside Advice on Elegant, Affordable Foundations and Vanity Supplies, Please Visit Elegant Lady's Boudoir

Painter M-J de Mesterton Has Been Wearing White Shoulders Perfume by Evyan Since 1960, Alternately with Givenchy III and Quartz by Molyneux

One of my favourite perfumes, White Shoulders was created in the 1943 by Hartnell, which by 1945 had become Evyan.  I had an acquaintance in Manhattan long ago, who often sang at the famous Michael's Pub, and only wore White Shoulders. I cannot remember her name, but the perfume is unforgettable. 

When I was five, my generous, chic uncle gave me a little grey fur stole, a string of pearls, and a bottle of White Shoulders by Evyan Perfume.  Its sweet, classic scent always reminds me of Christmas, 1960.


ABOVE: Please Visit M-J's Classic, Elegant Dressing Page by Clicking on the Photo 

Elegant Survival features many topics, and provides practical advice on preparing for disaster: Survival Tools.

Read about some interesting people at the Elegant Survivors Page

M-J's Original Recipes and Interpretations of the Classics: the ELEGANT COOK

                               M-J de Mesterton’s Recipe for Pita Bread at ElegantCook.net

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.


M-J's Quotes

All of the Following Quotes are Original,

Copyright M-J de Mesterton 2006, 2008, 2009, 2013, 2014, and 2015:

Do not be cowed by sheep! 

Your body is a temple--make sure it's not the Temple of Doom.

A wrinkled sack of skin on some all-too-visible bones can turn stomachs instead of heads.

Elegance is not to be confused with extravagance.

I will wear both necklace and earrings on rare occasions--like when Hell freezes over.

Sure, I will fix that hole in your painting. But, if it leads to another universe, there will be an extra charge.

Beware of Splay-Foot and Shorty-Pants.

~~Copyright M-J de Mesterton 2006, 2008, 2009, 2013, 2014 and 2015

 January 9, 2009 at 9:43 am

I tend to bite my tongue in order to not offend people. However, I feel it is relevant and helpful to broach the topic of jewellery. I only wear earrings and a necklace together on rare occasions–like when Hell freezes over!

It was Coco Chanel who advised women to assess their ensembles before going out, and to then arbitrarily remove one piece of jewellery. These days, one sees otherwise presentable women wearing long, dangling earrings and several necklaces at once, perhaps a broach on the hat or coat, and then enough bracelets to open a booth in a souk.  (These baubles may have sentimental value for the wearer, but to the discriminating eye, they just scream, “too many nuts and cherries on the sundae!”) Would you  rather look like an elegant lady, or be festooned like a Christmas tree?

A strand of pearls or other tasteful  necklace, such as one which features a simple jewel, OR a pair of elegant, non-pendulous earrings that separate you from the primitives, together with a watch, is a safe daytime scheme.  A well-dressed lady may exercise a bit more flair in the evening. Beware, though, of appearing overly decorated–a person’s sterling qualities can easily be overlooked by the distraction that too much jewellery creates.

~~Copyright M-J de Mesterton 2009

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