# How to Live Well # Lessons from Madame Chic

Always Use the Best Things You Have

The luxurious bubble bath you received as a gift for your birthday. Your great-grandmother's china. Those cloth napkins your mother gave you for Christmas. Your nice day shoes. That fabulous wrap dress you bought last year. Do you use your best things on a daily basis?

If not... why?

Our subconscious tries to talk us out of using our best on a daily basis. So many of us have a scarcity mentality where we think if we use our best, we'll use it up and we won't have anything nice in the 'future'. This happens to me all the time, but when I think like this I have started to question myself.

This week's video discusses chapter 10 in Lessons from Madame Chic, Always Use the Best Things You Have. If you are unable to see the above video, click here, look in the sidebar of this blog, or visit my channel: www.youtube.com/TheDailyConnoisseur

I would love to hear your thoughts on using your best. Do you struggle with this? Or is it becoming second nature for you?

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Susan said...

Here is my lingering question after reading your book. You said that Madame Chic did not employ domestic help and also that she dressed in her "quality" clothing at all times. Did she really scrub bathrooms in the same clothes she wore to the market? This idea is a huge obstacle for me.

Lacey R said...

I struggle with this, because sometimes we think our best items are "one-of-a-kind" and if we use it up or if something breaks, it can never be replaced. I catch myself thinking like that all the time!

This is a bit off topic but I still struggle with the 10 item wardrobe! I think it's because I don't like wearing the same clothes all the time and it felt like I was in a rut. Or I found myself wearing all black as "basics" all the time. I'm not sure about others, but I've found climate issues to be a big factor, especially this year...it has been so cold where I live that I tend to wear the same warm clothes every day. I might need a stylist! lol

Karena said...

Great topic! I am starting to use my good linens every day, never paper, etc.

I also wear whatever I want; it is just that I'm comfortable wearing a dress around the house, (unless it is a casual knit or in summer a beachy kind.

2013 Artists Series

Anonymous said...

I finally learned this lesson from an aunt who gave me her Villeroy & Boch china. For years, it sat in storage for a "special occasion." One day, she asked me on the phone how I was enjoying the china. I embarrassingly mumbled something about it being in the basement. Her admonishment that I should use it every day stuck with me. Now every meal is with served on china (yes, with a few chips), silver, and linen napkins - and it's wonderful.

Deirdre said...

This is so funny because I just pinned a pin on pinterest that said "I have an irrational fear of wasting a good outfit on an insignificant day". I had to laugh because I always think like this! It's good to remember that if we don't use what we have, then it will still go to waste. Thanks for the reminder:)

Unknown said...

My mother always "saved" new things for later, and unfortunately never got to use them. That was my lesson. I practically wear new clothing out of the store! I dress every day because even though I work at home, when I do go out it's more likely than not that I will meet someone who has recognized me from a lecture, etc. Good points, Jennifer. Keep it up.

Giedre said...

I started wearing my best clothes daily last summer - when I discovered you blog :) I was so inspired by your philosophy, Jeniffer!
But, like people said before - while scrubing bathrooms and cooking at home, even with an apron, I ended up with stains on my best clothes or dresses worned to death... So now I am saving some of my expensive things for going out again :)
Maybe a better idea would be to buy some nice clothes for everyday for home wear (those would not embarasse you if you had unexpected guests)? I believe Madame Chic also did not cook in her best coctail dress :)

sanda said...

Using my best things has always been a problem, until recently. I have come to realize my things will not mean as much to someone else after I am gone as they mean to me. So now I use/wear my best and most beautiful and savor it all. I keep at the ready an old shirt and slacks I can change into when I need to scrub but I wear it for those chores only.

Kendra said...

Got your book for Christmas and LOVE it. I decided to use my best bubble bath last night. However, I failed to put it away like I should (like your bathroom and your MIL), and my 1 year old spilled the entire bottle on the floor this morning.;) I'm learning. Thanks for the inspiration.

Andrea said...

I also struggle with this. I've recently realized that my problem with using my best everyday is that then I don't feel like I have anything "special" for special days. Special outfits for an evening out or special dishes for Thanksgiving dinner. I guess it really is just my mindset that needs to change, but that is the point that really trips me up right now.

Marianne said...

Just wanted to thank you for the inspiration. I purged my closet of clothes after this post. It feels so good to let clothing go that I simply don't wear...because they are not my best clothes. Now I have more room for the clothes that I love. Not down to 10 item wardrobe yet, but I'm closer. Thank you.

The Daily Connoisseur said...

Hello everyone,

As always I love to read your comments. This is something I think everyone (except perhaps royalty and aristocrats) struggle with. But as we slowly practice we get better and better at it and soon it will become second nature. We all deserve to use our best everyday.

The McMeekins- to answer your question, Madame Chic wore her day clothes to clean the house and cook in. She just put an apron over them. I know... it sounds crazy but it's true. If it doesn't work for you, then I would change. You have to be comfortable. But if you are willing to try to use an apron, or maybe one of those retro house dresses, it could be worth exploring!

Hope you are all having a lovely weekend.

Jennifer xo

Jan said...

I would love to know how to find that awesome ivory blouse you are wearing.

Unknown said...

I have just found out about your book of 20 Stylish Secrets and am reading/watching videos on your blog. I completely agree with using your best every day! Religious leader Thomas S. Monson said: "Don't save things for a special occasion. Every day of your life is a special occasion!" That, as well as your post, really speak to me. Thank you for sharing your lovely way of living!