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Friday, February 13, 2015

Striving to be Presentable ...A French Girl Friday Post

One should always care about their 
appearance, be presentable, but this might be a bit  non
achievable on a daily basis.
*image is French fashion models 1950's Life magazine shoot.

"I'll never be French ( no matter what I do) "  to quote from the book of same title by Mark Greenside.  No matter how much I would love to channel my inner French girl  (woman), there are some areas it just is not going to happen as much as I would like it to. Not even a little. Oh I try to draw upon the pinkie size amount of supposed French bloodline that I have, and learn from all the books I have read over the years, I have failed time and time again in the area of being/looking presentable always. It is not even a total French thing, years and years ago it was the norm that a woman ( people in general really) would get dressed upon rising in the morning. Ready to face the day with every hair in place, make up on and presentable should hey see or be seen by anyone. They did not lounge around the house in their pajamas, and they did not stroll around the streets and the grocery store in them either! Now I do not do the latter, but am often at home in my pjs all day long. Oh I do my hair, possibly even add a touch of make up, but I do not get dressed. In reading Chapter 8, in part 2 of Lessons from Madame Chic written by Jennifer L. Scott, this is a big taboo in the French culture. One must strive to look presentable always. 

I often spend all day in my PJs,
they are cute, comfortable , but I do
still feel frumpy and unpresentable.

Most of you know I have fibromyalgia. I have suffered ( not as bad as many out there, luckily for me) for most of my life if memory serves, but more so for the past 20 years. The aches and pains, the exhaustion from countless nights of disturbed sleep from all the side effects and symptoms that go with having such a thing, that once day time rolls around, if I am not going out of the house, I am in my PJs. If I have gotten dressed, by the time evening rolls around I am back in them as it is so much more comfortable for me to be in loose fitting pjs than in clothing ( such as a bra) to spend the evening. Not unusual for me to sit down for supper in them. Even when my daughters are around. It has always been a thorn in my side that I can not seem to find clothing that I can look presentable in, not frumpy, and still be comfortable. Oh I have heard all the suggestions, but unless you can go braless....anyway, even though when I go out I try to be presentable, fashionable even, if I am at home it just does not seem to happen.

I have always dreamed of
dressing like June Cleaver daily. 

Growing up I watched reruns of 50's sitcoms, Leave it to Beaver and I love Lucy were my favorites. I wanted to be June Cleaver  when I grew up, the perfect housewife, and I tried very hard, but as the fibro took hold and life situations got dicey, I slid down the slippery slope and into pjs apparently, or just comfy clothing in general. Even though I am in not one, but two how to dress style groups, and people rave about my outfits I post , that is the rare thing in my day to day life, I wish it was not true, but it is. As I read the chapter in Madame Chic, I could feel that familiar feeling of guilt and shame creeping up, and I put off writing this post for hours. I went on a very long walk, did some window shopping, popped into a fancy boutique and found myself making excuses for why I was wear sweat pants and a T shirt to the very stylish clerk who rung me up for a pair of earrings I found in the discount bin ( she was polite but ....) , and when I came home I played on Facebook, then lounged with the cat, took a shower, and crawled into my Pjs and stared at the computer screen trying to figure out how I was supposed to write about looking presentable while dressed in my over sized night gown and robe from Wal Mart?! I would much rather be able to say I was wearing a stylish casual outfit, had my Tiffanys pearls on and pretty little shoes ( if I am home, it is barefoot, socks or slippers).  I laughed out loud as I read the authors accounts of how the Chic family dressed, and how even though she has written about and tried to adopt the habit of looking presentable always that she has her days, and has been seen by others looking less so. I read with interest with how she motivates herself and her observations of others who do not seem to care how they look when out and about 
( where I live it is the norm to see men with their pants down below their bottoms, and women in clothing that leaves nothing to the imagination or should only be worn in bed) , I at least try, even when I walk to look presentable, though today was border line. 

One should always try to look nice,
first impressions are often lasting ones.

Jennifer writes about first impressions and NOT tempting yourself to be frumpy. I feel like I live a double life at all times. When out and about I try my best to look nice, even if it is a jeans and a T shirt,  or come Summer, a tank top and shorts. I fix my hair, wear my make up ( though doing the no make up make up that I chatted about from a previous chapter) , nice as I can manage walking shoes and a pair of pretty earrings finishes up the look. At home, well read above, and my closet is made up of very nice, dress up clothing and then baggy sweat pants and over sized pjs. I would like to get to the point as the author suggests , where when I open my closet or open a drawer there is nothing frumpy to wear. If I am to be in pjs, perhaps ones that are not cute but sloppy, and find every day wear ( not yoga pants LOL) that is more comfy than jeans but not to the level of sweat pants. She also covers making sure to check yourself at every angle, make sure there are no holes, stains, and that everything fits properly. There is a section of how to dress for travel, the "Saving Things for Later Mentality" and sleepwear. Of course there is a section on hair and grooming, nothing makes you look more frumpy and dumpy than hair that looks like you have not brushed it in ages, a stylish, but simplistic hair cut can help with that ( makes me miss my currently growing out pixie cut). The steps are not hard to take to look presentable always as apparently all French are known to be, but I think I am wearing shoes made of cement in this department.

Maybe baby steps of simply dressing
in pretty well fitting pjs will be
where I start towards channeling my
inner French girl. 

So I may never be French, but I can perhaps make more strides day to day, a better effort, in the department of being presentable, even while I am at home and even when I am not feeling quite as dandy as I would care to admit most days, and find inspiration from the French. I shall add that to my inner French girl bucket list.


  1. Ruby you are American chic, so, so cute and inspiring to me ,a fellow fibromite. It is a constant challenge when you feel like something the cat dragged in to be chic. I am really working on self care. At 63, going from one stupid ongoing health issue after another, a smile is sometimes painful. On Jan.2 I contracted a horrible case of poison oak from my puppy, all over my face! I looked like an ageing cabbage patch kid. couldn't' wear my beloved makeup. it took a whole month to go away, My pain nerves were on high alert! Only to be followed up this week with a horrible gut wrenching stomach virus. Also not conducive to chic!!!!!

    1. Oh sweet lady, how horrid! I hope that you are doing better now. I am so glad I can inspire you, it is all I could hope to do with this blog and the FB page and sharing my life with everyone. Thank you for telling me I have dine so for at least one person.

  2. I have no idea what pain and discomfort you must live with-I am sorry for your situation. Wishing you the best, Mary


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