Friday 29 July 2011


Effortless style
Savoir-faire - oh how I've longed for a touch of its allure. 
My mother possessed it - a necessary component of a young ladies repertoire in the 1940's .....or perhaps a result of her French heritage. Mother was an individual who was bien dans sa peau - happy in her own skin. She was always gracious and innately knew the subtle art of dressing...... More is less, but don't forget the gloves.  Your shoes "tell all". Quality is better than quantity. Good grooming, individual flair and laughter were her mantra. She wasn't one for following the flock.                                                                                       
As a child,  I assumed that I would acquire my mother's savoir-faire osmotically. As an adolescent, I realised that I didn't possess any savoir-faire.  And as an adult I searched for books which, would give me clues or better still, the steps by which I could gain some savoir-faire.
Unfortunately savoir-faire still eludes me - I'm not one whom others would describe as self-possessed, sexy or defiant.... maybe a touch defiant, but definitely not self-possessed and sadly for The Husband, not sexy....I'm of an age where undergarments and sleep wear must be comfortable.                   
Now, in a state of hormonal mayhem, I have finally found 2 books, What French Women Know and  Women, Work and the Art of Savoir-Faire that clearly explain why my life-long quest for savoir-faire has failed.  
From what I have gleaned, the reasons  are as follows.
1. Not enough shades of grey in one's thinking - very unsexy. It's the nuisances in life that make it interesting.
Sometimes black and white
thinking has it's place.
2. Needing to be  like one's peers - valuing sameness is definitely not chic. There is no standard way of looking or being.
3. An overly zealous appetite - size does matter. Self control is paramount and should appear effortless.
4. Failing to savour the experience of a relationship by focusing on the relationship's goal or outcome. 
5. Perfectionism - what a curse and a distraction. Life is imperfect. 
6. Failing to appreciate flirting as a form of amusement and flattery. For the French, flirting is "their drug of choice".
7. Lack of self confidence - an individual needs to be self contained in order to be their authentic self.  If not,  they will have.........
8. A lack of inner beauty to form outer beauty. 
Armed with this newly, acquired knowledge and diminished inhibition  - mid life has some advantages - it is time for my rebirth and a touch of  savoire faire......Ooh la la !       
I'm taking only my torque and my savoir-faire.     Phillippe Gaertner

A definite lack of savoir-faire.