# Friends # Reader Questions Answered

Q&A Chic Background? + Quality Friends

Part two of the Q&A video resumes today. I answer Marisa K's question on what to do if you were not taught chic behavior in childhood and how to shake self-consciousness with developing poise later in life. I also answer Basia S's question on how to find quality girl friends.

Be sure to check out this week's video for the answer to these questions and more. If you are unable to see the video above, click here, look in the sidebar of this blog, or visit my channel: www.youtube.com/TheDailyConnoisseur

An important note from last week's video that I wanted to mention, regarding my sink full of suds tip: make sure you rinse off the suds from your dishes before placing them in the dishwasher so you do not clog your machine. Thank you, Ellen G., for this reminder.

Comments of the Week
Wanda A writes:

Hey There. I'm a Canadian, (North Eastern Canada), living in the US for the past 13 years. I just came across your YouTube channel and your books, blog and everything this past weekend!!!! Oh serious joy!!!Right away I started my closet purge. Still a work in progress. Working on my 10 piece S/S wardrobe. I too simply love to wear dresses. And yet have I done that in recent years ...... No! I've asked myself why, finding I have no good reason why. So, as soon as I happened upon your channel and I saw the very pretty dresses, I did a happy dance. It hit me. There's my honest to goodness style. The one I should be true to. And so I've begun.

Hi Wanda, I am so happy you have embraced your true style and are now enjoying wearing the clothes you love. Wonderful!

Tina writes:
Hi Jennifer, I read your book Lessons from Madame Chic and I just want to THANK YOU for writing this book!! I learned so much from you and I appreciate it so much. I was always a very feminine person, but after reading that I have become more ladylike :) I pulled out my slips and started to wear them again. I now appreciate the housework that I have to do. Just adopting a different attitude about things changes everything! I am currently working on my capsule wardrobe. I gave away all of my ill-fitting items and now my closet is a joy to open! Thank you again! Tina

Hi Tina, thank you for your testimonial! I love to hear the exciting changes that take place in people's lives after implementing the tips from the book.

Today I would love to know your thoughts on the topics discussed in the video. Do you have any tips to add? Any questions to discuss? How do you find quality friends? Have you dealt with self-consciousness with developing a chic lifestyle?

I hope you have a wonderful Easter weekend. I will see you next week for my maternity ten-item wardrobe. See you then!

Jennifer x

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Robyn said...

Hi, I feel that class and poise are exhibited by the way we treat others. Are we gracious, kind, do we allow other people to shine? The classiest people I know are wise, gracious and have a way of making others feel important. None of this can be bought but only cultivated.

Toni Marie said...

Hi Jennifer, thank you for your body of work, it is very beautiful! I have a question...when looking at your 10 item wardrobe for Fall/Winter 2015, would you purchase a new outfit for Easter? Or would you utilize what you have? Or shop for your Spring/Summer before Easter? (I know that you're expecting right now, so this is a question about theory!).There are many beautiful dresses out there at right about this time, some of which I would wear very seldom if I purchased. But I'd like to have something new to celebrate the holiday.
Good luck and God bless you and your growing family~

Unknown said...

Hi Jennifer. I have a question that's not on topic, but I'm just curious: Are you still in contact with Madame Chic? Does she know of your books and, if so, what does she think of them?

Kristina said...

Hi Jennifer, thank you for your Q&A today. I so look forward to your weekly blogs. I feel so happy to have found you on the Internet and I'm truly grateful to be part of such a wonderful, positive like minded group. You're so right about money not being able to buy elegance and class - it's a personal value and belief for oneself. That's why I really connect with your message and weekly blog. I feel exactly the same way as you on so many issues. Thank you so much for your insight. I'm so looking forward to your 10 item wardrobe! Would you also do a future video on shoes you would recommend to go with a 10 item wardrobe? Thanks so much.

Rose said...

Hello Jennifer, thanks for another interesting video where I believe you answered both Marisa and Basia most informatively and encouragingly. Another suggestion I would make to Marisa is to consider her parents, chances are they exhibit poise and chic themselves in their behaviour and manner towards others.

I'd like to echo Unknown's comment. :)

Polly said...

Great and encouraging on both points! I am fortunate to have wonderful friends, but I have deep friendships with a small handful of women and these friendships last for years (20+ years in two cases!). I think it's just a matter of discernment. If someone sends up red flags because of their behavior, I don't cultivate the relationship. Like you--I just don't have the time to deal with anyone who brings drama, erratic behavior, or meanness to the table!

As for the first topic, I think you encouraged well. I think that if anyone lives with decency, respect, honesty, and integrity, doing their best in various social situations (knowing that everyone has a "gaffe" now and then), then confidence will bloom from that. Some of the least decent people I know (poor manners, little integrity, no respect for others) were raised with abundant wealth and opportunity, so I honestly believe that social class does not make a difference at all. You cannot buy a good character, you just have to cultivate it. For a practical tip, reading Emily Post's Etiquette books (I have my grandfather's from the 1930s!! as well as a newer version :)) can help you develop the skills you need in social situations--like how to manage appropriate introductions, which hardly anyone knows these days! And, as with anything else, the more you do something, the easier it becomes. My confidence grew by leaps and bounds in my twenties and I am betting your reader's will, too. :)

John Pinto said...

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Gail R said...
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Gail R said...

Jennifer, I agree with the other comments already posted that your answers are spot on, as always! I do understand how not being raised in a more sophisticated, affluent household can leave a person feeling that they are lacking in experiences and training that would help them feel more at ease in a more elegant lifestyle as an adult. That was my situation exactly: hardworking, blue-collar parents who did the best they could, but they could hardly teach what they had not been fortunate enough to experience in their own childhood. I think that what is needed, as you indicated by saying you have to make the decision to pursue a more chic life, is DESIRE. If you really desire something such as a more elegant lifestyle than you grew up with, you can make it happen. Books and the Internet are there to help out, as Jennifer's books and blog prove. Tackle things slowly (table manners or writing thank-you notes, perhaps) and over time you will feel the difference in your life! We are ALL works in progress!

Laura Kelly said...

Hi Jennifer :)

I love these types of videos. We can all be chic no matter what our circumstances.

My mom was a single mother from the time I was 10 years old. She worked two jobs and yes, we did receive government assistance as my father totally abandoned us. Nevertheless, my mom made it a priority to expose my sister and I to the arts. We were fortunate enough to have an arts center that gave scholarships for music lessons for those who could not afford private lessons. She would take us to free performances. Being a university town, the performances were often first rate.

My mom had impeccable manners, conducted herself with dignity in public, and never voiced feeling sorry for herself even though I know she struggled greatly.

My mother was also a person who had only a handful of close friends. These friends were true to the end. Even though she only had about 5 people she spent time with outside of work and church, these friends were like family and enriched our lives for decades.

I was indeed fortunate and blessed to have had such a role model in my life. She passed away 13 years ago and every year as I mature ( now being a woman of a certain age at 53) I am more in awe. Somewhat like how you look towards Madame Chic for inspiration.

Happy Easter!

AMY Vancouver said...

I seriously think Norma Bates (on The A&E Bates Motel. Acted by Vera Farmega) is the ultimate Madame Chic. She is always dressed so beautiful, so graceful, always presentable even in her night gown, no matter how terrible and miserable her life is. She cooks well for herself and Norman her son everyday (who will kill her soon), her kitchen is always so clean, she takes pride on her house chores. When I feel like I don't want to dress well, don't want to clean up the kitchen, don't want to cook because I am exhausted and unmotivated, I think of Norma.

Bridget said...

Hi Laura, thank you for sharing. It sounds like your mother was a wonderful lady.

Evaline said...

Hi Jennifer, This is an additional suggestion for Marissa K to add to your wonderful response-- books such as this one by Miss Manners http://www.amazon.com/Manners-Excruciatingly-Correct-Behavior-Freshly/dp/0393058743 Miss Manners' Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior (Freshly Updated) Freshly Updated Edition
by Judith Martin-- provide practical advice as well as the background reason for manners. The explanations help to understand how our behaviors can be hurtful or helpful. Judith Martin is also very funny. Local libraries usually have this book...if not, it is a great investment.

Jane said...

Thank you Jennifer for adressing the issue of class and it's priceless nature! My siblings and I were lucky to have grown up in a middle class family. We were mostly comfortable financially, although I know there were some tougher times when we were young and my parents made less money. They made culture and the arts a priority as well as family time. We dressed appropriately for every occasion and we were brought to decent restaurants and museums and music/theatre productions on occasion. There are several ways, looking back, that I think we could have had more poise, but no one is perfect. I remember my mom getting constant compliments on how well behaved her children were. And now I do too, although most people express to me how rare it is to see a parent actually parenting without ipads at a simple 1 hour dinner! My mom grew up poor with few examples besides maybe Martha Stewart for being elegant but she is the classiest, most compassionate person I know. Surrounding yourself with others who prioritize high culture, politeness, and grace will do wonders. Many people in my husband's family and a few on my side just do not value poise (art however is valued highly) but I choose to cultivate poise regardless. Right now my husband and I live in a rough neighborhood but I will never lower my standards, because I have very important veiwers (my son husband and family) who come before those who will say "you think you're too good?" Yes I do think I am too good for vulgar language, poor grooming, trash television, and "tatty" clothing, as are you. Elevate your standards and continue to be warm and down to earth and your example will shine... I know others notice when you are kind and elegant and putting in EFFORT. As long as you maintain a balance between being confident and humble, sophisticated and down to earth and are appropriately dressed people will notice you in a quiet way. You will not stick out like a sore thumb because you are unsure of which utensil to use, for example, if you just do your best to follow others who model polite behavior. Ignore anyone who tries to bring you down! Everyone has "haters" but they cannot stop you from elevating your life. Good manners and class are nothing too be casual about!

Also thank you for your continued advice on quality friends. I am often saddened that I don't have a wider network of close girlfriends but when you have high standards it can be difficult. It can be a tough road learning who your true friends are... But it is worth it to keep looking for like-minded people and maintaining relationships you have with the people who already share your values.
Best Wishes

Emma Knight Peel said...

In response to Marissa's question, I grew up on a farm, and never went to nice restaurants or on vacations or to nice hotels while I was growing up. When I was 26, I started dating a doctor, who took me to all those places, and I got used to it quickly. I did make a mistake of putting a big dollop of hollandaise sauce on a baked potato once because I didn't know what it was and thought it was sour cream, and I got some looks, but I learned from it and lived through it. LOL. I just ate it like I knew what I was doing! I also read etiquette books and learned most of what I know from them, and from copying other people around me. Just do what they do. Experience brings confidence. Book yourself a nice hotel room, or invite a friend to a nice restaurant, or even go by yourself. It's just a matter of getting used to those surroundings. Be yourself no matter who you're around. They will find you to be charming! Don't put on a fake rich-girl act. Most people come from middle class backgrounds and maybe end up with great jobs where they make a lot of money and get used to the finer things later. Don't let your humble background lower your confidence. Stay humble. It's a good quality!

valerie riordan said...
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