9.28.2015

Reader Questions Answered



This week I have a rather long video for you where I answer your reader questions. So make a cup of tea, pull up a chair and let's have a chat together!

Today's topics?

Lizzy Loves Health asks for advice on what to do when you realize your style has dramatically changed.

Anna C. asks about dressing chic in cold weather.

As a recent graduate, Sarine asks for advice on how to deal with the often frustrating job search.

Lisa from Germany asks about chic house shoes and snacking with regard to children.

Please check out my video to hear my extended answers. If you have further advice to share with these readers, please leave comments in the section below. If you are unable to see the video above, click here, look in the sidebar of this blog, or check out my channel (and subscribe!) at www.youtube.com/TheDailyConnoisseur **


Two items discussed in the video:
My slippers from Bed Bath & Beyond: These slippers are so cozy and stay on my feet. They aren't terribly fashionable but I don't mind how they look when I wear them at home. Madame Chic did not wear slippers during the day. She wore her regular shoes, but at night she changed into slippers when she wore her pajamas and dressing gown.

Bringing Up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman has wonderful advice on children and snacking.

News
Polish Your Poise with Madame Chic: Lessons in Everyday Elegance comes out on October 27th! Pre-order available now.

I will be speaking and signing books at Pages Bookstore in Manhattan Beach, Thursday, October 29th 7pm.

Terigigi gives a glowing review of Polish Your Poise with Madame Chic on her YouTube channel.

Lucia from Dysfunctional Scrapbooking just adored Polish Your Poise with Madame Chic. Read her advance review here.

Madame Chic Inspiring Thought
If you've been thinking about picking up an old hobby that you loved, this is the week to do it! Even if you are busy, try to find some time to rekindle an old love, like playing an instrument, writing that novel or learning a new language. You will love the feeling it gives you.

Comment of the Week
Christine writes:

I have a little "hobby" of mine that I recently abandoned - and it was inspired by you in the first place. I began teaching myself french last year! I always wished I could speak french and begged for lessons when I was a little girl, but I was never given the opportunity. After being inspired by many of your videos and your books, I downloaded a few apps, began watching children's television shows in French, and e-mailed a friend who lives in France to practice. I was doing fairly well, but due to some life changes I stopped all together. After this video and your recent messages of refusing to be dumbed down, I have returned to my lessons! 15 minutes a day is all it takes for me to achieve something I've always dreamed of.

Merci beaucoup, Jennifer! A bientĂ´t!


I loved reading what you are inspired to take up again after watching my performance of Alla Turca. Christine, your comment was one of many that I found to be encouraging. Thank you and have fun with your French lessons.

Question of the Week
Many people asked about the nail polish I am wearing in my latest hair tutorial for the double-wrapped ponytail. It is Revlon number 620 in "bewitching". This is an old color so I am not sure if it is still carried.

I will see you next week for the reveal of my Fall/ Winter Ten-Item Wardrobe.


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22 comments:

Anna Carini said...

Hi Jennifer,

Thanks so much for answering all these questions, including mine! I so appreciated your advice, and I'm very inspired and looking forward to my fall/winter wardrobe. :) Thank you!

-Anna

greeneherb said...

Hi Jennifer,
The blue flower is Scabiosa sometimes called pincushion flower. Would be fun to see a video on what you eat and how you shop for food. Also would be fun to see your new garden. Thanks so much for your work!

greeneherb said...

Hi Jennifer,
The blue flower is Scabiosa sometimes called pincushion flower. Would be fun to see a video on what you eat and how you shop for food. Also would be fun to see your new garden. Thanks so much for your work!

Sarah said...

I just wanted to add that "French Kids Eat Everything" by Karen Le Billon has some awesome advice about kids' food habits and snacks.

Tiffany Ducummon said...

Hi Jennifer,

Thanks for posting a video full of answers to viewer questions!

I have a question for you - maybe you can address this during your next Q&A session. I have been trying to adopt the 10-Item Wardrobe, but I often find myself jealous or envious of my friends and co-workers who seem to have endless closets filled with clothing options. I try to remind myself that I'm being smart with my money and that I'm choosing clothing items that I truly enjoy wearing, but I still feel the pang of envy and sometimes wish I had an endless closet as well. Do you have any recommendations on how to deal with those feelings while living the 10-Item Wardrobe lifestyle?

Would love to hear your thoughts!

Sincerely, Tiffany

Debs said...

Looking forward to watching this video. And reading your new book :)

Elisabeth Ensor said...

Thank you Jennifer for answering my question!!!! Your answer was right on point, I will start adding in pieces only where I have holes in my new fashion/style direction. I've loved both of your books and cannot wait to read your 3rd book and review it for all my readers-lots of love!

Hannah said...

Like you, Jennifer, I know just how your reader Sarine feels right now. Many of us have probably been there - job hunting can be so hard and disheartening. What helped me at that time was to keep other things in my life moving in the direction I wanted them to go - simple things, like reading more challenging novels, practising my yoga every day, being mindful about my diet - it made me feel that even though the job hunt wasn't immediately working out I was still achieving on other levels. Your video about adding to your skill set and seeking solace in your hobbies, is just the sort of advice I found helped.

Agnes said...

Hello Jennifer,

I have a variation of the question you answered in the video above. I live in Los Angeles like you, so my clothes are mostly for really warm weather. However, once a year, in winter, I travel to visit my family in Poland for three to four weeks. Winter months in Poland tend to be really cold (think Chicago or Philadelphia). It seems to me it would be ridiculous to have a separate winter wardrobe just for one month a year. Would you have any recommendations for how to approach this problem? I would like to acquire a mini-capsule wardrobe for purposes of me visiting Poland once a year, but I am just not sure how to approach setting a minimum number of items etc.

Also, I just wanted to say that I really appreciate not only your posts about fashion and all things related, but also those about not allowing ourselves to become dumbed down. I followed your lead in practicing hobbies and signed up for drawing classes this Fall. I haven't been drawing in years, but nevertheless it should be so much fun! :)

mimimanderly said...

Re cold weather chic: I live in Delaware, just a stone's throw from Philly. I have a number of cashmere sweaters that I can layer, depending on how cold it is. Also, I have a cashmere blend overcoat that can fit over multiple layers, and a quilted coat for extremely cold weather. I also have a pair of cashmere tights for wearing under dresses (thank goodness I found these on consignment!) Long underwear can also be an option. I recommend WinterSilks. They have warm silk underwear in various lengths and weights, to suit everyone's needs.

I can SO identify with the woman who finds her style undergoing a change. I recently had my hair cut into a much shorter, more chic style. A number of the things in my closet no longer felt comfortable to wear with my shorter hair. Before, my hair was long and black, and my wardrobe was semi-goth and black. Now, my hair is a light ash brown short bob, and my style tends to be more minimalistic and with a bit more variation in color (but only within the neutral spectrum!) What I did was get rid of the things I absolutely was not wearing; it just confused matters having them hanging in the closet. I identified the pieces I wanted to keep. I also made note of what I needed to round out my wardrobe. Some things I do not love, but I must keep until I can replace them with things I DO love.

Regarding the woman searching for a job. When I was young, I, too, was searching. I applied for a waitressing position in a restaurant, not expecting to get it, as I had no experience. But I did. And there was a reason: the owner was REALLY difficult to work for. BUT. I found that I really liked the work and was good at it. Yes, I had difficulties with the owner. I even had digestive problems as a result of dealing with her. BUT. After a couple years, I had the experience -- and the confidence!! -- to get a job in an upper scale restaurant, where I made more money working fewer hours. I found that I actually liked waitressing, for that very reason -- one can make more money in fewer hours than the people who are managing you! And I enjoyed what amounted to being the hostess of a dinner party every day. But if I didn't enjoy the waitressing, I met all kinds of people in various fields, who would have hired me because they liked me. My husband is a bartender, and he is always getting opportunities and advantages thrust his way from customers who love him. If you are good at what you are doing and enjoy doing it, the opportunities will follow!

Summer Smith said...

I can't wait to see your reveal next week! I look forward to this twice a year now. I especially loved the season you took inspirations from the painting in your room. I'm trying to slowly put together mine. You look absolutely beautiful in this video, that neck line is really becoming on you!

Shannon said...

Super thrilled to see your fall/winter wardrobe as I am sure the rest of us fans are!! I will be posting mine this Friday. Check it out at simpleverydaystyle.wordpress.com I linked DC on a couple of posts.

Sarah said...

I really enjoyed this q and a video and hope you do more in the future. Both the cold weather wardrobe and the children snacking topics are especially interesting to me. It gets very cold where I live on the Midwest US but I've found that layering really works. And even if you have to wear a very heavy down coat, there are cute and even dressy options out there so you can still look quite chic, especially with the right scarf and boots. I'm currently expecting my first child and just finished reading Bringing Up Bebe. I found the chapters about snacking and mealtimes for children so interesting. I think in the US in general there's a lot of emphasis on snacking, both for children and adults. I'm working on snacking less myself so that I can pass a more balanced view on to my child and I'm so glad that you addressed this! Thanks!

Stephanie said...

Jennifer, I had an interesting experience living the Madame Chic habits that may interest you.
To "look presentable always," I have been trying to rise earlier so I can shower, dress, etc. before walking the kids to the bus stop. Most days I have been successful with this. The first three weeks I felt a bit out of place in my summer skirts and nice ballet flats. Many of the other moms were in pajamas, sweats, etc.
Yesterday morning was especially difficult for me, emotionally. I had attended an Officers' Spouse Club meeting the night before. We are relatively new to the military life, and the feeling that I didn't fit in was especially strong that morning.
Still, I put on my summer skirt and nice ballet flats, did my make up with the dramatic eye variation, and walked out to the bus stop.
Imagine my surprise, delight, and relief to see two of the other moms at the stop wearing skirts and ballet flats. (All three of us wearing it in a different color and cut).
Some readers express frustration at standing out too much when they try to adopt a Madame Chic lifestyle. My experience at the bus stop showed me that perhaps we can be a positive influence on those around us.
Thank you, Jennifer, for being a positive example in my life.

Madeleine Lawrence said...

Hi Jennifer,

loved your video. To Sarine, I would also suggest doing volunteer work in the area she wishes to be employed - this shows future employers you are serious about your career path and willing to work. Failing that, I would do some general volunteer work - again, it shows you are willing to work and not a layabout! It also shows you have some get-up-and -go. I once heard a CEO interviewed and she said she would employ the kid who worked their way through college cleaning toilets over the kid who had everything given to them - work ethic is important. Sarine may also find Lousie Hay's ideas helpful in staying positive :-)

I'd also dress well every day even if not working to keep my energy up! Best wishes, Sarine.xx

Jennifer, I would love to know what the beautiful curtain fabric is behind you in the video - very elegant!

Madeleine.x

koolchicken said...

I'm from New England and a long time skirt/dress wearer. I've found that with thick enough tights, you'll be plenty warm. They even sell fleece lined ones now! Target has great ones that are really thick, and Spanx of all brands makes a phenomenal black tight that may as well be leggings they're so thick (and oddly, not really tight/shaping) they're very comfy. I always wear a slip and I'm a big fan of knee length boots and leg warmers. I prefer thick lined dresses and honestly when all is said and done I'm probably warmer in a dress than many people are in their sweats just because I'm wearing so many layers (not that you'd know it to look at me). For a coat my favorite is J Crew's Lady Day Coat. It's a little expensive but totally worth it. It's very heavy and warm, but still fitted and very chic. It looks really good with dresses or pants, you can't go wrong with it.

Virginia Ruth said...

Hi Jennifer,
I am one who always feels the cold and living in the Mid-Atlantic region we experience cold winters. I have found that wool tights, wool skirts and boots keep me quite warm. Wolford tights (merino wool) are fantastic- warm and stylish. Can be worn with heels, flats or boots.

I also agree with the layering- using silk long johns (LLBean or Lands' End) and wool and cashmere sweaters. Icebreaker clothing company has washable merino wool items that are wonderful. I try to stock up on cashmere sweaters at the end of the winter season (on sale) or I patronize local consignment shops.

Regarding children (or adults) with snacking. Many times we are thirsty when we think we are hungry. Staying well hydrated can help with the munchie attacks.

Thanks again for your work. Looking forward to your new book.
Virginia Ruth
wellofencouragement.blogspot.com

galant said...

Being a woman of a certain age I would like to add that this is how we used to dress in the 1950s and 1960s - tights (or rather stockings until tights became popular in the late 1960s in the era of the mini skirt) and thick skirts, always with a slip (or petticoat as we sometimes called it.) And then a thick arm coat and always a hat and gloves and boots. This was not only smarter than 'sweats' (awful name which aptly describes an awful garment ... just think, someone actually designed these!) but 'sweats' hadn't been invented then, we had no option, and of course, women didn't wear trousers (I won't say pants as those are underwear her here in the UK) to work, only for leisure wear. so really, we are only reverting to how we used to dress, which was both smart and warm.
Margaret P

Megan Lynch said...

Good morning Jennifer,

I just wanted to stop by and say I'm so excited about your upcoming book and can't wait to read what all you have to say on the subject of poise!

I also wanted to share a movie recommendation with you and the D.C. community here. I was recently on a long flight and as I was scrolling through the in-flight movie options I stumbled across a 2015 French film called Un peu, beaucoup, aveuglément (Blind Date). This quirky romantic comedy had me laughing out loud on my flight and reminded me a bit of Amelie (which I know you love). Its a sweet romantic film that I know other daily connoisseurs will love. Plus, it is devoid of the sexual vulgarity that we have come to expect from the majority of our American romantic comedies.

Happy Weekend,
Megan

Christine said...

I ran across this article in the Atlantic and I thought you might find it interesting in light of the 10 item wardrobe.

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/09/fear-and-clothing/405919/

Appreciate your videos and eager to read your new book.

Isabelle Rininger said...

Hi Jennifer! Love your books, blog, and videos. I came across this tonight and immediately thought of the lifestyle of Madame Chic. It is called 'a quiet ego'. To follow is a link to the article. :-) http://www.quietrev.com/the-surprising-benefits-of-a-quiet-ego/ It is all about being humble and having humility which I feel is at the heart of what you talk about...a quiet grace. :-)

Have a great day Jennifer!

imelda72 said...

You know Jennifer, in response to the second question about dressing in cold weather: I have found I can be comfortable in skirts in the winter if I wear heat-tech long underwear over thick tights. The heat-tech looks like tights/leggings so it looks appropriate with boots and a skirt, and the two layers keep me warm if I'm well-covered on top.

Of course this doesn't work on "polar vortex" days - you really need to be wearing pants then!! - but for average winter days I can get by; I live in NYC.

 
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