In an Alpine Climate, January: M-J is Dressing in Furry Boots, a Scottish Hand-Made Fair Isle Sweater, and an Austrian Wool Skirt
M-J's Default Blog for Elegant Survival: Stylish Living on a Shoestring
M-J de Mesterton
|Posted on February 22, 2017 at 7:10 PM|
Superb Ventile Jacket by Grenfell, Made in England, Highest Quality Vintage Garment in EXCELLENT Condition
|Posted on January 4, 2017 at 10:10 AM|
Above: M-J de Mesterton in a Tibbett Duffel Coat of Elysian Wool, Insulated Aigle Boots from France; a Mongolian Cashmere Scarf by Johnstons of Elgin, Scotland; a White Fox Hat Made in Helsinki; a Plaid Tweed Skirt, Black Leather Cashmere-Lined Gloves from Italy, and a Walking Stick Made of Scotch Broom
Published at Elegant Survival in 2011: Wear warm clothes when it's cold outside and inside. The days of women showing their bare arms year-round just because an occupant of the White House does it to show off her biceps are coming to a close in about three weeks. The current president has, since 2009, kept the oval office at a balmy 85° year-round, as though he were in Hawai'i, while instructing the citizenry to "tighten your belts". The rest of us, if we have heat at all, keep our places at 68° or even cooler, thanks to the punitive cost of fuel.
Above: on Christmas Day 2016, I'm wearing a turtleneck under a round-necked dress, nylon stockings, a silk & cashmere pashmina, and faux-fur-lined tall leather boots. Most winter days, I'd be wearing tweed and sweaters.
M-J de Mesterton in Aquascutum Tweed Suit, Her Perennial Favourite
Rugged, traditional, and elegant tweed made from Scottish wool is the best material for fall and winter dressing. Easily covered with a trench-coat or embellished with a pashmina or long wool scarves, tweed will keep you warm and dry.Tweed suits, skirts, trousers and jackets are always fashionable.
My husband and I found it odd, if not historically-incorrect, to see the inhabitants of Downton Abbey wearing sleeveless flapper dresses all over the huge, inevitably cold and difficult-to-heat house, at all hours, without wraps or sweaters. Those dresses were made to be worn at nightclubs while dancing the Charleston, where hyper-activity and body-heat of the crowd made it possible to stay warm while baring arms.
Dining at Downton: thanks to cocktails, aperitifs and wines, scantily-clad ladies there could abide the evening without shivering. Or maybe not; Ralph Lauren designed wardrobes for the series, and may have just assumed that women dressed like flappers in most situations because it was the Roaring Twenties. I doubt that 1920s women were so silly, but there have always been nonsensical followers of fashion, like the ones who are now wearing peep-toed shoes without stockings all winter long in cold climates. My grandmother, who was born in the Victorian Age, told me that to be beautiful, one must suffer--I know that freezing's not what she meant. Even body-heat from large groups at table does not take the chill off England's grand country houses for most months of the year; shoulders are usually covered with something at dinner, such as a little fur garment or shawl that could be removed later in the evening for dancing. And no self-respecting woman would be standing about the house during winter in just a sleeveless gown.
Speaking of winter dressing and silly followers of fashion, here is a post that I made at Elegant Survival News in December, 2011:
Talking Heads Clad Badly and Barely-Shod
©M-J de Mesterton 2011-2017
|Posted on December 23, 2016 at 1:35 PM|
Above: Fake sour cream by Lucerne, a brand offered at Safeway that lists ten ingredients including corn starch, is topped by real sour cream from Wal-Mart's Great Value, which has but two components: cultured cream and enzyme. The product from the bottom container ruined my beef stroganoff, until I added some from the top one (a traditional, rich sour cream), which swiftly rectified the situation and saved the dish. Sort of like a bit of real news forwarded by Julian Assange seems to have saved the USA from doom. ©M-Jeanne
When it comes to food, "Real vs Fake" is not subjective. Unfortunately, the same can no longer be said about "news". Real news versus "fake news" now ostensibly constitutes propaganda that the ruling elite want you to believe, in order to counteract truths that have been disclosed about themselves and their dastardly deeds. The irony is that those same parties have been lying to us in earnest for, it turns out, decades--especially the last ten years. The real fake news is that which the major media outlets spew, all of whom have been propping up a globalist fraud for eight years and trying hard to replace him with an evil female clone who would continue the criminality and preserve his destructive legacy. They remind me of a man from Morocco who opened a "French" restaurant near a major university in New Jersey circa 1990. He presented me with a dessert menu and I ordered mousse au chocolat--chocolate mousse. Acting as waiter, the same fellow brought me a piece of white-frosted carrot cake decorated with a charming little orange carrot. I told him it was beautiful, but that I had ordered mousse au chocolat. The faux Frenchman insisted that what he had given me WAS mousse au chocolat. I pointed out the evidence and even showed the fellow that the thing had carrot bits in it. Eventually, I gave up on the endeavor and thereafter referred to the place and others like it as "Poubelle (garbage can) Cuisine". In the same way, I have for more than a decade rejected as trash the news "reported" by outlets such as the New York Times, The Daily News, USA Today, CBS News, CNN and anything with the letters NBC in its name. You must admit that my "fake news" analogy is a lot more palatable than that ignominiously uttered by the current Pope last week.
@M-Jeanne de Mesterton de St. A; December 11th, 2016
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How to Be the Best-Dressed Woman Anywhere was a Pamphlet Offered by the News, Now Known as the New York Daily News.
The emphasis is on simplicity and modesty of dress with an eye to packing lightly, as well as on respecting local traditions in foreign countries. Bare arms, shorts and short skirts are not welcome in primarily Muslim locations; shoes must not be worn in mosques; large silk scarves can enhance a plain and versatile frock, while allowing one to cover her head in a church or other religious environment. In this pamphlet, there is advice on what to pack that is still timely; wearing gloves and hats is not outdated by rather extremely practical and healthy while on a trip or going out in one's hometown. Click on my images to attain maximum size for ease of reading these fine old pages. ~~M-J
See M-J's Anecdote at the Bottom of these Instructive Images
|CLICK ON ANY OF THESE IMAGES TO ENLARGE THEM FOR EASIER READING|
Of course, I explained that I was wearing English riding tack. Mr Little Old Man still looked a bit puzzled, having had no exposure to that sort of thing in the Wild West, but he did stop trembling. Important to wear what is appropriate for the area that you are visiting. I know there will always be boorish, insensitive louts who never consider others, like the time I visited a centuries-old monastery in Cyprus and actually witnessed a shirtless tourist wearing nothing but "Speedo" swim-trunks below his bulging midsection. Come to think of it, that's a situation that also calls to mind "Live and Let Die"! ©M-J de Mesterton, 2016
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Please Visit the Laura Shaffer Page, Midnight Refrain
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|Posted on March 27, 2016 at 11:50 PM|
Wishing You a Blessed Easter, Elegant Survival Readers
Photo Copyright M-J de Mesterton 2012
|Posted on March 13, 2016 at 11:25 AM|
Elegant Still Life Photography by Fine Artist M-J de Mesterton
|Posted on December 28, 2015 at 11:35 AM|
|Posted on December 28, 2015 at 11:10 AM|
CARING for YOUR PRECIOUS CLOTHING
I received a beautiful dressing gown for Christmas. I looked at the laundering label and was a bit puzzled about what some of the symbols there represented. Then I found a good page on laundry, ironing and dry-cleaning symbols:
|Posted on November 10, 2015 at 7:10 PM|
Gone are the sad days when a flat, shrunken,
teardrop behind was de rigueur:
|Posted on November 8, 2015 at 6:15 PM|
Boiling a Whole 10-Pound Bag of Potatoes Uses Less Energy than Many Little Batches
©M-J de Mesterton 2015
To boil a whole sack of spuds at once, I added a tablespoon of salt and a quarter-cup of vinegar to the water in this huge stock-pot. The potatoes came out of the sack clean enough to dump directly into the pot. I turned on the gas and waited for them to start boiling, then let them simmer for thirty minutes.
Reserve the Potato-Water to Use as Fertilizer for Your Garden
©M-J de Mesterton
When the boiled potatoes were soft enough to eat but still firm enough to slice, I turned off the gas. I then transferred the potato-water to a more manageable pot. Because the large stock-pot filled with potatoes and water was too heavy for me to handle, I used a heat-proof pitcher to ladle it out, and poured the remaining hot water into a bowl in the sink. Later, when this nutrient-rich water is cool, I shall take these vessels of liquid to the garden and water plants with them.
The potatoes, after having been drained of hot water, sat covered in the stock-pot to cool for a few minutes. To peel them, I simply throw some ice and cold water over the potatoes, let sit for ten minutes, then the jackets will slide off easily, leaving a very attractive spud indeed, ready to be frozen for later use. I developed this method of preparing potatoes for the future when an economy-sized bag of them threatened to sprout. To prevent the spuds from going bad, I boiled and peeled and froze them. They are perfect when turned into gratin Dauphinois, hash-browns and mashed potatoes.
©M-J de Mesterton 2015
These boiled potatoes are ready to be doused with ice-water for easy peeling. When the spud-jackets are removed this way, there is no waste like there is when a peeler is used on raw potatoes. These particular potatoes have such delicate skins that, testing them for softness, I smashed one in a bowl, seasoned it with Himalayan salt and pepper: the little spud, jacket included, was delicious!
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"To be really great in little things, to be truly noble and heroic in the insipid details of everyday life, is a virtue so rare as to be worthy of canonization."
Harriet Beecher Stowe
|Posted on June 12, 2015 at 11:55 AM|