Meristocracy’s Ready for Back to School

Mimi’s been on vacation, but Mademoiselle’s sister site, Meristocracy did a great job with a summer takeover, posting all kinds of interesting food, fashion and fun!  Check out all the summer posts here!  Mimi thinks her Back to School Bags post is particularly timely for all of you heading off to college!  Here is our mini-edit of her choices. Check out her blog for more information and you can decide to splurge or save, but also show up on campus with a functional and stylish bag!

SPLURGES

Louis Vuitton GM Neverfull – This is Mademoiselle’s favorite.  

Cost: $1,100

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Balenciaga Papier Zip-Around – Cost: $1,765

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Saint Laurent Large Shopper Cost: $995

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STEALS

Urban Outfitters Reversible Vegan Leather Tote – Cost: $59

 

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Sam Edelman Leather Fringe Tote  – Cost: $99.99

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Target Cesca Faux Leather Oversized Reversible Tote – Cost: $30

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“You” in 2016

You on View

Mimi and Mademoiselle believe that in 2016, you can be the best you can be with a just a little reflection, thought and a few changes. We call this, “you, on view” a combination of many facets of your behavior: the way you dress, the way you talk, the way you act, the way you interact with people you meet, the way you behave at parties, the way you act at work and the way you are with your friends and family. If you are conscientious and considerate in all of these facets of life, you are on your way to a positive you, on view. We want to ask you, what do you think about yourself? What do you think is you, in the view of others? Your clothing and accessories are a mirror of how you feel and think of yourself. Whatever your “style” it sends a clear message to those around you. Personal style is hard to define and each of us have our own personal interpretation. That said, lets think about the 2016 “you, on view” and be the best you can be!

1. Good Grooming

Grooming; there’s a word no one uses. However, we think a lot of us have forgotten the importance of being well-groomed. It means: shower when you get up in the morning, especially if you are hungover, or after the gym or exercise; If you wear make-up, keep it touched up; If you get manicures and pedicures the polish is either all on or off, no in between; regular hair cut and/or color (no roots); modest use of fragrance. Hair management could be a beauty topic all its own, but suffice it to say we all spend a ridiculous and inordinate amount of time and money ridding our bodies of hair. So whatever hair removal you choose from your head to your toes, keep it up on a regular basis.

Good grooming is a habit. It does not mean you have to get up every day, put on a full face of make-up and a nice outfit. You can be well-groomed in yoga pants and a sweatshirt or t-shirt and jeans. Casual dress does not beget casual grooming. Making an effort, no matter what your mood, is key. In the words of the great Estee Lauder, “There are no ugly women, just laziness.”

2. Clothing and Accessories

Style and good grooming refers not just to ourselves, but to our clothes. It means: clean clothes, event appropriate attire and appropriate accessories. Dressing well and following fashion is always appropriate, but even though everyone’s budget will differ, it is no excuse for clothes that are not clean, in need of a wash or dryclean or just plainly inappropriate attire. Appropriate also has many interpretations as it refers to style. Mimi prefers that you young ladies begin to exercise a bit of restraint or modesty in some of your clothing choices. Instagram, Tumblr posts and Snapchats are full of girls, all in tiny dresses, boobs and tushes hanging with bare legs and stilettos, leaving me to ask, how has it become the norm to dress like a stripper? What about that old adage, “Leave a little something to the imagination.” Being half naked is neither fashionable nor smart. There may be a time and place for the “tiny dress”, but we assure you, overuse or misuse of the “tiny dress” does not equate to a positive you, on view.

Although, Mademoiselle understands the allure and attention from the “tiny” dress, she applies the “either/or”: Either skimpy top/conservative bottom or conservative top/skimpy bottom. Heels are always appropriate if it’s a dress-up event, but above 4 1/2 inches is rarely fashionable. Tights are appropriate in winter, as are wraps to stay warm. Accessories generally make the outfit, but too many are distracting. Simple and Classy is always best. I’d rather be the girl everyone did not talk about than the one they did.

3. Civil Behavior

How do you relate to strangers? To your friends? With your family? Mimi once heard a story on style that went something like this:

A young woman was shopping with her mother when they saw a prominent woman in their community who was considered quite beautiful and stylish. The young woman asked her mother why she was considered so stylish. Her mother suggested she ask the salespeople helping the woman with her purchases. She did and they all said the same thing: the woman was an intelligent, kind, and thoughtful person. The young girl reported the comments to her mother who purportedly said, “Well, now you know what being stylish really is.” True or not, the story has perfect application to our post. Being the best you can be (most of the time): civil, polite, courteous and thoughtful is very important in the message that you send to others. We are also quite sure that practicing these traits will improve your own self-opinion. This seems a bit “old-school”, but some advice never goes out of style and we want you the be the best you, on or off view!

MDC’s Christmas Wish List

MDCShoppingList

We can’t let the ladies have all of the gift giving fun! So we asked the MDC what he thought the best Christmas presents for budding renaissance men would be and he listed the top 5 gifts on his wishlist.

SEABOB F5 S

Seabob F5 S Zeno Red

This luxury yachting toy was the darling of the Fort Lauderdale boat show! It’s an expensive toy, but for any scuba diver or water lover, this is the toy extraordinaire of the year.  

 

SkyHawk 9600 Binocular Set

SkyHawk Ultra High Powered Binoculars

These outstanding ultra high powered binoculars create the ultimate viewing experience. SkyHawk also has wonderful customer service!

 

Beretta 687 Silver Pigeon V

Beretta 687 Silver Pigeon V

This 28 guage shotgun is great for shooting skeet or fowl. Made in the quality Beretta fashion, and great for all levels of shooters.

 

Beats Solo2 Wireless Headphones

Beats

In true Beats fashion, these wireless headphones deliver excellent sound and value.

 

Sage Rod and Tibor Reel

Sage RodTibor Reel

Combining these two quality products provide the best fly-fishing equipment on offer.

The MDC also noted that any self-respecting man should own at least one pair of holiday-inspired pant such as the Orvis’ Bozeman Cords or Vineyard Vines Tartan Breaker Pant.

Vineyard Vines Tartan Breaker Pants

Merry Shopping!

 

Wendy Mignot

Wendy Mignot Logo

Wendy Mignot has been a designer and artist all of her life. Her latest pieces of pearl and fine leather jewelry showcase her artistic maturity and a beautiful sense of international style that we covet!

Wendy met her husband Jean-Noel Mignot in the 90’s and they began their gypsy-esque lifestyle of sailing in the Carribbean, Virgin Islands, Aruba, St. Bart’s, Bahamas and Central America. After living on their boat, they settled along the Gulf of Mexico and it was here that her designs grew into such an international brand with pieces worn by Orlando Bloom, Florida Georgia Line and Luke Bryan. Her one of a kind jewelry is a trademark and a reflection of her adventures at sea with each design reflecting different, beautiful parts of culture and heritage.

Mademoiselle purchased “Music” in freshwater pearls with pearls in different colors and sizes ($875). The feminine and beachy combo of the leather and pearls is so versatile and can work when dressing up and for casual days. The pieces are described by her loyal customers as unique and beautifully raw. The pieces of jewelry are so stunning yet people don’t immediately recognize who you’re wearing. That is part of what makes them so special, sort of the “if you know, you know” phenomenon. There are options for every budget, starting with the single pearl chokers at $75 with other items coated in pearls running up to $20,000. There are so many options that we are absolutely confident each and every one of you can find the perfect one. Mimi is waiting for hers at Christmas!

Mademoiselle models the “music” necklace in freshwater pearls

Mademoiselle models the “music” necklace in freshwater pearls

DVF Dresses

DVF Logo

Diane von Furstenburg has always been know for her wrap dresses, which are awesome and flatter virtually everyone’s figure. Her new fabrics for fall in flattering silhouettes like the shirt dress and tunic, are cute, comfortable, classic and worth the investment. Check out our DVF fall favorites.

Accoutrements pour le Cuisine

Fashion in the kitchen? From a cute seasonal apron to everyday stylish aprons, we say yes to being fashionable in the kitchen! There are tons of aprons and sites to choose from so we narrowed it down to a few of our favorites below. Check out the full sites, and get your kitchen accoutrement on! Who knows what you’ll cook up looking so cute!

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Les Macarons de Paris at petiteprovence.com

Les Macarons de Paris at petiteprovence.com

MacKenzie-Childs Pink & Green Chef Apron

MacKenzie-Childs Pink & Green Chef Apron

Hedley & Bennet Sweet Pea Apron.

Hedley & Bennet Sweet Pea Apron.

Linen Market Apron from Anthropologie

Linen Market Apron from Anthropologie

State Aprons from Cat Studios found at Uncommon Goods

State Aprons from Cat Studios found at Uncommon Goods

Jessie Steele Brown & White Retro Polka Dot Ava Apron

Jessie Steele Brown & White Retro Polka Dot Ava Apron

 

Roger Vivier

 Roger Vivier Logo

Well, Mimi and Mademoiselle knew we loved Dean Pollak when we met her. Not just because of her winning personality, but also because of her flare for fashion! A quick tour of her Rainbow Row home showed an antique Birkin bag, a well worn fur and other gorgeous items, but her shoes, oh yes her shoes were Roger Vivier! Who? What?

You know, the guy credited with creation of the Stiletto heel! His shoes exude femininity and Parisian charm in every square buckle. Vivier has been called the “Fragonard of the shoe” and his shoes “the Fabergé of Footwear”. His website is definitely worth a look for its artistry and beauty. And as the U.S. has caught the bug, with both Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman beginning to carry them en mass, it’s not only a Paris shopping trip splurge anymore. It’s an everyday splurge! Go get a pair!

Roger Vivier Belle Vivier Ballerinas in Patent Leather

Mimi bought these!

Roger Vivier Belle Vivier Trompette Pumps in Leather

Mademoiselle bought these!

Lunettes de Soleil

As you know, Mimi and Mademoiselle spent some time in France this summer. We noticed some seriously chic sunglasses, and thought we would share our picks for fashionable sunglasses to shield you from the tailgating or boulevard glare this football season. There are a lot to choose from, but these are some of our favorites!

Prada Raw Spring/Summer 2015, is a beautiful women’s eyewear collection made from selected natural woods. Mimi opted for the 55mm Round Raw glasses. The MDC and the boys think she looks a bit like “Willy Wonka”, but what do they know?  

Prada's Raw Collection

Prada’s Raw Collection 55mm Round

 

Mademoiselle opted for the Prada “Baroque” 55MM Round.

Prada Baroque

Prada 55mm “Baroque” Round

Other contenders for the top spot were the Barton Perreira ValerieMui Mui Cut Off Cat-Eye Acetate Sunglasses in Marble, the Gucci Cat-Eye Horsebit Optyl and Jimmy Choo Sophia. If none of those suggestions suit you, all of these designers have other great styles to choose from!

72 Hours in Paris

Paris

If you are a regular to our sites, or better yet a Meristocrat, you know Mademoiselle spent her summer abroad in Paris. Although she has been sharing all sorts of adventures with you, Mimi had her own Parisian adventure: a surprise trip to see Mademoiselle! It was quite a whirlwind, but here are our tips for experiencing the best of Paris in 72 hours or less!

1. Jet lag be gone: Bring your Super Elixir travel packets and Jet lag be gone. It will help you get on the Parisian schedule and rise early to make the most of your day.

2. Concierge Travel Service: Spend the small extra amount to hire a car (either through your hotel or a private service) to take you to your top five landmarks. We hired ParisAddict. The guide, Charles, was more than knowledgeable and made for a very memorable experience. Our choices were the Eiffel Tower, Musee D’Orsay, Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame, Louvre, Bastille and Seine (via River Cruise). When your time is limited and you’re in a historical city like Paris you must see the sites even if it is in a most abbreviated form. You can specify your tours be a “drive by” or more extensive, but you can surely resolve to come back and stand in the lines later!

3. Faire du shopping: If you want to get some French fashion shopping out of the way fast, our number one recommendation is the Bon Marché. It’s Paris’ version of Neiman Marcus, but with many French and European designers alongside more familiar ones. Our favorites were Roger Vivier shoes, Claudie Pierlot and ba&sh. Check out Mademoiselle’s Meristocracy post on her favorites.

Our second recommendation is a taxi to the Ru Du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. If you cannot go on any other street to shop in Paris you should go to this one. This street is the “high-end” shopping district with all the greats: Chanel, Hermes, YSL, Cartier and even a Lauderee for your sweet tooth! The only one missing is Louis Vuitton and you can hit that one on your visit to the Arch do Triomphe or dinner!

4.  Restaurants: Breakfast is not a big deal in Paris so grab a cappuccino and croissant and get going! Lunch and dinner, on the other hand, are a big deal and last a lot longer than Americans are used to. So slow down and enjoy the experience. Gastronomically speaking, the French don’t have as much on us as they used to, but these are not to miss choices for a true French dining experience:

Lunch:

Bon Marché, de La Grande Epicerie de Paris, La Table 

Le Square Trousseau

Flottes

Dinner:

Pierre Gagnaire (Check out Meristocracy’s culinary review!)

Guy Savoy

L’Avenue

les 110 de Taillevent

Tip: Most places in Paris have great food, and the traditional brasseries give you the true french dining experience. If you throw in a trip to the Four Seasons George V Bar or have high tea in the dining room you will have seen and tasted some of the best of Paris!

 Fini!

Après Sun Beauty

It’s August, it’s hot, you’ve been in the sun too much and your skin is tired. Our Sun or Not to Sun post gave Parched Prune some sage advice for protecting your skin from the sun, but that made us think, what do we use when we have had too much fun in the sun?

Pure aloe creams soothes the burn and works fine temporarily, but they are sticky and do not seem to moisturized parched skin. Mimi thinks she’s found an answer! Last year, Mimi asked her dermatologist for a comprehensive sensitive-skin-friendly moisturizer. He recommended the iS Clinical Sheald. Coincidentally, Mimi has found that it’s also a fantastic sun-fatigued skin saver. Use this on your face after cleansing for a few nights and your skin will be noticeably improved, hydrated and protected.

is Clinical Sheald

If you don’t need the extra moisture, the Clinical Youth Serum is also excellent, particularly for the daytime.

iS Clinical Youth Complex

iS Clinical also makes a sunscreen called Eclipse 50+ and two post sun products: the Hydra-Cool Serum and Reparative Emulsion for your body which are equally worthy of a try.

Eclipse SPF 50+iS Clinical Reparative Moisture

We highly recommend these products and a little bit goes a long way!