Stiletto Storytime is a book blog, there is no doubt about that. However I have long wanted to do a feature to allow me to talk about other elements of my life that I strongly identify with. The result being a new series called “Femininity on Friday”, where each Friday I will review a book about fashion, femininity and of course at some point stilettos! So get ready…we’re going on a classic ride through style, grace and elegance every Friday for a bit. And where better to start than with the legendary Coco Chanel.
In my life I have adopted certain style rules from a young age…I always take off at least one piece of jewelry before I leave the house…to ensure that I am not “overdoing” it. I never even wore rings until I became engaged. I am a minimalist at heart but this always has been my rule. I believe high heels can make the world go round, just as a little black dress is the key to any wardrobe. I believe in investing in high quality pieces that last forever but never go out of style over buying lots of cheaper trendy items each year. I love basics such as a nice blazer and good fitting jeans with stilettos. Pearls, diamonds and anything Tiffany are my weaknesses but these are items I have built up to over the years through birthdays, Christmas and graduations…and have had passed down through my family over the years. However I cannot turn down classy pieces of costume jewelry at any point in time. My belief is that it’s all about how you wear it….on whether it looks real or not. It’s about how you carry yourself and who you are as a person. It’s about being a lady.
This is who I am style and fashion wise. It has always been my goal to be fashionable and yet to always look like a lady and somehow appear put together without effort. This is me but little did I know…this is pure Coco Chanel. When one thinks of classic iconic fashion….one thinks of Chanel. She brought us the little black dress, mixing gems with costume jewelry and key pieces that every woman should have in her wardrobe. She was a self-made woman and a woman who defied the conventions of beauty, fashion and style. Not considered a beauty she rose from nothing to the queen of a fashion empire, all by being herself. She created what we now consider the epitome of elegance and taste and it all started with a little hat shop.
I did not know that so many of my fashion truths were attributed to Chanel until I read The Gospel According to Coco Chanel: Life Lessons from the World’s Most Elegant Woman by Karen Karbo. As I read I realized so many of the truths that I had collected over the years…were original Chanelisms.
“Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and remove one accessory.” -Coco Chanel
“Less is always more.”- Coco Chanel
The Gospel According to Coco Chanel is a great read for any woman looking for the rules by which to live in a world that lacks class and elegance more and more everyday. (Example: People who wear their jammies to public places such as the supermarket). Karbo has done a great job of summing up what is elegance according to Chanel while also including details of the fascinating life of the woman nicknamed “Coco”. It’s a fun read organized into sections on life lessons and key beliefs held by Chanel herself. It also gives a great background on the history of Chanel as a fashion house such as original Chanel and what is now being produced under the name. An entertaining read for any fashionista or woman interested in getting more acquainted with her feminine side. Chanel is an icon but as Karbo so truthfully states:
“If nothing else, the woman was a complete stranger to the embarassing impulse buy and for that alone we should salute her.”
Amen…for we have all been there! As for me I still dream that some day I will own a classic Chanel suit .
If you are intrigued by Coco Chanel as a woman, I also highly recommend Coco Before Chanel. A wonderful film about Chanel’s rise to power.
That’s it for this week’s feature but please let me know what you think. Comments are always welcome as are suggestions on books on the subject or your own fashion “truths”.