Tag: Lifestyle

Little Pleasures

“I adore simple pleasures. They are the last refuge of the complex.” 
― Oscar Wilde

After two weeks of heightened stress at work and needing to be on high alert for days at a time, I’m hoping for a slower and more sustainable few days. We had a delightful weekend celebrating Jeff’s birthday and in the midst of a truly great meal, I got to thinking about “everyday pleasures” that help ground me.

While I can’t say that Michelin star rated restaurants are a reasonable thing to add to your regime of self care (I wish. I don’t remember the last time I’ve felt that as relaxed as I did in the cab ride home–sated doesn’t begin to cover it), there are a lot of small things that produce an immediate hit of dopamine in my system. A short list includes, but is not limited to…

Clean sheets

Fresh contact lenses

Coffee in bed on the weekend

Calls with friends. A weekly necessity.

Buying fresh flowers or greenery for the house

Soup in cold weather

Begin legitimately able to light holiday scented candles

When a book on your waitlist becomes available at the library

Baths

Watching Jane Austen film adaptations while folding laundry

Snagging the front seat on a double decker London bus

Reading a magazine start to finish in one sitting

A good hair day

Date night with my husband, whether at said Michelin star restaurant, or on the couch with Netflix

 

What are the small things that recharge you?

 

Style Isn’t Shallow

“Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn.”
― Gore Vidal

What do we talk about when we talk about style?

I deliberately chose the theme of “Style” for this month over fashion or beauty because, even though the terms are often used interchangeably, I don’t believe they are perfectly synonymous. When I talk about style, and this is the framework I want to use in discussing it this month, I am talking about the series of choices we make everyday in how we choose to physically present ourselves in public. The manifestations of these choices are what we wear and buy. Sometimes these choices are informed by trends, sometimes they aren’t. Sometimes these choices are intentional, sometimes they are reflexive. But whether you look like you just stepped out of the pages of Vogue, or have built your wardrobe entirely thanks to Goodwill, style is fundamentally personal and individual.

In a very real way, whether we are conscious about it or not (and goodness knows I haven’t always been), the myriad of day to day decisions about what we choose to put on our faces and bodies or in our homes are markers of how we are choosing to spend our resources, attention, and time. Not only that, our physical personal presentations encompass a lot of broad notions, including gender identity, political and social values, and consumerism in general with all its attendant issues.

I think that people who turn their noses up at style and fashion often betray a reverse snobbery that’s dismissive of the very real concerns and issues of consumer culture, an ignorance of how deeply impactful fashion and style are in almost everyone’s day to day lives (regardless of race, income, or any number of factors), and often a casual misogyny against seemingly “shallow” women or prejudice against gender nonconforming men.

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Style–the everyday choices we make–is not shallow. It’s the physical manifestation of both unique identity, and an awful lot of human realities. Hopefully, by framing it in this active way, we’ll find some interesting aspects of style to talk about this month. I’m opening up my closet and bathroom shelf for scrutiny, and hoping to gain a bit of insight into my own choices and habits, as well as learning more about yours in the comments.

 

Your turn, I’m curious to hear your thoughts on this month’s topic and on this post. Let me know what the term “style” means to you, and if you agree with my definition or not. Who meets your definition of a stylish person, and how you define your own sense of style?