Elegant Survival

Stylish Living on a Shoestring
Since 2006

Custom Hats

Please Visit Our Friends at O'Farrell Santa Fe

The World's Best Custom Hat Makers

My Husband with O'Farrell Hat: Photo Copyright M-J de Mesterton 2008

O'Farrell Santa Fe, located directly across from the world-famous La Fonda Hotel, custom makes fur felt hats for ladies and gentlemen of discerning taste. Cowboy hats are a specialty, but O'Farrell will make any style to satisfy a client's request. Fedoras, town and country trilbies, homburgs, ranchers, and gamblers are among the many elegant hats available through the shop. All work is done on the premises, by hand. And the felt itself is the best available anywhere in the world--there are two levels of fur felt, one mostly beaver, the other 100% beaver; prices start at $750 (USD), a reasonable tariff for lasting beauty and dependability. The O'Farrell hat is distinguished by the quality of hand work that goes into its construction: carefully fashioned sweatbands are stitched for a lifetime of comfortable wear; the felt is sculpted with loving attention to every detail of fit and style measurement; the shape of the crown and brim are customized to each client's exact specifications. And the fit itself is guaranteed by the novel--and wonderfully old-fashioned--use of a century-old machine that first moulds to the intended wearer's head and then creates a paper pattern that replicates the shape of his or her skull, which is both revelatory and amusing. The O'Farrell hat will last through generations of wear, which makes it a true value acquisition to serve faithfully and reliably. When you purchase an O'Farrell hat, you invest in the best!    
©The de Mestertons 

The Ultimate Elegant Survival Tool: a Tactical Cane

M-J Recommends These

Elegant, Solid Titanium OR Aluminum (Aluminium)

Tactical Walking Sticks

Durable and Fairly-Priced

The World's Strongest, Most Elegant Canes


This is the most brilliantly engineered tactical cane anywhere to be found--and it is crafted from solid titanium!

Click Here to Read M-J's Front Page, Elegant Survival




Thursday, August 23, 2007 

The Ultimate Elegant Survival Tools: Walking Sticks and Canes

The Merits of Wearing Gloves

The Merits of Wearing Gloves, and the Scourge of Staphylococcus Aureus

Staphylia Oil on Canvas 16" X 20" by M-J de Mesterton, Copyright 2006

I posted something about wearing gloves in December, 2006. Somehow, after many months, and while rearranging my material, the piece has gone missing. Here's my attempt at reconstructing it: I had worn long kid gloves to an evening holiday party, and my husband wore elegant gloves as well. A young lady commented favorably on our style. I spoke briefly about the merits of wearing gloves, expressing the hope that it would again become routine. I mentioned the scourge of staphylococcus aureus, whereupon she held up her hand with its missing finger--lost to the super-bug!
For years, I was regarded as an oddball simply for wearing driving gloves. I also wore gloves at the supermarket to ward-off transference of germs on carts, et cetera*. I've read somewhere recently that glove-wearing is back in style. I hope that's true.
M-J de Mesterton September 11th, 2007
*I also wash every grocery item which enters our house.

I have been writing about this for six years, and no doubt some people have scoffed. Eyes glaze over when this subject is mentioned, and the speaker is written-off as a germophobe. That attitude seems to have changed overnight. MRSA, or antibiotic-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus isn't just a hospital-acquired disease anymore. Elegant Survival's Face and Figure page alludes to the intrinsic unhealthiness of health-clubs and public gyms. The noise level of the "music" played can deafen you, and the transmission of germs and viruses on the surfaces there may sicken. However, I wanted to be a bit delicate and not graphic, so I determined to return to the topic with a well-crafted, diplomatic way of saying, "If you value your health, stay out of health-clubs!"

I belonged to three such clubs in the past, beginning with the old Henry Hudson Health Club on 57th Street in New York City. I was disgusted when, using the women's sauna, I found the panties of other members hanging up to dry in there. Being of Swedish descent, this abuse rankled; I also knew that moisture in the sauna ("sow-nah" is the correct pronunciation) would defeat their idiotic purpose. I cleaned-off every piece of gym equipment before use, using rubbing alcohol. It has been thirteen years since I have darkened the door of one of those clubs, because the noise got louder and the germs deadlier. Now, my logic has borne out, with the major press agencies finally giving the flesh-eating disease MRSA, or antibiotic-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (staphylia means "grapes" in Greek--the virus is shaped like a bunch of them), the attention it deserves. Human nature usually demands that someone die before a danger is recognized, but there have been more deaths from this than the AIDS virus, going unnoticed until now.

My husband and I, as I am fond of telling you, wear gloves everywhere we go, unless it is very hot weather. We keep hand-sanitizer in the car and in our bags. Consider the objects one must handle outside the home, in public--pens, products, door-handles--there's an infinite variety of things which can bear germs and viruses. If you don't like to wear gloves in public, at least use something to clean the shopping cart handle when you're marketing. Some supermarkets offer them in a dispenser near the carts.

Thoughtfulness in life, and keen awareness of our surroundings and habits, can help us survive even the most rampant modern scourge. After all, carelessness wrought by jaded arrogance has created just that: a deadly epidemic.

M-J de Mesterton, ©2007


On Sale June2016 for 70 USD with Free Shipping

Elegant gloves can protect you from germs, slip-and-fall injuries to hands, and the elements.



M-J de Mesterton, ©2007

Wear an Elegant Hat in the Garden to Protect Your Face


M-J in an Eric Javits Hat

The Hat for a Lifetime, by O'Farrell of Santa Fe, New Mexico

O'Farrell Custom Hat Shop, Santa Fe

Photo Copyright Elegant Survival 2008
M-J in Her Old Straw, Ordering a Hat

From O'Farrell Custom Hat Shop, Santa Fe, New Mexico
M-J's O'Farrell Hat, Photo Copyright Elegant Survival 2008


Elegant Accessories

M-J with O'Farrell Hat and Bookster UK Tweed Jacket:Rugged, Elegant Clothes that Will Last a Lifetime if Cared-for Properly (the walking stick and gloves are survival tools, not just elegant accessories)



Elegant Survival Recommends Gloves for Safety

I’ve advocated the wearing of gloves on Elegant Survival since its beginning in 2006. Try my "Shop Now" link on photographs of gloves.

 Warmen Gloves are the Elegant Survival Choice for Elegance and High-Quality Workmanship

Click "Shop Now" to See These Beautiful Leather Gloves



Floral Crowns


Thursday, June 5, 2008

Make a Floral Crown for May Day or Midsommar


Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden
Photo by Jonas Ekströmer/Scanpix 


M-J de M.,  Midsommar 2001



Watches and Gems

Wise Acquisitions and Care...

...of jewellery ("jewelry" in the U.S.) and watches. New information is continually being prepared on the subject, relevant to Elegant Survival's reinterpretation of luxury. How to Economise on Your Watch's Batteries While you are not wearing your battery-operated watch, pull out its stem. This stops the watch from running, thereby saving battery-power. Smart Jewellery Shopping When considering a jewellery purchase, keep in mind that small jewellers who custom-make an item for you will charge an exorbitant amount for their service, and may not offer an iron-clad guarantee. In fact, they may go out of business and disappear completely. The same goes for pieces on display in their vitrines. The smart place to shop is a jewellery chain-store like ZALE'S in the U.S., who not only will sell you an affordable insurance policy on the stones and settings, but, because of their high volume of sales, can afford to offer beautiful jewels at low prices. High Value for Your Money: Impeccable Swiss Watches by Tissot Tissot has been making fine watches in Switzerland since 1853. Not only do we own a couple of their well-priced watches, but my husband is a friend of Mr. Tissot. This Swiss company receives high accolades from watch fanciers worldwide. www.tissot.ch I think that the time has come to discourage people from buying trophy-watches like Rolex. The enormous amount of money paid for such shallow, trite status-symbols isn't representative of the comparative value, when you consider the excellent watches made in Switzerland (Tissot) and Japan (Seiko) for a fraction of the price. Copyright M-J de Mesterton, 2009 

Ring-Size Equivalents

Metric French/Japanese English American
37.8252 - A 1/2
38.4237 - A 1/2 3/4
39.0222 - B 1
39.6207 - B 1/2 1 1/4
40.2192 - C 1 1/2
40.8177 - C 1/2 1 3/4
41.4162 1 D 2
42.0147 2 D 1/2 2 1/4
42.6132 - E 2 1/2
43.2117 3 E 1/2 2 3/4
43.8102 4 F 3
44.4087 - F 1/2 3 1/4
45.0072 5 G 3 1/4
45.6057 - G 1/2 3 1/2
46.2042 6 H 3 3/4
46.8027 - H 1/2 4
47.4012 7 I 4 1/4
47.9997 8 I 1/2 4 1/2
48.5982 - J 4 3/4
49.1967 9 J 1/2 5
49.7952 10 K 5 1/4
50.3937 - K 1/2 5 1/2
50.9922 11 L 5 3/4
51.5907 - L 1/2 6
52.1892 12 M 6 1/4
52.7877 13 M 1/2 6 1/2
53.4660 - N 6 3/4
54.1044 14 N 1/2 7
54.7428 15 O 7
55.3812 - O 1/2 7 1/4
56.0196 16 P 7 1/2
56.6580 - P 1/2 7 3/4
57.2964 17 Q 8
57.9348 18 Q 1/2 8 1/4
58.5732 - R 8 1/2
59.2116 19 R 1/2 8 3/4
59.8500 20 S 9
60.4884 - S 1/2 9 1/4
61.1268 21 T 9 1/2
61.7652 22 T 1/2 9 3/4
62.4026 - U 10
63.0420 23 U 1/2 10 1/4
63.6804 24 V 10 1/2
64.3188 - V 1/2 10 3/4
64.8774 25 W 11
65.4759 - W 1/2 11 1/4
66.0744 26 X 11 1/2
66.6729 - X 1/2 11 3/4
67.2714 - Y 12
67.8699 - Y 1/2 12 1/4
68.4684 - Z 12 1/2

The Mohs Scale of Mineral Hardness

Hardness Stones and Other Materials
10 Diamond
9 Corundum (ruby, sapphire)
8 Beryl (emerald, aquamarine)
7.5 Garnet
6.5-7.5 Peridot, steel file
7.0 Quartz (amethyst, citrine, agate)
6 Feldspar (spectrolite)
5.5-6.5 Glass, typical
5 Apatite
4 Fluorite
3 Calcite, copper penny
2.5 Fingernail
2 Gypsum
1 Talc


M-J's Miscellany


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