10 shopping tips you need to know

Shopping is so much fun, isn’t it? With a friend or alone the prospect of finding the perfect outfit is such a pick-me-up! This post is about making sure we do it successfully, so the joy lasts longer! So there are no regrets when we open the bags at home. Here are the best – tried and tested – shopping tips you need to know!

  1. Make a list. Before leaving home make sure everything you need is on a list. Write it down on paper and take it with you. It will save you. I’m amazed how often I’m in the store and do not remember what I came for. Everything looks so beautiful and useful and necessary. Until I go home and find out that this isn’t what I needed at all!
  2. Make sure it’s right! Right for you right now! Right for your lifestyle and your body type. If it doesn’t look great on you and doesn’t reflect your personality, leave at the store.
  3. Dress appropriately! When you go out on a shopping mission make sure you wear something that is easy to get in and out off. Your task is to try things on, so make it as easy as possible. Avoid shoes with laces and buttoned shirts.
  4. Don’t be afraid to spend on classic items. A good coat, leather shoes and handbags, any material of good quality is worth the money. Consider it an investment.
  5. Spread the cost of an expensive garment. How much is too much? Calculate cost per wear and consider how many years you might wear it. This is particularly applicable when considering the purchase of a coat, or a tailored suit.
  6. Prefer shopping on a weekday, if possible. The stores are far less crowded and the salespeople far less distracted. They will be far more inclined to help you and accommodate your needs.
  7. Don’t be afraid to mix and match! Even royals and celebrities do this today. Besides mixing pieces and styles can be great fun. Proceed with caution!
  8. Be honest with yourself. Shop for your body the way you are now. Consider your body type and age and don’t be lured by the wonderful top you could enjoy wearing in another lifetime.
  9. Avoid shopping when in distress. Shopping in a hurry never did any of us any favours. It’s best to wear something old and trusted than run to the stores at the last minute trying to find the perfect outfit. Most likely you’ll end up with something all wrong. And too expensive.
  10. Play it safe. When not sure, go for basic colours like black, white and anything neutral. You can’t go too far off when you stick to the basic palette.
Photo by Moose Photos on Pexels.com

Coding your uniqueness into a web page.

As soon as I completed the HTML course, it was time to move to CSS, the styling tool for our web pages. I am new to this and quite determined! Curious to find out more about this digital world that invaded our lives and improved them so significantly!

So, I started learning CSS a few days ago. I have chosen Codecademy for this endeavour because their platform is easy to use and the learning paths are clearly presented. They offer great introductory options that enlighten the newcomers and ease them into the world of computer science and web development.

HTML and CSS are the coding languages to learn for any wannabe web developer.

The way things are moving forward, everybody would benefit from learning how to build web pages. What I love about coding is that it entails experimentation. One has the ability to play around with all the various options and create their own unique online identity, rather than utilise the prefabricated options available to all. This freedom to build a personalised online presence is very appealing.

Open laptop with code on screen
Writing code

The path on CSS starts with CSS Setup and Selectors. Several symbols suddenly appeared in the page without much of an introduction. Attention to detail is definitely needed in order to understand the logic and clarify in your mind where everything goes. Grouping information together using classes is one new aspect, as is marrying the two languages together. Prioritising the specificity of the selectors is also a challenge.

Linking the two codes together needs to be addressed carefully so that the browser can apply the styling code to the correct elements of HTML. A lot of practice is definitely needed, and a very clear view of what one aims to achieve. There is a lot of room for trial and error, which is something that might go both ways. One can end up with a haphazard outcome,or one might stumble on a magnificent styling idea by accident; not a bad prospect.

New ideas often come from experimenting.

It’s early days for me and I’m looking forward to having that experience myself.

I definitely do recommend learning both languages since their outcome is right in front of our eyes every day. It is a part of our lives and I dare say it even forms a part of our identity, considering all that variety of online communication in our daily lives.

As always, I would love to read your thoughts on this. Do not hesitate to send me your reply below. All the best to your online travels! 


CSS – Styling web pages

CSS is a computer language used for styling web pages. CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets. Styling web pages …

This sounds a bit funny to me since I consider the word style to be associated with fashion.

Apparently the word has a broader meaning which covers much more than clothes. According to Cambridge English Dictionary, to style means to shape or design something especially so that it looks attractive.

Style as a noun means a way of doing something, especially one that is typical of a person, place or period.

When we talk about style we refer to something pleasing and interesting. We refer to something being appealing but also characteristic of a thing or person. Or a brand, as per terminology in vogue!

White keyboard and black tablet on yellow surface
Creating style

CSS is our styling tool, it makes our page attractive and it makes it typical of our brand. It serves the image; it conveys the message, the aesthetic of our choice. Of course that goes hand in hand with having a clear identity and a clear vision from the start.

One needs to know what one represents before actually deciding on the elements that best portray that choice. It all comes down to making the right one for you and supporting that choice, that style.

And using the right tools to achieve your style. Like CSS. Or VOGUE!

I will tell you more about CSS as soon as I finish the course and have a more complete and comprehensive view of the content. I am looking forward to learning all about styling! Web Pages and all!

Let me know what you think!

Things I wish my mother had told me. Thoughts on the book.

Book Review: Things I Wish My Mother Had Told Me, Lessons in Grace and Elegance by Lucia Van Der Post. John Murray Publishers, UK, London 2008.

I chose to write about this book because of its title. The mention of My Mother brings to mind so many things… Personal things I wished my mother had told me years ago, and most importantly, things I have to say to my daughters! This is going to be a review with that in mind.

Lucia Van Der Post is an associate editor of the Financial Times’s How to Spent it magazine, and has also written for the New Statesman, Departures and many others. She writes about style and luxury and has a devoted audience.

Inside  the Book

The book covers a variety of themes such as: How to Wear Clothes; How to look Good; Love, Marriage and Happiness; Perfect Presents; Fun and Games. Her Lessons in Grace and Elegance derive from personal experience and are solidified by her proven reputation as lifestyle writer. She offers valuable advice such as a list entailing what is worth spending money on. There is also her “golden rules” for shopping at the sales. Her advise is timeless and it extends beyond dressing elegantly and looking smart. She also offers insights into being a good host, a stylish professional and a delightful friend.

Going back to the title, there is clearly a positive message. You don’t have to worry about the things your mother didn’t tell you; you will find everything in here! And you do find everything in there.

What do I tell my daughters?

I think this book is practical rather than inspirational; it does cover everything in a very comprehensive way. More importantly, this book made me think about my role as a mother. It made me think about all the things I have to tell my daughters. It made me realize that I’m not here to teach them the basics and remind them to do their homework. My role is a lot more complex than that. It is equally important that they know how to take good care of themselves, how to manage their life, their manners, their feminine questions and aspirations. I’m not sure how much help I actually got from this book, but the title stayed with me over the years and made me feel more responsible as a mother. I hope I will be able to teach them how to determine their unique identity, how to define their personal look, how to set their priorities and lead their lives in a balanced way. Elegance and style included!

I would love to read your thoughts on this. As a mother what do I need to tell to my daughters? What would be the most important lesson? How do I teach them without being overbearing? Any ideas?



How to wear black successfully. Five tips you need to know.

I’m not here as a fashion expert, but rather as a friend. I’m not here to determine trends, nor to echo the voice of the fashion giants. I am here to summarise the basics for you, and make you realise that exuding style is easier then you think.

Forget the extravagant suggestions of the glossy magazines. We both live on Earth, both legs firmly on the ground. As I said when I talked about our community we are leading busy lives with other priorities. I know. But I also know that fashion and style can make you feel good; both as a professional and as a woman. Never too late to do this. You can, and you must allow yourself this luxury. The luxury of making conscious choices.

The luxury of identifying your perfect style and expressing yourself through your choices. It’s not vanity. It’s self-respect and you deserve this. And this is the purpose of my posts, to guide you to the right direction for yourself. I am not suggesting you suddenly ignore your responsibilities at work or at home and run around buying clothes. I am merely saying it’s important to find the right balance between your responsibilities and your right to nurture your personality. So have no fear. I am here to give you quick tips about the basics without the intimidation of the fashion experts.

Well, black is a fashion must, isn’t it? Everybody knows that. Safe choice!

Especially in relation to French style and that je ne sais quoi, black serves a purpose. Fashion editors and designers all too often wear just black.

Nothing more popular than LBD, the Little Black Dress. There is no book or magazine that doesn’t mention this. And a black suit, coat, pants …

However, for the amateur wearing black is not as easy as it sounds. It is all too easy to end up looking drab, neglected, boring or like a grieving widow. There are a few elements that require special attention and make all the difference.

1. Sharp tailoring

The outfit has to be the right size. The stitches need to stand straight on your shoulders, the neckline hanging closely around the neck, the trousers defining your legs. Too tight and you are not comfortable, too loose and it’s a sad look.

2. Well groomed

Don’t even think about wearing black without immaculate hair, clear skin and neat manicure. Black makes every detail stand out, so make sure you are well groomed and don’t forget your teeth. Clean, white teeth guarantee the best smile. This simply requires the regular visits to the dentist twice a year, and a consistent care of your skin. Expensive treatments not needed, but that’s another post.

3. Red lipstick

It goes fantastically well with black. Makes the right contrast, exudes femininity without being too much. Red lips and a colourful outfit can be risky but red lips and black dress is just the epitome of style. If red lips are not your type, still apply makeup that defines your femininity, your eyes or your lips. I’m sure you know the rule about not emphasising both at the same time. Do either.

4. Be careful with your accessories

As always, shoes, bag and jewellery can make or break the whole look. To be on the safe side, choose shoes and bag that are also black. But you could go for a bold coloured bag that would make the look pop. In that case, choose jewellery that is minimal or none at all. Alternatively go for a big bold necklace and keep all else plain.

5. Be careful with textures

Not all black is the same. The fabric matters. Silk, cotton, wool, velvet, synthetics, they all reflect light differently. When combining materials and textures check them beforehand in natural light. To be on the safe side, also check them in strong artificial light to make sure a thin fabric doesn’t turn too revealing under the unexpected light at night or day.

Treat black as a canvas for your beauty and your style. Make sure you always present the best version of you. Love yourself, your style, your choices!  Wear black with confidence and as always, don’t forget to smile!


Revealed: How to determine your perfect style in 5 steps

It’s all about style isn’t it? Stylish home, stylish look, stylish life. Easier said than done. So what can we do to accomplish this? The main thing is to determine your perfect style. Determine the images that reflect your personal preferences. Everyone is different and has different views on things, so embrace this. Determine your ideal and bingo! You are half way there. Below you can find 5 easy steps to help you pinpoint the look you prefer. Remove the rest and make choices that support this throughout your life. Once you know your direction you can ignore the sidelines and the distractions.

Step 1: Look for the archetype

Next time you look at magazines, look for the archetypes of each era that still influence and define today’s looks. Look for:

  • Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich or Josephine Baker from the 20’s and 30’s with All That Jazz and Art Deco.
  • Any model portraying Christian Dior’s iconic New Look from the 50’s. See Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face and Grace Kelly in Hitchcock movies.
  • Jackie O and Twiggy. Audrey Hepburn dressed by Givenchy. Look at the iconic scene of Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
  • Then again, you might prefer the bohemian look from the 70’s, the groupie look or the glamorous Studio 54 influences.
  • You might prefer the Old School prettiness of the Royals or the pop culture of Vivienne Westwood.
Step 2: Choose what you like

Choose the image you like best and keep it in your mind. Think about it and determine the elements that speak to you. Is it the colours, the shapes, the idea behind it? Do you want to feel sexy like Brigitte Bardot or pretty like Audrey Hepburn? Is the bohemian ease more you? Whatever it is, keep it close to your heart.

Step 3: Reality check part I

Well, now it’s time for the reality check. Take an honest look in the mirror and decide on your best bits. What do you love about your body that you can showcase with your true style? Forget about dieting, exercising, etc. Now, today how can your beautiful eyes smile more? Isolate the elements that flatter you and ignore the rest.

Step 4: Reality check part II

Look at your life style, your everyday activities, and your workplace. Look at who you are and who you want to be and balance the two. Balance them in a way that is the most flattering and the most respectful of your identity. No point investing in heels when your life involves running around all day. There are so many choices in sport shoes today, they can be as ornamented or as plain as you like.

Step 5: Discipline

Last point is discipline. Yes, discipline comes into this as well! Once you identify your look, stick to it. You buy nothing out of this spectrum of colours and shapes. This pays off in style and in money. You don’t end up with unfit pieces that don’t match with anything. Impulse buying can be uplifting, but treat it with scepticism. And don’t mix different styles together. Every piece has an identity; it belongs to a category. Nothing worse than a boho dress with a sharp jacket. You can mix and match options but they need to belong to the same category. Let your message be clear.

On a final note, pinpoint the image you like and have fun with it.

Let it be your signature, a point of reference for your choices. No style endeavour is going to be complete unless you look at your mind as well as your body. Make sure your choices respect your unique personality.

Make your dressing ritual a source of confidence that leads to a beautiful day.

And smile!

PARISIAN CHIC, all you need to know about style with character


PARISIAN CHIC, A Style Guide by Ines de la Fressange with Sophie Gachet, Flammarion, S.A.,Paris, English language edition, 2011

This is a review of my favourite book on style and elegance. I first read it six years ago and still read it for tips, ideas or inspiration. The creator of this book, Ines de la Fressange, is a respected fashion icon since the eighties. In 1983 she was the first model to sign an exclusive contract with an Haute Couture fashion house in Paris, Chanel. Today she is still actively involved in the fashion world, creating her own designs for her store. She has also written Parisian Chic LOOK BOOK – What should I wear today? and The Parisian Field Guide to Men’s Style. She continues to work in collaboration with various fashion houses. Sophie Gachet who worked with her for this book is a fashion journalist.

Style is about attitude

This book covers four main themes, how to dress, how to look beautiful, how to inject style into your house, and what to do when you are in Paris. Every theme contains colourful paragraphs with thoughts, tips and ideas. There is advice on what to do and what not to do! She makes some very specific suggestions for the basic elements of a comprehensive wardrobe and beauty cabinet. She gives lots of addresses of great stores too, both physical and online.

Ines has created herself the illustrations throughout the pages, and her daughter is the model in the fashion shots. This gives a very personal tone to the book.

The heart of this book

This book definitely achieves its goal, and more. It makes you love style, Paris and yourself! The playful approach makes the ideas relatable and easy to read. And it also makes you realize you don’t need to obsess about rules. For a truly Parisian attitude let your spirit free! Love and respect yourself!

The Parisian follows a few golden rules, but she likes to transgress too. It’s part of the style.” (p.11)

I like Parisian Chic because it provides guidance without being restrictive; it provides a starting point but leaves enough room for a personal touch. I enjoyed the ratio of words to images. There is enough text to explain and enough images to visualize and inspire. I love the fact that you can also see the author’s character shine through the pages, confident, unapologetic and radiant.

This book makes sense and it doesn’t lead to vanity. It leads to self reflection. Throughout there are remarks reminding us of the basic rules of taking care of ourselves.

Don’t go bankrupt buying expensive face creams – the best beauty parlor is your local dentist. An attractive smile and great teeth are the best way to forgive and forget the rest!” (p.117)

The message is clear. Don’t try to be someone else; try to be the best version of you. Let yourself shine through understated garments and accessories that function well together. Carefully chosen elements will add finesse to a woman that is oozing confidence and ease.

I first read this book a little after the birth of my youngest daughter. I had just returned to my normal weight and was in need for some new and timeless outfits. In my world, being a mom of two doesn’t allow for extravagant and ephemeral choices; not enough time, not enough money. So I decided to stick to her suggestions and over the years I bought several of those pieces. Her advice never failed me. I managed to accumulate a collection of basic items that can take me everywhere. No need to run around at the last minute. Unless I feel like it!



Our community

This is a post about our community, about who we are and what unites us. This is an opportunity to introduce myself and explain my reasons for being here. I want us to learn from each other. I want us to discuss how we can get inspired and live our passions, and also how we can balance dreams and reality.

Who we are

We are the women who care about elegance and style and this is neither our profession nor our only concern. We strive to balance those in a full life with limited resources.

We live complicated lives. We have a job full of demands, a partner that expects us to be superheroes and serene at the same time, we have children that need our care.

We desire to do our best

  • to do great at work and look the part every day. Own the perfect look, and the right set of skills for that promotion
  • to host dinners with home cooked goods without losing composure
  • to organise the loveliest party with a personal touch, care, attention
  • to attend family gatherings of any kind without losing our temper while wearing the right attire

Introducing myself

I am here to provide a platform for our explorations, for our communication, for sharing tips and ideas. I am here to discuss balance  and the challenges it poses. I will review books on our favourite subject, style, and post my notes on a separate page in this blog. Next week I plan to post my thoughts on my favourite book so far! It’s a surprise! I have read quite a few already but feel free to make suggestions; I’d love to read them all.

In this blog you will find tips and posts about organising a beautiful party without losing your mind. I will also provide an outline for scheduling the preparations. The focus is on delivering without forgetting about yourself. To remember the food, the decor, the dress, and also to breathe.

Sharing our passions

I want us to get to know each other, exchange notes and ideas. Find the images that inspire us in books, magazines and online and share them. I want to discuss ways to live our passion.

Firstly, choose to live your passion!  Then you will find the way. Make it a priority and form your world accordingly.

Practically this means create room for your passion, in your mind and in your life.  For me that means clearing my office space from old school books and redundant notes, and putting in a bookcase. I want it to be red. And then I absolutely need to place an inspiration board above that bookcase. I can almost see my board full of pictures of colourful china, tranquil rooms and outfits that take me places.

On balancing dreams and reality

How do we do all that in a complicated life with complicated finances?

Balance comes into play here. There is much to say about finding balance. Lots of posts will follow on this topic as it constantly intrigues me.

I will be writing lots about balancing the options and choosing the best one for you. About disentangling yourself from perfectionism and choosing the solution that is right for you.

The tailor made version of things that compliments your character, and lets you shine through the adversities and the challenges of everyday life.

The main thing is to stay focused

Don’t forget what’s important to you

Go for the little things every day. One step at a time, only make sure you remember where you are going.


 It is evident that this is about belonging, about common ideas, and common priorities.

It would be amazing to take this community forward and empower each and every one of us. Drive progress and improvement with tips and ideas.

For our peace of mind and our styling choices

For our presence in the outside world and inside our minds

For our fulfilment and happiness and love for ourselves and others.

Receiving feedback would be amazing so please send me your comments using the reply button below. Thank you so much!




Terminology of Elegance

I have a confession to make, I love dictionaries. I love exploring the meaning of those intangible words that enter our lives sometimes, and I also love finding out new words that I didn’t know existed. I enjoy thinking about the idea they contain and the feeling they convey.

Some words just mean so much even standing on their own. They don’t need to be put in a sentence.


So in this post I would like to share with you some of my favourite words and their meaning. My best-loved words revolve around the notion of elegance and politeness, and I would love it if you were to send me some of your own precious words, το add to my collection.


the inner power to attract attention, admiration, and respect without being pretentious.


an image of calmness and tranquillity coupled with confidence and moral standards.


a disposition unique that differentiates you from others. A clear prerequisite for true elegance that has very little to do with appearance. A personal element that makes you, you!


beauty and refined character.


not just the synthesis of sounds but also a pleasing combination of feelings and ideas.


class and distinction, the quality of being attractive and spellbinding.


the magical effect on others when exuding charm.


refined attitude mixed with elegance and generosity, politeness and respect.


choosing to adopt a moral attitude, and do the right thing; a polite social behaviour.


being pleasant and friendly, kind and considerate.


demonstrating a character friendly and easy to talk to.


the quality of appreciating the depth of a situation, demonstrating respect and openness.


the wisdom of being understanding and able to make fair judgements.


a disposition that is genuine, open, unpretentious, spontaneous, relaxed.


energy and enthusiasm, a secret ingredient of beauty and happiness.

 I also love the words Thoughtfulness, Consideration, Care, and Civility for the respect that they communicate towards others. I hope that you liked my words and that you will take the time to send me some of yours. I’d love to read them and maybe later on post a further list of enchanting words. Thank you!


I would respectfully like to mention that for the purpose of this post I utilised various dictionaries, but mostly the Cambridge English Dictionary and The Little Dictionary of Fashion by Christian Dior.

We love reading

We love the smell of paper

the sound of the turning page, the tranquillity of spending time with a book.

Our beautiful book.

We also appreciate the ability to connect with others at any time, any place. Reading is a conversation with the author, a discovery of knowledge, a journey into something new. And this can happen in so many ways.

New habits are formed today. Connectivity is everywhere. Blogs, sites, social networks; all occupy a large part of our lives. Our online activity has changed our ways of reading.

Reading has evolved so much. We read all the time now, even if it’s just colourful tweets! It is so easy to share our thoughts, to connect. The digital world is bringing us all closer together.

Our love for reading brings as all closer together.

Reading is our answer to the need to explore, to discover, to ask questions. The way reading adapts to our modern ways is proof of its reign. Proof of our intrinsic need to share stories and thoughts.