4.27.2014

Easy, Elegant Braided Updo Tutorial & The Lost Art of Dress (Giveaway)



This week we are examining how we present ourselves. You know one of my mottos from Lessons from Madame Chic is "look presentable always". While this seems like a superficial goal, it is actually quite powerful. Making it our goal to look presentable every single day (whatever our best is for that day) puts out the message that we respect ourselves and the people we come in contact with. That we have the energy to put our best foot forward and that by adorning ourselves we are in our own way celebrating life.



Looking presentable should not be high-maintenance or unattainable. It should be easy and fun! Which is why I did this week's video showing you an easy, yet elegant braided updo. This tutorial is for women with medium to long hair. If you have short hair you can modify it by creating two side braids and pinning them back... play with it and find what works for you. If you are unable to see this week's video, click here, look in the sidebar of this blog or visit my channel: www.youtube.com/TheDailyConnoisseur



To continue the theme I am so happy to introduce to you The Lost Art of Dress by Linda Przybyszewski. This fascinating book explores the history (and downfall) of American dress in a witty and entertaining way. It is a book that I know many of you will love.

I was very honored to have my book blurb included on its cover:

"An invaluable resource of inspiration. The Lost Art of Dress calls us to resurrect our stylish roots and bring tasteful beauty back to our everyday routine." -Jennifer L. Scott, author of Lessons from Madame Chic

Here is the description from Amazon:

As a glance down any street in America quickly reveals, American women have forgotten how to dress. We chase fads, choose inappropriate materials and unattractive cuts, and waste energy tottering in heels when we could be moving gracefully. Quite simply, we lack the fashion know-how we need to dress professionally and flatteringly.

As historian and expert dressmaker Linda Przybyszewski reveals in The Lost Art of Dress, it wasn’t always like this. In the first half of the twentieth century, a remarkable group of women—the so-called Dress Doctors—taught American women how to stretch each yard of fabric and dress well on a budget. Knowledge not money, they insisted, is the key to timeless fashion. Based in Home Economics departments across the country, the Dress Doctors offered advice on radio shows, at women’s clubs, and in magazines. Millions of young girls read their books in school and at 4-H clothing clubs. As Przybyszewski shows, the Dress Doctors’ concerns weren’t purely superficial: they prized practicality, and empowered women to design and make clothing for both the workplace and the home. They championed skirts that would allow women to move about freely and campaigned against impractical and painful shoes. Armed with the Dress Doctors’ simple design principles—harmony, proportion, balance, rhythm, emphasis—modern American women from all classes could learn to dress for all occasions in a way that made them confident, engaged members of society.

A captivating and beautifully-illustrated look at the world of the Dress Doctors, The Lost Art of Dress introduces a new audience to their timeless rules of fashion and beauty—rules which, with a little help, we can certainly learn again.


Basic Books have been kind enough to offer to give away 5 copies of The Lost Art of Dress to readers of the Daily Connoisseur! Please enter via the rafflecopter widget below. This giveaway is open to US residents only (my apologies to our international readers but I do not set these guidelines).

a Rafflecopter giveaway


The five winners will be announced on the widget and contacted directly once the giveaway is over next week.

Best of luck!

For more information on Linda Przybyszewski you can visit her at http://www.professorpski.com/



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84 comments:

Ann said...

Lost art - it really is. I notice that people do not "dress" for many occasions, and Sunday church is not an occasion to dress for most. Thanks for helping us to "be presentable."

Denise said...

I enjoyed your updo. So cute on a hot day.

Paula said...

I wish I could braid my own hair. It's so pretty!

Xandra Burns said...

The art of dress is, alas, overlooked. There are still many of us who care deeply, but I wish we were in greater company!

Ashley Diaz said...

Love the video- funny enough, Clair de lune came up on Pandora station when I was doing my hair this morning! I love the suggestion of pulling gently on the braids to make them appear fuller. I love braids and use them often and it has never occurred to me to do that :)

turf828 said...

I agree! We chase fads, and fast fashion is hard on the planet and on the workers who make the clothing. I love your blog so very much!

Rosemary said...

I completely agree. I love dressing nice everyday, and I think how a woman dresses say a lot about their self concept.

Michele in Progress said...

I love the hair video. I will have to practice, as that would be the perfect alternative to a bun.

Hollylovesjcrew said...

Sounds like a great read! Hope I win.

Kaleen Ezelle said...

I'm so curious about this book…I definitely see the lost art of dressing well but interested to read in what specific ways she notes.

Maureen said...

The Lost Art of Dress looks fabulous! I sometimes wonder how and when women in this wonderful country forgot how to dress presentably or stopped caring. Between this book, your book Lessons From Madame Chic, and the lovely Duchess of Cambridge as a fashion icon, I've got my fingers crossed that it's something that will come back into the collective conscious.

Unknown said...

I agree that it is a lost art to look presentable at all times. I would love to have this book to add to my library.

Heather said...

Sounds like a fascinating read!

Marissa said...

Thank you! This idea always reminds me of Stacey and Clinton's thoughts about the "pajamification" of America. I see so many women out in slippers or fleece pajama pants! You've gotta respect yourself, ladies. :)

yvettebujold said...

Really enjoyed your updo, it is very pretty!

yvettebujold said...

Really enjoyed your updo, it is very pretty!

Cindy said...

Marissa is spot on! I am always amazed at the number of women I see in pajama pants and slippers.

Taryn Jackson said...

I love the concept of the 10 item wardrobe. I can't believe how much easier it is to look presentable everyday. I now love every piece of clothing in my wardrobe and live by the motto "choose well, buy less"
Thanks for the videos!

shelleyinhouston said...

Love love love the new up do. I'm going to give it a try in the morning!

Huntington Septa said...
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SolariC said...

The book you recommended in this post sounds fascinating...I had no idea that there were such things as Dress Doctors! I wish they were still around.

Anyway, my mother drilled principles of good dressing into my mind when I was a child, so now I find it astonishing that no one around me knows how to dress well and appropriately for different occasions. I am really glad to know that someone has finally written a book addressing that issue.

MairaJ said...

My gosh I really needed this idea. How elegant and beautiful and yet looks effortlessly classy. With three kids at home I need a look that does not require me to be a slave to my blow-dryer and hair flatiron! I'm thinking of using this up-do when we entertain at home.

Ann G. R. said...

The up-do looks so cute and classy on you. Thanks for sharing.

I would love to read that book. Looking back on 'historical' photos from the first half of the 20th century when hats and suits or dresses were the norm for social occasions, is alarming evidence how our society's dress code has degraded.

EmAnne said...

People often comment about not wanting to look overdressed, where "overdressed" to most is simply "presentable" to us select few! I'm excited to read The Lost Art of Dress, whether I win the giveaway or not. Thanks, Jennifer!

JoJo said...

Loved you hair tutorial. Very simple, easy and quick. I truly believe when one dresses they should think elegance and grace.

Tracey Brewer said...

Yes - I like the hair tutorial! My younger daughter enjoys trying new things with her hair and I can see her trying something like that.

Rio said...
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Rio said...

I do think it's good to be reminded of the art of dressing presentable. My grandmother really inspires me to look my best. However sometimes the stress of life gets the better of me. I do wish people would not wear fuzzy slippers & PJs at the grocery store ��

L said...

loved the hair tutorial

My Desi Heart said...

Love the braided up do! The Lost Art of Dressing applies not only to the US but to other countries as well. Maybe it is more of a generation thing.

jen l said...

Thanks for the fun hair style inspiration!

sisty said...

Looking presentable is important to me, and I'm from the no-makeup, natural hair generation. I find that it doesn't take much of an effort, and I do notice that I get a positive reaction when I do so.

Amanda said...

Is looking presentable important to you? Why?


This quote sums it up best...

"Dress how you want to be addressed."



Sarah Extance Garcia said...

I agree with society's apparent drop in dress standards. I don't think it is an art that is taught very much anymore. Dressing up is probably viewed as not comfortable or practical, expensive or only for celebrities. Luckily, I have very good role models in my English mother and grandmother. They always dress smartly, even though they are not particularly wealthy.

Anne said...

I love the updo, and The Lost Art of Dress sounds fascinating. I can't wait to read it!

Emily said...

It seems that most women in my area (Texas) either fail to accessorize their outfits or they pile on the bling. Rhinestones and cheap costume jewelry are the top two things I would banish forever if I could.

Lauren E.Flocken said...

Always being presentable is important because it is a sign of respect for the people around you (and to yourself).

Priscilla said...

Love the hair tutorial. I am very interested in the book "The Lost Art of Dress".

amy said...

The art of dressing is definitely lost, for that matter so is the concept of appropriateness.

Mlou said...

Looking presentable always is important because I want to be a good example to my granddaughters. Yesterday 13 year old Danni and I watched some your videos and today she's reading your book on my Nook. She's wants to try the "Ten-Item Wardrobe" for herself. I want to remember to practice what I preach to her and the other two coming up.

helen tilston said...

Hello Jennifer

This book sounds very interesting.

We must never ever give up on our style and appearance, continue to swim again the current.

Helenxx

Brittainie Chéri MacKenney said...

i'm always thrilled to see a new post AND video... [and i added 'the lost art of dress' to my wish list as soon as you had posted it on instagram a couple of weeks back!]

Ginny said...

Lost art is an understatement. If you observe others, it can be shocking. Maybe casual Friday wasn't such a good idea. I definitely feel better when I put effort into presenting myself.

Cari said...

I have been growing my hair out and it is finally long enough to try a style like your braids. Maybe I'll start practicing! Thanks for the idea.

Classic stylish dress may indeed be making a comeback with books like yours and the Duchess of Cambridge leading the way.

Musa de la memoria said...

Love the hair video! I have long hair and have been in a lull for too long with it loose, which won't do in the hot summer!

Celeste said...

A very useful tutorial! I'm going to try it soon.

Carolyn said...

The art of dressing today is sadly becoming a lost art. This book will be an amazing resource for remedying this situation!

Rita said...

Dressing well seems to be a forgotten art. I'm appalled at the large number of women who seem to pride themselves in not caring about their appearance. Dealing with these individuals feels like a slap in the face!

LT said...

The hair tutorial was cool and looked easy, but I think I'll try it with a side-part instead, because center-parts look dreadful on my face shape!

Laura Gail said...

Loved your book and would loved to win this one!

Nicole H said...

Loved the hair tutorial! It was so elegant and simple. Also, you always choose the best music for your videos. Thank you so much for your inspiration!

Judy said...

Love the updo. Pretty and easy.

D. said...

The trouble is finding classic, elegant clothes sometimes, splashy prints and horrid color combinations abound. But carry on we must, hear's to all of us who strive to walk in beauty!

Lisa said...

The Lost Art of Dress sounds like an extremely interesting read. People dressed well in the past even during economically challenging times. I look forward to learning more by reading the book.

Susanne said...

The state of dress today is appalling. Almost every time I run into Walmart (because it's the closest store to me) I am amazed that people actually left their home wearing what they have on. It literally looks like they rolled out of bed and stumbled to the store. I sometimes wish I had lived in a different era, when people dressed up to get on a plane...and didn't wear their pajamas!

Dawn Prosser said...

Lost art. It is sad to see so many grown women leave the house in pajama pants and feel that is acceptable

Tracey Smith said...

Very chic and looks easy enough to do. Thanks for showing us! I will definitely try once my hair gets long enough again. :)

cathy carron said...

I thinks it's really important to look as well as one can - and to this end - I NEVER leave the house without lipstick & earrings & usually a scarf - and try to look put to gather no matter what I look like or how I am feeling. Just has minor eye surgery yesterday but I was determined the eyepatch wouldn't get me down - so I just dressed as well as I could and it made me feel better as well.

Sarah said...

I definitely think looking presentable has, unfortunately, become a lost art. And I loved your hair tutorial! It looks like something I might actually be able to do and I can't wait to try it.

Giovanna said...

I had given up on learning to braid my OWN hair...

Katelyn Bumgardner said...

Looking presentable is important to me, and something I've really only started working on in the last year since I noticed that my uniform had become a sweatshirt and jeans. I would love to read this book!

Dolce said...

Love this tutorial! Will be trying this style out this weekend at a weddng. I can't wait!

CurtisB said...

I totally agree with looking presentable always. Thank you so much for your efforts and example along these lines.

Rayna St. Pierre said...

Lovely video and great giveaway! Dressing well certainly is a lost art. Despite the infinite offerings in stores and online! We're more lost than ever (and no one more than me, truth be told).
I think you're very good at helping your readers dress better and care more while at the same time eschewing conspicuous consumption and a certain tackiness evident in almost every other beauty/fashion blog. Have you considered posting daily? ;)

TrishCF said...

I think everyone dresses far too casually. I wish we would go back to the times when people cared about their appearance and dressed up for events. I hate to see people in jeans at a nice dinner!

Ginger said...

I love your braid and would really enjoy reading this book! Thank you

Patti said...

Looking presentable is very important to me. In fact, I always wear make-up when I leave the house, even to work out. Some might have a problem with that but I like to look my best at all times!

Joanna B said...

Yes, looking presentable is important for me. It gives me a sense of inner peace and self confidence knowing I am at my best and ready for the unexpected.

Unknown said...

When I was young, my family always dressed up. In fact my sister and I were not allowed to wear pants or shorts the 2 years we lived abroad-- in deference to local mores. Back then everyone at least dressed up on Sunday. Not anymore!

Deborah said...

I am especially conscious of how people present themselves when they travel. Long ago people used to look presentable when flying/traveling... not so much anymore! It's those people who take the time to look presentable that really stand out and I appreciate the effort.

tinyjunco said...

Yay! i'd read about the fair professor a year or so ago, but lost track of her name and have been wondering what she's up to. Very excited to hear her book is coming out! I recall Doc P makes a lot of her own clothes, i do so as well and am so very happy that this rewarding pastime is experiencing a resurgence. Happy Day! steph

Straw Girl said...

Hello, Jennifer! Thank you for your gentle reminders to beautify ourselves and the world. I, too, long for a more formal, elegant style, and I hope that fashion will shift from trends to well-made, unique pieces. I miss the days of having a dress maker and a tailor. I love reading about the history and progression of fashion and think the book you reviewed sounds fascinating.

Martha Lisik said...

I struggle with the "art of dress" on a day to day basis. But even so, I know that a little effort goes a long way towards having self confidence. People notice and listen to women who are confident. And doesn't everyone want to be heard?

Martha Lisik said...

Lost Art of Dress. Couldn't agree more. Unfortunately, people don't realize the confidence gain when they dress well. Either that or they don' realize the effect their confidence has on the way others see, react or listen to a person who commands attention.

Lisa H. said...

Tried the two braid option on my short hair today - it looked awesome! Thanks!

Jersey Prep said...

I am so interested in this book. I have to "dress" every day for work, but I work in retail and this is a constantly changing environment of trendy ups and downs and I find myself in my mid-thirties always struggling to look appropriate but not too young or old. I am hoping for some insight with this book!
PS Love the updo!

Camie Juan said...

Your braided tutorial was really cute! I actually liked the hairstyle with the two front braids pinned at the back. That was cute too. :) I recently cut my hair to about my shoulder,so I doubt my hair can do this now! :(

Rachel Hunt said...

Beautiful and simple.

Siusan said...

Thank you for your updo video. I really needed a new idea. I can't wait to try it!

CC E said...

Looking put together is very important to me. I completely agree with the book author, it is not a question of money...one can (and I do) dress well on a realistic budget.

Katie said...

I picked up your book on a whim at the library and completely devoured it. It helped me to focus what I have been attempting to achieve in my own life.

My Mom always taught me to look beautiful and appropriate for the situation. Though I strayed from her teachings in college, I have been trying to rise to challenge again and hoping to bring my family along with me.

Michelle The Heart Mom Chronicles said...

I have long hair and a mom of 4 and struggle with what to do more times than not. Thanks for this tutorial and all others, love them. Been following you since the beginning. =)

Vicki Zimmerman said...

This video was so beautiful with your easy updo, the music and all, including your pretty Equipment blouse. Even though I don't have long hair, I used to, and can easily appreciate how lovely this braided style can be for others. Thank you for inspiring once again, Jennifer! ^_^

Roberts Tracy said...

Great tutorial elegant looking braided best similar salon style. Well once I had done a similar braid out of my hair at a Oceanside Salon and Day spa and it had turned up awesome.

 
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