August 2, 2013

A Daily Dose of Your Aesthetic

Edwardian Street Fashion depicts a woman reading as she walks down the street.
Edwardian Street Fashion

Today, I made an effort and dressed up. I had a simple errand to run: a quick trip to the mall to upgrade my old, faltering phone to something new and less likely to give out of battery in an hour or send random texts to random contacts while in my bag.  My first instinct was to just throw on a basic skirt and matching top- after all, it was only the mall. As long as I looked decent, right?

The siren call of "The Efficient" or "The Good Enough" is a powerful one. Many times, it is wise to heed her call- when we are stressed, busy, or tired there is no use adding guilt to exhaustion by wracking our brains to think of a way to do this- in that vague word- better.  After all, an act of beauty should only ever be an indulgence- not a duty.

However, there are often times when you do have the energy, mental clarity, and time to imbue your life activities with an extra bit of effort and consideration. Everything from slowing down to sit and eat your breakfast at the table, writing a message with a nicer pen, to dressing up to go to the mall. It is important to take these little efforts, even if they seem pointless in the mean time. There is a lot of inertia, especially when you've already put on one outfit, think you're going to be late, or need to jot down the note in a hurry. 

Except that any lifestyle is the sum of your daily choices. If you want to live as a Neo-Aristocrat- or in any lifestyle besides the mainstream cult of Efficiency and Busyness- you'll have to imbue each of these small daily choices with aspects of that aesthetic. 

It's work. It's not always the natural thing to do. It sometimes requires forethought and planning or an abrupt change mid-activity. But it is, I think, one of the essential aspects to deliberately cultivating your personal aesthetic.

What do you do to add a touch of your aesthetic to your daily life?


  1. I tend to imbue almost anything I do with some aspect of my personal aesthetic! Sometimes I go all out, sometims my aesthetic is in the little things. Right now I look like a bum and my hair is awful, but I AM eating blackcurrants and drinking quality madeira from an elegant glass! I try to have moments (or hours) of simple decadence every day because my lifestyle definitely is a decadent one! When it comes to clothing I go fordarkness, elegance and opulence! When I (am forced to) wear ordinary clothes I feel compelled to add a touch of me through awesome jewelry or perfume. I feel uncomfortable and incomplete without atleast these little touches!

    1. Haha! Nadja, I am beginning to suspect you have my perfect life. Forget hair and clothing, if you can be eating blackcurrents and drinking madeira! Combine that with the ancestral land, quiet isolation, and combination of forest, marsh and sea- it does sound like out of a fairy book. What better way to be inspired!

  2. Make-up. It's always my make-up when I feel the pull to add aesthetics to my day. I take a little more time to ensure my foundation is even; go a little more slowly to put on eyeliner; use more than one color of eyeshadow, doing my best to match the shades to my jewelery.

    It's also usually the day I change my computer wallpaper to something beautiful.

    Also, thank you for being my regular reminder to stop the glorification of busy.

    1. You are most welcome. It is so regular a reminder because I so regularly need to be reminded not to fall into the Cult of Efficiency.

      Yes, makeup is a great way for me to stop rushing in the morning and focus on one thing. After all, a slip of the eyeliner pen and you have to start again. This was actually the first reason I started wearing makeup- the little meditation in the morning before school.

      Changing computer wallpaper is a lovely addition I haven't thought about. It's been the same for so long, that I forget to look at it. But changing it regularly gives you a little shock each time you see it. A little reminder of something beautiful. Thanks!