It was one too many Hitchcock films (if that's even possible) that sent me over the edge. And I took a friend with me.
Last night, while watching To Catch a Theif (Grace Kelly, Cary Grant, Edith Head...enough said), J and I made a vow to live a life of elegance. It doesn't matter that she's bald and I'm broke, we are going to going to be elegant, dammit! Worship at the altar of Audrey, Grace, Bacall and Bergman. Bring a little of that sass and class into this modern and maudlin age.
I know I've been harping about this for a while now...but, America, I'm sick of looking at your t-shirts and jeans! Would Grace Kelly or Cary Grant be seen in acid wash? Would they don Micky or Minnie and call it fashion? Wear sneakers anywhere but the tennis courts? No. Why? Because it's wrong. Not to mention lazy. And unsightly much of the time. Remember when "pajamas in public" was a fashion trend? I don't think I need to list any more of our sins. America, we have to start dressing better!
Now, don't get me wrong, I love me some jeans. I pretty much live in denim. But look how Grace wore those 501s at the end of Rear Window. Now, *that's* how a lady wears dungarees!
Not only that, did you see how she packed her overnight bag? Truly a bit of movie magic there, but how elegant. No matter what the occasion, ladies and gentlemen were dressed for it. It just seems we don't have "occasions" anymore.
Speaking of occasions, when was the last time you packed a picnic basket? Did you keep it simple or go all fancy? Fancy can be a pain in the neck. Keep it simple, darling. Just chicken and beer. Baked chicken, a salt shaker, bottled beer (Belgian, perhaps?) and a glass for the lady to sip from. Grace and Cary can make even paper napkins trés chic.
This morning, I came up with the idea for Project Elegance. Hey, being unemployed, I have a bit of time on my hands. The concept is rather basic: To lead a life of elegance in an everyday way. I don't have the money to revamp my wardrobe, redesign my duplex or hire staff. But I can make the most of the mundane. For instance, I am giving my my beloved, oversized mug and will sip my homemade lattes in a proper cup properly placed on a saucer. It might sound like more work and more dishes to some, but it sounds much more civilized to me. And then there's the apron. My lovely, yet often forgotten, aprons. Some might say, "Why bother?" Not only are aprons functional, they are dead sexy, too. My biggest challenge: Overcoming my fondness for four-letter words.
Yes, elegance takes a bit more time and effort to pull off...in the beginning. Then, it becomes a way of life. I'm not talking about affect or pretense but an appreciation for the finer points, a delight in the details. Taking a moment longer to savor something. I'm a little too punk rock for all the propriety but, in this day and age, propriety might be one of the more subversive things I can indulge.
So, you are cordially invited to join Project Elegance where J and I will blog about our attempts to bring elegance into our lives...in spite of our situations and ourselves. (You can follow us on Twitter, too: @ProjectElegance.)