The raison d’etre of “A Femme d’Un Certain Age” is to assist all of us in our goal of living a beautiful, uncomplicated life that brings pleasure to us and by extension to those we know and those we will never meet. It’s that last bit that is so quintessentially French.
We get up, get dressed and get out there for pleasure — ours and others — it’s about quality of life in the same way decorating our homes; setting a dinner table; making our meals not just delicious, but esthetically pleasing to the eye makes life richer and every day special in some small way.
Does this take a little more effort than we might wish to expend every day? Probably. Is it worth it? Oui, oui, et oui in thousands of ways. It makes us feel bien dans notre peau, gives us self-esteem and yes, even power.
We all know it takes discipline and French women are the queens of keeping it together beautifully — literally and figuratively — all the while making it look easy. As my best French friend says by being well-organized it allows her to be lazy. (You should see her closets, her cabinets, her dinner parties, her houses. . . And not only that, she can still wear most of the clothes she wore before she had her six children. Now that’s discipline.)
On the subject of clothes: The Michel Klein ensemble above is one of those ageless, perfectly French put-togethers that makes heads turn on the street or at a party. Now, before you panic: A few qualifiers: forget the bandana it’s silly for us; wear with espadrilles or flat sandals; and obviously there’s no need for the jacket to be opened down to there. As for the width or the use of a belt, that’s your call, but it pulls together better with one. You could always use a ribbon if you want to define your waist with a softer material. Don’t forget to push-up the sleeves. Every-detail-counts, it looks less hard-edge, more décontracté (relaxed, easy-going) that way.
(Before the month is out I’ll tell you the story of my friend who created 20 or more looks one summer out of a single ankle-skimming fuchsia cotton skirt [plus two pairs of Repetto’s and one pair of espadrilles]. She’s an artist so I’ll see if she’ll draw one or more of the outfits for me.)