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

Table this discussion: Salt and pepper’s here!

When it comes to dining, there are of course scores of rules designed to keep things civilized and to make life easier on those who are gathered around the table. One of the first things we remember learning as a wee tot was not to “divorce the salt and pepper.” It’s easy to remember and it prevents losing track of one or the other among the rest of the tableware.

That said, we are big fans of Fiesta and with its bright colors, it’s nearly impossible to miss. Check out these cute little green shakers ($14. 99 on the Dinnerware USA website:

Photo courtesy Dinnerware USA

We own a vintage set, but ours don’t match, because we are cheeky. Or because someone divorced the salt and pepper. Sigh.

So, from our table to yours, cheers!

M

The etiquette of politics: oxymoron?

Some say one should never discuss religion or politics in mixed company. Or at the dinner table. Or on Facebook. Or with anyone you may actually ever want to remain on speaking terms. In some cases, we would agree, however there is a way to discuss these things without starting World War III with your uncle/friend/coworker/high school math teacher on Facebook — civility.

It seems many in our society are a bit hazy on the meaning of the word civility, so here is a little help from Merriam-Webster:

ci ● vil ● i ● ty
noun \sə-`vi-lə-tē\ 
Definition of CIVILITY
a : civilized conduct; especially courtesy, politeness b : a polite act or expression

Now that we are all on the same page, let’s discuss how to put this into thought and action with a few do’s and don’ts:

Do

Listen with an open mind and a closed mouth

Politely ask questions

Don’t

Interrupt

Attack

Name call

Ben Franklin used to employ the questions method when debating his foes. By imploring, almost playing the part of an uninformed seeker, you get to the heart of the other person’s knowledge on the subject at hand. In most cases, his or her background information is rather on the surface and after a few pointed questions, they will fizzle out or back down. As stated in “The Autobiography of Mark Twain”:

“In religion and politics people’s beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second-hand, and without examination, from authorities who have not themselves examined the questions at issue but have taken them at second-hand from other non-examiners, whose opinions about them were not worth a brass farthing.”

(We don’t advocate telling people their opinions aren’t worth a brass farthing, but we giggle when Mark Twain says it.)

Consider yourself warned that if you use Ben Franklin’s technique, as much as most people will falter when asked to fully develop their ideas and opinions, if the person knows their stuff — and you listen to the answers to your own questions — you might just learn something.

If all else fails and you are dealing with a truly warped and ill-informed ninny soul, change the subject.

Cheers!

M

Being kind on the run

Is it already Tuesday? Please forgive us for leaving you high-and-dry yesterday, but we are still running around like lunatics catching our breath from the whirlwind hold onto your hats fun working road trip to Mobile, Ala. for the LoDa Art Walk. Pardon the shameless self promotion, but click here if you’d like to see photos of the show.

As mentioned, we were in Mobile, Ala. for a few days for the art walk. While there, we also had a grueling refreshing walk of the exercise variety, in which we arose at the indecent  early bird hour of 6:45 a.m. The reason we bring this up is not only to pat ourselves on the back for keeping up our fitness regime, but also to relay that the other morning walkers, bikers, joggers and dog walkers — literally every single one of them — bid us a good morning or a quick hello upon passing.

Wow.

It was such an unexpected treat and such a gentile way to start the day, we almost completely forgot about having risen so early in the middle of the night morning. We may even conduct an experiment to see if Texans are that friendly in the early hours. Maybe.

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

Simple, yet elegant pleasures: fine chocolates

Today we have another installment of our new regular feature, ”Simple, yet elegant pleasures.” As mentioned in the last “Simple” post, when it comes to living with style and class, one doesn’t have to spend a lot of money. In fact, some of the simplest, most elegant pleasures in life are inexpensive or free.  

Today’s pleasure: fine chocolates. 

For a few dollars, you can enjoy the bliss that is biting into a sinfully creamy piece of chocolate. We prefer the dark variety, but feel free to go with milk or even white, if that’s how you roll. Some of our favorite chocolates are:

Lindt Lindor Truffles: ($15 for a 19 ounce bag and worth every penny) These delicious Swiss truffles feature a hard chocolate shell with a creamy chocolate center that literally melts in your mouth. They are so rich, you’ll likely only ever want one at a time, so the bag will last and last.

Photo courtesy Lindt

Godiva: One can of course never go wrong with Godiva, which is Belgian chocolate.  The Dark Chocolate Lovers Tasting Set (below) is $20 regular price (on sale as of the date of this post for $15), but you can grab a single bar at most grocery stores, as well as book sellers, gift shops and on and on. We like to buy a big bar, wrap it up and give it as a hostess gift to other chocolate lovers.

Photo courtesy Godiva

Dove: This unassuming American chocolate (yes, sometimes America gets chocolate right). We love the Promises chocolate squares, because they are small, but decadent and each individually wrapped piece has a little message on the inside of the wrapper.

Grab and go bags and bars are fabulous and convenient, but to kick your chocolate experience up a notch (Bam! Emeril would be proud), visit your local chocolatier. The sights, the aromas and meeting your chocolate maker are all part of the fun.

Once you have chocolate in hand, we recommend you rent “Chocolat” and enjoy a little eye candy with your candy (we heart Johnny Depp and not just because he’s from our home state of Kentucky).

Image courtesy IMDB.com

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

In celebration of Women’s Equality Day

Today is Women’s Equality Day, so we are making but a quick post referring you to our post last week about women’s suffrage (which includes links to the Women’s League of Voters). You see, Aug. 18 commemorated Tennessee becoming the 36th and deciding state to ratify the 19th amendment, which would give women the right to vote.

On Aug. 26, 1920,  the Nineteenth Amendment became law, granting women their right to vote in the fall elections, including in the Presidential election. So today, Aug. 26, we celebrate women’s equality. Yay women! 

Now, don’t forget to exercise your right to vote. Oh and don’t forget that just because you work, play and vote with the big boys, doesn’t mean you can stop behaving like a lady.

Cheers!

M