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July 27th, 2010






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  1. July 27th, 2010 at 07:35 | #1

    Love the hair in the first two photos and the coat in photo 2. And also, strangely the lace and sheer jumpsuit in photo one. She pulls it off.

    • July 27th, 2010 at 07:40 | #2

      Stephanie, I especially love the hair in the first photo. I would feel stark naked walking around in that outfit, but love it on her.

  2. July 27th, 2010 at 07:50 | #3

    Initially, I thought the first photo was of you!

    • July 27th, 2010 at 07:54 | #4

      If I didn’t have cowlicks and crazy waves I would want that hairstyle in a second!

  3. July 27th, 2010 at 08:14 | #5

    The hair in the first photo is basically what I am going for when I chop mine off. Love that the women look self-possessed.

    • July 27th, 2010 at 08:50 | #6

      I’m a lurker on your blog and have been for quite a while (I remember your frugal cooking blog, too!) I think that style would look great on you with your features and hair. I think you are a very self-possessed woman as well, from what I’ve read and from your photos. Thanks for stopping by!

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What is it about those Italian women? You know the ones I’m talking about: beautiful, sexy, dressed to the nines just to take the kids to the park. They have a certain something that is indefinable. It is in the way they dress, the way they prepare their meals, the way they spend their leisure time.

It is because they know the importance of la bella figura. Roughly translated from Italian, it means putting you best foot forward in everything you do. It means cutting a beautiful figura. The opposite of la bella figura is la brutta figura, which is what someone might say about the falling down drunken guy at the party or the super tackily dressed woman at church. It means ugly figure.

La bella figura is much more than your appearance. It goes much deeper than that. It is about how you act. It is about how you treat others. It is about how you care for yourself, your home and your family. Living a life in line with la bella figura doesn’t take money. In fact, it is more about how to have class without a lot of money.

Someone who exudes la bella figura will have clean, pressed clothes and be well groomed. They will not be rude or sloppy. Their fingernails will be impeccably groomed. Their hair shiny and clean and their shoes will be polished. They will not have stray threads hanging from their suit hems. They will not be driving a car in need of the car wash.

La bella figura means driving that 15 year old car and meticulously cleaning it and caring for it. It means keeping your belongings in good repair. It means taking time to clean your house and not cluttering it up with meaningless objects.

When you focus all your spare energy, time and money on the things that bring you the most amount of pleasure, then you are truly living a life in line with la bella figura. The best part about it is that you don’t have to be Italian to do so. You just have to think like an Italian.

Italian children are raised to present la bella figura in whatever they do. From the time they are small and are groomed perfectly to attend church or school, they know that appearances count. They count because it is the first thing people judge about you. That first impression does matter. Appearances are also important because when you take the time to look nice, you are showing that you care about yourself. When you care enough to look good, it shows you have good healthy self esteem. Nothing is more attractive than self confidence.

In addition, dressing nice also shows respect for others. If you invite people over for dinner and greet them in flip flops, baggy sweats and a stained shirt, it is really disrespectful to them. The same if you dress sloppy to go to church or even to the market. By dressing nicely and being well groomed, you show respect for everyone in your world.

Having la bella figura means presenting yourself in the best light possible in all your interactions.