We see London, we see France … gasp!: Part II

Let us start this post by saying we are not prudes. We think that if a lady has lovely legs, she should be all means play up that asset. However, we do not think she should play them up so much that we see her, well — um — assets. Know what we mean?

Recently, we were in Austin and met a few friends downtown on the famed Sixth Street. Normally, we are not into Sixth Street shenanigans, but we felt game this particular evening and so, we joined the party.

As the evening wore on, we noticed more and more young ladies flowing into the establishment and it seemed as each one arrived, we saw more and more leg and more and more breast and … well yes, it began to resemble KFC up in that club.  

Most — and we feel confident saying most, because trust us, we were in the covered minority — of the “dresses” were so short in fact, we were afraid that after one or two of the questionable “dance moves” of the women, we might see something no one expects to see outside of certain gentleman’s clubs.

Ladies and gentlemen, we don’t know any other way to say it, please for the love of sweet Pete, cover your chocha! We assure you, the quality of humans you attract might be of a higher caliber if the junk in your trunk is appropriately clothed and you won’t have to worry about Dad having a heart attack because he just saw said junk in a “Girls Gone Wild” DVD commercial.

Cheers and happy Monday!

M

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The days of wine — er G and Ts — and rose-colored Polos

The day is nearly upon us, so just a reminder that Oct. 18, we’ll be in Austin, Texas for the Texas Book Festival, to moderate the author session for “True Prep: It’s a Whole New Old World,” written by Lisa Birnbach (of the iconic “The Official Preppy Handbook”) and designed by Chip Kidd.

To read the Re-find hostess’s piece on the book and interview with Birnbach that published today in the Austin American-Statesman, click here.

As I’ve mentioned, the new book is a sequel to the book that launched a million pairs of Sperry Top-Sider’s and will let us in on what Muffy has been up to all these years. It includes a chapter on etiquette, of course and loads of information on preptastic style.

The session is 12:30 to 1:15 p.m., in room E2.010 at the Texas State Capitol.

Join us at the festival!

Cheers!

M

Need closure? Try (almost) custom shirts

Whether your cup size runneths over or not, you’ve probably dealt with a gaping, pulling or boxy and too short/long button up shirt. Recently, we discovered Rebecca & Drew, a store that makes and sizes its shirts according to height, waist and bust size.

Custom tailoring is of course nothing new and we’ve beaten you over the head advocated having clothing altered for years. But this is revolutionary. This will save us so much time and possibly cash, which we can now spend on buying and drinking wine volunteerism and our retirement fund.

Rebecca & Drew is based in New York, but there is a location in Houston and you can purchase online. We recommend visiting a location if possible for a proper fitting, because as we learned, you may need to try on several sample shirts moving up and down in waist size and cup size until you find the perfect fit. Also, pricing differs according to the area in which you live. For example, the shirt dress we are obsessing over admiring is $250 out of New York and $165 from the Houston location. 

Houston readers can find the local store, owned by the delightful Lindsay Aronstein, who was patient and helpful beyond words, at 2015-D West Gray in the River Oaks Shopping Center. UPDATE: Austin readers, Lindsey is planning a trunk show in the coming weeks, so check back for details.

So, today’s takeaway: Splurge now for the right fit, so that later, you aren’t — er — falling (out) all over your friends, family and acquaintances.

Cheers!

M

Wealth and prepdom: If you’ve got it, don’t flaunt it

Today marks the release of “True Prep,” by Lisa Birnbach and Chip Kidd, which is the long-awaiting follow-up to “The Official Preppy Handbook,” (well-worn copies of which many of you likely still cherish own).

Our copy of the book arrived a few days ago and we spent all weekend pouring through it. The section devoted to etiquette is delightful, as expected, and it reinforces our beliefs that a thank you card is always appropriate, overt displays of wealth are TTFW and when in doubt, proceed with restraint (a more detailed post on the etiquette portion to come).

Meanwhile, further reinforcing our beliefs on the latter was David Brooks’ column in today’s New York Times, entitled, “The Gospel of Wealth.” Here is an excerpt:

“The United States once had a Gospel of Wealth: a code of restraint shaped by everybody from Jonathan Edwards to Benjamin Franklin to Andrew Carnegie. The code was designed to help the nation cope with its own affluence. It eroded, and over the next few years, it will be redefined.”

We sincerely hope Mr. Brooks is correct in his predictions and that if anything good can come of America’s financial woes, it might be that we get over the compulsion to show and tell anyone and everyone how much money we have or want them to think we have in our bank accounts.

In other “True Prep” news, Birnbach launched the book with an appearance on the Today show this morning and amid a media blitz. Visit the Preppy Princess blog for an excellent synopsis of all things “True Prep,” and Birnbach, including a links list of the Today show segment and myriad articles about the book.  Note that you can order a copy of the book, $13.95 (as of the date of this post), through the Preppy Princess online store by clicking here

Enjoy the rest of your Tuesday and stay tuned for a giveaway of “True Prep,” after we finish taking notes!

Cheers!

M

Do you have questions for “True Prep” author Lisa Birnbach and designer Chip Kidd?

Happy Friday everyone! Some of us are gearing up for the three-day Labor Day weekend and the rest of us are doing our best to keep the grumbling to a minimum, because we have to work. Either way, we hope you find a way to enjoy yourself.

We apologize for abandoning you several days this week, but as you may have seen on Facebook and Twitter, we’ve been hatching plans for the coming months.  

On Oct. 18, join us in Austin, Texas for the Texas Book Festival, where we’ll be moderating the author session for “True Prep.”

Written by Lisa Birnbach and designer Chip Kidd, this new book is a sequel to “The Official Preppy Handbook,” or the book that launched a million pairs of Sperry Top-Sider’s, and will let us in on what Muffy has been up to all these years. We’ll be interviewing Birnbach and Kidd during the session, so if you have questions you’d like for us to ask, shoot them to us here, via Facebook, Twitter or at charmfinder@gmail.com. We hope to see you at the festival!

We’ll have more on the book as soon as we get it into our hot little hands (we are awaiting it from the publisher). Preppies know a little something about manners and we are looking forward to reminding ourselves of the proper etiquette for sailing, cocktail hour and volunteering at Mummy’s favorite charity.

Until then, have a great weekend!

Cheers!

M

We see London, we see France … gasp!

Since it’s Friday and you likely are trying to get out of the office early, we are keepin’ it brief today. coincidently, we are also talking about briefs. Gentlemen and ladies, in this the season of white pants, shorts, capris and skirts, please whatever you do, don’t wear them too tight or too see-through.

We don’t want to see that you are wearing  your Thursday bloomers on Tuesday.

We really don’t want to catch even a hint of your thong.

And, while we know that essentially everyone has cellulite, we absolutely, positively don’t want to see it rippling and puckering through your skin-tight, great whites. No, we do not.

On that visually violent note, happy Friday and have a great weekend!

Cheers!

M

Dressing with class: Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel

Today we offer a bit of inspiration from one of our style icons, Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel. 

Image courtesy Encyclopædia Britannica

One of our favorite quotes from Chanel is, “A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.” Her own style was a mix of finely tailored menswear-inspired pieces with just the right feminine touches. 

Chanel was an innovative and independent thinker and one who to this day, ironically, is imitated time and time again. She freed women from their corsets, invented the little black dress and, of course, created the first couture perfume, Chanel No. 5. She is immortalized in several movies, including the recent “Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky,” starring Anna Mouglalis and the 2009 film “Coco Before Chanel,” starring the also stylish Audrey Tautou. 

Tomorrow when you are readying yourself for the day, don a little black dress and perhaps some pearls; spritz on a bit of your favorite Chanel fragrance and Re-find your inner Coco, but with your own personal flourishes, of course. Be classy and fabulous. 

Cheers!
M

P.S. We do not condone Coco’s smoking or her, ahem, affairs with married men.

Tuesday turnaround

Happy Tuesday readers! Today, we decided to turn things around and ask you about your top etiquette pet peeves. From people eating with their mouths open and oversharing to bad hygiene and bad FB habits, let’s gab about what makes you gasp. For example, people who drink too much and behave badly. Exhibit A:  

Image courtesy AMC Mad Men

Mad Men’s Don Draper is smart, charming, elegant and mysterious, but we all know when he drinks too much, he is a naughty boy. OK, he’s bad with or without the booze, but you get our meaning.

So, post your comments here, on Facebook or Twitter or shoot us an e-mail at charmfinder@gmail.com and tell us what offends you or what society could do to re-find its style, sophistication and respectability.

Cheers!

M

Snakes on a plane

With fed-up flight attendant Steven Slater making headlines for what some view as the greatest job exit in recent history, we thought it was high time to discuss a few airline travel do’s and don’ts (for the record, we think there was probably a more, shall we say refined, way for Mr. Slater to quit his job, but that’s fodder for another day).

We hope that these simple tips will prevent future in-flight meltdowns from the many men and women who keep us hydrated, answer our questions, calm our fears of flying and deal every day with what must certainly be some of the worst behavior on the ground or in the not-so-friendly skies.

 Do

1. Dress for the occasion: There was a time when travelers were expected to show up donning snappy suits and well-coordinated dresses. Like so:   

Courtesy of the Culinary Arts Museum

It was all so very civilized. And get a load of all of that food! No peanuts for Mr. and Mrs. Pennebacker, that’s for sure.

While it’s doubtful that the airline passengers of today (and the flight attendants for that matter, because to be honest we aren’t too fond of the Applebee’s employee, khaki-pants-and golf-shirt look for our in-flight professionals) will go back to the days of suiting up, we encourage those traveling both for business and pleasure to put a little effort into your attire. Perhaps it shouldn’t be so, but when we dress with class, we are treated with class. And who knows, you may even get a free upgrade to first class for looking so snazzy!

2. Read the carry-on rules for your carrier. Yes, it’s sometimes like reading a legal document, but when you play by the rules, the process goes much smoother and faster for everyone. If you know your bag is too big for the overhead bin, just check it.

3. Learn and observe the etiquette and , ahem, hygiene conventions for the city, state or country in which you are traveling.

4. Be kind. We’re all in this thing together, so let’s play nice with our fellow passengers and our flight attendants.

 Don’t

 1. Be demanding.

 2. Be loud.

 3. Drink too much, because even though those bottles are tiny and cute, they pack a punch!

 4. Bother the person seated next to you if he or she is reading, wearing headphones or working on a laptop. These are time-honored, universal signs for “I’d like to be left alone, thank you.”

Now, fasten your seatbelts, enjoy the flight and give your flight attendant a break by behaving like a civilized, adult human being and not like a hyena.   

 Cheers!

M

Links we love

We’ve been meaning for some time now to tell you about a few of our favorite online haunts. So, when a friend recently asked for a list, we thought we might use the opportunity to multi-task a bit. That said, we’ve had linkage posted at the bottom right of the blog since its inception, so for those of you who have already seen it, please accept our apologies.

This list includes blogs, websites and print publications from the areas of style, travel, design, etiquette and all around lifestyle-type of content.  It is in no particular order, so as not to hurt anyone’s feelings:

A Life Obscura: A fun and informative blog about travel, life, experiences, people and things written by a dear friend.

All Things Austin Design: This is the design blog of a former colleague and fellow writer in Austin. She knows her stuff and keeps it fresh, funny and fairly local. The design scene in Austin is hoppin’ so if you like design, check it out.  

Daddy Likey: A hilarious fashion blog. You will likey.

Garden & Gun (Think of it as the”Vanity Fair of the South”): You can thank me later.

Ivy Style: Intelligent, informative and lots of good eye candy.

Mad Men Unbuttoned: Because one night a week isn’t enough Draper or Holloway (Harris) for any of us.

Melanie Spencer Words and Pictures: In case you want to look at my fabulous photography.

Muffy Martini: Because we like martinis.

Preppy Princess: We’ve been reading Preppy Princess for years. She keeps us informed about all things pink and green (especially as it relates to Lilly Pulitzer) and all things preppy and for that, we love her (and her little dog, Silly Tilly too!). The Princess also has an online boutique at www.preppyprincess.com.

Social Primer: Manners, Conversation, Style and Handling Your Liquor — what’s not to like? All from the male perspective. This is also a good place to find a few select stationery (swoon) items and things with monograms (be still our hearts).  

Social Q’s (New York Times): This is another long-time favorite, written with style, wit and taste by Philip Galanes.

Town & Country: An absolute must in everyone’s periodicals library. Unfortunately, the website leaves a lot to be desired, but we are purists and prefer print, so no harm, no foul.

Thanks to all of the above for entertaining and educating us. Please check the links list often, because we update and add to it whenever we discover something fun and fabulous. Also, send us your fave links. We love to share!

Cheers!

M