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Last week I began an extensive review of Polish Your Poise with Madame Chic by Jennifer L. Scott. The first post in this experiment can be found at Is Poise Old Fashioned or Cutting Edge?
I agreed with the author when she wrote that poise could be learned at any age, by any woman. Early in the book she made a few statements I believed would have many American women doubting, and which were very convicting to me.
Scott said, “I advocate looking presentable always, not just when you are at work or out running errands where people can see you, but also behind closed doors. Many people look presentable when out in public, and, then, the minute they get home, change into sweat pants or some worn-out old outfit that isn’t fit to be seen in the light of day.”
I took pause, then wrote in the margin. BUSTED!
Her reasoning does make sense. If women desire to live a poised life, it must permeate throughout… as it did for her mentor, Madame Chic. “Because we are not cultivating poise to show off to other people. We are doing it to change our lives. Our entire lives. Not just our public lives, but our private lives, too. You feel and act differently when you are wearing nice clothes rather than frumpy sweatpants or an oversized T-shirt. I don’t care if you live alone or no one is going to see you all day. It is about self-respect.” She then writes … “Dare to be stylish at home.”
Though I have completely reinvented my style over the last twelve years, one thing has not significantly changed. Every day when I come home from work, or on the days that I stay home from work, I wear comfortable clothes. Ugly comfortable clothes. After consistent pressure from my family I finally got rid of an old night-shirt just a few months ago. It had been a reliable lounging favorite for years. So I decided this past week to participate in an experiment. Every day I came home from working, I stayed in my nice clothes. When I went to the kitchen, I pulled on an apron. But I stayed dressed until bedtime. And the one day I was at home all day I got dressed as if I were going to an office.
The biggest observation was … I GOT MORE DONE! Because I did not change into the frumpy clothes, I was more likely to go back out and do more. I found myself returning to the computer and work rather than relaxing with a book or television. I definitely realized there are days I switch on the comfort way too soon. For many of us who work from home, this is a challenge. I also enjoyed being in the kitchen in an apron and somehow thought more about the meal. It became more of a meal and less of a chore.
Learning poise is a process, and I am one work in progress. This book is helping me to be aware of areas I need to polish! One of my new daily goals is “dare to be stylish at home,” I’m still finding my way to that one. How about you? Are you more on the Madame Chic side or the Sloppy Pam side?
You might want to try the experiment for yourself. Thanks for stopping by the Joy Boutique! Have a wonderful week everyone.