Elegant Survival

Stylish Living on a Shoestring
Since 2006

M-J's Miscellany

Laundry Symbology

Posted on December 28, 2015 at 11:10 AM


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:


Caring for Clothing

Posted on June 12, 2015 at 11:55 AM

Elegant Clothing Can Last for Decades If You Care for It Properly

Elegant Robe

Posted on February 6, 2015 at 12:35 PM

A few years before Facebook, I photographed myself in an elegant robe made of black velvet with white satin trim. It was the sort of thing in which one would not be embarrassed to be seen on an impromptu basis--answering the door to package deliveries, for example. I miss that old robe, but I still have my silk one by Sulka as a consolation.

©M-J de Mesterton 2015

Black Tie Guide

Posted on January 20, 2014 at 11:10 AM

How to Wear Black Tie,

by Antonio Centeno, the founder of Real Men Real Style

Double-Breasted Suit

Posted on November 10, 2013 at 9:30 AM

Clothing-Designers Get Serious

Posted on October 21, 2013 at 10:50 AM

Apparently, the trend of clogging up fashion shows with "celebrities" is waning.

Lynne McCrossan explains in ARE CELEBS OUT of FASHION?

Clothing Care, Courtesy of Monsieur Francois

Posted on August 3, 2013 at 1:55 PM


Implementing some of the following procedures will go a long way in helping you protect and extend the life of your garments: 

Dry clean your garments sparingly. Frequent cleanings can actually cause your garments to prematurely wear because of the solvents and heat that are used in the dry cleaning process. Consider dry cleaning only when necessary or, at the end of the season before storing. After cleaning, garments should be removed from the plastic bags and aired. 

Limit the use of fabric softeners. They contain additives that stick to your clothing to make them feel softer. Unfortunately, frequent usage of these softeners will also compromise the fabric's absorbency and make them less breathable. 

Use padded or shaped hangers as they are more gentle on your garments than wire ones. Uncoated wire hangers may also rust and stain your clothes.

 Avoid hanging your coats and jackets on racks or hooks, which may cause the neck areas to stretch out of shape. 

Give your wool garments a day's rest between wearings, allowing them to shed wrinkles and return to their original shape. 

Fold knitted garments instead of hanging them, to prevent distortion or stretching. 

Brush your garments regularly and thoroughly to refresh  them, removing any soil, hair, etc. Use a slightly damp sponge or cloth on knits and finer fabrics. 

Always read the label on your garment for specific washing-instructions. 

Allow deodorants and antiperspirants to thoroughly dry before you dress. Also, consider using dress-shields to your garments to protect them against excessive perspiration, which can weaken certain fabrics. 

All garments should be either laundered or dry cleaned prior to storage. This step is not only essential, but will prevent attracting moths. 

Never store your jackets or garments in plastic bags. They create limited air flow which may trap moisture and cause mildew to form. Plastic bags may even cause leathers and suedes to dry out. Use canvas or cloth bags instead. 

Select a storage area carefully, avoiding those with high temperatures and/or high humidity. 

To revive your clothes when you have removed them from storage: first air out the garments thoroughly and then either brush them and/or lightly pass a garment steamer over them to remove any wrinkles or creases and to perk them up. Air the clothes thoroughly after these procedures, and before putting them to your closet.

~~Monsieur François, Townline Tailors of Vancouver, British Columbia



The Muffin-Top Menace

Posted on April 16, 2013 at 10:40 AM
The dangers of wearing trousers that do not come up to the waist: Plumber's Crack, short-looking legs, and the inevitable Muffin-Top..
~~©M-J de Mesterton, Elegant Dressing 2013

The Folly of Following Fashion

Posted on April 4, 2013 at 11:05 AM
These are "not your father's jackets"--NO, they're your LITTLE BROTHER'S hand-me-ups that, of course, don't remotely fit!
Ralph Lauren used to be a leader, now he is pathetically following the worst trends in fashion history.
©M-J de Mesterton
Elegant Dressing

Easter Dresses with Hats

Posted on March 4, 2013 at 2:35 PM

Fashion-Victim Update

Posted on February 20, 2013 at 12:55 PM

Women are still wearing THIS?!  Dupes. Clothing-manufacturers keep pumping out these hip-hugging, half-off garments, and as long as they are on "fashion" sites and shown with touched-up silhouettes in catalogues, the unwitting public continue to buy them. And now, this silly, figure-distorting look is institutionalised, with anyone falling out of line being ridiculed for wearing "dad pants" and "mom jeans". THE EMPEROR HAS NO CLOTHES!

Autumn Dressing: Tweed

Posted on November 16, 2012 at 6:30 PM

M-J in Aquascutum Tweed Suit, Her Perennial Favourite

Elegant Dressing

Posted on October 28, 2012 at 10:00 AM

Fred Astaire Style

Posted on August 20, 2012 at 9:40 AM

Elegant Pencil Skirt

Posted on August 17, 2012 at 3:55 PM

Ladies: Superb Burberrys Suit

Posted on July 28, 2012 at 8:45 AM