In my lifelong quest at achieving la bella figura ( the Italian concept that you must always look and act your best in every situation), I have accumulated some tips from different sources that I will share with you today. I have broken them down in a few different categories for simplicity.
— Only eat while seated
— Put utensils down between bites
— Take small bites. Chew thoroughly
— Stop before fully satisfied
— Eat mindfully, savoring each bite
— Only eat delicious food (I think someone once said “Eat well or not at all”)
— No snacking.
— No guilt about food. Eat exactly what you please!
— Maintain a slim armoire (see Anne Barone’s Chic and Slim books for more on this)
— Only wear what you LOVE. Only buy clothes that scream “YES” when you try them on.
— Stick to a limited palette, based on perennial fashion colors and maybe one or two signature colors you love
— Buy less. Pay more.
— Once you become of a certain age, put your money into “investment” pieces that will last several seasons and not go out of style
— Don’t swear. (After years and years working in an newsroom, this was actually a habit I had to break!)
— Have impeccable posture.
— Maintain your mystique. Keep secrets. Maintain your privacy. Don’t elaborate when you respond with a “thank you” to a compliment.
— Think before you speak and act.
— Express your passion.
— Speak less about yourself, but always have interesting tidbits to add to a conversation by keeping abreast of current issues (this may be from the fabulous book Entre Nous). Share information about books, films, recipes, school, national and community issues more than you share about yourself. (It’s so boring to talk about yourself anyway!) There is a quote my mother once told me: Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people.
Living frugally and chicly
— Eliminate debt
— Only spend what you can afford
— Spend money on experiences not things
— Save for what you want
— Think long and hard before bringing something new into your house
— Study art, architecture, cuisine, clothing, literature, music, chess, film, photography, languages.
— Take time. Don’t rush or multitask
— Read voraciously